Versus – Review June 18, 2009Posted by Cello in Movie Reviews.
According to legend, there are 666 paranormal portals on the planet Earth, each one a doorway to another, often dangerous, dimension. In the rural woods of Japan stands #444, smack dab in the middle of the Forest of Resurrection. Prisoner KSG-301 along with his cell mate escape while being transferred which has been set up by a Yakuza influence. They meet up with their so called saviors only to receive orders which include keeping a girl hostage for the boss. KSG-301 does not agree with them and tells them to let the girl go. After a brief gun fight everyone realizes something is terribly wrong and the dead are coming back to life.
Versus is filled with violence. It contains an incredible number of fights that involve both firearms and martial arts. Between the gunplay and martial arts, missing limbs and lost internal organs, the forces of evil conspire to destroy good once and for all. Such a cosmic battle must have clear combatants, but in this gory game of Versus, it’s hard to decide which side should win – and which will destroy us all. There is very little in the way of plot. In fact, only one of the characters is even given a name. Bullets and fists attack with gory frequency, making sure the pace never slows, and characters endlessly pose and fawn as they blow away baddies.
Except for a brief coda at the end the entire film also takes place in a single outdoor location, the Forest of Resurrection. While this obviously helped keep production costs to a minimum, with its static scenery Versus is entirely too long for the story it’s trying to tell – which is 2 hours of zombie dismemberment and martial arts-samurai mayhem in the woods. There is some annoying shaky action camerawork at first, but that calms down to a reasonable level. There is a lot of “shooting my pistol horizontal, gangsta-style” shots, and, of course, there is plenty of frantic techno music. Versus is a good movie that plays like a western indie film. The filming doesn’t have the clear polished look of bigger budget films but it works in this application.
Zombies aren’t much of a match for gun and katana-wielding yakuza, and there are some mighty creative ways to kill on display here. But you watch it for the sheer brain dead fun of it. You should avoid the English dub. The original voices are much, much better. Even with subtitles on, you will not spend much time reading. The movie is just one fight after another. By now you should know what you’re getting into. If no plot, ultra violent movies aren’t your thing, steer clear. For the rest of us blood junkies, this movie comes obviously recommended. I feel that every horror fan [although I won’t categorize this as horror], especially indie horror film makers, owes him or herself to at least give Versus an honest shot.