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Versus (2000)


July 30, 2009 - 12:36am | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: action, Asian Horror, Ayumi Yoshihara, blood, cheesy, Chieko Misaka, comedic, gore, Hideo Sakaki, Hoshimi Asai, japan, japanese, Kazuhito Ohba, Kenji Matsuda, martial arts, Minoru Matsumoto, Motonari Komiya, Ryosuke Watabe, Ryuhei Kitamura, Shoichiro Masumoto, swordplay, Tak Sakaguchi, Takehiro Katayama, Toshiro Kamiaka, versus, yakuza, Yuichiro Arai, Yukihito Tanikado, Zombie Movies

Your rating: None Average: 6.1 (13 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
8
versus.jpg

Rating #: 
8/10
Director: 
Ryuhei Kitamura
Cast: 
Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka, Kenji Matsuda, Yuichiro Arai, Minoru Matsumoto, Kazuhito Ohba, Takehiro Katayama, Ayumi Yoshihara, Toshiro Kamiaka, Shoichiro Masumoto, Yukihito Tanikado, Hoshimi Asai, Ryosuke Watabe, Motonari Komiya


I remember reading about this movie online a while back and thinking that it sounded very cool. I never once thought that I'd be able to get my hands on it, but I'm sure as hell glad that I did, cuz this movie kicks ass. This is actually a sequel to a short direct-to-video called Down To Hell that Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura did back in ’97. Now with a bigger budget he’s able to create the vision that he wanted to do with the first film. In fact, director Ryuhei Kitamura actually brought the cast and crew back after the film's release to create an additional 10-or-so-minutes of footage. Apparently he felt certain scenes could have used more gore and action and respectfully-so.

This movie is pretty much perfect for any horror fan – there are zombies; great martial arts; lots of wicked guns; hot ass-kickin’ Asian chicks; cool characters and a hell of a lot of blood and gore! The only thing this movie doesn't have is nudity, which isn't bad considering nudity can usually ruin a film. American movie-makers should take notes from this low-budget Japanese film. The zombies were fairly unique, considering they were able to use guns and jump around. That's one of the reasons which made the film all the more original. The action sequences were amazing, like one sequence that lasted a good 15 minutes -- guys were just blasting away at the zombies and at each other; gotta love it.

The story basically follows a couple escaped convicts as they meet up with some Yakuza in the forest. After they meet, one of the convicts is shot and left for dead. Only anyone who dies in this particular forest doesn’t necessarily stay dead. Instead their corpse reanimates, leaving the Yakuza, the remaining convict, and a young women to fend against not only the zombies, but each other. This forest also happens to be the place where they buried their past victims, so now they’ve got them to deal with too. That’s not all, as it’s later revealed that this is all part of some sort of plan to gain supernatural strength and power, and the convict and girl are key to recovering this.

This film isn't strictly just a zombie movie. There are supernatural elements that also turn it towards a fantasy film. The forest is apparently able to open a gate to another realm which would grant the person great power. I enjoyed every minute of this; it’s two hours of pure enjoyment. The acting was good, there was a little humor here and there to lighten up the mood and the directing was very well done. The best way to describe this film is to think of a John Woo movie and add zombies. Some parts of the film reminded me of Anime because of some of the fighting and the way the blood would just spray out of’em. This is definitely going high on my list of favorite flicks.

One of the best and most entertaining Japanese films I've ever seen; simply two hours of pure entertainment. It has sweet ass action sequences with loads of gore. If you're a fan of zombies and John Woo-type action films, see this!!

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.

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