Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
They’ve finally assembled a horror film entirely from cliches. They even know they’re doing it. As a carload of young medical students drives to a secluded cabin in a snowy Norwegian forest, they find their cell phones don’t work. That’s just like "Friday the 13th," one says, but is corrected: "They didn’t have cell phones then."
Yes, they are in a cabin so far in the woods, they have to leave their car behind and follow snowmobile tracks, all except for Sara, who decides to trek overland. We suspect Sara will not be getting a lot of dialogue in this movie. The others settle in and break out the beer, but are disturbed by a scary, whiskery old-timer who warns them of a vicious Nazi unit that lurked in these mountains during the war "and probably froze to death." Not with 75 minutes left in the movie, they didn’t.
But how would the Nazis survive until the present day? Well of course they are zombies, which the kids recognize when their cabin is attacked by shambling decaying men in Nazi uniforms. This crisis throws the threatened students into overdrive, clicking off as many items from Ebert’s Little Movie Glossary as they possibly can.
I will not list all of them, because to do so would summarize the plot. I was especially happy to hear "let’s split up," and later, after two girls wander off alone, to hear them discuss splitting up themselves. One bitter student says, "We should have gone to the beach like I said." I do not recall if he is the same one who sets his backpack on fire to cauterize his wound after amputating his own arm with the obligatory chain saw.