31 Days of Hell: Dead Snow 2 - Red VS. Dead

Next up in the 31 Days of Hell review series is Lee's coverage of Dead Snow 2. 

"Hey look! Axe to the face!"
Dead Snow came out of nowhere in 2009 and captivated horror fans across the world. The Norwegian film did exceptionally well in the U.S., so much so that it’s American popularity plays a humorous part in the sequel. With a plot that is more developed than your typical all-of-the-sudden zombie apocalypse story line, fans praised the movie and it’s many homages to cult horror films.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead picks up at the exact scene the first film finished, with lone survivor Martin (Vegar Hoel) discovering a misplaced piece of Nazi gold in his car. It’s a fantastic way to begin a sequel, one that is rarely executed with second installment films. Fans and viewers are instantly catapulted into the new movie with a seamless transition. Yet there is one immediately noticeable difference. The dialogue. Red vs Dead is an English speaking film. Apparently the world wide popularity of the first movie, along with the addition of American actors in the second, was enough to encouraged a language change in the sequel.

When Martin discovers the undead Nazi’s plan to complete a slaughter mission they failed to accomplish in life, he enlists the services of the Zombie Squad - The leading experts in all things zombies. When they arrive to lend aid he discovers the ZS are just a trio of American zombie fanatics who’ve been waiting for an actual zombie apocalypse to happen. Just like in the movies! Its a hilarious satire on popular American culture and it’s zombie obsession. Unable to find anyone else who believes his story about an undead Nazi invasion, Martin and the Zombie Squad must find a way to defeat General Herzog and his army.

"Is this the zombie unemployment line?"
The one element that sets Dead Snow apart from most zombie movies are the actual zombies. They’re not mindless undead creatures wandering aimlessly about. They have a purpose to their existence. They are thinking creatures that adapt to situations and their environment. It certainly makes the story more intriguing than say an episode of The Walking Dead, where stereotypical flesh craving zombies can be contained by a meager chain length fence. These are bad ass zombies that attack with weapons, drive vehicles, and do ingenious things with intestines.

Putting his recent experience from Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters to good use, Director Tommy Wirkola went bigger with Red vs Dead. The larger approach was most influential in the action. With even more humor and blood spattering fun, this film has instantly solidified the right to be considered a gore comedy classic. It’s every bit as enjoyable as films such asThe Evil Dead and Dead Alive. Above all it’s Wirkola’s decision to take this sequel in a completely different direction that makes this film a success. Rather than cashing in on the popularity of the first movie and putting out a sequel full of rehashed ideas, Red vs Dead is an unexpected delight that trumps it’s predecessor. Though his resume may be short, Wirkola is definitely a writer/ director to keep your eye on.

-Lee Lind