One Cut of the Dead
Camera wo Tomeruna
ALT | Altered States
Gory and goofy in equal measure, Ueda Shinichiro’s gonzomedy (gonzo-zombie-comedy) starts with an unbroken 37-minute shot, serving notice of the unhinged mayhem to come when the isolated cast and crew of a low-rent zombie flick are set upon by a horde of the legitimately undead. But that’s just the beginning of the twists in Ueda’s wild romp, which proves itself an uncanny shapeshifter as it seamlessly transforms into a showbiz satire and sympathetic character study while continuing to deliver thrills at every blood-soaked turn.
You honestly might have to go back to Edgar Wright’s modern classic Shaun of the Dead to find a film that so slyly demonstrates a deep understanding of genre tropes (and precisely how to recalibrate them) and proves itself capable of almost effortlessly combining a surfeit of laughs with copious empathy and buckets of plasma.
"Marvelously inventive… A terrific Japanese horror-comedy that proves there’s somewhere the zombie apocalypse movie hasn’t yet gone… One Cut captures all the craziness and exhilaration of movie-making on a minuscule budget. High-energy performances from a cast of little-knowns are perfectly tuned to the material."—Richard Kuipers, Variety