Summaries

The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In The Dead Don’t Die something is amiss the sleepy small town of Centerville. The moon hangs large and low in the sky. The hours of daylight become unpredictable, and animals begin to exhibit unusual behaviors. However, none of the townsfolk quite knows why. While the news reports are scary, and scientists are concerned, no one foresees the strangest, most dangerous repercussion that will soon plague the town; the dead don’t die. Instead, they rise from their graves and savagely attack the living to feast on them. The citizens of the town now find they must battle these ghouls to survive.

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‘The Dead Don’t Die’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
In The Dead Don’t Die, Chief Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray) and Officer Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) of the Centerville Police Department respond to a complaint from farmer Farmer Miller (Steve Buscemi) that some of chickens have been stolen. They attempt to question the town eccentric Hermit Bob (Tom Waits) who is hiding in the woods. Bob takes a shot at them, and Chief Robertson decides to not press the issue at that time and leaves. On their drive back to the station, Robertson notices that it is still daylight even though it is 8 o’clock at night. When Ronnie goes to check the time, he notices that both his cell phone and his watch have stopped working. A song called “The Dead Don’t Die” plays on the radio, and when Robertson inquires as to why that song seems familiar, Peterson tells him that it is the theme song. Back in the woods, Bob notices that the ants are acting peculiarly.

Meanwhile, Farmer Miller complains about Hermit Bob with hardware store owner Hank Thompson (Danny Glover) at the town diner. A news report about polar fracking comes over the radio which draws Hank’s attention. Additionally, Hank and Fern (Eszter Balint), the waitress, notice the sun is still out even though it is nighttime.

At the Centerville Juvenile Detention Center, inmate Geronimo (Jahi Winston) tells his fellow inmates Olivia (Taliyah Whitaker) and Stella (Maya Delmont) that the polar fracking has altered the Earth’s rotation. At the local gas station, deliveryman Dean (RZA) drops off some rare magazines with the owner Bobby Wiggins (Caleb Landry Jones) who sells pop culture memorabilia out of his store. Owner of the local motel Danny Perkins (Larry Fessenden) watches a news report by Posie Juarez (Rosie Perez) about house hold pets acting strangely. Perkins notices that his cats are missing. Farmer Miller also notices his animals have disappeared.

Back at the station, Robertson and Peterson, along with a third officer Mindy Morrison (Chloë Sevigny), talk about the dead body of Mallory O’Brien (Carol Kane) which is sitting in their holding cell waiting for pick up. They are storing the body due to the odd behavior of the new undertaker at the funeral home. They also discuss the strange occurrences in the town. Peterson tells Robertson that things are not going to end well but doesn’t articulate what exactly.

At the funeral home, Zelda Winston (Tilda Swinton) practices her samurai sword moves in front of a Buddha statue. She hears movement coming from two dead bodies in her morgue but finds nothing in there. Later that night, two other corpses reanimate and kill two waitresses at the diner. After making their kills, the two zombies drink all the coffee in the diner before leaving. Hank finds the bodies the next morning and calls Robertson, Peterson, and Morrison to the diner. After looking at the bodies, Peterson tells Robertson that he believes zombies killed the waitresses.

Meanwhile, Zoe (Selena Gomez) and her two friends Jack (Austin Butler) and Zach (Luka Sabbat) drive into town on their way to someplace else. They stop at Bobby’s gas station and fill up. While there, Zoe buys Sturgill’s Simpson’s “The Dead Don’t Die” on compact disc. Afterwards, the new in town trio check into Danny’s motel.

Back at the station, Zelda asks Morrison if the bodies from the diner will be brought to her funeral home. Morrison tells her that the bodies have been picked up by the feds. Zelda also asks Morrison if the officer is dating Peterson, to which Morrison tells her no.

At Danny’s motel, Robertson and Peterson discuss the murders with the motel owner. The officers meet Zoe, Jack, and Zach and advise them to not go out at night. At the Juvenile Detention Center, Olivia, Stella, and Geronimo discuss the diner murders, which Geronimo attributes to a zombie attack and speculates that there will be a full-blown zombie apocalypse.

Robertson and Peterson go to the local cemetery and find several graves dug up. Hermit Bob watches the officers from a distance and concludes that zombies are on the loose. While driving back to the station, Peterson asks Robertson as to what the plan is for the pending zombie attack. Peterson also gives some guidance to Robertson on how to kill zombies. Back at the gas station, Bobby and Hank have a similar conversation and prepare some weapons to defend themselves.

Later that night, more zombies rise from the grave. Danny is attacked while looking for his cats at his motel and is turned into a zombie himself. The zombies that attack Danny are obsessed with free cable, like the coffee zombies at the diner. Zoe, Jack, and Zach lock themselves in their room after a news bulletin from Posie Juarez warns them of the danger.

Robertson and Peterson bring supplies back to the police station and tell Morrison about the zombies. While there, the zombie corpse of Mallory reanimates and begins saying “chardonnay”. Peterson decapitates Mallory with a machete.
Back at the funeral home, the two corpses in Zelda’s morgue reanimate as she is putting make up the bodies. Zelda pulls out her samurai sword and decapitates both bodies with one stroke. Farmer Miller hears something banging on his door in the middle of the night and goes to investigate. When he opens the door, a zombie grabs him by the throat and Miller uses his shotgun to blow the zombie’s head off.

In town, zombies are swarming everywhere, each seeking something that was important to them in life. The zombies also take over the Juvenile Detention Center and swarm the guards, as Geronimo, Olivia, and Stella watch. Hank and Bobby fend off zombies together at the hardware store. Zelda comes to the police station and offers her help to the officers. The three officers go out on patrol together, leaving Zelda alone at the station. Zelda tells them she will meet them at the cemetery after they complete their patrol. While alone, she sends an encrypted computer message using a police computer.

The officers find Zoe, Jack, and Zach dead at the motel while conducting their patrol. As a precaution, Peterson beheads all three bodies to prevent them from reanimating. Hank and Bobby are overrun by zombies at the hardware store. Farmer Miller is mauled at his home. At the cemetery, the patrol car gets stuck and the officers are surrounded by zombies. Morrison sees her dead grandmother in the horde and runs out of the vehicle. Peterson tells Robertson that he knew it would end badly because Jim, the director, gave him the entire script.

After sending her message, Zelda takes Peterson’s car and drives it to the cemetery. Zombies move away from the car as a spinning UFO suddenly appears over the cemetery. Peterson and Robertson watch as the UFO beams up Zelda and flies away, leaving them behind. The two officers decide to go on the attack, as Peterson says once again, that it is in the script. They jump out of the car and begin killing all the zombies of the other characters. Hermit Bob watches safely from the woods nearby, stating that the world is a terrible place, and that the people were zombies in death just as they were zombies in life, constantly hungering for more stuff. Eventually the zombies overcome Peterson and Robertson.

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