When Resident Evil came out, it changed action horror forever. It was a film that was so scary that the producers knew that they hit a goldmine and turned that goldmine into a franchise. It’s a franchise that dates back twenty years which is hard to believe; how old am I? This successful franchise was built off of a popular video game, and when it hit theaters it became one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. They pulled in over 61 million units since they launched the Sony PlayStation game in 1996. They turned that success into six movies that have not lost their steam since they came out. The success of the movie has to be attributed to the lead which was played by Milla Jovovich, after all, could you imagine if Reese Witherspoon would have got the role? It may not have been the success it is today. Milla had the right amount of vulnerability and kick-ass nature that the character needed.
Whether you loved or hated the movies, you can’t deny the success behind them. They are always action packed and filled with horrifying scenarios that make you want to get on your knees and pray nothing like that happens in our world today. Do you think you know the franchise as well as you think you do? Maybe not. There are some twists and tangles that just might blow your mind. Check out the list below to see how well you know the Resident Evil movies.
15. The Biohazard Symbol
The name Resident Evil means Biohazard in Japan, so when the game was made the title was supposed to be self-explanatory. The whole theme of the game is horrifying and monstrous things. They had the biohazard symbol ready to go, but there was already a DOS game in existence called Biohazard in America. So Capcom had to come up with another solution. Since they couldn’t use biohazard, they decided to host a company-wide competition to find a new name for the movie. The winner was the person that chose Resident Evil; it was in reference to the game’s mansion and the undead inhabitants. It turned into the most popular choice, and the movie made a name for itself in Hollywood. We couldn’t imagine the movie being named anything else. Naming the movie Biohazard would have been extra lame anyways.
14. How it All Began
It’s hard to say where the idea behind such a creepy and terrifying video game as Resident Evil came from. After all, where do you come up with the idea of a virus causing people to turn into killing zombies? Resident Evil was one of the first ever zombie-themed movies. The idea was originally conceived from a horror game that Capcom developed in 1989 called Sweet Home. They also used inspiration from various movies such as The Shining and Alone in the Dark. The Shining movie was probably used as inspiration because of the big mansion that was used by Jack Nicholson to hunt down his family. It’s a great overall concept because people love zombie movies especially ones that involve the government messing things up. The idea proved to be a success, so much so that they were able to continue with six more movies.
13. It’s Connected to Alice in Wonderland
I didn’t make the connection until I started researching for the article but all things considered, there are many things that connect Resident Evil to Alice in Wonderland. For one thing, there is the lead character whose name is Alice, but that’s not all. You see them experimenting on the “white rabbit,” as well as the Queen of the Hive is always out cutting people’s heads off. There is a scene where the mansion windows open, and Alice is suddenly traveling into the looking glass. It’s not something you would pick up right away, not unless you were looking for it. It’s actually fun to make the connection if you were to watch the movie again. The connections were obviously deliberately made by the writers and director, and it makes for a more intelligent movie than most other zombie movies out there.
12. Gwyneth Paltrow Was Supposed to Be Alice
It’s hard to picture anyone else in the role of Alice but Milla Jovovich; she seemed to be the perfect combination for that type of movie. Not only does she have a vulnerability to her which is essential to a character who didn’t start off as a warrior but she also has that badass side to her. She has no problem drop kicking a couple of zombie dogs who are trying to tear out her throat. She’s thin, with red hair and has that crazy look about her that you would expect from a girl who has to go up against an organization that wiped out the human race. It wasn’t supposed to be Milla however; originally the role was offered to Gwyneth Paltrow who turned it down. Personally, I find it to be a weird choice; I couldn’t even imagine her in a role like that. In all her movies, even the Iron Man franchise, she is the least badass person out there. Thank God it worked out the way it was supposed to be.
11. Ghosts Instead of Zombies
The thing that makes Resident Evil so terrifying is the zombies that are roaming around, ready to kill when the opportunity presents itself. It’s what makes the movie so awesome and creepy. Originally when Resident Evil was being made, they considered using ghosts instead of zombies. The writers tossed the idea around for awhile, but it was eventually tossed in the trash. They didn’t think that ghosts would be plausible as an enemy and it certainly wouldn’t work in the video games. In the end, they decided that ghosts just weren’t scary enough for what they were looking for, so they opted for zombies instead. It was a good overall plan as ghosts really don’t work in action movies; it’s something that should be left for horror movies. The popularity of the franchise is due to the characters as well the bloodthirsty zombies.
10. Making Resident Evil Made Capcom Nervous
The Resident Evil video game was so popular that it just made sense to base a movie off of it. But Capcom was a little nervous about the movie during the whole development process. Hiroyuki Kobayashi has worked on every one of the titles for Resident Evil. “When the original Resident Evil was launched, we obviously had no idea it would grow to be so popular.”
Of course, the movie turned out great.
“But once we knew, the pressure was on us each time we released a new one because it had to best the previous. But this determination led to the quality of Resident Evil franchise you know today. During the development, we had both internal and external resistance as we were aiming for something that was very new and unconventional – but at the end of the day the team was sure it would be accepted by the gamers one way or another.”
9. Producers Binge-Played The Game
Have you ever wondered how they create movies, where the movie ideas come from and how they are all put together? Sometimes it takes hard work while other times it takes virtually no effort whatsoever. When it came time to developing the movie it seemed to be a slam dunk, after all, it only took the creator three weeks of binge-playing the video game to figure out what he wanted to do with the movie. Paul WS Anderson did just that in order to create the movie. “I emerged, and this is a true story, with a rather long beard and wild staring, crazy, bloodshot eyes. What had happened is that I had played Resident Evil 1, 2 and 3 back-to-back, and it took me three to four weeks to get through them all. That was it. I had become obsessed with them. I called my producing partner Jeremy Bolt and said we have to turn this into a movie.”
8. It Was Hard to Keep the Dogs Bloody
Those zombie dogs that tried to attack Alice all through the mansion were not animated dogs but real dogs. Makeup artists had to create unusual makeup to make the dogs look like they had been affected by the virus and made into undead dogs. They covered them in fake blood and meat throughout filming to make them look like dead dogs. The funny thing with the movies was that the dogs tried to lick the meat and fake blood off their skin all day long, so the makeup artist had to apply it continually. Those dogs were part of my favorite scene in Resident Evil. Just when Alice gets cornered in the lab with no way out and the dogs closing in she does that spin kick and knocks them out. It was a great action sequence that showed what a badass Alice was.
7. It Was Supposed to Be a First Shooter Game
The movie may never have been made if they had gone with the original idea of making the game a first person shooter game. It would have been hard to change the whole theme of the game into a movie unless they made it a solo movie. Originally the creators wanted the movie to be like Doom, where there is one shooter that hunts down the zombies. They wanted to showcase the true power of the PlayStation at the time, but the idea was eventually dropped. They realized that Resident Evil wasn’t a lot of fun with just one shooter and so they brought it back to multiple shooters. It wasn’t the first time that Capcom tried to change Resident Evil into a single shooter game; it was almost as if they were obsessed with the idea. We are thankful however that it never worked out.
6. Milla Jovovich Married the Director
Sometimes you never know when you are going to meet the love of your life. It could be at a park, in the grocery store (it happens right?) or on the set of a blockbuster movie. We just never know when it’s going to happen. When it came to Milla Jovovich, it was on the set of the first Resident Evil movie. It was there that she met and got to know the director of the movie. She soon started canoodling with director Paul William Scott Anderson and it wasn’t long before the two were engaged. She married the director and lived happily ever after. It probably would never have happened had Gwyneth Paltrow played Alice’s character. It’s funny how things just work out the way that they are supposed to. Milla would never have met her husband had she not been cast in the film.
5. They Try to Match Characters to the Game
Although they may not always get it right, Capcom has been insistent that the movie characters look like the video game characters as much as possible. That can prove difficult at times, but it’s not impossible. It’s one of the reasons why fans get in an uproar about their favorite games getting turned into movies because sometimes they don’t get it right. Many of the video game fans are not impressed with how the Resident Evil movies were made, so it was important to the team that they try to get the characters as close to realistic to the game as possible. I think they did pretty good considering it can’t be easy to match someone exactly to an imaginary character. What matters most I think is that the plot runs smoothly and a kickass movie is born.
4. People Wanted More Horror
When Resident Evil first came out it was considered to be an action-packed film, and it proved true. It was one of my favorite action movies because it had that element of the paranormal along with some badass action sequences. For people who were obsessed with the video games, however, they weren’t impressed at all with the action. In fact, they thought there was too much action in the movie and not enough horror gore. They loved the bloody zombie gore they were used to in the games and were disappointed when it wasn’t available in the movie. Anderson said, “the games have followed the same trajectory, leading to some phenomenal action sequences. I praise the franchise for consistently changing things up.” Anderson believed that the fact that the movie was different was what made it so popular. I would have to agree; I’m not sure if I would have liked it as much if it would have fallen in the horror genre.
3. Bloody Messages
In both the game and the movie there were bloody messages throughout; it was all supposed to be part of the creepy gore factor. Part of the allure of Resident Evil is the cryptic mystery that happened throughout the movie. Figuring out clues and messages that were left behind. Originally the creepy messages were supposed to be on the wall and written in blood. Instead of having messages on dressers or in drawers, Capcom wanted it in blood and everywhere. It probably would have looked amazing in the movie, but it was ditched for the video game because they didn’t think that PlayStation’s textures would do it justice. They worried that people would not be able to read the messages and therefore the whole point would be lost. They did decide to keep one, however, and you can find it on the second floor in the main hallway. Take a look; it’s there.
2. Filming Retribution was Gruelling
When it comes to acting in any action movie, it can certainly be stressful on the body even if you aren’t doing your own stunts. Milla Jovovich found this to be true when she filmed Resident Evil: Retribution. Out of all the movies that she acted in during the franchise, she found that one to be the most grueling. In order to prepare for her role, Milla had to spend hours training in many forms of martial arts. There was one sequence in the film that required her to have 200 rehearsed moves that not only had martial arts but aerials and weapons. They shot the whole movie in 3D which made things even more physically demanding for the stars. Milla has said this about it, “I’ve been trained to punch and miss so that it sells to camera, but with 3-D, you almost have to make contact to sell a fight. It takes it into dangerous territory and makes it quite exhilarating.”
1. Michelle Rodriguez Loved Her Character
You would think that Michelle would be totally out of place in the role she played in Resident Evil, after all, she’s a tough girl at heart. Most of the characters she has played have revolved around her being a smart ass tough girl, and that’s how she is in real life as well. She was required to wear stilettos during filming which was totally out of her comfort zone. Did she freak out? No, she embraced the liberal-leaning college student she had to play. “It was a nice shift into playing someone a little laid back and sexy for a change,” says Rodriguez. “It was cool and fun to play someone who is quirky and doesn’t know how to handle a gun.” It wasn’t long though before her character was turned into a weapons expert for the Umbrella Corporation, so we got to see the kickass girl in the end.