After a refresher spritz of bloodiness in the "previously on" prologue that starts the Norwegian horror sequel "Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead," it doesn't take long for zombie-attack survivor Martin (Vegar Hoel) to get entangled again with the last film's Nazi undead, led once more by the formidable commandant Herzog (Orjan Gamst). (Missing and reconnected arms make for one of the film's best early jokes.)
But the smartest thing returning director-writer Tommy Wirkola and co-writers Hoel and Stig Frode Henriksen do to avoid the whiff of rehash is broaden the original film's mix of dark gore and bleak laughs to victim-rich, vulnerable neighboring towns, including the outlandish notion of World War II grudges resettled as zombie melees. The "Red" of the subtitle isn't a blood-color reference.
There's also a sweetly funny tweak of geekdom in the form of an American trio of movie-zombie nerds — led by Martin Starr — who fly to embattled northern Norway to see and fight "real" zombies in the (rotting) flesh. As bad-taste splatter comedies go, "Dead Snow 2" is one of the more charitably nutty ones, less about gorging on gore than reveling in how silly the whole genre can be.
"Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead."
MPAA rating: R for strong bloody horror violence and gore, language, sexual references.
Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Playing at Arena Cinema, Hollywood.