Hello again from the other side. Once again, THE UNSEEN HORROR leaves the confines of American horror and heads across the pond for some foreign frights. Today’s entry is a Norwegian horror-comedy sequel DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD that actually manages to accomplish the main goal of a sequel — improve on the original.

And when the original story involves Nazi zombies, that’s a hell of an accomplishment. So grab your blunt objects and rally against the zombie blitzkrieg with DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD.

The Plot

The original DEAD SNOW featured a group of mountain vacationers accidentally awakening buried Nazis by taking their gold. DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD opens with the lone survivor, Martin, escaping the mountain, but not before losing his arm in an auto accident. Martin awakens in the hospital, with arm reattached.

Unfortunately, it’s a zombie arm, that acts with a mind of its own. Meanwhile, the Nazis are descending from the mountain to complete their last mission– wipe out a Norwegian town. It’s up to Martin to find allies, gain control of the arm, and use its power to awaken a Russian zombie army to stand against the Nazis and save the town from the undead.

Pure, Wonderful, Insanity

The first DEAD SNOW was a solid horror film, but some felt it failed to take full advantage of its ludicrous concept. That’s not a problem in DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD. From the advancing Nazi army to the over the top gore, this is a movie that goes all out and never stops. There are plenty of things to contribute to this, first being the imagination behind some of the zombie scenarios.

It’s one thing to have Nazi zombies, but they still have to have memorable moments. This film has some wonderfully creative moments, such as using a zombie as traction for a trapped car, Martin’s zombie arm punching through chests, and even Nazi zombies driving a tank!

Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead
Image courtesy of 23Dayslateranalaysis.com

Along with all the crazy twists and turns, the film has an amazing look thanks to its makeup and gore. The zombies look both rotted and preserved, with strategic bits of missing skin and flesh placed about. It both enhances the film and makes the Nazis look even more frightening. However, the sidekick zombie Martin creates uses the effect inversely. While never named, this zombie undergoes an incredible amount of abuse throughout the film. The makeup shifts with each blow, making the effect comical instead of terrifying. It’s a masterstroke that shows the depth of the makeup artists’ abilities.

DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD
DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN STOP HITTING ME!! Image courtesy http://capsulasdecine.blogspot.com

The Live Ones

The insanity and makeup of DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD would be window dressing if not for the strong acting involved. Like NOSFERATU, THE VAMPYRE, this film was recorded in multiple languages (Norwegian and English). Regardless of language, the cast shines in their roles. Lead actor Vegar Hoyle strikes an incredible balance as Martin.

The character embodies shock, PTSD, resolve, and humor all in one film, moving across the various emotions with ease. Martin is both likable and a badass; it’s easy to see why the film revolves around him. The supporting cast is just as effective, with the American Zombie Squad backing Martin up. The Squad is a unique part of DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD. Their humor is clear, as, despite their title, they have never actually encountered zombies before.

They actually operate out of a mom’s attic but still manage to be effective in the fight. It’s also unique as the Squad is primarily female, with one male member of a trio. The women are presented as sci-fi and science geeks, roles which usually are given to men. In fact, their gender is never even brought into question, only their abilities, which are strong. Therefore, the film makes a strong case for women by never actually mentioning it.

An Honorable Mention

However, the dark horse of the film is the police chief tracking Martin. The chief is wonderfully arrogant and immoral, taking wallets from zombie victims, and complaining about the ‘snobs’ in the south. However, he is trying to do his jobs, and constantly spits out quotes that are worthy of Deadpool.

“If he so much as stop to take a piss, I want to know the color and scent of that urine!”

It all combines to make the characters incredibly memorable, and even make the ending seem sweet instead of… well, what it is (I can’t describe it here, but… damn).

Get Buried In DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD

Both DEAD SNOW movies are solid horror films. However, DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD is simply a stronger film. The characters are unique, the story takes full advantage of itself, and any zombie fan needs to see it. So if you love zombies, like watching Nazis get killed, or just love creative gore, watch this film.

And come back next time, as we move back to America for a double feature about horror in the streets…

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