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DVD Reviews: Versus
  Genre: World Movies: Japanese: Supernatural Action/Horror

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: July 2004
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 120 mins





Yakuza zombies, samurai, timetravel, sorcery, reincarnation, pretty Japanese babes and even more zombies, Versus is a title that I had an absolute ball watching. 

The funny thing is that in the start of the movie, you'll essentially be wondering what the hell is going on. Prisoner KSC2-303 and another prisoner have escaped and arrangements have been made for them to be brought into the captivity of a Yakuza warlord. A fight breaks out amongst 303 and the Yakuza thugs when he finds that they also have a young lady held against her will with them. One of the Yakuza is killed and promptly comes back to life is this damned forest they are all in.

This flick packs style and tons of it into it's running time. Prisoner 303 is your quintessential hero who is the good looking guy with nerves of steel. His clothing is cool and gives him that certain something that will appeal to all viewers, just bear in mind that he stole it from a corpse! Gun and swordplay have a major focus here, quite deliberately as you will learn if you take the time to treat yourself to the directors interview in the extras section. 

The rest you are going to have to see for yourself and it's a mega cool black comedy of sorts packed with action and everything else that makes Asian cinema one of my favorite forms of entertainment. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys the supernatural! It's not scary enough to be called horror although there are certainly some horrific elements to the visual appearance of some of the undead Yakuza. There's also plenty of blood and gore so the squeamish out there have been warned.

I am going to add this here and in the extras section, do not watch the extras first as there is a major spoiler waiting there for you that will totally wreck the very nice twist waiting at the end of the film! The feature runs for two hours and seriously is so good that you will not notice the time passing. It's also been slugged with an R 18+ rating which in my opinion is a bunch of bollocks. M15+ would have done it fine, the Office of Film and Literature amaze me with whatever system they have there.

Highly recommended!


16:9 video, Nice and clear, shot with a clear flair, this is one good looking movie that just plain and simple screams "cool". It's really surprising how good this film looks when you get into the extras and are made aware of their budget restrictions when making it.


Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 with English Subtitles. Sound on this flick is awesome and encompasses the viewer, everything works so very well that you will literally feel that you are in the film.


The extras here are sweet and include a mini movie called Nervous that will have you laughing. The interview with director Ryuhei Kitamura is extremely interesting for the simple fact that he speaks very well in English and is very opinionated. One thing to be very sure of is that you do not watch the making before the main feature as he does give away a main plot point. You have been warned...

Of course the obligatory trailers are here as well and whilst I usually don't think they really count toward the score, I'll often make exceptions for Eastern Eye Trailers as they are highly entertaining in their own right so make sure you check them out.

Copyright 2004 www.impulsegamer.com