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Both budgets and box-office prospects for Japanese indie films have been declining for years. As the former approaches the zero mark, so do recognizable actors and other standard indicators of quality. Audiences, smelling amateurism, stay away.

Flying in the face of this dismal trend is Shinichiro Ueda’s brilliant zombie comedy “One Cut of the Dead,” made for nearly nothing with a no-name cast. An international festival favorite, it has stirred up the sort of pre-release buzz that films with 10 times its ¥2.5 million budget can’t buy.

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