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Bringing in Baby: The Dead Don't Die

Jim Jarmusch’s hilarious, philosophical zombie film stars Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny as small-town cops battling the undead. It's hard to argue with The Dead Don't Die's claim to have “the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled”. With a roster of stars including Tilda Swinton, Danny Glover, Selena Gomez, Luka Sabbat, Iggy Pop, RZA and Tom Waits, the scene is set for all manner of mayhem.

Centerville, population 738, is a close-knit town where not a lot ever happens. A series of unnatural occurrences triggers widespread panic and, even worse, the dead start rising from their graves, with an appetite for living flesh. As ever, the rule “if you've got to kill the dead, kill the head” applies, but these are resilient zombies, and constantly growing in number. Jarmusch handles the well-trodden genre with levity and extreme strangeness – and the result is a joy to behold.


"The Opening Night Film of this year’s Cannes, The Dead Don't Die is the latest from Jim Jarmusch (Down by Law, Dead Man, Paterson). A hangout movie posing as a zombie apocalypse horror film with environmentalist undertones, it has the distinct feel of a filmmaker getting all of his talented friends together for the weekend to have a bit of a monster mash. To be fair there are some real pleasures to be found here: Iggy Pop crawls out of the ground to eat the living before he rediscovers coffee; Tom Waits gets to growl lines like ‘toxic lunar vibrations’; and Adam Driver proves he’s seemingly custom built for the deadpan tone of the Jarmusch universe. Numerous other cameos catch the attention - Tilda Swinton as a Scottish samurai mortician; Bill Murray and Chloe Sevigny as Driver’s fellow cops; Selma Gomez as a doomed motel guest; Steve Buscemi as a cantankerous farmer in a Make America White Again cap. Jarmusch seemingly wants to skewer American small town life in this film set in ‘Centreville’, with his apocalyptic scenario speaking to both the zombified people slavishly buying into Trump’s xenophobia, as well as our sleepwalking into environmental collapse (something that’s pointedly blamed for the horrors unfolding here)." - Andrew Simpson, Director of Film Programme at Tyneside Cinema.


BBFC Advice: Contains gory images, strong violence, language.


Film Information

Running Time: 1hr 44mins

BBFC Advice: 15

Director(s): Jim Jarmusch

Country of Origin: USA

Year of release:

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