Saturday, October 19, 2019

isvand i blodet!

Away in The London today so scheduling my 31 days of horror posts in advance.
So this is from the past, tho' as I post it's for the future.

Spooky biscuits.

As an (interesting) aside this review was originally written for DEAD FUNNY: THE RISE OF THE ZOM-COM so if you enjoy it go buy the book.

Dead Snow (2009).
Dir: Tommy Wirkola.
Cast: Vegar Hoel , Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal

Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jeppe Laursen, Jenny Skavlan, Ane Dahl Torp
Bjørn Sundquist and Ørjan Gamst.

Hello, 9-1-1? We've been attacked by what look like German zombies from the Second World War! And we set our cabin on fire by accident!

It's a calm moonlit Norwegian night in the snow covered woods somewhere in deepest darkest Øksfjord, the only sound being Edvard Grieg's Hall Of The Mountain King playing menacingly in the background.

This (fairly) sinister scene is abruptly broken by the noise of a terrified girl crashing thru' the trees as she attempts to escape from an unseen assailant.

Stopping to get her bearings (and catch her breath) she suddenly attacked and overcome by a group of grey-coated ghouls who proceed to eat her whole.

Tho' I always assumed that they would spit that bit out.

Less Eva Green more Eva Grue.

Cut to a rocking Country and Western tune (who knew Norway had such things?) as we follow two cars full of the oldest (medical) students this side of the Fenn St Gang - queasy Martin (Hoel), his dreadlocked girlfriend Hanna (Pound Shop Eve Green Frogner), snack loving horror fan Erlend (Laursen), identikit chicks Liv and Chris (Hamster-cheeked Røsten and the button nosed Skavlan) and Roy (comedy god Henriksen) as they head off to enjoy an Easter break of sex, snacks and song in a secluded cabin in the woods.

What could possibly go wrong?

Arriving at the cabin they meet up with their pal, the lion-haired, snow-mobile driving Vegard (Valdal) who has been patiently awaiting not only their arrival but that of his girlfriend - and the cabin's owner - Sara (Torp) who has decided to ski to the cabin from West Bromwich or something seeing as she's a sporty type.

As you do.

As is the way when students get together the pals settle down for an evening of booze and banter (I assume this is quite realistic seeing as I've never been invited away for the weekend on account of not having any friends. Ever) until that is a mysterious tramp arrives in order (it seems) to tell them the dark history of the region and start the plot good and proper.

You see, it seems that during World War II, a crack squad of Einsatzgruppe bad boys led by the evil Colonel Barry Herzog rocked up in the local area and spent the next few years abusing and torturing the local populace until, near the end of the war, the villagers decided to extract their revenge.

With Germany's defeat immanent the nasty Nazi's grabbed whatever loot they could and legged it into the woods, the torch bearing townies in hot pursuit.

Bloodshed, burnings and bad man beatings ensued as most of Herzog's squad were butchered.

However Herzog (being a lucky bloke) alongside a few of his troops managed to eluded capture/bumming and escaped into the mountains with the stash of loot where it was assumed that they all froze to death.

Or did they?

And with that (and a quick beer and fag) the tramp leaves to continue whatever snow-based business he was doing beforehand.

Which appears to be setting up camp somewhere in the mountains in order to be attacked - and eaten - by zombies therefore adding to the sense of impending doom.

Boris Johnson tries in vain to find the upside of a no deal Brexit.

As a new day dawns, Vegard - getting more and more concerned heads off on his snowmobile to look for Sara and soon comes across (no, not in that way, minds like sewers you lot) the dismembered tramp/concerned, creepy local guy.

Continuing his search Vegard clumsily falls into a hole landing in a cave knocking himself unconscious.

Yup, I know, I know you think his almost lion-like main of luxurious hair would have cushioned the blow.

As the day wears on and the friends get more and more tipsy, Erlend - looking for cakes discovers an old wooden box filled with jewelry coins and golden trinkets hidden under the floorboards and excitedly begins to rummage thru' it.

The greedy sod probably thinks the coins are chocolate.

Lache Jetzt!

Celebrating their find with even more booze (and pocketing a few of the coins for good measure) it's not long before Erlend's bladder gets the better of him and he heads off to the outside toilet for a wee followed by some furtive bog-based sex with a tipsy Chris before returning to the party leaving Chris to have a poo in peace.

And you say romance is dead.

With the plot points fully covered and the threat explained (plus we're at the halfway point) it'll come as no surprise to tell you that that the things in the woods are, in fact, the undead remains of Herzog's squad - out for revenge on anyone brave or silly enough to try to steal their gold.

Imagine a really right wing (and considerably better dressed) version of the Lucky Charms cereal leprechaun and you're halfway there.

And just in case you hadn't managed to work all that out yet we cut back to Vergard who, upon awakening finds himself in a candlelit cave chock full of gold, guns and Nazi memorabilia - as well as his girlfriends severed head.

Which is unexpected (to him) but to me, if I'm honest, is scarily reminiscent of my granddad's spare bedroom.

Oh how I miss the holidays of my youth.

"Fuck me Jamie....a wasp!"

Stalked (and slashed) on the shitter by the sinister soldiers, Chris is the first to die as the undead Nazi horde lay siege to the cabin, quickly killing Erlend (who it has to be said is the biggest target) as he and his friends attempt to secure the building using a collection of Ikea shelves and empty beer cans.

Meanwhile Vegard has been discovered and is currently busying himself poking zombies in the eyes with a penknife as the evil creatures edge him closer and closer to a cliff face.

It never rains.

Bitten on the neck by one of the zombie he stumbles back over the cliff edge but is saved when he grabs on to an unraveled undead intestine he'd managed to cut out of its owner earlier.

And no, I didn't see that coming.

Climbing back up the sticky stomach rope he quickly stitches his neck up before attaching a handy machine gun to his snowmobile and heads back to help his friends who, by this point have decided it'd probably be best to split up so to this aim Martin and Roy attempt to distract the zombies whilst Hanna and Liv run for the cars and look for help.

Hmmm...I can't this this plan failing in any way.

As the boys bang pots and pans whilst singing loudly the girls head out into the snowy covered woods but are soon attacked leaving Liv unconscious and Hanna stuck under a mini-avalanche with just a zombie for company.

All this snow-based kerfuffle wakes Liv from her slumber just in time to see a group of zombies messily pulling out her intestines and realising that her chances of ever getting a decent pair of dungarees to fit again uses her last vestige of strength to pull the pin from a grenade on one of the undead's belt causing a massive explosion that gives Hanna the boost she needs to drop kick her undead assailant.

Whilst all this has been going down Martin and Roy have managed to set fire to the cabin with shoddily made Molotov cocktails leaving them no choice but to lock themselves in the tool shed, which as it happens is a pretty smart move seeing as it's choc full of chainsaws, hammers and the like.


Undead Nazi in mah mooth!

As Vegard joins them the scene is set for a final battle against Herzog and his undead platoon but as they attack Martin begins to realise the real reason behind the onslaught....

The second film from the dream team of Tommy Wirkola and Stig Frode Henriksen (who later went on to give us the sublime Hellfjord) Dead Snow comes across like a horror retelling of Withnail And I ("We set our cabin on fire by accident!") and is one of those rare horror comedies that plays everything absolutely straight and is all the better for it.

True it may not be the most original plot in the world but it more than makes up for it with sheer chutzpah and an infectious sense of fun that puts most (if not all) big budget horror comedies to shame.

Perfectly pitched and tautly directed Dead Snow is scary and silly in equal measures and probably the most entertaining thing to come out of Norway since Vicky Vette.

Tho' much as I love him I can't imagine too many folk paying to see Stig doing a saucy webcam show.

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