In a world ravaged by a virus infection, turning its victims into the Undead, Alice (Milla Jovovich), continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead - and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.
Resident Evil: Afterlife is directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and stars Milla Jovovich, Wentworth Miller, Ali Larter and Shawn Roberts.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Zombie fan fiction frequently features vehicles that play a central, even heroic role in often grisley action.
The release of Diary of the Dead, the latest installment of George A. Romero's zombie film series, got me interested in looking for more information on the franchise that started in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead.
An interesting stop was a British website www.homepageofthedead.com -- not only for the information it provides on the gory films, but for hundreds of pieces of zombie fan fiction written by willing amateurs across the globe. The variations are fascinating -- ranging from straightforward tales of zombie infestation to stories in which a zombie Superman cannibalizes the entire east coast of the United States.
A particular favourite features the Pope tackling the zombie crisis in abandoned New Orleans as he tries to launch a top secret zombie-killing satellite with the aid of an heiress to a sandwich jelly fortune, a Rosicrucian knight and a team of helpful dwarves.
In Canadian submissions, zombies chow down on Toronto and Montreal with lunch stops across the Prairies.
After reading a few dozen entries, it appears the writers can be divided into two rough camps: the soldiers and the drivers.
The soldier stories tend to focus on military hardware, firearms and the horror of coming face to face with armies of the living dead.
Necropolis, by Dwayne Glover, falls into the soldier category: "If there was ever a mission the men were set on participating in, this was it and zero hour was fast approaching ... The stench of the dead was unbearable and most soldiers that were on guard duty for an extended period of time would wear their gas masks."
The drivers' stories seem to centre on vehicles -- getting to the garage while the house is under siege, picking up hitchhiking survivors, cheerfully driving a monster truck through traffic-clogged streets, learning to siphon gasoline from abandoned gas station storage tanks or zombie-proofing the family car with a welding torch and a pile of scrap metal.
It's no secret where they got their inspiration. Even Night of the Living Dead featured unforgettable action involving a misbegotten plan to refuel a pickup truck under zombie duress.
From Darker Still by Roger Tighe, a driver's story: "It was then I noticed the small motor pool behind the department. OK, maybe motor pool is a bit of a reach when describing the small fenced-in area behind the department with a city pickup that looked like it had been new when I was born and two relatively decent-looking squad cars. I had seen a key box on the wall in my earlier search of the department and figured with any luck one of those keys would match a patrol car."
Hot damn, they do fit! A sweet moment in the zombie aftermath.
While the soldiers' tales are full of grim heroism, they're generally pessimistic in nature, while the drivers' stories almost always strike some positive chord. The characters they create still delight in finding a Jaguar, Lincoln Navigator or Mercedes parked hidden away in a forgotten garage. There's sheer delight in turning the key and having the motor start up to carry the heroes through a heap of shambling corpses to some safe haven down the highway. When the male soldiers' stories turn to romance, it usually involves a woman who is as capable with semi-automatic weaponry as she is beautiful. In the male driver's stories, the woman is not only beautiful but she can shoot, has a sense of humour ... and proves her worth by hot-wiring an abandoned car, something on which to build a real relationship.
The soldiers write about slogging through endless terrain under inhuman conditions as their fellow soldiers are consumed, then return to life as enemy combatants. The drivers write about well-tuned engines, the joy of the open throttle and the simple pleasures of filling up a gas tank. If it weren't for the zombies, you might think you were reading a lost story by a wannabe Jack Kerouac. When zombies stop some of these cars, you get the feeling that the living dead aren't so much despised because they feast on human flesh, but because they tend to interrupt happy motorists.
Given the choice between surviving a zombie apocalypse with grim but heavily armed soldiers or a car nut who has a penchant for hot-wiring vehicles, I think I'd go with the car enthusiast. Even in a world that's been transformed into hell by legions of the living dead, drivers seem to be natural optimists.