Zombies, bio-terrorism, rocket launchers… and Sonny Chiba? American fans might be surprised to learn that a stage production of their favorite video game franchise has become a huge hit with theater-goers in Japan. But a limited Halloween engagement of Biohazard: The Stage may not be the zombie-fueled extravaganza that gamers expect! Engadget reporter Mat Smith recently attended a showing in Roppongi, Tokyo sometime last month where he encountered screen-projected CGI and a pop-dance interlude.
It’s safe to assume that something as action-packed and gory as Resident Evil isn’t going to lend itself so easily to theater. And that makes for an awkward translation. Case in point: After the intermission, things go suddenly dark. The audience hears a dog’s barking, zombies groaning and the sound of the latter eating the former. Then, the play totally breaks the on-edge atmosphere by erupting into a high-tempo, electronica pop dance break.
Set sometime between the plot of Resident Evil 5 and 6, the stage play explores a bio-terrorism incident that occurs at a Western Australia university. But even with the musical interludes and theatrical tropes, the production is reported to stay more true to the video game source material than its Hollywood counterpart.
While the original stage play seems to have ended its overseas performances earlier this month, it is certainly worth reading the original account of the spectacle online at Engadget. And for those of you interested in the specifics, please view our video embedded below or visit the official Biohazard: The Stage website for more information.