Let's face it, once you get past the films of George Romero, zombie flicks turn into a heaps & piles of dog turds.
So when a really good one comes along, it should be trumpeted. I, Zombie: The Chronicle of Pain (1999) has a marvelous script & a story capable of being told really well on its limited budget. A couple other zombie flicks truly worth the attention include Stacy (2001) & 28 Days Later (2002), & the blissful <Cemetery Man (1994).
In I, Zombie a young man (Giles Aspen) finds a ruined house in the woods.
As he begins to explore the crumbling domicile, he finds a diseased-looking corpse & then a spasming disfigured woman who, as he tries to assist her, bites him.
He wanders in the woods a few days but eventually finds his way home, infected with a desire to eat fresh human flesh, while his own body very slowly begins to decay.
His struggle with his condition, his attempts to remain undiscovered & pass as a normal human being, to disguise his rotting wounds, his avoidance of old friends & especially his girlfriend (Ellen Softley), his grisly hunting excursions in all urban neighborhood -- all this becomes part of his increasingly horrific existence.
The film assumes that the animalistic instinct on which zombies function is part of the latter development of the infection, & for some while it is possible to maintain a balance of one's life with one's illness.
The film's focus on the mental condition of the afflicted young man does not mean that it cheats in the gore department. His feasting sequences are gross. How he copes with breaking his leg is grosser still.
I, Zombie is that rarest of critters, a sleezy gore film with intelligence & even a touch of compassion.
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