The Dead Don't Die by Jim Jarmusch:
1. Sturgill Simpson
2. This is definitely going to end badly.
3. Adam Driver and Bill Murray
4. I read the script.
5. You got to kill the head.
7. Zelda Winston
Polar fracking, disappearing animals, Ohio hipsters, aliens, and zombies! The Dead Don't Die by Jim Jarmusch is now my second favorite zombie movie- after Shaun of the Dead, of course.
The film follows a very small town named Centerville, full of bizarre, self-aware characters, as they suffer the consequences of polar fracking from major corporations that has resulted in the Earth being thrown off its' axis.
So basically faced with the end of the world, an array of hilariously different townspeople, respond in their own unique ways and take the audience on a wild ride with them. There is a town pariah, who lives in and off the towns' woods. There's a gas station owner who is obsessed with science fiction and goes by Frodo. Danny Glover plays the hardware store owner- who obviously gets along with everyone, even Steve Buscemi, who plays an obvious representation of many individuals in America (with his 'Make America White Again' hat and his subtle, sly comments about coffee being "too black" for him.)
Of all the satirical characters, Adam Driver, Bill Murray, and their partner Chloe Sevigny, may have been what sold me in this film. Their chemistry made me feel like they had truly been a team on the force for many years, and their interactions proved to be dry, yet quenching.
Adam Driver plays one of the most situationaly-aware individuals of the film. When the first victims are found and everyone assumes it may be a wild animal "or several", his first thought is Zombies. In the end, his candor and sheer indifference throughout the film is chalked up to "handling things in his own way," which wasn't the worst thing, but I would have loved a full freak-out moment for this cool character in his final moments.
Many of the characters in this film are so aware of an impending zombie apocalypse that it made it so much more fun to watch.
An ongoing theme in many zombie films is not to talk about zombies- keep the monsters a mystery to the characters, even though the entire audience knows it's zombies. This film is like an answer to my immediate prayers- a movie where the characters know that it's zombies. They know how to kill zombies because of the many zombie movies they've watched, and they even use the word 'Zombies!' It was captivating to watch these every-day people work through the reality of what was going on. It was also fun watching Iggy Pop play a coffee-loving zombie.
This whole film was a never-ending joke, with a ghoulish underlying tone that was very defining of our current state of affairs in America. Just like Adam says 5 minutes into the film, this does not end well, but neither will we- with everyone believing major corporations who consistently lie and put human and nature's life in danger, with our obsession with all materialistic items and images, with our disregard for problems in society that are staring us right in the face, and with our complete indifference to life in general. I believe that was the point being made at the end of the film by Jarmusch, but it was kind of hard to grasp that concept since most of the film was full of dry, ironic humor and parody-like jokes. I was checked in to NOT take this movie seriously from the moment I saw RZA show up in a Wu-PS van.
Depending on your mindset, you can go in watching a completely different film, that is all morbid and telling, but I chose to watch a satirical comedy about zombies, and I don't regret it.
starring, Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Chloe Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, RZA, Rosie Perez, Caleb Landry Jones, Carol Kane, Austin Butler, Luka Sabbat, Maya Delmont, Taliyah Whitaker, and more
written and directed by, Jim Jarmusch
Jacindable Rating: ★★★½
My name is Jacinda, and I am a film lover and student. Check out more of my pieces at Flipscreened!
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