Resident Evil: Degeneration

Posted by Cory Casciato On March - 13 - 2009

residentevildegenerationThe entirely CGI-animated Resident Evil: Degeneration was, for my tastes, far better than the live-action Resident Evil. Admittedly, I have only seen the first RE movie – I was so disappointed I didn’t bother with the others, though I will eventually. In Resident Evil: Degeneration you have a typically (for the franchise) convoluted plot that centers around the efforts of another company to pick up the pieces of the Umbrella Corporation’s research and profit from it, even if that means their market is terrorists. The main event is a release of the zombie-making T-virus in an airport and pure zombie mayhem is the result. Franchise heavyweights Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield are the main characters and they lead a rescue mission from inside the airport, before tangling with a corrupt corporate executive (is there any other kind?) who’s concocted an elaborate plot to test the G-virus, which creates a weird reptile/insectoid hybrid demonic-looking mutant that is all but unkillable. There’s also a romance sub-plot between Kennedy and a new character, and the new character’s brother is involved in the release of the G-Virus, as revenge. Oh, and he is being manipulated by the corporate executive who’s linked to the senator trapped in the airport and, uh, … did I mention it gets a little convoluted?

The movie looks great at times and horrible at others, depending on what the scene portrays.  The zombies themsleves and the action scenes typically look great, and the fires looked nothing short of amazing (the film makers knew this, and used the effect as much as possible). Unfortunately, any kind of  emotional scene or anything that required a facial close-up was way too much “Welcome to Uncanny Valley!” to be anything but off putting. The pacing is generally tight but it does drag at moments and the story is convoluted enough to be difficult to follow at times. Those two things conspired to make my attention wander at several points. Luckily the dialog is nowhere near as bad as the games’ famously bad writing — at its worse, it’s just kind of stiff and unrealistic, but no worse than many a live-action zombie epic I’ve sat through.

For fans of the RE games, this is definitely a worthy exercise, if only for the additional insight into the characters and back story of the games.  For fans of the RE live action movies it’s probably little more than a curiosity at best and utterly confusing at worst (“Uh, how does this relate to Alice now?”). For general zombiephiles, it’s an interesting, if flawed, work that’s worth a look (especially if you enjoy anime, which it strongly resembles in many ways: pacing, story and dialog in particular).

Inanimate: City of Rott

Posted by Cory Casciato On February - 26 - 2009

cityofrottThe animated City of Rott is something of a curiosity, as one of the very few animated feature-length zombie movies in existence — the only other I am aware of is the CGI-animated Resident Evil: Degeneration. Unfortunately, its one-of-a-kind status is its only real appeal. It’s bad. Real, real bad. The art and animation is strictly student-film quality, and bad student-film quality at that. More to the point, it’s like the scribblings on a junior-high math notebook come to life, or undeath, or whatever. The main story — about an old man looking for new shoes in the midst of a zombie apocalypse — is nonsensical and meandering.  Compounding the issue is the fact that a whole new set of characters and plot points are introduced over halfway through, and none of them made much sense either. It was all done by one guy — art, animation, writing, voices, everything — and it shows. Especially noteworthy are the female voices, which are achieved by speeding up the creator’s voice — very clever. At only 78 minutes, the movie feels like 178 minutes. Apart from some vaguely interesting ideas (brain-infecting worms cause zombies) and one or two mildly amusing moments, CoR is without redeeming qualities. Do Not Watch.

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