The Dead Don’t Die

Released 06/14/2019                              Rated: R

I liked this movie more than I thought I was going to. The premise and the list of names attached peaked my interest, but the trailer didn’t so much. So I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It’s not perfect, it’s got it’s share of issues, but I still recommend seeing it at some point.

There’s a zombie outbreak in a small town. That’s all this movie is. It’s full to the brim with dry humor, and sprinkled throughout with self-aware humor. I thought the former would lose me but I’m glad it didn’t, and I was surprised by the latter. Bill Murray is the king of dry humor, and it turns out Adam Driver is right up there with him. They were great, and I’d totally check out more of this duo. That final scene of them in the cemetery was perfect. The self-aware jokes were great and all of them came by Driver’s character, including the subtle one of his key ring containing a Star Wars key chain. Loved it! I really want to talk about it, but I don’t want to ruin it!!

There’s a lot in this movie that you can tell they wanted to do/include but it didn’t quite get developed enough. There’s the theme of consumerism similar to Dawn of the Dead. There’s a subplot of the gas station clerk that I’m not really sure what his deal was. I liked Hermit Bob, but he seemed either under- or improperly utilized (I can’t figure out which). There’s a cold open on him telling the cops to fuck off, basically, and after that he’s kinda our narrator (?). My theory is that he isn’t a part of society anymore so he just hangs back and watches unaffected as he’s no longer a part of the consumerism of the town. Doesn’t really make sense otherwise.

There’s a subplot of three teens in a detention center that doesn’t go anywhere. Normally subplots get forgotten about somewhere along the way, but here it doesn’t actually serve a purpose except (maybe) exposition. Not that we didn’t get the same info elsewhere in the film as well. I’m sure it went somewhere at one point or at least contained something significant, it just ended up either cut or rewritten.

Tilda Swinton was, as always, amazing. The conclusion for her character makes absolutely no sense, but in a way it’s like “this might as well be in the movie.” She’s just a joy to watch on screen, especially when her character is eccentric. Chloë Sevigny was great, too. I haven’t seen her in much, but of what I have I like. Most everyone in this does a good job. There were only a couple that I wasn’t sure why they were there.

If you’re not a fan of dry humor you’re probably not going to like it. But I wouldn’t say I am, and I enjoyed it. There’s not too much gore, so that’s good. I’d recommend it.

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