**I’d like to note that this article contains some spoilers. But you should probably just read it anyways because I am trying to save you near the end of this ride on a roller coaster straight out of HELL**
The Resident Evil video games.
Ah. I played them when I was just a kid. I kicked off the series with Resident Evil 1, on the Playstation 1. This game established my love for zombies, as well as survival horror games.
Also, the level of cheesiness is just staggering.
But back then, it was the best game I owned. But later on down the road, Resident Evil 2 came out for Playstation 1. And I picked it up as soon as I could.
I don’t even know how, but both of these now ancient games used to scare the hell out of me. I mean it was just a zombie smashing some glass and then some loud orchestrated music would blare out of the TV; and then I would drop my controller and run out of the room. I mean the games are really dated now. But they’re classics, and they established a love for an entire genre of games.
Resident Evil 1 and 2 were pretty simple and straightforward. I mean you get guns, and you kill zombies and eventually some crazy ass monsters. The actual storyline is so-so. Back when I was a kid I didn’t have the attention span or intelligence to really grasp what was going on. But now that I am an adult I just laugh at everything that happens as the story progresses.
I mean in a real life scenario, I think Romero-style zombies would be a damn joke. But I’ll save THAT subject for another post, another day. Anyways. So down the road from Resident Evil we get Resident Evil 3, also for Playstation 1.
I also picked up Resident Evil 3, and I really, really enjoyed it. I mean after watching that intro you know you’re in for some wild shit. Especially at the 1:56 mark in the video where the zombies KNOW HOW TO USE ELEVATORS. WHAT.
But luckily that doesn’t really happen in the game. And truth be told that video is kind of a load of shit. Because all of the policemen and special ops guys shoot dozens of rounds into the zombies and they are just unfazed. But when you’re actually playing the game you can kill most zombies with a few pistol rounds.
This game was released in September of 1999. After the turn of the millennium, the whole new generation of game consoles were released. Such as the Xbox, Gamecube, Sega Dreamcast, and Playstation 2.
And in January of 2005 we were finally given Resident Evil 4.
When I started playing it took a bit of getting used to the weird over-the-shoulder camera angle the game had taken on. Because all of the old games had this really weird style where the camera would shift around to random angles all over the place. It was kind of like trying to get a really stubborn bird to hold the camera in one place, and every time you approach where the bird is it swiftly flies away to another position in the room. But then if you run in the opposite direction of the bird it gets curious and follows you into the next room. At which point you’ll turn a corner as the bird goes through a ventilation shaft to enter the next room all stealth-like; but the bird will arrive a moment too late and you’ll run right into a zombie that will eat your face. It wasn’t really the best camera angle work but it was unique at the time. And thinking about it now the game would have been weird as hell to play with a third person view and a first person view would have been near impossible.
But with Resident Evil 4 they went with the over-the-shoulder view which was a fairly new concept at the time of it’s release. So after getting adjusted to the new camera angle and running around for a few moments I set off. But after encountering the “zombies” in the nearby village, I was really put off.
Because they were no longer zombies that slowly shambled towards you and moaned and grunted; they now would jog towards you and throw fucking spears and household kitchen cutlery. At first it was kind of overwhelming and a bit absurd. I expected the experience from previous games, wondering where the old George Romero style zombies had all gone off to, and that’s when I was slapped in the face with a meat cleaver.
Then it really kicked in. Although this changed the entire core elements of the series; and I already missed the shambling undead of yesteryear, the conflict that followed the unwarranted cleaver slap was the most intense and crazed moments of my gaming career. Except for Amnesia, but we’ll leave that sore subject for another day.
Somewhere between the release of the next-gen consoles and Resident Evil 4, there stood a magnificently done Resident Evil film that slapped the box office across the mouth with it’s half flaccid penis.
I went to go see the film with a couple family members and a friend. All of us were expecting something along the lines of the live action clip from the first game (see above) but instead were hit with something completely different. While I did enjoy the film, I was completely puzzled as to who the hell this “Alice” character was, and why I should care. But after the story developed a bit and some key points were revealed, I started to think Alice was a bit of alright.
The film itself stands up pretty well, especially with the first 15 or so minutes showing how the virus breaks out in the Hive. Which was more or less a mystery Scooby Doo and the gang couldn’t figure out to save their damn private investigating careers.
At this point I was going to say that Thomas Jane did really well in Resident Evil. But then I realized that it wasn’t Thomas Jane, but an actor named James Purefoy. Well what the hell they look exactly alike.
Anyways. The film overall was pretty well done and I enjoyed it, even though it strayed from the games pretty damn far.
In 2004 we were given Resident Evil:Apocalypse. The sequel to the original film. Without spoiling it for the couple dozen people in the entire world that haven’t seen the first film, I’ll say that the ending made me squeal like a girl because I was under the impression that the sequel would contain considerably more zombie killing action. And in fact the second film was perfectly fine until this scene:
After this scene ended, I briefly considered getting up and walking out of the movie theater, into the parking lot; and then I would have asked someone to kindly back their car over my fucking head. After that scene ended I was convinced that would be the only bad part of the entire movie. The ridiculous shit would end right then and there, and Alice and her new friends would head outside to shoot some zombies. Or maybe they’d have a picnic.
Instead the movie shoveled this bullshit into my face:
I’m 100% positive that when the director went to film this portion of the movie, the entire filming crew was on break at the same time. So they just gave the camera to an autistic monkey that was bouncing around on a family-size trampoline.
I don’t even understand the bullshit where the camera shakes around furiously whenever a handful of zombies come into frame. It’s like the cameraman slammed down several shots of cappuccino and then snorted some coke through a rolled up $20 bill; then proceeded to do the filming for the better part of half the duration of the movie.
After THIS part I really thought it was over. I was hoping for the best. Please let something come out of the fucking blue and just save this film.
It didn’t disappoint:
Actually, yes it did. In probably the worst way possible. I’d also like to note that the guard at 1:31 in that video looks exactly like a young Fred Ward from Tremors II.
The only thing I can compare this to is the scene in Braveheart, where a random Scotsman yells out before the Battle of Stirling that “William Wallace is seven feet tall” and he “Consumes the English with fireballs” etc, etc. And the way Resident Evil and Braveheart could have been similar would have been if Mel Gibson had stepped down off of his horse and immediately started shooting fireballs from his hands like a fucking X-Men character.
We’re not done. There’s still another god damn abomination I have to talk about.
Okay. So then 2007 brings us Resident Evil:Extinction. The third entry in the series, and the one that will undoubtedly kill my love for anything and everything. Within the first 30 minutes of the film, this scene comes along and immediately destroys all hope I had:
And then after most of my brainpower had been drained and I was just waiting for the damn credits to roll, I was hit with this:
At the 5:00 mark in the video I just wanted to swing on a chandelier and stick a knife into the top of the movie screen. And then slowly slide all the way down the screen, splitting it in two.
Several years passed and I didn’t hear anything about another movie.
Resident Evil 5 came in 2009, and we finally saw Chris Redfield again after a long absence from the main RE games. But now Chris Redfield has biceps the size of Volkswagon Beetles and his level of intelligence has dropped significantly from high school/college graduate with years of military experience under his belt to becoming this ‘roid monkey that is hell bent on completing his mission with Sheva. He is with Sheva throughout the game and he affectionately refers to her as “partner” from start to fucking finish. I don’t think he ever calls her by her actual name more than twice. The first time being shortly after they are introduced, and the second time being if she ever dies in the game; but if he had screamed “PARTNEEEERRRR” instead of “SHEVUHHHHH” I would have uninstalled the game and hit the disc with a jackhammer. The dialogue between the two throughout the entire game consists of “We’ve got a mission to finish, partner.” “Watch out partner!” “We’ve come too far to stop now, partner.” Or some other combination of “partner” and a statement that holds very little relevance and is hardly worth remembering.
And the game play is so similar to RE4 it’s god damn absurd.
Regardless I did enjoy RE5 and I played it all the way through to the rather ridiculous ending that vaguely reminded me of the movies.
Speaking of which, it was around the time I finished this game I heard rumor of a new RE movie on the horizon. Titled Resident Evil:Afterlife.
After Extinction, I didn’t really want to go see Afterlife. So first I checked out the trailer on Youtube a week or so after it was released in theaters before making my final decision:
The first 30 seconds or so were kind of promising.
I saw this:
And then, just as I thought my frustration had peaked. This:
I think if I had to name one truly great thing that came from this series, it would have to be Jill Valentine.
This woman gives me an erection so powerful it busts the seams of my jeans.