I have been working on this blog for some time and decided to post my favorite zombie films 1 at a time that way there is something I am posting. I hope you enjoy them and look forward to your comments.
Since it is just past Halloween and there were lots of lists of scariest movies, favorite vampire movies, favorite slasher movies, etc. I thought I would join the foray and list my 5 favorite zombie movies and why. These will be in no particular order and except for #1 the others are interchangeable and I like 2-5 equally as much. I started this blog just past Halloween and by the time it is posted it will be just past Christmas most likely if I am lucky.
We begin with some basic rules on zombies, zombies have been around in cinema, literature, folklore for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Rule 1: The movies I am going to talk about have various methods of the dead returning to life and this is not important to enjoying these movies.
Rule 2: In all of these movies shooting the zombies in the head, damaging the brain or severing the head from the body thus damaging the brain stem will permanently render the zombie dead.
Let’s begin then with the list and again this is my list and your top five may be totally different and that is fine, it is not about what is better than what, it is about who loves zombie movies and who is prepared for the zombie apocalypse.
At number 5 we have a large corporation who on the face appears to be a great benefit of mankind, supplying medicine, technology and many other items that help mankind but below the surface there is a very different agenda. Of course I am talking about the Umbrella Corporation and we are talking about the T-Virus. Coming in at #5 is all 3 of the Resident Evil movies and I know these are based on a video game and as such are always a little suspect. I feel they are worthy of inclusion on this list for a number of reasons not the least is Milla Jovovich who does an amazing jump as Alice the Umbrella security agent turned zombie hunter. I have never played the video games and just watched and judged the movies on their own merit and I am impressed by the story line and how it progresses.
Resident Evil introduces characters and plot lines that continue throughout the next 2 sequels with a third on the way. Alice wakes naked (yes gratuitous nudity for the males ) in the shower with no memory and upon investigation from photographs it appears she lives in this mansion. Before Alice can piece together her memory a crack commando unit arrives and informs her she is an Umbrella employee assigned as security as this mansion is the entrance to the Hive an underground complex below Raccoon City where the Umbrella Corporation is manufacturing bio-weapons of many types. The main frame computer Red Queen has gone homicidal according to the commando unit and has killed everyone in The Hive and it is up to them to try and find out why and re-boot The Red Queen.
As the movie unfolds we learn that the T-Virus was released on purpose once the terrorist had secured the antidote which was suppose to make him immune to the T-Virus but things did not work out that way. The commando unit infiltrates “The Hive” and proceeds to the heart of the computer core with intentions of re-booting “The Red Queen”. This quickly turns bad and the consequences are deadly to team members and as we are progressing we see Alice regaining her memory.
The Red Queen is re-booted and soon the team finds that re-setting “The Hive” has had catastrophic effects and the team has to battle the living dead, mutant dogs and genetically created monstrosities along with the Red Queen in trying to fight their way out. The closer they get to their freedom the more they sense that the Umbrella corporation never intended for them to get out alive.
The first movie ends with Alice and the other only survivor making their way out of the hive only to be taken into custody by Umbrella to be used for further experimentation. As the movie ends we see Alice and the other survivor changing and here the commands of Umbrella.
Trailer for Resident Evil
The second movie Resident Evil Apocalypse picks up Umbrella sending a 2nd commando team to “The Hive” to re-open it and see what happen. Soon the T-Virus is spreading to the general population on the surface of Raccoon City and Umbrella trying to quarantine the city. The movie starts with a disgraced cop not caring about what “the suits” think and just worrying about saving the general population from what she deems as an infection.
While the infection spreads Umbrella gathers their “essential” personal and this is where the movie takes the major turn as one of their essential people Dr Ashford will not leave without his daughter. It soon becomes apparent that Umbrella wants to use the infection to test hits “nemesis” project which is a throw back from one of the survivors from the first movie. Dr. Ashford hacks his way into Umbrella and activates “Alice” from where she is being kept and we soon learn that Alice has been changed by Umbrella.
The movie at this point becomes a quest to find this man’s daughter and get her out of the city while avoiding and ever growing population of zombies and also the nemesis. This movie continues with the same good special effects and stays true to the formula from the 1st movie in that 1 bite and you will die quickly and become a zombie. Alice is helped in her quest by the members of an elite commando unit STARS (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad) and a TV reporter who is documenting the atrocities and despicable acts of Umbrella and the rogue cop. They find the girl and as they make there way to the rendezvous point discover the girl is much more than she appears, besides the physical resemblance to the Red Queen holographic image from the first movie.
The movie ends with a climatic battle between Alice and the Nemesis who after some prodding remembers Alice which changes the complexity of this apocalyptic battle. The team gets the girl reunited with her father and they manage to escape but loose Alice in the process. They go back to rescue Alice and she is allowed to leave by the Umbrella corp under the guise of a rescue.
Trailer for Resident Evil Apocalypse
Resident Evil Extinction starts with a narration of how the T-virus has spread world wide and caused not only an epidemic of living dead but has caused society to crumble and the planet itself start to die. Umbrella is trying to develop a cure using Alice’s DNA as her DNA has mutated with the T-Virus but she is still alive and to this end we are greeted with a pit full of failed Alice clones which is an opening scene that is awesome.
We then follow a band or road weary travelers who are surviving on the road after the disastrous effects of the T-virus. Upon closer inspection we see the remaining member of the STARS team is with them and there is no explanation of what happened after the rescue of Alice. We see Alice traveling alone on the roads trying to help people but dealing out retribution to those who deserve it as well. She is avoiding the Umbrella corporation so they can not track her down as she is aware of the power she holds for them.
There is a truly innovating scene where our road warriors are at a truck stop getting a break and are stalked by a pack of crows, and then after some inspection the crows appear to have fed on the living dead. They have changed and now crave human flesh and before our hero’s can probably barricade themselves they are under attack. Guns work well against living dead, but against a large flock of crows, not so well. This is a great scene and just as our pack of hero’s are at there wits end Alice shows up and we see how her power has increased dramatically.
Carlos asks where she went after they rescued her and she is vague, saying she had to stay off the grid. Alice tells the survivors of a journal she has found which states that Alaska is zombie free and the T-virus has not effected it. Of course back at Umbrella, Alice’s display of power has caused her to show up on their satellites and a plan is developed to re-capture her but is denied as too risky but the scientist violates corporate rules and plans the re-capture anyway. The survivors go to what’s left of Vegas to re-supply for the trip to Alaska even though the risk is very great.
The entire trip to Vegas is a trap and as it is sprung the fight scenes are very well shot and planned out. It is both exciting and horrific from a zombie movie point of view. These are experienced zombie hunters taking on a small army of living dead with limited ammunition and no place to hide. Alice really shines in this battle and even when Umbrella tries to shut her down, she overcomes and brings the battle to Umbrella.
We then follow Umbrella to their strong hold and bring the fight to them with a devastating finale scene with an army of Alice’s ready to hunt down and exterminate Umbrella.
There it is my favorite zombie movie #5 which is in fact a trilogy of 3 movies and a 4th on its way. I know allot of people say movies from video games is a bad idea and allot of time I agree but I think they did a good job with this one. I look forward to your comments and will endeavor to complete the next installment soon.
Trailer for Resident Evil Extinction