Garth Maringi: “Many writers cite me for influence… and I will sue them all” | horror books

hHorror writers don’t come much more elusive than Garth Marenghi, AKA “the dream weaver”, AKA “Titan of Terror”. The author (who bears an uncanny resemblance to comedian Matthew Holness) is best known for his 1980s hospital horror “drama,” starring Maringe himself and featuring actors who look eerily similar to comedians Richard Ayoade, Matt Perry, and Alice Lowe. Supposedly lost for decades, the series eventually appeared on Channel 4 in 2004, as a result of “the worst technical drought in broadcast history.” While some have wrongly assumed it was a parody, for Marenghi the world of horror fiction remains a very serious business. As of 2006, he’s personally written 436 horror novels, but since the release of Darkplace, we’ve heard almost nothing from the author/shaman. He’s now back with an all-new book, TerrorTome—a three-part horror story—that his publishers contractually obligated him to complete one newspaper article, not of his choosing: this book. We caught up with a very secretive place (although I can reveal that bus #36 went there) to find out how 2022 is about to get a lot of atrocities…

Hi Garth! Nice to meet you [proffers handshake] …
[Abruptly] I think I’ll decide… Have you washed your hands?

yes. We will probably. no. Anyway, you’re back with a brand new horror book Garth Maringi Terror Theatre. Apparently, it’s been 30 years since preparation. How did it take so long?
[Wiping anti-bacterial gel into hands] The nature of time was the main issue. Seconds and minutes quickly form themselves into hours, turning in degrees into days, weeks, months, and eventually years. Before you know it, decades have passed. The main issue was the passage of time between the start and conclusion of my assignment.

Was it faster to learn how to type with more than two fingers?
Writing horror from balls to walls is very physical. Typing with more than two fingers is counterproductive for any horror writer; You need to focus your strength on only two fingers. It gets really hard when I’m writing, so the best way to channel that energy is to hit — bang, bang, bang. If you write with your hands dancing all over the keyboard [mimes touch-typing], you’re basically rubbing without editing. It is much stronger than the punch.

What is your writing process?
Get up, eat, think about the news, turn it down (the news, not breakfast), lunch, nap, have a hot chocolate and then find it hard to eat an hour or two before Pointless or Tipping Point.

Horror – Soul…(lr) Todd Rivers, Dean Lerner, Garth Meringue and Madeline Wall in Dark Place. Photo: Channel 4

he is your leading personality, Horror novelist Nick Steenbased on you at all?
I would say I am less perverted than Nick Steen. In one story – TerrorTome is a trio of three mini-stories that make up one epic harbinger – he develops a questionable psychosexual relationship with his typewriter. I’ve only done this once with a typewriter, and that was in order to research this book.

As the self-described “Master of the Horror”, where do you sit among other horror writers like King Stephen or Cliff Parker?
I will not sit among anyone. If this is the annual convention of horror curry, I’m always at the head of a tall rectangular table. One year, I wasn’t sitting there and I canceled the entire event. Last year Richard Osman—who was in the area and had been staring at us for 20 minutes through the window—tried to put together a free pudding, saying he hoped he’d indulge in horror after conquering the comforting crime. She sat him down at the far end and completely ignored them all. He left two of his three pints untouched.

Have you encountered any Problems getting the book there?
We had a little trouble trying to find a publisher, mainly because the content is so terrifyingly prescient. But my job as a shaman is to develop humanity. These are the stories that need to to teach you. So, after I fired several editors, I started talking to Ken Hodder, President of Hodder Books, who was sitting to my right at the same currying horror conference, but not on a level with me, as I was President rectangular table, remember? He agreed to read my manuscript in exchange for a free bhuna, but when the hot towels came, I traded his glass for a metal mug which I insisted on using—deceptively deep—and made him sign there and then. Give or take another bottle.

The low-budget Darkplace hospital horror of the ’80s finally aired only in 2004 In the form of a documentary/presentation of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. Would Darkplace be easier to launch now? They order all kinds of trash on Netflix and BBC three …
The term “dramatic”. It’s hard to answer, because I’m legally obligated not to discuss the show, or anyone I’ve worked with, nor – in fact – anything In my life until 2009. I don’t think we can remake Darkplace because, last I heard, the bars were covered with 300 metric tons of synthetic cement by Channel 4. Darkplace’s failure to enter the mainstream was entirely blamed. If more people had internalized his teachings, we would have evolved as a species. But this is humanity’s problem now, not mine.

horror Shows set in the ’80s are all the rage Currently. Watching Stranger Things with a touch of jealousy?
Anger is an appropriate word here. both of us will The saying is that the TV is down. And I refuse to fix it twice.


Is there room for comedy in horror?
no. Having said that, horror can create laughter-like feelings. When I first took the horror show to the Edinburgh Festival, people were so scared that they screamed with laughter. It’s the survival instinct: intense fear either leads to chronic laughter or immediate evacuation of the bowels. It all depends on the integrity of the primary sphincter.

Has the Darkplace opened the gates of Hell hospital A clever obsession with the current state of the NHS?
Not literal portals, no. It was made of wood and plastic. But yes, it was already metaphorically a clever obsession, with an emphasis on intelligence.

It’s a very miserable time to be British. What Darkplace horror plot would you like to happen in real life to cheer us all up a bit?
2022 certainly seems to be the perfect time to open up the pit of hell below us. But if said hell were to open up and swallow up the whole of the United Kingdom like the jaws of some primal beast of hell emerging from the living core of the earth – which are also delicate, by the way – humanity would surely need a shaman, or sha-woman, to plan our ascent back up to the top of hell. Here it is: terrorism.

Dean Learneryour publisher, describes you as Orson Welles is terrified, and not just because of your weightHow are you in general these days?
I’m still in my prime, thank you for your question. Although we all gain a little bit of weight. One of the main issues with recreating the Darkplace is that we have to change the aspect ratio to fit everyone on the screen, maybe up to 16:9 or, on a particularly fat day, 21:9.

What’s your opinion Dr. Rick Douglasfor you Darkplace character, yet?
He’s an undead, like most of the other hospital members, except for the receptionist, who’s part moth.

What happened to the movie you were working on – War wasps?
Unfortunately, the hornets escaped and entered power, then attacked the entire cast and crew. So, unfortunately, the entire movie was pulled, and that was a blow to us – and a stinging wasp. Hey hey hey.

A Vision of Terror... Garth Maringi.
A Vision of Terror… Garth Maringi. Photograph: Simon Webb/The Guardian

Are you working on any other movie ideas?
Yes, a violent horror movie called Joist. A half-dead man was found inside an elaborate wooden box, his entire body littered with pine splinters and Runcel fence paint. Elsewhere, the local B&Q ran out of cherry wood top and batten boards. With the victim identified as a former executive on the Yehuds Advisory Board, police suspect the work of Joist, a demented psychopathic serial killer who recently escaped from the local asylum. Yoast, a bitter ex-carpenter and carpenter who was once fired for building shoddy, scattered treehouses at the local orphanage, is now taking revenge on his former employers, as well as anyone else who fails to appreciate his well-planned ingenuity. To stop Joist, Chief Detective Blake Packbury must first sand his way through the plywood Larsen trap blocking the Portaloo station door, followed by a mahogany mesh ladder trap encasing the circuit’s cabinets, using only his tongue. It is currently in the second circle of development hell, fourth draft, third revision. I’m going for a walk.

Many other writers and comedians point to Darkplace as an enormous influence on their work…
Yes, and I will sue them all.

What do you think is the secret to Darkplace’s enduring appeal?
Some may cite the script, acting, and core message of Darkplace as the reason for its longevity. All this of course, but Darkplace was ultimately a result my mind alone. So I would say: my mind alone.

What are your tips To enter the magical world of showbiz horror writing?
If you are fortunate enough to enter my field at a conference, never give me your “book” and ask me to read it. If necessary, I will respond with violence.

Is writing horror a life worth living?
For the third time, I am a shaman; I have no choice. But luckily I’m the best at what I do. When I put two fingers on the keys, I develop humanity. I don’t know what would happen if I put two fingers on a typewriter. Can you even hammer hard?

[Mimes touch-typing]. no. Obviously, I’m a dancer.
There is your problem. Don’t dance on the keyboard – go off like a Norse god, which I seem to be, by the way.

Garth Marenghi’s TerrorTome movie is over from Hodder on me November 3.

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