The Dead Don’t Die
review by Bobby Blakey
Director Jim Jarmusch is one of those filmmakers that creates some of the more intriguing features including Dead Man, Broken Flowers, Paterson and my personal favorite Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. Now he is taking on the zombie genre like only he can in his latest film The Dead Don’t Die offering up what looks to be equal parts comedy and horror. Could this film offer up anything to help it stand out or should it have stayed dead?
The Dead Don’t Die follows the peaceful town of Centerville that finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves. This zombie comedy features and insanely impressive cast including Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez, Iggy Pop, Sara Driver, RZA, Selena Gomez, Carol Kane, Austin Butler, Luka Sabbat and Tom Waits. There is so much to say about this movie to really make you understand what you are walking into, but sadly a lot of it cannot be without spoiling it. What I can say is that it is strange, funny, silly, ridiculous, and I loved it.
Right out of the gate you know you are in for something different thanks to the overall tone of it all. The dry delivery from both Murray and Driver is a work of genius in my opinion and carries this movie from beginning to end. Their discussions throughout had me rolling and not just because there are a lot of jokes, but just the greatness of it all. Every person in this film offers up a bizarre take which in turn makes the film more interesting and all the more enjoyable. Tilda Swinton was so great in every aspect right down to her walking and saying people’s names. A lot of the actors have smaller roles but all get a chance to shine in some way with one of my favorite subtle ones being from the RZA from The Wutang Clan.
The story isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, but thanks to the great performances and strangeness of it all makes it feel fresh and new. During all the
craziness of it all there are some great zombie kills and twists that just add to the mix. There is a self-aware aspect that was hilarious and makes you realize even further they all knew the movie they were making and had a great time doing it.
I loved this movie on every level, but it is one that will no doubt be an acquired taste. It’s the kind of movie that needs to be seen with an audience or group of friends to experience it together and feed off their enjoyment as well. In a world of sequels and remakes Jarmusch has delivered something fresh and original that people should check out.
In addition to the film this release offers up featurettes that take fans behind bringing the dead to life for this film. Rise from the grave and grab your copy of The Dead Don’t Die available now on digital and then on Blu-ray and DVD on September 10th from Universal Home Entertainment.