If you have a bit of an eye for pop culture, then of course you haven’t missed the Resident Evil phenomenon. Today, I’m no longer a gamer, but I did catch the beginnings of the video game series. When Resident Evil came out for the Playstation 1 in 1996, it was a really cool game. I often sat next to a school friend on the couch and watched the puzzles and not getting eaten and sometimes tried my luck myself. I didn’t play further parts, but always noticed with some interest how the series was developing. The quality seemed to fluctuate, but in between there were always top titles. I even watched a Let’s Play of Resident Evil 7 with its distinct Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibe. Playing that myself would have definitely stressed me out 🙂
There was a Resident Evil book series that vaguely retold the first games or invented stories between the parts. I don’t know how I came across it, but I had read them all at the time and thoroughly enjoyed them. What was noticeable was that the books that were direct retellings of the games were the better stories. The fictional parts were, I think, all pretty garbage. I remember the first and third volumes as being good, the second and fourth can be forgotten. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Even without the games, however, I knew the characters and by and large the plot that way. So forgive me if I also claimed to turn up my nose at the cinematic attempts.
The film franchise that no one can explain
Well, the Resident Evil film series is now almost as long as the game series itself. What is usually meant is the so far six-part series starring Milla Jovovich and completely directed or at least written by her husband Paul W.S. Anderson. The first film hit theaters in 2002 and was quite an event, at least for me – it was the first “horror film” I was allowed to see in theaters according to the age rating. Since I had an idea of the game, but wasn’t a fan, I didn’t really care how accurate the game adaptation turned out to be.
I remember coming out of the cinema with mixed feelings. However, some scenes were really well done (lasers, Dobermans, some zombie scenes). Curious I find from today’s perspective, that none other than zombie godfather George A. Romero was originally signed as director and writer. With him it did not come to the cooperation, but his script was published on the Internet!
The film was a success and spawned many sequels, which followed the game template rather vaguely. Mainly known monsters or characters appeared at some point. But the basic story was independent. I’ve seen all the movies, but don’t ask me about the plot anymore. No idea what it was about after the first movie. Main character Alice is immortal at some point and so is her antagonist Wesker. The world goes completely to the dogs and there are only a few survivors left. In between, super enemies appear. The plot doesn’t really matter either, because it’s basically just about Jovovich in slow motion in completely over-the-top fights.
But now something positive!
I just don’t know anyone and I don’t read from anyone on the net that he or she likes the series. Or that any part would be good. Nevertheless, they have all been commercially successful enough. Probably everyone does their share, as I do, if we just want to see how stylish and over-the-top the whole thing is again now. Supposedly there are fans of the series in Asia? Whatever. For me, the Resident Evil movies are a curiosity. They are just not good, yet a lot of people have seen them. Paul W.S. Anderson has also established a way of directing that he can’t get away from in other films. For me, the name alone is a reason to avoid a film. I simply won’t watch the announced Monster Hunter movie by him (again video game adaptation, again Jovovich in the lead role) – or in a bored moment on Netflix.
Since this is a movie blog, I wanted to refer to the movies. But as a miniature I bought a game conversion: Jill Valentine might be the first video game character I show here (Lara Croft was the movie version). Jill Valentine is one of two protagonists in the first game. Resident Evil’s status in the videogame history books should be indisputable. I therefore found Jill Valentine a fitting addition to my collection, even though the films are truly no masterpieces.
The miniature of Jill is from Zealot Miniatures. Zealot produce only resin miniatures of excellent quality. The casting is excellent, I didn’t have to clean anything at all. The design is interesting, it is a mix between the classic Jill Valentine in police uniform from the first game and the civilian Valentine from “Nemesis”. She was never seen like this to my knowledge, but both outfits have their fans. The skimpy top makes no sense with the rest of the uniform now, of course. Also, the neckline is larger than in the original – a design decision that probably no one would have missed. Be that as it may, overall I find the miniature very nice and a fitting tribute to this figure. By the way, it came with a sculpted base. Zombie hand and bullet casings support the atmosphere.