Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka, Kenji Matsuda, Yuichiro Arai
Director: Ryûhei Kitamura
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Media Blasters Inc. Release Date: 08/19/2003 Run time: 120 minutes
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Member Movie Reviews
Nicole B. from SUN PRAIRIE, WI
Reviewed on 12/7/2007...
This movie is really strange. It's funny as all get-out, because things don't make sense. (And I don't know if they're actually supposed to.)
Dead people keep showing up, or can't be killed, and there's some sort of a love triangle going on... but you can never tell. I'd recommend reading the back of the box so you know what the heck is going on before you watch this film.
A rollercoaster ride of blood and guts
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 02/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Welcome to the Forest of Resurrection, located somewhere in Japan. A brooding, oppressive place far from the view of prying eyes, the forest serves as a hiding place for many unsavory characters. Certain members of a yakuza gang bury their victims here. Escapees from nearby prisons melt away in its deep recesses. Sometimes these two elements meet, the yakuza and prison escapees, and all heck breaks loose. Maybe bloodshed in the Forest of Resurrection is a necessary event, part of a timeless struggle between the forces of good and evil. Maybe the most recent encounter between these prisoners and criminals is the result of some predestination of primordial origin beyond all human understanding. Whatever blood soaked events take place in the Forest of Resurrection, we are relatively certain it has something to do with the fact that this place is one of the 666 gateways to the underworld. The movie never informs us where the other 665 doorways are or what shenanigans go on there. Perhaps it is just as well considering the troublesome happenings in the Forest of Resurrection."Versus" is a massively entertaining film from Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura, a lengthy mind bending gorefest about the timeless struggle between good and evil. Think "Evil Dead" with an Asian attitude slathered with generous helpings of martial arts as you watch two prisoners, one known as KSC2-303, escape from prison and meet up with a carload of posturing thugs dressed in black suits. A lengthy, talky scene takes place as the prisoners and the gangsters meet on a deserted road inside the Forest of Resurrection. The scene seems to run on for ages until you realize it serves as a way to establish some of the characters. We also meet an enigmatic young woman who seems to know more about the area than she is willing to let on at the moment. Things go south quickly between KSC2-303 and the yakuza thugs, resulting in a bloody gun battle and the horrific realization that the dead don't stay dead in this scary place. KSC2-303 flees into the forest with the woman with the remaining yakuza hot on their trail. What follows are lengthy scenes of absolute carnage as the two sides spar with each other for possession of the woman, and with the reanimated corpses of dozens of victims of the very same thugs now roaming through the forest. Further difficulties arise with the arrival of an immortal killer, a few scary looking assassins, a couple of cops in pursuit of the prisoners, and the realization that the woman carries something within her body that promises eternal life. "Versus" delivers rapid-fire gore and goofy humor all wrapped up tight in an engaging story line. Heads explode, limbs fly off, and blood sprays like a geyser throughout the movie as bullets and swords rend the flesh of both the living and the dead. The humor is often ridiculously hammy, sort of a deft mix between the ghoulish giggles of a Quentin Tarentino or Sam Raimi film married to numerous running sight gags. As for the engaging story line, well, imagine a place where the same people endlessly reappear to do battle through the ages, but with a huge twist at the end of the film that makes you question the entire structure of the preceding events. Moreover, "Versus" manages to achieve a rather stylish appearance despite its miniscule budget. Check out the flashback sequences where all of the characters appear decked out in colorful, elaborate samurai garb, and I think you will acknowledge that "Versus" does a good job realizing its plot. It isn't surprising at all to hear about this film earning a place in the cult classic pantheon.Yeah, the film runs a bit too long, and the plot doesn't make much sense for roughly the first half hour, but give it a chance and everything will fall into place. I recommend picking up the Director's Cut edition if for no other reason than you should always watch a movie in the form the director intended it to take. The DVD edition throws in a bunch of trailers for other Japanese films, a commentary track from the director, and a widescreen picture transfer. Good stuff, this "Versus," and definitely worth a watch for the discerning horror buff. Is it the best film the Asian market has to offer? No, but who cares? It is still entertaining as all get out, gory as all get out, and often ridiculous as all get out. So, get out and pick it up right off. Some people hate "Versus," and some people love it. Count me among the latter."
Why cant americans make films like this?
Klauke | NZ | 06/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Without giving too much away, this movie is a zombie/action movie at its best. Basically, a priest arranges to have his henchmen bring a man and a woman to a forest (through the course of the movie, you'll discover their special importance), because they are the crucial elements in his plan to become very powerful. The forest, however, is known as the "forest of resurrection", where many bodies have been buried in the past, and start coming back to life with the arrival of the priest.
This is Independant film making at its best. while filmed on an obviously low budget, you wouldn't know it, as it has better production values than most american films. in the tradition of great old style horror type movies, noone has a name.. not that it matters, as most of em' wont be sticking around long enough. the action is well choreographed, be warned, its pretty violent, but its in the same vein as braindead - the violence is so over the top, that not only is it a joy to watch, but really sells the fun side of the movie too. The humour is sometimes subtle, usually in the form of the characters facial expressions, and their actions, but if your paying attention (and have a good sense of humour) youll find the comedy aspect of this great film, very prominent. The soundtrack is constantly kickin - really upbeat, and helps drive the action sequences along. And one of the best things about the movie, is the unique characters. Each one is a joy to watch - a lot of thought went in to making them truely stand out. The only negative sides to this movie (if you could call them that) is the editing is sometimes pretty quick during the fight scenes (but its really nothing to worry about - it helps create a frantic atmosphere), and the movie is pretty long, due to some more "artistic" shots. To sum up, this is one of the best action/fantasy/comedy/horror movies ive seen in a long time, highly recommended."
VERSUS - Evil Dead meets Yakuza
Mr Wiltshire | United Kingdom | 06/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a classic! Like many cult classics such as Evil Dead, this movie was made with a low budget, and like many cult classics wins due to being just damn cool!A simple story, 2 just escaped prisoners arrange to meet some dodgy gang characters to make their getaway, at the edge of a large forest. Unknown to our cast the forest contains a portal to many other times, and is a bit dangerous. The meeting goes foul and the gang members chase the escapees into the forest. The gang has previously killed and buried many former victims in this forest, but to their misfortune the portal awakens them into an onslaught of Zombies.A magnificent blend of martial arts and gunplay, not forgetting the traditional Samurai swordplay, gives an altogether fast paced action blood fest. This film is not for the feint-hearted, but is great fun for the slasher fan!Having already achieved worldwide cult status, a US dvd release will only help in creating an even larger fan base.The acting is not excellent, the special effects are not the greatest, the plotline is thin, it has moments of cheese, it lacks Hollywood refinement and won't win an Oscar. For fans of this genre it will excite and bring a bit of fun onto your TV screen. I have only seen the uncut version, therefore I cannot comment on the R-rated version which will be released.If you are unsure, then this film is probably not for you. But don't take my word for it, search the web for other reviews of this Japanese Cult Classic and make up your own mind!"