Welcome to The A-Z of Horror – an alphabetical window into the horror genre. Over the course of 26 days, I’ll be taking a look at horror in all its facets and forms, offering up suggestions of what to watch, should you be in the mood for a real good scare.
Today: I is for iZombie
iZombie is an American TV show developed by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright. The show – which airs on The CW in the US – is loosely based on the Vertigo comic of the same name.
The reason that I’ve added iZombie to The A-Z of Horror is because it’s a show that’s often overlooked – certainly here in the UK anyway. And because it is overlooked it not only needs championing, it also needs to be included on my list to demonstrate the different ways in which comic book horror is adapted into live-action.
In the UK, iZombie is available to stream on Netflix (Season 4 is streaming now), yet it is not promoted as one of the service’s big shows – even though it’s an exclusive. However, those who have watched the show know it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
For those not clued-up on the premise, iZombie works as follows: Lead character, Liv, is a zombie. In order to fight off her constant hunger for brains, Liv takes a job as a mortician, where she can feast on as many brains as she wishes without hurting anyone. Every time Liv snacks on brains, she is temporarily gifted with a personality trait of the dead person, as well as a few flashbacks to their life. Using these flashbacks, Liv – along with her colleagues – works out how the person died. Or rather, who killed them.
In short, iZombie is a detective show, with an element of horror at its core. Think Murder She Wrote with a paranormal twist.
There have been a number of horror comic book adaptations over the years (From Hell (2001), Constantine (2005), 30 Days of Night (2007) etc), yet few have been quite so… er… normal as iZombie. In fact, give it a couple of years and I can easily see this show popping up on ITV or Channel 5 in place of repeats of Quincy M.E or NCIS because it ‘normalises’ horror.
What iZombie demonstrates is that horror can be reworked and repackaged for different audiences and in some cases, it can seamlessly fit into another genre. After all, take away the zombie gimmick and iZombie is practically Columbo. Well, maybe not quite. Either way, iZombie shows that horror can be lurking everywhere, even if we don’t notice it so much.
Tomorrow: J is for…