The Dead Don’t Die – Blu-ray Review

The Dead Don't Die

Let me be very clear, The Dead Don’t Die is not for everyone. Primarily because the film is just so incredibly weird. The Dead Don’t Die will mostly appeal to those who love deadpan and meta-humor. Unfortunately, a lot of the humor doesn’t hit very well. You’ll mostly get a slight chuckle but there are a few jokes where you’ll get a hearty laugh. It’s not very often but they are there.

When it comes to the horror aspect of the film, there are some genuinely creepy and scary scenes in this film. Be forewarned that if you’re looking for a mix of scares and laughs then you might want to look elsewhere. Nevertheless, the entire zombie aspect of the film is a tribute to George Romero’s iconic Dawn of the Dead film. The zombies are slow-moving but deadly in droves. So a lot of the characters in this film are in danger of not making it out alive by the end of the film.

Sadly, you just won’t care if they die or not. A lot of the characters are throwaway characters or glorified cameos. So if they do get eaten, you simply don’t care that they died. There isn’t enough there to attach yourselves to anyone in this film. Yes, this also includes Adam Driver and Bill Murray. Due to the nature of the deadpan humor, their personalities never come through in the film. As a result, their characters come off as flat.

Sadly, the film simply feels too generic to become a cult classic either. There’s nothing that separates itself from other horror comedies like Shaun of the Dead or the recent Ready or Not. It feels as soulless as the zombies themselves.

Overall, The Dead Don’t Die is an intriguing kind of film for a special kind of crowd. Regardless, there are several fun moments in this film that should warrant a watch. However, one watch is probably all you’ll need.

Movie Rating: 2.5/5 atoms


The Dead Don't Die - Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny, and Adam Driver

The Dead Don’t Die hits Blu-ray (see it on Amazon) with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The brightness is high and pops from the screen. At the same time, the black levels are a deep obsidian black. However, there’s a strong contrast to the overall picture which causes bloom in the whites and crush in the blacks.

Nevertheless, the colors have a natural saturation to them. However, when it comes to the greens, they’re vibrant and pop from the screen. The details are incredibly clear since it accentuates all of the fantastic makeup work done on the zombies and those eaten by the zombies. Overall, the video looks great.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms


The Dead Don't Die - Tilda Swinton

The Dead Don’t Die hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Considering the indie nature of the film, don’t expect to hear a ton of dynamic sound movement or bass from the subwoofer. But for the type of film that this is, the audio mix does its job well. Nevertheless, the atmospherics are nice and subtle, you can hear the forest wildlife and rumble from inside the car perfectly.

The music also permeates through the soundstage too. Even though you can distinctly hear the music coming from the front speakers, you can subtly hear it in the surround speakers as well. For a film that relies heavily on dialogue, the audio mix makes the dialogue as a priority. Overall, this is a good mix.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features

The Dead Don't Die - Caleb Landry Jones and Danny Glover

The Dead Don’t Die has the following special features on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Bill Murray: Zombie Hunting Action Star
  • Stick Together
  • Behind the Scenes of The Dead Don’t Die
    • Zombie Tai Chi
    • Growl Practice
    • A Spin Around Set
    • Craft Services
    • Undead Symphony
    • Finger Food

As you can probably tell from the list above, there isn’t a ton of special features in this release. Sadly, the content isn’t all that interesting either. “Bill Murray” is a short talking head featurette where he playfully talks about being an action star in zombie films. So yes, he does mention Zombieland in this.

Believe it or not, “Sticking Together” is this releases behind the scenes featurette. However, a lot of that comes from the visuals and not from the cast and crew talking. The cast and crew mostly praise director Jim Jarmusch, who never makes an appearance in this by the way. Lastly, “Behind the Scenes”, isn’t a behind the scenes featurette like “Sticking” was. Instead, it’s a montage of random raw footage of the making of the film—emphasis on random.

Special Features Rating: 0/5 atoms

Overall, The Dead Don’t Die is a funny and slightly entertaining zombie comedy. It doesn’t reach the level of fun as other horror-comedies but it’s a nice watch if you’re in the mood for something really weird. The audio and video in this release are fantastic but the special features are a major disappointment.

Overall Rating: 3/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Universal Home Entertainment.

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