Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace – the greatest horror parody ever made

I was browsing youtube when I found a random video:

The acting and dialogue was so odd that I had to know where it came from. Looking into it I found out that it was from the show “Darkplace” which came out in 2004 and when I saw the cast list I was shocked that I had never heard about it.

The show is comprised of two parts, one – the story of Dr. Rick Dagless, a doctor who just happens to be an expert in the paranormal. A portal to hell is opened in his hospital and along with his colleagues he has to stop the evils that come out of it. And on the other side, we see the people who made the show, namely Garth Marenghi who talks us through the creation process of the show in the style of a DVD commentary. Apparently Garth’s show had 67 episodes but the “risky nature” of the content was too much for the network to accept and it never aired, now they take us through the few episodes that remained and were salvaged.

This show was a work of genius (not the fake show the actual show). It was made so perfectly that if someone did not know better they would have believed that it was an 80s horror series. It takes real skill to make a good show that is made to seem like a horrible show in the same time. It may sound confusing a bit but this video should give you an idea:

This is Richard Ayoade who plays the producer of the show who in the “Darkplace” show plays Rick’s boss. And the producer can’t act so Ayoade has to act as someone who can’t act. Purposely acting bad to me is like a form of art and I absolutely love it. That is why I pretty much only watch the Kyle Mooney sketches on SNL because he does a magnificent job at it.

There are so many small and seemingly insignificant things that make the show stand out so much and get me to burst out laughing that when you get them all together make this show a masterpiece. Be it Ayoade’s acting, the obvious over dubbing dialogues of actors, especially Alice Lowe. There was also a segment in the show where Garth and his producer talk about using slow motion to make the episode feel longer because they could not use the material to even form one episode.

And the best part is the actual creators of the show (mainly Ayoade who wrote and directed it) are definitely fans of the horror genre because of the many Easter eggs and references throughout it. From the Lovecraft episode to episodes inspired by “The fog”, and “Carrie”. And at the very center of all of that is Garth Marenghi himself who is an obvious parody of Stephen King himself and other writers who believe that they are a huge cultural impact and change the way that the majority of people think, glorifying themselves and boosting their ego because they made one show. Garh himself as well as many other characters in the show had the best quotes ever that I will be quoting forever like : “I know writers who use subtext, and they’re all cowards.” or “I’m one of the few people you’ll meet who’s written more books than they’ve read.” and of course the best one:

Just how serious this scene was taken by the fictional cast is hilarious:

Now, this type of humor will not be for everyone, I am sure of that but you need to do yourself a favor and at least give it a shot. All of the episodes can be found on YouTube. I absolutely loved the show from the moment I started it and the best part is, it has the appeal of rewatching it many times which I definitely will.

Final verdict: 10/10

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