Dead Snow (2009) was one of the best – no, change that – ‘is’ the best zombie film of the past decade. Sorry World War Z. Move over Zombieland and 28 Whatever Later. For pure fun, entertainment, blood and guts balls to the wall fury, Dead Snow is at the top of the peak.
Yet I was concerned regarding its sequel, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead. The first film was so original and enthralling that I was afraid a follow-up might dilute the sensation if it didn’t live up to the heightened expectations.
I needn’t have worried.
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is an all-out blast showcasing returning director Tommy Wirkola at the top of his game. In Red vs. Dead, we heard back to where the original film left off. Martin (Vegar Hoel) is the sole survivor of a group of friends that vacationed in a mountain cabin when a troop of Nazi zombies rise from the snowy landscape for some blood soaked fun. Part 2 sees survivor Martin in a hospital where an error has resulted in his arm being replaced with the arm of Nazi leader Coloney Herzog (Ørjan Gamst). The new limb comes with unforeseen powers and strength which will help Martin and the group of American zombie killers he teams up with for round 2 with the SS Undead. The American geeks that answer the call are a welcome addition as Red vs.Dead is filled with plenty of English leaving us to soak in the gore on the screen without a subtitled distraction.
As with most sequels, the action needs to be ramped up a notch and Wirkola ensures that Dead Snow 2 cannot be cut into a PG-13 television event. The script also ensures a higher body count by bringing the action beyond the Norwegian Alps and into town below with ferocious intensity. The violence in Dead Snow 2 is equally pleasing for gore hounds as it is comical with bodies being ripped and torn in every possible direction to the glee of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival audience that relished every frame.
Vegar Hoel’s Martin has become a character full of humor and depth that we love to cheer in his maniacal outbursts of homicidal zombie killing. And the new American cast members play to their country’s stereotypes allowing for plenty of comedy that hits in all the right places allowing audiences to laugh heartedly between shout-outs for great kills.
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead does what I didn’t think was possible. It bettered the original in almost every way. And the genre loving audience at TADFF ate it up like zombie at an All-You-Can-Eat-Human-Buffet.
Now let’s make this a trilogy!