Thursday, February 16, 2017

When Your Shower Leads to the Zombie Apocalypse, or Thoughts on Resident Evil

Like The Matrix (1999) but with zombies, Resident Evil (2002) introduces Milla Jovovich on the floor of her bathroom wrapped in a shower curtain, somehow out-doing the bandage dress she wore in The Fifth Element (1997).  The film establishes the mythology with a quick set-up; the multi-national (evil) Umbrella Corporation has developed the T-virus, a miracle drug that has the disquieting side effect of reanimating the dead.  Of course the virus gets out, and as Alice, Milla Jovovich and her team of private security commandos (featuring Michelle Rodriguez) have to break into the Hive, a secret underground facility under full lockdown because the entire building has been zombified.
It’s a ridiculous premise with on the nose Alice in Wonderland references, reminding viewers that this movie is a game and should be treated as one.  And to the benefit of the audience the premise works, simply because the movie is beautifully filmed and everyone looks like they’re having so much fun.  The CGI is subtle and non-distracting, Alice wears the iconic red dress that launched a thousand cosplays, and the irony is by breaking into the Hive Alice inadvertently releases the T-virus and is essentially responsible for thenext 5 movies and the end of the world as we know it.   Additionally, there’s a scene where Alice wakes up in an abandoned hospital, a full eight years before Rick, a scene that resonated so much for me that I immediately referenced this movie when I first saw Episode 1 of The Walking Dead.  
As if zombies weren't a big enough threat, Resident Evil adds mutants, a critical facet to the series that sets it apart from your basic zombie epic.  Mutants mix it up and keep the action fresh, and in Resident Evil Alice needs to roundhouse kick some zombie Dobermans that are lurking around the lab like the raptors in Jurassic Park (1993). 
Featuring British actor Colin Salmon from Prime Suspect 2 (1992), Walter Steele in Arrow, Tommorrow Never Dies (1997), The World is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002) and Punisher: War Zone (2008).  Also featuring James Purefoy, who you may remember from Marc Antony from HBO’s Rome.  After her debut in Girlfight (2000), Michelle Rodriguez followed up with roles in The Fast and The Furious (2001) and this movie, fully developing her acting personae as the hard lady action star.
Written and directed by husband Paul W. S. Anderson, Resident Evil has an unappreciated 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  It’s still one of my favorite movies.  Enjoy the driving electro-rock soundtrack by Marilyn Manson and Marco Beltrami, and watch out for the laser grid hallway.




my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).