cinematic roots of: ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D, the 187th installment in the series, Milla Jovovich continues kicking zombie ass in… and this time it’s in 3D! This flick sprang from (among other films):

28 Days Later (2002), probably the best of the recent reimaginings of the zombie subgenre, and not just for its innovation of really fast, really angry zombies: it’s also, intriguingly, more about how civilization falls apart in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse than it is about making wandering a zombie afterscape look really cool.

The Book of Eli (2010), if you like a cool-looking postapocalyptic afterscape; here Denzel Washington battles not zombies but opportunistic postdisaster warlords.

The Stand (1994), one of the greatest end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stories — which also, like Resident Evil, begins when a virus escapes a secret mad-science bunker; the TV miniseries is so enthralling an adaptation from Stephen King’s book that even though it’s six hours long, you wish it could go on longer.

Mortal Kombat (1995), if you really need a fix of crappy videogame movie; here, director Paul W.S. Anderson helped ignite the craze for movies based on shoot-’em-up games — the subgenre endures even though all such movies feel tediously like watching someone else play those games.
Where to buy:
The Book of Eli [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Mortal Kombat [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Stand [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
28 Days Later [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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Tue, Sep 14, 2010 5:37am

Hate to nitpick, but neither Mortal Kombat nor Resident Evil is a shoot-em-up. Mortal Kombat is a fighting game with few to no guns in it, and Resident Evil is a survival horror game (admittedly, with lots of guns in it). In the latter, the focus is much less on killing things and much more on not being killed.

Both movies are crap, though, and both kinds of games are boring to watch someone else play. So you’re right about the important part.