One Cut of the Dead – Japan, 2017

One Cut of the Dead – aka Kamera o tomeru na! – is a 2017 Japanese comedy horror feature film written and directed by Shuichiro Ueda [Shin’ichirô Ueda]. The movie stars Yuzuki Akiyama, Takuya Fujimura, Ayana Gôda, Takayuki Hamatsu, Manabu Hosoi, Hiroshi Ichihara, Satoshi Iwagô, Sakina Iwaji and Mao.

Variety has reported that Patrick Cunningham, a Japan-based American producer is already planning a US remake of One Cut of the Dead.

The original film garnered a nominal two-screen release in Japan last June. However, great reviews ensured that it was soon shown in many more movies houses several months. By the end of 2018, the indie movie’s Japanese gross had risen to a whopping $26.3 million. That is nearly 1,000 times its production budget of just $27,000.

Cunningham commented: “Most U.S. and Western audiences won’t get to see it. It has only a limited release outside Japan and is not being released in the U.S. That’s such a shame for a film this fun and original.” He added: “The goal is for as many people as possible to see it,”

Plot:

A low-budget film crew about to shoot a zombie movie at a desolate warehouse is suddenly attacked by real zombies. The uncompromising director forces them to confront the living dead head-on for the sake of capturing it all in one single take, with no consideration for their lives…

Reviews:

The acting follows the same preposterous rules of the production, with the actors having to play double roles (their parts in the film and their actual selves), in caricature fashion. ” Asian Film Vault

“Frankly, this is an exceptionally enjoyable effort that finally offers a unique take on the zombie genre, which comes from plenty of strong characters and witty situations. This is definitely worthwhile for those that are trying for something new in the genre or can appreciate bizarre zombie comedies…” Asian Movie Pulse

“It’s a long way to go for the gags to get so much better, too long for One Cut of the Dead to be anything close to start-to-finish satisfying. If you can stick it out though, the film’s infectious buoyancy pulls some late tricks out of its sleeve that you’d never suspect it has hidden up there.” Culture Crypt

“It’s the kind of gory, goofy insanity that Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi peddled in during their earlier days, where the insanity keeps ratcheting up until it reaches a fever pitch and you have no idea where the madman directing is going to take you next.” Daily Dead

“The little details pivoting on Higurashi’s on-the-fly directing, the ensuing mayhem, delighted execs that only see the final product, reality bleeding into the art and the clever callbacks that change our perception of what came before combine for a delightful comedy about the joys as well as the frustrations that go with genre filmmaking.” The Hollywood Reporter

“Thirty-seven minutes in, just as the joke is wearing thin, the story resets, with a fresh perspective that infuses the proceedings with a new energy and meaning. The film becomes even funnier, while making us appreciate the dedication, ingenuity and passion of its on-screen movie folk — and the unknowns who play them.” The Japan Times

” …it’s god damn phenomenal. Absolutely fantastic. This film is one of the reasons we watch movies. I loved it. It’s smart and clever and an absolute love letter to film-making. It’s so funny and human. It’s so good. If you get the chance to see this film, leap at it.” Jonathan Hansen, Lewton Bus

“At its core, it’s a zombie comedy made on a low-budget but it is genuinely so much more than that. It possesses great heart, interesting characters and as mentioned previously, is the director’s way of communicating the trials, passion, and joy of creating art in a new and thoroughly entertaining approach that you may well have not experienced before. ” Starburst

One Cut captures all the craziness and exhilaration of movie-making on a minuscule budget. High-energy performances from a cast of little-knowns are perfectly tuned to the material. The outstanding technical package is a great example of how to create a Poverty Row look for what’s actually a very sophisticated filmmaking exercise.” Variety

“Hilarious, self aware, and filled with homages to classic horror, One Cut of the Dead is an oddly warmhearted comedy in which the zombies are the least of anyone’s worries.” Windows on Worlds

Running time:

96 minutes

More Japanese horror

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