While we’re all in love Resident Evil VillageResident Evil, with its vampires, werewolves, and other various horrors, is not just a series of horror games but also a series of ridiculous action films. These absolute treasures of cinema are often maligned thanks to their Campy presentation and how far they differ from the games from which they borrow the name and some characters.
But if all you want to see is some fun zombie action movies, you won’t find many zombie movies that are this bombastic and straight forward entertaining. For a while I had only seen a few of these films that had paused after the fourth, largely out of complete ignorance of Resident Evil: Retribution and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter even existed. But over the weekend, while waiting eagerly for the new game to quench my thirst for Resident Evil’s one-of-a-kind Campy horror, I found a Blu-Ray collection of all six films, sat down and watched them all.
I’ve seen them all in a single day.
Watching these movies is probably the most unusual thing I’ve done in a while, but I can now get a final and absolutely objective result (read: not objective) at all) Ranking of all six films. I was tempted to list them all as number one mostly because I love them all in their own way.
There will likely be a ton of spoilers, if you care about the history of these films at all. I can’t hold back, I’m sorry.
6. Resident Evil: Retaliation
Resident Evil: Retribution is the fifth film in the series, and it feels like they are kind of Run out of ideas. Alice finds herself in an umbrella facility in Siberia, where she has to fight her way through virtual biomes, where the evil company has tested its bioweapons together with Ada Wong. At the same time, there is a backup team that includes the fans’ favorite character, Leon S. Kennedy – even if only he is slightly looks like this character.
Of all the Resident Evil films, Retribution feels the most like a video game, and not even one resident Evil Game. It just feels like these characters are fighting their way through the game levels, with some ridiculous boss fights thrown in for good measure.
And because they’re all like virtual biomes or whatever, clones of old fan-favorite characters are walking around. It’s an absolutely bizarre movie and probably the worst, but it’s still a great time if you’re not looking for something that makes sense.
5. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
At the end of this franchise, lore is so far removed that there was no way to tie it all together in a way that wouldn’t be extremely cheesy and entertaining. Iain Glen is back and we meet him first as a preacher driving around a huge tank leading an army of zombies. Don’t worry, there are multiple versions of Iain Glen as this is a late era Resident Evil movie and clones are all over.
Either way, some gimmick takes place and Alice finds herself with Claire Redfield – another returning character – and a group of survivors fighting the army. It also turns out that this group of survivors are literally the last people left alive, and our heroes must immerse themselves in the beehive from the very first movie to save humanity from extinction. And down there, they can fight bioweapons, clones, and more.
If it sounds incomprehensible, it’s because it’s kind of like thatbut that is the appeal of these films.
4. Resident Evil: Extinction
Extinction is basically George Romero’s Day of the Dead, but not quite as good. Zombies have now invaded the world, and a group of survivors survived in a caravan of buses. There are even Umbrella Scientists who inject zombies with a serum to make them docile, just like the 1985 zombie classic – though their subject is a bit more nefarious.
But during extinction is Much like Day of the Dead, of course, it has its own little tricks. Alice now has psychic powers and is being tracked via satellite by Umbrella. The movie even ends when Alice kills the big bad scientist who turns into a giant monster and finds an army of clones of himself. It’s a shame that it is connected again immediately!
3. Resident Evil: Life After Death
Resident Evil: The afterlife is omnipresent. It starts with an army of Alice clones storming an umbrella facility where they all die. And then Albert Wesker, who was introduced as a hologram in Extinction, injects Alice with a serum that takes away all of her superpowers. Then movie time skips and Alice flies a plane along the west coast of the United States in search of her friends who survived the last movie. Then we go to Alaska, find a friend, and then go back to California and end up in a prison.
But the prison is probably the most tense these films have had since the first two films as there are zombies that can dig tunnels underneath and there is no escape from the prison. They eventually come out, but this part of the movie is really a little annoying.
However, this tone disappears completely at the end of the film. Although they started the movie by trying to get rid of the superpowers and the clones, they couldn’t resist making things obnoxious in the end – but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. Resident Evil
Most people consider the first Resident Evil to be their favorite, and it’s not hard to see why. The movie is very fast as the Umbrella soldiers team dive deep into the beehive to see why the murderous AI killed everyone.
It is perhaps the most down to earth movie on the series and has an amazing soundtrack too. That film set the stage for all of the future series and to this day is probably the best video game film ever made – as well may be Sonic the Hedgehog.
1. Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is not only the best Resident Evil movie, it’s also one of the best zombie movies of all time. There’s a good time Alice isn’t even involved, and we’re going to see Jill Valentine stand in the spotlight for a while until Alice acts a bit as Deus Ex Machina.
It also has some of the best scenes and one-liners in the entire series, and has the most survivors by the end of the film. What’s so great about it is that it’s not just about Alice taking revenge on Umbrella like most of these films are, and that the entire cast is given their time to shine and develop.
And the final fall between Alice and Nemesis is one of the coolest fights in the whole series and at the same time one of the most emotionally impactful moments. There is more at stake here than in any other film, even if it’s only about Raccoon City and not the entire globe. If you want to check out any of the Resident Evil movies, check out Apocalypse.