Just when you think you had seen it all when it comes to the Zombie genre, along comes “ Dead Snow 2 : Red vs Dead” with a big, black boot to the head. The movie picks up exactly at the point the first movie ended with last-man-standing Martin fighting off Commander Herzog and fellow zombies. The scenes are matched so well that it is hard to tell that the two films were made five years apart. Martin escapes, and due to a series of unfortunate events finds himself in a hospital, his severed arm replaced with one that is not his own, and charged with the murder of his friends. Martin soon learns the Nazi Zombies are on the march to take over the town he is in. With the help of a trio of geeks that call themselves “The Zombie Squad” and a group of Soviet soldier zombies, Martin faces off against Herzog and the Nazi zombie hoard.
Tommy Wirkola’s follow up to his 2009 cult hit “Dead Snow” does what many sequels do, delivers more. We have more zombies, more gore, more laughs and I can’t forget to mention the tank. Where the first movie had the feeling of Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” and “Evil Dead II”, this second installment felt more like “Army of Darkness”. Suspense is traded for action and scares for laughs. The movie was in English, which surprised me considering that the first one was in Norwegian with English subtitles. These changes did not take away from the overall entertainment of the movie.
Vegar Hoel returns as Martin along with Ørjan Gamst returning as Herzog. Both fall back into these roles with ease and you could tell they were having fun. I especially like Gamst’s Herzog, who does not have many speaking moments but still creates a memorable character through his facial expressions and body language. The Zombie Squad characters appear to be your stereotypical geeks, but they showed that they could kick some ass. I really enjoyed concept of the Soviet zombies, though it did take longer than expected for them to show up. The final climatic battle between the Soviet zombies and Nazi zombies was well choreographed, while the cinematography allowed you to see everything that was going on during the fights in all their gory glory. The practical gore effects were as over-the-top as you would expect them to be. I particularly liked how they found a creative use for intestines.
Some will find the humor in the film a bit tasteless at times, while the change in tone may turn away those who are expecting another scary film. The movie does face some pacing issues, especially with the scenes setting up the Zombie Squad but the humor in these scenes makes up for it. There is a subplot involving the police pursuing Martin that I did not think necessary. I think they could have found a different motivation to put Martin on the run. Overall, I found “Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead” a great gory, funny, action-filled movie that I would recommend to any fan of zombies or horror comedies. It is definitely a film that would be perfect viewing at a Halloween party with a bunch of friends to share in the zany experience. I give it 4.5 out of 5 Stubs.
“Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead” can be found on most VOD sources today.