VERSUS - THE CRYSTAL METH SCHOOL OF ACTING
In an abandoned underground city at the Spanish coast, near Malaga, I found a USB stick containing 300 random movies from arthouse to weird, from obscure to notorious. Now, in Lockdown, it is time to watch and discuss them all in an international podcast project. Two Turks and a German, two filmmakers and a mystery man - Welcome to Mysterium Pictorum!
In our second episode, we tackle VERSUS by RYUHEI KITAMURA. In this context, we discuss martial arts, no budget filmmaking, splatter, censorship, the German film industry, Japanese cinema in general, drugs substituting for drama schools, East-Asian feminism, film pitches of our own, and many more delightful topics! Listen, review & subscribe, if you like! We love you! <3
When I was fourteen, I dragged my friends to the woods surrounding our small town, to make a zombie movie. I had planned some effects (a beheading, a stabbing, a disembowelment), had mixed film blood according to a recipe by Olaf Ittenbach that I am still using to this day, an empty Mini DV tape was in my camera - We were ready to become the next stars in the German amateur splatter scene.
Indeed, it was really easy back then, in the early days of the internet: I edited some of our footage together (my dad stumbled into my room while I was editing, found our video appalling, and stumbled back out), took some screenshots, wrote a little letter and off we went, actually appearing on the front pages of some eZines dedicated to the scene.
The following couple of weekends, we would meet up in the forest again and again, shooting more scenes and slowly but surely coming up with some sort of convoluted, mythological story to give all the "characters" we were dressing up as a reason to become zombies and kill each other. We did this until it was winter and we shot our last few scenes in the snow. Then, I put together what we had. It was completely incomprehensible. Thus, I abandoned my first attempt at making a feature film, having learned some neat no-budget splatter effects.
I hadn't watched "Versus" then, but I am sure, it would have been my favorite movie of all time.
Watching it at 29, I found it pretty dull, but very charming and actually: Still inspiring! Give it a watch if you have any interest in idealistic no-budget film making at all! This is for the fourteen year old boys making horror films with friends outdoors!