The Dead Don't Die as a Quirky Art House Film
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
Rotten Tomatoes 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
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