Halloween may be a time for horror, but why not take a break from the terror with something on the absolute other end of the scale in the shape of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.
The brainchild of Richard Ayoade and Matthew Holness, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace ridicules the silliness of low budget horror by seeing schlocky author Garth Marenghi introduce footage of his long-lost show of the same name, which sees a team of doctor’s battling the forces of evil.
Filled with continuity errors, terrible special effects and acting so wooden that it could be sold at Wickes, Dark Place was an absolutely pitch-perfect piece of tomfoolery.
It’s not just the cheap as chips production values that provided the laughs either, as the script was so full of brilliant jokes that it could barely move under the weight of them, as line after line of terrible dialogue was delivered fantastically flatly by the brilliant cast.
From lines such as “I can’t hold these plates off much longer” to “You’re the most sensitive man I know, and I know God”, Darkplace is full of wondrously daft jokes. Along with plotlines such as people being turned into broccoli, it’s one of the most unashamedly silly shows going.
This is a spoof of classic horror films at its best. Anyone who’s ever watched The Omen or any of the Hammer Horror ‘classics’ will instantly be on board with this hilarious send up of low-budget chillers.
Despite critical acclaim, Darkplace only ever received small ratings, leading to Channel 4 being unable to justify another run of the show due to its notoriously high cost despite a cult following. The fan reaction to the news did however lead to a fake spin-off chat show being brought out two years later featuring Richard Ayoade’s producer Dean Lerner, although it never got past the realms of disappointment.
A naming right’s issue means that there’s no perceivable way for more Darkplace to adorn our screens, the six episodes stand proud as one of the most deranged and spot on spoofs that TV has ever seen.
You can buy Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace on DVD right here
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith