It is the zombie movie with the best cast in history and is about to leave Netflix: Bill Murray returns to the horror comedy with Adam Driver

Netflix continues its title recycling cycle and ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ will be leaving on the 24th. Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, one of the most recognized and acclaimed independent filmmakers of the last few decades, the film is a zombie horror comedy that features a luxury cast that includes Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Tom Waits and many others important actors and actresses

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 and was selected to compete for the Palme d’Orand although it received mixed reviews from the press and the public, who considered it a minor work in Jarmusch’s filmography, its US theatrical release grossed around $15 million worldwide, which won’t be a spectacular number, but makes it the director’s second highest-grossing film to date.

A tribute to the origin of the genre

The Dead Don’t Die is set in the small rural town of Centerville, where cops Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray) and Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) are faced with a series of strange events that indicate something is wrong with the world. The day seems to go on forever, watches and cell phones have stopped working, pets are disappearing and… The dead come back to life wanting to eat human flesh!

According to the movie, all these effects are a consequence of polar fracking, the extraction of natural gas by fracking underground in the polar regions, causing an imbalance in the Earth’s axis, which, as in all good zombie movies is a metaphor, in this case of climate change and consumerism that threaten the planet reminiscent of the vague governmental reason used by the original film of the genre, ‘Night of the Living Dead’.

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The townspeople will have to face this threat with the resources at hand, while they try to discover the cause of this apocalypse. With doses of his own black humor, social satire and fine homage to the genre, Jarmusch draws inspiration from classics, introducing elements of his style, from casting to cultural references, ironic dialogues, eccentric characters and absurd situations. Even he comes to take himself so little seriously that he ends up resorting to metafiction.

Venkman vs the walking dead

The song that plays several times in the film and that gives the film its title is ‘The Dead Don’t Die’, by Sturgill Simpson, composed for the film by the country singer himself, refers to the inevitability of death and the lack of hope in the face of the apocalypse. Driver’s character recognizes the song as the main theme of the film and breaks the fourth wall by discussing it with his partner, Murray. It is not the last time that happens and the script winks at the viewer about his own cinematographic nature.

Jim Jarmusch, American minstrel

Among the crazy things that appear in the film, the character of Tilda Swinton stands out, Zelda Winston, a mysterious coroner who comes to Centerville from Scotland and who, in addition to being very good at making up corpses, is an expert in handling the samurai sword, something that will be explained in the fun revelation at the end. There is details developed from concepts that Romero introduced in his latest filmslike zombie memory, here transferred to pronouncing words that haunted them in life.

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The tone of the film is delightful, but if it doesn’t reach the cult category it’s because of its excess of underdeveloped secondary roles and its abrupt ending, despite a fun final slaughter. Fans of Jarmusch’s cinema will not disdain it, but what surprising is the author’s knowledge of the key elements that make his film a great tribute to Romeromore intellectual than ‘Zombieland’ or less fun than ‘Shaun of the Dead’, but definitely more in tune with keys to its origin than evolutions that take its rules like ‘The Walking Dead’ or ‘The Last of Us’.

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It is the zombie movie with the best cast in history and is about to leave Netflix: Bill Murray returns to the horror comedy with Adam Driver