1. Resident Evil (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2002) (re-watch)
2. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Alexander Witt, 2004)
3. Resident Evil: Extinction (Russell Mulcahy, 2007)
4. Resident Evil: Afterlife (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2010)
5. Resident Evil: Retribution (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2012)
6. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2016)
7. Lost Continent (Sam Newfield, 1951)
8. Four Sided Triangle (Terence Fisher, 1953)
9. Spaceways (Terence Fisher, 1953)
10. The Net (Anthony Asquith, 1953)
11. The Twonky (Arch Oboler, 1953)
12. ...4 ..3 ..2 ..1 ...morte / Mission Stardust
(Primo Zeglio, 1967)
I think this was the first... and only? adaptation of the massive Perry Rhodan
series, none of which I've read as far as I can recall, though I think some of the old Ace Doubles I have from the 50s and 60s may include some of the books in English translation. I probably didn't know that when I stumbled on the film somewhere, I was more taken by the poster
and some stills which called to mind Antonio Margheriti's work in the genre from this period, which I love. I thought at least that this might have some of those cool set designs and bright colors like the Margheriti, and for that matter Bava's Terrore nello spazio
or Fukasaku's Italo-Japanese The Green Slime
. I love this stuff but alas this film fell well short. Sure it has some of those cool elements - mostly in the beginning - and it's also got more in the way of eroticism than usual for these things, and Essy Persson is nice to look at in that goofy outfit, but overall this tale of a dying race trying to get help from the stupid unreasoning Earthmen is pretty dull, and most of it takes place in some nameless African country in a dull desert environment, and the characters are awfully, awfully bland. Oh well, there are probably still a few swinging 60s Euro-SF experiments left to see that are better.
(Arch Oboler, 1951)
A very pleasant surprise, this is one of the earliest post-apocalyptic films I know of, and it turned out to be one of the better ones as well. Starts out in some ways typically, with a woman (Susan Douglas Rubes) wandering around a desolate landscape, trying to find someone...soon she does in the form of William Phipps, who has occupied a house that belonged to a relative, and gradually they meet a few other survivors (guess the total number!), one of them black, one elderly and frail, and one who is... not exactly as he seems at first. While there are some predictable elements here, with some of the racial tensions and philosophizing about humanity's fate seeming a little tired, most of this is very well done. There is of course inevitable sexual tension, but this is handled pretty thoughtfully, and the conflicts that form within the group seem believable enough. Really nicely shot in very stark b/w, probably by the director (it's uncredited) who also wrote, produced and designed the production - except for the notable cliff house that forms a good chunk of the setting, which was designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright.
(Herbert L. Strock, 1954)
Another film that I found a bit better than it's rep, though not as impressive as the previous film. This one's in color and probably had an above-average budget for the day and genre, with a fairly recognizable star in Richard Egan, as the new security agent at a top secret underground laboratory in the middle of the southwest desert, where various experiments involving future space travel are going on, along with work on robot technology. The title will resonate if you know your Bible, and there's also sure enough a Magog - the two robots, heralding apocalypse perhaps, though this never feels like it's going in that direction. No, it's a pretty solid example of the thriller-SF genre of the time, like Spaceways
and The Net
which I reviewed above, but it's a little better done and the robots are cool if you like this sort of 50s stuff, and the production design and color are pretty decent as well, and there are some solid recognizable character actors here in Herbert Marshall (head of the lab of course), Philip Van Zandt and William Schallert, though it's the lesser-known Austrian actor John Wengraf who pretty much steals the film as the asshole robot creator.
(Charles Band, 1984) (re-watch)
16. Trancers II
(Charles Band, 1991)
17. Trancers III
(C. Courtney Joyner, 1992)
I saw the first of this time-travel-action series, with a soupçon of film noir in the first film (and in Tim Thomerson's character to some extent throughout all three), several years back and had fond memories, so when the "squid pack" went on sale for dirt cheap I jumped at it. Thomerson stars as Jack Deth, a cop - the Dirty Harry-type no-nonsense fuck the rules kind of cop - who kills "trancers" which are sort of man-made zombies, and in the first film he has to go back in time from his 23rd century mostly drowned L.A. to the more cheerful (ha!) 1980s version to hunt down the mastermind behind the trancers, and of course to fall in love with a comely 20th-century denizen, Helen Hunt well before she became famous. This is to me perfect low-rent 1980s neon, synth-score and big hair goodness, and Thomerson's Marlowe-esque nonchalance and tough guy with a trenchcoat persona inhabits the sunny streets and seedy bars pretty entertainingly. It's got some good L.A. location work too, though it's clearly stuff that only residents will really get - I just knew it was So-Cal and big city, and probably some of the cheaper neighborhoods. And it's got a few amusing bits in the nuts and bolts elements of time travel - the travellers have to inhabit the body of an ancestor, and when Deth's boss, a tough cigar-chewer like Deth, shows up to give Deth a warning it's in the body of an adolescent girl.
The second film presents more of the same, really - Deth comes out of his semi-retirement to track down a new guy making new trancers, this time played by the always wonderful Richard Lynch. Hunt still has a semi-significant role - this came out just as Mad About You
was starting up, and most of the cast from the first film are back, along with somebody from Deth's past (or is it future) who he had thought dead, but who returns to the 20th century from a time before dying in the 23rd. So there's some fun paradoxical shit going on here too, maybe a little more than in the first film, though the accent is still mostly on fairly low-rent action and the occasional tough-guy wisecracks.
is a bit of a letdown, though it actually goes in a slightly different direction, a necessity both because the second film is pretty similar to the first already, and because Helen Hunt was becoming too big a star to be in more than a few bits here. Deth is now in the process of ending his relationship and is summoned back to the 23rd century - putting a real crimp in his love life for sure - where humanity is being wiped out by a new generation of trancers. His mission - go back and find the cause. We get some time actually spent in the future, which is just old abandoned factories with a bit of water, and we get a military theme in the 20th century part of the story as Jack finds out it's the military that's behind it all. Somehow this just didn't come together as well as the first two - a little less humor, a little less Hunt, and the Evil Military Will Do Anything feels fairly stale. Eh. There are more films in the series but I'm not going to make any effort in seeking them out, at least not at this point.