Directed By: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Ørjan Gamst, Martin Starr
Tag line: "Heads up. They're back"
Trivia: Shot in both Norwegian and English
After a brief recap of what went down in Dead Snow, director Tommy Wirkola’s 2014 follow-up, Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead, picks up exactly where that movie left off, with Martin (Vegar Hoel), who cut a portion of his own arm off after being bitten by a zombie, trapped in his car while undead Nazi commander Herzog (Ørjan Gamst) and a handful of his troops attack him on all sides. What follows is an action-packed, sometimes hysterical sequence in which Herzog’s arm is also severed (it ends up falling into the passenger’s seat of Martin’s car). It’s a crazy opening scene, to be sure, but trust me when I tell you it isn’t half as insane as what’s to come!
Shortly after escaping the Nazis, Martin crashes his vehicle and is knocked unconscious. When he comes to, he finds himself handcuffed to a hospital bed. It seems the cops don’t believe his story about marauding dead Nazis, and are convinced Martin is the one who slaughtered his friends. To make matters worse, the doctor tells Martin that he was able to re-attach his arm, not knowing that the limb he sewed on actually belonged to a zombie! Unable to control his new appendage, Martin inadvertently kills a few more people before finally stealing a car and speeding away.
Thus begins an adventure that sees Martin team up with three Americans: Daniel (Martin Starr); Monica (Jocelyn DeBoer); and Blake (Ingrid Haas), who call themselves the Zombie Squad. With the help of a museum employee named Glenn (Stig Frode Henriksen), Martin and his newfound friends attempt to stop Herzog’s army, which is about to unleash holy hell on a small Norwegian town. Realizing they’re outnumbered, Martin uses his powerful new arm to even the odds a bit, leading to a showdown of epic proportions.
People die by the dozen in Dead Snow 2, usually in grisly fashion, and no group (not even children or the handicapped) is safe from the onslaught. Even a mother out walking her baby is fair game, and the level of violence that Herzog’s army inflicts on their victims is off the charts (one poor guy is beaten to death with a bathroom sink, while the intestines of another are used to siphon gas from a tour bus into a WWII-era tank). Rest assured, however, that Martin and his zombie arm make a hell of a team, and he even manages to raise a few undead soldiers of his own to battle Herzog (I dare not reveal more).
As for the Zombie Squad, they’re basically nerds (Monica quotes Star Wars every chance she gets), but those who remember the Outhouse scene in Dead Snow know that director Wirkola has a certain affection for genre fans / social misfits such as these, so don’t expect this trio to be the comic relief. That role is instead filled by local police chief Gunga (Hallvard Holmen), who utters a few hilarious comments after realizing he and his men are caught in the middle of an all-out zombie war.
If I had to sum up Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead in a couple of words, they would be “glorious insanity”. It’s bloody, messy, gross, over-the-top, ridiculous, and just plain awesome. There’s no denying that 2009’s Dead Snow is an excellent zombie flick, but I have to tell you, once I watch Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead a few more times, there’s a damn good chance I’ll be ranking this sequel slightly ahead of the original