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Subtitled: The Dead Don't Die

Bringing his trademark laid-back bizarro vibe to the zombie genre, Jim Jarmusch has gathered an ensemble cast to die for, including Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton (with cameos by Tom Waits and Iggy Pop) for his latest film The Dead Don’t Die. Like most films about the apocalypse, Jarmusch is really telling us what’s wrong with today's world, with humour and some surprisingly strong statements about modern life.

"Jim Jarmusch has gathered an ensemble cast to die for..."

We enter the sleepy town of Centerville – an obvious stand-in for a ‘real America’ community far away from the big cities – which is protected by sluggish police chief Cliff Robertson (Murray) and his loyal partner Ronnie Peterson (Driver). But when polar fracking causes the planet to shift off its axis, strange things occur – most worryingly, the dead suddenly start to rise from their graves and feast on the living. These zombies aren’t entirely braindead though, still craving the vices they loved when they were alive, including their mobiles, the internet and coffee as they wreak havoc in this small town. For the living, it isn’t long before the dealing with the walking dead becomes part of everyday jaded normality.

Jarmusch’s own band SQÜRL provides an ambient, mournful score that ensures the humour doesn’t entirely overtake the film’s darker undertones. Whatever you take from The Dead Don't Die's themes, the cast clearly relished this project – Swinton goes to town with her delicious creation, a Scottish mortician who happens to be a whiz with a samurai sword, and Driver wrings every possible laugh out of his serenely subdued and slightly laconic cop.