One Cut of the Dead

In Films by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

A zombie invasion isn’t quite what it seems in Shin’ichirô Ueda’s refreshing, funny, and clever take on a much-abused horror genre. 

The plot revolves around what appears to be the making of a low-budget zombie horror film that, mid-shoot, is suddenly invaded by real-life zombies.

Audiences could be forgiven for being somewhat underwhelmed by the concept and, when the ‘end’ credits roll after 40-minutes, you may think that you’ve just endured a very average fan-film. But bear with it: this just the opening salvo. The second act reveals not just the reasons behind the film’s apparent lack of polish, but the mind of a gloriously-devious script writer.

Shot in one-take, with subtly-nuanced performances, from a genuinely likeable cast, it’s no wonder that One Cut of the Dead was the surprise hit of last year. With a budget of just $27,000, the film has grossed $30 million domestically, despite opening on just two screens and with an advertising budget of zero. (To put that in perspective, Solo, Deadpool 2 and Black Panther grossed around $15million each on the Japanese market, despite opening on 500+ screens.) 

This is a film that restores your faith in indie story-telling. It ain’t just hype.