A very fresh take on a tried and heavily explored genre. One Cut of the Dead doesn’t just impress but enlightens us there is more to offer in this addition to the ever-hungry zombie filmography.
The plot is a simple one: a director wants to shoot a low budget zombie movie when real zombies appear on the scene. All fashionably done in one cheesy cut. I’m a modest man who begs you to stay past the thirty minute mark and endure the shabby introduction. One Cut of the Dead is one of the most rewarding movie experiences I’ve had. Sitting there with a slight grin on my face as the absurdity unfolded. The movie is funny, self aware, heartwarming, and creative. You can tell it was handled with care and from people who loves not only the genre, but movies in general. I can only imagine the crew having an enjoyable time off screen.
This one took me by surprise. Not at all what I was expecting and very glad I watched it. One of those movies you’d be hard pressed to search for. The last act is so humorous it gives a whole new meaning on a second viewing. I’m saying this with the little knowledge I had before going in, knowing only the straight forward synopsis. Take what you will from my words but have your own expectations. It’s a good time. One Cut of the Dead is a fresh and original take away from the mouth watering limpers that crowd our screen. POM!
Special note: It took 2 days and 6 takes to get the perfect cut and the film took $25,000 to be made!
Overlord is an interesting hybrid of war and horror genres. It’s nothing entirely new, the idea of Nazi experiments being hellishly realized. Call of Duty Zombies and Frankenstein’s Army have toyed with this idea among others. Can’t say any are classics with possibly Dead Snow being close candidate. (COD Zombie could be great if transitioned from video game to the moving pictures screen. Even better, Wolfenstein. Yes, please.)
The first 10-15 minutes when the troops had to jump from the burning, airborne plane soaked my attention. It was intense and had a great start for our heroes’ journey to destroy a tower. I forgot I was watching a zombie horror until an unnatural discovery in the woods reminded me it was not just a WWII film. I’m not going to say it was a problem, the tonal shifts, movies have accomplished this before, thanks From Dusk Till Dawn. Overlord feels more grounded and has a sense of a realistic approach to war. Not what I was expecting, thinking I was in for something that had some camp/less seriousness or a more self aware identity; a more traditional B-movie. Meaning they played more with the topic of the movie, experimented more with the “Thousand Year Reich” idea. Like don’t just show me how nasty Nazis were, show how nasty their creations were; guess I’m saying I was looking for various types of monstrosities on screen. But what is on screen is fun, that is, once we clock in enough time to see it. It does feel like it took awhile to get to why we all pressed play in the first place. Even then I’m not sure if the payload was satisfactory. With that said, and without spoiling, there is a moment when a neck is dislocated and thrust backyards. Very unexpected and satisfyingly grotesque!
The french madame who befriends our fellow soldiers is a real BADASS. She is confronted by a pesky annoyance late in the movie and she handles it like an exterminator fed up with eradicating vermin.
Some moments like the one above impressed me, others left me bored or wondered the characters’ decisions if they actually had to go that route.
To sum up, I had mixed feelings about the latest trek down Hitler’s dream of his invincible army of darkness. Don’t expect this to be anything like Kung Fury or any of the above mentioned titles, this outing is a little more serious in tone. Perhaps I will enjoy the movie more a second time viewing sometime in the future knowing now what happens. Maybe Overlord will gain a cult following, time will tell.