2017 96 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Udine Far East Film Festival 2018, New York Asian Film Festival 2018
“Marvelously inventive horror-comedy… breathes new life into the zombie genre”Peter Kuipers, VARIETY
A low-budget zombie movie shot in one take, about a film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie in one take, sounds bad. Add the fact that the indie film crew stumbles across real-life zombies, and ONE CUT OF THE DEAD
sounds worse. But this isn’t just a zombie movie, or even a one-take stunt. Instead, it’s Japan’s smartest comedy of the year, a father-daughter story, a movie about the value of perservance, and a meta-puzzle box that unpacks itself onscreen, one severed limb at a time.
“What an absurd idea!” director Higurashi (Takayumi Hamatsu) exclaims when the Zombie Channel hires him to helm a live broadcast of a one-take zombie movie. He’s being polite. For the first third of this movie, you’re going to be watching low-budget actors run around a low-budget location fighting low-budget zombies, and you’ll probably start planning to punch the first Fantasia programmer you see. Then the movie sputters to a halt in a haphazard pile-up of gut chomps and butt shots, the credits roll, and the movie starts over again from an entirely different point of view. Suddenly, director Higurashi’s motto of working “cheap, fast, but average” becomes a life-affirming mantra, way-too-method actress Harumi Syuhama’s shout of “Pom!” becomes an absurdist battle cry, meta-gags start flying like clotted blood, walk-on actors gain three dimensions, and then, just when you’ve gotten used to that, the movie starts over – again – showing everything you’ve seen before from yet another angle. Restoring your trust in the Fantasia programmers, ONE CUT
turns out to be not another zombie movie after all, but comedy gold. – Grady Hendrix