Director: Jim Jarmusch

Starring: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny

Year: 2019

Jim Jarmusch’s last movie, Paterson, also starring Adam Driver, was a wonderfully strange bit of filmmaking, and I thought, huh, maybe I’m a fan.  But no, I guess I’m not anymore, because The Dead Don’t Die is one of the worst examples of absurd theatre I’ve ever seen, and one of the worst features of the entire year.  Jim is an odd duck, he makes strange movies, that’s all well & good, he can do what he wants and a little nonsense now & then is relished by the wisest men, but come on mdude, there are limits.  With his bizarre take on the zombie genre, he shows that he’s out of touch a little too much, not even able to connect with us on the most basic of levels, and that’s a huge problem.

In the little town of Centerville, where nothing exciting has ever happened, the dead have begun to rise.  And it’s not just a local problem, the whole world has gone ape shit; the Earth is off its axis, animals have lost their minds, day & night have shifted, and now people are starting to get out of their graves worldwide, if you can believe it.  For police officers Robertson, Peterson, and Morrison, this means war with the undead, as they try to stay alive themselves and help as much of the public as possible.  But it’s a losing effort, and this is not going to end well.

What we have here is a zombie comedy that’s not funny, a star-studded affair that’s not impressive, and a film that, although it should be good, fails to even appear like a real movie, instead coming across as a skit or jaunt or random idea of some sort.  It’s like Jarmusch got a couple of his friends together, invited a few other random celebrities over, and then told them they would fight some zombies really slowly.  Add in some fourth wall breaks and a weird song, make bonkers choices around every turn, call it a horror flick I guess; who knows what the hell was going on.  And then there’s the cast: Murray, Driver, Sevigny, Tom Waits, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez, Carol Kane, Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop, Selena Gomez.  It’s like, it should be funny, but my god it’s not, unless maybe you’re on drugs, which may be the only way someone could sit, watch, and walk away sane.

My rating: ☆