As Half Man Half Biscuit so memorably said, “Alan Moore knows the score”. He also writes like a demon, or maybe just a Northamptonshire wizard.
In the past, the man who wrote V For Vendetta and Watchmen has been famously dismissive of film-adaptations of his work. The Show was produced with both his blessing and active participation. He even makes an on-screen appearance demonstrating that, in addition to being a fiendish plotmeister, he’s also a pretty good actor.
The Show also marks the feature-length directing debut of award-winning photographer Mitch Jenkins, who worked with Moore on Showpieces. Here, his canted angles and dream-like set-pieces—juxtaposed against Northampton’s utilitarian streets—works to great effect. The result is a little like an end-of-pier show, where everyone believes the magic despite the peeling paintwork. Add Moore’s mischievous humour and eccentric characters, the result is both playful and unnerving.
Tom Burke stars as Fletcher Dennis, a frighteningly-focused man of many talents, passports, and identities, who arrives in Northampton on a mission to locate a stolen artefact. He soon finds himself entangled in a twilight world, hidden just beneath the surface of the seemingly quiet town, populated by Voodoo gangsters, noir private eyes, and masked avengers. As dreams and reality become blurred, Fletcher begins to fear that there might not be a real world to go back to.
The Show is all-kinds of wonderful, managing to out-Lynch, David Lynch… only Moore’s Twin Peaks-esque Black Lodge is a 1970s working mens’ club, and his Agent Cooper, is a spiky-haired comic-book icon turned Zen assassin.
Premiering at this year’s FrightFest, The Show will be released on Altitude.film and other digital platforms from 18th October.