Ever since I’ve heard the buzz from last year’s Fantastic Fest, I’ve been looking forward to seeing One Cut of the Dead; thankfully, my anticipation was not in vain. Shot on a micro-budget of $25,000 by writer/director Shin’ichirô Ueda, One Cut of the Dead (or Kamera o Tomeru na!) stars Hamatsu Takayuki as Higurashi, the angry/violent director of a low-budget zombie film featuring teenagers Chinastu (Akiyama Yuzuki) and Ko (Nagaya Kazuaki).
When Higurashi becomes irate at the lack of energy he feels that he’s getting from his female lead Chinatsu, he violently stops the shoot and storms off after pushing Ko out of the way. While the cast is on a break, waiting for the director to cool off and come back to the shoot, the teens are having a chat session with makeup artist Nao (Syuhama Harumi) about local legends and curses when suddenly real zombies attack the set!
Higurashi is back just in time, and with camera in tow, as he shouts “action” on the real action; joyfully recording the real gore that is taking place on his set since he finally has the performances he’s wanted. But things are strange…people who aren’t in the film wander into the camera’s view, we get camera shots from an angle that doesn’t correspond to the location of Higurashi leading us to wonder who else is filming, wait…why is that zombie throwing up? and even more things happening that make you go hmmm.
A half hour later, the credits start rolling and immediately I think, “Huh? This film is only a half-hour long?” That’s when we get a legitimate “oh shit” moment…actually, One Cut of the Dead is chock-full of “oh shit” moments, when you’re not too busy belly laughing.
The next hour explains what you witnessed in the first half-hour which I will not spoil here – I couldn’t possibly do it justice with a synopsis anyway, you just need to see this. This is easily the funniest zombie film since Shaun of the Dead and deserves all of the love that it can get. Special kudos have to be given to Syuhama Harumi who came out of nowhere in this film to literally leave my stomach hurting from laughing so hard.
Truly an awesome time that I cannot recommend any more highly. Bravo.
Stay gory my friends.