“They Were Definitely Dead . . . But They Came Back to Life.”

As anyone who reads this blog can attest to, I enjoy a lot of very silly movies. Sure, I like serious movies too, but there’s a special place in my heart for camp and gore, and my right ventricle just goes absolutely nuts for any kind of zombie movie. So, naturally, I was quite excited to see Versus, a Japanese horror/action/comedy with zombies fighting yakuza in the Forest of Resurrection!

But it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you, I didn’t really enjoy this cult favorite at all.

Summary:

Prisoner KSC2-303 escapes from a prison transport and meets up with some friendly Yakuza in the Forest of Resurrection. The meet goes bad when someone gets dead. The meet goes really bad when that dead person gets back up again. And it just gets downright sucky when KSC2-303 reluctantly begins to discover his destiny.

Notes:

1. I almost didn’t write a review for this film because I don’t know how much I have to say. I just didn’t really like it. It’s not that I was expecting a really serious movie, or a film where the plot was given some kind of consideration. But the funny wasn’t funny enough, and the action got so repetitive that I was often kind of bored. There were parts that made me smile, but mostly this movie was just forgettable.

2. Some stuff that was funny—well, the Batshit Crazy Yakuza was. Kind of had to laugh at him because he was just so, WTF? And the idiotic, prison transport guys started out pretty amusing, particularly the one bragging that he studied with the FBI at Langley and learned how to track or something at Yellowstone in Canada. But the resolution of their storyline was just like, Wow, THAT was pointless. And beyond that . . . I don’t know. I just wasn’t that into it.

3. Of course, Versus is more of an action than a comedy, so maybe if the action scenes were really entertaining . . . but after awhile, it became clear that I was watching the same fight over and over again. If I had to watch one more person spit out a huge mouthful of blood, or see the camera make another crazy circle around a stationary character, or watch two more guys stare off for five years before actually fighting . . . I don’t know what I would have done, honestly, but it would have been something drastic. Puppies would have whimpered. Children would have wept. Etc.

I love gross-out gore as much as the next zombie lover, but after awhile, I was actually bored of the gore. That’s a very bad sign.

4. The very last scene had this crazy twist that might have been a neat idea in an entirely different movie where plot was more important, but, clearly, that was not this movie. But credit where credit’s due: I did enjoy that end. I just thought it was sort of wasted in a movie like Versus.

5. Like I said before, I just don’t have much to say about this one. I got through the film, and I didn’t seriously consider turning it off before finishing it. That’s good. But I was also waiting for Versus to be over, or at least get a lot better, for a very long time. Everyone’s reviews I’ve read of this movie have said how awesome it is, unless you’re expecting some amazing, Oscar-worthy film like Sense and Sensibility or something. But the thing is, I never was expecting that, and I still found it boring. In this kind of movie, boredom is sort of unacceptable. Boredom is the kiss of death to silly, Japanese, zombie movies.

I hate disliking cult classics, but sometimes, I just do.

Tentative Grade:

C

Moral:

You cannot avoid your destiny. Also, the Yakuza are some crazy motherfuckers. Especially this guy.

Watch out for this guy.

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5 Responses to “They Were Definitely Dead . . . But They Came Back to Life.”

  1. Brandon says:

    I’m with you on this one. Versus is in the “So Bad It’s Bad” category.

    Never a good thing.

  2. Fatpie42 says:

    I think you’ll find this is one of those movies like Hellraiser that you start off going “what the bleeding hell was that and where did it’s reputation ever come from”. You then go away. Someone brings it up and you find yourself wanting to watch it again. (I haven’t got round to watching Hellraiser a second time yet, but I’ve already got the craving.)

    It was only when I re-watched Versus about six months or so later that I came into it with the right frame of mind and really enjoyed it.

    • You know, later, at some point in my life, I could probably try Versus again, see if I found it more amusing on a second go around . . . but I have no interest in EVER watching Hellraiser again. I could try out the sequel, maybe—a few people told me its better than the first one—but I really, really didn’t like that movie.

      • Fatpie42 says:

        Sorry for the late reply. Have you reviewed Hellraiser here? Or was it a long while ago. I’d be interested to see what you thought and I could imagine that I’d have avoided a review of that before I saw it.

  3. I haven’t reviewed Hellraiser on this blog. I think I watched it before I started writing reviews here. If I ever watch it again, maybe—I’ve been thinking about doing something like a Second Chance Tuesday—but I certainly don’t have any immediate plans to.

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