There have been a frankly incomprehensible number of Resident Evil films over the years, and they’ve all existed somewhere on a spectrum from mediocre to terrible. Even more damning, none of them have ever been able to match the level of cheap, gawky charm that’s embodied in the original live-action cutscenes for 1996’s Resident Evil 1.
Someone out there has decided to do something about it: the people over at the Residence of Evil YouTube channel are coordinating a project that will see some of the original cast members of RE1’s cutscenes—the actors for Chris Redfield, Barry Burton, and Albert Wesker—come together once more to create a short film in the spirit of the original game. They’ve already created a short teaser (featured above), and are hoping to fund a “more in depth short film with higher production value” with money from their Patreon.
The teaser that Residence of Evil has already made is pretty impressive for something shot on a less-than-shoestring budget. You’ve got the original actors, a helicopter flight shot on green screen, and the dialogue is appropriately cheesy as we watch Barry fly Chris to a tense encounter with Wesker, who’s just, like, hanging out in the middle of the desert for some reason. Classic Wesker.
It’s not the first collaboration between Residence of Evil and the old games’ live-action cast. Before shooting this teaser, the channel shot a comedy skit featuring Chris Redfield and the real-life model for the RE3 Remake’s version of Carlos Oliveira, and there’s a 40ish-minute interview with some of the original RE1 cast, too.
I hope they manage to shoot their planned, longer film, if only because it’s always fun to see actors having fun with their old and iconic roles (though in the case of the RE1 cast, the game was pretty much their only major role before they moved on to other things). Much in the same way that I enjoyed seeing TF2 spring back to life when its voice cast decided to raid the American west coast for sandwiches, it’ll be cool to see ’90s Resident Evil return for a bit in the form of a cheesy short film.