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A Look Back at Resident Evil



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Resident Evil. Every horror fan recognizes that title. Resident Evil is the Howard Stern of the horror world, the true King of All Media. No film or game series can claim the long-standing dominance that the Resident Evil franchise can. And it will soon rear its massive head again.

On September 14, prepare to rejoin the lovely and deadly Milla Jovovich as the uber-aggressive Alice as she again takes on the evil that is the Umbrealla Corporation in Resident Evil: Retribution. This fifth installment of the film series promises a mind-blowing revelation that will change everything you think you know about Alice, her mysterious past, and the Umbrella Corporation.

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But as we hunker down and get ready for Milla and Resident Evil: Retribution, one can’t help but marvel at how far this franchise has come. Spawned by the Capcom video game company, Resident Evil, or Biohazard (Baiohazado) as it’s known in Japan, was unleashed on an unsuspecting world of video gamers in 1996, well before they were actually officially known as gamers. The once innocent PlayStation game console suddenly became a bringer of nightmares.

I can still remember my first interaction with Resident Evil. Unknowingly popping the game disk into the PlayStation, loading it up and preparing for another shooter game that, after a few hours of fun, just kinda turned out to be…meh. I didn’t realize I was about to have my first brush with the phenomenon that would become known as survival horror. As soon as the first zombie looked up from his meal and attacked me, I was hooked. This game was able to really scare the player. It was masterful.

And from that start, Resident Evil skyrocketed. Horror fans couldn’t get enough. The initial game was followed by Resident Evil 2 in 1998, and the following year brought us Resident Evil 3. Soon after, a beautiful new face was permanently tied to the series as Milla Jovovich starred in the original movie as a new character, Alice, and launched the Resident Evil film series. Four films later, Jovovich remains in her starring role and will once again battle the evil Umbrella Corporation in Resident Evil: Retribution.

Aside from the films and video games, the Resident Evil franchise has also scored in the world of comic books, novels, sound dramas, computer-generated films, and collectible figures. Resident Evil is, by far, the most successful film series ever adapted from a video game. In fact, there’s nothing even close. Well, 1994’s Street Fighter, starring the late, great Raul Julia as M. Bison and Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile, was memorable. Milla Jovovich and the current four Resident Evil films have brought in a very impressive $675 million at the box office. Even more impressive is the fact that the films were made on just a $183 million budget. Four movies in the can for under $200 million? These days, that’s a blue-light special bargain.

As impressive as the films’ haul have been, you have to add to that the fact that the Resident Evil video game series (which includes nearly two dozen titles) has sold over 50 million games. Wow. Simply put, Resident Evil is a horror juggernaut that has been chugging along for over 15 years. The box office take, the number of games sold, the fact that Resident Evil is an instantly recognizable franchise known worldwide has to make this one of the most impressive horror franchises of all time.

If you’re reading this article, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the particulars of the Resident Evil universe. Whether you’re a fan of the films or the games (or both), you know the subjects that cross boundaries into both universes. We all know the evil Umbrella Corporation. We’re all too familiar with the horrors of Raccoon City and the ravages of the T-Virus. Resident Evil is ingrained into the fabric of the horror universe, and soon we’ll get a deeper look into the story.

Congratulations to Resident Evil (aka Biohazard (Baiohazado) for 15 years of amazing success in the horror entertainment field. To be able to haul in nearly three quarters of a billion dollars over four films and sell over 50 million video games as well as comics, novels, and action figures is an amazing feat. On September 14, we will once again see the amazing Milla Jovovich return as the resilient Alice as she takes up arms against Umbrella and a new horde of baddies. Be sure to be there as the madness unfolds.

And to get you even further prepped, the folks behind Resident Evil: Retribution have offered some cool online content. Check out the Rumble Page, the cool Google Maps-inspired Zombie Attack game, and the Undead Unleashed game. See you next month!

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