My Review of "The Dead Don't Die"
A self aware zombie comedy that isn't for everyone.
The Dead Don't Die came quietly to theaters in 2019. I didn't hear anything about this movie before watching it. I just noticed it was a zombie comedy that starred Bill Murray and Adam Driver. It was available for streaming so I thought, how bad could it be? So I took the plunge and ended up a little confused at the end.
This movie is obviously a zombie movie and straight from the get-go it's apparent that the characters in the movie are self aware that they're in a movie. Oh, it's that type of movie... The main characters are two police officers named Cliff and Ronnie. They're investigating a case concerning a stolen chicken.
This movie seemed to be all over the place with multiple stories going on at the same time that didn't necessarily have anything to do with one another. The most consistent things you need to know is that the movie is based in a small town called Centertown and fracking around the world has caused some sort of supernatural phenomenon. There is some weird haze all over the moon, animals have disappeared and the dead have risen from the grave.
While all this craziness is going on there are probably 5 other different story-lines going on at the same time within Centertown. You've got your zombie expert, an innocent good citizen, kids trying to get out of this detention center, city slickers on a trip and a really weird mortician. Not all of these stories will intersect with one another.
In fact there are some stories that don't really go anywhere. It's almost as if they had these characters there just for some weird conversational banter. There are also some really weirdly placed characters. I think some of the characters are there just so that the movie can have special cameo appearances. Some of the cameos are really bizarre but there are a ton of them. This film is packed to the gills with celebrities. Don't blink or else you'll miss one.
Some of the banter is interesting since you know that the movie is very self aware. In a way I guess that's where the comedy comes in. I thought it was hilarious how Ronnie and Cliff were so deadpanned throughout the movie. There's a zombie pandemic and they're just having a conversation as if it was a regular occurrence.
The title itself is referencing a song by Sturgill Simpson. It turns out to be a joke because it's referred upon so many times throughout the movie. There are so many references to this song that it feels like a commercial. Obviously Sturgill must be good friends with the film maker Jim Jarmusch.
Bill Murray's character even mentions in the movie that he's doing the movie only because he owes Jim a favor. Jim must know a ton of people in Hollywood because of all the stars in it.
Despite the fact that there are a ton of stars this movie is definitely a low budget film. The special effects are really poor but in a movie like this it would seem odd to have really good special effects.
There are a number of messages that Jim preaches to the audience. He's obviously against oil fracking. There's messages against racism and how we're all zombie's in regular life. We're all focused on material and regular schedules that we aren't aware of what's really important.
Overall, the movie seemed a little bit heavy handed by the end of the movie. There are some funny scenes but not enough for me to recommend this movie watch. I have to give this movie a 5 out of 10. It definitely wasn't for me but I can appreciate what he was trying to do with this movie.