"HOW MANY MOVIES start with a group of friends on a trip to a cabin with no cell phone signal?" one of the interchangeable characters in Dead Snow asks—shortly before he and his friends hike to a cabin, and shortly after realize they have no cell reception. An hour or so later, covered in sticky blood and chunky innards, another member of the group makes a pretty solid observation: "We should have gone to the beach."
The Norwegian comedy splatter flick Dead Snow (the title, by the way, is way cooler in its original language: Død Snø!) is half Evil Dead and half Shaun of the Dead, and it's about a quarter as much fun as either. Despite a few wry jokes and a welcome sense of fun (like the recent Drag Me to Hell, Dead Snow is of the too-rare opinion that the only way to make a decent horror flick might be to offer the audience a wink or two), Dead Snow ultimately isn't willing to do much more than maim, dismember, and cover Norway's serene countryside with red stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with that—but an hour and a half of watching brains thunk onto cabin floors and blood splatter across snowdrifts does prove a bit much.
Here's the part of the review where I go into the plot and the characters, but screw it: The characters are indistinguishable (save the token "Creepy Old Dude Who Warns the Kids to Be Careful"), and aside from a basic setup (med school students go into the woods... woods filled with Nazi zombies!), the plot's just there to justify scenes like the one in which a victim dangles off a cliff face while using a surprisingly resilient length of intestine for rope. (There is also sex in an outhouse. And about 20 seconds after that, death in an outhouse.) The Nazi zombies (Nazbies?) want their haunted gold back or something, so just about everybody ends up dead, and yet again, we learn that occasionally listening to creepy old dudes can be a good idea.
We also learn that, apparently, Nazbies live in Norway. Who knew?