Tuesday, September 10, 2019

One Cut of the Dead (カメラを止めるな!) - Movie Review

The Movie: One Cut of the Dead (カメラを止めるな!)

The Director: Shin'ichirô Ueda

The Cast: Hamatsu Takayuki, Harumi Shuhama, Nagaya Kazuaki, Yuzuki Akiyama, Takuya Fujimura, Ayana Gôda

The Story: A film crew gets attacked by zombies while making a zombie movie in a 37 minute single shot sequence. The rest of the movie just gets crazier and more fun all the way to the very end.

The Review:
This movie gave me so much happiness and genuine laughter, I had tears of joy when it was all said and done and I sat there with this wonderful feeling that was just magical. The opening 37 minute single take sequence is freaking brilliant and I enjoyed every moment of it but the real magic is how the rest of the movie plays out. So much of the humor and entertainment comes from the layers of surprises and hilarious reveals, I can't really talk about what makes the movie so special, you just have to see it for yourself.

The entire cast and crew created exactly what I hope to experience every time I sit down to watch a movie and lead actress Yuzuki Akiyama led the way with a stellar performance. Having to be the centerpiece of a 37 minute single take short film and then expanding the character over the rest of the movie had to be a challenging task and she gives it everything she has. Takayuki Hamatsu also stands out as the in movie director of the zombie film as he displays an earnest enthusiasm that is both endearing and entertaining. Finally, Harumi Shuhama turns in a star making performance that I would describe as what if Lucille Ball starred in a zombie movie. "POM!"

If you're wondering who are these people and where did they come from, it's because this production is the pure definition of independent film making. The biggest name in the production is Yuzuki Akiyama who had a brief career as a junior idol in Japan before switching gears to theater and, outside of her talents, the rest of the cast are relatively unknown even in Japan. The movie itself was made in eight days after director Shin'ichirô Ueda participated in workshops at the Enbu Seminar drama school in Tokyo. Seriously, this was basically a class project that turned into a cinema sensation playing in theaters across Japan and film festivals around the world.

This movie is one of the most authentically funny movies I have seen in a long time and it's one of the most original zombie movies I have ever seen. If you are a film maker, you absolutely have to watch this movie as so much of the humor comes from the fictional film makers and the stressful nature of the film making process that hits home in so many ways. If you are a horror fan, you have to see this movie as it picks apart the genre while also showing the respect and honor it deserves. I loved the entire cast, they each seemed to have such passion and enthusiasm like they knew they were making something special and all of it comes across on screen in every single moment.

The Verdict:
One Cut of the Dead is everything I love about watching movies. No joke, I had tears of joy from watching this film. Congratulations to Shin'ichirô Ueda and everyone involved in creating a game changing and genre bending experience. I put this movie right up there with The Cabin in the Woods as one of my all time favorite genre films because of how it puts an entirely new and refreshingly unexpected spin on something we've seen many times before.

One Cut of the Dead was featured in TwoOhSix.com coverage for the 2018 New York Asian Film Festival, the 2018 Ithaca Fantastik Film Festival, and the 2018 Hawaii International Film Festival.

One Cut of the Dead took home the following awards from TwoOhSix.com.

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