Several friends take to the mountains and shack-up in the wilderness of back-of-beyond to enjoy a little R & R together, their peace is soon interrupted by a mysterious old man, warning them of a local curse that during the German occupation of the local area that these Nazi invaders were brutal and harsh in their methods of control. Telling of the legend of the villager's revolt that drove them up into the cold, dark mountains where they perished, that is until rumour of their return in the form of zombies, evil Nazi zombies.
Directed by: Tommy Wirkola
. Starring: Vegar Hoel
, Stig Frode Henriksen
, Charlotte Frogner
, Lasse Valdal
, Evy Kasseth Røsten
, Jeppe Beck Laursen
, Jenny Skavlan
, Ane Dahl Torp
, Bjørn Sundquist
, Ørjan Gamst
, Steinar Kaarstein
, Caroline Thielemann
, Tommy Wirkola
. Music by: Christian Wibe
The decision to utilize cheerful classical music over the brutal murder of Sara (in the first scene of the movie) is moronic. "This scene has happy music on it, so you may start laughing, viewer." There's no chance the movie is going to get me to laugh at an unfunny, gag-devoid scene just because some confused, optimistic writer suggests it must be funny. One should place cheerful music over something violent only if that violent act is amusing, which clearly isn't the case. As a result, the opening scene has neither menace nor humour in it: the scene had been robbed of any horror potential by using cheerful music, so the director neither gets the cake nor eats it. Still, the scene isn't entirely pointless; it serves as a warning that the following events might just be quite stupid.
This genre-related confusion, exhibited straight away in the prologue, sets the tone for the rest of the movie. DS exists in that wishy-washy netherworld between all-out horror and a zombie comedy, which never works. The movie continually meanders between serious and goofy, and that's its main detriment. If only the film-makers had decided on what kind of film they wanted to make, this would have worked out much better.
As for the rest of the music, some of it is rather awful rockmetal: a dire reminder never to let your frontman sing in a Scandinavian language (unless it's being growled hence incomprehensible).
Many decisions, and much of the behaviour of the 7 humans make little or no sense. Because this isn't a straight-out comedy, I give myself the option to nitpick -' an option I gladly choose. 1) A fairly solid-looking woman is attracted to the sloppy, fat guy. I don't care how high on dope she is, this is too ridiculous to be either realistic or funny. Tom Arnold is Adonis next to this guy. 2) Out of the blue, she volunteers to sit on his cock while he's taking a dump -' in a freezing-cold outdoor toilet. Or are we to believe that Norwegians are so accustomed to snow that it's not much different than sand to them? Is winter merely a slightly less mild form of summer for them? She even takes her shirt off in what must be below zero. 3) The fat guy exhibits no concern whatsoever that the girl -' five leagues above his who'd just volunteered to shag him - is missing. 4) The one guy who is too cowardly to shoot keeps wielding the only shotgun they have -' and nobody complains to him about it, or tries to take the weapon away from him in order to finally give those bullets a purpose. 5) No man on the entire planet would hesitate to use a shotgun, no matter how mentally weak he is, when faced with a Nazi zombie. It's not as if anyone would have any moral qualms there, or might be considering negotiations followed by a peaceful settlement. 6) The man in question has been studying medicine for six years, and yet he is disgusted and scared by the sight of blood. Not funny, merely stupid. (Comedy has to be based in reality to at least some degree in order to be funny.) 7) They decide to split up, in spite of the fact that there is obviously more than one Nazi zombie lurking in the woods. Splitting up only makes them even more vulnerable individually. Again, not funny. Stupid. 8) The women leave the cabin without previously arming themselves with knives and the like. 9) The old "there is no phone signal here" clichéexcuse is made well before the humans are even attacked, and yet after setting their own cabin on fire a signal suddenly, miraculously comes into existence. Not funny, but definitely stupid. 10) The shotgun-carrying guy's girlfriend approaches him from BEHIND just as he is busy hacking and slicing up zombies. Would anyone in their right mind, or even half-right mind, enter the radius of a person who is waving around with a chainsaw and a large blade? Very obviously, highly predictably, and totally stupidly he unintentionally slices her. 11) Before being accidentally killed by her man, her solution to escaping a zombie at the edge of a cliff is to get an avalanche going. She and the zombie both fall from a very large height.
I could go on.
DS is not a bad film. It's very well shot, the action scenes are fun (when they're not excessively moronic), and not without some entertainment value, but Norwegians have a very long way to go until they've mastered the horror (comedy?) genre. Having one of the characters wear a "Braindead" T-shirt does not do the trick alone. (Peter Jackson could certainly give them a tip or two (or a dozen) on how to make a horror film that works as an all-out comedy.) Still, DS is a step in the right direction. Baby steps; success doesn't come straight away. Comedy-making isn't the same as crabbing. Next time they need to decide for one clear path, and then run with it. This schizophrenic approach can be quite annoying.
DS ends the same way it had begun, and the Nazis still control the mountain. So what has been accomplished? Is there any point to all of this? Is this ending just a reflection of the producer's desperate hope for potential sequels? If the point was to introduce zombie Nazis into the world of horror films, it's already been done, many times before. There had been Nazi zombies as far back as the 40s, then they became quite fashionable again in the 70s with films like "Shock Waves", "Zombie Lake", "The Treasure of the Zombie Dead", "Night of the Zombies", "Operation Nazi Zombies", and then again more recently with the "Outpost" movies.
Review by fedor8 from the Internet Movie Database.