The Dead Don't Die | Chicago Reader

The Dead Don't Die

Jim Jarmusch’s most mainstream effort to date is also his most topical, directing satirical barbs at Trump-era American racism and pending environmental catastrophe. It’s also a loving tribute to the work of George A. Romero, another trailblazing American independent filmmaker who mixed affectionate portraits of blue-collar types with angry social critique. Clearly inspired by Romero’s “Living Dead” cycle, this horror comedy takes place in a small Pennsylvania town called Centerville (named after the setting of Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels), where the dead rise from their graves to prey on the living after the earth gets thrown off its rotational axis as a result of American energy companies fracking the polar ice caps. For all his talents, Jarmusch has never excelled at suspense, which is why this never works as a horror film, yet his laid-back humor remains a charming alternative to the bombast of most American movie comedy. The star-studded ensemble cast—which features numerous Jarmusch veterans, among them Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, and Tom Waits—seems to be having loads of fun, which adds to the ingratiating vibe.



  • Jim Jarmusch


  • Bill Murray
  • Adam Driver
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Chloë Sevigny
  • Steve Buscemi
  • Danny Glover
  • Caleb Landry Jones
  • Rosie Perez
  • Iggy Pop
  • Sara Driver
  • RZA
  • Selena Gomez
  • Carol Kane
  • Tom Waits


  • Jim Jarmusch


  • Arielle De Saint Phalle
  • Carter Logan
  • Fredrik Zander
  • Joshua Astrachan
  • Marcelo Gandola
  • Peter Possne

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