ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

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
MORE REVIEWS
Knives and Skin - Original Soundtrack
Posted on Thursday 30th January 2020
Knives and Skin - Original Soundtrack
Nick Zinner
Lakeshore Records

Knives and Skin from director Jennifer Reeder was one of the strongest and most original movies from FrightFest 2019. Its hypnotic and sometimes surreal plot contained some superb set-pieces of nerve tightening drama. To make the film even more memorable it had a score which added a delicate beauty to the whole experience.

Part suburban nightmare, part neon-soaked teenage fever dream, this tantalizing mystery traces the wave of fear and distrust that spreads across a small Midwestern town in the wake of a high school girl's mysterious disappearance. As the loneliness and darkness lurking beneath the ve...

SHARE: READ MORE
Edge of the Axe - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 26th January 2020
Edge of the Axe
Arrow Video
Certificate 18

I must admit, Edge of the Axe is one of those late 80s slashers that passed me by when it was originally released. Maybe because I was tired of the genre by then, maybe because the concept of it being a Euro/American horror just didn't appeal to me, or just maybe there was something better to rent out that week! Anyway, this cut on its original release in 1989 due to the amount of axe on show but thanks to Arrow video we can now view uncut with all chopper moments intact!

The rural community of Paddock County is being rocked by the crazed exploits of an axe-wielding psychopath, who stalks the night in a black trenchcoat and mask. A...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Beyond - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 13th January 2020
The Beyond
Shameless
Certificate 18

There are some movies that horror fans have multiple copies of, for me it's The Evil Dead, Halloween and Zombie Flesh Eaters. I have loads of editions in my loft on tape, laserdisc, DVDs, and now lovely Blu-rays and, where I can, 4K editions. Lucio Fulci's The Beyond (1981) is one movie that could also take up a shelf for all the different editions and versions I own as for some reason I'm drawn to it whenever I see a new release, even if it's just for a new cover!

This time around though Shameless have something rather cool and a bit different for fans of this Fulci classic but more on this later. For those new to this title, The Beyond i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Vault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy (Coloured Vinyl)
Posted on Thursday 19th December 2019
Gates of Hell Front cover with stickerVault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy
Demon Records

Following the success of the first two Vault of Horror vinyl releases, Demon Records have pulled out all the stops to deliver another sublime piece of audio that should form part of everyone's Christmas list this year.

Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy of movies delivered some of the most controversial pieces of horror cinema at a time when horror was entering the "video nasties" period and the genre, as a whole, was frowned upon. Fulci grabbed this chance to push the envelope further with movies which celebrated the limits horror could go to and by doing so opened the doors - ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Anna and the Apocalypse - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 9th December 2019
Anna and the Apocalypse Blu-ray Second Sight Films Certificate 15

Musical horror movies aren't a new thing. In fact, there's been far more than you first think such as Stage Fright (2014), Cannibal: The Musical (1993) and Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) and all became smallish cult hits. The problem with most is that sometimes the storyline suffers from trying to force as many songs in as possible. There's no such issue with Anna and the Apocalypse.

This wonderfully wacky piece of seasonal cinema has all that you'd want and more from a rom-zom-sing-a-long-com!

It's Christmas, is under threat from a zombie apocalypse, forcing Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to fight, slas...

SHARE: READ MORE
Judy and Punch - Film review
Posted on Wednesday 20th November 2019
Judy and Punch
Picturehouse Entertainment
Certificate 15
Release 22nd November

If you're tired of sequels, predictable plots and unimaginative situations then writer/director Mirrah Foulkes has something really special for you! By turning the traditional story of Punch and Judy totally on its head, she has delivered a directorial debut that is bold, brash and bloody good fun.

In the outlandish town of Seaside, located nowhere near the coast, puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman) are trying to resurrect their marionette show. The show is a hit due to Judy's superior puppeteering, but Punch's driving ambition and penchant for a drink lead to an ill-fat...

SHARE: READ MORE
Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Posted on Friday 18th October 2019
Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Georges Boukoff, Anthony d'Amario and Ed Rig
The Omega Productions Records

Pascal Laugier's Ghostland (known in the UK as Incident in a Ghostland) was one of the highlights of FrightFest 2018 and proved once and for all that this director was a master of the sinister and murky.

Produced ten years after Martyrs, the movie was more considered in its tension building and was in its strange way a contained a classic fairy tale structure.

The movie concerns the aftermath of a brutal home invasion experienced by Beth along with mother and sister Vera. Forward a few years and Beth is now a horror novelist and has found solace in her w...

SHARE: READ MORE
Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Posted on Thursday 17th October 2019

Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Sacred Bones
Double Vinyl

Halloween 2018 was a box-office hit and gave the franchise a much-needed tension injection. It saw the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and that of original director John Carpenter though he wasn't in the driving seat for this one. Instead he, alongside his son and godson, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies created the score and delivered an atmospheric piece which retained whispers to the past without drowning in them.

The soundtrack album was a hit as much as the movie was debuting at #12 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 on the vinyl chart, o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Asylum - Blu-ray review
Posted on Saturday 13th July 2019
Asylum
Second Sight Films
Certificate 15

When you read that a film has the writer Robert Bloch (Psycho) and been directed by Roy Ward Baker your interest will be pricked. When you also learn it's from Amicus the you know it's a "must have" purchase. This is exactly what Asylum is, a cracker of an anthology movie which has been given the special HD treatment thanks to those lovely people at Second Sight Films.

Asylum boasts an all-star cast including Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Robert Powell, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse and Charlotte Rampling each who play this bizarre but entertaining movie perfectly straight. This was the fifth portmanteau film from Amicus and is a fine and beaut...

SHARE: READ MORE
The House that Dripped Blood - Blu-ray review
Posted on Saturday 13th July 2019
The House that Dripped Blood
Second Sight Films
Certificate 15

Amicus was famous for its anthology movies, and The House that Dripped Blood was one of their most famous ones. It contains a few good scares, as well as more than its fair share of in-jokes and homages to horror cinema's past. Written by Psycho author Robert Block and directed by newcomer Peter Duffell, the film boasts the usual Amicus star line-up coupled with some great set designs and an over enthusiastic score. Oh, a spoiler here, there's no blood!

Scotland Yard's Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) investigates a mysterious mansion with a ghoulish history and a chilling fate for its occupants in four tales...

SHARE: READ MORE
Black Moon Rising - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 22nd April 2019
Black Moon Rising CoverBlack Moon Rising
Arrow Video
Cetificate 15

Most Sci-Fi thrillers from the 80s often suffered from lack of budget and lack of imagination as they tried to bring visions of tomorrow to an audience weaned on a diet of Star Wars and other such fodder. Black Moon Rising was different, it kept its hopes high but kept itself in the here and now and viewing some thirty plus years after its initial release only fashion and the odd dodgy piece of SFX lets its age be known.

Tommy Lee Jones stars as Sam Quint, a master thief working for the government who hides a computer disc loaded with evidence of corporate crime in a prototype supercar, the Black Moon...

SHARE: READ MORE
Scared Stiff - Blu-ray review
Posted on Thursday 11th April 2019
Scared Stiff
Arrow Video
Certificate TBA

Arrow Video continue to trawl the vaults of 80 horror fodder and have dug up a title that's taken too long to come to Blu-ray, Richard Friedman's Scared Stiff. Starring Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens the movie follows the classic 80s formula of slow-burn, some gore, more slow-burn and cracking final reel, it's a classic well worth getting re-acquainted with.

Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries wi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Reviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012
PICK OF THE WEEK
Red State
RED STATE
Wednesday 4th March
10.50 PM
Dr Terror's House of Horrors
DR TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS
Sunday 23rd February
6.35 PM
Discarnate
DISCARNATE
Sunday 23rd February
10.55 PM