Today’s movie is one of the darkest zombie films ever made.
First released in 1998, I, Zombie tells the story of Mark (Giles Aspen), a likable doctoral candidate who, while on a field trip, comes across a young woman trapped in a shack. Mark rescues the woman but, as he carries her to safety, she suddenly bites him in the neck. As you can probably guess from the title, this bite leads to Mark becoming a zombie.
However, as opposed to what we’ve seen in other zombie films, Mark transformation is a slow process. It starts with Mark realizing that his wounds are not healing and that he has suddenly started to have cannibalistic urges. Realizing that he’s doomed to become a zombie, Mark cuts off all contact with his girlfriend and instead tries to isolate himself from the world. The rest of the film follows Mark as he clinically observes the decay of his both his body and his mind.
To say that I, Zombie is not an easy film to watch is perhaps the highest compliment that you can pay it. Whether one interprets the film as a metaphor for addiction or just as the ultimate acknowledgement of the body horror that rests at the heart of the zombie genre (and I think both interpretations are valid), I, Zombie is one of the best zombie films ever made.