Japan makes great horror films. They also make a lot of silly ones, let's take a look at a bunch of Japanese horror movies that have the words “…Of The Dead” in their title.
We are only going to look at feature length movies, but I do have a cute short film to introduce you to at the end, as well as exploring some non-horror movies that also use “…Of The Dead” in their title!
We've also turned this article into a great video you can watch below
One Cut Of The Dead
Now let’s start with an easy one! One Cut of the Dead, made back in 2017, is now considered to be a worldwide smash hit, and could be the most well-known title on this list.
A z-grade movie director is filming a zombie movie at an abandoned war facility when real zombies start attacking his cast and crew! In a nod to the Japanese craze of shooting movies with long takes, this movie starts with an incredible 37 minute one! The rest of the movie is made up of a kind of behind the scenes/making of as we follow the director and the cast as they prepare for the shooting of the movie.
As with everything awesome from Japanese, there is a rumour of a Hollywood remake, and if that’s your kind of thing, well great, but in the meantime there have two spin offs of the series including the 2019 hour long feature One Cut of the Dead Spin-off In Hollywood and very clever 2020 short movie One Cut of the Dead Mission: Remote, which reunites the cast and crew via video chat to help the director create a short film during lockdown. How very 2020!
Phone Of The Dead
Starring the beautiful Ami Tomite, from Sion Sono’s masterpiece Antiporno and Tag, this 2019 movie bills itself as original as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as innovative as The Evil Dead and as fresh as One Cut of the Dead. Now that’s a huge claim!
This horror comedy has all the craziness you demand from Japanese cinema. Chainsaws, Gore, Zombies and Otakus are in full force in this straight to DVD and digital movie. Ami Tomite stars as Yuka, the girl who loses her phone which is found by a trio of nerdy horny guys. They try to return the phone to her, but they aren’t prepared for the situation they’re about to find themselves in!
If you’ve got a Netflix account and have the ability to point it to the Japanese region, rumour has it you can find this movie there!
Samurai (Shinsengumi) Of The Dead
What happens when you mix samurais and zombies? Well, you get Samurai Of The Dead, this 2014 comedy horror movie starring, written and directed by Kazushi Watanabe from the acclaimed movie Visitor Q.
The shogunate of the Takugawa clan assembles a squad of ruthless assassins to defend his crumbling empire in Kyoto, a strong gang of men who would cut down enemies with ease, but in this case the enemies are now the undead. Can they survive the onslaught and defend the shogunate?
This flick is available on DVD and bluray.
Hunger Of The Dead (Hunger Z)
Another comedy horror movie is this 2014 title called Hunger Of The Dead, also known as Hunger Z.
This wacky looking horror flick is set in the future where zombies realise that their main food source, human brains, is running scarce! So they do what any one, alive or dead, would do in this situation. They create a human breeding farm to ensure a steady food supply.
It’s so crazy and insane, you can’t make this up! A young man, desperate to escape the zombie horde, finds the idyllic safe house, full of other survivors and plenty of food! Only he later discovers the true intention of the safe house once he falls in love with Mitsue. How could you not want to watch something like this?
Zombie Ass: Toilet Of The Dead
This hilarious zombie film could be as weird as it gets! Zombie Ass Toilet Of The Dead is a 2011 splat fest from famed schlock director Noboru Iguchi.
In this movie, zombies rise from the septic tank to… well, I don’t really know! The zombies are more of a secondary element to this movie which revolves around a schoolgirl and her friends who search for a trout with a tapeworm as a diuretic, only to discover it causes an extreme bout of flatulence and a visit to an outhouse awakes the zombie horde!
Full of crazy rubber parasites and a farting jetpack, I would recommend this movie for the ridiculous premise alone!
Check out the full review below
Lust Of The Dead (series)
There is an incredible 5 titles in this series, spanning just 3 years of production from 2012-2014, with the same director and most of the same cast across all films. This series tells the tale of a band of female survivors who must protect themselves from the male-zombies who only have one thing on their mind. Which is the same thing they would have had on their mind if they weren’t zombies – and it’s not brains.
A nuclear bomb has devastated Tokyo, turning all the men in sex-crazed zombies. As the women fight to survive, and to not be attacked, they form groups of scientists to discover a cure and an army to fight them.
In 2017 a spin-off called Hardcore of the Dead from the original director was released, and its probably best for everyone that I don’t go into too much detail about that one. Only watch these ones, if you can stomach it, because high production values are very much absent from this series.
Sex Of The Dead
This series of movies is probably considered more adult in nature, but are still horror movies that bare the “Of The Dead” suffix. The first movie revolves around a busty maid who dies in a traffic accident but ends up reviving as a zombie and sets off attacking the researchers at the hospital one after another.
Since this an adult movie, I’m not too sure how she attacks them, but I could just imagine.
In the sequel, another girl with a large chest enters an abandoned hospital, and uh… well…
How about we move onto the next title
Love Zombie: Romance Of The Dead
Sticking with the, um, “romantic” theme, Love Zombie: Romance of the Dead is a 2015 comedy horror much in same vein as Lust of the Dead, and shares quite a few more similarities with the same writer and director, as well as a few of the cast members.
Another comedy horror full of sex, nudity and dodgy effects, this one just seems a little batshit insane. A high school boy with a crush on the most popular girl in school finds himself in a situation where he loses his virginity to her. Wanting to continue their trysts, he goes to her home only to find out that she’s been infected with the zombie virus and has developed quite an insatiable appetite for human flesh.
The Book Of The Dead
Well here is something different, and its technically not a horror film. This is The Book Of The Dead, a 2005 stop motion animated award winning feature length movie.
A young woman from a noble house becomes obsessed with Buddhism, and spends her time learning as much as she can about it. She then begins to see a figure that looks like Buddha in the distance, and one day tries to find it but ends up at a temple where women are forbidden from entry. She eventually forms a bond with the figure, which happens to be the spirit of an executed prince.
This movie is available on DVD in the USA and received an award at the 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival.
Hidden Attack Of The Dead
Heading back into the exploitation genre of horror movies, this one has no comedy elements, rather relying on the dark and moody scenario of a woman being taken advantage of.
Hidden Attack of the Dead is a 2018 horror thriller about a young woman named Kimi, who is burdened with debt after borrowing money from a loanshark to pay for her father’s medical bills. Kimi decides she will take up a modelling job for some easy money, but the studio is run by a weird religious cult who attack her and force her to recruit men.
This movie swaps zombies for ghosts, but still retains the typical Japanese low-budget vibes.
School-day Of The Dead
And it wouldn’t be a Japanese movie list without one of them set in a High School! Billed as more of a thriller than a horror flick, and definitely devoid of any zombies, comes this 2000 movie called Schoolday Of The Dead.
A group of students decide to stage and perform a play written by a classmate who commit suicide. The play tells the tale of an urban legend about two teachers at the school embroiled in an illicit love affair. As the students start to delve more and more into the urban legend and the girl who committed suicide, strange unexplainable accidents occur and these girls end up dead.
User reviews and scores on this film aren’t too positive, which is a shame as the decent cast and interesting story line lend itself to at least a movie worth the watch. Have you seen this one?
Zonmi-chan: Meat Pie Of The Dead
And as a little bonus, is this cute little 2016 animation called Zonmi-chan: Meat Pie of the Dead! A fantastic mix of computer animation bring this 6 minute short movie to life, watch it below
Zonmi Chan is a clumsy and cute girl, who just happens to be a zombie living underneath the cemetery with her two sisters. One days she decides she wants to make some meat pies, but realises she is out of fresh meat, so she tasks her younger sister to head up to the surface to get some, but while she is there she runs into the young man who is madly in love with Zonmi-chan, and through an accident he is about to become the meat in her pies!
Watch this for a laugh, its nice and short and a change from some of the extreme titles on this list!
I hope you enjoyed this look at Japanese movies with the “Of The Dead” suffix! While I’ve tried to be as thorough as I could, was there any title that I missed?
Likewise, have you seen any of these and what did you think of them?
Leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.