Dead Snow DVD Review
Written by: jay_wigger
This summer, I posted a review of Dead Snow from the Fantasia Film Festival, which can be found here, but can be summed up as "There's nothing really new on offer here, but Wirkola seems to know this and instead winks at his audience as if he knows we're in on the joke. What sets Dead Snow apart from more recent "zom-coms" like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, though, is that Wirkola has melded the clichés of the slasher genre (promiscuity equals death, seemingly insane local oldtimer offers history as a warning, all-knowing horror movie afficianado makes the mistakes he's supposed to know better about, etc.) onto a zombie movie. Not sheer brilliance, granted, but it is an interesting concept. The acting seems to improve as the film goes on, and Stig Frode Henriksen (who also co-wrote) as Roy has a face and charm that you just want to laugh at incessantly. The comedy is solid, and the gore gags and makeup effects are phenomenal, especially considering the limited budget, with enough spraying blood, severed body parts, and intestines unfurling out of gaping stomach wounds to sate even the most bloodthirsty gorehounds. I gave it 7 out of 10 stars.
The following review is for the actual DVD that was released this week, and it gets 8 out of 10.
Considering the limited budget, Dead Snow looks and sounds fantastic on DVD. The anamorphic widescreen transfer in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio looks awesome, and let's face it: there's nothing quite like the sound of a disembowelment in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. Watch the English dub if you must (it's actually good for a laugh or two), but it's recommended to watch the film with its original Norwegian language track. The special features may not seem like much, but looks can be deceiving:
- Special Effects featurette: a short but well-made wordless three minutes depicting how some of the more bloody intricate scenes and effects were achieved, including an interesting way todepict blood spatters.
- Make-up effects featurette: pretty much comes as advertised, showing the long hours and hard work that went into achieving the zombies' looks.
- Cast and Crew at Sundance featurette: a mini-doc about the cast and crew's travel woes in getting to Sundance with their film, and what they did once they arrived.
- Original Theatrical and Teaser Trailers: two theatrical trailers and a UK teaser for Dead Snow are included on the disc, along with some previews for other E1 Entertainment releases
- "Ein! Zwei! Die!" The Making of Dead Snow: is a totally engrossing 50-minute documentary about the making of the film that, while portraying some of the more technical aspects of the film, focuses mainly on the effects of the weather on the film shoot and the strained relations between the crew and the production team because of this. Not to be missed.