The Dead Don't Die Is a Poor Man's Plan 9 [Review]

dead don't die movie review

When you hear that a zombie movie is being made and it will star Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover and a plethora of other heavies from Hollywood you can't help but to get a little excited. But then you notice Tom Waits is involved and the writer/director is Jim Jarmusch... Okay, lets still see how this plays out, because on paper this looks like it could be really good.

Yep..... Looks. Good. On. Paper. The famous last words of every person who has ever made a poor decision.

The Dead Don't Die synopsis reads as follows: In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the sky, the hours of daylight are becoming unpredictable, and animals are beginning to exhibit unusual behaviors. News reports are scary, and scientists are concerned, but no one foresees the strangest and most dangerous repercussion that will soon start plaguing Centerville: the dead rise from their graves and feast on the living, and the citizens must battle to survive. I know, sounds pretty cool, Right? But IT'S A TRAP.

I'm going to assume that you (the reader) are familiar with a small movie called Plan 9 From Outer Space, it's probably the greatest worst movie ever made by director Ed Wood. See Ed genuinely thought he was making a great horror/sci-fi picture, but the end result was a debatable failure. Ed didn't set out to make a bad movie it just happened, but because of his passion for the material the film actually comes across quite enjoyably. Now 57 years later we have Jim Jarmusch who is doing exactly the same thing, just with a bigger budget, but is missing the one key ingredient that made Plan 9 actually work, a genuine love and respect of the material.

Jarmusch doesn't care for zombie movies, which he has stated many times, he just wanted to do a goofy movie with people he knew and liked. That's fine and had the movie been just that it might have been decent. It is when he goes on to beat you over the head with social and economical themes that he straight lifted from George Romero is where it goes off the rails.The difference being Jarmusch lacks the nuances that made Romero great at telling a story about zombies while weaving in commentary on society as a whole.  

Yes there are many nods to Romero and enough social commentary jokes to fill a stadium but the whole thing lacks any structure. There is no rhyme or reason to the movie and the lost plotlines and characters can only be construed as a shitty riff on Plan 9 (which up to this point in time I'd of thought impossible).

There is more frustration than entertainment here. The brief glimpses as to what could have been are fleeting and only make the movie that much worse.

Rating: 4/10 STARS


Rich Stile @TheDevilsEyes1

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