The Dead Don’t Die, Movie Review

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The Dead Don’t Die is a zombie movie that hates other zombie movies. It knows and understands the only rule we need: kill them in the head. Besides that, no one behind the camera or in front of it really give a shit. Being mindful of how this zom-com strangely stumbles around on screen, its weirdness is kinda wonderful. 

Bill Murray is Chief Cliff Robertson, and along with Officers Ronnie Petersen (Adam Driver) and Mindy Morrison (Chloë Sevigny), they are the only ones who can serve and protect their across-the-board town of Centerville from being overtaken by zombies. Where did they come from? Polar fracking pushes the Earth off its axis and broken watches and never-ending daylight is nothing compared to what is rising up from the cemetery dirt.

It’s not going to end well.

When two gnarly ghouls (Iggy Pop and Sarah Driver) visit the local diner to get some coffee and feast on two employees, pandemonium should come next. Not in The Dead Don’t Die. It apparently takes a hell of lot more than that to faze these people. Comic book fanatic and gas station attendant Bobby Wiggins (Caleb Landry Jones) knows what to do if the living dead come to his store. They have to be decapitated, which becomes life-saving advice for hardware store owner Hank Thompson (Danny Glover).

And while the out-of-town teen hipsters (Selena Gomez, Austin Butler and Luka Sabatt) don’t stand a chance – Tilda Swinton‘s Zelda Winston, the town’s new Scottish undertaker, has a samurai sword on her hip and she ain’t afraid to use it. Her slicing and dicing the dead is glorious. Swinton is hands-down the most outrageously enjoyable character of the movie. Driver is in solid second place.

The star-studded cast is having a blast. Murray and Driver break the fourth wall discussing the script. Tom Waits plays a homeless hunter/gatherer named Hermit Bob who is the wisest of us all. Sturgill Simpson belts out a catchy theme song that plays on repeat. Director Jim Jarmusch (Paterson, Only Lovers Left Alive) clearly does a terrific job at amusing at least himself. That makes sense since The Dead Don’t Die isn’t for everyone.

Scattered laughs and ringing social commentary add more bite, but there’s zero percent chance of survival when you fight the undead with deadpan. The Dead Don’t Die gives it a real shot, but it’s a hit-or-miss in this monotonous zombie apocalypse.

“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association, the resident film critic of theSoBros Network, and the star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.

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