Zombie Nazis: Fun for all the Family.

Zombie movies. I have to confess I was never the biggest fan (I know Bruce Campbell mainly from the TV show Burn Notice for example), but I saw the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead and loved it. I soon discovered that rather than boring gore-fests for misfit teenagers, zombie movies were in fact sophisticated pieces of social criticism, tackling issues such as racism, prejudice, consumerism, and class conflict (even if some people would just prefer the zombies without the message). So I now enjoy a zombie movie, especially 28 Days Later, even though I’ve never gone back and watched the old classics.

All of which is a roundabout way of bringing us to Dead Snow, the story of the fate of a group of young Norwegians who come into conflict with a bunch of zombie Nazis left over from World War II. This is an excellent movie, and more than lives up to the hype. Witty and inventive, it also more than meets the viewer’s expectations for gore and gruesome deaths. But surely, in a zombie movie involving Nazis there must also be some of that biting social criticism, referring to the dangers of the electoral rise of the ultra-right across many countries in Europe over the last decade or so? Well, no. Not really. It’s just fun. And well worth seeing. Although obviously, what the film really needed was a T-34 appearing to remind the Nazis and the audience just who really did the heavy lifting in the defeat of Nazism.

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8 Responses to “Zombie Nazis: Fun for all the Family.”

  1. CountessMarkievicz Says:

    I dunno if you’ve seen it, but Night of the Living Dead watched in the context of race politics in 1960s America is sheer genius.

  2. Garibaldy Says:

    I saw it years ago, when I was didn’t appreciate such matters. But yeah, I can see that that works. A bit like the X-Men I suppose šŸ˜‰

  3. dublindilettante Says:

    Romero is adamant that those subtexts (which he doesn’t reject) developed osmotically as a result of the climate in which the film was made. He and his collaborators just wanted to make a horror film because they knew they could fund it, and the casting of a black actor in the lead role was sheer coincidence (albeit exceptional enough to be notable in those days.)

    I still think it’s one of the best horror films ever made, and one of the only films that transcends horror.

  4. CountessMarkievicz Says:

    That’s interesting, dublindilettante…. But I think I’ll stand by the intentional fallacy šŸ™‚

  5. Garibaldy Says:

    Thanks from me for that too Dublindilettante. I can see how people could be doing this sub-consciously, or how people can misunderstand what the director was actually doing.

  6. yourcousin Says:

    As a huge zombie genre fan I must say that after watching the trailer for this film I admit that for once I felt that nazism was performing a service for society by removing obnoxious Norwegians from the earth. Also I’m not sure how the Norwegian people would feel about T-34s on their soil. Russia’s role in defeating Nazism is often touted but what is less advertised is their role in it’s rise and their ambivalence towards the Nazi threat until it was knocking down their door.

  7. yourcousin Says:

    Also, as someone who spends alot of time swinging a sledge hammer (indeed I can sink four foot stakes swinging a ten pound sledge with one hand) that is not an ideal weapon bashing in zombie skulls, rather a simple 28oz Estwing or the oft coveted 32oz Vaughn would be far more effective. As I said I’m a big zombie fan and I do think about these things.

  8. Garibaldy Says:

    YC,

    The Norwegian victims certainly are deserving of what they get. Not to overstate things, but there is more than an element of contempt for the chattering and irresponsible middle classes in one scene in particular. It’s a fair point about the T-34 and whether Norwegians would have been happy to see them; but any zombie Nazi movie I made would most certainly have a T-34.

    I’ll bear your advice in mind next time I’m buying a hammer (I cannot sink four foot stakes with one hand).

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