Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I love bad t.v.

Strangely enough, I find that most of the programs I like have won awards - even if they've only lasted a season or so. 

That said, I LOVE bad t.v. and movies. Not the drawn out and dull - but the purposely, unapolagetically cheesy, with nods to genuinely bad movies and television.

Such as Garth Merenghi's Dark Place. This thing is awful, in all of the best possible ways. I refound the six episodes while doing research for a book featuring Shoggoths(among other weird things).

Garth himself is 'the best horror writer ever'. The creation of a British comedian, he is wonderfully awful all by himself. Egomaniacal, not so bright, and a physical toss between Ray Bradbury and Stephen King.

Each episode begins with Garth reading a fabulously painful excerpt from one of his own titles - each reading is a classic example of poor writing, worthy of inclusion in such greats as Atlanta Nights.

Following that, the opener is a clever trope of Ray Bradbury's Theater introduction, and a send up of General Hospital.

The production ran on BBC 4, had a very small budget, and took great advantage of it; gleefully using terrible camera angles, ridiculous special effects (my top at the moment being the 'Shoggoth' episode, where a woman gradually turns into broccoli), and some of the most horrid acting this side of a soap opera.

Lest you be concerned, its VERY obvious that the performances are intentionally robotic or over the top. Merenghi himself takes pauses that William Shatner would envy, alternating with over long, melodramatic poses and monologues written with such careful attention to terrible that they can't be seen as anything else but funny.

Merenghi and his producer interject 'interview' scenes in the middle of every program to discuss themselves, the cast as related to themselves, the writing as related to get the idea.

The car needs it's own paragraph. The only vehicle ever to make an appearance in this series is an elderly golf cart, which is most often shot in a small, black curtained space. You can always see the curtain.

If you're a fan of meta humor, Bad Taste(the film, or the idea), and cheese, I would highly recommend trying to dig up this short series.

No comments:

Post a Comment