- Starring: Takayuki Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama
- Directed by: Shin’ichirô Ueda
- Written by: Shin’ichirô Ueda (screenplay), Ryoichi Wada (play)
- Runtime: 96 minutes
- Rated: Not rated (contains adult language, comic violence, gore)
- Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
Available on DVD and DVD/Blu-ray SteelBook on June 2, 2020 from RLJE Films
One Cut Of The Dead had me fooled, and I’m not afraid to admit that. During the first third of the film, I turned it off and quit it was that bad. But I came back to it and gave it another try and I’m so glad I did. Keep reading on to find out why.
To look at the film simply, it comes in three acts. Act one is a 37-minute sequence filmed in one cut from start to finish. It tells the story of a film crew shooting a super low budget Japanese zombie film when the filmmakers are attacked by real zombies and bloody carnage ensues. The film features a tyrannical director (Takayuki Hamatsu) who has to resort to yelling and berating his actors to try to get better performances from them. Also, as it turns out, the deserted location where the film is being shot is a former top-secret military location where experiments were performed to raise the dead.
The film’s fake zombie film turns real when zombies attack the crew and they have to try to escape with their lives. The film’s director uses the real mayhem to his advantage of filming a more realistic horror film at his crew’s expense.
Act two jumps back in time to one month before the film begins shooting. It tells the story of pre-production on the zombie film. It shows all the trials and tribulations that filmmakers face getting a movie ready to shoot.
Act three returns to the actual filming of the zombie movie, but this time, it’s from a totally different perspective and tells a completely different story about how it was filmed. To say more about each act would be a huge disservice to anyone who hasn’t seen the film yet and would contain spoilers. You will enjoy the film so much more if you don’t know what’s coming ahead.
The real reason the film works so well is it’s about the art of filmmaking. It turns out to be a film within a film, within a film. Think the Russian nesting dolls where one is inside another, and another, and so on. The film is a testament to low-budget movie making and shows that films aren’t perfect and things go wrong, we as viewers just never see the things that go wrong.
The film is heartwarming and the characters are exceptionally written. You end up caring about each one of them.
I have to say, don’t give up on this film like I almost did. Yes, the first act is a really shitty zombie story but if you get past act one, you’ll see everything there is to love about this movie, and love it you will.
One Cut Of The Dead DVD/Blu-ray Steelbook includes the following bonus features:
· POM! Instructional Video
· Photo Gallery
The DVD/Blu-ray SteelBook also includes the Go-Pro Version of the film.
Film – 4 Pentagrams
Disc – 2.5 Pentagrams