Customer Reviews


64 Reviews
5 star:
 (25)
4 star:
 (18)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (9)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There should be more movies like this
I was really unsure about buying this film, as it seems that most of the reviews given are written by people who either loved the film, or hated it. However, I realised that this was the same with Azumi- one of my favourite films, and seeing as it was cheap, I bought `Versus' nevertheless. And I LOVED it.

The story is that two prisoners have escaped and are...
Published on 1 Aug 2006 by Debel

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Take a bucket of blood, blend with plenty of weapons, and whisk firmly with zombies until gory.
This Japanese zombie film has plenty of great action and a plot which might be threadbare, but it certainly isn't without merit. For me though the film didn't quite live up to the hype - it's not a bad film, it just isn't all that fab either.

The epic scope of the story is hinted at when we see a historic fight before the film cuts to the modern day. One thing...
Published on 28 Oct 2009 by @GeekZilla9000


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There should be more movies like this, 1 Aug 2006
This review is from: Versus [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
I was really unsure about buying this film, as it seems that most of the reviews given are written by people who either loved the film, or hated it. However, I realised that this was the same with Azumi- one of my favourite films, and seeing as it was cheap, I bought `Versus' nevertheless. And I LOVED it.

The story is that two prisoners have escaped and are waiting for a getaway vehicle in the woods. However, when the getaway car arrives (Filled with really cool Yakuza) it also contains a woman, who, along with one of the prisoners, is the key to opening a portal in the forest. The forest they are in is known as `the forest of resurrection', because whoever dies there, comes back to life as a zombie. As the prisoner flees (the other prisoner is killed) with the woman into the woods, dead bodies that were dumped by the Yakuza come to `life' for some of the greatest and funniest action scenes I've seen in a long time. It turns out that the prisoner and woman are reincarnated people who are needed in some ritual to open the portal. (The problem with explaining all this is that none of the characters have names).

The characters are, in one word: cool. Tak Sakaguchi plays a great (and handsome) lead role as `the dark hero'- it's great to see a hero who isn't completely good. Hideo Sakaki is a great villain- strong and powerful. There are also Kenji Matsuda and Minoru Matsumoto who play the comical Yakuza who create a good few laughs. Kenji is particularly funny to watch when he has become a `hyper-zombie'- hilarious. Then, there are the two cops from which the prisoners escaped played by Shoichiro Masumoto and Yukihito Tanikado, who are entertaining as you watch them bumble about. I couldn't mention the word `cool' without talking about the character played by Yuichiro Arai. He has it all; sunglasses, motorbike, fingerless gloves and a revolver.

The action scenes are great, and are sometimes comical. Although sometimes the shots are so fast that you can't tell what's happening, it's generally clear who's-fighting-who and what they're doing. The shooting scenes are fun and there is no shortage of blood. However, the hand-to-hand combat is sometimes a little unrealistic. A lot of the fights go on for far longer than they would in real life- but more fast-paced action is nothing to complain about. It wouldn't be a Kitamura film without the Katana showdown between hero and villain, which happens at the end of the film.

The storyline is a little difficult to follow, mostly because some of it is not explained very well, if at all. Although, I love the reincarnation idea. We are shown the characters in the present, although we see about five minutes in their past reincarnation and, at the end of the movie, their future reincarnation. It's great to see what the characters looked like in the past, and what they'll look like in the future.

I think that something else that needs noting is the humorous jokes throughout the film. One of my favourites is one of the cop's attempts to dodge a rocket from a large gun with the famous `Neo's bullet dodge'. He leans backwards just like Neo does, but instead he just blows up.

Something else that I thought was worth mentioning was the `making of' extra on the DVD. Most foreign movies have perhaps a trailer and that's about it, but this `making of' is entertaining and interesting to watch. It's about half an hour long, shows footage from shooting, and reading scripts, and talks about some of the problems they encountered whilst shooting the film and how they overcame them. The story of Tak breaking his tooth was a particularly interesting one.

This is an eighteen film because of the swearing, and the amount of gore and violence. Unlike Azumi, which involves a lot of blood but no gore at all, this film has plenty of it. Things such as people having their hearts ripped from their chest or being punched through the head are a couple of the gory parts in this film. Although, this film fits in the action genre more than the horror.

Generally, this is a really good film. As long as you don't take it seriously, and ignore the plot holes, this film is a great action movie filled with plenty of fighting, blood, gore and cool weapons. I think it's great that there are still action movies that don't try to appeal to a larger audience by excluding violence and blood. There should be more movies like this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there any party?, 17 Jun 2009
By 
EJ Woods "Ruby Doll" (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I first rented this dvd, the girl in the shop smiled and said she liked it...by the time I returned it, I'd watched it repeatedly and after I'd handed it over, I immediately scoured the dvds for sale box for my own copy.

If the story feels like they were making it up as they went along - that's because they were. It was filmed over a long period because the budget kept running out and they could only afford to film in the ski resort off peak season. The cast took turns cooking, in between takes they wrapped themselves in blankets because it was so cold, the zombies are mostly the director's friends. The acting is...well, in the commentary, the director complains about his leading man - who is sitting next to him - but you can't deny the characters have personality.

So the film is mostly about fighting. It's called Versus, it does what it says on the tin. Samurai vs zombies, escaped criminals versus yakuza, yakuza versus zombies - all of it filmed with style. And it's the sort of film which divides opinion. You can complain about the plot, the acting or you can just enjoy the craziness of it all.

So what do you get for your extra cash? You get the dub (worth listening to in order to pick out the bits they didn't dub - Japanese guys do the best evil giggles) and a better version of the subtitles - no more "you have finished with your roll" - although part of the charm of the original was imagining the buffet just out of shot. You get ten extra minutes of footage - these aren't deleted scenes - those who were available went back to the forest and shot extra bits which they then slotted seamlessly into the original. Plus they added a bit of blood here, neated up an effect there, changed some of the music...

If the film is like the original but supersized, then the extras are like getting a whole load of side orders too. There are three commentaries - including one in English and the behind the scenes shots show how much work, dedication and fun went into the making of the film. There are two shorts which are even more bizarre and even less plot, plus the main character's video diary as he goes to a German film festival - this could have been dull save for his quirky sense of humour and very nice behind.

The director has recently made his first Hollywood film, The Midnight Meat Train - if you liked the bit with Ted Raimi, or indeed The Evil Dead films, then you should check out Versus. He had a fraction of the budget and inexperienced actors but so did Peter Jackson when he made Brain Dead. And what happened to that guy?

Just enjoy Versus for the ride that it is - don't expect any philosophy deeper than "some people are better off dead". Yeah, tell that to the zombie yakuza.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zombies versus the Yakuza, 27 July 2006
This review is from: Versus [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
The title of this review tells you everything you need to know. Or rather, it doesn't tell you much about the movie, but if you like the idea of a movie with a battle between zombies and the Yakuza, then you're going to like Versus. Also, it has a cover with a guy in a leather coat toting a gun and a sword - you just know that's a good sign, right?

If you don't mind a totally flimsy and rediculous plot, and like a bit of slapstick with your mindless violence, then this is a movie for you. I initially got this from Amazon rentals, but it was such a hit in our household that we subsequently bought it, and it's been watched about once every other month.

Also, for some strange reason the "I'm a feminist" line cracks me up every time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect release., 27 May 2011
By 
Mr. K. Arts "keirarts" (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A mysterious unnamed escaped convict fleeing through the forrest of ressurection stumbles across a mottley group of yakuza thugs, a beautiful girl and a whole boatload of heavily armed zombies. Thus ensues a battle between good and evil that seemingly never ends, against an enemy who seems unkillable. The question you need to ask yourself when watching however, who is the good guy?
Ryuhei kitamura, director of azumi and the pretty decent clive barker film midnight meat train mad his debut with this ultra low-budget action horror hybrid that hit dvd in the uk some years ago now. The film has built up a loyal fanbase over the years, with an 'ultimate cut' special edition released a few years back with additional scenes and boatloads of extras.The films popularity stems from it being really rather good with plenty of frantic action, boatloads of gore and some genuinelly funny humour. Now it seems, the film is due a blu-ray release, I can assure you the film is very good the question is, is the blu-ray?

The answer is a reserved yes. In terms of picture the whole package has definately been upgraded, showing up damage in the print and grain in the image. I always felt the tokyo shock discs never looked as good as the uk tartan one, but this is still better than the previous releases in spite of some of the faults. The version released is the 119 minutes theatrical verson (slightly longer for the uk before anyone comments) and this is a good thing for me as I never really cared much for the extended cut. Extras wise we get two commentary tracks, several documentary's and featurettes plus 'nervous' short film.

Overall if you like the film check it out, if the image had been somewhat sharper i'd have rated this five stars but it's still the best presentation of the film sofar.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sod logic! Let's just have more violence., 2 July 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Does it make sense? No!
Does it have a (reasonable) plot? No!
Does it fail to entertain? No!
Let's be honest, Versus is dumb thrilling entertainment. You don't need a valid reason for why the bad guy is bad, you don't need a valid reason for everything that is happening to happen and you certainly don't need a valid reason to have zombies. That's just it. It's entertaining stuff with guns, katanas, zombies and more guns.

Now this version is the special Director's Cut version which has to added and renewed scenes. But what ever you do, do not believe the run time stated here! I don't know which part of this Ultimate DVD is 157 mins (2 hrs 37 mins) because the feature film is just a little over 2 hours. The added scene are a little obvious to the (un)trained eye but, hey, it's not a perfect film so we can forgive director Ryuhei Kitamura for that. Entertaining and well worth a little of you time to watch.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new angle on the zombie genre, 7 July 2003
This review is from: Versus [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
A non stop barrage of violence and cheesy one liners. The action scenes in this movie go well beyond the call of duty. Zombie film fans and martial arts film fans will enjoy equally. Better action scenes than the Matrix done at a fraction of the cost. Ultra-slick and ultra-cool this Japanese movie maker has brought a new angle to the zombie genre. The plot may be a little thin (as with many zombie films) but the viewer has many stunning visuals to enjoy. Don't read subtitles? Your loss!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer fun, 26 July 2005
This review is from: Versus [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
VERSUS may be my favourite film. I don't mean it's the best film ever made, just one that I find endlessly enjoyable and can watch over and over again. You have to go in remembering that it was shot with zero budget, guerilla style in the forest, and most of the cast & crew had minimal prior experience - i.e. you're not going to get Hollywood blockbuster special effects, or oscar winning acting... what you can look forward to is a bunch of guys making no money stretch extremely far and having a really good time making a cool, funny, twisted and ultraviolent action film with zombies, samurai, kung fu and buckets of gore. Suggestions that the film doesn't have a plot are a) false (it's just not a 3-act narrative structure, more an unpeeling of layers) and b) entirely beside the point! It's all about the style, the action, the violence and sheer juvenile *fun*.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Take a bucket of blood, blend with plenty of weapons, and whisk firmly with zombies until gory., 28 Oct 2009
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Versus [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This Japanese zombie film has plenty of great action and a plot which might be threadbare, but it certainly isn't without merit. For me though the film didn't quite live up to the hype - it's not a bad film, it just isn't all that fab either.

The epic scope of the story is hinted at when we see a historic fight before the film cuts to the modern day. One thing that strikes you right away is the quality of the DVD transfer - it isn't great. The DVD compression struggles with the grainy video and action scenes are a tad smeared - if you have a Blu-ray player then you'd be better renting/paying a bit more for a high-def version of the film which can cope better with the source material. The editing is a bit 'choppy' too and the various angles comprising a scene can look a bit clumsily put together - sometimes the quality of the picture is differs from scene to scene, almost as if it was shot on different types of film and then stitched together.

Versus sometimes feels over-acted, but this is essentially a zombie film and most viewers will be watching for blood spattering action so you can excuse it for seeming a bit like an amateur production at times. The action is intense and impressively choreographed, but you might find yourself clock-watching after an hour or so when it's obvious that you aren't going to get much more of anything else.

In a nutshell: This is a film which is designed to please fans of action films, particularly action films which involve a lot of blood, guts, severed bits of bodies - and of course zombies. It's limited by a story which is in itself a good concept, but done little justice by this grainy film which could have been shot in the woods by amateur enthusiasts.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars One versus another, 6 July 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Versus [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Zombies. Escaped convicts. Mobsters. An ancient battle between two men. And a forest that seemingly grants eternal life... one way or another.

More questions than answers are raised in the oblique, shifting storyline of the cult hit "Versus," since director RyŻhei Kitamura seems intent on winding eerie, bizarre plot twists all around the seemingly simple plot. It has plenty of gore, fighting and a brilliant debut performance by Tak Sakaguchi -- as well as a timeless battle between good and evil that apparently lasts throughout multiple reincarnated lives. And we're not quite sure which is which.

According to the movie, there are 666 portals concealed in this world, which connect to the "other side." One of these is in Japan, called the Forest of Resurrection -- which apparently is connected to a long ago priest and samurai's fight.

Present day: Prisoner KSC2-303 (Sakaguchi) and his fellow escapee are met near the Forest by a gang of mobsters, but the already-tense atmosphere rapidly degenerates into a bloody war. And then dead bodies start getting up and savagely attacking people. The prisoner escapes with a mysterious girl (Chieko Misaka) whom the mobsters had been ordered to bring there -- he's compelled to protect her, and she seems strangely familiar to him.

The mobsters pursue the girl and the prisoner into the Forest, intending to kill them both -- but the prisoner and their crazy leader both cause even more deaths... and more gun-toting bloodthirsty zombies. So what exactly is going on here? Apparently a neverending battle throughout the centuries in this very Forest, over a young woman with a mysterious power -- and it brings Prisoner KSC2-303 up against an ancient enemy (Hideo Sakaki) whom he's fought in endless prior incarnations.

"Versus" is one of those movies you should watch at least twice -- a lot of its cryptic twists and eerie explanations fly over your head on the first viewing, and you're likely to not really understand the underlying plot. While it's a cool horror/action flick on the surface, it becomes even more than that as the story of the Man versus the Prisoner is slowly unpeeled like the layers of an onion. Flashbacks, hints of familiarity, and a brilliant twist ending that turns everything upside down.

If there's a problem with "Versus," it's that many of the questions raised are left unanswered -- while some are best left to the imagination, others are just headscratchers.

And RyŻhei Kitamura does a great job directing, with lots of gritty action, circling cameras and sharp jagged cuts from down on the ground. He also liberally slathers the entire movie in vast gushers of blood, dismembered body parts (Sakaguchi bisects a guy in the first scene), and savage fights with guns, swords and fists.Tak Sakaguchi spins through the movie with savage grace like a blood-spattered ballet dancer, and he manages to make constant mayhem and destruction look easy and uncomplicated.

And Kitamura gives the whole movie a certain gruesome sense of humor -- there's a knife-swinging mobster who is absolutely cackling-bugnuts, and the zombies produce plenty of over-the-top gore. And Sakaguchi has a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek scene where he strips off a dead man's clothes, and poses coolly in a long sweeping leather coat (while the girl tells him, "You're crazy!").

This was only Sakaguchi's first movie role, but the gorgeous guy handles it beautifully -- he's all cool, sharp-eyed intensity, and manages to hint that there's something strange underneath the callous criminal exterior. Sakaki has an equally dangerous, lean vibe as the mysterious Man who serves as the prisoner's counterpart, and Misaka holds her own as a psychic damsel who is trying to stay afloat in a situation where nobody can be fully trusted.

"Versus" is a brilliantly layered, twisting tale with plenty of gore, dismemberment and razor-sharp action scenes -- and if it didn't leave some of its questions unanswered, it would be the perfect cult flick. Definitely catch this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style Versus Content, 14 Jan 2005
By 
Mr. Od Smith "d2kvirus" (Coulsdon, Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Versus [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Take a look at that cover. A guy wearing a long leather trench coat, with a katana sword in one hand, and a pistol in the other. Already you're intrigued, aren't you? After all, it's Japanese, on the Asia Extreme label, so the signs are looking good. Well...
There is a huge great problem with versus that becomes apparent after 20 minutes - plot, and lack thereof. The opening credits speak of a portal to hell (number 444) and we begin with a samurai slicing a zombie in half to fade in. And the film continues this way into the present day, with a couple of escaped prisoners meeting with the yakuza, finding out there's a reason the place is called The Forest of Resurrection, and are chased just long enough before the yakuza remember the place is a dumping ground for bodies. And, yes, this is where a lot of the appeal comes from, with the notion of yakuza versus zombies, using a combination of martial arts and heavy duty weaponry. The problem that occurs is that, after this, a new plot that makes no sense comes in (something to do with Good versus Evil), and a raft of new characters appear out of nowhere to up the bodycount and little more.
Normally, this wouldn't matter due to the film obviously being a mindless bodycounter, but the fact the plot lurches from one tack to another and stops making any semblance of sense at a rapid pace because of it, in the end it does boil down to how cool a fight is, how large explosions are, and how many pieces a character can be reduced to in a short space of time. Yes, it may be amusing, but the initial promise surely offered much more than that? Especially when, in the hands of somebody like Takashi Miike, it would've jumped out of the rut of averageness with some more creative flourishes adding to proceedings so, so easily.
However, there are a few good chuckles to be had here and there - although the police subplot isn't one of them, although tries to be - especially a long-overdue riposte to The Matrix's bullet-time shot where it becomes apparent a person can't lean back that far, just as a very large gun has been discharged at them...
If you don't mind watching a rather shallow film that doesn't quite know where it's going, proved once and for all by a pointless epilogue tacked on to the end, you couldn't go far wrong with this for at least one viewing. A second one may not be such a good idea, though, because that's when the tissue-thin content finally undoes the film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Versus [DVD] [2000]
Versus [DVD] [2000] by RyŻhei Kitamura (DVD - 2003)
£3.40
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews