As the latest in a long line of franchise installments, Resident Evil: Welcome To Racoon City is stuffed with Easter eggs and hidden references to the original video game series. First released in 1996 for the Sony Playstation, Resident Evil has since gone on to spawn a mammoth 27 sequels and spinoffs across multiple platforms, making it developer Capcom’s best-selling video game series of all time. The Resident Evil spin-off movie series is almost as prolific, with Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City coming in as the seventh film in the long-running series.

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City serves as a hard reboot for the Resident Evil movie franchise, designed to bring it back to its video game roots. It is only natural, then, that the film takes audiences back to where the Resident Evil narrative first began—outside the walls of the Spencer Mansion in the titular Raccoon City. The film reintroduces several classic characters, including Claire Redfield (Kaya Scoledario), Ada Wong (Lily Gao), and the iconic Leon Kennedy (Avan Jogia).


The latest entry in the franchise is undoubtedly a love letter to fans of the original video game series, with director-writer Johannes Roberts’ movie built on a bedrock of fan service. From the Zombie Dog that kickstarts Raccoon City’s soaring infection rates in Resident Evil (PS1) to reintroducing the franchise’s terrifying Lickers, Welcome To Raccoon City revels in its violent yet detailed homage to the classic games. Here’s every iron-clad Easter egg and video game reference in Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City.

The Iconic Resident Evil First Aid Spray

In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it homage to the most utilized Resident Evil video game item of all time, Welcome To Raccoon City finds space to introduce the Umbrella company’s life-saving product. In the movie’s first scene, a billboard outside of Raccoon City orphanage advertises the healing spray with a graphic identical to the original can schematics used in the 1996 game. While none of the characters in Welcome To Raccoon City ever get the chance to find, purchase, or utilize this handy item, this Easter egg is still a tongue-in-cheek nod to the healing spam needed to survive the original Resident Evil video game series.

The First Resident Evil Zombie

The original Playstation Resident Evil game ratchets up the player’s tension masterfully, with much of the game’s early cutscenes and missions dedicated entirely to Raccoon City’s exposition. It is no surprise, then, that it is absolutely harrowing when the moment finally arrives. As the player explores Spencer Mansion, a cutscene shows a zombie eating a recently deceased S.T.A.R.S. squad member before turning slowly and staring into the camera as the horror of a zombie outbreak sinks in.

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Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City faithfully recreates this game cutscene frame by frame, with Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) coming face to face with a flesh-eating zombie inside the mansion. Aside from instilling dread in audiences and allowing the full range of detailed zombie makeup effects (admirably over CGI) utilized in the film to come to the fore, the scene is also a clear homage to the first true Resident Evil action. This is also not the first time the Resident Evil movie franchise has recreated this scene, with Resident Evil 2002 also taking a swing at evoking the classic video game’s narrative beat.

The Zombie Dog From Resident Evil 1

The very first enemy encountered in Resident Evil 1996 is an infected Doberman spreading the T-Virus through Raccoon City, which the player has to unceremoniously mow down before making their way to the mansion. Zombified creatures have since become a mainstay in the series, with every installment featuring undead animals—usually dogs—in some capacity. Even veteran Resident Evil movie director Paul W. S. Anderson dared not buck this trend, with all six of his Resident Evil movies featuring at least one version of the classic Zombie Dog. It is no surprise, then, that Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City makes good on this expectation, featuring a trucker’s dog that becomes infected after licking zombie blood before it bites its owner, marking the start of the Raccoon City virus’ spread.

The Licker

First introduced in Resident Evil 2 in 1998, the Licker quickly became the quintessential Resident Evil villain thanks to its gaping maw and slithering movements. Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City director Roberts has clearly played this title, with the Licker’s introduction in his film mirroring the creature’s exact first scene in the second Resident Evil game. As Leon makes his way through the mansion, the Licker writhes across the ceiling above him, evoking the dread of the original 1998 cutscene.

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Raccoon City Orphanage

One of the more obvious Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City homages is the appearance of the Raccoon City orphanage in the film, which looks identical to its video game counterparts. The blue raccoon and strangely emblazoned red giraffe are unmistakable, with the orphanage’s gate design first seen in the Resident Evil 2 & 3 remakes. Even the purpose of the orphanage itself has been ported over from the video games, with the orphanage still darkly serving as a front for experimenting on children in the Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City movie.

Claire & Leon’s Original Resident Evil Clothing

Full marks to the costume department of Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City here, with Claire’s iconic red leather jacket and Leon’s police vest closely matching the character’s earliest outfits in the video game series. Claire’s red jacket was synonymous with the first two Resident Evil games prior to her jacket turning more of a maroon shade, while Leon had an unlockable police vest as his second outfit option—complete with extra hit-points—mid-way through Resident Evil 2. Both of these outfits instantly evoke memories of charging through the halls of Spencer Mansion, meaning they feel perfectly at home in Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City‘s narrative.

Itchy. Tasty.

Audiences going into Johannes Roberts’ Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City cold may have incidentally been more disturbed by the scene in which Claire Redfield has a terrifying encounter with her neighbor. As Claire and the woman make eye contact through a rain-soaked, clammy window, the strange woman proceeds to scrawl the phrase “itchy tasty” in blood on the glass. It’s harrowing stuff, but this strange and spine-tingling combination of two words carries far greater meaning within the Resident Evil canon.

In the first Resident Evil video game, players exploring the Spencer mansion had an opportunity to find a diary in the west wing of the building. The diary’s previous owner is revealed to be an Umbrella corporation employee, whose journal chronicles the sickening after-effects of one of their experiments as the Resident Evil T-Virus is unleashed. The final diary entries devolve into what the Umbrella employee—nicknamed “The Keeper”—is feeling, with the final words scrawled in the journal simply reading “Itchy. Tasty.Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City utilizes this iconic slice of late 90’s video game lore to great effect, creating a horrifying new scene out of an iconic video game moment.

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