Today: May 18, 2024

One Cut of the Dead

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. 

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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