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Jack’s Freaky Flick Pick | Movie Review: One Cut of the Dead (2017)

First, a quick introduction: Hello ghosts and ghouls–I’m Jackson and I love horror movies! Some critically acclaimed, some cult classics, and plenty that you might have never even heard of. In this weekly column, I’ll be reviewing my favorite scary movies and exploring the cinematic horror genre. No film is too disturbing, gory, haunted, slimy, sinister, depraved, or ridiculous for me to consider. Now you’ve been warned…

In this Japanese horror comedy directed by Shinichirou Ueda, an amateur filmmaker shoots a zombie flick, but struggles to get his cast to act convincingly. Unfortunately for the actors, when real zombies start crashing the set, this crazy director won’t stop the camera!

An indie gem that did so well as to make back over 1,000 times its budget, One Cut of the Dead is all at once a comedy, horror, and love letter to filmmaking. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch the trailer for this one, because it gives away the biggest twist of the film. One Cut is a movie that rewards you for paying attention, so I don’t want to give anything away. Best to go in cold. Even if you don’t enjoy it 30 minutes in, give it a little longer, because it’s the twist in this movie that really makes it so original and entertaining. 

Oftentimes, low budget, amateur projects such as Ueda’s languish in obscurity for a while, are doomed to be eternally forgotten, or—if the artists are lucky—are so bad that they’re good (like Birdemic– a must for good bad movie lovers). Not One Cut. This movie has got heart, it’s got laughs, it’s got a deceivingly fresh premise, and it’s got what I swear is a Japanese cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” And not only is it fun to watch, but it is also technically impressive. The first thirty or so minutes of the movie are all filmed in one take (think of the seamless cinematography and choreography of Iñárritu’s Birdman or Mendes’ 1917). This, among other things, makes this film quite the achievement. It’s hard to do One Cut justice in a spoiler-free review…. So what are you waiting for? Go watch it!

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL MISS IF YOU COVER YOUR EYES

A big human pyramid

An actor who actually got drunk to play the role of a drunk

Someone getting makeup put on them as they’re pooping

A gratuitously long shot of a girl screaming

A feel-good family moment

And so much more…

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