When Shin’ichirô Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead was released in 2017, it stirred up the horror genre, not so much by providing a fresh take on the zombie subgenre, but by connecting with the audience through sharing the passion of the creators making the film. It’s a movie that’s both satisfying for horror fans but also fans of mockumentaries. While undoubtedly fictional, it presents the audience with a thirty-minute film made in one take, then resets to show the behind-the-scenes chaos during the making of the film, and it’s an absolutely sublime experience. This is why the Final Cut trailer, the French remake of One Cut of the Dead, has me excited for its theatrical release next week.
Directed by Academy Award winner Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Final Cut follows Rémi (Romain Duris) as he’s put in charge of overseeing the production of a single-take, low-budget zombie film in which the actors and crew making a zombie film are attacked and, one by one, begin turning into actual zombies. While the plot hasn’t changed at all from Ueda’s version, I think Final Cut has one hell of a director at the helm, and the experience could be a surprisingly different version, supplying new madcap mayhem than we saw in its Japanese counterpart.
I can ascertain some things from both the Final Cut trailer and its IMDB page. One, it’s fourteen minutes longer than One Cut of the Dead, and two, the film’s colors are far brighter than Ueda’s film. Beyond that, the only advertised change is Final Cut’s location. Otherwise, many of the same gags and plot points appear in the trailer, from pretentious actors to overzealous film producers, including actress Donguri who seems to be reprising her role from One Cut of the Dead. According to some clues in the press release, the crew may even be going more-meta-than-meta this time around, filming a remake that could add a more original commentary surrounding the struggles of creating a faithful remake.
Final Cut premiered at the Cannes film festival back in May 2022, was selected as the opening night film, and has traveled the festival circuit for the past year, earning mostly positive reviews. Friday, July 14, it hits theatres, including the IFC Center in New York and the Laemmle Noho in Los Angeles.