One Cut of The Dead (2019)

ONE CUT OF THE DEAD (Kamera o tomeru na!)Director: Shinichiro Ueda
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Starring: Takayuki Hamatsu, Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Yuzuki Akiyama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Manabu Hosoi

It feels all too common to encounter complaints about the lack of originality cinema offers nowadays, but one can be assured bright, new, and exciting ideas will be made available outside of Hollywood. As 2019 begins, Shinichiro Ueda offers just that with a multi-layered, phenomenally executed entry into the zombie genre.

As the film opens up, we see a film crew in the process of making a low budget zombie movie. The actors are trying their best to deliver the material, but are beset by their hack director (Takayuki Hamatsu), whose desperation to make this feature into a hit has spilled over into an argumentative and hostile nature. Their chosen location to film is an abandoned water filtration plant, which was said to have been used during the war to reanimate deceased soldiers. A real zombie apocalypse begins on the set to the crews horror, which delights the director, who is insistent to keep filming whatever happens.

In an effort to put their best foot forward, this feature opens with the most talked about, and technically impressive, aspect of the film. A one take which lasts for a 37 minute period, making for an utterly tense viewing experience, with little chance to catch ones breath among the gripping happenings unfolding before our very eyes. One would be forgiven for finding what occurs to be derivative, but worry not, for the next two acts will set that straight. To spoil anything would be wrong, as it's a fantastic experience worth going into knowing as little as possible.

What can be said is, what the next two acts grants adds brilliant layers to the unforgettable opening, all delivered in such a satisfying, and exquisitely smart, manner. It's here where strong characterisation is made apparent, a magnificent sense of humour is revealed, and the beating heart within is honestly felt, all while delivering an absolute love for filmmaking, and played by an truly superb cast. All of these elements add up to a spectacular whole, making for a genre entry unlike anything else you'll see.

A distinctive take on a familiar subgenre, One Cut of The Dead breathes new life into the undead in a way that deserves to be seen. The brainchild of a unique mind, enjoy this fresh take before the inevitable Hollywood remake is announced.