Since R.E. first appeared on the big screen in 2002, the Umbrella Corp has been responsible for weapons research, the release of the mutating T-virus, experiments on humans, and the creation of biologically engineered supersoldiers.
In this weekend’s Resident Evil: Retribution Umbrella’s genetic experiments turn the global population into “legions of the flesh eating undead.”
Turning the world’s people into zombies is pretty dastardly stuff, but Umbrella isn’t the only cinematic corporation bending the rules and causing harm.
How about Blade Runner’s morally despicable Tyrell Corporation?
Led by a CEO with a God complex, the company genetically engineered organic robots called replicants for use as slaves on space colonies.
Visually indistinguishable from humans, they are banned from earth, and if found on the planet are killed immediately.
That plot inspired another popular sci-fi flick.
When writer Edward Neumeier was asked about the plot of Blade Runner he replied, “It’s about cop-hunting robots.”
Inspired, he created RoboCop’s story about megacorporation Omni Consumer Products who builds the title character, a superhuman cyborg law enforcer.
It’s likely that defense firm Cyberdyne Systems had nothing but good intentions when it developed Skynet, the Global Digital Defense Network that features at the center of all the Terminator movies.
The idea was to remove the possibility of human error when responding to military threats. Who knew the technology would one day eliminate the human race?
Elimination of humankind was not on the minds of Soylent Corporation, the entity running things in the sci-fi flick Soylent Green. Set in an overpopulated, polluted world they came up with an alternative food source, Soylent Red and Yellow made of “high-energy plankton.”
A third product, Soylent Green, becomes NYC’s most popular snack until a cop (Charlton Heston) discovers the green wafer’s main ingredient. “Soylent Green is people!”
I doubt even Mitt “Corporations are people!” Romney would approve of District 9’s Multi-National United. Despite their slogan, “Paving the way to unity,” they create alien apartheid in South Africa for the purpose of performing experiments on the hapless ET’s who landed in South Africa. Most of these cinematic corporations sound innocuous.
At least the name of the corporation in Mel Brooks’s Silent Movie was truthful about what they do — Engulf & Devour.