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In The Zombie Apocalypse, Can Milla Jovovich Be My Spirit Guide?

Zombie-obsessed Maddy discusses the merits of the Resident Evil movies and their contribution to the women-who-kick-ass canon.

In The Zombie Apocalypse, Can Milla Jovovich Be My Spirit Guide?

“I’m normally a big proponent of gun control, but hey, zombies.”

With so many zombie-related films out there, how can a discerning viewer choose what to watch?  Listen to me, obvs, the internet’s foremost expert on zombies!  Here are several reasons you should check out the under-appreciated Resident Evil franchise:

“You see this face? This is my about-to-kick-your-ass face.”

1. Alice and her merry band of badass ladies

Can we take a minute to appreciate the fact that this multimillion-dollar action/horror series does not star an over-muscled dude but instead an actual female-type person who is not smuggling watermelons in her bra?  Alice (as played by Milla Jovovich) is a serious badass who spends most of her time kicking zombie dogs in the face, shooting zombie humans in the head, and trying to take down the evil corporation responsible for making all those zombies.  And she’s not the only woman drowning in a sea of guys a la Black Widow in The Avengers – there are a ton of other women and girls who play significant roles in these movies.  There’s not always a lot of time for character development during the zombie apocalypse, but these ladies all bring their own unique brand of badassery to the story.  And yeah, they’re all unreasonably attractive, but this is a Hollywood series after all, plus that’s actually a good thing when we come to our next reason to enjoy these movies...

2. Hot Egyptian Guy from The Mummy and other eye candy

Yes, I am aware that Oded Fehr has a name, isn’t actually Egyptian, and has been in many other things in the 10+ years since The Mummy came out – what’s your point?  He will always be Hot Egyptian Guy from The Mummy to me, even when he’s being Hot Latino Guy in Resident Evil, so there.  Some people might argue that there is no time for swooniness in the zombie apocalypse, but those people clearly haven’t met the marvelous men of this series.  Just in the first movie, we have possible-future-James-Bond James Purefoy, possible-future-The-Doctor Colin Salmon, and possible-future-attractive-dad-on-a-CW-show Eric Mabius.  Come for the zombie gore, stay for the pretty fellas!

Bish, please. You wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the zombie apocalypse wearing those.

3. Reasonable footwear

This is one of my biggest complaints about most female characters in action roles – I don’t care what kind of superpowers you have, the is literally no way that 6-inch stiletto heels are going to help you in running/jumping/climbing trees scenarios.  Do you hear me, Joss Whedon?  LITERALLY NO WAY.  This is one reason for my undying love of Resident Evil; almost all the female characters are wearing apocalypse-appropriate footwear.  There’s actually a scene in the second movie where Jill Valentine comes home, discards her strappy heels, sees news of zombies on TV, grabs her gun and her stompin’ boots.  Sing along:  “These boots are made for stompin’, and that’s just what they’ll do, one of these days these boots are gonna stomp all over you!”

“What’s so unreasonable about our demands? I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes. Oh, except for those zombie crows over there. They do enjoy eating eyeballs.”

4. Zombies, bish!

As you may have previously gathered, this series is founded on that classic storytelling device, zombies trying to eat people who don’t want to be eaten by zombies.  As a zombie aficionado, I love the way the Resident Evil films play around with the usual tropes of zombie movies.  For example, a lot of zombie movies totally bypass any sort of explanation for why dead people are suddenly turning into zombies, but this series has quite a good explanation.  The T-virus doesn’t just reanimate humans into zombies – it can also help a little girl who has a degenerative disease or turn an ordinary person into a super-soldier.  Not to mention all the crazy mutations.  They may get a tad far afield with the mutations in the later movies, but they certainly keep things interesting.

Is this franchise a masterwork of cinematic perfection?  By no means.  While I do have swimfan levels of adoration for these movies, I must in good conscience point out a few of their flaws.  Yes, it’s a little odd that viewers don’t find out the main character’s name until the end credits of the first movie.  Okay, it doesn’t make sense that Dobermans seem to be the only breed of dog in the Resident Evil world.  I admit, all the titles being “Resident Evil [colon non-specific noun]” is annoying.  All right, some of the dialog is rather clunky and you really shouldn’t think too hard about some of the plot twists.  Yeah, most of the romantic subplots exist mostly in my head.  But still, for all the reasons outlined above, I love this series.  Also, did I mention that Alice can kill you with her brain?  ‘Cause that’s pretty cool…

Still not convinced?  Here’s a highly scientific chart rating each movie:

It's science – you can’t argue with science.

Are you now ready to jump into the series, stompin’ boots first?  Then my work here is done!


Maddy is a newly graduated librarian who just moved to the DC area – but not actually in Washington DC, because she doesn’t want to be living in an urban center should the zombie apocalypse be imminent. She is currently between libraries, and (shockingly enough) spends most of her time reading, snuggling with her cats, messing around on the internet, and emotionally over-investing in various book, TV, and film series.