When you mash up zombies, Bill Murray, an undead, coffee-guzzling Iggy Pop, a meta script and polar fracking youve got incredibly ironic The Dead Dont Die.
Jim Jarmuschs voyage into the Shaun Of The Dead-esque world of zombie films could quite possibly be the most ridiculous film of the year – filled with gallows humour and more irony than an Alanis Morissette song (which, in essence, isnt all that hard).
Its absurd in the most WTF of ways, has no real idea what its trying to be and finishes almost as if the director just ran out of film and yelled cut.
But, weirdly, it works?
This perfectly imperfect film is the antidote to a zombie film industry that can sometimes take itself way too seriously.
After all, were talking about zombies for Sevignys sake.
This is no World War Z romp of seriousness. The Dead Dont Die makes the viewer feel like theyre in on the whole joke with laugh out loud moments mostly brought by an all-too-aware Officer Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) who almost functions from the perspective of the viewer, proclaiming to the other characters from the first grisly discovery he believes theyre dealing with zombies.
He plays a police officer in Centerville – a could-be-any-town of middle America – alongside Bill Murrays Police Chief Cliff Robertson.
Due to polar fracking, the Earth has been spun off its axis and as a result not only are the daylight hours weirdly out of sync with normality but the dead have risen from their graves to wreak havoc on a town with less than 800 inhabitants.
Thats the most I can glean from the plot of the thing, as this is no real intro/problem/solution kind of palaver.
I mean, the zombies dont even eat the brains of their victims a la the classic undead (even though they can still only be killed by decapitation).
To be honest, I walked away from the film wondering whether it has a point. But then I figured, does it have to?
The film is downright entertaining and thats what will whet your whistle if youre into this kind of palaver.
Sure you can argue about the deadpan delivery not quite hitting the mark Jarmusch may have intended, the pseudo breaking of the third wall as Ronnie continues to say this isnt going to end well because hes read the script, the attempt to pin it all on consumerism and tech-dependence with zombies walking around croaking wifi/bluetooth/Siri but youre not going to have a fun time if you do.
While I may have just said the plot goes nowhere, there are some real doozies of unanswered questions that does the film no favours – like the writers room threw out a weirdest case scenario, filmed the first scene and forgot to follow it up.
Case in point when Tilda Swintons quirky Scottish mortician Zelda Winston, with a proclivity for samurai swords and coding, is involved in the biggest attempt at a plot twist that just has you all going:
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