Friday, April 27, 2012

Versus and Pikop Andropov's Rushin'

This movie was one of those ones that calls to you.  I knew the basics, there were zombies and there was karate.  That was enough for me to cough up the $7 bucks for this DVD.  What can I say... I’m only a man......a weak man with a zombie fetish.  Actually don't like the word fetish.  I associate fetish with something negative and freakish but if that's what I’ve got........then it's's awesome.  I will say I was a little bit nervous about a zombie karate movie.  I was fifty fifty on such movies (Tokyo Zombie = terrible, Ninjas vs. Zombies = awesome).  I decided to pair this movie with the incredibly UN-karate beer, Pikop Andropov's Rushin' Imperial Stout.  The beer is the result of my wife’s insatiable craving for thick, full bodied dark beers.  Thanks wife!
The movie starts out with some awesome samurai action!  I didn’t realize I would be in for a full hour and a half of Tarantino type gore and splatter.  Then the movie shifts to two escaped prisoners running through the woods.  One guy used to be chained to another but all that remains is his severed hand…  They get to this clearing where they’re met by a couple cars full of crazy….almost silly…Japanese mobsters?  The one prisoner gets angry at the mistreatment of a woman who the mobsters have kidnapped and brought there (it will all come together don’t worry).  Our prisoner hero rescues the girl and runs into the forest.  In the process prisoner #2 gets killed, but he comes back as a zombie!!!!  The mobsters are more intrigued than scared or concerned.  Because that makes sense.  They are in the Forest of Resurrection!
The mobsters take chase with the orders to keep them alive.  It’s only once they’re deep in the forest that they realize that all the bodies of the people those mobsters have killed are buried there in the Forest of Resurrection!  This means hundreds of zombies, some with guns, all of them awesome.  This whole middle section of the film mixes zombie horror flic (in the same vein as a Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films) with full action shootout and gory slapstick comedy.  The main mobster minion eventually tries to kill off his boss and step up as the number one guy in charge.  The guy is a total goofball throughout the movie and at points is just plain exhausting to watch.  Needless to say the little coup did not work
As if things weren’t weird enough we add two new characters to the mix.  These are a couple of cops or correctional officers from the prison that our inmates escaped.  They’re extremely violent and bursting with this silly arrogance.  Lead cop makes the wildest claims like claiming to be trained by the FBI and able to dodge bullets with his reflexes, or being a world class tracker after being trained at Yellowstone National Park in Canada (it’s not actually in Canada).  At one point they run into some zombies and they eat the one guy’s hand.  He’s really annoyed.  Later in a fight he uses the jagged bone that’s sticking out to repeatedly stab a guy he’s fighting.  That’s hard core.
Now that I’ve got you all pumped up about a karate zombie movie let me move on to the beer for tonight.  It took me a little searching to figure out that the beer is made by Hale’s Ales, a famous Pacific Northwest Brewery.  This Russian Imperial Stout clocks in at 8% abv so it’s going to be big but not “knock you on your ass” big.  It pours black and pretty viscous.  There’s a decent finger and a half tan head that gently floats above the shallow sea of black chewy goodness.  The aroma is full of chocolate and dark roasted coffee with hints of smoky malt and caramel.  Lots of sharp roasted grain and a bready yeast round out the aroma.  I swirl and sniff again to make sure I have the full effect….i do.  The first sip is calming.  Despite the action on the screen in front of me, I’m at peace.  No amount of exploding heads or jumping bicycle kicks could break my trance.  I’m in the zone.  It’s full bodied, much more than I would have expected, and full of that same roasted flavor that I just smelled.  The medium carbonation tickles the tongue and allows the flavors to release and spread.  It’s complex with grainy malty backbone highlighted by a slight late hop bitterness sting.  It’s a really wonderful beer and well crafted.  It’s not too overpowering but plenty thick.  You almost have to chew it
This is a wildly entertaining film despite all of its silliness.  The “hero” character reminds me of a quieter more womanizing “El Wray” from Planet Terror.  It’s that “don’t give a shit” macho man that’s done way over the top.  It’s actually really cool.  And the villain is stone cold.  His lazy but focused stare is reminiscent of an Asian “Ice Man”.  The karate in this movie is well done.  Lots of fast packed action that makes you wonder if you’re watching a Jackie Chan movie……okay maybe a Jet Li movie.  They use 50 cal sniper rifles to liquefy people and there’s a fair amount of beheadings.  This movie is a must have for both Samurai movie fans and zombie movie fans.  It’s the chocolate vanilla twist of zombie movies.  Own it….before it owns you!
The Beer:
Aroma – 10/12
Appearance – 2/3
Taste – 17/20
Palate – 4/5 
   Overall – 7/10
Total = 40/50

The Movie:
Production – 4/5
Plot – 4/5
Gore – 5/5
 Zombies – 4/5
  Overall – 4/5

1 comment:

  1. So I say my "regular" beer of choice could be Bud Light. Yeah besides Rogue I drink this one, but doesn't really prefer to do so. My reasons might be because one they're AVAILABLE like almost anywhere, and yeah everyone can consume it since most people don't know that craft beers exist. Hahaha this discussion is enlightening.
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