When I walk into a movie theater to see an action movie, I don’t plan to analyze every little thing on the screen. I go to action movies to sit back, relax, and watch some rip-roaring action. And believe it or not, the Resident Evil film series are action movies. Sure they have a couple of horror moments in them, but the majority of their screen time is dominated by blazing guns and fancy fistfights. So when I went to see those Resident Evil movies, all I was prepared to do was sit back and (marginally) enjoy a (bad-movie-night) movie.
Imagine my surprise at the fact that these films managed to sneak so many references and surprises into each scene. I hate to admit it, but I have watched these movies more than once just so that I could catch all these “Easter Eggs.” If you think, like I used to, that the Resident Evil films were a massive departure from the video games, perhaps you will be consoled to know how much adoration the filmmakers actually had for the survival-horror games they took their inspiration from. And they wasted no time or space sneaking these little callbacks into their movies.
Granted, if you’re not a fan of the Resident Evil movies, these references might not be enough to get you to watch them again. But at least you can appreciate the attempt to honor the source material. Read on if you want to catch glimpses of these hidden things you might have missed while watching those crazy Resident Evil films.
25 The Movies Put The Umbrella Logo On Everything (Even Bullets)
The Umbrella Corporation are a bunch of arrogant folks. They all seem to think nothing of creating viruses and using everyone as their guinea pigs. Plus, they want to put their Umbrella logo on everything. It’s on their helicopters, their armor, and even on their mind-control devices.
The movies drive the pompousness of Umbrella home by having some of Alice’s bullets imprinted with the Umbrella logo too. You can see it when she fires her guns in slow-mo. Seriously? These guys are so big-headed, they have to have their logo on ammunition.
24 Alice’s Fight With Isaacs Mirrors Resident Evil 4
Leon Kennedy gets to have some of the coolest fight scenes in the Resident Evil games. (Well, except Chris Redfield’s solo fight with that boulder.) It would be a shame to have not honored them in the fight-heavy Resident Evil movies.
Leon’s fight with Krauser in Resident Evil 4 is what Alice’s fight with Dr. Isaacs was based on. That high-flying action was present in both encounters Though, of course, quick-time events did not occur in the film.
23 Leon’s Lone Wolf Look
Leon S. Kennedy is a prominent character in the Resident Evil games. He is a protagonist in Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 4, and Resident Evil 6.
However, in the movie universe, Leon doesn’t show his well-chiseled jawline and muscular biceps until Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth movie in the series. A nice callback to the games is that his outfit in that movie is like the outfit he wore in Resident Evil 4. There is even an attempt to get the haircut exactly the same too.
22 The Name Of The Mansion
The infamous mansion from the first Resident Evil game makes a strange sort of appearance in the first Resident Evil movie in a split form. Firstly, Alice wakes up in a mansion of some sort that connects to Umbrella’s laboratory, just as the game’s mansion does.
Secondly, the name of Alice’s fake husband is Spencer. This man’s name is a reference to the name of the original mansion. As fans of the video game series know, that mansion was called the Spencer Mansion.
21 The Fight With Wesker Looks (Almost) Exactly Like The Games
As the Resident Evil games progressed, they began to take on the aspects of their film counterparts. They became more action-oriented. In return, the movies upped the ante in terms of their action.
The movie fight scene between Albert Wesker and the Redfield siblings is choreographed to look like the fight between Wesker, Chris, and Sheva from Resident Evil 5. It’s a nice tribute to the games, but where, I wonder, is a scene of Chris punching a boulder? I need that in my life.
20 Claire’s Revelation Looks
If there is one thing the Resident Evil films have done well (whether it makes sense or not), it is inserting clothing references into their movies in the design of the outfits of the characters.
In Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the get-up that Claire Redfield wears is meant to look exactly the same as the outfit she wore in the video game Resident Evil Revelations 2. It’s the little gestures like these that make me more inclined to forgive the films for their other transgressions.
19 Jill’s Villainous Period Is From Resident Evil 5
Jill Valentine returned to the screen after her initial appearance in Resident Evil: Apocalypse in the movie Resident Evil: Retribution. However, in Retribution, Jill was no longer the most poorly dressed cop in Raccoon City.
Instead, Jill is the Umbrella-controlled jumpsuit-wearing subject we remember from Resident Evil 5. This look of hers is copied directly from the game, including the scarab-like control device implanted on Jill’s chest.
18 The Movies Make Fun Of The Games
As you slowly clear the hallways of zombies in the early Resident Evil games, one of the most unnerving things to do would be returning to those hallways. You’d walk in expecting to find zombies littering the floor, but they would just be gone.
You may not have noticed this reference, but the first movie paid tribute to this aspect of the games. As Alice and her group made their way to the Hive, the bodies of zombies they had eliminated would disappear when they walked through them again.
17 The Caution State
Anybody who has played a Resident Evil game knows about the different health levels. You’re either in the green with Fine, in the yellow with Caution, or in the red with Danger. When you’re character is in Caution, they walk a bit more slowly with their hand to their waist (even if they got bit in the neck).
In the movie, when Jill Valentine is hurt, she puts her hand to her waist and moves like she’s in Caution, which is a pretty wonderful reference to include in the film for game fanatics.
16 The Impractical Police Uniform Makes A Return
The second movie in the franchise saw Jill Valentine in the worst outfit for the zombie apocalypse ever created. She wears a tight, sleeveless blue top with a short skirt and a gun holster. The holster makes sense. Everything else is ludicrous.
However, the blame for this outfit can’t be laid at the feet of the film. Jill appeared in this outfit in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The clothes she wore in Resident Evil: Apocalypse was a direct callback to that game.
15 Looking Like A Nemesis
The Nemesis in the films was a bit of a disappointment. Part of his charm (and by charm I mean his threatening presence) came from how he relentlessly pursued you. In the movie, he shows up and gets defeated. Plus, his mutations over time were meager compared to how he transformed in the game.
He looks exactly how he did at the beginning of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, right down to his gnarly chompers.
14 The Cerberus Chase
Resident Evil made dogs scary. The series includes Cerberus, dogs that have been mutated into vicious monsters by the T-virus. In the first game, Cerberus dogs chase the group of S.T.A.R.S. members into the Spencer mansion. The last movie in the franchise, The Final Chapter, copies this moment.
Alice and her group are chased by Cerberus into the Hive. It is a fitting nod to the first game in what is (supposedly) the last movie in the Resident Evil franchise.
13 Acknowledging The Creator Of The T-Virus
It takes the films ages to finally address who the creator of the T-virus is. In the end, it was just a man named James Marcus who wanted to save his daughter’s life. You may not have realized this, but James Marcus is indeed the name of the man responsible for creating the T-virus in the video game universe as well.
However, video game Marcus did not have noble motivations like his film counterpart. Instead of using the T-virus to save a life, Marcus just wanted to use it to create bio-organic weapons.
12 The Majini Mutations Are In The Movies
Resident Evil 5 saw Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar fighting an outbreak of the Uroboros virus in West Africa. The mutated persons they came across were called “Majini,” and they were different from regular Resident Evil zombies because of the fact that their mouths opened up into a grotesque flower.
The movie Resident Evil: Afterlife paid tribute to Resident Evil 5 by having some of their zombies look like the Majini. They had those wide-open mouths with tentacle accessories as well.
11 Honoring The Day Of The Dead
Resident Evil, despite its clichéd refusal to acknowledge the zombies in their movies as “zombies,” is a zombie movie. As such, the filmmakers wished to honor George A. Romero’s 1985 film, Day of the Dead.
A fluttering newspaper from Raccoon City shares the same headline as a newspaper in Day of the Dead. In my opinion, any zombie movie should pay tribute in some fashion to the grandfather films responsible for the genre. And Resident Evil definitely checks that box.
10 The Head Of Capcom Plays A Zombie In The Movies
Part of the fun of heading a game like Resident Evil is that when it is made into a movie, you might get to cameo as a zombie during filming. This is exactly what happened in the first movie.
The head of Capcom, the publishers of the Resident Evil series, got to be zombie extras in the first Resident Evil film. I hope those guys had fun. This factoid surprised me so much, I now have to re-watch that first movie to see if I can find them.
9 There’s Always An Underground Tram
One of the staples of a Resident Evil game is that there is an underground tram that leads to a secret laboratory (or something like that). The first Resident Evil movie honors that tradition by having an underground tram connect the mansion to the Hive.
If you look carefully, you can see the word ALEXIA is part of the serial numbers on the tram. Alexia is the first name of Alexia Ashford, the villain of the game Resident Evil CODE: Veronica. If you haven’t played the game, let me tell you, Alexia has one unpleasant personality.
8 A Clone Or A Daughter
The (purportedly) last film in the Resident Evil series revealed that the T-virus was created in order to preserve its creator’s daughter’s life. Alice, the main character, is a clone of said daughter.
The Red Queen, the AI that haunts Alice in several of the films, is supposed to be what Alice looked like when she was younger. In The Final Chapter, the Red Queen is actually played by Milla Jovovich’s daughter, making the resemblance more apparent and more logical.
7 Watch The Jeep
At the beginning of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, we see Alice driving a jeep. If you look carefully at her vehicle, you will notice the initials B.S.A.A. on it. That stands for the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance.
This organization was founded by none other than Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, the protagonists from the first Resident Evil game. How and why it was founded in the film universe remains a mystery, but here’s hoping Chris and Jill are still behind it.
6 Ada Wong Brings A Gun To A Knife Fight
Ada Wong is a recurring character in the video game series, so it was only a matter of time before she showed up in the films. When she meets the films’ protagonist, Alice, they engage in a hand-to-hand fight that ends with Alice threatening Ada with a knife to her throat.
These slick moves were copied from Ada’s fight with Leon in Resident Evil 4, right down to the knife-at-Ada’s-throat part. It is moments like these that make me appreciate the movies just a tad bit more. Or at least not dislike them as much.
5 Got The Lickers Right
I firmly believe the Resident Evil movies missed the main vein of horror running through the video games. However, I can’t deny the fact that the filmmakers had a deep appreciation for the games, regardless of whether they incorporated aspects of them into the movies correctly.
Just take a look at the Lickers from the movies. These iconic monsters were crafted to look like exact replicas of how they appear in the games. I’d say that’s a job well done.
4 Get To The Chopper
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis sees Jill Valentine, the protagonist of the first game, meet up with Delta Platoon from the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service. Delta Platoon is dropped off in Raccoon City by Chopper Delta.
This same moniker is given to the helicopter that Carlos Oliveira flies in the Resident Evil films. So while the ranking of Delta Platoon in the movies might have changed radically, at least their chopper’s name remained the same.
3 Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Axeman?
The Resident Evil films know how to pay homage to the big bads of the Resident Evil universe. They included the Tyrant, Cerberus, Lickers, and Nemesis in the films as opponents for Alice and her group to face.
They even gave one of the baddies from Resident Evil 5 a shot too. The Axeman shows up for a fight in Resident Evil: Afterlife.Of course, watching that scene made me wish I could have flipped over the Axeman in the game the way Claire and Alice do in the movie.
2 Not Just An Eye
Resident Evil’s logo includes a close-up of an eye. The film makes a reference to this old logo by having close-ups of Milla Jovovich’s eye as her character Alice awakens.
Any fan of the video game series knows how important eyeballs are to the franchise. Every Resident Evil monster worth their salt has a nice glowy eyeball you’re supposed to shoot at in order to temporarily defeat them. I don’t think the same principles apply to Alice, though. Still, it’s a nice shot.
1 Wearing Sunglasses Indoors
If you thought that the character of Albert Wesker looked ridiculous in the movies, you’re not in luck. He looks just as goofy in the video games. For some reason, I think Wesker saw The Matrix one too many times. He dresses in black trench coats and sunglasses everywhere he goes.
This nonsensical outfit is taken from Wesker’s appearance in Resident Evil 5. Even his super-fast combat moves are reminiscent of Agent Smith. This is one time the movie probably should have stayed away from the source material.