Thursday, October 8, 2020

Spook Out! Day 8 ~ The Dead Don't Die (2019)

IMDb Says...
"The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves."

I Say...
"Battling" may be too strong a word...

Horror Type...
Zombies, Zombie Apocalypse, Horror Comedy

Main Players...
Bill Murray as Chief Cliff Robertson (Way Past Retirement)
Adam Driver as Officer Ronnie Peterson (Stoic Copper)
Tom Waits as Hermit Bob (Finger-Licken Narrator)

I liked...
  • the humor ~ this, my new deadpan delight! So dry, you need a saline drip and a gallon of water to genteely sip as you watch
  • the matter-of-fact way folks accept this is a zombie outbreak--none of the pesky incomprehension or disbelief you encounter in so many other horror movies
  • how the convention of horror-as-social commentary plays out here--with the cause of the outbreak being polar fracking
  • all the weird little hints and details that presage disaster
  • that the thing that motivates the movements of the first two revenants we see is coffee #relatable
  • how something about the lighting, especially the outside night-time shots, coupled with the deliberate pacing creeps me out (add to these the oncoming shamblers and I'm really spooked!)
  • the fabulous ensemble cast--so many great cameos!

The Meh...(thar be spoilers here, arr...)
  • one of the best characters gets deus-ex-machina'd away as things are getting really bad
  • whatever became of the kids from the facility??? (As a mom, "kids in peril" WIGS ME OUT and I can't stand not knowing whether they're OK.)
  • was the only point of introducing the "infernal hipsters, with their irony" to set up that sublime quote???

Would I recommend it...?
If you've been following my blog, you'll know that horror comedies are my catnip, so heck yes I would! The stuff I list in The Meh frustrates me BUT I looooooove the humor, so freaking much, that I can't wait to watch it again. This is pleasurably scary, for me, though it'd probably not impress hardcore horror fans unless they also appreciate absurdist chuckles. I think the faint of heart could watch this comfortably--and it's worth it, for the lols.

The Dead Don't Die invites controversy. This is director Jim Jarmusch's first zombie movie (and my first experience of his work), which apparently doesn't make a difference to him as to how he's going to tell a story--to paraphrase one podcaster, if it'd been made any other way, it wouldn't be a Jim Jarmusch movie (which, in part, seemed to echo my complaint about characters introduced for no apparent reason, or plotlines that don't go anywhere). One reviewer, who digs the flick, still referred to it as "a self-righteous allegory for climate change", though another benignly calls it "folksy and friendly entertainment, while yet another says this is just Jarmusch doodling half-heartedly. Some think he's satirizing satirical zombie movies bc he hates them. Well, he doesn't--though he does hate zombies. Whatever, man; he's just a guy having fun making a goofy zombie movie, while slipping in a warning about the planet's future, is that so wrong???

My Grade: B+
Rotten Tomatoes Scores: Tomatometer=54%, Audience Score=38%

Details, Schmeetails...
I Watched The Dead Don't Die on Amazon (the Rotten Tomatoes page linked above provides links to other streaming platforms)

This concludes Day 8 of

Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow...



  1. Ermagard! It's a Jim Jarmusch movie! I love his movies, though I haven't seen all of them. I'll have to put it on my Amazon list.

  2. Dang. It requires Cinemax. I know, there's a 7-day free trial, but I always forget to cancel in time and sometimes it's really hard to cancel. I'll have to ponder.

    1. Yeah, I did the free trial to see the movie--put an alarm on my phone to remind me to cancel it and cancelled in time. Totes worth it. 😊

    2. Maybe I'll give it a try. There are probably other Cinemax things I can't watch for free otherwise that I can take advantage of.


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