How ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ Handles Its Zombies | Anatomy of a Scene


This is Jim Jarmusch. I’m the writer and director
of “The Dead Don’t Die.” This is a scene that takes
place in the Centerville police station. It’s a three-cop
town, Centerville. Bill Murray, the chief. Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny
play the other two officers. There are two parts
to this scene. The first is
Officer Peterson — Adam Driver — explaining to
Chloë Sevigny’s character that there is, in fact,
a zombie apocalypse. “It’s zombies.” “What are you saying?” “Well, it’s the undead. They’ve been reanimated,
caused by the Earth having been pulled
off its axis, caused by the polar fracking.” And the second
part of the scene is dealing with one of the
undead who comes to life, played by Carol Kane. Her name is Mallory O’Brien
and was known as the town drunk. – [screams] These undead in our
film have a kind of vestigial memory
for one thing that they were
sort of obsessed with when they were alive. And in this case,
being the town drunk, her obsession was chardonnay. “Look out, kids.” I’m not a big
splatter film guy, so all the zombies in our film
are dried up and dust inside. “Chardonnay.” “I got this, Cliff.” The visual effect
is quite stunning and was done by a
wonderful company, Chimney. It was quite daunting. We had to have a
stand-in for Carol Kane for the actual
swinging of the machete. The machete itself
was only a very short blade so that it actually
didn’t touch the stunt person. “Chardonnay.” – [screams] [gunshot] Bill Murray’s last shot to the
severed head was improvised. In each of the other
takes, he didn’t do that. But I found that very funny. Chloë Sevigny,
as an actor, she is a real master
of small reactions. And she is our kind of
scream queen in the film because she screams
maybe six times throughout the entire film.