‘One Cut Of The Dead’ Is A Zomcom Of Slapstick Madness

Warning: This contains spoilers

A movie like One Cut of the Dead could easily be one of the best and worst zombie movies depending on how you view it.

It begins with a 37-minute long poorly made and filmed movie within in a movie as a low-budget Japanese horror production is plagued by real zombies. Takayuki Higurashi (Takayuki Hamatsu) is a director on a move titled True Fear in an abandoned water filtration plant who is upset when his actors are getting what he needs. The plant itself has a dark past. And during a break in filming, the cameraman Manabu Hosoda (Manabu Hosoi) turns into a zombie himself and begins attacking the cast and crew.

The actress Chinatsu (Yuzuki Akiyama), actor Ko (Kazuaki Nagaya) and make-up artist Nao (Harumbi Shuhamba) are being chased around the plant both inside and the grounds outside. Kasahara (Hiroshi Ichihara) is the assistant director on the movie who is first attacked by Hosoda and they both terrorized the others. But at the same time, Higurashi pops up to scream madly at the actors on how they should react as he wants realism.

It’s a really bad 37 minutes and if you can get through it, you realize that it’s intentionally terrible. It’s all part of a TV program Japanese TV executives are planning to run live and non-stop. It flashes back to an undisclosed time prior to the filming. They’ve tapped the struggling filmmaker Higurashi who is a filmmaker in real life and his wife is the actress Harumi Higurashi who played Nao.

At this point, it’s a comedy about a horror TV program about horror movie production. It’s ludicrous in its plotting and pacing but it works, especially when we learn certain scenes about the the actors, which explains why things seem off in the first 37 minutes. It’s not the first movie to show the hardships of making a TV show or movie but it still manages to provide some laughs.

One Cut of the Dead was made for about three-million yen or $25,000 in American dollars. It was raised through crowd-funding and was shot over eight days with the opening sequence being filmed in six takes. Shin’ichiro Ueda wrote, directed and edited the movie. Released during the digital age in the Fall of 2017, it spread throughout the world by word of mouth by making over $31 million.

For a zombie movie, there’s really nothing more you can do except make a movie about making a zombie movie. It works on its Murphy’s Law idea that during a live broadcast of a program, everything that could go wrong does go wrong. I won’t give so much away but there’s a reason a sound is heard off camera or why an actor is looking and acting a certain way.

While the opening sequence is hard to sit through, it helps ahead of time knowing that it’s not the entire movie. It’s a movie that’s not for everyone. I’m sure some people wouldn’t want to sit through the opening sequence after a while. But if you’ve seen a lot of bad low-budget horror movies, it kinda pays like a homage with the goofs and the poor special effects.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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