Let me tell you what a shitty movie Dead Snow is.
This derivative Norwegian lump (Død Snø) made a stir on the festival scene back in 2009, and its trailers became an online sensation. Nazi zombies! How fun! How new! But I'm pretty convinced "Nazi zombies" was just the incantation that summoned earnest money from investors, who'd never heard of a little gem of Cushingiana called Shock Waves.
Look at that! Not just Nazi zombies, but underwater Nazi zombies. That's amping things up a bit.
I digress. Thing is, Nazi zombies, unless deployed in a correct context, are no scarier or more dangerous than regular zombies. Once risen, all zombies are equal, no matter what they did in life. We know that barricading oneself in a snowbound cabin with an undead horde outside is an untenable position, so does it really matter if the walking corpses are wearing Schutzstaffel armbands, or lederhosen, or nothing at all?
Not unless you're going to take it all the way. What do Nazis do that's bad? Two things come to mind, and since the setting of Dead Snow is the ass-end of the fjords, we can discard "annexing the Sudetenland." If the trapped protagonists, each just vague silhouettes of slasher-flick victim stereotypes, had some personal or ancestral stake in the matter -- if one or more of them were Jewish, say, or if they were the only ones in a position to repel a Nazi zombie putsch into the population centers -- that makes a difference. If the zombies had some ultimate purpose beyond, apparently, safeguarding the gold they looted during the war and killing any warm human who snowshoes onto their glacier -- that makes a difference. If their undeath spread like disease, as zombiehood usually does, and victims risked being transformed not just into walking corpses but into doctrinaire National Socialists ... you see where I'm going. Real monsters are metaphors, and these monsters are devoid of any meaning deeper than a uniform and a snarl.
The filmmakers would probably rather we not discuss politics, but they brought it up. Nazis are political, and any cinematic impact they carry is rooted in their well-recorded misdeeds. (I mean, they recorded them themselves.) I fear we're moving too far away from that history, so there's no shame in proving Godwin's Law anymore. Dead Snow is like a facet of the Tea Party protests, where fringies decry national health care with reductio ad Hitlerum placards -- for shock value, just to get the cameras turned their way.
Dead Snow's posthumous brownshirts, although acting in an organized military fashion, aren't driven by any racist or nationalist ideology or even a hunger for brains. It's dangerous in that it's so free of real-world reference. Even Shock Waves had the sense to touch on Nazi medical butchery, to make the gimmick matter. Raiders of the Lost Ark highlighted the Nazis' territorial aggression and racial doctrine, and then meted out God's incinerating justice.
Halloween movie fests are a tradition. It's fun to select a stack of flicks for your party or sleepover and indulge in a case of the creeps, or the titters. Dead Snow is available on Netflix Instant Watch. Avoid it. Don't rent the disc, don't torrent the stream. I don't care how much you love ScandiHorror -- this is not Let the Right One In. As horror spoofs go, this is not even Shaun of the Dead and it's a hell of a long way from Evil Dead 2. It's just a waste.