DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD-Norway/Iceland/United States/United Kingdom-100 Mins. 2014
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Written by Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel and Tommy Wirkola
Now that I’ve had a day or two to process my experience of watching Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead I am now adequately prepared to give my assessment of the movie:
HOLY SH!T! WHAT A ZOM-COM!
After a brief recap that catches us up on the events of Dead Snow we stay with lone survivor Martin as he attempts to shake off Herzog, the leader of the Nazi zombies, from off of his car. He succeeds but crashes in the process. Martin awakens to find himself in the hospital and handcuffed to his bed as the police believe that he is the one responsible for the slaughter of his friends from the first movie. He is also informed that they were able to reattach the arm that he himself severed with a chainsaw after being infected by a Nazi zombie (again, during the first movie). There’s just one problem: it’s not his arm they reattach. It’s Herzog’s arm and to say that it has a life of its own is a gross understatement as it gets Martin into all sorts of trouble. On the other hand (pun intended) Herzog has Martin’s old arm attached to himself and this creates a ‘good news, bad news’ scenario. The bad news is that Herzog can use the arm to raise the dead and create a new zombie army to fulfill a 70 year-old order from Hitler to attack a Norwegian village in retaliation for Anti-Nazi subterfuge. The good news is that Martin can do the same hocus-pocus with Herzog’s arm and, accompanied by a trio of unlikely and hilarious zombie hunters, as well as an effeminate museum clerk and his very own zombie mascot, Martin raises an army of dead Soviet soldiers for a final battle with Herzog. Needless to say the blood flows, the gore is thick and the amusement is high.
What makes Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead a successful zom-com is that even when there are no gory shenanigans going on onscreen there still is the sensation of jocularity in the air. This is a movie that welcomes both our repulsion and our laughter and we gladly give it what it wants. Vegar Hoel is fantastic and funny as Martin and Ørjan Gamst is frightening and funny as Herzog and the two play off of each other brilliantly. Let’s also not forget the Zombie Squad; this trio of nerdy Star Wars quoting techno-geek bad-ass wanna-bes blend in perfectly with the rest of the raucous fun. What this all adds up to is that after watching Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead you may very well find yourself asking, “Shaun of the Who?”. If not, at least you can forgive director Tommy Wirkola for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
Shot in both Norwegian and English versions.
Ørjan Gamst and co-star Tage Guddingsmo played together in the Norwegian death metal band Slogstorm for several years. Both eventually dropped out of the band.