Versus title

Tag Line : Witness a battle no-one had ever seen.

VersusA high octane, action packed gore fest from newcomer director Ryuhei Kitamura. The film starts with two escaped convicts making their way through some forest to meet up with their Yakuza buddies. Arriving at the rendezvous point, they meet up with their contacts but are surprised to see they've brought along a girl hostage for some reason.

One of the escapees isn't too happy about this and gets the impression that the Yakuza aren't really there to help them. So, grabbing a gun, he frees the girl hostage and they take off into the forest with the remaining gang in hot pursuit. Hopelessly outnumbered, they soon find themselves cornered. But then, to everyone’s surprise, the dead gang members that were killed in the preceding shootout suddenly get back up and start attacking their former friends.

It turns out that the forest they’re in happens to be the 444th portal to the “other side” (wherever that is), and the Yakuza have unfortunately been using this place as a dumping ground for their victims. Now, all the people they’ve killed are rising back up out of the ground, and attacking anything that moves. Leading to a series of exceptionally gory running battles between the escaping couple, the pursuing Yakuza and the countless numbers of undead that are leaving their shallow graves in droves.

Perhaps more of an action film than a horror, “Versus” is still none-the-less a gore lovers delight. Filled with gunfights, violent martial arts action and blood by the bucket load. This is well worth seeking out

Film score : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Versus is basically an expanded and re-worked version of an earlier film the director made entitled "Down to Hell", which was a 45minute short feature shot on Super-8 film.

  • The films budget was a mere $400,000

  • When Tak Sakaguchi's character puts a pistol in his mouth, he was original supposed to cock the slide back with his teeth. But when he tried it, he broke one of his teeth. Fortunately, one of the zombie extras happened to work as a dentist, so he fixed it for him.

  • Originally conceived as a sequel to the director's earlier movie "Down to Hell", owing to numerous problems during production he decided to make this as a standalone film.

  • The German rental and sell-through releases were cut to achieve a "not under 18" rating, which trims down all the violence and gore.

  • The scene near the start of the film, where one of the thugs gets killed off, was not in the original script. The director decided to kill the character off as he didn't like the actor.

  • Following the success of this film, director Ryuhei Kitamura was enlisted to help on the development of the video game "Metal Gear Solid 3: The Twin Snakes".

  • Writer Hideo Sakaki went on to script and direct and star in the similarly gory Japanese action/comedy/horror flick "Battlefield Baseball", which also starred lead actor Tak Sakaguchi from "Versus".

  • A sequel, entitled "Team Versus",  was given the go ahead in 2005, but never got off the ground.

  • Tak Sakaguchi went onto appear in the directors subsequent films "Alive" and "The Messenger".

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