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  • Writer's pictureS.J.

‘The Dead Don’t Die’ Review

I have a feeling that this review isn’t going to end well because how absurdly aggravating the movie in question, zombie horror/comedy The Dead Don’t Die, turned out to be. There are respects to be paid at the grave where all the hard work, done by the cast and crew involved, has since been buried. The most upsetting part of it is that the gravedigger was revealed to be the most important piece and you can’t resurrect any part of it as the bones have been shattered, dirt has been poured on top of it and life goes on without ever thinking about it again. Jim Jarmusch who wrote and directed the film, has committed the unthinkable and desecrated the stone by clearly being way too arrogant about his own exposed brains.

Premise is obviously lightheartedly fun. In a small town of Centerville, we follow local police officers Robertson, Peterson and Morrison (played by Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny, respectively) as gruesome bodies start to be reported and they are assumed to be from zombie attacks. Along with that you also follow few kids at juveline detention center, new Scottish undertaker and young adults spending the night in town. I love me some dry humour with deadpan delivery and since the movie is driven by it, I found it to be the most effective part. Murray, Driver and Sevigny do a great job delivering all of it, their group chemistry is fantastic and I do wish that I could’ve spent the whole runtime just with them blabbering about.

Unfortunately that humour you don’t get as much as you’d possibly want. Jarmusch’s script is all over the place which is the most apparent in these pointless C and E side quests. The kids’ part has zero impact on anything so you could’ve saved 10 to 15 minutes by cutting that, undertaker Zelda (Tilda Swinton) is a funny character but from a different movie altogether and the hippie youngsters are there just to reference older films. It’s just frustrating because the crew clearly showed up to make a solid zombie comedy, just look at the pitch perfect work of the SFX makeup crew when it comes to the zombies and bloody bodies lying around. Ultimately Jarmusch feels to have reached the highest honour of laziness when the last 15 minutes starts to play, it’s just outright embarrassing writing. A blank page after blank page, it finally cuts the head off of the already decomposing corpse.

Smileys: Humour, make-up

Frowneys: Screenplay, pacing, editing

How do you make a zombie film with incredible actors that isn’t even good enough to become a cult classic ten years from now? *sigh*


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