Breathing an air of freshness into its ever deteriorating subgenre, One Cut of the Dead is a work of pure exhilarating madness that’s honest, heartfelt & hysterical in both its approach & execution, and expertly illustrates the art of filmmaking & unexpected perks of on-the-spot improvisation with its self-reflexive narrative.
The story follows a filmmaking crew that finds themselves in the middle of a real zombie apocalypse while shooting a low-budget zombie horror in an abandoned facility. The only one delighted by this actual life-n-death scenario is the director who insists & makes sure that they keep the camera rolling at all times no matter what happens.
Written & directed by Shin’ichirô Ueda, the film opens with a 40-mins long single take that comes packed with hilarious surprises but Ueda also makes sure there’s enough fuel left in the tank for the remainder of the journey & keeps us invested until the very end. It’s a rollicking ride from the get go but the pay off is wholly & definitely satisfying.
Despite the low-budget & an inexperienced cast, there is neither any shortage of inventiveness nor any lack of commitment from the actors. While the middle act isn’t as wild & rambunctious as the one preceding it, it nonetheless helps pave an excellent groundwork for what follows. Everyone embraces their roles and seems to be having fun playing them.
On an overall scale, One Cut of the Dead is an endlessly fun & wildly entertaining horror comedy that’s crafted with affection, executed with passion & presented in high-spirited fashion to finish as one of the breeziest & funniest films of the year. A labour of love that takes its premise and simply runs with it, Shin’ichirô Ueda’s breakthrough feature is one infectious ride you can’t afford to miss.
Rating: 4 Stars