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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

One Cut of the Dead

(Kamera o tomeru na!)
2017 | Japan | 96 min | More...
A still from One Cut of the Dead (2017)
  • Watched on B-: 4 stars (out of 5)
    on Tue Mar 9, 2021 via Shudder

    Give it a chance. It offers more than the first thirty minutes suggest. Saying more invites spoilers.

    Still reading? Last warning…

    Okay, first, it’s not a zombie movie. Well, not really. Yes, the first thirty minutes comprise a low-budget zombie film presented in grainy 16mm and shot in one continuous take. But once that film ends, we jump back several months. Now in crisp HD, we witness the film’s inception. This isn’t a behind-the-scenes documentary, but the real narrative story. Lead Takayuki Hamatsu shines as a brow-beaten director who, as we learn, still harbors a passion for making movies.

    And that passion proves the film’s heart. The third act, which reveals the chaos behind the opening thirty-minute film, proves a rollercoaster ride of laughs, tension, and joy. I didn’t realize how invested I was until the finale’s quiet triumph left me smiling from ear to ear. Granted, it didn’t hurt that I enjoyed the thirty-minute opening too, finding it funny in its own right.