(director/writer/editor: Shin’ichirô Ueda; cinematographer: Tsuyoshi Sone; music: Kailu Nagai, Nobuhiro Suzuk; cast:  Harumi Syuhama (Nao), Yuzuki Akiyama (Chinatsu), Takayuki Hamatsu (Director Higurashi), Kazuaki Nagaya (Ko), Mao (Mao), Hiroshi Ichihara (Kasahara); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Koji Ichihashi; Enbu Seminar; 2017-Japan-in Japanese with English subtitles)

“Brings new energy to the vampire genre.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

In his debut feature, Japanese director Shin’ichirô Ueda brings new energy to the vampire genre with this original comedy-horror version. The low-budget flick found favor with the audiences at film festivals and has been lauded by most critics for being so creative and funny.

A film crew is shooting a zombie horror flick in an abandoned water filtration plant, allegedly once used for human experiments by the military. The scene being shot has Chinatsu (Yuzuki Akiyama) wielding an axe as her boyfriend Ko (Kazuaki Nagaya) has become a zombie and is attacking her. When she fails to take a swing at him, the upset director Higurashi (Takayuki Hamatsu) stops filming and cusses her out for ruining the take and for her wooden acting. The pouting director then walks off the set.

At that mid-point of the shoot, with the director pouting off the set, an invasion by real-life zombies occurs. This excites the director to return, as he views it as a chance to keep his film real and he starts shooting again. What follows is a 40-minute long shot (a pun for the title). The second half is filled with cheesy and bloody shots, improv acting, a convincing portrayal by the loopy director, and it ends with an impressive crane shot.

It’s a movie-within-a-movie shot in two parts, with impeccable technical achievement considering its low-budget. The first part of making the film with actors gives way to the more inventive part 2, where the zombies are real.

REVIEWED ON 10/10/2019       GRADE: A