A genuine pleasure to watch, One Cut of the Dead is a 2017 zombie horror-comedy directed by Shin’ichirô Ueda.
Originality in horror is very hard these days but in zombie horror, it’s near impossible. What more can be done with a sub-genre that has been dragged from the grave and waved around more times then any other? Enter One Cut of the Dead and its inventive take.
The movie begins mid-shoot of a very low-budget zombie film during one of its key scenes. The director, Takayuki Higurashi (Takayuki Hamatsu) is furious with his leads and the crew take a break.
As luck would have it though, an actual zombie outbreak begins and Higurashi sees it as a chance to get a real experience from his cast. He orders his camera man to not stop filming regardless of what happens.
It’s silly, cheesy and awkward as hell but it’s supposed to be. That is super-important even if it might be a bit of a drag. However, as the realisation hits that the movie has been running over 20 minutes and there hasn’t been a single cut, it becomes clear that this isn’t what you expect as all. The proof coming as the credits begin to roll and we cut to one month previously.
What have we just watched? A one-off event for a zombie-themed TV channel where the aim was to broadcast live and without a single cut. How could such a thing be accomplished? That is now what we’re going to see and it is utterly brilliant.
The originality in this idea deserves such plaudits and it really is impressive. Yet that is not the only positives about it. There are so many other things to enjoy, firstly the absolute craziness that is the filming of the one-shot show. So many clever ideas, so many funny moments and so many heart-warming and endearing interactions. One Cut of the Dead is as much a comedy as it is a horror, yet it nails the balance.
It’s a fascinating meta-take on film-making done with its tongue firmly planted in its un-dead cheek. Make sure you see this film.
One Cut of the Dead
The Final Score - 9/10