With the home entertainment release of Resident
Zombie Crows – Resident Evil: Extinction
So often the harbingers of doom (see Game of Thrones, The Omen), the crow qualifies for this list above your average moaning zombie, or blood stained undead Doberman, not because it was one of the most difficult things to shoot in the video game, but because it plays on the long-dormant fear of birds that we’ve all repressed since the days of Hitchcock’s classic, or even that time a seagull swooped down for your holiday chips.
[Un]settling on telephone wires and the hoods of cars as our group of survivors head to Las Vegas in first sequel, Extinction, they initially appear to be nothing more than a familiar cawing pest. That is until they then begin to mobilise into a black swarm of death, leading to crashes, explosions, and the inevitable bloody pecking of faces.
The Axeman – Resident Evil: Retribution/Resident Evil: Afterlife
Appearing in the fourth and fifth installments of the franchise, The Axeman is a similar brute to Silent Hill’s iconic Pyramid Head, in that he is a faceless destroyer who drags a large instrument of pain along the ground behind him.
In a scene surely designed to make the most of 3-D, his toilet smackdown with Milla Jovovich’s Alice and Ari Larter’s Claire Redfield is one that involves swinging of a huge weapon from which he derived his name, as walls explode and blades narrowly miss our X pressing heroes. Eventually brought down by a double-barrel shotgun blast to the head, he falls to the floor, spilling coins from within as if he’s an end of level Super Mario boss.
It’s in the test environment of Retribution that he’s used more effectively. Heralded by the sound of his pavement scraping axe, the Red Queen duplicates old potato sack head to take on Alice in downtown New York.
The Licker and Uber-Licker – Resident Evil: Apocalypse/Resident Evil: Retribution
If any of you thought it was big or clever to laugh at the names given to our next Resident beastie, you’d surely think again should you come face-to-face with either manifestation of the Licker (stop it…).
Another mutation from that pesky T-Virus, the original Licker was one of the line-up from the first Resident Evil movie. Here it was a wall crawling CGI creation with protruding tongue, which bore something of an anatomical resemblance to some of H.R. Giger’s finest nightmares. Its evolution into the Uber-Licker creates a more fearsome, gigantic presence by the time it shows up in Retribution’s Moscow showdown, but is disappointingly dispatched by a micro car which subsequently rams it through a boutique window.
Tyrant – Resident Evil: Extinction
When Tyrant, a hulking great scythe handed freakazoid, shows up in the console games, you panic, and then you hold down the button for run. When he made his appearance in 2007’s Extinction, it was the same tentacled, self regenerative, indestructible boss that fans had been hoping to see; only this time he seemed to have a voice informed by watching too many Guy Ritchie movies. Of course, Jovovich didn’t turn and flee like this sweaty palmed gamer, instead facing down Tyrant in a scene truly reminiscent of the source material, in that she knocks him down, he gets back up again, so she knocks him though a brick wall, only to have him emerge from the rubble. That unrelenting Michael Myers style shape of indestructibility, is sometimes more terrifying than a set of dripping gnashers.
It’s also worth noting that he’s played by franchise regular, Iain Glen, who seems to have a niche for portraying those afflicted with skin disorders. A little inside reference for Game of Thrones fans there.
Nemesis – Resident Evil: Apocalypse
A monster so iconic to the Resident Evil franchise that he’s the only one who has an instalment of the game named after him. A variation on the Tyrant mutation, he is named after the Greek Goddess of divine vengeance, and was created in such a way that he’d retain his human intelligence.
Cinematically, he was originally one of the good guys of Apocalypse; as Matt Addison he was attempting to break into the Umbrella Corporation as a political activist, but ended up getting scratched by this lists favourite beastie, the Licker. With a little scientific jiggery-pokery from our old friend, Iain Glen, he became Nemesis, a weapon toting mutant who looks like one of Hellraiser’s Cenobites on steroids, complete with the Terminator’s user interface.
What makes Nemesis the ultimate franchise monster is his repressed humanity, and how the film incorporates this arc alongside the prosthetics and killing is a subtlety often lacking in this action heavy franchise. You could say there’s something of the Frankenstein’s monster about him. Although you might also think that’s utter nonsense, because it’s Mike Epps’ Apocalypse character that puts it best when he simply calls him a big muthaeffer with a rocket launcher.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is out on Blu-ray and DVD from Monday 12 June.