Dead Snow (Død Snø) is a Norwegian Zombie horror-comedy movie from 2009. The plot concerns a group of young medical students who go to a small secluded cottage in the mountains for their Easter vacation. Drunkenness, lechery and silliness ensue - until a lone wanderer comes by, telling the grisly tale of a detachment of Nazis who, in the last days of the war, stole everything not nailed down and fled to the mountains, where they perished in the cold. Of course, The Wanderer is entirely ignored, and leaves. Before long, though, the med students find themselves fighting for their lives against zombies... Nazi zombies.Dead Snow isn't quite your typical zombie film, if that wasn't already apparent, and it switches between horror and humor much like Evil Dead 2, which appears to be an important inspiration for this tale of gore and guts.A 2014 sequel is nigh upon us.
Bad Ass: Vegard, who, among other things, stitches up a wound on his own neck. With a fishhook and line.
Heroic BSOD: The death of Sarah, and then being informed that everyone else is dead leaves him stunned, allowing the zombies to attack him despite only a minute earlier defeating the zombies when they tried similar moves with ease.
Big Damn Heroes: Martin and Roy weren't in trouble when they were fighting the zombies, but when a second wave attacks, Vegard decides to show up. With a machine gun strapped to his snow mobile.
Black Comedy: The absurd extreme of death, mutilation and horror oddly has the opposite effect from Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy. It is a very violent movie, and about 90 percent of that violence is played for laughs.
The cottage is in a dead zone, but they can still call emergency services. Towards the end they try it, but when they try to explain the situation (complete with zombies who "look like Germans from the Second World War!"), they are mistaken for a prank call and their connection terminated.
This is lampshaded by Genre Savvy film buff Erlend right at the beginning.
"How many movies start with a bunch of teenagers in the middle of nowhere with no reception?"
Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: A guy is working out his frustration at being cornered by zombies by savagely hacking the remaining one to pieces. His girlfriend decides that the best thing to do in this situation is to walk up and tap him on the shoulder, and gets an axe in the neck for her troubles.
He's also the first to identify the zombies. The students in general avert the expected horror Genre Blindness, even after scoffing off the crusty old doomsayer, they're quick to take self-preservative action.
Ghostapo: No origin is confirmed for the zombies, but it's hinted to be the result of a curse.
Gorn: It is a zombie movie - do we really need to go on?
Gratuitous German: Sure, the Zombies all prefer groaning to proper German, but the one time the Colonel speaks it, it sounds very dodgy.
Off Screen Teleportation: The Colonel Zombie does this toward the end, suddenly being ahead of his own zombie soldiers, when we saw him letting them run ahead of him (so that he could pick up a weapon) a few shots ago.
The look on Martin's face after he cuts off his own arm with a chainsaw to save himself from a zombie bite, only to be bitten in the crotch immediately afterwards, is just pricelessly pathetic. Later on, his Famous Last Words: "Oh, fuck."
The zombies panic when Vegard busts out the machine gun.
Martin's and Roy's reaction after "Arise!"
When Vegard is exploring the cave and sees the giant Nazi flag, his reaction is priceless: "Fuck."
Our Zombies Are Different: The exact mechanics are not explained, but the Nazi zombies are strongly implied to be of the Revenant variety, driven by greed past the point of death. Although it's not clear whether they eat human flesh, they are bitey.
Roy: Where the fuck did you get a machine gun from? Vegard: Well... I've been busy.
Trash the Set: They built the cottage for this film. The molotov cocktail then burns it down. The charred remains where the treasure box is found is actually the leftovers of the cottage.
White Shirt of Death: Vegard's white snowjacket gets soaked red by the end of the film after killing a number of zombies.
Write Who You Know: Roy (Stig Frode Henriksen), a friend and frequent collaborator of Tommy Wirkola's, basically plays himself. In addition, Martin and Erlend are also based on friends of the two, the former sharing both his inspiration's full name (he is named Martin Hovden in the script; look at the credits for Translation) and fear of blood.
Zombie Infectee: Erland warns the gang not to get bitten, clearly fearing this trope from all the zombie movies he's watched. Martin takes the warning to heart and chops off his arm after getting bitten. We never find out if it's possible to change into a zombie. Roy argues that Nazi zombies wouldn't accept new members with Jewish ancestry.
Tropes in the sequel:
Ambiguously Gay: Glenn mentions how he has a "he" whom he finds he to be very hot but suddenly retracts it to a "she". Not so ambiguous after all...
The Chew Toy: The poor guy in the wheelchair who gets reanimated repeatedly each time going through horrible punishment. All Played for Laughs of course.
Clear My Name: Martin is accused of the killings perpetrated by Herzog and his army. Subverted as he abandons trying to clear himself and focuses on killing Herzog instead.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Herzog, for a horror comedy is actually a pretty dangerous and smart villain even if he was not a zombie. He only resurrects the zombies which are fully functional (to the extent after he is done killing them) and sends the weaker zombies to weather the worst attacks first.
Evil Hand: Herzog's hands one of which gets surgically attached to Martin that can reanimate the dead!