Horror On The Lens: I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain (dir by Andrew Parkinson)


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.

One response to “Horror On The Lens: I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain (dir by Andrew Parkinson)

  1. I first watched this three or four years ago. Watching it again today, I am even more impressed. It really stays with you.

    Purists of the genre might not like the self-aware gradual transformation aspect of this depiction but that really is the key to the compelling-ness and success of this film, isn’t it? (Perhaps “quasi-purists” would be more apt, since true purists would prefer the zombie archetype portrayed in films like the recently-featured Revolt of the Zombies”.) The more horrific the title character becomes, the more sympathetic.

    This is a very intelligent film, which never flinches or veers off course. The low-budget works in its favor – the narrative style, the camera views, even the music – all were very effective.

    Despite (or because) this film is so bleak and unsettling, and because it is frightening and haunting in such an original way, I really enjoyed seeing it again. Thanks for posting it.


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