Two words: Nazi. Zombies. If you are into horror comedies with extreme gore, excellent acting, and zombies, then this one is about as flawless as it gets. I really don’t think I can say one bad thing about this film. It is hilarious in all the right ways without being cheesy or taking away from all the grisly fright. The zombie genre has been extremely popular as of late, or overrated, depending on which way you look at it. I love zombie films but there are too many shitty ones out there. Taking zombies and making them Nazi zombies is something completely original, spinning the overused genre on top of its head.
This Norwegian film takes place atop a snowy mountain where eight med-school friends spend their Easter vacation. It was such an awesome coincidence that I happened to be watching it on Easter weekend as well. I was so surprised and excited. You can’t make up stuff like that! Anyway, the whole cast is great, each likable in their own way. My favorite character is Erlend, a chubby movie geek who loves horror movies, bringing up classics like April Fool’s Day, Friday the 13th, and the Evil Dead movies (all of which also take place in secluded cabins).
Local history has it that during WWII, fiendish devil Nazis tortured the locals of these lands. With all that pent up anger, the locals fought back, killing several soldiers and driving others up into these mountains. The audience is in store for some fun, knowing this evil presence still lurks around. The anticipation is exciting, never slow, with perfect pitched tension building. The feeling of entrapment is intense when the zombies surround the cabin. With nowhere to go, extreme panic sets in. The first to die, at the hands of a zombie, is wearing a “Brain Dead” t-shirt. This character dies in the exact same way as the first zombie kill in an American film called Brain Dead (2007); not to be confused with the classic Peter Jackson film Dead Alive aka Braindead. Needless to say, this death scene is nasty and graphic, definitely setting the pace for what is to come.
These are not your typical, slow moving zombies. They are fast, evil and hungry. The makeup and costuming for these creatures is spot on. Decked out in Nazi ensemble gear, makeup is minimal, needed primarily on the faces alone. With blood running from their mouths through guttural growls, these zombies are terrifying. These bumbling idiots are actually scary and funny all at once, a difficult feat. But they have a fire under their ass that makes them never stop. The death scenes are so insane and extremely bloody. This one is even more malicious than the over-the-top death scenes in Hatchet. The bright red blood drenching the stark white snow is beautiful in a dark and twisted way.
I was in shock when I found out that this film had a minimal budget of $800,000. The effects, filming, acting, and script are topnotch, holding its own against any multimillion dollar horror film; and blows similar films like Cold Prey and Zombie Lake out of the park. This is a film that I could watch over and over again. It is an epic combination of head stomping, throat slashing, intestine yanking, body splitting, and limb amputating good fun!
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