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‘The Dead Don’t Die’: Jim Jarmusch’s Zombie Romp Will Make U.S. Premiere at New Orleans Horror Festival

Exclusive: The Overlook Film Festival has also announced its entire 41-film lineup, which includes screenings of "Swamp Thing," Octavia Spencer's "Ma," and much more.

"The Dead Don't Die"

“The Dead Don’t Die”

Focus Features

After Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy “The Dead Don’t Die” enjoys a snazzy red carpet premiere as the opening night selection of the Cannes Film Festival, its next stop will bring it to diehard genre fans. The movie will make its U.S. premiere as the opening night selection of The Overlook Festival, the New Orleans horror film festival that returns to the French Quarter for the second time on May 30.

The Focus Features release finds Jarmusch bringing his distinctive deadpan approach to supernatural circumstances for the second time, following 2013’s wistful vampire tale “Only Lovers Left Alive.” For “The Dead Don’t Die,” the auteur mainstay appears to be tipping his hat to George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead,” with the tale of small town characters facing the sudden threat of the undead. The cast includes Adam Driver and Bill Murray as police officers alongside Tilda Swinton as a samurai and a zombie Iggy Pop.

In other words, it looks like just the sort of the horror movie love letter that diehard genre buffs crave, and the decision to launch its stateside life in their midst suggests the studio has a lot faith in the movie’s potential as a crowdpleaser ahead of its June 14 theatrical release.

The Overlook also announced the rest of its lineup, which includes 41 features from 10 countries, and three world premieres. In addition to “The Dead Don’t Die,” these include director Chelsea Stardust’s bloody cult thriller “Satanic Panic,” which stars Rebecca Romijn, and the creepy kid story “Z.” Universal Pictures’ Octavia Spencer thriller “Ma” will receive a sneak preview, and James Wan’s new television adaptation of the DC Universe’s “Swamp Thing” will screen one episode.

Other familiar faces from the horror film community include Larry Fessenden, whose modern Frankenstein update “Depraved” will screen, as well as the anthology horror show “Nightmare Cinema,” which features segments directed by Joe Dante, David Slade, and others. Festival board members Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah will return to the festival to premiere an episode of their new podcast “Visitations,” and Robert Rodriguez will deliver a filmmaking masterclass in addition to a special screening of his 1999 small-town teen alien invasion saga “The Faculty,” which will screen at a local high school.

The Overlook, which launched two years ago in Mount Hood, Oregon before moving to New Orleans last year, has settled into its summer slot on the niche genre festival circuit, ahead of Montreal’s Fantasia Festival in July and the fall season gatherings of TIFF Midnight Madness, Austin’s Fantastic Fest, and the Sitges Film Festival in Spain.

In previous editions, the Overlook launched the world premieres of A24’s “It Comes at Night” and Darren Lynn Bousman’s “St. Agatha.” The festival has become a regular showcase for virtual reality projects from horror directors, highlights from the immersive theater world, and alternative reality games engineered to take advantage of the film festival environment. This year’s program will include all of those ingredients, including a new immersive game designed to unfold with live actors across the city of New Orleans and written for the weekend event by Los Angeles-based firm E3W Productions.

The Overlook Film Festival will take place May 30 – June 2. Passes are now available at the festival site. View the full lineup, with festival synopses, below.

Opening Night Film:
The Dead Don’t Die
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Selena Gomez, Bill Murray, Tom Waits, RZA, Danny Glover
United States, 2019
Adam Driver and Bill Murray lead an all-star cast in indie maven Jim Jarmusch’s latest film, the story of the peaceful town of Centerville that finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.

Closing Night Film:
The Lodge
Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Cast: Riley Keough, Richard Armitage, Jaeden Lieberher
United States, 2019
When a stepmom-to-be gets snowed in to a remote cabin alongside her fiancé’s two children, she finds herself with the seemingly perfect opportunity to win their affection. But a series of strange occurrances may lead the trio down a different path…


Director: Joe Begos
Cast: Dora Madison, Tru Collins, Jeremy Gardner, Graham Skipper, Rhys Wakefield
United States, 2019
Reminiscent of the gritty work of Abel Ferrara, Joe Begos’ (ALMOST HUMAN, THE MIND’S EYE) latest sees a ferocious young painter, desperate to finish her latest masterpiece, who will resort to any means necessary. Little does she know that sex, drugs and hallucinations are just the top of the spiral…

Director: Abdelhamid Bouchnak
Cast: Yasmine Dimassi, Aziz Jbali, Bilel Slatnia, Hela Ayed
Tunisia, 2018
When a trio of Tunisian journalism students hubristically journey to a small town to solve the 25-year-old cold case of a mysteriously mutilated woman now committed to an asylum, they come upon a community packed with well-spiced secrets.

Daniel Isn’t Real
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Cast: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, Mary Stuart Masterson
United States, 2019
When a distraught college freshman faces an unimaginable family trauma, he turns to his sadistic imaginary friend from childhood for help, hoping to unleash some long-forgotten strength. What he friends instead will alter his life forever in this mind-altering new film from director Adam Egypt Mortimer.

Director: Larry Fessenden
Cast: David Call, Joshua Leonard, Alex Breaux, Ana Kayne, Maria Dizzia, Chloë Levine
United States, 2019
Heralded genre-bender Larry Fessenden returns with his millennial take on the Frankenstein myth in which a PTSD-riddled field surgeon deep in the heart of Brooklyn decides to reconstruct an unsuspecting man out of spare body parts.

Extra Ordinary
Director: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman
Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia O’Doherty, Risteárd Cooper, Jamie Beamish, Terri Chandler
Ireland/Belgium, 2019
A driving instructor with an unusual talent for communicating with the spirit world, is enlisted to help save an innocent teenager from a washed-up rock star who has made a sinister deal with the devil in this uproarious and sweet-natured Irish comedy, starring Will Forte.

Greener Grass
Director: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe
Cast: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey
United States, 2019
Writers, directors and stars Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe create a hilariously deadpan hellscape of competitive suburbia with a boldly stylized absurdist chain of events that unfurls with increasing fervor after one soccer mom asks her best friend for her baby.

Director: William McGregor
Cast: Eleanor Worthington-Cox, Maxine Peake, Richard Harrington
United Kingdom, 2019
In the stunning and stark setting of 19th century Snowdonia, young Gwen must brave the harsh elements, the threat of disease, an aggressive mining company, and hostile villagers–but the signs of something more sinister are undeniable in this haunting feature debut from writer-director William McGregor.

Head Count
Director: Elle Callahan
Cast: Issac W. Jay, Ashleigh Morgan, Bevin Bru, Billy Meade, Hunter Peterson United States, 2018
A group of rowdy teenagers take a weekend trip to Joshua Tree in search of debauchery, only to find themselves part of deadly ritual when they realize that they might not all be who they seem.

In Fabric
Director: Peter Strickland
Cast: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, Julian Barratt, Steve Oram, and Gwendoline Christie
United Kingdom, 2018
At the height of winter sales in a modern UK department stores, a cursed dress passes from owner to owner, leaving a path of destruction in its wake in this wry, visionary comedy from the director of Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy.

Knives And Skin
Director: Jennifer Reeder
Cast: Marika Engelhardt, Audrey Francis, Ireon Roach, Kayla Carter, Kate Arrington, Tim Hopper, Raven Whitley
United States, 2019
Calling upon echoes of Twin Peaks, artist and filmmaker Jennifer Reeder serves up an eerie teen noir punctuated with haunting 80s covers and unforgettable imagery centering around the effects of one girls’ disappearance on a small town.

Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers, Luke Evans, McKaley Miller, Missi Pyle, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo, Dante Brown
United States, 2019
Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer stars as Sue Ann, a loner in a quiet town who invites a group of unsuspecting teenagers to hang out and drink in her basement. They just have to abide by her rules, and call her “Ma.” But as Ma’s hospitality starts to curdle into obsession, what began as a teenage dream turns into a terrorizing nightmare, and Ma’s place goes from the best place in town to the worst place on earth.

Nightmare Cinema
Director: Alejandro Brugués, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade, Joe Dante, Mick Garris
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Annabeth Gish, Elizabeth Reaser, Maurice Bernard, Richard Chamberlain United States/Japan, 2018
Five Masters of the macabre unite to re-invigorate the anthology sub-genre with a jolt of bloodlust in this good old fashioned series of thrills and chills stitched together by Mickey Rourke’s Projectionist, who shows woeful passerbys a movie of their gruesome demise, helmed by a cavalcade of horror’s greatest minds.

One Cut Of The Dead
Director: Shinichiro Ueda
Cast: Takayuki Hamatsu, Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Manabu Hosoi, Hiroshi Ichihara, Syuntaro Yamazaki
Japan, 2017
In one of the year’s most crowd-pleasing surprises, this twisty horror comedy sees chaos ensue when a low-budget film crew, hard at work on a zombie flick in a WWII bunker, comes face to face with real terror lurking outside.

Paradise Hills
Director: Alice Waddington
Cast: Emma Roberts, Danielle Macdonald, Awkawfina, Jeremy Irvine, Arnaud Valois, Eiza Gonzalez, Milla Jovovich
United States/Spain, 2019
With razor-sharp artistic direction and searing wit, Alice Waddington’s directorial debut tells the story in which a young girl is sent to a mysterious reform school specializing in crafting ladies to be more “proper”.

Director: Keola Racela
Cast: Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein, Jillian Mueller, Glenn Stott, Robbie Tann, Bill Phillips & Peter Reznikoff, Katelyn Pearce
United States, 2019
Equal parts hilarious and grotesque, this take-no-prisoners horror sex comedy sees a group of ultra-Christian movie theater employees face their worst fears when a mysterious set of pornographic reels releases a little more than their repressed desires.

Satanic Panic
World Premiere
Director: Chelsea Stardust
Cast: Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, Arden Kyrin, AJ Bowen United States, 2019
When a pizza delivery girls’ final order of the night turns out to be for a blood-hungry group of Satanists thirsting for a sacrifice, all hell breaks loose…literally. From the Overlook alum writers of WE ARE STILL HERE and PAPERBACKS FROM HELL, and director Chelsea Stardust comes the goriest of comedies.

The Vast Of Night
Director: Andrew Patterson
Cast: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer, Bruce Davis United States, 2019
First-time filmmaker Andrew Patterson smashes onto the scene with the elegant telling of a 1950s radio DJ and his switchboard operator companion, who stumble upon a strange frequency that may be carrying evidence of other-worldly life.

World Premiere
Director: Brandon Christensen
Cast: Keegan Connor Tracy, Jett Klyne, Sean Rogerson, Sara Canning, Stephen McHattie, Chandra West
Loving parents Beth and Kevin get a little more than they bargained for when their eight-year-old son begins acting out at the alleged behest of his new imaginary friend, Z, in this jump-a-minute creepfest from Overlook alum Brandon Christensen (STILL/BORN).


The Faculty
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Jordana Brewster, Clea Duvall
USA, 1998
Join us for this special, site-specific screening of Robert Rodriguez’s 1998 chiller about a group of high school students who begin to suspect an extraterrestrial presence when their teachers start behaving out of the ordinary.

Horror Noire
Free Community Screening
Director: Xavier Burgin
Cast: Ashlee Blackwell, Ernest Dickerson, Jordan Peele, Keith David, Kelly Jo Minter, Ken Foree, Ken Sagoes
United States, 2019
Join us for a free community screening and panel discussion of this refreshing and incisive documentary tracing the history of Black Americans in Hollywood within the horror genre. Hear from Jordan Peele (GET OUT), Tony Todd (CANDYMAN), Rachel True (THE CRAFT), Keith David (THE THING) and many more about representation in our favorite genre from the beginning of cinema to today.

Paperbacks From Hell 2: Think Of The Children (Work-in-Progress)
Creator, Writer, Performer: Grady Hendrix
It’s baaaack! Grady Hendrix’s live show, Paperbacks from Hell, has played everywhere from Los Angeles to London, and now you’re getting the world premiere of his work in progress sequel, Paperbacks from Hell II: Think of the Children. In 1967, S.E. Hinton kicked off the teen fiction genre with THE OUTSIDERS and that genre turned into a money-making boom in 1997 with J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE. But for those 30 intervening years, teen fiction was weirder, wilder, and woollier, than anyone remembers. Come learn about Ayn Randian teen books, time traveling wilderness survival novels, drug scare fiction, and the glory that is Christopher Pike in this one hour show that takes you from the roots of teen fiction to the day a boy wizard taught everybody how to get rich.

Post Mortem With Mick Garris Live
Filmmaker/Author Mick Garris, best known for his Stephen King adaptations and creating the “Masters Of Horror” television series, dives deep into the devious minds of the greatest filmmakers and creators of your worst nightmares to bring their distinctive visions to life in fascinating one-on-one conversations every other week.

The Robert Rodriguez Film School with Special Screening of RED 11
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Carlos Gallardo, Roby Attal, Pierce Bailey
United States, 2019
The Robert Rodriguez Film School is a masterclass in low budget filmmaking. In 60 minutes, the iconic filmmaker of EL MARIACHI, SIN CITY, and GRINDHOUSE shows how he made his new film, RED 11, on a $7k budget, immediately followed by a special screening of the film itself, the story of an aspiring filmmaker who is forced to become a human lab rat after inadvertently borrowing cash from the Mexican cartel to make his first film. Once he test trials begin, he discovers that a sinister truth of this medical study… one that he may never escape from.

Swamp Thing
Episode 2
Director: Len Wiseman
Cast: Crystal Reed, Virginia Madsen, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Henderson Wade, Maria Stern, Jeryl Prescott, with Jennifer Beals and Will Patton
United States, 2019
Based on the classic DC Comics character, this new episodic follows Dr. Abby Arcane’s investigation of a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana… but when a mysterious creature emerges from the murky marsh, Abby finds herself facing the nightmares of a supernatural world where no one is safe. Join us for this special screening of the first two episodes.

Unspooled Live
Hosts: Amy Nicholson and Paul Scheer
Any group that loves movies shouldn’t be afraid of the dark. Yet, though the AFI’s current Top 100 Films list celebrates gory war flicks, it gets squeamish about horror. “Unspooled” podcast co-hosts Paul Scheer (“How Did This Get Made?”) and Amy Nicholson (“The Canon,” “Halloween Unmasked”) are halfway through watching the AFI’s ranked classics and ready to debate which chills should slither onto the next list. Join them and special guests for a conversation that isn’t scared to say what other films need to be murdered to make room.

Visitations with Elijah Wood & Daniel Noah Live
Hosts: Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah
Boundary-breaking indie production company SpectreVision—partners Daniel Noah, Josh Waller, Lisa Whalen, and Elijah Wood—has given the world game-changing horror films like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Mandy. Now, Wood and Noah invite listeners to join them as they drop in on creative friends and colleagues for informal conversations about their lives and work at locations of their subjects’ choosing—at their homes, on set, or in their personal workshops—in their new podcast, Visitations with Elijah Wood & Daniel Noah. Hear Daniel, Elijah and their very special guest in an exclusive live conversation ahead of the ten-episode Shudder Original Podcast coming this summer.

We Sold Our Souls Live
Creator, Writer, Performer: Grady Hendrix
Heavy metal — the subject of Congressional hearings, its albums burned by church groups, taken to court and accused of playing a role in teen suicides again and again…that’s a whole lot of fear over music sung by men wearing too much eye shadow. But heavy metal has always been about horror, and in this one-hour show, author Grady Hendrix will talk about the scandalicious side of heavy metal, its role in the Satanic Panic of the Eighties, the history of heavy metal in horror, and how all this mayhem led to the creation of his latest novel We Sold Our Souls.


Fire Escape
Creators: Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari, Andres Perez-Duarte, Sam Butin
From virtual powerhouse iNKStories comes a cutting-edge VR adventure that blurs the line between game, film, and episodic storytelling all while creating something entirely new. In the grand tradition of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, participants become the ultimate voyeur as they are thrust into a world of deceit and murder via text, chat and immersive audio all within your headset in this thrilling three-part interactive series.

Home Of Enchantments
World Premiere
Creator, Writer, Performer: Ava Lee Scott
What you see cannot be unseen in this world premiere experience from immersive veteran Ava Lee Scott (SLEEP NO MORE) set in the world of her very own supernatural series, where what you see is never what you get. You are called upon to help the spiritually gifted, yet troubled Belle, her memory blurred between the material and spiritual realms. You must help her discover her true path, but are you willing to risk your own? WARNING: Only the strong, spirited souls are allowed.

The Overlook Immersive Game
Creators: E3W Productions, Eva Anderson, Eric Hoff, Tommy Honton
Dive into a city-wide alternate reality experience that coincides with the Overlook Horror Film Festival. The game features live actors, unique locations, hidden clues, tactile puzzles, and surprising story twists that keep players on their toes while they explore the underbelly of New Orleans. Willing players will follow clues to become the protagonist of an engaging and thrilling narrative that no two people will interact with in exactly the same way. Details of the game’s story will remain locked away until the festival begins, but curious hearts might trouble themselves to seek significant special symbols wherever the opportunity presents itself.

Room Service
Creators: Justin Fix, Daniel Montgomery, David Ruzicka, Stephanie Turek, Kylee Thurman, Stephanie Delazeri
Knock, knock! From JFI Productions, the heralded creators of the ever-popular immersive productions CREEP and THE WILLOWS comes an intimate immersive experience delivered to your door. A turn-down service like no other, let the Creeps put you to bed with a twisted bedtime tale: the story of a salesman and his scream-catching briefcase. Watch and listen as it comes to life, right in front of you. Call the front desk to reserve your room service – and then wait for the knock

The Pumpkin Pie Show: One-On-Ones
Creator, Writer, Performer: Clay McLeod Chapman
A returning favorite from last year’s fest, please join author Clay McLeod Chapman as he takes one audience member at a time on a dark ride through this depraved, intimate storytelling experience. Think of it as a heart-to-bleeding-heart with madmen, murderers and monsters telling their own story. No fourth wall, no escape.

World Premiere
Creators: DeLaporte Adventures
Explore the French Quarter, meet ghosts, solve puzzles, and save us all from chaos in this feature-length collaboration between DeLaporte Adventures and local favorites Escape My Room, launching at the Overlook. When the last surviving member of the Saintsbone society, protectors of the living in New Orleans, is found dead, the only thing stopping the spirit world from merging with ours forever…is you.


Boy’s Club
Director: Troy DeWinne Cast: Elias Hinojosa United States, 2018
This hilarious caper is a fresh take on surviving the apocalypse alongside your teenage hormones—and the lengths you’ll go to for (self-)love…

Director: Mike Egan
Cast: Linas Phillips, Johnny Pemberton
United States, 2019
As a Neo-sun worshiper prepares for a spray tan with a side of human sacrifice, bask in the glow of these wonderfully outré characters.

Chowboys: An American Folktale
Directed by/Cast: Astron-6: Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney, Matthew Kennedy, Jeremy Gillespie, Steve Kostanski
Canada, 2019
Bringing a little Christmas cheer to Overlook, Astron-6’s latest fireside tale does not disappoint in its gore, glory, and giggles a-plenty.

Deep Tissue
Director: Meredith Alloway
Cast: Meredith Alloway
United States, 2019
A brilliant performance by writer-director Meredith Alloway in this tense sun-lit encounter, takes a welcomed turn for the playfully perverse.

Her Body
Director: Juan Avella
Cast: Ilean Almaguer, Krizia Bajos, Aidan Kahn, Samuel Horowitz, Malachi Mutakabbir United States/Mexico, 2018
A poignant social commentary of a woman trying to escape an abusive relationship, starring kick-ass leading Latinas with excellent hand-to-hand combat skills? We’re in.

It’s Not Custard
Director: Kate McCoid
Cast: Charlotte Luxford, Donal Cox, Kate Leiper, Will Cox
United Kingdom, 2019
Rosy tones and all, this is an entirely engrossing teen-tale of bodily horrors and sweet revenge.

Director: Charles A. Pieper
Cast: Amber Marie Bollinger, Charlie Pecoraro
United States, 2018
Relationship anxieties thrive even on a beach paradise in this deeply personal creature-feature.

Director: Jasper Vrancken
Cast: Mathieu Sys, Pascal Maetens, Myrthe Kramer
Belgium, 2018
In this dark and atmospheric tale from Belgium, mild-mannered Richard has a sexual fantasy he can’t shake.

Director: David Malcolm
Cast: Austin Hayden, Emmaclaire Brightlyn, Alyssa Wininger
United Kingdom, 2018
The perfect models of teen horror tropes in a killer haunted hospital setting.

Montana, GA
Director: Ryan Dickie
Cast: Brad Goslee, Lyn Mckimmey, David Young, Emery Chu
United States, 2019
Things turn for the supernatural when Lyn and his best buds share some bud in his newly inherited mountain home.

Nose Nose Nose EYES!
Director: Jiwon Moon
Cast: Juyeong Lee, Jayeong Kim, Jungse Oh
South Korea, 2017
Mother Dearest never seemed so sweetly cruel in this horror of Grand Guignol proportions.

The Obliteration Of Chickens
Director: Izzy Lee
Cast: Bracken MacLeod (narration)
United States, 2019
This nightmarish collection of stock footage consumed us as foretold…and we never really trusted chickens anyways.

Director: Zeke Farrow
Cast: Zeke Farrow, Erica McIntire, Christine Woods
United States, 2019
Zeke’s art project turns into a roller coaster of emotions and events that leave one horrified, delighted, and a little queasy. Brace yourselves, meine Freunde.

Director: Bill Whirity
Cast: Jacob Zachar, Jessica Cook, James Sieczka, Monte LaMonte, Kim House
United States, 2019
This seeming homage to Carpenter’s jealous lady takes you for an unexpected ride.

The Rat
Director: Carlen May-Mann
Cast: Isabel Shill, Collin Kelly-Sordelet
United States, 2019
Carlen May-Mann exposes the true horrors of those classic 80s-teen films, using the genre as those before her to discuss social understandings of trust.

Suicide By Sunlight
Director: Nikyatu Jusu
Cast: Natalie Paul, Motell Foster, Alexis Nichole Smith
United States, 2019
Invoking fond memories of BLADE, this day-walker’s tale to win back her daughters reminds us of the desperate humanity trapped within vampire lore.

Under Covers
Director: Michaela Olsen
Cast: Jade Shames (voiceover/hand model), Dylan Stephen Levers (voiceover/hand model) United States, 2019
The unmatched artistry of this stop-motion animation runs the creative gamut with its multiple vignettes and delightfully twisted characters.

Valerio’s Day Out
Director: Michael Arcos
Cast: Monika Leska (narration)
United States, 2019
News reports only told one side of this escaped jaguar’s story; Valerio’s truth comes out by way of his utterly trance-inducing narration—like only the best of sympathetic serial killers.

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