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‘Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead’ – Advance Film Review

I have to be honest – I am feeling more pressure to write this review than any other review I have written (not a lot, like 40 or so – still, this is the big one).  Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is a freaking cinematic masterpiece.  I am not f–king with you.  I understand if you’re skeptical about this claim, so I don’t ask that you totally believe me – just give me the benefit of the doubt.  I’m not kidding when I say I enjoyed this movie more than any other movie I’ve seen in 2014, including the obvious blockbusters.

Here I go.

So, my editor said I should review this movie, because she thinks my brand of sarcasm and whatever, mixed with the fact that I like movies like Ninja Cheerleaders and Dead and Breakfast (both great movies, btw), would allow me to commune with this movie in such a way that the average movie watcher might not.  My editor is kind of my hero, and I can’t say ‘no’ to her, so I agreed – even though I had only made it 5 minutes into Dead Snow on account of it being subtitled (Norwegian), and I don’t do subtitles unless compelled.  Two things you should know: the bad guys in both movies are Nazi Zombies, and Dead Snow 2 is in English.

I watched Dead Snow (#1) last night.  And, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  There were several genuine laugh-out-loud moments, some obvious clichés and rip-offs, and much higher production value than I could have imagined a movie about Zombie Nazis might normally have.  Overall, I gave it around a B+ (A+ by Netflix random movie standards).  Now, this little set up I’m doing is important; part of what made Dead Snow 2 so amazing is the fact that I just saw Dead Snow.  I’m not saying you have to watch them both, but the successful metamorphasis that is Dead Snow 2 is very clear when you go from film 1 to film 2.  And, it’s truly beautiful.

The films were both directed by Tommy Wirkola. (He also has a partial writer credit on both.) Dead Snow (the first) is Tommy’s second full-length director credit, according to IMDB, and he was obviously coming into his own at that point.  He has since done some stuff (e.g.,  Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), but he came back to Dead Snow via the sequel that I’m reviewing here.

If Dead Snow is to Cuju (the book), then Dead Snow 2 is to The Shining (the book).  Tommy found direction, clarity, testicular fortitude, and storytelling BIG TIME between these two movies.  Here’s why:

Dead Snow SPOILERS BELOW (and the back of the DVD plot of Dead Snow 2).

Martin (played by Vegar Hoel) is a med student (who is afraid of blood) who has a misadventure costing him all of his friends (They die.), his girlfriend (She dies.), and his left arm. (He was bitten by a Nazi Zombie, which it turns out doesn’t infect people but better safe than sorry.)  He is being attacked in his car by the Nazi Zombie commander when the credits role.  The second movie picks up where the first ends – he escapes, crashes his car, enters a coma, and wakes up a dramatically transformed protagonist who is suspected of murder, because his dead friends were found.  The Nazi Zombies end up rising up to destroy some Norwegian towns, and Martin takes the lead in its defense as our classic anti-hero.

Spoilers over.

Why is this movie so damn good?  Easy – each and every character and each and every line are perfect.  The acting is top-notch.  The characters are all very funny (yes, all of them).  The references to other movies are myriad, and they’re awesome.  Nothing is sacred, as our director gleefully and horribly kills children, women, and disabled people – often in very funny ways.  The production value has improved.  The movie is smart.

I won’t spoil anything in this movie, so I can’t go into more detail, but these movies (to me) are the equivalent tale to Evil Dead and Army of Darkness (as a duo).  Frankly (You can’t hate me for saying this until you watch the movies.), I prefer the Dead Snow movies over the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness movies.

My advice?  Go and freaking see Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2Dead Snow 2 was released in Norway in February of 2014, and WellGo will release the film in theaters on October 10, 2014.  People: see this movie, and if you don’t love it – comment below that I’m a moron. 

Watch, there will be no comments.

Simply Jack, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor



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