Friday, July 27, 2007

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

Ok, this doesn't have much to do with real writing but Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is just a brilliant parody of classic 80's horror television and celebrity authors like Stephen King.

The premise of the series is that in the mid-1980s, Garth Marenghi and his publisher Dean Learner made their own TV series on a shoestring budget. Set in Darkplace Hospital in Romford, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace tells of the adventures of Dr. Rick Dagless, MD, as he fights the forces of darkness while simultaneously coping with the pressures of running a modern hospital. In spite of the programme's obvious flaws — wooden acting, cringeworthy scripts and amazingly poor special effects, to name but three — both Marenghi and Learner still regard the series as a masterpiece. But nobody else does, which is why it's taken nearly 20 years to reach the screen.

It's hilarious, and to me at least, what's funnier still are the interviews (most of the good ones are on the DVD) where they play up in perfect style the self-aggrandizing gobbledegook that most interviews with artists end up being full of.

If you've ever been a fan of 80's horror and horror authors and shows like Tales from the Crypt and Monsters, then you're bound to love Garth. It's just fascinating how saying just about the same things about writing and creating horror and fiction in real interviews and then in a parodic context end up being so hilarious.

Here's a sample of an interview with his Publisher:

"I will generally put in punctuation. I see that as my job. Garth, does one draft. He doesn't want to dalliance by constantly revising. He'll do one draft and he'll often elect to omit punctuation. That's his call. I will, put in commas. I won't put in semi-colons, this isn't Joyce. Um...I will omit dashes, again, this isn't French writing. I will make sure sentences start with capital letters; that's what they're called. I will make sure the book is long enough. Or should I say, thick enough. And that could be a question of adding more words. It could be a question of making the paper thicker. Depends what we've got time for."

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