By: John M Jerva
Fans will be able to see action Star Tak Sakaguchi soon when he unloads his 77 minute one take Samurai epic Crazy Samurai Musashi when it hits from Well Go USA as well as director Ryuhei Kitamura’s latest The Doorman with Ruby Rose and Jean Reno when it releases next month but it’s time to go back to the past as the film Versus which put both men on the map is set to hit special edition Blu-Ray in December!
When I say special edition, I really mean it as this release is locked and loaded with numerous special features goodness to satisfy even the most jaded fan out there and the film, which has gone to become a cult classic is definitely worth checking out for those that are new to the party.
Versus is truly a great viewing experience as it is one of the most hyperactive, balls to the wall martial arts/action/horror hybrids ever made and it features some insane fight s film that has to be seen to be believed. Check out the in depth coverage of the new release below!
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 nothing. 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 Ryuhei Kitamura (The Doorman, Midnight Meat Train) and action star and fight choreographer Tak Sakaguchi (Re:Born, Battlefield Baseball). Arrow Video is proud to present this mythic cult title in both its original 2000 and expanded 2004 Ultimate Versusiterations, in a brand new, director-approved restoration.
If you’re on the fence about buying this edition of the film then fear not and immerse yourself in all the special features you’ll get when you buy it!
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements by Arrow Films, approved by director Ryuhei 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
- 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
That’s not all folks! Oh no! Here’s what comes on the second disc in the collection!
Disc 2: Ultimate Versus
- 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: Collector’s Booklet
How about that?! If you’re a fan of this 2000 movie then this will be the ultimate pickup for you!
Versus will hit the shelves on December 8th and is already available for pre-order so do yourself a favor and grab it today! Versus + Ultimate Versus (2-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray] https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JZWNGKW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_50mCFb2GF901G