Friday evening zombies

Since I’ve felt more dead than alive for the last week, and I managed to catch Resident Evil: Extinction on the telly last night, I thought I’d have a film evening today. Zombie films. New ones I haven’t seen before.
I saw Resident Evil (2002) about three or four years ago, so I can’t exactly remember the plot. I think I enjoyed it though. Obviously, by not seeing the second film I missed something of the story arc. Surprisingly, I was still able to follow the plot of Extinction.

I can’t say it left a spectacular impression; I can barely remember what happened. Alice (Milla Jovovich) is out in the desert, on a motorcycle. She meets up with a convoy led by some old friends. She’s being followed by the Umbrella Organization, by satellite. With her friends’ help Alice invades the compound where her enemies are still messing with the T virus, which has mutated into a new and unpleasant form. Needless to say Alice triumphs, and finds herself a new army.

Things that stood out: Alice killing zombies with a pair of kukri-like knives; an exploding fuel tanker used as a battering ram; the mutated doctor, although the mutation was very Blade 2-like.

That was last night. This evening I’m watching the fifth Resident Evil movie, Retribution. I’m confused, when did the bloke in charge of the Umbrella Corporation go from being the enemy to helping Alice? It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out as Alice attempts to escape Umbrella Prime, now being run by the computer Red Queen. There’s a lot of gun fighting; ’tis rather fun. Not many zombies yet though.

I really need to see the second and forth films, just so that I can make sense of the overall story arc. I’ll have to add them to the list.

Before watching Resident Evil: Retribution, I watched another film I haven’t seen before, World War Z. I can’t say I was expecting much, since the last decent film Brad Pitt made was Interview with the Vampire. That was a good film, mainly because of the script. Based on the first of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, Interview with the Vampire had a great deal of influence on the genre for a decade or so.

Back to ‘World War Z‘. Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator who, taking the kids to school one morning witnesses the beginning of the zombie viruses infection. He’s called on by his old boss to help find the source. After a trip to South Korea, he heads to Israel, then Wales, where he develops a vaccine, and is finally reunited with his family.

It’s all very sentimental and shallow. I did enjoy it though. It’s uncomplicated action, like the Resident Evil films, pure popcorn fodder. My brain isn’t up to watching complicated films at the minute.

I think I’ll spend Sunday making a database of my DVD’s. I plan to trade some of them in to get some new ones that I’m after. I need to make another list of DVD’s I want. There will be a lot of zombie films on the list.

What is the attraction of zombie films, television series and novels?

Zombies are such good metaphors for cultural phenomena – mindless consumerism, environmental destruction, corporate monopolies, scientific ethics etc. But they also make good stories, especially if the mechanism for zombiefication is well developed and the
protagonists sympathic.
Unfortunately, a large number of them are just the same old story told over and over again. It’s got to the point that even the spoofs have become cliched. That being said, ‘Zombieland’ is very funny.

Resident Evil: Retribution has just finished – that’s how long I’ve been writing this post! I have to say, the ending was quite unsatisfactory. It feels like a placeholder for another film.

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