You know, I sometimes put movies on my watch list with a very strong sense of what the movie is going to be about, and when it’s not what I was expecting I’m more than a little startled.
Especially when the film in question is entitled The Dead Don’t Die, and it stars George Hamilton (yes, the neon orange guy that does snack food commercials. That George Hamilton).
However, I actually ended up really liking this one. It is a zombie film-but if you like the old school zombie tropes over what Romero turned into cannon, this will interest you. The movie is set in the 1930s and the action picks up after Hamilton’s character has a brother executed for a crime he swears he didn’t commit. Hamilton is slowly drawn into a world where people appear and disappear and the corpses in the local funeral parlor start talking to him.
There’s actually some really interesting imagery running through this movie. I don’t normally like the way that the movie handles the creation of zombies, but this has a feel of pre-Romero zombie films and I can work with that. There is at least one final death scene that I found really effective and I liked that the characters were not literally falling apart at the seams. However, it’s still a retro made for tv piece so there’s a lot of stilted scenes, weird exposition, and the end wraps up a little too cleanly to be really effective.
The copy I watched also was pretty bad qualitywise, but I suppose that I shouldn’t be expecting perfectly clean copies of movies that haven’t aired in close to 40 years.