Following a triumphant Tribeca screening, Final Cut, Academy Award®–winning writer/director Michel Hazanavicius’ (The Artist) hilarious and raucous French “requel” of Shin’ichirô Ueda’s cult hit One Cut of the Dead opens exclusively in theatres today, July 14, including the IFC Center in New York and the Laemmle Noho in Los Angeles.
Written and directed by Hazanavicius, Final Cut stars Romain Duris (Waiting for Bojangles), Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Grégory Gadebois (Waiting for Bojangles), Finnegan Oldfield (“Das Boot”), Matilda Lutz (Revenge, Rings), Sébastian Chassagne and Raphaël Quenard as well as emerging talents Jean-Pascal Zadi, Lyes Salem, Simone Hazanavicius and Luana Bajrami. Yoshiko Takehara (One Cut of the dead, One cut of the dead Spin-Off: In Hollywood) reprises her role as a producer on the film.
Set against the backdrop of a B-movie production that goes from bad to worse, Final Cut finds Duris playing the film’s director who seems to be the only one with a semblance of resolve to keep this low-budget zombie film alive. As he struggles to raise morale amongst the disgruntled technicians and listless cast members, the shoot is suddenly thrown into disarray when hordes of real undead crash the production. Now, the actors must fight the undead and their director, desperately attempting to make sure they’re not left on life’s cutting room floor.
To celebrate the film’s release, SCREAM caught up with Hazanavicius to learn what it was about such a contemporary and already cult horror gem that he felt was worth reimagining, and how he went about honouring the original film all the while taking the narrative in some deft new directions – directions that Ueda himself praised the French filmmaker for having come up with.
Words: Howard Gorman