THE DEAD DON’T DIE (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘The greatest zombie cast ever disassembled.’

The Dead Don’t Die is a 2019 American comedy horror feature film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive) and produced by Joshua Astrachan (It Follows) and Carter Logan.

The Focus Features production stars Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez, Iggy Pop, Sara Driver, RZA, Selena Gomez, Carol Kane and Tom Waits.


The small town of Centerville is besieged by undead ghouls that “gravitate towards things they did when they were alive.” The bemused local police force attempt to cope…


“At first, it’s humorous. But there’s no real plot and the pace keeps its consistent slow drawl throughout, making this zombie comedy crawl ever leisurely toward the end credits. The same type of jokes and references only go so far after a while, and when characters begin breaking the fourth wall it tends to elicit groans more than guffaws.” Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting recommended read

“The powerhouse cast embraces the unique tone and pacing without missing a beat. The flamboyantly quirky brand of comedy will put off some viewers, and it doesn’t always land, but the zombie film feels tailor-made for a cult audience. It’s likely to go down as one of Jarmusch’s most accessible efforts.” Alex DiVincenzo, Broke Horror Fan

“The movie, which is billed as a comedy despite containing nothing worth a smile much less a laugh, builds itself from vaguely connected vignettes featuring small-town stereotypes portrayed by glum actors desperately in search of direction.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt recommended read

“The film has some uniquely brilliant character moments, but Jarmusch’s choices in the final act are disappointing – even if he should be commended for being as bold with them in the first place. For audiences looking for a zombie movie with something truly inspired to say, it might be best to look elsewhere.” Eammon Jacobs, Flickering Myth

“The script mistakes quirks for character development, there’s a complete dearth of emotional investment, and they’re all so inconsequential, with a few exceptions, almost every character could be removed without altering the movie or narrative in any substantial way. ” Brent McKnight, The Last Thing I See

“Director Jim Jarmusch loves B-Horror zombie flicks. He made lovable characters that lovable actors clearly loved playing. And no matter what you think of zombie flicks, no matter how well you think the humor lands or the plot develops in this movie, I have a serious problem believing you won’t love it, or some part of it, as well.” Grant DeArmitt, Nightmare on Film Street

” …sits awkwardly between pastiche, parody, tribute and the unique prospect promised by the elevator-pitch mash-up of genre and filmmaker. This peculiar, diverting comedy is potentially Jarmusch’s most commercial prospect in years, but it is perhaps his least satisfying…” Michael Leader, Sight & Sound

” …dreadful in the literal sense of the word: creeping gloom, a fatalism really, quickly smothers its offbeat humor, leaving Jarmusch’s assembled cast of starry names to simply sigh at their (slowly) approaching end.” Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair


The Dead Don’t Die was released by Focus Features on June 14, 2019. The movie was rated ‘R’ by the MPAA. Universal Pictures International distributed the film worldwide.

Cast and characters:

  • Bill Murray … Chief Cliff Robertson
  • Adam Driver … Officer Ronnie Peterson
  • Tom Waits … Hermit Bob
  • Chloë Sevigny … Officer Mindy Morrison
  • Steve Buscemi … Farmer Frank Miller
  • Eszter Balint … Fern
  • Danny Glover … Hank Thompson
  • Maya Delmont … Stella
  • Taliyah Whitaker … Olivia
  • Jahi Di’Allo Winston … Geronimo (as Jahi Winston)
  • Kevin McCormick … Guard One
  • Sid O’Connell … Guard Two
  • Caleb Landry Jones … Bobby Wiggins
  • RZA … Dean
  • Larry Fessenden … Danny Perkins
  • Rosie Perez … Posie Juarez
  • Jodie Markell … Woman on TV
  • Carol Kane … Mallory O’Brien
  • Rosal Colon … Lily
  • Tilda Swinton … Zelda Winston
  • Sara Driver … Female Coffee Zombie
  • Iggy Pop … Male Coffee Zombie
  • Selena Gomez … Zoe
  • Austin Butler … Jack
  • Luka Sabbat … Zack
  • Sturgill Simpson … Guitar Zombie
  • Charlotte Kemp Muhl … Fashion Zombie

Box office:

The Dead Don’t Die took $13,872,217 worldwide. The film’s budget is seemingly unavailable.

NB. Not to be confused with the TV movie The Dead Don’t Die (1975), directed by Curtis Harrington.

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