One Cut of the Dead
Japan | 2017 | D: Shin'ichirô Ueda
I am going to start this write-up by announcing that this is one of the best and most original horror comedy movies you will ever see – but you need to watch it all the way through for the pay off.
I went into this movie blind – only attracted to the thumbnail and the name on the streaming site. Being Japanese, I knew I would be in for one hell of a good ride – I just really wasn’t expecting this.
It became apparent about 5 minutes into the movie that the camera was still on its first take. Then one of the actors broke the fourth wall, but it didn’t seem out of place. 15 minutes later and it was still on the first take – the first cut. Its about then that I realised how utterly brilliant this movie is.
Just like I love this movie
Yes, it’s a b-grade movie. But no one said those movies can’t be good. There is no CGI here at all – its all pure make up effects. Any KNB fans out there will love this.
Based on a play called “Ghost In the Box” and clearly starring what appears to be very talented stage/theatre actors, you are treated to an absolute ride for the first 30 minutes of the movie. It is brilliant, even though at first it might not appear to be.
Poking fun at the fakeness of cinema
Then, after the first 30 minutes, the real movie starts. And its here we are introduced to the eclectic cast, wacky (typically-Japanese) scenarios and a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look that would make any proper BTS featurette blush.
This movie is a clear labour of love from the cast and especially the crew. The first 30 minutes are then brilliantly put into context in the remaining hour of the film, and many times during that last hour you will laugh along or go “Oooh that’s what happened”.
It's a crew crew shot!
And then right at the end, it breaks the fourth wall yet again, providing the audience with another genuine glimpse at how this brilliant movie came to be.
I can’t thoroughly recommend this enough. If you love zombie films, if you loved horror comedies, if you love odd films and if you love Japanese films – then this movie is your ticket.