Ryuhei Kitamura and Yudai Yamaguchi
Tak Sakaguchi as Prisoner KSC2-303
Hideo Sakaki as The Man
Chieko Misaka as The Girl
By The Zombie Master, Lee Roberts
Question: What do you get when you mix Japanese organized crime members called the Yakuza with martial arts, zombies and a vampire? I didn’t know either but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to find out.
Versus begins with a little bit of back story. It seems that there are 666 portals that connect two worlds. Japan is home to the 444th portal that is in the Forest of Resurrection. 500 years ago there was a great battle between good and evil within the Forest and although it seemed that good was defeated, evil would have to wait to open the portal.
In the present, two escaped convicts are running through the Forest of Resurrection to reach a rendezvous point where they are to be picked up. Yakuza thugs are sent to hold them there but not to kill them. The thugs have also kidnapped a girl (Chieko Misaka) for reason as yet unknown even to the kidnappers. Words are exchanged, egos are challenged, tempers flair, and Prisoner KSC2-203 (Tak Sakaguchi), now referred to as the prisoner, attacks one of the Yakuza thugs, takes his gun and shoots another one of the thugs. Now guns are pointed in every direction and a stalemate is formed, that is until the dead thug sits back up and tries to attack them. The prisoner and the girl run into the forest and are defending themselves when the leader of this Yakuza gang, now referred to as The Man (Hideo Sakaki), shows up and takes control of the situation. The Man, who by the way feeds off of blood and turns those that be bites to do his bidding making him a vampire, just so happens to be the “evil” that has been waiting for 500 years to open the portal. Turns out that the prisoner is the “good” but he doesn’t remember and the girl is the glue that binds them together so to speak but she knows about it. It is a replay of the Good vs. Evil battle that was fought 500 years ago. Will good prevail or will evil have to wait another 500 years?
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. The story is a little choppy, some would say nonexistent, but actually easy to follow. The acting is not great but good just the same. Where Versus really shines is in the special effects. The gore is very top notch for such an obviously small budget.
I feel that every horror fan, especially indie horror film makers, owes him or herself to at least giveVersus an honest shot and if you are not fond of reading your movies then the English dubbed version is actually a little funnier. I prefer subtitles myself though.