I like zombie movies and I like Japanese horror movies so when this popped up on Shudder it was a no brainer. I watch a lot of low budget horror, specifically a lot of low budget zombie movies. They are a mixed bag, but sometimes you get something really special. This was one of those times.
This is the best zombie movie that doesn’t actually have zombies in it that I’ve ever seen. How exactly does that work? Allow me to explain. The first part of the movie is about what you would expect from a no budget zombie flick. Shaky camera work, awkward dialogue, mediocre special effects work, and an abandoned building as a location. We watch as a low budget zombie movie is being shot, only to have an actual zombie outbreak happen. This is a story that we have seen before, so the movie wasn’t terrible original. I think it had something to do with a curse and haunting of the location where they were shooting. I was rolling my eyes but stuck with it because that is what I do. Then something amazing happened, the end credits rolled.
I’m not being sarcastic with that last sentence. We were about halfway thru when the movie ended. Then the action rolled back to a month earlier. The meat of the story is following the director and the cast as they prepare for shooting what we just watched. It is to be a live broadcast without any cuts, which explains the title. All of the flaws and issues that I was having with the movie are explained in a very amusing and entertaining fashion. This second half is the actual story and what we watched before was just setting it up. We get to see them overcome the obstacles that occur, which ties into some of the awkward dialogue and weird twists the movie takes. Let me be clear, this is a zombie movie about a crew making a zombie movie where a real zombie outbreak happens but doesn’t. Damn that wasn’t clear at all.
There isn’t much more I can say about One Cut of the Dead other than to recommend everyone go out and watch it. Though if you took my advice you already have done that before reading this review. Even if you allowed it to be spoiled for you, I think it is still worth watching. It is currently streaming on Shudder so get yourself a subscription and check it out.
© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer