Following its hit festival run, an accidental bootleg release on Amazon, a stint on Shudder, and its DVD release from RLJE, One Cut of the Dead has just gotten a Steelbook release. I happened to get my hands on one and I’m ready to hand down my verdict in this review.
The film follows a cast and crew filming a tv episode that sets out to capture the story in one single take. As if that wouldn’t be hard enough on its own, the crew and cast encounter real zombies and have to fight to survive.
Written and directed by Shin’ichirô Ueda (Special Actors), the zomcom stars Harumi Shuhama (Ichigo no uta), Takayuki Hamatsu (“Followers”), and Yuzuki Akiyama (“Kamen raidâ Jiô”) and is based on the play, “Ghost in the Box!” written by Ryoichi Wada.
So, here’s what you need to know, the movie features three sections, first, we see the episode in its entirety; second, we see the producers hire the director, cast, and crew and watch them practice filming; finally, we witness the entire process of filming. The final section is my favorite. It’s where the humor really kicks in. My least favorite has to be the episode. My issue is that the found footage style is really rough. It looks like something filmed on a home camcorder, while that’s okay in general, there are a lot of extremely rough, rapid sections that left me feeling a bit nauseous. It also made it hard to see some of the action.
You might have the urge to abandon the movie while watching the first part, DON’T. It gets better as you watch the cast and crew behind-the-scenes. In fact, it gets pretty hilarious as they scramble to keep rolling while things continue to escalate into chaos, including a scene with some seriously messed up bathroom humor.
While yes, this is technically a zombie movie, it’s more about the process of filming and the behind-the-scenes chaos that we rarely get to see.
The Steelbook itself is killer. The art is fantastic. It’s bold and bright and has great details like the red metallic blood splatter on a yellow backdrop (the image above really doesn’t do it justice). It’s very eye-catching. The characters on the cover are splendidly detailed right down to the director’s watch and the actress’ dirty sneakers. The artist did an amazing job of capturing the cast realistically. I also like the metallic blood and zombies’ arms continue on the inside. The disc has the same exact look as the case. I like that. The side, which is the first thing you’ll look for in your collection will jump out at you, mimicking the yellow cover, meaning you won’t have to hunt for it among your stacks of movies.
But wait, there’s more, the Steelbook has a special bonus feature, a Go-Pro version of the film that you won’t find anywhere else. The Steelbook, Blu-ray, and DVD all feature bonuses that include, Outtakes, POM! Instructional Video, and a Photo Gallery.
One Cut of the Dead is a fun flick that’s a unique spin on the zombie genre, and that goes a long way these days. Overall, it’s a great indie film that make you laugh, all while seeing zombie killing action, blood, and gore. It gets a solid 4 out 5. It’s definitely a movie you can really sink your teeth into. Be sure to get your copy of One Cut of the Dead, now out on Steelbook which would be a great addition to any movie collection.