Versus Review

Within our world there exist 666 portals to the other side. In Japan, there is the 444th portal, The Forest of Resurrection.

It is never defined what “The other side” really is, is it a gateway to the afterlife; Heaven or Hell? Or to some other dimension where monsters lurk. The only thing we know is whoever can open the gates will get the power of darkness.

No one in the movie has a name. The two main characters are called Prisoner KSC2-303 and The Girl, the main bad guy is called The Man, his gang has names like Yakuza Leader with butterfly knife and Crazy yakuza with amulet. This is OK, because we don’t remember these guys by their names, we remember them by their characteristics and personalities. Whenever you’re talking about a character you only need to say what they are like to remember them. For Yakuza Leader with butterfly knife all I need to say is “That crazy weird guy who acts so strange and off the wall with guns and knives who wants to kill pretty much anyone” and you have a picture of him, the other thing you can say to remember him is “Best character in the movie” because his character is so fun to watch.

Reading the synopsis you’d be forgiven for thinking it is more a film about demonic monsters but it’s a zombie film. The dead rise from graves all over the forest and attack the living. First, they just shamble towards them, then we see them start using guns and even choke their victims. Later we have zombies using martial arts, knives, shotguns, allowing for some fun and creative fight scenes.

The film doesn’t take itself seriously, the zombies aren’t treated so much as a threat than monsters to be dispatched in various stylish ways, such as striking unnatural poses and unloading an entire clip into zombies, not that the guns need much reloading, while we see a few reloading clips they hold much more bullets than they should. The comedy mixes well with the action and paces itself between a scene of pure action and of pure comedy. There is a fight scene between KSC2-303 and an enemy with shades near a river, after beating him, KSC2-303 takes the enemy’s shade and puts them on, gives a cocky grin and a rock guitar riff plays over it as the camera zooms in, only to turn to the girl and after a few seconds, shakes her head, the camera then zooms out as KSC2-303 gives a disappointed look and takes off the glasses as a guitar plays a more disappointed riff.

It comes together to allow for a film that blends comedy, action and even some tension for a fun experience that doesn’t take itself too seriously.


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