Resident Evil (2002) Was Almost DTV – ManlyMovie

Resident Evil (2002) Was Almost DTV


One of my most hated movies ever, an adaption of one of my favourite games ever (there’s a correlation in there – how bad Anderson handled it), almost went DTV back in the day.

In an interview at Deadline, Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt reveal that they were already two-thirds of the way through production on the first adaptation of the Capcom game when Sony came aboard to distribute.  And Sony wanted to make it DTV.

“We only closed the deal with Sony two-thirds of the way through the shoot and it was just a straight P&A deal,” Anderson reveals. “The first time Sony saw the movie was a test screening in Burbank, and our deal with Sony was if it scored under a certain percentage, they could put the movie straight to DVD. They didn’t have to take it theatrically.”

DEADLINE: “What was the percentage? Do you remember?”

ANDERSON: “It was pretty high.”

BOLT: “It was very stressful.”

“It was over 80,” Anderson continues. “For horror movies and action movies, it is hard to get that high because people feel bad about liking a movie where people get eaten alive. It’s easier to like comedies. By that point, we’d had Hollywood experience. We hung on to the movie. Everyone was pressuring us to test it early, and we said absolutely not. Jeremy and I held out until we had pretty much the version that we released. The visual effects weren’t completely done, but close.”

Bolt adds: “We learned our lesson on ‘Event Horizon’, where the studio pushed us to test early and we weren’t ready. They were like, don’t worry about the visual effects. Rubbish. You have to test it in the most perfect condition.


DEADLINE: “What happens after a ‘Event Horizon’ test before it was ready?”

BOLT: “The studio gets nervous.”

ANDERSON: “I’m sure they never tell you, but your P&A spend goes down.”

BOLT: “There’s a different story in there also, because ‘Event Horizon’ obviously had some very extreme sequences in it.”

“But the first ‘Resident Evil’, we got it in great shape,” Anderson adds. “We took it to Burbank. Everyone from Sony was in the audience sitting behind us, making us even more nervous. We start the movie and there’s that sequence where everyone gets killed in the hive, and there’s a woman trapped in an elevator and she’s trying to get out and the elevator brakes are going and then the elevator drops and her head’s sticking out, and she’s obviously going to get decapitated. Just at the point where she’s going to get decapitated, we cut to black. And this guy in front of me stood up and went, “I love this movie.” The whole audience erupted, cheering. I looked back and I see all the Sony guys. They’ve got big smiles on their faces. We talked about this afterwards and how we were idiots for not thinking ahead and hiring someone to do that, regardless of whether the movie was any good or not. The test went great. We scored very, very well.”

Personally, I don’t get people who say ‘but the first movie is good’.  Am I the only one who thinks it’s fucking awful too?  How many of these movie ‘fans’ completed the tank controls games when they were new?

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