Resident Evil 4 deeply inspired by Lovecraftian film, Dagon?

Now this isn’t some huge revelation; Resident Evil has always borrowed heavily from B-rated horror films. But I was surprised recently while taking the time to marathon some Cthulhu and H.P. Lovecraft-themed movies that I stumbled upon one that was uncannily like Resident Evil 4. Googling it, it seems a small handful of others have also noticed that Resident Evil 4 seemed to have borrowed a lot from this movie, but it isn’t exactly common knowledge either.

Dagon is a 2001 B-rated horror film that features a small group of characters vacationing on a boat off the shore of Spain. A remarkable storm brews up and our cast of characters are forced to take refuge in a nearby small fishing village that at first seems empty and abandoned. Things get turned for the worse when it turns out the town is infested with Spanish-speaking villagers that rampage after our hero with pitchforks and machetes, who turn out to be related to a religious cult. Our hero pushes bookshelves to block doors and jumps out of windows when the villagers start to sprout tentacles and… Yeah, this does sound awfully familiar.

Resident Evil 4 took inspiration from quite a few number of films, such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre for Dr. Salvador, or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom for the mine cart ride section. But this seems to be THE film that was the foundation for a lot Resident Evil 4′s concepts. Ignoring the fact that watching a lot of Spaniards growl and bellow at each other while running around after our protagonist gives huge Resident Evil 4 vibes, there’s a lot of similarities. To the atmosphere being similar, some of the areas in the film look a lot like areas from the game and they share a similar aesthetic style, some of the scenes in the film seem to have been inspiration for scenes in the game, the similar religious cult basis that turns the town over similarly to how the village in Resident Evil 4 was turned, there’s a similar plot point about having the ‘things’ inside you, a certain character reminds one a lot of Saddler… And then there’s this guy:

Yeah…

Now this film isn’t exactly like Resident Evil 4. Things are a lot more, for lack of a better term, fishy. The set-up is a bit different, our main hero isn’t nearly as cool as Leon, and towards the later parts of the film it pulls it’s Lovecraft themes heavily (though now that I think about it, the Las Plagas wouldn’t be completely out of place in a Lovecraft story). Resident Evil 4 is considered by many to be one of the best video games ever, so it’s interesting to find that a relatively unknown film seems to have been a huge source of inspiration for it. Not that I blame Capcom for that, even before recognizing all the Resident Evil 4 similarities I was thinking how cool of a video game this movie would make. It’s also interesting to note that some of the concept art for Resident Evil 4 seemed to have borrowed even more from the film than the game ended up pulling.

You can likely find the film over rental services or for purchase in movie shops that specialize in a variety of slightly older films, though we do warn that while the film is better than one might expect, it’s by no means amazing. Also there’s quite a bit of female nudity in the film, if that type of thing bothers you.

This is also the point where I should mention that Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth also seemed to have borrowed from a few scenes of the film, but both being Lovecraft-inspired and being put in comparison to Resident Evil 4 makes it not stand-out as much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hazardman89 Miguel Cortes

    I remember people talking about this on CU a while back. I might have to watch this to see for myself.

    • Ryan Stanford

      It’s a pretty decent movie. The story isn’t that bad, the actings decent, and it’s got a really cool look and feel to the village. It’s a bit slow to get going, and the CGI effects are terrible, but it was fairly good even if most of it is an extended chase sequence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dustin-Maynard/541879583 Dustin Maynard

    Just so the author knows, “Dagon” is an adaptation of Shadow over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft. “Dark Corners of the Earth” is also an adaptation of Shadow Over Innsmouth. Ergo “Dark Corners” didn’t borrow a few scenes from the film as much as it did the, you know, story itself.

    • Ryan Stanford

      I know the story basis, but I literally mean the game did take from a few select scenes from this movie and not the original story. The biggest one would be the scene in the game where the lock on your door is missing as people begin to crowd your hotel room, and you have to unscrew another lock and screw it back onto the main door to lock it… Which is a scene that happens in this very movie.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549495199 Tristan Jones

        It’s worth your while actually reading Shadow Over Innsmouth. The scene you’re describing is a key moment of brilliantly written horror in the original book.

        • Ryan Stanford

          I may have to read it over again. I read the book several years ago but do not actually recall that scene.

  • Intimidator21801

    It’s online at the website fearnet.com
    Free movies

  • Refan004

    I watched this on netflix a while back and was thinking how similar it kinda was two re4

  • Intimidator21801

    Just finished watching Dagon. Wasn’t that bad of a movie.. And yes the areas in the movie did remind me of Resident Evil 4

  • Benjamin May

    Dagon is a really enjoyable film and at least somewhat faithful to the original story. I remember thinking at the time that the film felt a bit like Resident Evil 4.

  • SpeakerPatrick

    As a lifelong fan of both Resident Evil and Lovecraft, I’ve always saw the similarities in both worlds. I recommend to fans of RE a few stories by Lovecraft that grab the feel of the RE world. If you wanted to read something, and hope it’s as good as the survival horror stories of RE, then check out Shadow Over Innismouth, Mountains of Madness, and especially the incredible move based on these works called Cthulu. It’s IMO the best Lovecraft adaptation yet, and has a creepy story and wonderful direction and acting.

  • Henrik

    Lol I have had that movie for years but never seen the similarties til it was pointed out.

  • The night begins

    Even the voices from the villagers when they are pursuing the main character sounded the same way as the ganados from the BH4 beta, i think they changed their voices before release cuz they where just too similar. The mutated man’s face in the cover looks very similar to “it” as well, remember “it”?…….”it should keep you busy”……

  • The night begins

    Even the voices from the villagers when they are pursuing the main character sounded the same way as the ganados from the BH4 beta, i think they changed their voices before release cuz they where just too similar. The mutated man’s face in the cover looks very similar to “it” as well, remember “it”?…….”it should keep you busy”……

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1231556492 Ioannis Mproumas

    Definitely going to watch the movie.The guy that looks like the merchant has become legendary without even knowing it ;P

  • D. E. B.

    I have watched this movie at least five times and the similarities didn’t click in my head until tonight when I noticed the guy that looks like the merchant.