Versus

VERSUS. 2000

Director: Ryuhei Kitamura

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



VersusGeorge Romero's original Night of the Living Dead (1968) really is a classic film with much more going on in it than the low-budget zombie jibblets at the surface.

How any film fan who understands the difference between Romero & the average zombie film director could mistake Versus (2000) for anything but laughable & bad is beyond me. But the film has a minor reputation as significant in its narrow sphere. The epithet "cult masterpiece" sticks to it like dogshit sticks to a dead dog's anus.

A criminal who has just busted out of prison has a rendezvous with a crew of comic book style gangsters in the Forest of Resurrection. Soon they are killing one another with guns & swords, then do it again after getting reanimated by the forest.

VersusNot everything by Ryuhei Kitamura is quite this lousy, but most of it is about physical motion with storytelling taking a back seat to karate poses & shootouts.

See for examples the reviews of Alive (2002) & Aragami: The Raging God of Battle (2002), both of which are better trash than Versus.

There is no character development (nobody even has a name) & no particular plot. It's just an excuse for loud but otherwise mediocre choreography with & without weapons. It is action for action's sake with scarsely any context. I can't imagine anyone but staggering drunken zombies getting anything much out of it, but hey, the world is full of those.

For about half an hour the sheer hutzpah of Versus: Director's Cut fobbing itself off as a film is entertaining, but thereafter it is just boring. It delights in making no internal sense whatsoever & is like an amateur film shot in the woods with some bad actors either shooting guns or pretending to be zombies. Big whoop.

A more imaginative Japanese zombie film would be:
Stacy, 2001

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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