"The Dead Don't Die" Review: Very Slow Kills of Even Slower Zombies

If you're looking for zombie-killing action, remember this is a Jim Jarmusch movie.

The Dead Don't Die is a zombie movie from the makers of Paterson.

Credit : Abbot Genser / Focus Features
© 2019 Image Eleven Productions, Inc.

The Dead Don't Die is exactly what one would expect a Jim Jarmusch zombie movie to be.

At least, it's exactly what anyone should expect a Jim Jarmusch zombie movie to be. This is the director of Broken Flowers and Paterson, so audiences know going in that The Dead Don't Die won't be the typical Bill Murray romp (when was the last time Murray did a romp anyway?)

The plot centers on the small town of Centerville as it faces a zombie outbreak, which is caused by polar fracking spinning Earth off its axis. Officers Cliff Robertson (Murray) and Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) have to warn the town and fight zombies after dark.

The Dead Don't Die Why don't the dead die? Credit : Frederick Elmes / Focus Features

These are definitely zombies at a Jim Jarmusch pace. Not only are they the traditionally slow, lumbering, George Romero-style zombies (no fast running zombies here, thankfully), but Jarmusch slows down the action even more. For some reason, the characters take their time killing the zombies.

Don't expect Dawn of the Dead-sized hordes, either, or even Walking Dead-sized. This is an indie movie, after all. There's a horde of only seven or eight zombies on Main Street, although there are a lot more at the cemetery. Zombies on the athletic field allow for some fun gags, so Jarmusch does indulge in some of the traditional "zombies resuming their routines" jokes.

If you've seen other Jarmusch movies, like Paterson or Coffee and Cigarettes, you can sort of apply those tones to this zombie movie. The Dead Don't Die isn't even as loyal to its genre as Ghost Dog was to samurai movies or Only Lovers Left Alive was to vampire movies; those films still took their time, but they adapted to the genre. Instead, Jarmusch adapts zombies to his tone and pace.

The Dead Don't Die Admit it, being dead wouldn't stop your coffee cravings. Frederick Elmes / Focus Features

The Dead Don't Die has a light tone, but it's not laugh-out-loud funny. Quirky would be the clearest way to describe it. Nobody's making jokes, but they're saying things that are a little off-kilter. The first meta joke was fun, but after the second meta joke, you can totally predict what the third meta joke will be.

There are a lot of characters standing around talking, making changes or guessing where tourists (led by Selena Gomez) are from. The mortician, Zelda Winston (Tilda Swinton), addresses every character by their title and full name, because that's an unusual way to talk. Murray does exactly one lone pratfall. In 2019, let's celebrate what little Bill Murray-physical comedy we still get.

At least there are plenty of gory zombie bites. When zombies are killed in this movie, they spray black dust instead of gory innards, which gives it a somewhat classier effect. If you're looking for zombie-killing, once again these characters take their time killing zombies. Even though they know the rules to aim for the head, they're in no rush.

I have to call a little B.S. on Jarmusch's deep cut references, though. Zoe (Selena Gomez) tells store clerk Bobby Wiggins (Caleb Landry Jones), "Your film knowledge is impressive" on the basis of his references to Psycho, George Romero, and Nosferatu. Come on, Zoe, aim higher. But maybe she was just being nice to the townie.

Tilda Swinton in The Dead Don't Die Samurai Swinton? Sold! Frederick Elmes / Focus Features

Jim Jarmusch is not at everyone's speed, but he's firmly established his own style and pacing, so everyone should know what to expect from The Dead Don't Die. It's not Zombieland. The Dead Don't Die is a traditional Jim Jarmusch movie—slowed down by zombies.

TV Features

"The Masked Singer" Is Over: What's Next in Mind-Boggling Reality TV?

Imagine a show featuring Miley Cyrus teaching Nicolas Cage and Jenny McCarthy how to be vegan. Sounds like Fox network's next hit!


America's trust in television was broken long before NBC's The Masked Singer held up a mirror to our low standards for "expert judges" and our underlying fear of Teletubbies.

For the past two months, one of the top-rated shows on prime time has featured twelve has-been celebrities dressed as inbred Looney Toons. The singing competition is based on the Korean reality TV show with the same concept. Now that we know The Masked Singer will assault us with a second season next year, let's brace ourselves–the worst is yet to come.

Other hit Korean TV shows spotlight celebrities' moldy leftovers and strained parent-child relationships for the amusement of the masses. We're betting it's only a matter of time before one of these bizarre series debuts in the States.

1. Please Take Care of My Refrigerator

Ever want to see inside your favorite celebrity's refrigerator? Why would you? That's weird. Each episode of Please Take Care of My Refrigerator features eight of the country's best chefs and invites them into the guest star's kitchen, having them compete to create edible dishes using only the ingredients and old leftovers in the celebrity's refrigerators. They have 15 minutes. The celebrity then judges each dish and selects a winner. There is no apparent reward for winning, except for the chance to feed BTS' best boy, Jungkook.

For a US adaptation, we predict the E! network would milk this reality show for all its worth. Hosted by: Gordon Ramsay.

[ENG] Please Take Care of my Fridge BTS Cut_3rd Dish (Hot Braised Short Ribs)

2. Dad! Where Are We Going?

Riffing off the common assumption that celebrities must be terrible parents, each episode features five celebrity fathers traveling or camping with their children. Sometimes they try to "cook" and other times they pull their hair out. We predict CBS would be the first to adopt this on account of its eagerness to exploit any celebrity for prime time ratings (yes, we're talking about The World's Best)

[ENG SUB] Dad!Where are you going?-Hoo's 9th b-day party 후9살생일축하 20141221

3. Human Condition

Six A-list actors are deprived of their phones, television, and the Internet as they live in a dorm for one week. But rather than being a simple Big Brother set up, each episode features a challenge imposing new restrictions, like not creating any trash or living on minimum wage. For a US version, we see this show on ABC. With moralizing shows like The Good Doctor and Grey's Anatomy but reality TV trash like The Bachelor, ABC would jump on the chance to teach celebrities about social issues like climate change while benefiting from their potential moral failures. Hosted by: Miley Cyrus

The Human Condition | 인간의 조건: Living on a Shoestring Budget – The First Episode (2014.12.03)

4. The Return of Superman

It's another show banking on male celebrities being incapable of caring for their children. This time, celebrity fathers are left alone with their kids for 48 hours without any help from wives, family members, or the legion of celebrity nannies who keep Hollywood afloat. American actors like Steven Yeun have also guest-starred as "Uncles" left to take care of other's children on their own. NBC, America's publicist for family values, would love this shit.

[The Return of Superman] Steven Yeun's special way to feed a baby

5. Unpretty Rapstar

It's worse than it sounds. This music competition features aspiring female rappers competing against each other American Idol-style. Hosted by any mildly successful rapper, the show features challenges like diss battles and filming a one-take music video for an original song they've written and arranged themselves while on the show. Considering Fox's love of reality shows that sound wrong, the network probably has its eye on adapting this bad boy already. Hosted by: Iggy Azalea.

(ENG SUB) UNPRETTY RAPSTAR vol.3 Grace & AshB VS Nada & Jeon Soyeon (G)I-DLE

Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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The Top 3 Valentine's Day Gifts for the Zombie Apocalypse

For your partner who probably still has a pulse.

The zombie apocalypse gives you a free pass to break out your dad's old leather jacket and roam the countryside with a chainsaw that also shoots bullets, but it's still no excuse to forget about Valentine's Day.

When the world's gone to hell in a handbasket you want your SO by your side more than ever. Just because everyone else is dead doesn't mean romance has to be too. But what do you get your partner when you truly want to say, "I'd be into you even if you weren't the only thing within 50 miles that still has a pulse?"

3. Zombie Mug

Could any gesture possibly be more romantic than presenting your loved one with a hollowed out zombie head filled with the last of your coffee rations? Unfortunately, drinking anything from a real zombie skull probably doesn't pass health regulations, so a ceramic version will have to do. You can still pretend it's real though, considering nobody else is around to judge.

2. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

Your partner is already super capable. After all, they've survived this long. But you can never be too prepared during the zombie apocalypse, and that means reading up on every possible advantage. Together, you and your partner-in-slaughter will learn the best tips on tactics, weaponry, and zombie psychology. Who says you can't love a killing machine?

1. *TOP CHOICE* A Complete Set of The Walking Dead Wines

As much as you enjoy living out your zombie apocalypse fantasy, you can't help but feel nostalgic for a time when you could just watch it on TV. In fact, if it weren't the zombie apocalypse right now, The Walking Dead would probably be about to hit its mid-season premiere. You imagine an alternate reality where you and your partner are cuddled beneath a blanket, a bold glass of Petite Sirah in-hand, watching your favorite survivors slay zombies so you don't have to.

Luckily, it's not too late to give this gift to your partner. Lot18's set of Walking Dead themed wines bring the taste of the zombie apocalypse to the safety of your living room. Each wine is created to match a specific character's personality, from an acidic Spanish Tempranillo with a warm finish for Michonne to a brawny Bourbon Barrel Red Blend for Negan. A half case includes fan favorites Rick, Maggie, Carol, and Daryl, too. Or, if you're feeling especially thirsty, you can get a full case with two of each for a massive discount. Much like zombies, a Valentine's Day gift this good is a no-brainer.

Overall, sometimes the greatest gift for Valentine's Day, especially during the zombie apocalypse, is the gift of spending time together with your loved ones. So snuggle up close with your partner, pour a glass of red wine into your zombie head mug, and enjoy The Walking Dead.

Get your half case featuring all 6 of The Walking Dead wines here for just $99!

Or, for the thirstier couple click here to get a full case, at an even bigger discount!

Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at

What to gift your boyfriend for Valentine's Day? Yes, you love him, but he's still completely impossible to shop for.

You can always shower him with praise, but considering how many times you said you loved Starbucks' new holiday latte flavor, you might need to send a stronger signal. Look, when you find a person whose weird idiosyncrasies make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, you don't just love them, you want to spend the zombie apocalypse with them. And what's a better way to say, "I'd dig you even if your flesh were decomposing" than opening a nice bottle of Rick Grimes' California Petit Sirah, and watching the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead.

Lot18 has released a half-case of Walking Dead themed wines, each representing one of the show's characters. The six bottle bundle is priced at just $16.50 a piece, making the wine more affordable and more interesting than the gifted-to-death cufflinks or novelty socks. This year, the mid-season premiere of the best show on television is surreptitiously airing just a few days before the romantic holiday, as if the gift couldn't get any more perfect.

If you like drinking and watching The Walking Dead, then it's pretty self-explanatory as to why this is the best V-Day gift. If you need a little more convincing, here are the three kinds of significant others who need the one-of-a-kind set of Walking Dead themed wines this Valentine's.

1. Negan, The Bad Boy

The Walking Dead dating profile: Lives in the Sanctuary, where he is the leader of The Saviors. Skilled with barbed-wire covered bat. Slays a leather jacket, and, of course, walkers.

2019 America dating profile: Lives in Brooklyn, where he leads an abstract art collective. Armed with a tattoo gun to remind his friends "life is pain." Wears a leather jacket and throws rocks at trains.

Negan's the bad guy with a contagious smile, which is a type, for better or worse. If your guy sometimes forgets to call but just looks so right on a motorcycle, he probably doesn't want to brave the heart-shaped balloons and prix fix crowd, so snuggle up in front of the TV with one blanket and two glasses of the Negan California Bourbon Barrel Red Blend.

2. Daryl Dixon, The White Knight

The Walking Dead dating profile: Expert hunter, explorer, and navigator. Saved and raised a dog named "Dog." Man of few words (thus the whole Dog thing). Long, shaggy hair that reminds you of the sexy elves in the Lord of The Rings.

2019 America dating profile: Total wanderlust. Using a picture of a dog to confuse your emotions. Might try to explain feminism to you as foreplay.

Daryl's the good guy, who always remembers your birthday, and probably has something planned for your half-anniversary (which is...when again?). He's stable, which is why it's even more important that you gift him something fun he'll actually enjoy instead of the same old heart-covered boxer briefs. Give him the night off, cook him a nice dinner, and hope your favorite character makes it to the next episode together with a bottle of Daryl Dixon California Cabernet Sauvignon.

3. Carol, The Guy Who's A Girl, Ok?

The Walking Dead dating profile: Lives in The Kingdom, where she's known as "Queen Carol." Is the longest living character (so far, knock on wood). Maternal instincts include knowing how to efficiently behead the undead.

2019 America dating profile: Lives in Orlando where she's a semi-professional Disney cosplayer. Favorite TV Show is Cougar Town. Will literally kill anyone who hurts the one she loves.

Listen, it's 2019 and ladies can be into Zombies too, alright? If your girlfriend would totally bludgeon a walker to death with a shovel for you, then open up a bottle of the Carol Monterey County Syrah Rosé.

If a drugstore box of chocolates aren't going to cut it this year, Lot18's set of Walking Dead themed wines are the best way to show your significant other your love will never die.

Get your half case featuring all 6 of The Walking Dead wines here for just $99!

Or, for the thirstier couple click here to get a full case, at an even bigger discount!

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Be prepared to travel to worlds unknown this weekend when these films hit the big screen.

In Popdust's column, Box Office Breakdown, we aim to inform you of the top flicks to check out every weekend depending on what you're in the mood to enjoy. Looking to laugh? What about have your pants scared off? Maybe just need a little love? Whatever the case may be, we have it.

Take a peek at our top picks for this week...

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Watch: This 'Walking Dead' spinoff is nothing short of terrifying

Now that Season 7 is over, your new greatest nightmare: A world full of Sock Monkey zombies

We at Popdust appreciate a heart-pumping thriller once in awhile. It's the antidote to our often reclusive ways. After haplessly gazing for hours into the bottoms of our mugs where once coffee resided, it pays to have a little out-of-body experience of the entertainment variety. And when we're through with hitting up our local haunts, we will happily binge a series clad in adult footie pajamas. Hence, The Walking Dead.

I started watching The Walking Dead out of an innate curiosity driven by the blood-curdling tweets of seemingly millions of cult followers. Like this:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 9.38.07 AM.png

Disturbing AF, Meredith. Or this:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 9.40.38 AM.png

Who is that man in the blue unitard?

With these facts exposed, I thought I could stomach it, at least for the first season. Episode 1 had me feeling a little nauseated, but by the third or so episode, I didn't even flinch at entrails anymore. Bring on the guts. Then by Season 2, I pretty much got the picture. Zombies like to eat people. The end.

What started out as a heart-pumping entertainment experience quickly turned into something for which I could not so easily suspend my disbelief. So when I found out that someone (some mad, evil genius) was doing a spinoff series to The Walking Dead that was getting a lot of buzz, I couldn't help but check out the trailer. I highly recommend you do the same, but keep the lights on.

Do you have goosebumps yet? I don't, but I have monkeybumps! Is that even a thing?

Anyway, the series opens up an entirely different conversation about something that The Walking Dead was never brave enough to cover: What about the sock monkeys?

The Swinging Dead, we're predicting, is going to be a dark horse (or dark monkey!) next award season. The stunning cinematography, haunting music, and stellar performances by Sock Monkeys big and small are already gearing us up for a season filled with tears, surprises, buttons, socks, brains, and bananas. Lots and lots of bananas. You think this is what happens when you eat a green one?

Stay tuned to Popdust for more on this epic spinoff that will chill you to the sock.