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Ein! Zwei! Die!
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.
Tropes in this film:
- Audible Sharpness: For a chainsaw, a rifle, and even a sledgehammer.
- Badass: Vegard, who, among other things, stitches up a wound on his own neck. With a fishhook and line.
- The Bad Guy Wins
- 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.
- Blind Idiot Translation: The English subtitles are okay for the most part, but obviously not done by a native speaker.
- Bloody Hilarious: Very much so in the second half,
- Can You Hear Me Now:
- 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?"
- Chainsaw Good
- Chekhov's Gun:
- The coin Hanna hides in Martin's pocket, which dooms him in the end.
- Averted by the coin that falls off of Erland's lap into the snow. Nothing ever comes of it.
- Closed Circle: The students park their car a ways away from the cottage - the student who is a movie buff correctly identifies the situation
- Death by Materialism: The zombies are after the gold hidden in the students' cottage. Martin is undone by the fact that Hanna stole a coin and hid it in his pants.
- Death by Sex: Erlend and Chris - they are the only ones to have sex in the movie.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: During their stand against the zombies, Roy crosses his hammer and sickle to make the classic symbol for Communism. It might be an intentional choice by Roy, since the zombie he attacks looks very upset by it.
- 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.
- Duct Tape for Everything: Duct Tape For Makeshift Bandages!
- Epic Fail: Roy attempts to throw a Molotov cocktail out an open window. He hits the wall instead, with predictable results.
- Face Your Fears: Martin is afraid of blood and gets drenched in it over the course of the film. Hanna is claustrophobic and gets buried in snow.
- Everybody Dies
- Genre Savvy:
- Erlend identifies their situation as a Closed Circle (and is a huge movie geek to boot), however he is one of the only ones in the movie who had sex...
- 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: Almost literally.
- Gorn: It is a zombie movie - do we really need to go on?
- Groin Attack: Both used by the zombies, and against them.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Both Ane Dahl Thorp (Sara who dies in the beginning) and Bjørn Sundquist (the stranger) are amongst Norway's most famous actors, leading to this trope for Norwegians. In addition, Stig Frode Henriksen has appeared in other productions by the same director, including the Kill Bill parody Kill Buljo.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Of course the dead would rise around Easter.
- Impairment Shot: There are good ways to wake up, and bad ways. One particularly bad way is to wake up to zombies ripping out your intestines.
- Life or Limb Decision: Martin, though it seems to be unnecessary. He doesn't live long enough to find out.
- Lock and Load Montage: Roy and Martin raid the tool shed, resulting in one of these that is straight out of the Evil Dead series.
- Made of Plasticine: Both the humans and zombies seem to be able to tear each other apart with their bare hands.
- Mr. Exposition: The Wanderer doubles as this and as a Harbinger of Impending Doom. As these are wont to do, he catches a terminal whiff of The Stupids and goes somewhere remote and unprotected to get killed
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: It's close.
- No Time to Explain: Parodied when two of the protagonists are trying to keep the attacking nazi zombies from breaking into the house.
-We've got to get to the shed!(a beat)
-What? Why do we need to go there?
—Uh... no time to explain!
- Not Using the Z Word: Movie buff Erlend rightly identifies the zombies - being Genre Savvy. He is killed off in the same scene.
- Offscreen 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.
- Oh Crap:
- 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."
- 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.
- Rule of Funny: Yes, in a zombie horror film.
- Scare Chord: It's used quite a lot.
- Soundtrack Dissonance:
- The opening credits, in which Sara is chased down and murdered by zombies, are set to the upbeat "In the Hall of the Mountain King"
- The supremely gory zombie brawl is set to the insanely upbeat and cheerful "Min Dag I Dag" (Today's My Day)
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Well, it sort of worked.
- Too Dumb to Live: Best example--Hanna makes the incredibly stupid decision to put an unexpected hand on Martin's shoulder whilst he is in a zombie-mutilating rage. Guess what happens next.
- Took a Level In Badass: Everyone who lives long enough to fight the zombies. Especially Vegard.
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.
- 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 Gait: Averted. The zombies walk pretty normally, and are frequently shown running. They even manage an Offscreen Teleportation or two.
- 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.