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Friday, June 5, 2020

ONE CUT OF THE DEAD (Blu-Ray Review)

                        Starring: Takayuki Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama

                                               Directed by: Shin'ichiro Ueda


  First off, before I crank up this review I'd love to offer thanks to my friends at Katrina Wan P.R. for graciously offering up a gorgeous steelbook review copy of One Cut Of The Dead, which is on sale NOW. Okay, pleasantries aside I can admit that I'd waited for this film for a while, and when it was (erroneously, and a bit criminally) released to Amazon Prime back in 2018, and yours truly took the bait and watched a horrifically displayed boot-print of the film, and aside from its smaller-than-small presence and display I loved it nonetheless.

  So here we are in the disgustingly tainted year of 2020 and One Cut Of The Dead has rightfully found its way to the home theater market and while it's a little bit less of the slam-bang treasure that I remember, it's still a fun zombie flick that will sit on my shelf proudly and is more than worth a re-watch or two. The premise is simple with this one: a film crew shooting a low-budgeted horror movie gets overrun by hungry hordes of the undead - easy-peasy to follow, yet somewhere during the movie's runtime the luster comes off the shine and this relegates itself to just another horror/comedy production that has its share of hits and misses. Whereas the audience can conceivably be lulled to sleep during the first piece of the product, there's a slight ramping up of action as time moves on - fluid and seamless? Not by a long shot, but it's the direction and creative swerve of the plot is what hauls the movie out of the deep water and pulls it closer to shore.

  Director Shin'ichiro Ueda's approach to the movie seemed to be a bit wayward, and especially considering this was something of a micro-budgeted production there still remains some worthwhile laughs to this one - I however had hoped for some more gore and zombies that looked as if they didn't apply their own makeup. As far as the audio and visuals are concerned, I did notice sharper edges between the Blu and DVD copies of the film, and aside from some minor blemishing (hey, there wasn't much dough to fully treat the film so I won't complain), the movie does look decent but don't let it sway you from one purchase to another - you could easily watch either the Blu or DVD versions and be content. The steelbook however is a thing of beauty, with a smooth finish and taxicab yellow color bursting out all over - even a few blood droplets for you sickos! Extras included a go-pro version of the film, as well as a few short featurettes, topped off with a code in the steelbook for a free 30-day subscription to SHUDDER, which was a nice add-on. Overall, One Cut Of The Dead won't knock you out of your casket, but for the zombie aficionado in your life this tepid horror/com encased in a beautiful containment unit should make a nice gift for those who love to chow down on the living.

 FILM REVIEW: 2.5 out of 5

 STEELBOOK REVIEW: 4.5 out of 5

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