Norway’s first zombie-splatter-Nazi-feelgood movie Dead Snow is getting it’s offical premiere tomorrow. Here’s the lowdown on the snow zombies.
Premiering two days before Valentine’s Day in Norway, Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead is the sequel to the 2009 hit Dead Snow directed by Tommy Wirkola, who last year directed the $50 million Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters for MGM and Paramount. With influences from Wirkola’s home in Northern Norway with lots of snow and probably zombie Nazis lurking under it (nobody quite knows what’s been hiding up there under the deep snow since WW2…) Dead Snow became a cult favourite and a bigger sequel intended for the international market was devised.
Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead follows the sole survivor of a Nazi zombie attack who battles an even larger army of zombies with the help of The Zombie Squad, a professional gang of zombie killers from the U.S. The background for this was Martin’s worst day ever, having accidentally killed his girlfriend with an axe, chain-sawed his own arm off, and watched his closest friends being devoured by a zombified Nazi battalion. He could have assumed that things couldn’t get much worse, but in Martin’s case, that was only the beginning!
Originally titled Dead Snow: War of the Dead, the sequel had a sneak premiere at the prestigious Sundance festival in January, where hollywoodchicago.com reviewed it:
Tommy Wirkola has taken whatever you liked about the first movie and blown it up, reminding one of what Sam Raimi did with Evil Dead 2. Oh, you liked that? Well, get a load of THIS. The film is gore-filled from first frame to last. It’s ridiculous horror-comedy that really works, in no small part due to the involvement of Martin Starr as the leader of a group called the Zombie Squad, who come in to save the world from Nazi zombies. Funny, crazy, SO bloody, and, yes, smarter than people will give it credit for […] It’s a blast.
Fangoria, the world’s leading horror magazine, gave it 3 of 4 skulls and wrote:
[…] the filmmaker seems to have honed his horror-comedy craft, developing his own style, confronting his past shortcomings and delivering a film both worthy of its base idea and a packed house […] Clearly taking the piss out of the types of overzealous (probably delusional) fans that get kicks from preparing for a nonfictional zombie apocalypse, Wirkola has the trio walk a fine line between utter goofballs and endearing characters throughout […] Wirkola brings a reckless abandon to DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD, opening up Norwegian towns to Nazi Zombie siege and sparing no one a splattery end in the process. It’s outlandish and gruesome and nice to have a warm center for contrast. […] Make no mistake, the subtitle of this sequel isn’t simply wordplay and the carnage isn’t simply zombie “attacks.” In action and image, Wirkola approaches DEAD SNOW 2 as a war film. When the ghastly troops lay waste to a town, it is in the spirit of pillaging warriors and the film’s final confrontation — in which Martin and the Zombie Squad have amassed their own legion of zombies — is a rousing set piece, complete with widespread chaos, small scale character arcs and excellent, blood soaked physical comedy throughout.
The director commented on the film in January: -What worked so well in the first movie was the last 20 minutes which had lots of comedy and action, so this time we have tried to make the whole movie like that. I claim this movie is much better and more fun than the first film, Wirkola said to VG at the public screening at Sundance. -The script is crazy, quite extreme with extreme humour, and we’re going all the way. [There are also Russian zombies and a rerun of WW2], Wirkolad said to NRK. He added that now that he’s out of Hollywood for a while, he can do anything he wants, and judging from the budget increase from 1.2 million euros to 4.3 million euros, the promise of “more blood, more gore, more action” which was made when the sequel was announced, will be kept.
The film was shot mostly on Iceland due to tax cuts, but also in Norway over 37 days, and with English dialogue for the international market. In fact, two versions were filmed, one with English dialogue and one with Norwegian dialogue. Only 30% of the dialogue in the film is originally Norwegian, making it more available to viewers in the 20 countries that already bought the film.
The Norwegian cast has been reinforced by American actors; Martin Starr (Knocked Up and Freaks), Ingrid Haas (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and Jocelyn Deboer (Inside Amy Schumer) also add their talent to the project. The main Norwegian cast is Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Ørjan Gamst, Kristoffer Joner, and Hallvard Holmen.
Dead Snow 2 premieres theatrically in Norway on February 12th, 2014 and two days later in US theatres.