THE DEAD DON’T DIE
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Samantha
In a small town called Centreville two police officers – Chief Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray), and Officer Ronnie Petersen (Adam Driver) – are responding to a call about a stolen chicken. Farmer Frank Miller (Steve Buscemi) reported the missing chicken and his belief that Hermit Bob (Tom Waits) is the thief. Officers Cliff and Ronnie confront Hermit Bob in the forest he lives in. Bob shoots a warning shot at the officers to leave him be. Ronnie asks Cliff if they should take him in, but Cliff says no and the two leave. In the patrol car, Cliff tells Ronnie that he has known Hermit Bob since they were young and Bob has never done anything to harm anyone. He also states he thinks it’s unlikely that Bob was the one to take the chicken. The two discuss how the sun is still bright in the sky despite it being after eight at night. The police radio cuts out while they are talking to Officer Mindy Morrison (Chloë Sevigny) who is back at the station. Ronnie’s cell phone and watch have also stopped working. Ronnie tells Cliff that “this isn’t going to end well,” which is something he continues to repeat frequently throughout the film. Officer Ronnie turns on the regular radio in the car to the song ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ by Sturgill Simpson. When Cliff asks Ronnie why he loves the song so much, he replies that it’s because it’s the theme song of the movie – the first of many fourth-wall breaks in the movie.
In a local diner, Hank Thompson (Danny Glover), Farmer Frank Miller, and a diner waitress Fern all listen to a radio news report about polar fracking. The government and fracking companies claim that the fracking is causing no harm to the earth. The three questions also question why it is still bright outside.
At Centerville Juvenile Detention Centre Geronimo, Olivia, and Stella watch a news report on the television that states that the polar fracking has caused the earth to spin off its axis. Geronimo is kicked off of the girl’s floor by a worker there. Dean (RZA) a deliveryman for ‘WU-PS’ drops off rare comics for Bobby Wiggins’s (Caleb Landry Jones) gas station shop where Bobby also sells movie and comic book memorabilia. Bobby asks Dean for words of wisdom to tide him over as he will not see Dean until his delivery next week. Dean replies, “The world is perfect. Appreciate the details.”
Motel owner Danny watches a news report about pets beginning to disappear or act strangely. Danny searches and cannot find his own cat. Farmer Frank Miller goes outside of his house to look for his dog and finds it lying in the shade beneath his car. The dog ignores Frank’s calls runs away. Frank looks around to realize all of his farm animals are missing.
At night Fern and cleaner, Lily talk about Zelda Winston (Tilda Swinton), the new undertaker The Ever After funeral home where Lily also cleans. Lily tells Fern that Zelda is quite odd and difficult to understand due to her Scottish accent. Zelda is then shown practicing with a katana in a back room of the funeral home.
Two zombies reanimate from their graves and make their way to the diner. They kill and begin to eat both Fern and Lily before becoming distracted by coffee sitting at the counter. They drink, smash the cups onto the ground, then leave.
In the morning, all three officers respond to a call to the diner where they find Fern and Lily dead. Ronnie tells Cliff that he believes that zombies are responsible, but Cliff does not take him seriously. Zoe (Selena Gomez) and her friends Jack and Zack are traveling on the road when they stop for gas and drinks at Bobby’s gas station. They check into Danny’s motel in town and are told by Officers Cliff and Ronnie to lock their door and to not go out after dark. At the juvenile detention center, the three teenagers discuss the deaths. Geronimo also suggests zombies before being kicked off of the girl’s floor again.
Cliff and Ronnie investigate the cemetery and find the two open graves. Hermit Bob watches from the forest and concludes that this is a zombie apocalypse. The two officers are in their patrol car, going to houses to warn people to stay inside and stay safe. Cliff asks Ronnie how one would kill a zombie to which he responds you need to kill the head. Bobby and Hank have a similar conversation inside of Hank’s hardware store. The two plan to lock themselves in the store with plenty of weapons.
All the dead from the graveyard reanimate at night, and Danny is attacked and killed at the motel. Cliff and Ronnie bring weapons back to the police station and inform Mindy about the zombie situation. The body of the town drunk who recently died while in the drunk tank (Carol Kane) reanimates and repeats the word ‘Chardonnay’ until Ronnie cuts her head off. Zelda kills two corpses with her katana in the funeral home before walking over to the police station. The officers leave Zelda at the police station to watch over the phones while they patrol but agree to meet her in the cemetery soon. The three officers find Zoe, Jack, and Zack all dead in their motel room. Ronnie cuts off their heads in case they reanimate, and Mindy is disgusted by the act.
Farmer Frank kills a few zombies on his porch before being overrun. Hermit Bob is seen watching from the forest eating the chicken that he did steal. Hank and Bobby hold their own pretty well in the hardware store. They board up the front door but forget about the back door where the zombies break in and kill them. Geronimo, Stella, and Olivia hide in a closet at the juvenile detention center to avoid the zombies in the hallway. When the zombies leave the detention center, the teenagers escape, presumably to safety.
The zombies are seen going to the places and doing the things they loved when they were alive. The zombie children are seen at Bobby’s gas station taking candy while the adult zombies are seen dragging the items they loved through the streets. Additionally, the zombies are seen on their smartphones and remarking about Wi-Fi.
Officer Cliff gets the patrol car stuck in the cemetery because he was driving over zombies instead of avoiding them as Mindy asked. Mindy is frustrated with Ronnie and Cliff’s lack of emotion and distress in their current situation. A hoard of zombies surrounds the car, and Mindy’s grandmother is discovered to be one of them. Mindy cannot take the stress anymore and exits the car to join her grandmother. Zelda has made her way to the cemetery in Ronnie’s small Smart car, easily maneuvering to avoid the zombies in the street. The zombies begin to move away from the parole car when a UFO arrives. Zelda is beamed up, and the UFO flies away. Cliff remarks that he always thought Zelda was weird. The two remaining officers decide that if they are going to die, they should do so fighting. They get out of the car and begin killing the zombies together. Hermit Bob watches the officers fight and comments that with everyone being obsessed over things, people have lost their souls for gold. Ronnie and Cliff are overwhelmed by the zombies, and Hermit Bob remarks that it’s a “fucked up world.”