I’ve always been a bit of an insomniac. And with that affliction comes some really odd TV watching.
In middle and high school it was Tom Baker-era Doctor Who reruns on PBS, Dream On and Tales from the Crypt on HBO, and Friday the 13th: The Series (which had nothing to do with Jason Vorhees or Camp Crystal Lake).
One of my favorite late-night discoveries came a few years later in the form of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. It was essentially a pastiche of low budget British programs, Stephen King-esque storylines, a hospital soap, and behind-the-scenes documentary all in one. Oddly, it shares some ideas with Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital (based on Lars Von Trier’s Riget/The Kingdom) from the same year (namely a haunted hospital).
It’s hard to describe… it’s a show within a show with the actors reminiscing about their now forgotten work. It’s gory, purposefully offensive and dumb, and just kind of brilliant. If the behind the scenes interviews hadn’t been included, I’m not sure it would have worked as well as it did.
Instead of trying to describe it, you can watch the first episode: