The 2009 Norwegian comedy/horror film, Dead Snow, is a curious thing: an intentionally cliche-ridden black comedy/gore horror zombie flick (the least interesting of either genre, and probably most appealing to annoying teenagers) with a simple storyline, yet it is oddly provocative.
It will serve us to not speculate as to the intentions of the film's director and co-writer, Tommy Wirkola--whether disclosure, predictive programming, a warning, or whatever else it may be; we will merely observe the film's motifs as an intellectual exercise aiding in understanding our current predicament:
A group of medical school students heads up to the mountains for the weekend--Easter weekend. This is an unusual, but not arbitrary, date, with its contemporary connotation of resurrection.
The students are going to such a remote location that they have to hike in, and, of course, their cell phones don't work out here. The isolated locale is the classic horror environment as it intensifies the horribleness of the horror: no one can escape, no one can hear you scream, and no one is coming to help you. The students, whomever they represent, are helpless.
The students are visited by a hiker one night. He tells them about the evil that inhabits these mountains: at the end of WWII, a unit of Nazis, led by Commander Herzog, fled to the hills where it was assumed they were frozen to death.
The name Herzog means: "A member of the highest rank of nobility in Germany and Austria, corresponding to the British duke."
Even though the zombie genre is currently being done to death, it still makes for a valuable metaphor; typically, the transformation of a group of people into zombies represents a loss of humanity--as in our modern consumer/materialistic culture, for example.
But these are more orthodox zombies, the undead. This undead motif, coupled with the Nazi theme (which several critics consider arbitrary) provides the viewer with a unconscious symbol indicating that Nazism never died.
Neither does the snow seem a meaningless circumstance of the environment--especially considering that the word appears in the film's title. In the above captures, the viewer finds that the Nazi zombies climb out from the snow itself.
Ice acts as a symbol of preservation, as in keeping something on ice--here the Nazi ideology, i.e., it has been kept alive underground (both literally and figuratively) and never really went away after WWII as most believe.
It is due to this preservation that the Nazi ideology can be resurrected this Easter (it is because the students stumble upon some Nazi treasure that the zombies hunt them down).
The symbol of the undead Nazi ideology buried in the snow also brings to mind rumors that there exist Nazi enclaves in both Antarctica and the Arctic circle. Not only are these locations rumored to contain Nazi bases, but these places are supposedly entrances to inner earth.
A fascinating research package on this can be found at Steve Quayle's Operation High Jump archive page.
Also supporting this undead Nazi ideology is the historically documented Operation Paperclip.
Again, it does no good to speculate on the director's motivations; it is only useful to analyze the symbols. So do the students find a way to defeat the Nazi zombies? No. The Nazi Zombies win in killing all the students. Not even one student gets away to safety.
Finally, an except from Glenn B. Infield's book Secrets of the SS that speaks to the persistence of the Nazi mentality:
"Spain is a safe haven for the SS men. Skorzeny lived there in peace until his death in 1975. Leon Degrelle, Belgium's leading Nazi collaborator, to whom Hitler once referred as an ideal example of a man whom he would have liked as a son, settled in Spain after the war and made a fortune in real estate. On a television program, when asked whether he didn't regret his actions during the Third Reich, Degrelle replied: 'I am only sorry that I didn't succeed. If I had the chance I would do it all over again but much more forcefully.'" (p. 224)