Garth Marenghi creator Matthew Holness is to make his first film – about another pulp fiction novelist
The Reprisalizer is a feature length version of Holness’ short A Gun For George, about a troubled writer who becomes an ultra-violent vigilante.
Holness, whose cinematic career has so far been limited to bit parts in Edinburgh Fringe comedy Festival and Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s Cemetery Junction, will star as both Kent-based crime novelist Terry Finch and his cult creation, The Reprisalizer, as well as writing and directing the film.
Finch is described as writing ’tall tales of brute force and rough justice from his isolated caravan, treading a thin line between reality and fantasy in an attempt to exorcise painful memories of his brother's death. When his ailing writing career grinds to a final halt, Terry’s compulsive and cathartic visions of violent retribution refuse to die with it, and a dark new chapter in the story of The Reprisalizer unfolds - where actions speak louder than words...'
No other cast members have been confirmed, and shooting is scheduled to take place in Kent next year for a summer 2013 release.
The Reprisalizer is being produced by Warp Films, whose credits include the directing debut of Marenghi co-star Richard Ayoade, Submarine, as well as Chris Morris’s Four Lions and Mighty Boosh director Paul King’s The Bunny and The Bull.
A spoof Finch fansite appeared earlier this week: It celebrates Bob Shuter, aka The Reprisalizer, ‘a normal newspaper kiosk vendor until gangsters electrified his brother’s testicles by car battery’, and Finch’s books’ guarantee of ‘Brutal Violence or Your Money Back’.
Producer Ally Gipps says the movie – which was developed with finance from the British Film Institute – is ‘not an out and out comedy’. ‘Matt is moving away from comedy,’ he added.
The Reprisalizer signals Holness’s return to spoofing late night Eighties TV drama with a novelist character. Marenghi, the overblown Gothic writer created by Holness and Ayoade for the Edinburgh Fringe in 2000, won the Perrier Award the following year. The subsequent Channel 4 series, Garth Meranghi’s Darkplace, set in a hospital ‘in pre-apocalyptic Romford’, attracted about 1.2million viewers and has since gained cult status.
The timing of The Reprisalizer may be perfect,as Russell Crowe is reportedly seeking to make a big-screen reboot of Eighties vigilante drama The Equalizier.