Film Review: Versus (2000)

Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, written by Ryhukei Kitamura and Yudai Yamaguchi, and starring Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka, and Kenji Matsuda.

"Several Japanese mobsters are dispatched to pick up an escaped convict in a place known as the 'Forest of Resurrection,' where the dead have recently become reanimated as zombies. The convict they are sent to retrieve turns out to have a strange destiny involving repeated reincarnations of himself and several other people throughout history."

The story isn't important. Trust me. None of the characters even have real names (Prisoner KSC2-303, The Man, The Girl, etc.). As simple as it is, it's still confusing. But the basics are: an eternal prisoner escapes into a forest, that somehow resurrects the dead yakuza buried there, and his eternal evil twin has an eternal woman hostage, whom the prisoner loved in a former life, and they must battle. Yeah. But that was all just an excuse so that the filmmakers could make one of the most badass martial arts movies with no budget, and that's what it is.


Most of these actors aren't even actors. They're martial artists. You'll see shit that you couldn't do if you trained everyday for the next twenty years. And that's all this is meant to be: eye candy. It's a fun ride, and easily the best low/no budget movie I've ever seen. One downside is that the zombies still use guns and knives, though they never technically call them zombies or explain why they are back from the dead (ie. evil spirits). Just don't watch the dubbed version (which I never do). It's fucking terrible. Unless you need a good laugh. This is the first from the same director as Azumi and the more recent The Midnight Meat Train, so there's all kinds of epic win to be found.

Best quote: "You can't hit me! I have five hundred times faster reflexes than Mike Tyson!"

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