Released in 2001 (though made in 2000), VERSUS became a cult hit. It also suffered a little trimming and in film groups this enraged people (post 1999 we had hoped snipping by the censor would stop.) What we did get was a Cult classic. A smasher. A slice and dice Japanese zombie film that inter spliced THE MATRIX, THE EVIL DEAD and Hong Kong cinema. I hated it and still do but I respect that for many, it was their introduction into great cult films.

Two escaped convicts, a carload of hip yakuza, A beautiful woman. Blood, guts, zombies, bullets and a forest… Well not just any Forest. The Forest of Resurrection no less. This is a site of the 444th portal and the place that links the 666 hidden gates that link this earthly domain to the netherworld. This releases hordes of zombie samurai, who want to kill and eat and not in that order. Can anyone stop them?

VERSUS did create a global sensation upon its release. Director Ryûhei Kitamura (Godzilla Final WarsMidnight Meat Train) became a global name and action star and fight choreographer Tak Sakaguchi (Battlefield BaseballYakuza Weapon) was thrust into the mainstream. Both deserve it. Fast cutting, swift storytelling and tough punches all collide in this rather special film that I still just cant get to like.


Two discs, both 1080p versions. Both are of good quality. The dullness of the DVD is gone. Colours are soft and it looks like its the digital state of 00s cinema. This is expected and in truth I like it because I worked with it. Version wise, the second, Directors (think reshot extra version) cut is the better version to watch and start with but both version are very good.


I want to say that I really liked Versus FF Version, a condensed, 20-minute recut of the film. It reminds me of Super 8 and the old, condensed versions of films from the past. This is a must enjoy for film fans after watching the movie, as it defines how the internet has evolved our viewing experience.


  • 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


  • Original lossless Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 stereo audio and English 2.0 stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by Audio commentary by Kitamura, cast and crew
  • 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


  • 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

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