KultCinema.ca

Action / Arrow Films / Comedy / Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller

Versus (2000) 2-Disc Blu-ray: A bizarre zombie flick

Arrow Video (USA) is releasing director Ryuhei Kitamura’s bloody Yakuza/Zombie action, Versus (2000) on a 2-Disc Blu-ray set.

A relentless one-of-a-kind sensory assault chock full of hyper-kinetic fight scenes, gangster shootouts, sword-slashing violence and gory zombie horror, Versus was a key title amongst the barrage of innovative horror and action movies that appeared as if from nowhere from Japan at the turn of the millennium, leading to a new wave of appreciation for Asian extreme cinema.

A mysterious face-off in a wooded clearing between two escaped convicts and a carload of sharply dressed yakuza holding a beautiful woman captive ends in hails of bullets and showers of blood. The location for this violent encounter is the mythic Forest of Resurrection, the site of the 444th portal of the 666 hidden gates that link this earthly domain to the netherworld – and it didn’t get this name for anything. As one of the surviving prisoners escapes with the girl into the darkness of the forest, disgruntled gangsters soon become the least of their worries as an earlier battle between a lone warrior against hordes of zombie samurai is carried over from a millennium ago into the present day.

Versus caused a sensation both in Japan and internationally upon its release, launching the careers of director Ryûhei Kitamura (Godzilla Final Wars, Midnight Meat Train) and action star and fight choreographer Tak Sakaguchi (Battlefield Baseball, Yakuza Weapon). Arrow Video is proud to present this mythic cult title in both its original 2000 and expanded 2004 Ultimate Versus iterations, in a brand new, director-approved restoration.

For a low-budget ghost-yakuza thriller, Versus is a fairly impressive achievement.

Michael Wilmington — Chicago Tribune

Release date: December 8, 2020
Genre: Action / Fantasy


DirectorRyuhei Kitamura
CastTak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka
CountryJapan
Production Year2000
Discs2 Blu-ray Discs
RegionA
Run Time119 minutes
FormatsColor / 2K / 2.39:1
AudioJapanese / English
SubtitleEnglish
StudioArrow Video (USA)

Special features

BRAND NEW 2K restoration from original film elements by Arrow Films, approved by director Ryûhei Kitamura
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentations of both versions of the film: the original 2000 cut and 2004’s Ultimate Versus, featuring over 10 minutes of new and revised footage
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

Disc 1 — Versus (2000)

Original lossless Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 stereo audio and English 2.0 stereo audio
Optional English subtitles
Audio commentary by Kitamura and producer Keishiro Shin
Audio commentary by Kitamura and the cast and crew
New visual essay on the career of Kitamura by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp
Behind Versus, a two-part behind-the-scenes documentary exploring the film’s production
First Contact: Versus Evolution, a featurette exploring the film’s origins
Tak Sakaguchi’s One-Man Journey, an archival featurette on the actor’s visit to the 2001 Japan Film Festival in Hamburg
Film festival screening footage
Team Versus, a brief look inside the Napalm Films office
Deep in the Woods, an archival featurette featuring interviews with Kitamura, cast, and crew
The Encounter, an archival interview with editor Shûichi Kakesu
Deleted scenes with audio commentary by Kitamura, cast, and crew
Nervous and Nervous 2, two “side story” mini-movies featuring characters from the main feature
Featurette on the making of Nervous 2
Versus FF Version, a condensed, 20-minute recut of the film
Multiple trailers
Image gallery

Disc 2 — Ultimate Versus (Expanded cut in 2004)

Original lossless Japanese 6.1 and 2.0 stereo audio and English 6.1 and 2.0 stereo audio
Optional English subtitles
Audio commentary by Kitamura, cast, and crew
Sakigake! Otoko versus Juku, a featurette on the newly shot material for Ultimate Versus
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film and a reprinted interview with Kitamura by Tom Mes, and notes on the making of the film by Kitamura

Versus (2000) trailer

Notice: The picture quality of these videos do not reflect the picture quality of the Blu-ray or DVD in this package.

Leave A Comment