Snapshots: One Cut of the Dead

As a general rule, filming a scene in one take is really difficult. It takes a lot more preparation, and if you make a mistake at the very end, you have to start over from the beginning. What’s more, a general audience member may not notice (or appreciate) the effort that goes into a long take. But… a successful long take is considered ‘impressive’ from a technical perspective, and recent films like La La Land and Birdman highlight the unexpected virtues of the technique.

Why am I explaining this? Because the Japanese film One Cut of the Dead relies heavily on an appreciation for continuous takes. The movie is about a film crew making a zombie movie, only to find the set being overrun with actual zombies. Their plight is filmed in a continuous take. Then there’s a twist at the end of act one. I want to write so much more about the movie, but spoilers… GAH!


As somebody who only loves subversive zombie movies (Fido and Shaun of the Dead are were the only two on my list), One Cut of the Dead may be my new favorite for the genre. It’s a zombie movie, but it breaks the rules, and it’s a meta-commentary, and, and – Films about film! Found footage! Comedy! Homage! Completely original! And continuous takes!! Watch it if you have the chance!