Zombies Who Live For Coffee And More Image Credit: Time
Zombies Who Live For Coffee And More Image Credit: Time

Zombies Who Live For Coffee, And More

JIM JARMUSCH BRINGS SO MUCH off-kilter subtlety to his films— pictures like the 1984 deadpan comedy Stranger Than Paradise or the more recent vampire romance Only Lovers Left Alive— that his ideas feel like secrets slipped from classmate to classmate under the desk. Their progress is steady and slow. The eureka moment is never a shout but a whisper.

Stephanie Zacharek

Zombies too are slow, steady and subtle in their own way, so maybe it was only a matter of time before Jarmusch tried his hand at a zombie-invasion film: The Dead Don’t Die is an amiable picture that happily and quite obviously borrows from the zombie-film canon, particularly the nightmare-scapes of the late zombie-apocalypse maestro George A. Romero. The large and festively varied cast assembled here features numerous actors who have worked with Jarmusch before, including Adam Driver and Bill Murray as cops serving and protecting the cozy little town of Center ville as zombie hordes descend. Tilda Swinton appears as a recent and exotic transplant to the town, a Scottish samurai warrior and mortician. (That shouldn’t work, but then, it’s Tilda.)

Almost exactly half goofy and half melancholy, The Dead Don’t Die is an intimate picture, a scrapbook not just of zombie-movie lore but also of the places Jarmusch has been and the people he likes to see in his movies. He knows how to get laughs with timing, and zombie timing suits him: The movie’s two best ghouls (played by Iggy Pop and filmmaker Sara Driver, Jarmusch’s longtime partner) descend upon the local diner, grunting and hungry for flesh, only to be distracted by two glass carafes steaming on their burners. Forget human entrails. They lurch toward the brown elixir of life with unblinking eyes, moaning, “Coffee!”

The Dead Don’t Die is marre

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