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One Cut of the Dead - Blu-ray review
By James Whittington, Sunday 24th February 2019
One Cut of the Dead
Certificate 15
Third Window Films

One of the finest movies that I've ever seen at FrightFest, One Cut of the Dead (Kamera o tomeru na!) is a film which takes the "meta movie" idea and pushes it right up to 11. With a budget said to have been around $27,000 it has raked in far more across the globe and taken its rightful place in countless "greatest film" lists from the last 12 months.

Believe me, you need to believe the hype.

The movie opens in a run-down, abandoned warehouse where a film crew are making a zombie film... Yet, this is no ordinary warehouse. It's been said that it's the site of where military experiments took place... Out of nowhere, real zombies arrive and terrorize the crew! Then we cut and travel back in time by a month and discover how this "happening" happened...

This may sound like the plot of a cliched zombie film, but One Cut of the Dead is something completely different! Starting off with a non-stop, one-take 37-minute shot, the film then completely switches direction and turns the zombie genre completely upside down into a charming, comedy that focuses on itself and the craziness of the movie industry itself. Yes, this is a film within a film but done with such care, such attention to detail that it feels totally fresh.

What makes it so special? We the expertly produced 37-minute first shot is just sublime to watch. A true piece of art, it's a celebration of how a working crew can bond and become one. It stands up to multiple viewings mainly because of the tight script and superb performances.

Director Shinichiro Ueda and his cast of non-professionals have created something fresh, something highly original and entertaining which deservedly has become both a massive hit not just in Japan, but across the world! The interplay between the cast is natural, very real and though some are obvious caricatures of industry figures, they are played totally straight.

Don't listen to comparisons to other Zombie comedies like Shaun of the Dead, this is unfair as that film is a direct horror/comedy, One Cut of the Dead is far deeper than that and where SotD fizzles out towards the end (sorry, but I feel it does) this film just keeps on going, delivering adrenaline infused sequences of a team trying to make their own kind of art.

This special edition Blu-ray has two hours of extras which includes an interview with director Shinichiro Ueda, an excellent Making Of, the short movie Take 8 which is quite brilliant, Outtakes, a Go-Pro version of one-cut, the POM TV Instruction Video and the trailer.

Don't miss out on One Cut of the Dead, it really is something very special.


Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST
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