Dead Rising Movie Adaptations 🧟 Release Dates, Cast, Plots, Reviews, Opinions

Dead Rising Movie Adaptations

Capcom’s popular video-game franchise, “Dead Rising”, has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, which is enough reason to produce film adaptations. 

For those who don’t know, Dead Rising is an open world, action/adventure, survival horror game, created by Keiji Inafune and produced by Capcom Vancouver.

How many Dead Rising games are there? – You may ask.

There are seven games in the whole Dead Rising series: four main games, two remakes, one mobile game, plus two re-released collections that don’t count as games themselves.


  • Dead Rising (2006): The first game is protagonist by photojournalist Frank West, who ends up trapped inside a zombie-infested shopping mall in Colorado.  Two mechanics popularized this game: time-limited storyline (24h – 72h) and the possibility to use anything as a weapon. There are a total of six endings to the story.
  • Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop (2009): A Wii reboot to the original Dead Rising, built with the same engine used for Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition. Because of the hardware’s limitations, the maps are smaller and the enemy count is lower, but this one is more inclined to firearms and timed missions (instead of free-roaming).
  • Dead Rising 2 (2010): Set five years after the events of Dead Rising (2006) in fictional Fortune City, Nevada, former motocross champion Chuck Greene tries to keep his daughter alive with Zombrex, a drug that lags the infectious process. Case Zero and Case West downloadable standalone expansions were released for Xbox 360.
  • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (2011): Frank West comes back on this non-canonical remake with slight plot alterations. It does not only featureThe “72-hour” system but also a “Sandbox Mode”. Combo Weapons were added and mechanics from the original Dead Rising return improved.
  • Dead Rising 3 (2013): Young mechanic Nick Ramos is the playable character from this story set ten years after Dead Rising 2. Survive the zombie outbreak from Los Perdidos, California in the original game or any of its 5 downloadable context expansions (Operation Broken Eagle, Fallen Angel, Chaos Rising, The Last Agent, and Super Ultra Dead Rising 3′ Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha).
  • Dead Rising 4 (2016): Frank West returns to Colorado during the Christmas season, just one year after Dead Rising 3. The 72-hour deadline system has been taken off to encourage exploration and both “combo weapons” and “combo vehicles” come back. 

In what order should you play the Dead Rising games? Knowledgeable players believe you should first play Dead Rising 1, then Dead Rising: Case Zero, Dead Rising 2, Dead Rising 2: Case West, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (non-canon), Dead Rising 3, and Dead Rising 4.

But only the real fans know about the three film adaptations made for the Dead Rising series.



Everything About Zombrex: Dead Rising Sun (2010)

Zombrex Dead Rising Sun
Source: Dead Rising Fandom


Production, Release Date, and Reception

Keiji Inafune reteamed with Dead Rising scenario editor Makoto Ikehara to create the film’s story. The film was shot in Japan.

Episode three includes a short documentary. Inafune explains that integrating the first-person viewpoint is his way of standing out from the crowd, making this more than just another zombie movie.

Director Keiji Inafune and Makoto Ikehara (scenario and story editor) created this Japanese film based on the Dead Rising universe which was released episodically in the Xbox Live Marketplace on August 4, 2010, and on August 11, 2010.

It is not available in the PlayStation Store

Two special editions (Outbreak & Zombrex) includes extended ending and models of Zombrex serum syringes were sent to press to promote the film

Zombrex: Dead Rising Sun (2010)Trailer


Cast & Characters

  • Taiki Yoshida (George)
  • Hiroshi Yazaki (Shin)
  • Sei Andô (Mary)
  • Hiroyuki Onoue (Dan)
  • Shohei Suzuki (Dave)
  • Michi Nishijima (Emily)
  • Riku Enomoto (Child)
  • Astushi Yamanaka
  • Asuka Kataoka
  • Nichita Tanabe
  • Shuichi Nomura
  • Kanade Tsutsui
  • Hajime Miyamoto
  • Kazuya Horiguchi
  • Tetsu Kanbara
  • Shin’ya Yamazaki


Two boys try to take refuge in a warehouse after being turned down by three different safehouses. They’re greeted by a group of unfriendly survivors who rob them and kick them out of it. But not without trying to combat the group, which results in a major beatdown. 

A car crashes into the warehouse and kills several people. That helps the two boys flee away and find another “home” while searching for Zombrex. 

The whole movie is played as a “First Person” film where you see through the eyes of George and his brother Shin, trying to escape from the Japanese zombie infection.



Review & Opinions

Reception was mixed and in my opinion, Dead Rising Sun takes the traditional zombie movie formula and turns things around interestingly. While being a bit laughable, the old-style campy horror film has “something” to dig in there.

1UP“it’s going to get better for snide crappy-video-game-movie fans.”

Fearnet:  “unless your Xbox hard drive is positively bursting at the seams, there’s no reason not to give Zombrex Dead Rising Sun a shot. Its micro-budget, stilted dialogue, and awful dubbing all add up to be one hell of a good time.”

Kotaku magazine: “The first-person viewpoint and restricted movement of the camera adds a great deal of tension to the story, but the bad voiceovers and obvious plot twists lessen the impact of the mechanic considerably.”



Everything About Dead Rising Watchtower (2015)

Dead Rising Watch Tower
Source: Legendary Digital



Production, Release Date, and Reception

Directed by Zach Lipovsky, produced by Tomas Harlan, and written by Tim Carter.

Filming began in Vancouver, Canada, on September 30, 2014, and it was later released on Crackle on March 27, 2015 thanks to the helping producing hand of Legendary Pictures and its Legendary Digital Media branch.

Despite the influence of an experienced team, it was cataloged as un-funny and “too closely adhered to the video game for non-fans to enjoy”. These and more comments are part of the 250+ RottenTomatoes ratings and 30% “Audience Score.” 

Dead Rising Watchtower (2015) Trailer


Cast & Characters

  • Jesse Metcalfe (Chase Carter)
  • Meghan Ory (Crystal O’Rourke)
  • Virginia Madsen (Maggie)
  • Keegan Connor Tracy (Jordan Blair)
  • Aleks Paunovic (Logan)
  • Dennis Haysbert (General Lyons)
  • Gary Jones (Norton)
  • Carrie Genzel (Susan Collier)
  • Rob Riggle (Frank West)
  • Reese Alexander (Shearson)
  • Harley Morenstein (Pyro)
  • Julia Benson (Amy)
  • Peter Benson (Bruce)
  • C. Ernst Harth (Bonzo Zombie)
  • Patrick Sabongui (Hippie Zombrex Doctor)




The story is set between the events of Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3, with online reporter Chase Carter and his camerawoman Jordan covering stories about quarantined people in the fictional East Mission town, in Oregon. 

In the meantime, the Government tries to contain the viral outbreak through the Federal Emergency Zombie Agency (FEZA) with the help of the anti-viral drug “Zombrex”.

But in reality, it was revealed that the Army has been implanting bad Zombrex in refugee centers to impulse new outbreaks and receive support from the government to produce tracking chips for those infected.

Review & Opinions

This film adaptation is as generic as its video game source material, including outbreaks and quarantines. And despite featuring recognizable actors, and looks like an amateur web series or Syfy original movie. 

Yes, there are many references that fans of the series will appreciate, like Frank West, Zombrex, crafting of DIY weapons, and much more. Beyond that, there is no reason to recommend this movie to non-fan spectators. 

Also, they forgot the most important part: messy and noisy zombie crowds, however, this only shows a quiet, least populated zombie apocalypse.

Mikel Zorrilla of Espinof: “Mediocre film that misuses all the interesting elements of the original video game saga.”

Scott Weinberg of Nerdist: “You’ve seen it all before, true, but at least it’s not boring.”



Everything About Dead Rising Endgame (2016)

Dead Rising Endgame Movie
Source: Legendary Digital and contradiction Films



Production, Release Date, and Reception

The sequel to the American action horror zombie film is directed by Pat Williams, produced Tomas Harlan, and written by Tim Carter and Michael Ferris, then released on Crackle on June 20, 2016

This movie was well-received, in comparison with the previous two. 

It won “Best Picture Editing in a Television Movie” and “Best Make-Up in a Television Movie” as it was nominated to “Best Television Movie” and “Best Direction in a Television Movie” on the 2017s Leo Award. AndIGN awarded it a score of 6.7 out of 10.

Dead Rising Endgame (2016) Trailer


Cast & Characters

  • Jesse Metcalfe (Chase Carter)
  • Keegan Connor Tracy (Jordan Blair)
  • Dennis Haysbert (General Lyons)
  • Marie Avgeropoulos (Sandra Lowe)
  • Jessica Harmon (Jill Eikland)
  • Camille Sullivan (Susan Ingot)
  • Victor Webster (Chuck Greene)
  • Patrick Sabongui (Garth)
  • Billy Zane  (Leo Rand)
  • Ian Tracey (George Hancock)


Reporter Chase Carter returns to East Mission City to research a building where prisoners are being held and transported to experiments aimed to find a cure to the zombie infection. Jill and Sandra help him find general Lyons who’s involved in the secret government conspiracy that no one talks about. 


Review & Opinions

Fun fact: Dead Rising Endgame leaves behind many elements that only fans of the series would enjoy, to adapt to a broad public, but sacrifices most of the fun. Removing most decent action sequences and jokes, which is what differentiates the Dead Rising series.

It’s important to mention that Endgame is better than Watchtower in almost every possible way, but its plot is full of holes. Even the characters are hard to care about.

Dead Rising: Endgame tries to take a more realistic tone compared to the first film.

According to Jesse Metcalfe in an interview for Digital Spy, the success of this second film might turn on the debate on if it’s worth it or not to continue the franchise to a third film or Crackle original series, something between the style of The Walking Dead and 24.