I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain

I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain ★★★★

This was the first film from Fangoria’s short-lives distribution company, and it’s a bit perplexing why this is what they chose to release. Not because it’s bad, but it’s so low budget and grimy looking that they couldn’t have been too confident about it reaching a large audience (it’s pretty much been forgotten since). Maybe Fangoria just wanted to give a filmmaker with little means or funds a voice? This is an ultra low budget labor of love. It follows Mark, a botanist living in Britain who goes into seclusion after being bitten by a lone zombie. Shutting himself off from friends and family inside his dreary studio apartment, he tries to adjust to his newfound cravings for human flesh as well as his gradual decomposition. 

This is far from a perfect film, but there’s an extraordinary amount of heart on display here. Director Andrew Parkinson deeply cared about this film, and it shows. It took four years to complete and he paid for everything out of his own pocket. He even composed the score, which is mostly very nice. Acting is very good, which is surprising since nobody got paid (not even transportation was compensated). The gore effects are very good for the budget, and appropriately nauseating. This film deals with violence on a very intimate, personal level. When Make kills someone, it doesn’t feel like just another number added to the body count. 

Like I said, there are numerous flaws. It’s overly dour and serious. But this is the real deal, the kind of personal project people bankrupt themselves to complete. If you’re expecting something fast paced or thrilling, you’ll be disappointed. This is really just a drama with a zombie slant. 

Check it out if you can find it.