• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Dead Snow

TITLE: Dead Snow

YEAR: 2009

GENRE: Horror

The zombie genre has a ravenous fan base that is always looking for the newest and most creative films. George A. Romero perfected the genre with the influential Night Of The Living Dead in 1968, and to this day nobody has reanimated a zombie film that captures the magic and social commentary of this once controversial but now legendary production. The independent film circuit has tried with numerous zombie efforts, but most of them are low budget trash that offer little to the fan other than an excuse for nasty, cannibalistic kill scenes. Occasionally though a zombie movie does arrive that stretches the boundaries of its genre and gives the viewer an exciting, bloody, and creative adventure into the undead hell. Dead Snow is definitely one of the great independent zombie films in the last dozen years, and is actually better that just about every Hollywood offering over the past few years including the modern works of Romero himself.

A group of students escape to the northern town of Oksfjord, Norway for a week of fun and relaxation from medical school. While in the small town they learn that their vacation haven has a sordid past: back in World War II the Nazis used the town as a base and like everywhere else they went committed atrocities against the citizens of the mountain village. Legend states that the souls of the Nazis live on the mountain, but the college students dismiss the stories as mere legend. Much to their surprise they discover that the folklore is true and Colonel Herzog (played by Orjam Gamst) and his storm troopers are real-life zombies who are out for revenge and fresh blood. As the college students struggle to survive the Nazi undead onslaught, infighting begins and the body count rises. Will the students survive the weekend against this unmentionable horror?

Dead Snow is a fantastic combination of horror and humor, although most of the humor is due to the situations and the jokes are minimal which was a mature way to approach the film. The zombie genre has seen films like this before, but Dead Snow gives a wink and a nod of homage to films such as Night Of The Living Dead and Dead Alive in its execution. The snowmobile with a Gatling gun is straight out of the mind of a young Peter Jackson, and the scene where one of the students slices off his own arm with a chain saw to prevent the zombie infection from spreading was borrowed from Evil Dead II. Both scenes are more of an homage to the zombie genre than a rip-off and are adequate in their execution. The best part is that Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola keeps the pace of the film at a breakneck speed and approaches Dead Snow as a more serious horror offering than a cheesy comedy. These zombies are just as scary as the Nazis that they are modeled, and Wirkola needs to be credited for creating a quality film that is remotely creative in a genre that needs some fresh blood and creative ideas.

Zombie movies can be very hit or miss, and fortunately Dead Snow is an excellent example of the potential creativity of the genre. This will not dethrone Night Of The Living Dead from the undead throne, but Dead Snow is an excellent example of how a bit of creativity and tongue in cheek humor combined with some genuinely frightening villains can create a wonderful zombie epic. Dead Snow is very much worth a rental, and die-hard zombie fans should just chase this down and purchase one of the most creative and fresh undead films in the past several years. Dead Snow is highly recommended for all horror fans, not just afficiandos of the lumbering undead.

* * * * 1/2

–Mark

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