ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Dead Don't Die as a Quirky Art House Film

Updated on June 26, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty reviews thousands of textbooks, novels, articles, music works, and films, but will one day write a book herself.

Lovely Tilda Swinton, who portrays Zelda Winston, the other worldly mortician.
Lovely Tilda Swinton, who portrays Zelda Winston, the other worldly mortician. | Source

Not Any Old Zombie Movie

The Dead Don't Die (DDD) has a cadre of detractors, but some seasoned movie critics have enjoyed this art house film and quirky dark comedy overall., probably for its satire of capitalism and zombies hunting for "stuff." It will likely become a cult classic and I will see it again.

This film will likely not reach the ranks of Hobo With a Shotgun (see table below), but it will become more popular through the years. It is more like 2010's El Monstro del Mar! (The one with the rubber octopus leg.)

Zombies in 1968's "Night of the Living Dead" look silly in 2019.
Zombies in 1968's "Night of the Living Dead" look silly in 2019. | Source

More Realistic and Fun Zombies

I must say that I have seen enough zombie movies, but the acting Undead in DDD accurately portray people who have been lying still for too long and are now unable to control their joints and gait.

It hurts me to see these beings try to walk, especially with one arm bent at the elbow and thrown permanently behind the head as if strutting oddly down a fashion runway. Perhaps this is an interpretation of Mother Monster/Lady GaGa's "fashion, Baby!"

These Undead remind me exactly of the patients I treated in Workers' Compensation rehab programs. I think dancers were hired for the parts.

DDD zombies pursue during their awakenings the same material things that motivated their lives. Iggy Pop's version and his female corpse friend craved coffee in life and now they must have it hot, cold, or right out of the pot.

Bill Murray portrayed an undead gentlemen in the 2009 "Zombieland" and he will get another chance to be one in "Zombieland 2", set for release in October 2019.

It was speculated that musician Iggy Pop was hired to portray a zombie, since he already looks like one. At the same time, the film's Hermit Bob (Tom Waits) in the woods looks like the Cowardly Lion of Oz.

Iggy Pop by Annie Liebovitz
Iggy Pop by Annie Liebovitz | Source

Proverbial Under-Used Female Actors in the Horror Genre

The small town in DDD has only three law officers: A sheriff, a male deputy, and a female deputy. They all wear the glasses that the Designated Survivor POTUS, Keiffer Sutherland, wears. The "girl cop" wears the cats-eye edition.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
His Secret Service code name is "Glasses." Is he POTUS, a sheriff, or a model for "The Dead Don't Die"?Cats eye glasses do not create an impression of law enforcement work. This is Andrea Martin on SCTV as Edith Prickley.
His Secret Service code name is "Glasses." Is he POTUS, a sheriff, or a model for "The Dead Don't Die"?
His Secret Service code name is "Glasses." Is he POTUS, a sheriff, or a model for "The Dead Don't Die"? | Source
Cats eye glasses do not create an impression of law enforcement work. This is Andrea Martin on SCTV as Edith Prickley.
Cats eye glasses do not create an impression of law enforcement work. This is Andrea Martin on SCTV as Edith Prickley. | Source

The woman's "lawman" role is a parody of the horror film genre's lack of respectable acting opportunity for actresses.That was supposed to be funny but not everyone laughed.

Some critics and general viewers did not understand the parody, but I will say that the riff that Sigourney Weaver made on the communications officer of the Galaxy Quest spaceship is a clear enough comic take on Lt. Uhura to make me spray Coca Cola out my nose as I watched the first time.

Repetitive Music

The movie title is a country western song by Sturgill Simpson that repeats at least 17 time throughout the story.

This repetitiveness was meant to be an existential statement of the futility of forgetting the memories and people we wish to leave behind. It is also a sort of send up of sad CW music and how some country radio stations repeat songs all day and all night.

The song and its use were supposed to be funny, but I think not many folks laughed about it. A few laughed at the showing I attended. Most people did not "get it."

Repetitive Lines

While often practicing his baseball swing on Undead heads that turn to black dust, Adam Driver's Deputy Peterson speaks the following line as often as the country western title song is played:

This is not going to end well.

— Deputy Peterson, who drives a red SmartCar.

Peterson repeated this line often enough to force it to fulfill its destiny.

Many people are engulfed by the Undead in the final act of the movie, while others "phone home" and are picked up by an intergalactic Lyft driver.

We do not see the actual demise of some characters, so I wonder if we will see The Dead STILL Don't Die in a couple of years. If Bill Murray can do Zombieland 2 a decade after the original, then he might as well do a sequel of DDD, but soon.

Tilda Swinton in hair by Tim Walker and makeup by Julien-d’Ys.
Tilda Swinton in hair by Tim Walker and makeup by Julien-d’Ys. | Source

Tiddly Winks Tilda

One of the comic devices in the film is the use of parody names for some of the iconic actors.

Tilda Swinton becomes the Samurai sword practitioner/undertaker Zelda Winston. Rosie Perez portrays the TV reporter Posie Juarez.

Many people do not think this is funny. I think it would have been funnier on the old Benny Hill show of the 1970s - humorously childish.

This modern zombie movie cost $8.7 Million to make and from June 14 - 23, it earned $8.7 Million worldwide. At least it did not lose money.

Some Cult Classic Comedy-Horror Films

Title
Rotten Tomatoes Opinion
Viewer's Opinion
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)
27% and Rotten
43% and Bad
Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)
66% -- Fresh
57% -- Kind of Bad
Plan Nine From Outer Space (1959)
67% -- Fresh (So bad it's good?)
46% and Bad
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
80% -- Very Fresh
85% -- Very Good
The Dead Don't Die (2019)
52% and Rotten
38% and Bad
Ratings taken from data at Rotten Tomatoes, June 2019.

Recommendations

For a worthwhile fright night or comedy-horror film marathon, I would start with an old Count Floyd short called Three-D House of Representatives (featured below). Next. The Dead Don't Die could be the warmup for Hobo With a Shotgun. The finale could be El Monstro Del Mar!

They are all quirky and sometimes hilarious. it could be a good night at the drive-in theater if your town still has one.

Three-D House of Representatives: John Candy and Joe Flaherty

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 months ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi Linda - I appreciate your comments! I'm still chuckling about zombies searching for coffee, free WiFi, wine, video games, and lots of other stuff -- and the whole law enforcement team wearing similar glasses.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 months ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi Pam - The film is humorous, includes some blood and profanity, but less than many other films today; and no sexual activity. Very little gunfire - maybe once and it misses.I'd see DDD again.

      Edit: The gunshot I mentioned was aimed at people. During the final scenes, a man fires a rifle at several zombies and some burst into black dust - no blood there.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I must admit that I don't watch zombie movies very often, but the one that you describe certainly sounds tempting. I love the photos of Tilda Swinton. Iggy Pop looks interesting, too.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I have really avoided zombie movies, but your description actually makes "The Dead Don't Die" sound entertaining. Thanks for an interesting read.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      3 months ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks a million for the compliment, Eric! This was fun to write and I appreciate your reading it. I'll probably see the film again, if only for zombies searching for coffee and WiFi. LOL

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well that is interesting. I would never read a review unless written by a fine fine artist as yourself. 1970's is when I can remember these shows.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)