written and directed by Shinichiro Ueda
by Bill Chambers It begins with a young woman (Yuzuki Akiyama) running for cover in an abandoned factory, but lo, her zombie boyfriend (Kazuaki Nagaya) proves inescapable, and sinks his teeth into her neck as she tells him she loves him one last time. Then a director (Takayuki Hamatsu) yells cut and proceeds to berate his actress for still not being realistically devastated after 42 takes. When he storms off in a huff, the actors commiserate and the makeup woman (Harumi Shuhama) chimes in with a little lore about the factory involving medical experiments on the dead. On cue, a "real" zombie appears, setting in motion a bloody chase through the studio and nearby woods as cast and crew unleash their inner Ash and struggle to evade the contageous bite of the infected. Lasting 37 minutes and unfolding as a "single" shot, this is a dumb but energetic sequence indebted as much to the climax of Children of Men as to any zombie movie (though particularly Romeros'--the undead are a nostalgic mint green). And then credits roll, and One Cut of the Dead flashes back one month earlier to the inception of what we just saw: a (fictitious) one-off for Japan's Zombie Channel, also called "One Cut of the Dead" because it was shot live without any editing.