The Dead Don’t Die is a Dry Comic’s Delight

If you like dry humor, you’ll love the latest zom-com from prolific independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. If you don’t like dry humor, you’ll likely detest the test of patience that is The Dead Don’t Die, a slow-moving tone poem of silliness and outright giddiness for anyone with his sense of humor. From the terrific ensemble to Jim’s eye for subtle-great cinematography, or his ear for nimble-good dialogue and meta humor, his latest is more than a trifling genre experiment. What some call smug I call a celebration of zombie horror and a shake-down of our zombified culture. Jarmusch does get a bit carried away at the end, at the moment he’s required to tell us all the point of it all, resorting to cribbing too much from too many George Romero influences. Dead Don’t Die works best when forging its own path as a peculiar, funny little picture that could very well attain cult status some day if that’s still a thing in our distracted webisphere. Come for the wonderful deadpan of Adam Driver and Bill Murray as two small town cops, stay for the goofy brilliance of Tilda Swinton as a Scottish funeral home director with a way with samurai swords. Add Selena Gomez as a pretty hipster, Steve Buscemi as a racist, gun-toting, irascible farmer, and Caleb Landry Jones as a quirky shop owner and cinephile, and this might be the best cast of 2019 not starring in a Marvel film. I like dry humor, so I like The Dead Don’t Die, my first case of the giggles since grade school.

Grade: B+

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