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VERSUS (2000)


Directed by Ryûhei Kitamura

There are 666 portals that connect this world to the other side.

These are concealed from all human beings.

Somewhere in Japan exists the 444th portal…. The forest of resurrection.

The film starts with a Samurai –era fight vs zombies..the seemingly good guy finishes them off.

But there is one more..another Samurai . He attacks, but loses..the meaning of this might gets explained later on.

Present Day:

Two inmates escape from prison and are to be picked up at the outskirt of a forest-the forest of resurrection.One of them resembles the guy who died earlier at the hand of the mysterious Samurai.

The pick-up team shows soon. With them a girl, seemingly abducted.She seems to be of interest to the boss of the gang, which hasn`t arrived yet.

They argue a bit, and soon the first guy gets shot…..only to rise from the dead soon after.

The whole story is a bit on the confusing side, but it doesn`t really matter…we are soon presented with tons of zombies, that arise from their “graves”.

Seems like the gangsters put quite a few bodies to rest in this part of the woods.

Now the gangsters have even more enemies than just themselves…

And as the story unfolds, we assume that the Villain? from the earlier  Samurai scene could be the boss of these thugs.

Prisoner KSC2-303 (one of the escapists) frees the girl and protects her….there seems to be a connection between them, but what is it?

I wont go deeper into the plot, because the story is, to this day still, a much discussed topic on various film boards.

Much to confusing, and maybe not really necessary to dive into.In the end , its what you make of it.

Let`s just say it`s about resurrection and evil…..

What´s next is a lot of killing, zombies, mostly. Guns , swords, martial arts, you name it. It`s all there. And blood..lots of blood.

And its funny, too. Lots of crazy characters, that are fun to watch.

It`s a low budget movie, about 400.000 $ went into this. And for that relatively small amount , you get quite a movie.

The director Kitamura is  a self-taught guy, who dropped out of film school early, cuz he felt they couldn’t teach him much anyway.

With good camera work and fast cuts and a dedicated crew he was able to deliver a film you won`t forget so fast.

Its not perfect by any means, but that`s not the point. It`s a bit like Evil Dead, …you wondered..what he might be able to with a bit more money.

And he showed that later with AZUMI( 2003), and  other great films..just look at his resume. I loved AZUMI, by the way.

This is a movie that blew me away  with the first watch.

I´m always happy when a film comes along, that surprises me.

Doesn’t happen that often, if you`ve seen as much movies as I have.

You get tired with certain things , you see waaay to often, rarely a film has something new or really original about it.

Maybe this film isn’t really original, but the rawness of the whole thing breaks the viewing/visual habits a bit for sure.

Or maybe im exaggerating? I dunno….

But be sure to check it out.

There is the normal version on DVD, and then there is ULTIMATE VERSUS, ten minutes longer with a few changes and more or different FX and a new can look up comparisons online

This is a link to a german site that’s all about cut/uncut and directors cut-comparisons.


2 responses

  1. dude i love this movie! i’ve never seen the ultimate cut though. probably my favorite Kitamura film. i saw a few others, but was never as impressed. though i did like his first american flick, The Midnight Meat Train. did you see that one?

    August 16, 2011 at 4:29 AM

  2. No, i didn`t..It somehow didn`t appeal to me, just watching the cover and a few pics..i never realized that Kitamura did that one…will be correcting that glitch soon, hehe.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:43 AM

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