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“The Dead Don’t Die” Off with her Head

 

 

 

Review by John Delia, Sr.

Weird and Wacky the movie The Dead Don’t Die staggers into theaters this weekend. The take-off on Zombie movies looks like it was made on a very low budget, has a script that’ slow and rocky, and the actors deliver their lines as if they were amateurs. It’s all part of the plan. You know, similar to most of Hollywood’s throwaway horror flicks that are loaded with famous named actors much like This is the End. Anyway, with all the hype it’s assured a fair opening weekend.

Centerville’s finest Chief Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray), Officer Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) and Officer Mindy Morrison (Chloë Sevigny) are investigating strange happenings in their small town. It seems that daylight has been extended way past Daylight Savings Time, the birds are taking flight, people are acting weird and oh yes even worse, cell phones are not working. Ronnie thinks its Zombies.

 

(L to R) Bill Murray as “Officer Cliff Robertson”, Chloë Sevigny as “Officer Minerva Morrison” and Adam Driver as “Officer Ronald Peterson” in writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s THE DEAD DON’T DIE, a Focus Features release. Credit : Abbot Genser / Focus Features © 2019 Image Eleven Productions, Inc.

Then they are called to the local diner and find two bodies with their guts bitten out. It’s very ghastly so Mindy shows her new cop ability to upchuck by her police vehicle. Ronnie states “Only way to kill the dead is kill the head” and the rest of the film shows how to do it with machetes, shot guns, and a samurai sword.

 

(L to R) Luka Sabbat as “Zack”, Selena Gomez as “Zoe” and Austin Butler as “Jack” in writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s THE DEAD DON’T DIE, a Focus Features release. Credit : Frederick Elmes / Focus Features © 2019 Image Eleven Productions, Inc.

The movie is actually a lot of fun if you take it tongue in cheek and not too serious. It was meant that way and if you have ever seen some of the George Romero films (you can look him up on IMDb) his Day of the Dead is a classic. Now that brings me to that word classic. For those of you who equate the word with Friday the 13th you are the audience the film is looking at to fill their theaters. If you think of the word being a synonym for films like Gone with the Wind or A Room with a View, you should stay away from this flick as it will be a waste of time and money.

As far as a little chat on acting ability, the characters here really don’t need any coaching, however it’s NOT easy to act like you are an amateur reading a script off of a teleprompter or being coached by the director. Leave that to the professionals like Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Rosie Perez, Selena Gomez, Carol Kane and Tom Waits. The cast pulls this one off without a mistake. Or at least I think so as it’s awful hard to tell with all the zombie blood flying around, heads rolling and the undead being crushed by a truck.

 

Tilda Swinton stars as “Zelda Winston” in writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s THE DEAD DON’T DIE, a Focus Features release. Credit : Frederick Elmes / Focus Features © 2019 Image Eleven Productions, Inc.

Hopefully you enjoyed my little critique of The Dead Don’t Die and that if you do go to see the film it’ll help you to understand the reasons why it all in fun. The movie has been rated R by the MPAA for zombie violence/gore, and for language. There are a LOT of bodies being dismembered, faces exploding from shotguns, people being bitten and their entrails being eaten so be forewarned and bring a barf bag if you are a person who gets queasy from the sight of blood like Mindy.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Only if you like films that use tongue in cheek comedy or need your brain twisted. (3 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: 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.
Directed and written by: Jim Jarmusch
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
MPAA Rating: R for zombie violence/gore, and for language
Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.
Opening Date: June 14, 2019
Distributed by: Focus Features
Released in: Standard, Color

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