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31 Days of Guilty Pleasures – ‘Resident Evil’

Jason McDonald

A few years ago I did a daily countdown to Halloween that featured some of my favorite scares from 31 different horror movies. This year I’m bringing back the feature, but this time we’re taking a look at some of my favorite guilty pleasures.

There’s no rhyme or reason to how these movies are being listed, so the placement on the countdown doesn’t denote any sort of ranking. Also, my definition of guilty pleasure is a movie that ranges from either being not very good to outright bad, but there’s something about it that still makes it endearing to watch.

I remember being in high school when “Resident Evil” released.  Me and my friends were all huge fans of the game series, but nothing about the previews for the movie gave us any confidence in it.  Still, we wanted to see the disaster for ourselves.  So being in high school we did the responsible thing and bought tickets for “Ice Age” and then snuck into “Resident Evil.”

Despite not being a good movie, “Resident Evil” is still the best movie in the franchise.  At the time I absolutely hated the movie for being a bastardization of the game.  However, now that time has healed my wounds I have come to appreciate it for how terrible it is.

In “Resident Evil”a viral outbreak in an underground lab causes the A.I. security system to shutdown the facility.  To find out what happened a group of mercenaries are sent in to investigate the facility.  Inside they discover that the outbreak has caused all of the workers to turn into zombies.

So despite having a research facility under a mansion and zombies, this movie really doesn’t have anything to do with the game.  Aside from a few namedrops almost no characters from the game appear in this movie. It’s truly a piss poor adaptation.  But the movie has both good and terrible qualities that let me enjoy it.

For example, here’s a good moment.  When the Hive facility goes into lockdown mode it begins to kill off everyone inside to ensure that the virus doesn’t escape. Makes sense.  Initially you see it unleashing gas into the facility to kill everyone off. Seems humane, I guess.  For some reason though the Hive isn’t able to inject gas into the elevator and when it sees this lady trying to escape the AI decides to randomly troll her by faking her out.  It makes no sense, but it’s a great kill.

Now let’s switch over to a great bad moment.  Really, all the worst things about “Resident Evil” center around Alice and her ability to kung-fu zombies and monsters.  And poorly done kung-fu at that.  Paul W.S. Anderson, while doing a lot of action, is not very good at shooting action scenes.  But thankfully that has led to this terrible display of zombie karate action.

But of course if we’re going to talk about a good “Resident Evil” moment, we can’t leave out the greatest thing to ever happen in the film franchise: the laser hallway.

A scene so cool that it was actually worked into the game series . . . twice! It first popped up in “Resident Evil 4” three years after the movie.  It’s a scene that features my hero Leon S. Kennedy, so it’s automatically awesome.

Then it popped up one more time in “Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.”  Probably not as many people know about this one because it’s from a rather lame “Resident Evil” game, but the scene is hilarious for how over the top it looks.

I just find it amazing that the people who work on the games looked at the “Resident Evil” movies and probably thought Alice and the rest of this stuff is hot garbage, but this laser scene is cool as shit. We should incorporate that one thing back into the game. And they’re not wrong.

“Resident Evil” is still terrible, but thanks to years of maturity I’ve learned to forgive it and move on.  Now it stands as a monument to both terrible horror action and bad video game adaptations.

 



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