Friday, January 30, 2009

Tommy Wirkola: Død snø

Tommy Wirkola: OK, so, zombies are scary, right?
Stig Frode Henriksen: Yeah, totally.
TW: And something else that's scary ... is Nazis, right? Am I right?
SFH: Sure, you're right, totally.
TW: OK, so, here's what I'm thinking, what is even scarier than that? Like, even worse than both those things?
SFH: I don't know, what are you thinking??
TW: OK, get this, right. Zombies that are also Nazis. Huh? Huh??
SFH: ... !! [Struck speechless by writing partner's brilliant cinematic vision!!]

Well, of course I can't know for sure, but this is how I imagine the brainstorming session between the screenwriter/director and screenwriter/actor team behind this movie. What I can say with absolutely certainty is that they must have had so much fun ... !!! :-D

I saw this movie yesterday, at Saga (screen 3) - me and Anne Ida, I had pretty high expectations, not quite sure about her. I picked the movie. ;-) But we both thought it was hilarious and hugely entertaining. I dug it. It was even better than I'd thought it would be ... and that's actually really saying something in this case.

Brief plot summary: Eight young medical students are going to spend their Easter vacay at a remote cabin in the Northern mountains. The cabin belongs to the family of one of the girls, Sara - she's such a sporty chick that she's hiked ahead of the others, she's going to meet them there after they drive up. They have a snowmobile, they have food and beer and music ... they're happy. The fact that Sara doesn't arrive that night doesn't worry them too much ... she's just taking longer than they thought, she's set up camp somewhere, she'll arrive next morning safe and sound. So they have fun at the cabin ... and it's SO Norwegian!! LOL! The mountains, the snow, the cabin ... ! They play in the snow as the sun shines benevolently on their youthful antics ... snowy field + innertube + rope + snowmobile = crazy fun ... !! :-D The scenic parts of this movie are just a giant ad for Norway as a tourist destination. Norgesreklame is the word I want. Beautiful scenery, dramatic mountains etc. Anyway.

As night falls, the gang gets a mysterious visitor (brilliantly played by Bjørn Sundquist). He disses their fair trade coffee, calls them dumbass city slickers and tells them a creepy story about how back during the War, the inhabitants of the nearby hamlet of 'Axefjord' had a nasty battalion of German soldiers stationed in their midst ... mean & evil Nazis who did terrible things to the locals, and who, as the Red Army approached from the north, got chased into the mountains by the furious pitchfork-wielding townspeople ... the mountains where they froze to death in the pitiless snow, the very mountains where our heroes have chosen to spend their ill-fated spring break. Beware!! BEWARE!!!

So, the old guy's pretty much off his rocker and of course there's nothing at all wrong here. But Sara still doesn't arrive. And the gang find a mysterious wooden box in the cellar. And what are those weird noises out by the outhouse ... ? Murder and mayhem ensue ... wildly hilarious murder and mayhem!! You just gotta see it! :-D

We laughed our heads off at the crazy stunts in this movie ... I know, it's not nice to laugh at the sight of fellow human beings brutally dismembered by Nazi zombies, but there are scenes in this movie that are just so wildly absurd that you have no choice but to laugh. Some of it may be mostly funny to Norwegians ... because this story, with its cabin trip and perfect Easter weather and cranky old men obsessed with the war has a lot of very Norwegian elements to it. But I do think it's a movie that ought to appeal to anyone who likes horror comedies and/or splatter films. It's quality splatter. (Anne Ida says that she's heard that they used 350 liters of fake blood making this thing.) The actors are pretty good - just plain good for a Norwegian movie - the setting is convincing, the action is fantastic, and the music, the music is just amazing. That opening sequence ... ! I can't say what it is, because that'd be a total spoiler, but it's classic. :-)

Of course the plot has more holes in it than a Jarlsberg cheese, but it's a crazy horror movie, it's supposed to be that way. Overall I'd say this is one of the best Norwegian movies I've seen. Funny, scary, entertaining, full of scenes that you'll really remember. >:-) OK, so it does get to be a bit much towards the end there ... that thing with the arm I thought was kind of overdoing it. But all in all I totally dug this movie. It rocks. Go see it.

English title so far: Dead Snow. Tag lines: Bury Yourself In Time (this will probably not be used abroad, it's too Norwegian) and (my favorite) Ein Zwei Die! LOL!! You can check out the movie's website here or its IMDb page here.


KAS said...

Ok, now I really must see this one! I mean, I was going to anyway, but now I really have to. Q: will I ever get around to it...?

Anonymous said...

That sounds...weird lol. Glad you enjoyed it, though!

Leisha Camden said...

KAS: Yes, you totally have to see it! You must! Don't worry, I'll nag you till you do get around to it. ;-)

Margo: It was weird, totally weird! It's a spoof of horror movie clichés as much as it takes them seriously. But the idea is so much fun, the concept is just so out there ... and they totally make it work, so I thought it was great. :-)

It was part of the Sundance Festival earlier this month, so maybe it'll get a US distributor ... ? ;-)

Paz said...

LOL, funny
I can even picture the 2 guys smoking weed "dude we'll do a movie about evil zombies in the mountains and release it before springbreak"
"I got a better idea we'll make them evil Nazi zombies"

AudiX78 said...

Definitely seeing it.. just for laughs ;-)

DES said...

I thought I'd point out—for the benefit of non-Norwegian readers, and probably many younger Norwegians, too—that the title “Død Snø” (“Dead snow”) is a play on “Rød Snø” (“Red snow”), the title of a 1980s Swedish / Norwegian TV thriller set during WWII.

Hey Leisha, speaking of Bjørn Sundquist, wanna go see Jernanger?

Leisha Camden said...

And, for the non-Norwegians and/or the non-initiated: This movie was actually supposed to be called Rød snø, as an homage to that TV series ... but NRK, our state owned broadcasting company, which made the series, denied permission to use the title. I cannot understand why their drama division did not want to be associated with this movie!! ;-) They changed one letter to accommodate NRK. :-)

Jernanger - sure, why not?? I've heard good things about it ... and Sundquist is always good, of course. :-) When were you thinking of?

DES said...

Dunno, but we should ask Findabair if she wants to come along - she owes us one. This weekend perhaps?

Leisha Camden said...

That's right - Findabair owes us a movie!! I can't this weekend, but maybe next week ... ??

Anonymous said...

Død snø - that's a film I'm so NOT watching..! Zombies aren't my thing at all, as you know :D

And DES and Leisha, as I said to one or both of you, I'm not sure I want to pay for us to see Jernanger..! Surely we can find something else?!

Leisha Camden said...

I'm sure we can find something more to your taste, Findabair. ;-) And no, you totally should not see this movie ... !! :-D

DES said...

So, how do you feel about Nazi vampires?

Leisha Camden said...

I'm in favor of them ... but of course I can't speak for Findabair.