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Undead Iggy Pop uttering Cooooffeee!
Tilda Swinton combining comedy with stellar combat moves.
Bill Murray and Adam Driver as small town law enforcement.
And, of course, zombies!
This is the latest feature film from Jim Jarmusch, The Dead Don't Die, and it is messing with one of my greatest movie rules: it's not the cast the counts, it's the story.
I want to see a good story, and the idea of "star power" is just a way to feed egos. But holy mother of all undead, Jarmusch has "disassembled" an ensemble cast that could really bring this movie to life...or back to life, as it were.
He had me at Bill Murray, and hooked me with Tom Waits. Check out the official poster for a full look at the actors filling these rotting zombie movie parts:
We learn from the trailer there's a typical small town zombie invasion, but the zombies are a little more focused. In addition, their lust for brains is a thirst for what they left behind. Carol Kane droning "Chaaaardineeeet" sadly made me think of about six people I know in real life.
The first thing I thought of when I saw this was Christopher Moore's hilarious novella, The Stupidest Angel, where the rising undead discuss making sure they stop by and see what's new at Ikea in addition to their lust for brains.
I'm not always the biggest fan of Jarmusch films. There's no denying his talent and eye for turning films into atmospheric moving paintings, but I'm often left a little cold and depressed by his work. This one, however, looks like he is ready to just have some fun and go completely crazy with the story.
Like all good zombie movies, there needs to be a hint that those making the movies are "in on the joke," much more than gothic ghost stories or teen torture porn. Zombies are the party animals of the monster world, and Jarmusch is inviting us all to what looks like one massive, gruesome gala.
I hate to judge a movie by its trailer (heaven knows I've been bitten a few times by that lure), but if this movie turns out to be half as cool as it looks, we may have to quit making zombie movies. Jarmusch won.
The Dead Don't Die arrives in theaters in all its undead glory on June 14.
Poster image ©Focus Features