In feudal Japan a ronin returns home from exile to find the island he once knew plagued by a dark curse and overrun by the undead.
Every once in a while I come across a short that is so good I rewatch it, hoping that this time it’ll be longer. Sword of the Dead is the latest addition to that list.
The zombie genre – much like its subjects – hasn’t been fresh or exciting for years now – something about the plethora of movies, the never-ending The Walking Dead TV series and the constant iteration and reiteration of how and when and why zombie outbreaks, which always somehow turn into total apocalypses, happen is just so 2008. So I went into Sword of the Dead expecting to be casually entertained.
Then this seven minute, fifty second long gem blew me away.
Starring Masami Kosaka as a ronin who returns to his homeland for… well, reasons, I suppose – this proof of concept short manages to convey the weariness of an old warrior, the tragedy of loss and the anger at societal injustice all before launching into a fight sequence so cool I wanted it to last forever.
Not for the faint-hearted, the washed out visuals in Sword of the Dead almost lull you into complacency and sadness before the jarring special effects remind you that this is, in fact, a zombie flick.
Mood Rating: Please don’t eat or drink anything whilst watching the first several minutes of this short… you will choke when what happens, happens.