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Resident Evil The Keepers Diary fan film shows Hollywood how it's done

Resident Evil The Keepers Diary fan film shows Hollywood how it's done

A small indie team shows Hollywood how it’s done

To say that I’m a die-hard Resident Evil fan would be an understatement. Back in 1996, I can remember vividly being told by a high school friend about a really scary game he got on the PlayStation called Resident Evil. At the time, I knew nothing about this new Capcom title. After all, the internet wasn't a thing in the common household and all our information came from video game magazines such as GamesMaster.

My excitement for this unheard-of game was already fever pitch and a group of us went straight to the friend's house after school. His PlayStation was located in an understairs cupboard, not too different from Harry Potter’s bedroom when he was living with the Dursleys. There we were, tightly grouped, passing the controller and playing Resident Evil for the very first time. I had no clue how to play this game and I died at the first zombie encounter and the experience was over in a blink of an eye. Yet, from that moment, my heart was won by Resident Evil.

The Keeper’s Diary: A Biohazard Story trailer

Back then, video game fans had a raw deal when it came to adaptations with the likes of Super Mario Bros. (1993) and Mortal Kombat (1995), but surely, the Capcom series had all the ingredients for a successful film and before the release of the first Resident Evil live-action film in 2002 directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, I had deluded expectations. To be fair, the pre-release trailers looked awesome and it appeared to feature what I assumed was the Spencer Mansion, the location of the 1996 video game.

Sadly, to put it simply, this film sucked and so did all of the painful five sequels that followed. Perhaps suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome, I tried to convince myself that 2004’s Resident Evil: Apocalypse was an ok film. But who was I kidding? In hindsight, I was just settling for a film that was the best pick from a bad bunch.

Teasing all Resident Evil fans with further torment, I think it's fair to say that most of us had renewed hope with the 2021 film Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. This film also looked promising, featuring a cast of recognisable names, the Spencer Mansion and the Raccoon Police Department. But guess what? This film sucked too - and don't even get me started on that painful live-action series on Netflix which got abruptly cancelled.

The Keeper's Diary: A Biohazard Story/
Residence of Evil

Ever keen to consume all the Resident Evil content, two of my favourite content creators are Biohazard Declassified, founded by Andy Cox, and Residence of Evil, founded by J.J. Trulock (both of which are producers of The Keeper’s Diary: A Biohazard Story). These guys and their respective teams love Resident Evil. So imagine my surprise when in 2023, the guys at Biohazard Declassified and Residence of Evil announced a crowdfunding project for a short film inspired by the famous document found in the original Resident Evil, known as ‘The Keeper’s Diary’.

I knew that those content creators loved the Capcom franchise as much as I do but that doesn't guarantee that their passion would translate into a quality film. After all, every director and actor involved in the Hollywood adaptations has claimed to appreciate the franchise on some level and we all know how they turned out. After months of production, The Keeper’s Diary: A Biohazard Story directed by Andrew Saullo has now finally been released for free on YouTube and I’m over the moon to say that the film delivered and then some.

As soon as the film begins with a rendered shot of Arklay Mountains before zooming into the Spencer Mansion, we are introduced to the actress playing Jill Valentine (Gracie Madsen) entering the Keeper’s dorm room with the ‘First Floor Mansion’ theme playing in the background. I quickly knew I was in for a treat.

The Keeper's Diary: A Biohazard Story/
Residence of Evil

‘The Keeper’s Diary’ document is possibly the most famous in the entire Resident Evil series, you know, the one that ends with “Itchy. Tasty.” What this fan-made film does is use this document as a template to evolve an interpretation of its lore and expand it into a 13-minute production. It stars Chris Kraslavsky as an Umbrella Corp researcher, aka the Keeper, providing a captivating performance portraying the character's descent into madness. Charlie Kraslavsky is the original Chris Redfield from the 1996 game, who in recent years has formed a close connection with the Resident Evil community, so getting him onboard in the leading role is a nice touch.

Despite the restricted budget, The Keeper’s Diary: A Biohazard Story is a quality and well-put-together production. It’s made with the utmost care and respect for the property. It also has some fun Easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans such as the Umbrella Corp-owned Aqua Cure and Safsprin medication from Resident Evil 3, and even has Ward Saxton, the iconic voice that says “Resident Evil” in the main menu of the original game to introduce the film.

The Keeper’s Diary: A Biohazard Story can be enjoyed whether you’re familiar with the original game in the series or not. I know comparatively it might not mean much, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that The Keeper’s Diary: A Biohazard Story is arguably the best Resident Evil film to date and it shows those Hollywood bigwigs how it's done. So what are you waiting for? Go and watch it already and be sure to stick around for two post-credit scenes.

Featured Image Credit: Residence of Evil

Topics: Resident Evil, Capcom, TV And Film, Indie Games, Youtube