I <3 iZombie


With the season 3 hitting our screens next month I’m looking back at the first two seasons of this compelling TV show created by Dianne Ruggiero and Rob Thomas (also responsible for Veronica Mars).

In the tradition of Lucifer, The Walking Dead and Preacher, iZombie is another comic to TV adaptation. Lucifer and iZombie follow a similar pattern, partnering with crime solving detectives, while trying to make their lives meaningful. In spite of this and a plethora of zombie shows and films, iZombie is unique enough to really draw the viewer into its world and tongue in cheek enough to make us laugh out loud.

 iZombie is a delight especially with its male characters. Although the lead is female, Liv Moore (played by Rose McIver), most of the main players are male. These male protagonists (the good guys at least) fall prey to none of the usual toxic masculinity stereotypes. They are intelligent, funny, respectful of women and playful with each other.

Keep reading on my blog


Deadsville, 13 tales of horror, a review

“Deadsville” by Dale Elster and T.D Trask is a collection of short stories all connected by their setting – Rock Creek. The styles reminded me of Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Both writers, Elster and Trask have similar writing styles, which work well together in this collection.

There were a couple of stand out stories. “Head Shot” about a young man trying to survive a zombie apocalypse, and “Still Water” about a haunted river and two teenage boys, both by Dale Elster.

In each story something spooky and unexplained happens and it is this spooky event which is the crux of the story. This works. Masters of horror have often crafted tales this way. Don’t expect character progression though. That isn’t what these stories are about. The setting, Rook Creek, is the main character and all the stories link back to that place.

It’s an enjoyable read and a great introduction to both writers. 5*


Graphic Novel release party on FB https://www.facebook.com/events/1769878229937641/
Satori, an adept Chaos Magician, casts a spell to try and win back his lost love, Star. Lilith, mother of demons, has other ideas. Summoned by Satori’s magic, she makes it her mission to manipulate and separate the doomed lovers.
Satori knows he and Star are meant to be together. He battles demons, travels worlds and even transcends death for her but, however much she begs, he can’t grant her the freedom she craves.
The Starblood Trilogy is a tale of sorcery, demonology, murder, sexual obsession and Gothic subculture. In the words of Jef Rouner (Houston Press) “You don’t read [Carmilla Voiez’s] books. You survive them.” and Starblood may be the most brutal female-centred horror of them all. Winner of numerous indie awards, The Starblood Trilogy is being adapted into a series of graphic novels with art by Anna Dmitrieva.
“Carmilla Voiez is more of a singer than a writer. She tells her compelling story in a hypnotic, distinctive voice that brings her eerie world vividly to life.” Graham Masterton.
#horror #darkfantasy #murder #obsession #lgbt

Cellar Door (final part)

Read part 1 here

Read part 2 here

Read part 3 here

Read part 4 here

The light switch was the same as my dream, but the cellar was brighter when Yolanda switched it on. No longer just a dim puddle of light that barely reached past the end of the stairs, but a swathe of illumination that filled the small room. The floorboards were dry, not mud and concrete. I almost didn’t bother to follow her down the stairs, until I saw something familiar in the corner. A tin bucket, the one Carl had carried from my room. Logically it probably contained my body waste, vomit or something else. The way he’d held it suggested a strong, unpleasant smell. But it was the only touchstone that connected my waking world with the fevered dreams and I wanted to take a closer look.

I followed Yolanda down the narrow staircase.

‘See,’ she said.

‘Yes.’ I walked towards the bucket.


‘Just a moment.’

‘I’m going back up.’


Before the light went out I reached the bucket. It hadn’t been emptied. Whatever I had expelled from my skin in the midst of my fever had grown. The black, slimy, over-sized leech-like creatures that curled around each other in the bucket were sleeping. At least until they smelled me. I saw their blind faces turn towards me just before everything went dark.

‘No!’ I screamed.

I ran towards the stairs, or so I thought, but I hit a wall. My toes sank into damp earth. I felt something heavy slide across my foot.

‘Yolanda!’ I shouted.

I heard the clatter of metal. A bucket pushed over, perhaps. They were coming for me. The flesh of my flesh. My nightmare.

My hands flailed in front of me as I ran away from the sound. My foot slipped in the muck and I landed on my hands and knees. The room was silent other than my laboured breaths and I could not judge the direction of the stairs or the bucket. My body shook as panic took hold. When the first leech reached my toe I screamed then realised, too late, my mistake. They were everywhere, and now I had let them inside my mouth too. Their slimy noses pushed into every orifice. Even my tear ducts seemed a viable point of access, and they stretched and tore around the wet bodies. What I had dispelled in my fever were now forcing themselves back into my body. Racing like spermatozoa towards their goal.

My head swam as I felt the dark stuff enter my brain. The others stopped moving inside me and those monsters, which were still outside my skin, made plopping sounds as they fell to the floor. I sat up slowly and realised it was light enough to see. The stairs were less than a metre away and I struggled towards them until the strength returned to my limbs and I was able to walk.

I had assumed the cellar door was locked, but the handle turned easily in my strong grip and I stepped into the bright kitchen, blinking. Yolanda was there, waiting. Her smile brighter than the sunlight. I walked towards her and she took my hand in hers, my skin, the shade of a bruise, deep purple, almost black, looked much darker than hers now.

She led me out of the cabin and to the river bank where Carl waited.

‘She’s ready,’ Yolanda said.

I nodded.

Together we dived into the water, now the perfect temperature for a swim. Without moving her lips Yolanda told me everything was right. I would no longer be alone and my new family would take care of me. The truth of this wrapped me in a loving embrace and as my body sank deeper what was left of my mind soared high above, laughing.

Preacher, 2016, a review.

Imagine a town so degenerate that it makes Twin Peaks look like an ideal place to settle. A town with a diseased heart, run by a murderer who worships the god of meat. This town is Annville and it is the setting for the first season of AMC’s brilliant series, Preacher.

Add plenty of bloody violence, and “Misfits” style humour, in a large part thanks to the wonderful acting of Joseph Gilgun and Ruth Negga, and you start to get the flavour of what this superb series is about.

But the recipe is much more complex. We have a dark and dangerous town, we have insane and violent background characters, and then we have equally violent angels (complete with a chainsaw), trying to recover the voice of Genesis, which for some reason has found a home within bad boy preacher Jesse Custer. Custer’s best friends are a vampire and his childhood sweetheart, Tulip. Their enduring friendship and their simultaneously heartbreaking and heart-warming romance is the most realistic thing in the show. If “True Romance” starred a vampire and angels it might still fall short of the glory that is Preacher.


Every episode is a delicious treat, as Jesse tries to bring the townsfolk to God. Forget Ash v Evil Dead and Z Nation. Preacher is the funniest and most violent horror show I’ve seen so far. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t wait too long. Season 2 promises to be even better.


The Purge, Election Year, (2016)

The third of The Purge films looks at organised Liberal political resistance to the New Founding Fathers (NFF) and their night of worshipping violence. There is no nuance to the plot or characters. The “good guys” are Senator Charlie Owen, a Liberal politician attempting to change the law within the system, her head of security, Leo Barnes (the former police sergeant from the second film) and the people who support Owen’s campaign. These heroes are pursued throughout the film by the bad guys, the NFF, their White Power Nazis who supply the wealthy populous with Purge Night victims. Far Right America is joined by white “murder tourists” to embrace the purge. Resentments, hatred and the sadistic impulses of American citizens are saved up until the one night of the year where they can let loose without fear of legal consequences. The argument is that crime rarely happens in this new society and that extreme violence once per year eradicates crime for the other 364 days. The link between poverty and crime in society is acknowledged in one way only – as Malthusian population control, legally culling poor neighbourhoods on Purge Night.

In the first film we witnessed a family, who benefited financially from the purge (security systems salesperson), being targeted by jealous neighbours. In the second we saw how The Purge disproportionately affected people of colour and the rise of an armed resistance group led by the charismatic Carmelo, which actively fought against the powerful, bringing the violence to their privileged doorsteps.

I would have loved this third film to look deeper into this armed resistance group, but instead it looked at a Liberal politician who wanted to become president to change the law and stop the purge. The parallels of Clinton v Trump were nauseatingly clear at every step. Once again we were taken “down town” to see how the victims of this violent night were overwhelming the poor and black citizens. We do get to see the heroes of the neighbourhoods offering medical services and sanctuary. And these people help and support the Liberal politician during a sustained assassination attempt, ordered by the NFF and carried out by a punch of White Power Nazi soldiers. This is where things get tricky. The politician prevents this group from assassinating the NFF leaders with hollow promises of political change from within. I think we are supposed to leave the film thinking the good guys won. I felt the good guys had been betrayed by Liberal nonsense.

The politician’s sense of morality isn’t challenged while they are taking out the hired guns, but as soon as they reach the rich people who hired them, she whines that killing them would be wrong, that it would make them no better than the New Founding Fathers, and that change can only be made within the existing political system. What frustrates me is how believable the character is. This hypocrisy surrounds us in the West all the time and is rarely questioned. Well I question it and for me it made the third film much weaker than the first two.


There were some highlights. Laney and her partner in the paramedic van, the candy girl and the underground hospital were wonderful. The jump scares were frequent and the violence was bloody. As a horror film it works, but as a story, the end sucks balls.



3/5 at a push. Watch The Purge: Anarchy instead. It’s a much better film.

Review originally posted to terror-realm.co.uk