Review: DEAD SNOW


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Directed by Tommy Wirkola, 2009
Written by Tommy Wirkola, Stig Frode Henriksen


DEAD SNOW could have been great.  DEAD SNOW should have been great.  Sadly all the couldas and the shouldas and the good intentions don’t change the final product.

Half of it is a good horror, the other half plagued by pesky things like script and acting and direction and, well, anything involved in putting together a motion picture.  Jump into the Nazi zombie slayings at DEAD SNOW’s mid point and you’ll have a blast.  Watching it in full spoils the experience with groans and eye rolls and half-bored off-screen glances.

I’m no sour puss.  I like my fair share of mindless entertainment, I don’t think I need to flash any credentials in that regard, and I’m not expecting SCHNIDLER’S LIST,  but when you go as bare bones concept as teens at snow lodge versus zombies, I require a little more than zombie’s tackling people in the snow for forty minutes.  The last act makes up for this dearth, however, kicking off with a commendable head splitting gag and rolling through with a few dismemberments and one fantastic throat prosthetic.  It’s not enough to distract from how flatline mediocre the rest of the picture is, though.  I am not a gore hound.  I need more than a few solid bits of ingenuity on a budget to satisfy.

Maybe I’m just becoming jaded.  Loving a movie about Nazi zombies should be a default for a horror fan, right?  The problem with DEAD SNOW is that the undead chompers in question might as well not even be Nazis.  The only thing that defines them as soldiers of the Third Reich are their uniforms and a super lame origin story told by the cliched local who warns them thar city folk (yep, they have a bumpkin equivalent even in the snow caps of Norway) of the legend of the gold greedy Nazis.  That last bit sets up the plot, which (as RJ Sayer pointed out) is an almost identical convention to GARFIELD’S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE, just swap out ghost pirates looking for gold with Nazi zombies looking for gold and a fat cat for some dumb coeds.  Wirkola and Henriksen’s script doesn’t even have the heart to build a revenge story a la Carpenter’s THE FOG.  Nope, just Nazis who want some gold.  Fascinating.

IFC’s Theatrical/On-Demand Midnight Slate is Worth Your Time/Money.


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I was out of town last weekend when I saw the press release for IFC’s upcoming slate of ‘Midnight’ movies’ and got excited to the point that I was sad I’d have to wait a few more days to spread the word in this here post.  I’ll get to why in a minute.

Firstly, if you’re unfamiliar, the Independent Film Channel opened an On-Demand portal a few months ago, debuting films into theaters and homes at the same time.  In the beginning most of the titles were, for obvious reasons, Indie dramas.  This year, however, they’re branching head first into the orbit of our beloved genre with their Midnight titles, of which they have 30 lined up for 2009.  A few will be theatrical pushes, the majority will be available via On-Demand on most cable providers.  I’ll break out the heavy title boasting full slate from April through September after this jump, but in the mean time I want to talk about THE CHASER.  It is not a horror film, but I place a patent pending HND seal of approval upon it all the same.

Not only is THE CHASER  the debut of first time writer/director Hong-jin Na, but it is also my favorite Korean film since 2003′s MEMORIES OF MURDER.  Yes, better than THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD.  Better than THE HOST.  Better than even OLDBOY.  I picked up a copy of it when I was in Seoul and wish I’d grabbed six more to give away to friends.  I almost don’t want to say word one as to what it is about, but I suppose I’ll simplify how unconventional of a thriller it is by describing it as being about a pimp who gets caught up in the web of a serial killer who has been hiring out and killing off his girls.

It is a phenomenal film.  Please go check it out.  IFC has it for a few bucks, you won’t regret it.

Last Week in Horror News: January 4th to the 11th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Last Week in Horror: November 30th to December 7th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Last Week in Horror: October 19th to the 26th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Last Week in Horror, September 21st to the 28th


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Last Week in Horror I realized that the studio horror future is looking grim.  No, not talking quality, talking quantity.  I haven’t come across a new, full trailer for a theatrical studio picture in weeks now.  I’m sure that will change in October as, THE WOLFMAN, FRIDAY THE 13TH, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, and, well, a million other remakes will probably all have their trailers attached to SAW V.

Anyways, on to the tidbits.




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