Why The Resident Evil Movies Are Popular

With the release of the fifth Resident Evil movie Resident Evil: Retribution coming up soon, the question has been asked, why are these movies popular enough to warrant so many sequels? Here are some ideas I have.

The Resident Evil movies are based on the phenomenal video game series of the same name that has players fighting all types of zombies created from a bioengineered virus. They are really the only big budget adaptations of video games out there that have been successful. Most of the other video game movies that have been released have been low budget and not well received. Examples include super Mario Bros., Bloodrayne, Doom and Double Dragon. The only other franchise I can think of that had some success was Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. But that franchise only lasted two movies since the second one was not as successful or well received as the previous movie.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson, who directed the first Resident Evil movie and the fourth and fifth one, is another reason for the movie franchise’s success. While not a great director Anderson is at least competent in what he does, making good action movies. I think his other movies have been well done like Event Horizon and the first Alien Vs. Predator. They are certainly better than those Michael Bay movies that are basically loud, mindless and difficult to follow in terms of action (the Transformers movies come to mind).  Having his wife Milla Jovovich starring as Alice in these films doesn’t hurt either. Plus, while he didn’t direct the second and third movies, he has written and produced all five of them, which kept him involved with the series.

Another point is that the movies loosely follow the games and have branched off to have their own storylines. So what happens next is a surprise to long-time players of the games.  Lastly, the Resident Evil movies continue to be made probably because the video games themselves are still very popular. This fall, Resident Evil 6 will be released for the PS3 and Xbox 360. And the previous games in the series have all been huge sellers. Capcom, the company that makes the games, has also released CG animated movies and continues to do so. In short, Resident Evil continues to be relevant, which keeps the movies highly anticipated with fans of the horror/sci-fi franchise.

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Top 10 Sci-Fi Video Game Franchises


With the release of the highly anticipated Mass Effect 3 video game fans have another game to obsess about. Stunning graphics and creative storylines have created popular franchises like Halo, Mass Effect and Resident Evil. These are the best science fiction-based video game franchise to date.

10. Doom (PC/N64/PlayStation/Xbox): The FPS (first person shooter) that made FPSs mainstream, fighting demons on Mars and various other locales has never been more fun.

9. Gears Of War (Xbox 360): On the planet of Sera, grizzled soldier Marcus Fenix and his compatriots battle vicious aliens known as the Locust Horde that emerge from beneath the surface of their world. this game has been very influential in other games featuring third person combat.

8. Halo (Xbox/Xbox 360): Hugely successfully FPS series that launched Microsoft’s original Xbox console in 2001, players suited up as the super soldier Master Chief fighting a collection of alien races known as the Covenant out to exterminate humanity.

7. Metroid (NES/Super NES/Gamecube/Wii/Gameboy): Pioneering video game heroine Bounty Hunter Samus Aran fights space pirates and parasitic metroid aliens in one of Nintendo’s classic franchises.

6. Dead Space (PlayStation 3/Xbox 360/Wii): Wonderful survival horror set in space. Aliens that reanimate human corpses into hideous creatures called necropmorphs, as well as alien artifacts that cause people to go insane give this series a feel reminiscent of the Alien and Event Horizon movies.

5. Resident Evil (PlayStation, PS2/PS3/Xbox 360): This survival horror classic series that has players fighting everything from zombies created by the T-Virus to genetically mutated beasts and people and animals infected by the ancient las plagas parasites in Resident Evil 4.

4. Mass Effect (Xbox 360/PS3): Epic storyline of humanity’s coming of age in a galaxy of some friendly and some not so friendly alien races is reminiscent of Babylon 5, this action-packed RPG concluded the saga with the new Mass Effect 3.

3. Resistance (PS3): The FPS launch title Resistance: Fall Of Man has spawned an excellent franchise. Set in an alternate universe where WWII never happened, the Tunguska incident of 1908 caused aliens to overwhelm Russia and then Europe in 1951 and eventually the U.S. in later games.

2. Half-Life
(PC/PS3/Xbox 360): Nuclear physicist turned freedom fighter Gordon Freeman is a thinking man’s action hero that fights inter-dimensional aliens who occupy Earth.

1. BioShock (PS3/Xbox 360): Taking place in an underwater utopian city gone wrong drenched in 1940s decor, this FPS with genetically manipulated baddies was an instant classic when released. The highly anticipated third game in the series BioShock Infinite will be set in a city in the clouds in 1912.

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