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{Blu-ray Review} One Cut of the Dead is the Steelbook That Steals Your Heart, Maybe Eats It

when RLJ announced they were bringing the festival darling One Cut of the Dead to Steelbook Blu-ray we were quite excited. One Cut managed to rack up a ton of accolades last year on the festival circuit not only for its innovative storytelling (it is essentially two different films told in two different ways) but also for presenting a horror movie in such a feel good way that even the most jaded of horror movie junkies could not help but smile. The Steelbook came out last week and our recommendation is that EVERYONE should buy it. The movie is an instant classic and there is no format better to watch it then this double disk collection.

Courtesy of Image Entertainment

Overview of the Movie

The most successful independent film in Japanese cinema history! Opening on just 2 screens, ONE CUT OF THE DEAD grossed more than $30 million and spent more time in the Box Office Top 10 than any other film!

A cast of relative unknowns, a brilliantly disguised low budget and an epic, 37-minute opening single take makes Shinichiro Ueda’s feature debut a bright, breezy and laugh-out-loud hilarious zombie comedy. A film crew is shooting a zombie horror flick in an abandoned water filtration plant, allegedly used for human experiments by the military. Just as the director browbeats his actors and demands more special effects blood, a real zombie apocalypse erupts, much to his auteur delight.


  • Winner – Best Director / Audience Award – Fantastic Fest
  • Winner – Best Film / Audience Award – ToHorror Fest
  • Winner – Best Film – Fantaspoa
  • Winner – Best Film – Bifan
  • Winner – Best Film – LA Japan Fest
  • Winner – Grand Prix – Vevey Intl Funny Film Festival
  • Winner – Audience Award – San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival
  • Winner – Audience Award – Motel X
  • Winner – Audience Award – Camera Japan
  • Winner – Audience Award – Yubari Film Festival
  • Winner – Special Mention – La Roche sur-yon Festival
  • Runner Up – Audience Award – Fantasia
  • Runner Up – Audience Award – Udine
  • Runner Up – Audience Award – New York Asian Film Fest

The festival accolades speak for themselves but its absolutely imperative that you come to this movie with as little information as possible. The only important detail to note is to stick with the movie after the initial sequence which lasts roughly twenty five minutes. After the credits roll the fun really begins.

Technical Aspects

Shudder has partnered with RLJS to offer only the second release of One Cut. The versions offered on this release are crystal clear with incredible sound. Framed in 1.78:1 the first thirty minutes of the movie has a deceptive color quality and frame rate. As the first act gives way to the second act everything changes. The colors are fully realized as the full force of the plot is revealed. The same could be said for the volume. Although from minute one the volume maintains the consistency we expect out of Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0. I highly recommend you watch with English subtitles as you get the full experience and do not have to dip into English dubbing which is just OK. to be fair its probably higher quality then most English dubs but watch it in its native language. Subtitles rock.

Special Features

Admittedly the special features are relatively sparse on this release. That is not why you are buying this disk though. You are buying it so you can show EVERYONE you know the glory that is One Cut.

  • GoPro Version of One Cut of the Dead (HD 38:03)
  • Outtakes (HD 4:37)
  • POM! Instructional Video (HD 00:59)
  • Photogallery

The Standout special feautre is the GoPro version of the first act of the movie. It is really remarkable how they pull the entire thing off. Moreover it feels intimate and charming and in that way it reflects the movie generally. The outtakes were ok but perhaps the humor of traditional outtakes may be lost in translation and there aren’t a ton of them. Those of us who have been throwing up our arms and saying POM! will appreciate the instructional video but lets face it we more or less knew how to do it all along. The photo gallery offers few insights into what can already be found online although it is nice to have them centrally located.

Overall Impression

We need this movie now. We need to smile more. We need to laugh. We need to bring joy back into the houses and apartments we have been living in the past three months. This release is a wonderful place to start. If you are ready to host a movie night start with this disk. It will be a crowd favorite and for good reason. You will get a lot of mileage out of One Cut of the Dead for sure.