[BD Review] ‘Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead’ Gratuitous and Extremely Violent!

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Nazi zombies versus Russian zombies. I mean, with Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, either you’re on board or you aren’t, you know? Director Tommy Wirkola returns to Sundance with a sequel that’s even bigger and badder than the original, an undead smackdown that generated enough audience jeers and cheers to rival early Peter Jackson.

Beginning with a slick recap of the first film, Dead Snow 2 dives right back into the action with Martin (Vegar Hoel)––now missing an arm and on the run from Nazi undead––fleeing the zombies in a totally rad pre-credits car chase. Waking up in a hospital post-chase, Martin is stunned to discover that the doctors have reattached his arm. Well, not his arm. Rather, the arm of Colonel Herzog, the Nazi zombie commander.

As Colonel Herzog and the Nazi zombies rally new forces for a frontal assault, Martin works out the powers and limitations of his new zombie arm. The thing can hotwire cars; it can involuntarily kill the hell out of annoying kids. But despite his new found gifts, Martin is compelled to call on the Zombie Squad, a trio of nerdy Americans led by Martin Starr, for assistance in eradicating the Nazi zombie threat.

Once Martin realizes he can use his magical zombie arm to raise his own army of the undead, the fight is on, and Wirkola does not go easy on the weapons-shopping montages. Nor does he go easy on the politically incorrect violence. Nothing is sacred in Wirkola’s world, not even babies. One scene, in which two zombies use human intestines to siphon gas from a car to a tank, is gleefully gratuitous, and this tone essentially sums up the entire film. Dead Snow 2 is Dead Alive redux, a textbook example of a talented director using extreme violence as a cathartic safety valve. Grab the popcorn and a barf bag and prepare to giggle your ass off.

 

Official Score