Monday, May 10, 2010

Movies to Play: Dead Snow

There are a lot of zombie movies to choose from when trying to plan a horror game around the undead hordes. You've got your Dawn of the Deads, Shaun of the Deads, and your Evil Deads. All are great, and many star Bruce Campbell and/or Simon Pegg (imagine the zombie movie staring those two? It'd be a sign of the rapture most likely), but did you know you also have your Dead Snows?

Dead Snow is a delightful Norweigan film brought to us from director Tommy Wirkola. According to imdb, this guy is probably best known for his Kill Bill parody and looks like he's developing some awesome creation called "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters." I'm hoping for a period peace where the two main characters come to America and start the Salem Witch Trials. It's probably not, but a boy can dream.

So, Dead Snow is a movie that takes place in the great Norweigan outdoors up in the mountains covered in white (and splattered red) snow. It's definitely a movie conscious of its forebearers, but it uses its terrain and setting to put a very nice original twist on zombies. You see, these zombies are Nazi's. Is there any greater combination of creatures that players would love to mow down than that of Nazi and Zombie. They're practically up there with killing Orcs. It's hard to find better gaming fodder and a simpler story hook to grab your players by then killing zombies who used to be evil Nazi's.

With this in mind, Dead Snow also gives us a good, if predictable premise. A group of college kids go to a cabin in the mountains at least a good 45 minutes walk away from any civilized roads (let alone towns) for Easter (Spring?) vacation. The Nazi's rise (odd timing for something evil to rise from the dead when you think about it being close to Easter) and bad things happen. Sure it's a one-shot, but the characters are fleshed-out well enough throughout the movie that creating pre-gens wouldn't be too difficult.

Dead Snow is a great opportunity to try something new that can still be pretty straight-forward in the thoroughly-explored zombie genre of gaming. It's funny enough and definitely gory enough to make you sit through the whole thing without getting bored, and the best part is that it's currently on Netflix instant watch (in HD if that's your thing, which I'm sure it is). If you try it, I can confidently say that your players will likely be disappointed in any future endeavors that involve killing only nazi's or only zombies - anything less than nazi zombies will be unsatisfying.


  1. My wargames factory zomby figures are nearly finished....

  2. I swear that first sentence said "undead horses" and not "hordes." So my idea henceforth is undead horseback-riding Nazi zombies.

  3. Undead Nazi Cavalry would be a terrifying/terrible idea. It's the perfect solution to fast vs. slow zombies - the zombie humans are slow but the zombie horses are fast. You are a genius Bryan.


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