I, Zombie (1998)

(AKA: I, Zombie: A Chronicle of Pain)
(AKA: Fangoria Presents: I, Zombie)
(AKA: Andrew Parkinson's I, Zombie: His soul was the Last to Go!)

(Release Date: Portugal 26 February 2000 [Fantasporto Film Festival])
(Release Date: Italy 22 January 2004 [video premiere])
(I don't get these dates either)

A Well-Intentioned... DOG!

Welp, That was a Turd, Wasn't it?

The Rotten Kid Critic!
J.C. Mašek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

It's official... I've an addiction to Zombie movies. I thought I could control it and I thought I had a handle on it, but now I know I need HELP! Alcoholics can sometimes point to that one night, that one drink that ruined their lives to addiction. Me? I'll ever look back on the day I actually paid to rent this thing! This proves I am powerless over my addiction and Zombie movies aren't any good for me anymore!

The Twelve Steps of Zombie Recovery

I admit it... I need HELP!

  1. I admit that I am powerless over Zombie Movies -- that My Life has become unmanageable.
  2. I believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to better films.
  3. I've made a decision to turn my will and my life (or undeath) over to the care of God as I understand Him, not to Doctor Moreau.
  4. I've made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and my affinity for the walking dead!
  5. I must now admit to God, to myself, and to another (LIVING) human being the exact nature of my addiction to VooDoo Lore.
  6. I'm now entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character and dermatology.
  7. I humbly ask Him to remove my Zombie shortcomings.
  8. I am making a list of all persons I have harmed though my viewing of Zombie Films, and have become willing to make amends to them all.
  9. I have made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure (or infect) them or others.
  10. I will continue to take personal inventory and when I am wrong promptly admit it.
  11. I will seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God as I understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, I will Try to carry this message to other Zombie Fans, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.

-Recovering Kneumsi!

  See Also these Zombie Favorites:
  Night of the Living Dead (1968)
What is a Zombie?
  Dawn of the Dead (1978)
And how the Franchises Link!
  Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Savini's Revenge!
  28 Days Later(2002)
J.C. is a budding sex god!
  Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Spoiler Free unless you hit CTRL+A!
  28 Days Later: The Soundtrack Album (2003)
  Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Is it a Sequel or not?
  Dead Alive (1992)
Laugh yourself to DEATH
  Zombi 2 (1979)
Not even NUDITY can save it!
  Zombi 3 (1988)
We Didn't need this Crap!
  Zombie 4 (1988)
Was that REALLY necessary?
  Zombie 5: Killing Birds (1987)
Completely Unacceptable!
  Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Not one, but TWO babes blowing away zombies! Much comic relief, some of it intentional.
Scroll Down for the
Complete Zombie Collection:
It might be a bit easy to grade movies like I, Zombie: A Chronicle of Pain on a curve given the budget, good ideas and intentions. Make no mistake, writer/ director/ composer/ actor/ producer Andrew Parkinson's debut film was handled on a budget that most shopping trips to the mall would balk at, and he does have a few interesting ideas and his intentions are good! However, even with these "gimmies" I, Zombie is no more enjoyable than just about any old filmic ulcer out there, and the road to the 99 cent bin at Cat's Eye Video is paved with good intentions. It would also be a little easier to forgive all this if the film wasn't pretentious as hell, all the while making about as much sense as a Sha-Na-Na reunion tour. However, like FearDotCom before it, this is the kind of really, really bad movie that you almost feel sorry for the folks involved in it and you want to point out some good things. That is until something so laughably funny farts its way on to the screen and Pathos turns to Bathos!

Botanist (or is he an "Investigative Writer") Mark (played here by Pip Pip, Wot, What's all this then, I'm going to take the Lorry to the Lift to the Loo Englishman Giles Aspen) is bitten in typical Zombie Film Fashion by some Rotten Kid in the woods. Must've been The Time of the Season. Anyway, Mark's girlfriend, Sarah (Ellen Softley) notices immediately that he's missing (and changes her hairstyle and color in apparently constant worry). What follows is split between her coping with his loss and him... well, let's talk about him!

An interesting aspect of this movie is that Mark's Zombification does not take place overnight, but over a long period of time during which he knows what is happening to him, but is powerless to do anything about it. Instead of the immediate zombification, we see Mark chronicling his illness scientifically and looking for answers. This could have been a good medical zombie idea with legitimate pseudo-scientific study. However, this is no 28 Days Later..., and it's no I Am Legend! In fact, all the logic that Parkinson attempts to use to inflate the script and add sympathy actually serves to make this a worse movie.

For example, Parkinson makes absolutely clear that Mark has his wits about him most of the time. It's only when the undeniable hunger for human flesh takes over that he's out of control. Yet what does he do? He gets a new Flat in town and becomes a covert serial killer (and not a really good one either). Now, I don't know about you, but if I were bitten by a septic young lady with bad skin, I wouldn't go House Hunting, I'd go get checked out at the Hospital. Nope. He spends most days lamenting his condition, complaining about it and not doing a damned thing about it. Most ridiculous of all... why human flesh? Is there some chemical in Human Flesh that he's attracted to? No! Wouldn't it be safer, and more (gulp) Logical if he went and pulled an El Chupacabra on some Chicken or a Sheep maybe? Hello? There are any number of things your average Middle School Graduate could think of doing, but Mark whines, moans and convulses, all the while he rots a little more each day. And that's about it. Mark is an Idiot!

Meanwhile, the Budget rears its rotting head again and again, most notably when you look at poor Ellen Softley. Low budget films made in ANY country are marked by the frequent closing and reopening of production while more funds are acquired. Here though, Softley apparently had a great relationship with the local Fantastic Sam's because in virtually every scene she looks completely different. Hair length, color, makeup, everything. Parkinson attempts to smooth this over by suggesting a passage of time with her hair changes, however, when they simply flip back and forth and back again as no time goes by you have to giggle.

It would be easy to complain about the Gory special effects too, and while they are about 30 years out of date, for the budget, they're pretty good. It's almost a great nod to what you can do with a Pioneer video camera, some Karo and red food dye. Of course none of that inventiveness went into the script, but hey... I compliment where due!

The budget was also a culprit in the assassination of good lighting. Every scene is lit exactly the same way, bright and lacking in atmosphere, so every scene, from a love scene, to a murder looks identical. Never before have I seen such a need for good lighting. I almost didn't want to bring this up, but according to the credits the filmmakers are actually proud of the way the film was lit. Right after the Cast is listed we see the first credit going to Christopher John Ball for "Lighting Design"! Man, that's like wrecking your car and then putting a sign on it that says "Brakes by Cofap!" or something! What are they saying "Blame him?" This "horror movie" is lit like the BBC's The Office for Cogliostro's sake! I like the BBC's The Office more than anyone, man, but I don't think the lighting is scary. Hell! That coupled by the fact that this looks like it was shot on a Betamax Camcorder really makes this look more like Porn than Horror... though there's no nudity! Oh, there were opportunities, but no payoff.

Speaking of... In the Dawn of the Dead remake review I complained about Zombies that can Run! Well, pilgrim, how about Zombies that Chronically Masturbate? Okay, now as predictable as this film is, I know you can guess what happens to a rotting corpse when he masturbates continuously! Look, it's cringe-worthy, but it's not any less hilarious, in spite of the best intentions of both Parkinson and Aspen.

And I think that's what makes I, Zombie funny more than anything else... Parkinson tries like mad to make this a Tear-Jerking horror movie where you honestly feel for the main character slowly slipping into Zombie-Hood. You can tell from the sappy slow music and the attempts at dramatic acting that Aspen bounces on. Now, a crotchless undead serial killer with decisions as stupid as a Fox Executive doesn't usually elicit the emotion that finding out Bruce Willis was a Ghost does, but I'll be horn swoggled if they don't try! Various times old Aspen attempts to really elicit sympathy from the viewer with sad dialogue and dramatic acting, but it all falls away when the clown ends up either awakening from a Fantasy (which happens so much its funny), falling to the floor in over-the-top convulsions, or posing for what Parkinson must have thought would be Eye-Candy. Folks, every time you want to stop laughing it gets unintentionally funny again! Look, I'd understand if they were trying to make a Spoof, but this is so pretentious and in the realm of drama that it makes all the corniness that much more Campy! I've seen better Phil Collins Videos!

Boo! I feel almost guilty, like I'm picking on a littler kid at school, but I, Zombie gets a DOG! On one hand it does show how an amateur filmmaker can make a lot with a little, on the other hand, unless you're grading this on a big curve, it's still a crappy movie. This also shows that if there's blood and some semblance of horror therein, Fangoria magazine will lay its name on ANYTHING! As if overpriced subscriptions for covering tripe like this isn't enough. Look, Fangoria, there are thousands of starving directors out there. Why this? Why this?

I, Zombie A Chronicle of Pain is not worth the money to rent it... my advice is to steal it if at all possible... then burn it and try not to inhale the fumes! Fuck you, Fangoria, you can BLOW ME! You're such a piece of fucking lame piece of fucking shit!

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I, Zombie: A Chronicle of Pain (1998) Reviewed by J.C. Mašek III who is responsible for his own views, and for his need for Cold Vulcan Logic even in the most low-budget films!
Got something to say? Write it!

Okay, when Mark's Masturbating for... THE FINAL TIME, you have just got to see the look on his face when he holds up his yanked off cock. It's supposed to be chilling and sad, but in fact it's funnier than Andy Richter! Oh, what a shit movie! FUCK! It gives a whole new meaning to "Whacking Off!"

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