The zombie movie might be most closely associated with horror, but it’s more than capable of being adapted into other genres as well. Shaun of the Dead was a riotous comedy, Warm Bodies a surprisingly moving rom-com and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later a relentlessly intense survival thriller, while Zack Snyder’s upcoming Netflix exclusive Army of the Dead is a high octane action blockbuster.
One of the more lo-fi efforts in recent history to feature shuffling hordes of the undead was The Dead Don’t Die, which wasn’t much of a surprise given that it was written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. The filmmaker is regarded as a pivotal figure in the rise of American independent cinema over the last few decades thanks to his breakout 1984 feature Stranger Than Paradise, while he’s gone on to helm titles including Dead Man, Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai, Coffee and Cigarettes, Broken Flowers and many more.
The Dead Don’t Die unfolds in the small town of Centerville, which finds itself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. That’s about the extent of the setup, with the plot and character beats largely driven by Jarmusch’s typically deadpan and often absurdist dialogue. The stacked cast features Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Selena Gomez, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits and more, but reviews were mixed to say the least.
It might only boast a Rotten Tomatoes score of 54%, but The Dead Don’t Die has been blowing up on Netflix recently, and it’s currently one of the 20 most-watched titles on the platform around the world, although those hoping for standard zombie fare might find themselves left a little disappointed.