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Resident Evil Is for Lovers

How a goofy zombie franchise became my Valentine's Day tradition.

Milla Jovovich brandishes guns in Resident Evil.

It was many Valentine’s Days ago, when the man who would become my husband called me about a potential V-Day problem. “Okay, good news, bad news,” he said. “I broke my pinky toe. It was crazy painful. I threw up.” I asked him what the good news was. “Well, I taped it up, and jammed it into a nice shoe for our fancy dinner tonight!” He had made reservations at a very fancy, very romantic restaurant across town, which we were both looking forward to.

We had spent the previous Valentine’s Days in a similar fashion, with romantic meals out hindered by massive Valentine’s crowds, delayed reservations, and uninspired prix fixe menus. It was always nice, but beleaguered by the impossible expectations of the holiday. Quickly, I realized that he was in no condition to go out this time around, and I went to his place. I made him elevate his foot, placed an ice pack on it, and declared that we were staying in.

We were looking through his DVD collection for something to watch, and we landed on Resident Evil. Though he bought it, neither of us had seen it. He asked me if I wanted to watch something more romantic, but I shrugged. “We’ll watch the first ten minutes, and if it sucks, we’ll watch something else.” We cuddled up on the couch and watched as Milla Jovovich battled killer lasers, zombies, and mutant dogs. It was gory, goofy, and the perfect counter-programming to Valentine’s Day.

Since then, we’ve now made it a holiday tradition to forgo fancy meals and V-Day expectations. That’s not to say that we don’t have romantic dinners out (we do) or that he isn’t romantic (he very much is). We just decided to do that stuff on any other day of the year. We’ve been conditioned to believe that there’s a set program to V-Day—chocolates, flowers, and stuffed bears you bought last-minute at Rite-Aid—but forget that noise.

Now we have a new Valentine’s Day tradition: We put on our pajamas, get cozy, and watch a Resident Evil film. Luckily, they keep churning them out, although Jovovich has said that the last film, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, will be her last turn as Alice. I was upset, but then I heard she was starring in Monster Hunter with Tony Jaa (who, second to me, is the love of my husband’s life). Looks like we’ve got a new monster franchise based on a video game to bring into our Valentine’s Day tradition.

So happy Valentine’s Day to everyone out there forgoing the Instagram-worthy dates. I’ll be curled up at home with the man who is the Paul W.S. Anderson to my Milla Jovovich.

What are your favorite geeky Valentine’s Day traditions? Let us know in the comments!

(image: Constantin Films)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.