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  • Alex Barnhill

Alex Reviews "The Dead Don't Die"

As little research as possible should be done before seeing “The Dead Don’t Die” because the less known about this film before watching it, the better. I cannot stress enough that enough to the point where it might even be a good idea to skip the next paragraph.

Set in rural Pennsylvania south of Pittsburgh, the town of Centerville faces a zombie horde caused by elements out of the population’s control. At the forefront is Chief Cliff Robertson and Officer Ronnie Peterson, played by Bill “F’n” Murray and Adam Driver, respectively. As the situation becomes more apparent, all the townsfolk beginning panicking at the idea of being overrun by the horde…except Ronnie Peterson who is disturbingly calm.

If you skipped paragraph two, good call. This movie is so tongue-in-cheek, bleak while still being hilarious, I wonder how much script there was for actors to learn before filming began. It wouldn’t be surprising as most of the cast has improvisational experience, and I’d also wonder if there was a bet amongst the cast as to whom could remain deadpan the longest as the general rule was that emotion or expression always seemed to precede a death in the picture.

It is hilarious in the spirit of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, if they had to quest for the grail through Night of the Living Dead. This is one of those experiences that will need to be taken in many times, as there are so many subtle jokes that the humor hardly ever seems to take a break and why would it with arguably the deepest cast outside of the MCU despite the straight forward narrative aside from some scattershot turns in the plot. Despite this, it felt like a number of recognizable faces (Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, and Caleb Landry Jones) were just thrown because they could be, rather than giving reason to their characters beyond potential fodder.

Between the intentionally poor acting and oftentimes, “because we can” scenes, this may be a very divisive movie. While fans of slapstick and punchy comedy have plenty to get excited for, anyone who has issue with a legitimate gripe when stories do not obey the rules it sets for even itself may want to seek enjoyment elsewhere because this is going to end badly for them.

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