THE SCREENPLAY MECHANIC: SAMPLE COVERAGE
|SUBMITTED BY:||DATE:||April 24, 2007|
|DRAFT/PUBLISHER:||April 18, 2007||GENRE:||Horror|
LOGLINE: A young man abducts teenagers and mutilates their bodies to turn them into circus freaks.
COMMENTS: This writer seems to be exorcising some demons rather than crafting a movie which is going to entertain audiences. So unless CONFIDENTIAL wants to peddle stories which will titillate people who fantasize about mutilating kids, there seems no point in considering these nauseating 101 pages any further.
Tampa, Florida. A NEWS ANCHOR reports on the persistent problem of disappearing teens. Most are runaways with only a small percentage classified as “predator abductions”…
JESSE CONANT (18) is playing in a high school lacrosse game with his best friend MATT. On the sidelines, Jesse’s girlfriend SEQUOIA TAYLOR (18) cheers for him. To her chagrin, so is Jesse’s ex BECCA TAYLOR (18). Sequoia shoots her a nasty look. Later, after school, Jesse, Matt, Sequoia and EMILY (18) hang out at Sequoia’s house. Upon discovering her personal on-line page has been hacked with doctored photos, Sequoia begins venting about Becca and asks Matt what he’s going to do about it. Tired of Sequoia’s bitterness and jealousy, Matt takes off and gives Emily a ride home. He’s a little annoyed that Jesse chooses to stay behind.
Sequoia tells Jesse to grab some swim shorts from her brother’s room and they hang out in the pool. They conspire to get some revenge against Becca and Jesse comes up with the perfect idea – they’ll swipe Matt’s cell phone and send Becca a text message, instructing her to meet “Matt” in the middle of nowhere. The next day, they put their plan into action and it works perfectly. Convinced Becca is already at the remote meeting place, Jesse snaps a photo of Sequoia giving her the finger with Matt’s phone and sends the picture in another text. The following day, however, Sequoia and Jesse learn that Becca has disappeared.
Worried she may have broken down on her way to the rendezvous, Sequoia and Jesse go looking for Becca. They arrive at the meeting place to find her car abandoned with the keys in the ignition. Suddenly, they hear the sound of a young man, RAY (20s), calling for someone named “Edom.” When Ray appears and sees the two teenagers, he tells them that EDOM is his brother and he suffers from Proteus Syndrome, the same disease suffered by the Elephant Man. Moments later, they find Edom. He’s terribly deformed and appears terrified. Ray assures his brother he’ll be okay and asks a very freaked out Sequoia and Jesse to watch him while he fetches his truck.
When Ray reappears, he loads Edom into the cab and invites Jesse and Sequoia to accompany him. He’ll take them to the cops and help search for their missing friend. Ray drives back to his farm and tells the teenagers to wait while he drives down to his front gate and lets the police onto his land. In his absence, Jesse goes searching for a bathroom and makes a sickening discovery – Becca is handcuffed in an upstairs room and she’s been abused. Before Jesse can help her, Ray strangles him to the point of unconsciousness and ties him up. Downstairs, Edom gestures for Sequoia to give him his coloring book and he writes a few almost unintelligible words. When she sees what he has written, Sequoia grows terrified. Edom has scrawled “Save Us.”
Sequoia searches for her cell phone but it’s missing. She heads outside but there’s no one around, certainly no police. Reentering the house, Sequoia searches for Jesse and quickly realizes that Ray is a sick, sick man. She dashes back outside and runs all the way back to Becca’s car, but Ray explodes from the trunk and overpowers her. Meanwhile, back home, Emily, Matt and DOUG are wondering where everyone has gone and they’re getting worried.
Ray has Sequoia tied up in a barren room and he begins filming her. He also plays a video which reveals a horrifying truth – Edom was once a handsome young teenager until Ray mutilated his body and turned him into someone resembling the Elephant Man. Now, Ray intends to make Sequoia his latest “carnival freak” so he keep muttering the word “before” as he films her. Before he gets to work on Sequoia, Ray starts on Jesse. He straps him into a contraption which will stretch and reshape his bones. He also snaps Becca’s ankle to begin her transformation too. Next, Ray makes incisions in the skin of Jesse’s face and forces balloons into the flesh, which he then inflates to distort his features. He also uses power drill and makes several holes in Jesse’s skull. Jesse screams until he passes out. When he wakes up, he discovers Ray has filled the balloons with cement to create a lumpy appearance to Jesse’s face.
Becca manages to get free and she crawls for the front door. It’s slow-going though because one of her leg bones is protruding from the skin and a PUPPY keeps yapping, threatening to attract Ray’s attention. Becca makes it outside until the puppy starts barking and Ray comes outside. Furious, he drags her back into the farm house. Meanwhile, Matt, Emily and Doug drive to the site where Becca went missing.
While Ray gets to work on Becca, Edom realizes he has a hand free so he unties Sequoia and, in turn, she unties Jesse. She helps them outside then goes back for Becca. Ray is distracted long enough for Sequoia to try and free Becca, but she’s handcuffed. Her rage boiling over, Sequoia decides she’ll kill Ray instead. When he reappears, she slashes his face with a scalpel then runs outside. Sequoia hides in Ray’s carnival which he’s erected in the yard. She discovers some freezers which reveal Ray has abducted and mutilated around 30 kids. He’s experimented with sex changes and even created a pair of conjoined twins by fusing their bones with metal and connecting them. It’s nauseating and inspires Sequoia to drill into Ray’s eye with a power drill. As Ray begins screaming, Matt, Emily and Doug arrive and are horrified by what they find. They untie everyone and tell Sequoia the cops are on the way. By the time they arrive, however, Ray is gone.
Weeks later, Jesse is on the road to recovery and the whole gang visits Edom in the hospital. Sequoia is a changed person and she cares for Becca. Meanwhile, the FBI search for Ray, unaware that he’s now in Iowa and he’s teaching FRED (70) how to do what he does…
Somewhere in the last 10 years, horror movies underwent a transformation and abandoned trying to scare audiences in favor of repulsing them instead. The result was a glut of exploitive B-movies which focused on abducting, torturing and dissecting teenagers for thrills and bloody chills. Fortunately, there seems to be a backlash against these movies and it’s gaining momentum. The recent TURISTAS bombed at the box-office because it was the same kind of sadistic fare, only set in a tropical locale. Alas, this piece of material aims to make an entry into the same grisly sub-genre, only it doesn’t even bother to disguise its intentions with white beaches, azure water, or palm trees.
There’s zero depth to the narrative and the author puts very little work into the characters, structure or the dialogue. His only goal is to make us (the audience) absolutely repulsed. After all, this script answers the age-old question: what does a dead girl look like with a boy’s genitals sewn onto her crotch and his decapitated head affixed to her shoulder? If that sounds like appealing imagery, there are plenty of equally-disturbing images throughout the latter half of this script. Clearly then, unless CONFIDENTIAL wants to produce such nauseating schlock there’s no need to consider this irresponsible screenplay any further.
The narrative opens with a reporter talking about teen disappearances and there’s a montage of images showing empty chairs and vacant lockers in a high school. It’s an effective means of establishing the subject matter and it pulls us in. Sadly though, once the author unveils the real direction of his story, our interest wanes incredibly quickly. Friendly-faced Ray appears in the woods with his grossly-deformed “brother” and it becomes very apparent that this isn’t just a teen thriller about abductions. In fact, it rapidly evolves into the kind of movie that would make a surgeon squirm.
Once Ray begins his “work” on Jesse, this material sinks to the same level populated by all those other dissection-obsessed movies. Here though, the author tries to add his own unique twist by crafting a motivation for Ray. It’s not too deeply explained but the author wants us to know that Ray is recreating copies of circus freaks from the 19th century. Hence, he’s reconstructed Edom to look like the Elephant Man. His plans for Jesse consists of him slicing into his face, inflating balloons in his flesh, and filling them with cement. He also drills into his skull with a power drill. It’s all described in the most vivid detail, yet we can’t help but be saddened by this because the author hasn’t put nearly as much effort into telling an actual story. From the moment Ray starts slicing into Jesse, the narrative merely offers one grotesque scene after another. Ray breaks the limbs of his victims, straps them into braces to contort their forms, and films every scream…
Overall, this writer seems to be exorcising some demons rather than crafting a movie which is going to entertain audiences. So unless CONFIDENTIAL wants to peddle stories which will titillate people who fantasize about mutilating kids, there seems no point in considering these nauseating 101 pages any further.
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