The cast and crew of Resident Evil have been busy filming The Final Chapter in South Africa, and it may be a good thing that this will be the last in a series of films for this particular franchise. Either through carelessness or sheer bad luck, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has seen more than its share of accidents.
When filming first began, Olivia Jackson, stunt double for actress Milla Jovovich, suffered an accident that has resulted in an amputation, only to be followed up with another mishap on-set that has resulted in the death of 34-year-old Ricardo Cornelius.
Resident Evil Claims The Life Of Family Man, Ricardo Cornelius
Mr. Cornelius passed away on December 3, from injuries sustained during a safety check. Ricardo was crushed, when a Hummer toppled and fell on top of the stunt performer. Doctors told Ricardo’s wife, Shafiefa, that his lungs had been completely flattened and that he had suffered extreme blood loss.
“We already bought his Christmas clothes and shoes,” said widowed Shafiefa. “I buried him in his Christmas clothes.”
It seems the platform on which the Hummer had been parked was supposed to tip, but tipped incorrectly, as Ricardo had been testing the platform. Witnesses in Cape Town, where the Resident Evil film has been filming, reported that Cornelius had been rotating the Hummer on top of the turntable-like platform, when the vehicle slid and trapped the stuntman between the vehicle and the wall.
“We are all deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic accident, which was out of anyone’s control,” a Constantin Film spokesperson told Entertainment Weekly. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Although an investigation is still ongoing, preliminary reports confirm that Ricardo Cornelius’ death has been ruled an accident. Shafiefa said that Ricardo was already on life support by the time she arrived at the hospital, but she held his hand and pleaded with him to fight. She told him that the world needed strong men like him.
A Previous Resident Evil Accident Ends With An Amputation
It has only been three months since another stunt expert was injured on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Olivia Jackson has been in a medically induced coma, after a gruesome accident that left the stunt woman with head trauma, back injuries, and injuries to both of her arms. This accident involved a heavy, metal camera arm that had failed to move as intended.
Ms. Jackson has partially recovered and, just as news of Cornelius fatal accident became known, Olivia shared some unsettling news of her own.
“My left arm is paralyzed and is going to have to be amputated,” 34-year-old Jackson said. “My facial scarring is horrible and I wish I had my old face. But I’m truly grateful to be alive.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Cornelius is still asking questions and may be considering filing a lawsuit. While she says that there is no sum of money that would make up for her husband’s death, Shafiefa says she does want answers and that no one seems willing to speak with her. Ricardo’s widow is upset that she has to make up her own answers, based on what she has read in newspapers.
“No one can tell me what happened, I need closure… None of the bosses have even contacted me to tell me what happened… I’ve been making my own assumptions all along.”
While one woman faces a life without a limb and with a scarred face, another woman faces life without her husband, leaving more questions about the importance of safety on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
It seems that two serious accidents, one ending in a death, is too heavy a cost for any one film. Should there be a tighter reign on issues of safety on film sets, or is it just the nature of the beast?
[Featured image by Constantin Film]