Starring: Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki, Chieko Misaka, Kenji Matsuda, Yuichiro
Arai, Minoru Matsumoto, Kazuhito Ohba, Takehiro Katayama

Directed by: Ryuhei Kitamura

Story: A couple of criminals escape from a maximum security prison, only to
end up fighting for their lives against a group of gangsters and zombies in the
Forest of Resurrection.



Review:

This is the second time I've had to review an alternate cut for the same movie.
If you think that this is going to be the same exact review I posted last year,
then you're dead wrong. I've actually got some fresh stuff to add for my
review. It seems that in todays world of horror, Foreign films are very popular.
Thanks to the countless releases hitting store shelves, we get to see most of
the popular cult favorites from other countries. Fans even go as far to ordering
bootleg copies of movies that are not yet released in the US. This just shows
you that there's more to the genre then you may think. Asian horror films offer
something different. They're not always rewarding but it's great to see the
ones that are different and highly entertaining. Whether if it's scares or a good
story, there's always something for everyone when it comes to Asian cinema.
Thanks to Tokyo Shock, we got to revisit one of our favorite cult classics. Right
now I'm reviewing (again) a very cool film that's popular amongst Japanese
horror fans.

It's an action packed movie called Ultimate Versus. Try picturing an action film
set in the woods with tons of fighting, gore and kung fu zombies. Yes that's
right, kung fu zombies. Your mind isn't playing any tricks on you. As cheesy or
ridiculous as it may sound, it actually works, and not in that
"so bad its good"
kind of way. From the director of Azumi and Godzilla Final Wars, "Ultimate
Versus" is an extended version of the movie you die hard fans can't get
enough of. Ultimate Versus is an action based horror film that has just about
everything. Its got action, violence and a very complicated story. It also has a
nice mixture of humor and slapstick, which makes it a lot of fun. The film is
about a pair of escaped convicts who run out into the woods. The couple meet
up with a group of gangsters near a forest road. It turns out that the
gangsters have a woman hostage; the guns are drawn and it's a stand off.

The standoff is cut short, however, when one of the dead gangsters suddenly
springs to life trying to kill his former friends. The zombie eventually goes down
in a hail bullets, but their problems aren't over. It seems the gangsters have
been using this forest to dispose of their victims, all of whom are now looking
to settle some old scores. Even if they get through the hordes of the undead,
there is still the question of why they've arranged to meet the convicts out in
the forest, and why they've brought along the girl. I'll stop right there, for I
don't want to give away the whole movie (even though th story is hard to
understand). For an action based horror film, Ultimate Versus has everything.
There are tons of action sequences in this movie which should be enough to
please any hardcore viewer. There's a lot of fights that involve gun battles, fist
fights and zombie gore. There's even a cameo by Metal Gear creator Hideo
Kojima. If the action sequences in Ultimate Versus look realistic to you, don't
be surprised.

For some of the fights, the cast and crew actually used real weapons due to the
fact that the props looked obviously fake on camera. The knifes used in the
small brawls are real knives, which resulted in some minor cuts. There was even
supposed to be a scene where the anti-hero uses his mouth to cock a gun.
Actor Tak Sakaguchi did his own stunts, so he ended up loosing a tooth and
broke three ribs. If you love action based horror like I do, then you'll drool over
the contents of this of movie. Normally when I think of zombies, I picture the
walking dead. The ones you see in George Romero's movies. The zombies in
Ultimate Versus aren't your typical brain dead fiends. The zombies in this movie
actually fight. The undead get into the action. Not only do they shoot with
guns, but they also get into fist fights with the protagonist. There really isn't
much of an explanation as to why or how the zombies can do these things. It's
very over the top, but it's done so well that you don't question logic.

The movie itself is well paced and excellently directed. Like other movies with a
large story, Ultimate Versus has its slow moment where they explain the story
and the reason behind everything happening. At times it can get confusing, but
it's not too much of a problem. Most of the story is explained, just not in
simple straight forward details. So be sure to keep focused and pay attention
to all the dialogue. Otherwise you'll be left confused. The action and gore alone
should be enough to keep you thirsty for more. This movie is very violent, it
doesn't shy away from the blood and gore at all. In fact it's loaded with it. This
new DVD features 10 minutes of extended footage that were shot three years
after the film's original release. There's more of the stuff we love: fighting. The
added scenes are awesome and make the movie even more enjoyable. The key
difference between this movie and the previous version released on DVD is that
the music is different. The soundtrack in Ultimate Versus is amazing.

It makes the movie even more memorable. The music does a fantastic job is
setting up every scene. Think 'Mortal Kombat', but much cooler. The
soundtrack goes great with the action sequences. As always, the humor in
Versus is great. The slapstick is funny and doesn't go over board. Each
character in the movie have their own brand of humor. The bonus features on
this 3 disc set are amazing. There's literally HOURS of bonus material. The
second disc contains all the behind the scenes stuff, from both Versus and
Ultimate Versus. Disc three contains all the press stuff such as trailers, photos
and even deleted scenes. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Versus is a
great movie. But, Ultimate Versus is even better! The added footage, the
soundtrack, it's all fantastic. I love Ryuhei Kitamura's work, and now I'm
anticipating the 'Versus' sequel even more. Pick up this three disc set, it's a
must have. The movie itself gets a 9/10, while the DVD set gets a perfect
10/10 score from me. Pick this up for you will not be disappointed.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overall: 10/10
Genres: Action, Comedy,
Fantasy, Horror

Rated: Unrated

Country: Japan

Year: 2000/2003

Runtime: 157 minutes

Studio: Tokyo Shock

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Review done by: Nightmare Child
Online since: February 20th, 2006
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