While it doesn’t offer a lot of snow for most of its runtime, horror comedy Dead Snow – Red vs. Dead is a worthy successor to the gory original.
Dead Snow – Red vs. Dead
(Norway/Iceland/USA/UK 2014, director: Tommy Wirkola, original title: Død snø 2)
Sole survivor of the Nazi zombie onslaught in the mountains, Martin tragically loses his hand which is accidentally replaced by Oberst Herzog’s zombie one, giving him unparalleled power, i.e. he can resurrect dead Russians who fought against the German troops decades ago to help him and a group of nerds to save a small town from the undead invaders.
If the first movie had silly over-the-top characters, then this was nothing compared to what the second one offers: a hero whose new hand is so powerful he can smash through enemies’ heads and stomachs, a geeky Zombie Squad that has had no real experience with the undead yet, a police chief remarks and actions are as offensive to race and gender as his actions of being the tough guy are stupid, and a pitiful friendly zombie that is constantly killed by things or used as a tool to drag a car out of the mud and then revived again. It can actually be a bit too much comedy at times, so not every joke works as intended. But there are so many seriously funny moments full of memorable gross absurdities that are so politically-incorrect involving old people, children, babies, and disabled people getting killed, that one simply doesn’t know what to expect next and can’t look away, as one can easily miss another great gag in all the carnage.
The over-the-top violence and gory effects are even more graphic and numerous this time, and it’s here where the movie sometimes becomes a bit problematic, e.g. with the zombie nazis invading homes and hammering people to death. Having babies blown up when they’re clearly animated with some cartoonish screams being added is one thing, but these murder scenes are a bit too much. Maybe the director wanted to draw a realistic picture of what happened in the gruesome past, but for a horror comedy that has so many ridiculous moments and comic characters, these scenes come across as unnecessarily violent.
It doesn’t happen very often that a sequel surpasses the original, but in this case it does. Dead Snow – Red vs. Dead is gorier, funnier, and has more creative ideas than many horror flicks put together. It’s a blast to watch from a great beginning to an even greater finale and ridiculous ending, with non-stop bloody action and situational comedy that can’t be found anywhere else, the only problem only being the realistic depiction of violence in some scenes.
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