one cut of the dead mission remote

Nobody knows better about how to pull off a piece of entertainment with limited resources than the cast and crew of One Cut of the Dead. The 2019 mega-hit at the Japanese box office and cult hit everywhere else was a love letter to the can-do spirit of filmmaking, even if things go horribly, hilariously wrong. So it’s fitting that the cast of One Cut of the Dead reunited to make a virtual short film, titled One Cut of the Dead Mission: Remote, set during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The results are as funny as you’d expect.

One Cut of the Dead Mission Remote

One of the greatest joys of watching One Cut of the Dead is not the surprise twist that comes 30 minutes into the film, but the desperate lengths that the fictional cast and crew will go to make their low-budget zombie movie. It’s a hilarious, heartfelt love letter to filmmaking that unsurprisingly went on to be a major Japanese box office hit (it’s streaming right on Shudder). And now One Cut of the Dead is back in all its low-res glory, this time as a virtually-shot short film that pays homage to the true-crime recreation show.

It’s almost too smooth a transition for the cast and crew of One Cut of the Dead to go from a live-stream TV movie to a virtually shot short film. There are some hilarious gags including characters trying to react to another person’s hand in the frame, when it’s obviously their own, and some weird costuming choices like a vampire cape. The quirky characters of One Cut of the Dead were made for this kind of made-from-home medium, with Takayuki Hamatsu reprising his character as the beleaguered director now given the task of making a true-crime TV episode from home. Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Donguri, Shinichiro Osawa, Yuzuki Akiyama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Hiroshi Ichihara, and Manabu Hosoi also reprise their characters from One Cut of the Dead.

The short film also recruits over 300 applicants to appear in the production for an adorable end-credits dance.

“The unprecedented situation makes the world anxious,” director and writer Shinichiro Ueda said in a statement. “Due to request order to refrain from going out and anxiety about infection spreading, the situation of “unable to meet people” continues. What can I do now? I thought I could contribute by creating “bright entertainment” and having people enjoy it. I hope that I could help someone feeling down to look up. That’s why I started to create this work. I know there are many creators who have lost their jobs and are at risk of carrying on their lives as before. I hope that this film sends a positive message that ‘we can make anything with creativity even if we cannot meet in person’ for them to look forward to, and also that this completely remote production work serves as a ‘tip for creating a new job’ for someone.”

Here is the synopsis for One Cut of the Dead Mission: Remote:

People are under stay home order in Japan. Everyone is forced to refrain from going out due to the spread of new virus infections. One day, Video Director Higurashi gets a video call from Producer Sasahara and Producer Furusawa in his home.They are giving him an unreasonable request, “please make one reproduction drama, with a deadline this month!” “I can’t shoot it right now,” Higurashi tries to persuade them, but an unexpected reply comes back. “All the staff and cast can make it without ever meeting.” So completely remote video production has begun …!

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