The Dead Don't Die

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German title The Dead Don't Die
Original title The Dead Don't Die
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2019
length 105 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
JMK 14
Director Jim Jarmusch
script Jim Jarmusch
production Joshua Astrakhan ,
Carter Logan
camera Frederick Elmes
cut Affonso Gonçalves

The Dead Don't Die is a horror comedy by Jim Jarmusch , which premiered on May 14, 2019 as the opening film of the Cannes International Film Festival and will be released on June 14, 2019 in the US Cinemas came. The film is a zombie film .


Centerville is a quiet town that usually doesn't have too much crime. Cliff Robertson, Ronald "Ronnie" Peterson and Minerva "Mindy" Morrison, the local police officers, spend most of their time settling disputes between Farmer Miller and Hermit Bob. Bobby Wiggins, who runs a gas station that doubles as a comic book store, still lives and works in Centerville, the mechanic Hank Thompson, who is a regular at the local diner run by Fren and Lily, and the funeral director Zelda, allegedly from Scotland, who is at The restoration of the corpses shows an unusual taste in the post-mortem makeup.

But suddenly strange things happen in Centerville. It doesn't get dark anymore, although the clocks say the sun should have set. The recently deceased, such as Mallory O'Brien, show signs of life and other dead rise from their graves. Robertson, Peterson and Morrison have their hands full pulling the undead out of circulation, and Zelda has her very own method as she proves to be extremely skilled at using her samurai sword. The undead who are out and about in the small town crave things that they loved during their lifetime, one zombie demands Chardonnay, the other coffee. Little by little, the residents of the city become victims of the zombies and Zelda turns out to be an alien who is picked up by a spaceship before Cliff Robertson and "Ronnie" and disappears. "Ronnie" is the only one who has read the script and repeatedly said "the matter does not end well". With their fate in mind, they face the zombies for the last fight and die.


Directed by Jim Jarmusch. The film is said to be a counterpart to his 2013 vampire film Only Lovers Left Alive and was announced as a zombie horror comedy. The film is set in the sleepy town of Centerville, which is named after a location from a song on the album for Frank Zappa's film 200 Motels . The title of the film is derived from the song of the same name, The Dead Don't Die, by country singer Sturgill Simpson , which Peterson is very fond of and who plays on the radio when he is on patrol with his colleague.

Bill Murray , Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny play the roles of Centerville's chief of police, Cliff Robertson, his successor Ronald "Ronnie" Peterson and policewoman Minerva "Mindy" Morrison. Tilda Swinton plays Zelda, Centerville's undertaker, who moved from Scotland. Selena Gomez plays one of the young hipsters who stay overnight in Centerville. Carol Kane plays the recently deceased Mallory O'Brien, Danny Glover the mechanic Hank Thompson, Eszter Bálint the diner owner Fren, RZA the supplier Dean and Rosie Perez the presenter Posie Juarez. Country singer Sturgill Simpson, who also wrote the movie's theme song, plays a zombie who loves his "guitar".

The Fleischmanns community served as the backdrop for the fictional Centerville.

Filming began in July 2018 in Fleischmanns parish with a population of 325, around 40 minutes by car from New York City , which served as the backdrop for the fictional US city of Centerville. Frederick Elmes , with whom Jarmusch recently realized the film Paterson with Driver in the leading role, acted as cameraman .

The score was composed by SQÜRL, aka director Jim Jarmusch and Chris Logan. The soundtrack, which contains seven pieces of music and eight dialogue scenes from the film, was released on June 14, 2019 by Back Lot Music as a download and also in physical form and will also be available from September 13, 2019 via Sacred Bones.

The film was shown for the first time on May 14, 2019 as the opening film of the Cannes International Film Festival. The film was released in French cinemas that evening. It premiered in the USA on May 30, 2019 as the opening film of the Overlook Film Festival. The film was released in German cinemas on June 13, 2019. The following day, Focus Features released it in US theaters. The cinema release in Austria took place on the same day. Also in June 2019 were screenings at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Sydney Film Festival .


Age rating and film genre

In the USA, the film received an R rating from the MPAA , which corresponds to a rating of 17 and over. In Germany, the film was approved by the FSK from the age of 16. The statement of release states: “There are some very detailed depictions of violence , pictures of injuries and cannibalistic scenes , especially when the zombies are attacking people. Due to the ironic, sometimes satirical tone of the story, they do not develop any frightening or disturbing effect on viewers aged 16 and over. ”Due to their level of development and already acquired knowledge of the genre, young people from this age are able to place the scenes of violence in the context of the not entirely serious plot.

Ulrike Koltermann from ZDF today writes that at times the film appears like a gigantic bizarre Halloween party: “Bowels are slouched and bones crunched.” Nevertheless, Jim Jarmusch also practices bitter social criticism in The Dead Don't Die and is a zombie film to scare you laugh. Jarmusch once again used a genre to turn it into his very idiosyncratic auteur film: "It shows an American society that is characterized by unrestrained environmental destruction, lying politicians, racists and consumerism." The film is also Jarmusch's very personal homage to Cinema, and the numerous allusions were reminiscent of great film classics by Nosferatu , Zombie by George Romero and Star Wars .

Reviews and use in school lessons

Bill Murray at the premiere for the film in Cannes in May 2019

So far, the film has won over 52 percent of all Rotten Tomatoes critics and has received mixed feedback.

David Ehrlich of Indie Wire writes that The Dead Don't Die is almost equally up-to-date and anachronistic, and that Centerville seems like a city that has barely changed in the past 50 years other than the tones of Trumpism . Except that the end of the world is being heralded, nothing special happens in the film. In contrast to the faceless hordes that are typical of the genre, the zombies in The Dead Don't Die are all individual characters with clear personal desires that go beyond their general interest in eating human flesh, Ehrlich said. Their desire for things they loved in their lifetime, and that they articulate it, make them look like Lobotomed Pokémon repeating their own names.

Owen Gleiberman from Variety, on the other hand, describes the behavior of the undead who stumble through the streets and press their faces against windows, like that from classic zombie films. None of this is remotely scary. The film Operating the at Shaun of the Dead by Edgar Wright , Planet Terror by Robert Rodriguez and Re-Animator by Stuart Gordon , but also in Dawn of the Dead by Zack Snyder . If Jim Jarmusch gets his zombies to repeat words like Chardonnay , Snapple or WiFi , this is actually just a repetition of George A. Romero's zombie . Jarmusch adds shockingly little to this 40-year-old film.

Lukas Foerster from the Filmbulletin remarks that the calmness of the characters in the face of the cannibalistic horde corresponds to the relaxed, in the good sense ambitious attitude of the film, and Jarmusch does not even try to reinvent the genre he serves. That is not the worst attitude, because zombie films are now a dime a dozen, Foerster continues, because since World War Z and The Walking Dead the undead have finally arrived in the mainstream and are no longer newsworthy. In Jarmusch's film, the zombies are not mere eating machines, but rather revenants in the literal sense, because they have come back to pursue those actions that are familiar to them from the time before their death. The film works through the common motifs and dramaturgies of the zombie cinema point by point, almost encyclopaedically, but the slower reaction time removes the pressure to act that is otherwise omnipresent in the zombie film, which frees the view for other things.

Chloë Sevigny plays Officer Minerva Morrison

Barbara Schweizerhof from epd Film says that, as is so often the case with Jarmusch, the exquisite range of eccentric characters in the film is primarily characterized by their pop culture preferences, and this is how Cop Peterson likes the country singer Sturgill Simpson . There were also allusions to what Jarmusch as a filmmaker did before through the entire film. Schweizerhof describes the motif of the zombie apocalypse that is breaking through his “good America” as a metaphor: “for the climate catastrophe that people turn a blind eye to and for the consumerism that makes the latter so easy. On the radios in Centerville you can always hear news about the practice of 'polar fracking', which has thrown the earth off its axis. ”The behavior of the zombies that draws them to the things they once loved became on The film critic repeats the end of the film about the moral of the film when Tom Waits looks through the binoculars at Centerville and follows the lesson that people were too greedy and too consumer-oriented. Jarmusch contradicts the teachings with his always dusty-dry humor, but as nice as it is when Bill Murray and Adam Driver skilfully pushing expressionless sentences back and forth, The Dead Don't Die gets lost in its smug jokes and ultimately leaves little behind lasting impression.

From the German Film and Media Review was The Dead Do not Die with the predicate particularly valuable provided. The reasoning states: “Seldom has so little hysteria and so much relaxed attitude in the face of bloodthirsty zombies been shown in a film as here by the outstanding and very prominent ensemble. This type of implementation is not exactly subtle, of course - but if you want to satirize a subgenre that is also characterized by effects, you must also be able to work with a thick brush. ”The overall package as such was absolutely coherent, as was the German processing and synchronization was expressly successful, it continues.

The online portal recommends the film for the subjects English, German and philosophy and offers materials for the film for the classroom. There, Ronald Ehlert-Klein writes that in German, art and English lessons the characteristics of postmodern film could be worked out using The Dead Don't .

Gross profit

The film's worldwide revenue from theatrical screenings has so far been $ 13.3 million. So far, it has recorded 111,654 visitors in Germany.


Hollywood Music in Media Awards 2019

  • Nomination for Best Score - Horror Film (SQÜRL)

Cannes International Film Festival 2019

Saturn Award ceremony 2019

Teen Choice Awards 2019

  • Nomination in the category Choice Summer Movie Actress ( Selena Gomez )


The German synchronization was based on a dialogue book by Alexander Löwe and the dialogue direction by Christoph Cierpka on behalf of FFS Film- & Fernseh-Synchron GmbH, Berlin.

actor Voice actor role
Bill Murray Bodo Wolf Chief Cliff Robertson
Adam Driver Sascha Rotermund Officer Ronnie Peterson
Steve Buscemi Santiago Ziesmer Farmer Frank Miller
Danny Glover Jürgen Kluckert Hank Thompson
Luka Sabbath Kaze Uzumaki Zack
Tilda Swinton Karin Buchholz Zelda Winston
Selena Gomez Gabrielle Pietermann Zoe
Jahi Di'Allo Winston Finn Posthumus Geronimo

Web links

Commons : The Dead Don't Die  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for The Dead Don't Die . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF; test number: 190296 / K). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  2. Age rating for The Dead Don't Die . Youth Media Commission .
  3. The Dead Don't Die. In: Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  4. Hannah Woodhead and Adam Woodward: 25 films we'd like to see at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. In:, March 2, 2019.
  5. The Dead Don't Die. In: Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  6. a b c d David Ehrlich: 'The Dead Don't Die' Review: Jim Jarmusch's Sluggish Zombie Comedy Targets Trump. In:, May 14, 2019.
  7. Centerville. In: Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  8. a b
  9. ^ Matt Goldberg: Jim Jarmusch Assembles Cast for Zombie Comedy 'The Dead Don't Die'. In:, July 13, 2018.
  10. Hoai-Tran Bui: Jim Jarmusch is Making a Zombie Movie With Bill Murray, Adam Driver, and Tilda Swinton. In:, July 13, 2018.
  11. Kylie Hemmert: Production Begins on Jim Jarmusch's Zombie Comedy The Dead Don't Die. In:, July 13, 2018.
  12. Paul Chavez: Selena Gomez heads to new zombie movie set with rumored new boyfriend Caleb Stevens. In:, July 14, 2018.
  13. Jordan Raup: Jim Jarmusch in Now Filming a Zombie Movie Starring Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton & More. In:, July 13, 2018.
  16. 'The Dead Don't Die' soundtrack details. In:, May 28, 2019.
  17. Sam Sodomsky: Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die Score Announced. In:, June 17, 2019.
  18. a b Cannes starts with a zombie comedy by Jim Jarmusch. In:, April 10, 2019.
  19. Cannes 2019: la cérémonie d'ouverture et le film "The Dead Don't Die" by Jim Jarmusch en simultané dans 550 salles de cinéma. In:, 7 May 2019. (French)
  20. Dino-Ray Ramos: Jim Jarmusch's Cannes Opener 'The Dead Don't Die' To Make US Premiere At The Overlook Film Festival. In:, April 26, 2019.
  22. Start dates Germany In: Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  23. Evan Minsker: Jim Jarmusch's New Zombie Movie Starring Tom Waits, RZA, Iggy Pop Announced. In:, March 27, 2019.
  24. Film starts in June 2019. In: Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  25. Program of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019. Accessed May 30, 2019 (PDF; 83.8 MB)
  27. ^ Reasons for the release of The Dead Don't Die In: Voluntary Self-Control of the Film Industry. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  29. The Dead Don't Die. In: Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  30. Owen Gleiberman: Cannes Film Review: 'The Dead Don't Die'. In: Variety, May 14, 2019.
  31. Lukas Foerster: The Dead Don't Die. In:, June 12, 2019.
  32. The Dead Don't Die In: . German film and media rating. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  33. Ronald Ehlert-Klein: The Dead Don't Die. In:, June 14, 2019.
  34. The Dead Don't Die. In: Accessed July 31, 2019.
  35. Top 100 Germany 2019. In: Accessed July 31, 2019.
  36. Erik Anderson: 'The King', 'Marriage Story', 'Parasite' earn 2019 Hollywood Music in Media Awards nominations. In:, November 4, 2019.
  37. Rachel Yang: Teen Choice Awards 2019: See the full list of winners and nominees. In: Entertainment Weekly, August 11, 2019.