Writer: Shin’ichiro Ueda (Screenplay) Ryoichi Wada (Play)
Starring: Takayuki Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Hiroshi Ichihara, Mao
Plot: Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility, when they are attacked by real zombies.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Truly Unique Zombie Movie
Story: One Cut of the Dead starts on the set of a low budget zombie movie where Higurashi (Hamatsu) is seeking perfection from his stars Chinatsu (Akiyama) and Ko (Nagaya), which is seeing him push them to the limits. Calling for a break we see the actors bond with Nao (Shuhama), only to find themselves coming under attack by real zombies.
Higurashi has been using this location because of the rumours, which he now wants to help him get a more authentic horror movie, which turns into a real battle to survive the making of a horror movie.
Thoughts on One Cut of the Dead
Characters – Director Higurashi is the man trying to make this movie work, he is getting tired of his performers not showing enough fear, he pushes them to the limits with real zombies, which soon give him his perfect picture. Chinatsu is the star of the movie being made, she struggles to show the fear to start with, until she finds herself in a real zombie film. Nao is the production assistant that teaches the actors about the rumours about the area and joins in the fight against the real zombies. Ko is the lead actor in the film being made, he is meant to be the reluctant hero when the zombie attack.
Performances – This is a movie that has performances that do give the actors a lot to do, with a lot of different angles to be seen, everything is wonderful from the cast, that truly makes sense by the end of the film.
Story – The story here follows the production of the low budget zombie movie until things take a turn, from fiction to reality. This is a story that is a breath of fresh air, because it goes in a direction you won’t see coming and does seem like something we needed for the zombie genre of film. The story does however start by feeling like something we have seen before, until we go in the different direction. We do get some wall breaking moments which adds everything to this story, which will make it one of the most original and smart ideas you will ever see.
Comedy/Horror – The comedy in the film comes from most of the second half of the film, which will be constant laughs, the horror in the film does seem like a routine zombie movie, until things change, it doesn’t get as scary as it could, but then it doesn’t need to be.
Settings – The film uses the settings perfectly to add to the film, we get to see so much from the abandoned warehouse setting, which only grows in the later parts of the film.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are everything you need for a low budget production, it is used to create and add extra comedy to the film too.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the most original and ingenious by turning everything you think you know, leaving you laughing with pure enjoyment of the events of the film.
Overall: Ingenious Zombie Movie.
One Cut for the Dead will get a one-night event in the US on the 17th September.