Directed By: Shinichiro Ueda, Yua Nakaizumi
Cast: Mao, Takayuki Hamatsu, Harumi Shuhama, Donguri, Yuzuki Akiyama, Nozomi de Lencquesaing, Charles Glover
Format: Blu-Ray, DVD, Prime Video
Age Rating: 15 (BBFC)
Genre: Comedy, Gore, Films about films
Release Date: 31st May 2021
Licensed By: Third Window Films
‘One Cut of the Dead’ is back once again, with a sequel that takes place just six months after the films ‘live recording’. The Higurashi family return with Mao, their over enthusiastic daughter stepping up to the directors chair when her father takes an unexpected trip in a removal van as he takes a night’s rest in some unusual bedding. They gather up the original cast and crew, with the addition of some foreign talent, as they set their sights on filming their new production in Hollywood.
With the starlet Chinatsu returning in the leading role, who travels to America, changes her hair, starts working in a restaurant and goes by the name Holly. All the while escaping her past and the horrors she witnessed in the first film.
Now I have to say, I absolutely loved the format of the first film and was thrilled to see a sequel. Seeing as we already had a fairly good introduction to the cast in the first film, you really do need to watch that before diving into the Hollywood edition. In which its their daughter Mao, who takes the reins when things really go to shit just hours before they go live on the air. Not only does she deal with the stress, chaos and even a massive incident with the leading star all on the fly – she also deals with working through a fairly big issue with her foriegn boyfriend, who also ends up playing one of the leads on ‘her’ film.
So with the returning cast of various characters, we still have a good entertaining mix of personalities for this sequel. Within the film they also still have the very awkward task of working with starlet Chinatsu, who seems to love making the film’s crew work around her ‘demands’. Some of which require quite a change in the script, much to Mao’s anger. Then we have Mao becoming both the saviour and real star of this film, as her father the director disappears. This girl manages to overcome all the obstacles that a live shooting brings, as well as dealing with a heartbreaking situation with her other half. Then we have the two ‘foreign’ talents in the film, who definitely add to the overall enjoyment of the film.
So as an overall look back on the film, I have to say the first twenty minutes was hard to watch. It was so incredibly cheesy and with terrible acting, that it felt as though it was trying to make fun of itself. However those twenty minutes was the entirety of the film they were shooting live, so we saw their ‘finished product’ first before we actually got to the plot. So the film within the film, was pretty bad, but the film as a whole – t’was decent. I wouldn’t be rushing to go back and rewatch it anytime soon. As it hasn’t surpassed the original, but at the same time it was good to just see it again and see how the characters had progressed. As Mao’s character development was practically the whole point of this film, also it was so good seeing how they shot the film ‘live’ and how it all works from behind the scenes again. It certainly was a passion project. Even though this is a ‘zombie’ film, it was ‘John’s character acting that kind of eclipsed it all. I mean, the moment he was stalling in the scene outside with the zombies – he just went pure Scarface.
Bonus Features Include:
(These only seem to be available on the BluRay release.)
“One Cut of the Dead” feature (96mins)
“One Cut of the Dead in Hollywood” Spin-off Movie (57 mins)
Making of One Cut of the Dead (45 mins)
Director Shinichiro Ueda Interview (18 mins)
Raw “One Cut of the Dead” GoPro footage (38 mins)
POM Instruction Video (1 min)
“One Cut of the Dead” Outtakes (5 min)
Slipcase featuring artwork by Grégory Sacré
Reversible Sleeve with artwork from both movies
Limited to 2000 copies
So this release is actually a combination of the first film and the Hollywood edition, with a bunch of bonus material. If you haven’t bought the first film already, then I would highly suggest this version. You also need to act quick, as it is limited to just 2000 copies. Based on the fact that this includes the original film, my score is going to be higher than what it would be based on just this sequel. You can also check out the full review of the first film, “One Cut of the Dead” in the link here – http://comicbuzz.com/one-cut-of-the-dead-review/