Category Archives: Forgotten Films

Have you ever wished for a list of the BEST forgotten films over the years? Here it is. We list the best movies that have been forgotten over the years. This will give you a great movie to watch on Netflix or Amazon Instant if you have no idea what to watch. Give us a chance to suggest a great film for you.

Darkman, A Comic Book Superhero Movie That Never Was a Comic Book

 

Sam Raimi has a few franchise films worth noting. A really popular horror franchise and a really good comic book superhero franchise come to mind. (Evil Dead…Spider-Man) But there was a time he did a mash-up before mash-ups became a thing…with 1990’s Darkman series.  Starring Liam Neeson as the Darkman in the title, along with Frances McDormand, Ted Raimi, Colin Friels and Larry Drake, it’s a wonderfully creative tale and works as a superhero movie, comic book movie and a horror at times. Liam, Frances and Larry all give great performances. I wish they would come back to this series as it’s a fun one, maybe as a future TV show like they did with the Evil Dead series.  darkman-wallpaper

Sam Raimi originally wanted to do a movie of the famous “The Shadow” series, could not obtain the rights, so came up with his own movie similar to that one and called his character, Darkman. He also Drew inspiration from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Phantom of the Opera, Batman, The Invisible Man and The Elephant Man. When they went into production he wanted to cast his production partner up until that time, Bruce Campbell, but the studio he was working with didn’t think he was good enough to sell the movie. For the role of Darkman, Sam Raimi wanted someone who could play a monster with the soul of a man. An actor who could do all that beneath a lot of makeup.darkman-2

Bill Paxton was almost cast as Peyton Westlake (Darkman). According to Paxton, he told his friend Liam Neeson about the audition. When Neeson got the the role, Paxton was so angry that he did not speak to Neeson for months. Some of Darkman’s elements were inspired by Batman. Liam Neeson worked 18 hour days in ten-piece makeup, but he liked the challenge, and the idea of working behind a mask on camera, as well as exploring the possibilities this entailed. Neeson also had input on the costume he wore as Darkman, especially the cloak. The hardest part was speaking with false teeth, because he didn’t want them to move at all.  Sam Raimi is a fan of the Batman character, and was among those passed over to direct Batman (1989). Larry Drake and Liam Neeson would later work on Batman Beyond: The Winning Edge (1999) and Batman Begins (2005) respectively.darkman-pic

Larry Drake was cast because of the way he underplayed Durant. Quiet, careful, but intense. Sam Raimi had never watched a single episode of L.A. Law (1986), where Drake played the developmentally disabled Benny (I believe he won an Emmy award for this role and if you’ve seen him in this, he’s awesome!). But Drake’s face reminded him of a modern day Edward G. Robinson. He looked so mean and domineering, yet he had an urban wit about him. Raimi believed these qualities made him the perfect adversary for Darkman.darkman-larry-drake

Top 15 Val Kilmer Movies

 

Over the years I’ve really enjoyed Val Kilmer and his movies.  I find him to be very funny in person, as you can see from any interview he’s ever done or if you’ve ever seen any of his blooper reels…but his acting is top notch too. He’s gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years, but I can appreciate that he acknowledges that he could have been easier to work with at times over the years. He’s mellowed a lot with age and by all accounts a real joy to be around for the most part, engaging, funny and authentic.

Here’s my top 15 movies that feature Val Kilmer:

15 – Comanche Moon (2008)val-kilmer-comanche-moon

Great cast, interesting western.  Kilmer once said that he would play in a bad western on a great horse any day and this mini-series can live up to that assessment. It’s a Larry McMurtry story, with his characters from the Lonesome Dove series and stars the ever likable Steve Zahn as well as Karl Urban, Elizabeth Banks, Wes Studi, Adam Beach, Linda Cardellini, and Rachel Griffiths. Some of the scenes were filmed on Val Kilmer’s ranch in New Mexico. Val Kilmer’s work with the New Mexico Film Investment Program over the years fueled a nearly 40-fold growth in the state’s annual film production revenue, from $3 million in 2002, up to $117 million in 2006.

14 – Top Gun (1986)val-kilmer-top-gun

This film would probably be in the top 5 on most people’s lists for Val Kilmer, but I’ve never liked it over some of his other movies.  Besides, I’m not sure if you would consider, Top Gun to be “his” movie…but he sure is cool in it.  Originally, Kilmer did not want to be in this film, but was forced to as he had contractual obligations. However, it became one of his most iconic roles in his career. His humor shines through and his perchance to improv while on the set, when the guys, as students, were first being spoken to by Charlie in the hanger, Maverick explains that he gave “the bird” to a MiG. She asks how he saw the MiG up close, and he says he was flying inverted. Right then, Val Kilmer as Ice coughs “bullsh*t” and the guys laugh. The “bullsh*t” line is ad-libbed. According to co-star Anthony Edwards, “A lot of the humor was discovered at the moment. The script was skeletal.”

13 – Batman Forever (1995)val-kilmer-baman-forever

Some people don’t like this Batman movie, but I loved it. How can you go wrong with Val Kilmer as Batman and then a cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Chris O’Donnell and Drew Barrymore. (most people at this point, go, “Drew Barrymore?”, yep, she’s in there, take a closer look.) Most of Val Kilmer’s bad press comes from this movie as he didn’t get along with director Joel Schumacher that well. I think the moments where he could have been a little more helpful in the filmmaking are blown way out of proportion over the years. He has said later, “I probably complained more when I was younger. The movie industry can be frustrating but I think sometimes I could have been more helpful, approaching a film as a partnership rather than being critical of a director’s ignorance. I wasn’t sensitive to the fact that it’s very hard to direct.”

12 – Heat (1995)val-kilmer-heat

In this film, there is a huge shootout in the middle of the city between Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer and their crew and Al Pacino and the cops. They had to do a lot of training to be able to shoot the guns realistically. Kilmer was thrilled to learn that the moment in the gun battle scene where he runs out of bullets and rapidly changes his magazine is regularly shown to Marine recruits as an example of how to perform the action properly. Also, in order to prepare the actors for the roles of McCauley’s crew, Michael Mann took Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, and Robert De Niro to Folsom State Prison to interview actual career criminals. It helped that Danny Trejo, who plays a member of the crew, had in real life been an inmate at Folsom Prison. It’s interesting to note, before Danny Trejo was cast, both Edward Bunker, a writer, and Trejo were hired to be armed robbery consultants, since they both did time for these crimes and knew the ins and outs of performing such crimes. After meeting Trejo and talking with him at length, Michael Mann would later offer him a role in the film.

11 – Mindhunters (2004)

MINDHUNTERS, Val Kilmer, Will Kemp, Kathryn Morris, Jonny Lee Miller, Patricia Velasquez, Clifton Collins Jr., Christian Slater, LL Cool J, 2004, (c) Dimension

This little gem, directed by Renny Harlin, was caught in a studio’s bankruptcy and held for release up to two years later, even then it was silently released straight to video…but it’s actually a really fun film. Has some really good moments and has Jonny Lee Miller, LL Cool J, Christian Slater, Patricia Velasquez, Clifton Collins Jr, and Eion Bailey in it.  It reminds me of an FBI training version of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which I love a lot. This one would be on the top of the list of films that were made with her plot device of people dying one by one in a remote place, trying to figure out which one of them is the killer. You can see my blog post on that by clicking here.

10 – At First Sight (1999)

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

This one has Val Kilmer playing a blind man that regains his sight. His sister is played by Kelly McGillis, his co-star from Top Gun. The cast is excellent with Nathan Lane, Steven Weber, Mira Sorvino, Bruce Davison and Ken Howard.  Val Kilmer prepared for his role by studying with a sculptor friend of his in New Mexico who had lost his sight in Vietnam. At 49:30 (NTSC) he is admiring a sculpture when he first visit’s Amy’s flat. Now, if you want to see how good an actor Kilmer is then watch this movie as he’s very good in it. There are a few times when I think he really should have gone up for an Oscar nomination at the very least and this is one of those performances. Other performances where he deserved recognition would be as Doc Holliday in Tombstone and as Jim Morrison in The Doors.

9 – Top Secret! (1984)kilmer-top-secret

Kilmer’s first movie and it’s flat out hilarious! My brother and I love this movie. He’s so funny in this.  It’s done by Jim Abrahams and David Zucker right after they did Airplane and Police Squad…so they were really on a roll. You can thank his casting in this film to Kilmer’s first Broadway acting role in 1983 in a play called Slab Boys which also starred Kevin Bacon, Brian Benben, Sean Penn, and Jackie Earle Haley. Kilmer would sing all of the Nick Rivers songs in the film himself, which would help him later when he decided to do The Doors.

8 – Ghost and the Darkness (1996)val-kilmer-ghost-and-the-darkness

This is based on a true story and is quite a good thriller. It’s about 2 lions that start to hunt and attack construction workers on a railroad track in Africa. The title of the movie is the nicknames for the 2 lions. Michael Douglas’s character Remington is fictionalized for the movie. In real life, Val Kilmer’s character John Patterson killed both lions (both nearly nine feet long). The real Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson published a book about his experiences, titled “The Man-Eaters of Tsavo“, which the movie is based on. The book is still available after nearly 100 years, and well worth reading.  Originally, the movie was only to be produced by Michael Douglas, with Kilmer as the lead character, but somewhere in pre-production he insisted on having the Remington character created for him and as filming progressed his part was widened to what is in the film now. He eventually got top billing. Despite having top billing, Douglas still doesn’t appear on screen until 45 minutes into the movie.

7 – Red Planet (2000)sizemore-kilmer-red-planet

This is a really good sci-fi thriller that again seemed to be released straight to video, but is definitely worth finding, if you haven’t seen it. It has another fun cast with Tom Sizemore, Carrie-Anne Moss, Benjamin Bratt, Terence Stamp and Simon Baker.  It didn’t help the release of the film that another Mars movie was in production at the time and often gets confused with it; Mission To Mars. It also didn’t help that the movie’s release date was pushed back twice. The original release date was slated March 31, then it was pushed back to June 16, and again it was pushed back to November 10. Studio officials said it was due to the movie’s extensive, expensive special-effects work.

6 – Real Genius (1985)val-kilmer-real-genius

Now, here’s a movie that my brother and I just love, but if you were to take Val Kilmer out of the movie, then we wouldn’t even like it probably, he’s that good in it. He really stands out and it’s this movie that convinced us that he was going to be a big star. I think the studio knew it too, that why the title seems to refer to him and all the posters feature him by himself, when he isn’t even the main character. The marketing strictly pushed him as the whole film.

5 – The Doors (1991)val-kilmer-the-doors

The singing that Kilmer does in the film is so close to the real Jim Morrison that even the real band members of the Doors couldn’t tell a version of a song sung by Morrison than that of Kilmer. In one scene during the filming of the movie, Kilmer broke his arm badly when he performed a jump from the stage into the crowd. The stuntman failed to catch him, leaving Kilmer with an abnormal growth on his right elbow. The growth is clearly visible in Heat, when McCauley discovers Shiherlis sleeping in his living room and begins briefing him on their itinerary. Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan were also in Top Gun together. Incidentally Kilmer worked with director Oliver Stone on this film and Tom Cruise worked with Stone on Born on the Fourth of July.

4 – The Saint (1997)elizabeth-shue-val-kilmer-the-saint

I just like this movie, even though a lot of people who loved the Saint TV show was disappointed with it. Val Kilmer got to use several disguises in the film, which I thought were a lot of fun.  Plus it had, Elizabeth Shue…what’s not to like?  Fun Fact – the poetry written by Simon Templar’s disguised-long-haired artist character, Thomas Moore, was actually written by Val Kilmer himself.  Kilmer decided to do this movie instead of Batman and Robin. It was the first big-screen Saint film since the 1950s. Plans for a Saint film date back to the 1980s, when Pierce Brosnan was reported to be a leading contender for the Templar role in a Saint movie that was to be produced by Roger Moore, the original TV Saint. This project never materialized. The Saint (Simon Templar) over the years has been played by Vincent Price (over the radio), Roger Moore on TV, Louis Hayward, George Sanders, Hugh Sinclair, Felix Marten, Jean Marais, Simon Dutton, and Ian Ogilvy at the movies.

3 – Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)val-kilmer-robert-downey-jr-kiss-kiss-bang-bang

Anyone who wants to see how truly funny and spontaneous Val Kilmer can be should watch the blooper real to this movie. Robert Downey Jr., who is incredibly witty in his own right has a hard time keeping up to the laughs Kilmer produces. Val Kilmer met Robert Downey Jr. for the first time at a Hollywood party. A week later he received the screenplay for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and agreed to do it before he’d even finished reading it. Upon agreeing, and much to his delight, he was informed that Downey Jr had already been cast. As a sign of support to Robert Downey Jr.’s recovery from alcohol and drugs, Val Kilmer refused to drink during the entire production. I’m a big Raymond Chandler fan and I learned that Shane Black read several stories by Raymond Chandler when writing this script. As a result, the story is divided into chapters and the chapter titles come from Chandler works. Specifically: 1. “Trouble is My Business”, 2. “The Lady in the Lake”, 3. “The Little Sister”, 4. “The Simple Art of Murder”, and Epilogue: “Farewell, My Lovely”. The title makes reference to James Bond, Thunderball where a song was produced and recorded for the film called, “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” has since become a slang description of the James Bond-style spy genre. The film’s original title was “You’ll Never Die in This Town Again”. When Harmony is seen on the bus leaving Indiana at age 16, she’s asleep with the Johnny Gossamer book, “You’ll Never Die in This Town Again” in her lap.

2 – Willow (1988)marmartigan-2

Here’s pretty much his only fantasy movie, but it’s a great one. He plays a swordsman Madmartigan, a rogue and a really fun character. He had a real fun time working on this film with George Lucas, Ron Howard and Warwick Davis and met his future wife Joanne Whalley on. His comedy really came into play again on this one, and it’s documented that a lot of his dialogue is improvised. willow-poster

1 – Tombstone (1993)tombstone-val-kilmer-kurt-russell

This movie flat out rocks with a great cast of Kurt Russell, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Booth, Charlton Heston, Michael Biehn, Jason Priestley, Dana Delaney, Billy Bob Thornton, Thomas Haden Church and Stephen Lang. Kilmer would go on to say, “I liked being Doc Holliday. It’s fun to be insightful and aristocratic, to stand up for your friend and make sacrifices for him. It was fun to be arrogant like he was and have the goods to back it up. He was a very noble character. Although, let’s not forget, he did kill a lot of people.” Val Kilmer has also been quoted as saying that screenwriter Kevin Jarre insisted the actors wear real wool costumes, in accordance with the time period. In the Birdcage Theater scene, Val Kilmer says, a thermometer was placed on the set, and it read 134 degrees Fahrenheit. Kilmer suggested jokingly that this was the reason Doc Holliday killed so many people: “It’s just, like, he wore wool in the summer, in the Arizona territory, and that made him mad.”

Val Kilmer practiced for a long time on his quick-draw speed, and gave his character a Southern Aristocrat accent. The expression “I’m your huckleberry” spoken by Doc means “I’m the perfect man for the job.” It could indeed be a reference to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, then known as the sidekick of Tom Sawyer before Huck got his own book. The phrase also refers, rather ominously, to the pallbearers who carry a coffin or casket to the actual grave site & specifically the one elected to sit, completely sober, in case the grave bell rings. So saying, “I’m your huckleberry ” could also be a threat like “I’ll put you in your grave.” It’s interesting to me that this would be attributed to Mark Twain as later on Twain would be an inspiration to Kilmer and he would go on to write and star in 2 plays about the writer, and star as Twain himself.

James McEachin, Patriot

 

I first met James McEachin when I worked for a marketing firm around 2002, called BookZone. I was an online marketing consultant for authors and publishers and one of my clients, turned out to be James McEachin. At that point, James was a retired actor…but I knew him as an independent author and publisher. He had written the books; Farewell to the Mockingbirds, The Heroin Factor, Pebbles in the Roadway, Say Goodnight to the Boys in Blue, and The Great Canis Lupis. We were helping him with his website and helping him with marketing his books online.widescreen-james_robe_13_boots-cap_4vj4

We would have several discussions a month and often found ourselves talking about his acting career. Being a big film buff and at-that-time, wannabe writer and director myself, I was very interested in his acting and writing career. He is most famous for his roles in movies such as Play Misty For Me, Buck and the Preacher, 2010, True Grit, The Undefeated and on TV in Tenafly, the Perry Mason Mysteries, The Rockford Files, First Monday and so, so much more.

20160327_09070920160327_090815

I was interested in his Army career as well and at that time, my twin brother and I had decided that we wanted to showcase our abilities in writing and film, by directing and producing the proper short film to do so. But we didn’t want to just do any old film. Our grandfather had died some months before and we were tossing back and forth, an idea of doing some kind of tribute film, for him as an American Veteran. We wrote a script we liked, very short about 3 pages and so I mentioned this to James after we were talking about his service one day and he asked me to send it to him.james-garner-james-mceachin-1974

I did, and he literally flipped for it. He wanted to play the Army Veteran so badly in our short. I was thrilled. Very quickly after that all the pieces seemed to fall into place and that summer in July in 2004, we set to film what would become our signature film, Reveille, with him and David Huddleston as the Navy Veteran. It was a magical 4 days, even through what would be the hottest days of the year. David and James went home and told us, they didn’t give the project much thought after that.coversmall

We finished post on the film and then scheduled a small screening in Los Angeles for David and James. They both loved the film, but afterwards, James said something that proved prophetic later. He said, “I don’t think you know what you have here. This is a really powerful film.” I think he was right. Here we had a short film, a tribute to our grandfather, that we then decided to add a tribute to all people who had served…which was supposed to be a sample of our work. A short film that could establish our abilities, become a calling card to get us hired as filmmakers in Hollywood.vet-james-mceachin

The film became so much more than that. I think James, more than any other person recognized that early on. He asked if he could put the film online…now this was in 2005, before “films” went online. We filmed the short in 35mm and back then they didn’t have digital transfers, or digital was still in it’s infancy. We told him that would be fine. He got the film digitized in low rez, because video still took up a lot of space and he found a place to put it. There was a new thing called Google Video. A pre-cursor to YouTube. He put it up there and it went viral before anyone really knew what viral was.veteran-james-mceachin

It took off! It started to get passed around like you wouldn’t believe. Now, Adam and I were still going the traditional route with this little film, in 2005 and 2006 we went to over 30 film festivals with it, submitted it to the Academy Awards…all while online, it was being shared. We found that it became quite the little hotcake…1 Million views, 2 Million views, 3 Million…it would top out the year in 2006 just over 4 Million views. We were flooded with requests to show the film at schools, churches, events, tributes, memorials, to the troops in Iraq, on the American Forces Network, on the Pentagon Channel…we were overwhelmed.james-mceachin-army-veteran

Now, on the side, James McEachin started to represent the film and his character in his own way. He reached back and embraced his military career and started to speak to large groups of people in uniform. He spoke about what it was to be a Veteran, have pride for the service and the flag. He became an inspiration to so many people. He wrote a monologue featuring the “Old Soldier” character and performed that in front of massive audiences all across the country. He released a patriotic CD. He even produced, directed and wrote an unofficial sequel to Reveille that also had David Huddleston reprising his Navy character. James McEachin had a great career in the Army, then as an actor, then as a novelist and now it all came back full circle and he was having his last career as an image of pride.widescreen-james___david_saluting_1_89re

We salute you, James, and your wonderful service to your country, our little film, and especially to the men and women who all serve under one flag.

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 3

 

And the last lost episode for the Locker 13 movie…it’s appropriately tited, L.O.C.K.E.R. and it was written by Jason Marsden:

BLACK.

FADE IN:

INT. WAREHOUSE – DAY

ECU on a LOCKER.  Locker THIRTEEN, to be exact.  It stands alone, atop of a Roman pedestal, heroically in the center of a large, black room.  Locker 13, appears heavy, thick, weathered and ominous…but enough about that.

Across from Locker 13 is an audience of FARMERS. Several rows of chairs, inhabited by a group of old-ish, denim overall wearing, bearded, land owners of yore.  They sit patiently when:

A DOOR opens from the black background, illuminating BRIGHT

WHITE LIGHT that floods the inside of vast room.  From the door, at a quick pace, walks EDGAR JACKSASSY (30), smartly dressed and slick, followed by his minion, GUNTHAR RETCH (29) a lowly composite.  Edgar walks pointedly towards the farmers, pulls himself up a metal chair right in front of Locker 13 and after a beat says to the group:

EDGAR

Chickens.

Gunther, stands off to the side. Obediently watching Edgar.

The Farmers, listen…intrigued.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

The Earth’s full of ’em.  We all gotta have ’em. You’re familiar with how that goes I don’t have to tell you.  (beat) But where do you PUT ’em?

Angle on the Farmers as they react with the occasional “harfrumps, and hmmmphs”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Sure, a coop.  Right?  A coop for all their little chicken toes and chicken fingers to get caught, maybe broken?

Gunthar giggles to himself.

GUNTHAR

Chicken fingers.

Edgar shoots him a look.  It freezes the room.  Gunthar giggles again. Edgar composes himself and continues.

EDGAR

I know farmers. I like farmers. Heck, I’m like a farmer myself. Outstanding-in-my-field!

He impresses himself with his own joke and chuckles.  The farmers weren’t amused. Gunthar is still trying to figure it out.

Edgar breaks the silence by marching up to Locker 13 and slapping it on the side!  A dreadful, hollow, metallic sound reverberates from the slam!  It grabs everyone’s attention. Edgar continues.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

This is what you came here for!  This is what you need.  The EA JACKSASSY, military production unit…L.O.C.K.E.R.!

Big hero shot of Locker 13!  It’s ominous and spooky sitting in the middle of the room.  It’s as if the other lockers just don’t want to hang around him.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Lithium OCtane Killius Earthanium Receptacle.  (beat) This is model thirteen.

Gunthar wheels in a tray of, we-don’t-know-what, underneath a velvet sheet. Edgar walks around Locker 13 as he explains.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

The war’s over.  But the battle has just begun!  Military doesn’t need these anymore because we’re suddenly “pro” life.  Goodness gracious. And at the same time, people want their chickens roaming the country side and free!  Free range!  Free range!  Give a chicken free range and next thing you know it’s gonna want to vote!

Gunthar thinks about chickens voting.

The Farmers seem in agreement.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Do you know how many KFC’s there are in this country alone? Koo Koo Roos?  Popeyes? Roscoes? El Pollo Locos? Stir fry, country fry, chow main, baked, broiled, sandwich, salad, I don’t have to tell you!  Everyone needs chicken!  “What about the vegetarians”, you say? Sure, there are plenty of hippies, dippys, yuppies and buppies, in the world.  But our planet isn’t going vegetarian yet!  We’re carnivores by nature! So rest easy my friends, for you have job security.

The farmers are lost and they’re seeming less interested.

Gunthar, is just lost.  Edgar, ramps it up!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Human kind is jonesing for fowl and you are the dealers! Demands will rise, as well as your stock!  Cages are ‘spensive!  And are you really gonna be the hillbilly bufoon on your block with thousands of chickens roaming the hillside like the Sound of fucking Music?! NO!(beat) That’s why you need this.

Edgar, returns his attention to Locker 13, touching the cool steel.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Made from the alloy,  Killiusearthanium.  This shit was top secret.  Still is.  Adamantium is pudding next to this.  One, sixteenth of an inch thick.  That’s paper thin!

Just as he says this, from the table of goodies, Gunthar, produces a perfectly timed paper lined hoop for Edgar to punch through in punctuation!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

But with hulk-like density.

Also from the goody cart, Gunthar hands Edgar a .44, which he cocks and points at Locker 13.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

And one hundred and ten percent bullet-proof!

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Sparks dance around Locker 13.

It moves not an inch.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

So your chickens will remain intact! Gunthar!

Gunthar, hops to it, unlocks Locker 13 and swings open the door.  About a dozen CHICKENS pour out, excitedly!  Feathers fly everywhere.  Gunthar scrambles to collect the chickens.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

And it’s porous, which deters suffocation.

Edgar double takes as he notices a lone, dead, chicken resting at the bottom of the locker.  Without missing a beat:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

That one was already dead.

ECU through the BULLET HOLE on the side of the locker, right to Edgar, who looks to Gunthar, indicating for him to “take care of it”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Gunthar.

As Gunthar crosses, Edgar scoops the gum (Gunthar’s been chewing all this time) from Gunthar’s mouth and covers up the bullet hole on the sly.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Tragic.  She was my favorite.  In fact, that was her name, Tragic.  She was the sick one.

As Gunthar collects the dead chicken, fresh BLOOD squirts out of the bullet wound, spraying Edgar and the Farmers. Gunthar, quickly runs out to dispose of the carcass.  Edgar breaks the tension, by SLAMMING the locker door shut!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Anyway.  L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 is also predator proof!  Anything kept inside, stays inside.  Including odors.  Foxes, wolves, possums, any carnivore with a keen sense of smell, and with chicken on it’s menu, will never detect your valuable feathered friends if kept in this baby.  Gunthar!

Gunthar runs to attention as a rogue chicken innocently hobbles by.  Edgar maliciously snatches it up! Then cradles it in his arms, kindly strokes it’s neck as he continues:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

For example. Pretend Gunthar, is a predator! A squat, ugly, ravenous beast that hasn’t eaten in weeks.

Gunthar, gets into it, trying to emulate Edgar’s description, with hilarious, physically comedic results.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(re: chicken in his arms) Gunthar, try to get this chicken.

Gunthar, licks his lips, bears his “claws” and pretends to stalk and attack the chicken in Edgar’s arms.  Just as he gets close enough, Edgar flings out his fist and WHAM! punches Gunthar in the face!  Gunthar, spins from the impact and sails to the ground.  Edgar continues to the farmers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Now you shouldn’t have to exert yourself like that. Save it for your wives and daughters, eh?  Your hands are your investment!  Instead of challenging the problem with your fists, eliminate the problem altogether!  (to Gunthar) Gunthar!

Gunthar struggles to his feet and opens the locker door.

Edgar carefully places the chicken inside. 

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Simply insert a chicken into our catch-proof locker doors, and…

SLAM! Gunthar shuts the door too fast and catches Edgar’s finger!  He reels in pain!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Ahhhgh!

Edgar holds his finger and stares daggers at Gunthar.  Edgar takes a peek at the damage and a squirt of his own blood shoots in his face. ANGLE on the Farmers as they get sprayed…again.

Gunthar, meekly offers a hanky.  Edgar snatches it away, wraps his hand, and continues…most condescendingly…

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Now say the predator happens to miraculously sense the chicken inside our locker right here.  Which he won’t.  But let’s say he does.(pointedly to Gunthar)  Say, the worm infested, mange covered, diseased, gluttonous little bitch, approaches LOCKER 13 and tries to get inside.  Go ahead.  Try and get inside.

Gunthar looks to Edgar, sheepish.  He doesn’t wanna.  Edgar shoots him a look.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Go on now.  That a boy.

Gunthar pretends to paw and claw at the locker door.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

That’s it, now try and bite it.

Gunthar reacts, confused.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Try to take a bite out of it. Open your mouth, really wide, then place your teeth around the corner there.

Gunthar, with trepidation, opens his mouth wide and places it on the corner of the locker.  Just then ZZZZZZZAP!!!!

LOCKER 13, vibrates with colorful bolts of electricity like a

Tesla-Coil!  Smoke emanates from the door, as well as Gunthar’s eyes, mouth, and ears!  His hair stands on end.

His mouth, fused to the locker!

Edgar produces a STUN GUN, which he has jabbed onto the backside of the locker, unbeknownst to everyone.  He releases the charge and a smoking Gunthar, falls to the floor.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

As a special bonus, not included in the final sale, we can equip L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 with a stun device, that would react not unlike the way you just saw.  (beat)  But what the heck, cuz I like you guys.  I’ll just go ahead and throw it in for free!

L.O.C.K.E.R.’s door slowly swings open, revealing a very cooked chicken!

The Farmers react, skeptical.  Edgar brings it home.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 is the last one of its kind.  The only one left in the entire state of Arizona!  The only one left on this planet!   Every land owner, barn-hand, and chicken farmer would sell me their youngest daughter for one of these (beat) What say we start opening bids!

Gunthar springs to his feet, albeit a bit wobbly, and holds up a sign reading “$1000.00”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

One thousand dollars. For L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 and free predator deterrent.  (re: fried chicken) And chicken dinner for one.  Who’ll start the bidding at one thousand?  One thousand dollars.

The Farmers ain’t biting.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Ah.  We’re all here for a bargain, aren’t we.  Well I beg your pardon. Nine-fifty!

Gunthar scrambles to find a sharpee in his pocket and crosses out “$1000” and writes “$950”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Let’s open the bids at nine-fifty!  (ala auctioneer)Nine-fifty,doIhearnine-fifty,ninefifty,rightherenine-fifty…

He trails off as the Farmers continue to stare, stoic.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(to Gunthar) Let’s go to eight hundred.

Gunthar crosses off “$950” and scribbles “$800”.

The Farmers don’t budge.  Edgar grows restless.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(to Gunthar)  No no no.  Make it seven.  Seven hundred.

Gunthar scribbles.  Edgar tries the Farmers for approval.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seven?  How about six?

Gunthar makes the change.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

This is a military device here, gentleman!  Billions of dollars in research went into…

Farmers don’t care.

Edgar’s finger is throbbing.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Alright, but I’m gonna get in trouble with my bosses if I… (new thought)  Hey.  If you don’t tell ’em.  I won’t.  Five-fifty.

Gunthar is growing weary of the changes.  There is very little room left on the sign.  ANGLE on the FARMERS – one, raspberries in disapproval.

Edgar stares at them with disappointment. He sizes them up like spoiled children. Finally he offers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seventy-five dollars?

A Farmer, FARMER #1, raises his hand.

Edgar jumps with excitement!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seventy-five dollars!  (auction mode)  Seventy-five, we got seventyfiveseventy-fivedollars. Do I hear two hundred?! Who wants to give me two hundred?  TwohundreddoIheartwohundred…

He continues vying for two hundred as Gunthar finds a new piece of paper and writes “$200” on it.  The Farmers aren’t budging.  The bidding Farmer sits back, proud.  Edgar is losing ’em.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Two hundred? No two hundred WegotseventyfiveI’mlookin. ‘fortwohundred. Seventy-fivetotwohundred? Seventyfiveto…eighty.  Can I get eighty?

A different Farmer, FARMER #2, raises his hand.  Farmer #1 scowls in offense.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

EIGHTY! I have eighty!  Can I get eighty-five Whowantstogivemeeighty -five, eighty-five, wegoteightyIwanteighty -five, who’llgivemeeighty-five? Eightyfive? Anyone? Eighty-five?

Edgar notices a Farmer, FARMER #3, counting change in his hand.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two-fifty?

Farmer #3, excitedly raises his hand!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two-fifty! Igoteighty-twofifty, doIheareightytwo-seventyfive? Lookingforeighty-two-seventyfive, helpmeoutwitheightytwoseventyfive.

The Farmers all reach in their pockets for change.  Some pull out hankies, hay, a wrench, and the occasional change.  Farmer #1 raises his hand again!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwoseventyfive! Wegoteightytwoseventyfive, who’llgimme eightytwo-eighty?!  Do I hear eightytwo-eighty?!

Farmer #2 throws up a hand.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwo-eighty! Wegoteightytwo- eighty, who’llgivemeeightytwoyninety?! Gunthar is desperately trying to catch up!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwoninetylookingforeightytwon inety, who’llgivemeeightytwoninety?

Farmer #1 again!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two, ninety! Now, eightytwoninety-five! Who’sbraveenoughtoforkouteightytwoninety-five?!

Farmer #3 takes the bait!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

EIGHTY-TWO-NINETY-FIVE! Let’s go for a clean hundred!

All the Farmers stop fishing for change and shoot a collective look at Edgar. Edgar, reacts. Then covers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty…three, dollars.  Who’s gonna offer eighty three?!  Eightythree.  Looking for eighty three.

The Farmers resume counting change, but none are biting.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-three, eighty-three, anyone, eighty-three.

The Farmers are still counting change.  Some are even making trades and discussing combining funds.

Edgar looks to Gunthar, who has scribbled on everything in sight, trying to keep up with the bidding.  Edgar sees no future in this.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two dollars, and ninety-five cents, going once.  One, authentic, military approved, L.O.C.K.E.R., going twice. This is model number 13. It will hold a capacity of 50 plus chickens, going, eighty-twoninety-five, still going twice…fuck it, SOLD! To that guy.

Edgar, half hearted, points towards the Farmers, then turns to Gunthar.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Get the cash.  Count it.  And get them out of here.

Gunthar leaps to. The winning Farmer, celebrates.  The other Farmers offer congratulations, rise from their seats and pile out.

We stay with Edgar, who retreats to the background, removes a pack of gum from his pants pocket, unwraps it and sticks it in his mouth in disgust.

SOFT in the FG: We can make out the commotion of Gunthar removing L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 from it’s pedestal and wheeling it out with the winning Farmer as Edgar shakes his head and checks his wounded finger.

After the Farmers exit, we FOLLOW Edgar as he makes the long walks back towards the door from whence he came.  He throws open the door, bathing us in light and enters: INT. BACK WAREHOUSE – CONTINUOUS

A florescent lit kitchenette!  There’s a fridge, water dispenser, several cabinets, drawers, rows of various tea, a coffee machine, plate of bagels and a vegetable plate.  Edgar grabs a bottled water from the fridge, a bottle of vitamins from the cupboard, his favorite tea bag, and favorite mug, which he fills up with piping hot water.  He searches for a band-aid, for his wounded finger, shortly followed by a change of shirt. He then unscrews the water bottle and dilutes the tea with a bit of cold so’s he can drink it right away. Gunthar enters and crosses frame.

GUNTHAR

I’m sorry I…

EDGAR

Shut up.  No one asked your opinion.

GUNTHAR

You didn’t have to…

EDGAR

(mocking) You didn’t have to… (then) Just, shove them in there so we can get on with round two!

Gunthar Exits.

OFF SCREEN – We hear deep, guttural, BARKING sounds and Gunthar, opening a cage.  We hear him ad-libbing distress as he is attempts to wrangle some boisterous, unseen, animals. We hear the sound of a door opening.  A familiar, METALLIC DOOR. And Gunther, forcing the animals into it.  Finally, he manages to corral all the creatures before finally slamming the door.  A familiar METALLIC SLAM!

We PAN over to find Gunthar, pushing another L.O.C.K.E.R. on a dolly. The BARKING sounds are muffled, almost mute.  Edgar, slaps a sticker marked “13” on the side.

Behind them, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark, HUNDREDS of L.O.C.K.E.Rs waiting to be sold.

Gunthar pushes the dolly through frame, we HOLD on Edgar.

Who gulps his tea, straightens his jacket, places his hair, and walks out of the room.  We CONTINUE with him as he makes the long walk back to the pedestal, where Gunthar has placed the new L.O.C.K.E.R. 13.  We PAN around to find, an audience of ESKIMOS!  All decked out in their thick, winter coats, spears, etc.  We continue PANNING, resting on Edgar, sitting in a chair, just like in the beginning.  He looks at the Eskimos and after a BEAT, says:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Baby seals!

CUT TO:

BLACK.

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 2

 

Here is part 2 to the unfilmed segments of Locker 13. This next one is written by Adam Montierth and is called, Apache Tears:

FADE IN:

EXT. GOLDFIELD NEW MEXICO 1885 – DUSK

Five MEN on horseback ride slowly into town.   The TOWNSFOLK eye the men suspiciously.

The lead horse carries a large grizzled man in dark leather.  He is JACOB CALHOUN.   He grins ominously with a full set of dirty teeth and looks over at his younger brother, RUSS CALHOUN.  Russ smiles too, mimicking his Brother, but he is missing most of his teeth.

Russ is a thin reed with wild hair, resembling a weasel more than a man.  He turns to look at the three following close behind.

One of the men has a face full of scars, aptly nicknamed SCARFACE.  The man on the other side is horribly disfigured with a burn covering his bald head and half of his face, nicknamed ASH.

Russ frowns at the RIDER in the middle.  He is a stark difference to the others, as he is ruggedly good looking. 

He has strong hard features.  It looks as if God made him out of granite.

RUSS CALHOUN

Why’d ya hafta bring him?  He’s trouble I’m tellin’ ya.

JACOB CALHOUN

We need a safe guy, don’t worry he knows Sanchez.

RUSS CALHOUN

But I’ve seen his face before.

JACOB CALHOUN

Probably with Sanchez.

Russ looks back at Rider who gives him a steely gaze.

The men ride up to the bank in the center of town and hitch their horses on the post in front.

Scarface and Ash stay on their horses, the others dismount.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Now you two bone heads keep your eyes peeled this time.

SCARFACE

Boss, he’s as skittish as a mule.

ASH

Me?  You’re as skittish as a Jack Ass.

SCARFACE

A Jack Ass is a mule…

JACOB CALHOUN

Enough!  If’n you two…  Don’t try me.

Scarface and Ash both nod.  Then they turn to each other and glare daggers. Jacob turns to the others.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Alright, stick to the plan.  Let’s go.

Jacob, Russ, and Rider head for the bank’s front door. 

Before they have a chance to go in, a beautiful WOMAN in cowboy dress comes out of the bank.

It is HELENA STORM.  She appears to be half Native

American and half Caucasian.  She looks up at the three men and locks eyes with Rider in surprise. 

A moment of recognition arises, as both pause in awkward silence.  Riders eyes seem to plead with her.

HELENA STORM

Terence…

Russ snaps his fingers in remembrance and points at Rider.

RUSS CALHOUN

Terence Dean, I knew it.  Marshal…Terence Dean!

Jacobs’ eyes squint in anger. 

Russ goes for his gun, but MARSHAL TERENCE DEAN is too fast for him and immediately has his six shooter out and guns him down. Scarface’s horse jolts from the gun shot. 

ASH

Let’s get outta here.

Jacob draws his Colt 45 and immediately grabs Helena from behind.  He puts his gun to her head as Marshal trains his gun on him. Ash and Scarface ride off in a cloud of frantic dust.

Marshal Dean evaluates the situation as each man pauses in stalemate.  Jacob eyes his brothers motionless form on the ground beside him.  He quivers in rage as he spits his words out at Marshal Dean.

JACOB CALHOUN

You’ll pay dearly for that, Marshal.  Now throw your gun down or I open up another hole in this pretty little thing’s head.

Marshal puts his hands up in surrender.  He slowly and carefully places his pistol on the ground.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Now, see?  That wasn’t so hard.

Jacob swings his gun around to the Marshal, but before he’s able to shoot, Helena lays an elbow hard into his face.  In a flash she brings up a knife from her other hand and stabs Jacob in his shooting arm.  He drops his gun.

Helena steps back.  Jacob yells in pain and frustration as he looks up to stare at the barrel of Marshal Terence Dean. 

Jacob freezes.

Marshal looks over at Helena, still in shock at the sight of her.

TERENCE DEAN

Helena.  You’re alive!

Helena smiles at him, unsure of what to say.

Jacob smiles at her with an evil glint in his eyes. 

JACOB CALHOUN

(Whispers.) Helena.

Terence clubs Jacob in the face with the back of his revolver.

EXT. GOLDFIELD NEW MEXICO – MORNING

The sun rises over the desert landscape.  A stagecoach is drawn up to the jailhouse.

The door opens and Terence comes out with Jacob in handcuffs.  Jacob has a bad bruise on his face left from the events of the previous day.

The towns’ SHERIFF follows them out carrying a bag.  He throws it on the stagecoach.

SHERIFF

Do you really think it’s wise to leave so soon?

TERENCE DEAN

Jacob’s a popular man, the Judge in Tombstone’s anxious to see him.  He’s got a date with the reaper.

SHERIFF

Give me time to send for my two Deputies.  They can go with you.

Terence puts Jacob in the stagecoach and handcuffs him to the iron bars on the doors window. 

Helena Storm walks over to the Stagecoach from across the street. 

TERENCE DEAN

Thank you Sheriff, but we’ll be fine.

The Sheriff tips his hat and goes back inside.

Jacob smirks at the sight of Helena.  Terence slams the door in his face. Terence walks over to meet her.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

I thought maybe you were a mirage.  We didn’t get to talk last night before you disappeared.  But thank you for coming to see me off.

HELENA STORM

Terence, I didn’t come to see you off,    I’m the driver.  This is my coach.

Helena has a hard time looking Terence in the eyes.  She busies herself with getting the Stagecoach ready.

TERENCE DEAN

What?  Helena, what the hell is going on here?  I thought you were…I mean…the fire-

HELENA STORM

Yeah, the fire.  There was a bad storm, lightning hit.  I tried to stop the fire, but it was no use.

TERENCE DEAN

You were no where to be found, you made me think-

HELENA STORM

I made you…?  Look, you were better off.  I couldn’t wait for you forever.

TERENCE DEAN

I had work to do.  I told you I’d be back.

HELENA STORM

You were gone for 13 months.  I had to move on.

TERENCE DEAN

So the fire gave you a chance to start a new life?

HELENA STORM

Yeah, something like that.

FATHER WINTERS shows up.  He looks uncomfortable with interrupting the heated conversation. 

TERENCE DEAN

Father.

Father Winters nods politely and hands Helena his bag. 

She secures it to the top of the stagecoach.

The Father opens the stagecoach door and hesitates at the sight of the prisoner in handcuffs.  Jacob smiles wickedly.

JACOB CALHOUN

Father.  How the hell are ya?

Father Winters nods politely and enters the stagecoach, clutching his Bible tightly.

TERENCE DEAN

Helena say something?  You’re still my wife.

HELENA STORM

Another time and place maybe.  You weren’t made to settle down and I couldn’t wait for you.  You ran away long before I did.

Terence stands before Helena not knowing what to say. 

She climbs up to her perch on the front of the stagecoach and looks down at Terence expectantly.

He stares blankly.  She slaps the reins and the stagecoach takes off.  Terence catches the open door and enters. He closes the door and sits back dazed. 

They ride out of town.  Jacob gazes out of the window as the stagecoach passes a plain pine box where his brother lie still.  The undertaker shuts the lid and begins to nail it into place.

INT. DEAN’S RANCH – NIGHT – PAST

The cabin has been recently decorated with the comforts of a newly wed couple. 

A younger Terence and Helena are in their king sized bed looking lovingly into each others eyes.  A fire illuminates the room.

TERENCE DEAN

So how is Mrs. Dean enjoying her second day of marriage?

HELENA STORM

Better than the first.  Every day seems like a dream.

TERENCE DEAN

It should.

HELENA STORM

I’m afraid that I’ll wake up one morning and you’ll be gone.

TERENCE DEAN

I’m not going anywhere.

HELENA STORM

But you’re not a rancher.

TERENCE DEAN

I am now.  I don’t miss it.  Wasting my life chasing demons.

HELENA STORM

You were good at it.  Too good.

TERENCE DEAN

Yes I was, but I’ll be a better rancher.  This is my heaven.  My reward for being good.

HELENA STORM

I hope it’s enough.

INT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Terence shifts uncomfortably in his seat, lost in thought.  Jacob eyes him closely.  He looks at his gun and then to his handcuffs at the window. 

Terence catches him and smiles for the first time.  Jacob scowls.  The Priest quietly reads to himself.

JACOB CALHOUN

So how do you know Sanchez?

TERENCE DEAN

Hung him in Wells.  Robbed a stagecoach, killed the driver.

JACOB CALHOUN

Who hasn’t?

TERENCE DEAN

Had a nice chat before he swung.  Told me where to find ya.

The Stagecoach begins to slow.  Terence becomes alarmed.

He eyes Jacob suspiciously, who shrugs his shoulders. 

Terence looks over at the Priest and then pokes his head out the window to see what’s up.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DAY

The Stagecoach comes to a halt.  Terence exits, guns drawn.  Helena grabs her rifle and jumps down from her seat.  The Priest exits behind Terence. 

JACOB CALHOUN

What about me?

TERENCE DEAN

Stay put Father!

The Priest hangs back with Jacob. 

Terence and Helena see an old wooden foot locker on the road with a rusted iron padlock on the front.  They slowly approach the chest, looking around.

HELENA STORM

What is it?

TERENCE DEAN

Trouble.

They look at the chest puzzled.  Suddenly, they hear a knock from the inside.  They both jump back.  The knocking ceases.

Terence slowly walks forward and knocks back on the wood. 

The chest begins to rock back and forth as a frantic voice is heard muffled.

Terence looks up at Helena who looks nervous.  He aims and shoots the lock off the chest and opens the lid.  A little man, BENNY LANG, jumps out.  He is gagged and tied up.  Terence unties him.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

What the hell?

BENNY LANG

Thank you kindly.  I thought I’d never see the light of day again.

TERENCE DEAN

How’d you get in there?

BENNY LANG

That is quite the story, and see’n as I like to tell them, should make for a good time.  Got anything to drink first?

BENNY LANG(CONT’D)

I done poured out all my fluids in that thing, if’n you know what I mean.

Helena tosses him a water canteen.  Benny drinks greedily. He finishes and wipes his mouth on his sleeve.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Thank you again so kindly.  There’s no end to your generosity.  Ah yes, my current unfortunate predicament.

TERENCE DEAN

Cut to the quick, we need to move on.

HELENA STORM

Terence let him catch his bearings.

BENNY LANG

No need Ma’am, I’m sorry to delay.  The situation is simple enough.  Names Benny Lang, and I’m a gambler by profession.  I happened on four fellers last night and they welcomed me into their camp.  As is my nature, a poker game began and they didn’t take so kindly to my winning.  They locked me in my trunk, evidently taking my wagon and all my worldly possessions with them, leaving me for dead.  You’ve taken all the passion from my tale, in your haste, but there it is.

Terence takes an uneasy look around.

TERENCE DEAN(To Helena)

We need to move on.

BENNY LANG

Please sir, I don’t mean any disrespect to your generosity, but could you drop me off at the next stop.

TERENCE DEAN

I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Benny’s eyes plead with Terence.  He looks to Helena for sympathy.

HELENA STORM

Terence we can’t leave him.

TERENCE DEAN

We’re only a half a day out, we’ll send someone back.

BENNY LANG

But sir, these men, were the unsavory types…

TERENCE DEAN

Evidently.

BENNY LANG

What if they come back?  Plus, I don’t have food or water.

HELENA STORM

He can sit on top with me.

TERENCE DEAN

This is not a leisure trip.  We are delivering a dangerous man.

HELENA STORM

Well then we better go now, but I won’t leave him.

Terence sighs in frustration, having dealt with her stubbornness before.

BENNY LANG

Thank you, thank you, I will be no trouble, I assure you.  Heaven has sent two angels my way.

TERENCE DEAN

Let’s go.

Terence turns to go back to the stagecoach.

BENNY LANG

Please sir, could you help with my chest?

Terence turns back getting annoyed.  Benny motions to the  foot locker and smiles.

TERENCE DEAN

Leave it.

BENNY LANG

It’s my only possession now.

Terence looks at Helena and then back to Benny.  He sighs again.

He walks over and closes the lid and then picks it up.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Again, many thanks.  You don’t know, it’s been in my family for generations.  I will be no more trouble to you.

Terence hefts the trunk on top of the stagecoach.

Helena helps Benny to the perch as Terence walks over to her.

TERENCE DEAN

You keep your eyes open, I don’t trust him.

HELENA STORM

Do your job Marshall, I’ll do mine.  When this is over, we can go back to our own lives.

TERENCE DEAN

You mean our life?

Helena’s only response is to look away.

Terence takes her hand and feels for her wedding ring.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

What if I told you this was my last job?

Helena looks him straight in the eye.

HELENA STORM

I’ve heard that before, remember?

Helena steps up to her seat on the stage coach and grabs the reigns.

Terence is again left standing there as Helena starts the horses.  He has to rush to catch the stagecoach door and climb in.

INT. STAGECOACH – SAME

Jacob is smiling broadly.

JACOB CALHOUN

Never gets old.

FATHER WINTERS

What’s going on Marshall?

TERENCE DEAN

Luke, Father, chapter ten.

JACOB CALHOUN

The parable of the Good Samaritan.

Terence and Father Winters stare at Jacob who continues to smile.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

With that in mind, my arm where your girlfriend dug her knife, is paining me.  Is it possible to move my shackles?

TERENCE DEAN

When we get there.

JACOB CALHOUN

So kind.

TERENCE DEAN

Not another word.

Terence looks out the window at the passing red rock vistas.

EXT. DEAN’S RANCH – DAY – PAST

Young Helena exits the barn with a fresh bucket of milk. 

In front of the house, she notices two US MARSHALS mounting their horses. Terence stands between them.

US MARSHAL # 1

See you day after tomorrow.

The Marshals see Helena, nod and then ride off.

Terence looks at Helena.  She looks down worried and continues past him into their home.  He tries to say something, but can’t find the words.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Benny and Helena sit silently on the perch.  She steers the stagecoach through the winding desert, lost in thought.  The sun is falling closer to the horizon.

BENNY LANG

Personally, I’m not one to settle down.  Almost fell for a petite dancer in Georgetown, then I thought better of it and headed for the West.  Heard the cards were highly regarded out here.  They are, after all, my first love.

Helena smiles at Benny’s chatter, eager for a distraction from her thoughts.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Love takes commitment.  The kind a traveller like me can’t afford.

He pulls something out of his vest pocket.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

You know what this is?

Helena looks down.  Benny is holding a deep black obsidian stone.

HELENA STORM

A rock?

BENNY LANG

Yes, but do you know what they call it?

 

HELENA STORM

(More hesitation.) A rock?

BENNY LANG

Yes, of course.  But it’s much more than that.  They call it an Apache Tear and it’s very rare.  Do you know how it got it’s name?

Helena shakes her head no.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Alright, story time.  There is a legend behind the Apache Tear.  There were two young Indian lovers who were from different tribes.  They were warring factions of the Apache people.  They were commanded to treat the other as hostile, but they desperately loved each other.  They would meet in secret, making an oath of their undying love.  When their tribes learned of their treachery, they were each sentenced to death unless they denounced their love.  They would not.  Each one escaped from their tribe and they met again on the cliff of the mountain top, with the tribes in pursuit.  With no other option before them, they jumped off the cliff to their death.  Legend has it, the Apache Tears were made when the mountain wept.

HELENA STORM

That’s a beautiful story.

BENNY LANG

Commitment and sacrifice is true love.

Helena turns away with a tear in her eye.

HELENA STORM

That’s why it’s so rare.

INT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Terence is also lost in thought.  Jacob eyes him closely.

JACOB CALHOUN

I’m gonna kill you.  You know that?

Terence snaps into the present.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

For killin’ my Brother.  You shouldn’t a done that.

Father Winters looks up from reading his Bible.

TERENCE DEAN

Actually, you killed him.

JACOB CALHOUN

How’s that?

TERENCE DEAN

Your life led you to that moment.  You created it years ago when you became an outlaw.  What do they say Father?  Live by the sword, die by the sword?  Only our swords have changed, haven’t they?

Terence pats the six shooter on his hip.

JACOB CALHOUN

Your moment’s coming Marshall.

Suddenly, the stagecoach begins to slow again.

Jacob smiles knowingly.

Alarmed, Terence pokes his head out of the window to see what’s going on.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DUSK

The stagecoach comes to a complete stop.

Terence exits with his guns drawn.

TERENCE DEAN

I told you not to stop.

Terence stops in his tracks and stares into the tree before him.

Two men ominously swing on nooses in the large oak tree by the road.  The first has a crude sign painted on him in red that reads, “Horse thief”.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

This is not right.

Terence swings around just as one of Jacob’s men, Ash, comes rushing around the back of the stagecoach with a rifle.  Terence raises his pistol.

SCARFACE

I wouldn’t do that Marshall.  Drop your guns.

Terence slowly turns to find Scarface swinging in the trees with the first man, but he is very much alive and has two six shooters aimed directly at him.

Helena reaches for her rifle, but Ash is there to take it from her.

ASH

I don’t think so little darlin.  You and the boy jump down.

BENNY LANG

Who you calling a boy?  I’ve more whiskers than you.

Helena and Benny climb down from the stagecoach.

JACOB CALHOUN

You bone heads gonna keep me in here all day.  I need the key in Marshall’s left vest pocket.

Ash walks over and cautiously approaches Terence.

SCARFACE

Marshall, why don’t you kindly throw my buddy the key then.

Terence looks up at Scarface who cocks his guns.

He takes the key from his vest pocket and throws it to Ash, who rushes it over to Jacob. 

Jacob unlocks his handcuffs and rubs his bandaged wrist.

Ash hands him a gun.

Jacob triumphantly walks up to Terence.

JACOB CALHOUN

Well, well, well.  Who’s moment is it now Marshall?

Jacob looks over at the dead man next to Scarface.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Who’s that?

SCARFACE

He’s a horse thief.  Where’d you think we got the idea.

JACOB CALHOUN

Get down from there.

Scarface struggles.

SCARFACE

Boss, I need help.

Jacob ignores him and turns back to Terence.

JACOB CALHOUN

You killed my Brother.  Now it’s my turn.

Jacob turns to look at Helena.  Terence moves towards Jacob who shoves a pistol in his face.

TERENCE DEAN

You got me, leave her alone.

JACOB CALHOUN

Or what, Marshall?

TERENCE DEAN

So help me, I will travel to hell to make you pay.

JACOB CALHOUN

Strong words, for a man in your position.

Jacob walks backwards towards Helena, with his gun drawn on Terence. He reaches her and looks around.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

We’re missing someone.  (Yelling)  Oh Father, come on out.  I’ll need you to deliver some last rites.

Father Winters slowly exits the stagecoach.

Jacob turns back to Terence, as Father Winters raises a hidden pistol.

SCARFACE

Boss, look out.

Father Winters shoots Scarface dead, as a whirlwind of motion occurs simultaneously.

Scarface drops one of his six shooters and Terence catches it. Ash turns and shoots Father Winters, who goes down.

Terence shoots Ash dead.

Benny runs for cover behind the stagecoach.

Helena gets to her rifle and raises it to Jacob, just as he grabs the barrel and swings behind her.

Terence trains his gun on Jacob, who now has Helena in his grasp with his gun to her head. They face each other once more.

JACOB CALHOUN

Deja vu Marshall.  Seems like we been here before.

TERENCE DEAN

Let her go, and you live.

JACOB CALHOUN

Nice trick in there with the padre.  One of your Deputy’s I presume?

TERENCE DEAN

You can’t win.  Give it up!

Jacob cocks his pistol and pushes it into Helena’s temple.

JACOB CALHOUN

Why Marshall, I’ve already won.  I just want you to pay.

TERENCE DEAN

Don’t!  Okay, okay.  Take me, not her.

Terence drops his gun and holds his hands up in surrender.

JACOB CALHOUN

Oh how very chivalrous, but that’s not the point.  How does the scripture go?  An eye for an eye?

Helena swings a knife over, but Jacob intercepts it this time and throws it to the ground.  He squeezes her tightly.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT”D)

I don’t think so, little lady.  Not this time.  You see Marshall, I’m going to take something from you now.

With a wild banshee cry, Benny Lang jumps out from behind the stagecoach with a small Dillinger aimed at Jacob.

Jacob just turns and shoots him square in the chest.  Benny looks helplessly down at the gaping hole in his chest and falls to the ground dead. Terence goes for his gun.

Jacob aims again at Marshall Dean.  Both guns go off simultaneously.  Jacob gets shot in the head and falls backwards. 

Helena looks up at Marshall Dean breathlessly.  He smiles.  She smiles back.  A red stain suddenly appears on his shirt. She hesitates unbelieving.  He staggers to the ground. 

She rushes over and kneels down and cradles him in her arms.  She begins to cry. He struggles to breath. 

HELENA STORM

Don’t leave me again, please don’t leave me.

TERENCE DEAN

I should have loved you more.

His eyes go blank as he stops breathing.  She cries.

HELENA STORM

Please, please no.  I will do anything.  Just come back to me.

A voice is heard behind her.

It is Benny Lang now standing and uninjured.  His eyes blaze red. Helena stares at him, puzzled.

BENNY LANG

Would you?  Would you do anything?

HELENA STORM

What?  I thought you were…

BENNY LANG

Sacrifice and commitment, remember.  The sign of true love.  Would you do anything?

HELENA STORM (Confused)

Of course I would!

BENNY LANG

Would you give your life?  Your… soul for him?

Helena looks down at the still form of Terence and whispers.

HELENA STORM

Yes.

BENNY LANG

So be it!

Benny snaps his fingers and Terence wakes up.  He looks into Helena’s eyes and kisses her.  She immediately falls limp, dead. 

Terence looks to Benny who smiles wickedly.  He holds a white wisp in his hand.  The faint voice of Helena can be heard in the wisp.

HELENA STORM (From the wisp)

I love you Terence, I always will.

The Marshall jumps up and goes after Benny, who quickly climbs up to the top of the stagecoach and opens his wooden trunk.  Terence advances and Benny jumps inside, slamming the door shut on top of him.

Terence pulls the trunk down off of the stagecoach and it crashes to the ground open, empty. Terence yells helplessly in the desert.

INT. SALOON – NIGHT

Another time, another place, a seemingly normal poker game proceeds in a dark and crowded saloon.  Benny Lang is smiling and rakes in another deep pot with a full house, aces high. 

The GAMBLER across the table sits unblinking.  Benny folds up the deed on top of the stack and puts it in his jacket pocket. 

GAMBLER

That’s it, that’s everything.  What have I done?  I’ve ruined myself and my family.  I would do anything to have the last few minutes of my life back.

Benny looks at him intently and his red eyes blaze.

BENNY LANG

Would you?  Would you do anything?

CUT TO BLACK:

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 1

 

I bet you didn’t know that there were officially 3 segments of the movie Locker 13 that went unfilmed, due to the fact that we couldn’t raise the funds to shoot them during the recession of 2008. I thought it would be interesting to publish in the blog the 3 missing scripts, for those of you that liked Locker 13 and would like to read what could have been. Would’ve made for a VERY different movie.

Here’s the 1st one called, Midnight Blues:

BLACK.

DANTE (V.O.)

Nietzsche once said, “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”

FADE IN:

EXT. CEMETERY – SOMETIME AFTER DUSK

A plain black casket lay closed on a pallet above a freshly dug grave. The casket is closed.

The cemetery is void of people, except DANTE CHARON. In profile, Dante is a pale white haired man dressed all in black. His hat in hand, he looks sadly at the casket as he says his last good-byes.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

He never said anything about the bad times. There are some things we wish we could never remember. But sometimes…we have to. It’s the bad times that can remind us who we really are.

In silhouette, Dante looks up just as a CAR BACKFIRES, a flock of birds nearby release into the air with a start.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

So I guess the reverse must be true as well. The burden of a good memory is that one must suffer often the painful memories HE holds…almost as if he’s paying some kind of endless penance for some past mistake…

Dante’s hand reaches down and cups some earth, he pauses a second…then tosses it into the grave.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

But I guess that’s my fate. A life lived in solitude.

The morning sun hits Dante’s face. He is disfigured…

CLOSE-UP: DANTE’S EYE

His left eye is sealed shut and massive scars cover the surface from brow to cheek.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

But it’s not only my life. I’ve made it my job.

Dante puts on his black hat. The hat of a chauffeur. He turns and walks toward a big black CADILLAC. But it’s no ordinary Cadillac.

It’s a HEARSE.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – EVENING

A WOMAN screams.

It is SARA LIPTON, a middle-aged woman, stern and of fading beauty.

She wrestles with 2 YOUNG MEN. A hand with a rag filled with some kind of liquid is roughly placed over her mouth. She slowly goes slack and loses consciousness.

The men start laughing. One of them, JAKE, looks nervous. His eyes shift back and forth as a hand wipes nervously at a white powdered nose. The burly man, JIM, slaps Jake on the arm.

JIM

It worked!

Jake laughs at Jim and nods. He looks down at Sara and nudges her with his foot as she lays sprawled out ungenerously on the carpet.

JAKE

It’s payback, bitch!

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

The Hearse door shuts.

Feet walk past to the back where it is parked next to a set of double doors.

The man in black passes a plaque that reads, “Phoenix City Morgue” on his way through the double doors.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY – SAME

The man in black walks to an entry desk in the back. A MAN IN A WHITE LAB COAT sits with his feet up on the desk watching “Matlock” from a miniature television while chewing on a piece of beef jerky.

His name tag reads, “ROBERT DIENER”.

He looks up and just about chokes on his jerky.

ROBERT

Holy shit!

Robert sees the scarred eye of Dante for the first time.

Dante ignores the reaction and pulls a name tag out of his pocket and waves it at him. It reads, “Dante Charon, Green Acres Cemetery”. He taps a clipboard.

DANTE

Here for a pickup.

Robert tries to compose himself.

ROBERT

Course.

He shuffles some papers around. Can’t find what he’s looking for. Dante seems to make him nervous.

DANTE

New here?

ROBERT

I been round the block if that’s what you mean…

Robert lifts the TV and looks under it. Dante breathes out slowly.

DANTE

This block?

ROBERT

Damn! OK, so I been here about an hour, it’s my first shift, I just had that file…

Robert tries not to look at Dante’s eye. But it’s obviously freakin’ him out.

ROBERT (CONT’D)

Ok, ok. So? You’re makin’ me nervous ok, could happen to anyone.

DANTE

Which one?

Robert stops shuffling papers. He’s confused.

ROBERT

What? I wasn’t lookin’ at the eye if that’s what you mean…I mean it’s frickin’ strange and all, but I’m no peep…

Dante looks at the clipboard.

DANTE

Cold chamber. Which one?

ROBERT

Oh, locker 13.

Dante nods and exits through a large metal door.

Robert sits back down and breathes out a huge jet of air.

ROBERT (CONT’D)

Sorry, about the eye…thing…

He trails off talkin’ to himself.

CUT TO:

INT. COLD CHAMBER – SAME

CLOSE-UP: METAL LOCKER DOOR WITH THE LARGE “13” ON IT DEAD CENTER.

Dante unlatches the metal latch.  Cold air rushes out of the locker. Dante pulls out the casket on rollers. He pushes it towards the metal door in the back.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – SAME

Dante loads the casket into the Hearse.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE – SAME

The door opens and Dante gets in and buckles up.

He lowers the visor to reveal a group of postcards, with a picture of Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks” on top. The postcards say, “Chicago Museum of Art” in the lower left hand corner of each card.

He takes the cards down and shuffles them until he finds the one he’s looking for. He puts them back under the visor with a picture of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” on top.

He closes the visor and starts the engine.

He reaches down and pulls out a “Hall and Oates” CD. He puts it into the CD player and skips to song number 4.

CUT TO:

ESTABLISHING – The city at night.

The Hearse drives through the freeway at midnight.

Hall and Oates, “She’s Gone” plays in the background.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – NIGHT

Dante thumps on the steering wheel with the music.

INT. HEARSE BACK – NIGHT

The casket lays in silence. Something’s not quite right. Something BUMPS softly from inside the casket.

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – SAME

Dante looks out the rearview mirror.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – SAME

The Hearse pulls through the large metal gates of a cemetery.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – SAME

Dante looks left and right as he slowly drives down the small path.

INT. HEARSE BACK – SAME

The THUMPING gets louder, more insistent.

HEARSE FRONT SEAT

Dante stops the car and listens.

HEARSE BACK

The THUMPING is very loud and panicky.

HEARSE FRONT SEAT

Dante turns the CD player off and hears the thumping coming from the back.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Dante gets out and walks around to the back. He opens it and pulls out the casket on rollers. The THUMPING is very fast and LOUD now.

He opens up the casket and Sara Lipton sits up and gasps for air.

She looks very much the worse for wear. Her hair is a mess, her makeup smeared on her face, and wearing what appears to be a mechanics grey jumpsuit. Dante doesn’t look surprised.

SARA

What’s going on! Why did you put me in here?

DANTE

I didn’t put you in there.

SARA

Where am I and how did I get here?

DANTE

You’re in the Green Acres Cemetery and I drove you here.

Sara gets out of the coffin and dusts herself off. She gets hysterical and runs over and starts beating on Dante.

SARA

ARE YOU CRAZY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT! THIS IS KIDNAPPING! I HAVE TO CALL THE POLICE…

Dante grabs her wrists and stops her from hitting him.

DANTE

Ma’am, calm down… I can help you through this.

She stops and cries.

SARA

You’ve done this before?

DANTE

I’ve helped people though a lot worse.

He points to his eye.

She notices it for the first time. This calms her down.

DANTE (CONT’D)

Do you remember who you are?

SARA

Of course I do, my name’s…

She’s puzzled. She can’t remember her name.

SARA (CONT’D)

My name is…

She’s terrified.

SARA (CONT’D)

I can’t remember…

Dante opens the car door and pulls out the clipboard.

DANTE

Sara Lipton.

She remembers.

SARA

YES! YES! Sara…of course my name is Sara!

He nods. She nods.

DANTE

Do you remember how you got in there?

She shakes her head. He shakes his head.

DANTE (CONT’D)

What’s the last thing you remember?

 

SARA

I remember working today. I’m a CPA…

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – DAY

Sara is at her desk, she’s yelling at someone.

SARA

That’s it! NO MORE CHANCES! I’m sick of the lies! The backstabbing! I won’t take it anymore…

She throws a file into a startled man’s lap.

SARA (CONT’D)

GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE! YOU’RE FIRED, JAKE!

CLOSE-UP: Jake.

Jake’s eyes are panicked.

JAKE

You can’t do this! I been with this firm 10 years, I can’t start over…

She pushes him toward the door.

SARA

I just did! I never want to see you around here again! Don’t come back…

He walks away, stunned.

She SLAMS the door.

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Her eyes remember little things, but her brow furrows.

SARA

I had a bad day today…I can remember some things…but not how I got here…

DANTE

It will come to you.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME – EVENING

Sara comes home to an empty house. She opens the front door, turns on the hall foyer light. She reads the mail on a side table.

INT. KITCHEN – SAME

She opens the fridge. Hardly anything in there. Nothing interests her.

INT. BEDROOM – SAME

She turns on the bedroom lights and looks at the bed. There is only one pillow in the center of the bed. She leaves.

INT. FOYER – SAME

She stands in the empty room. She stands in an empty house.

She is alone.

She leaves and SLAMS the door behind her.

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

She’s crying now. The memories are coming on stronger now.

SARA

I couldn’t go home so I went back to the office…

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – EVENING

Sara screams.

She wrestles with 2 YOUNG MEN. A hand with a rag filled with some kind of liquid is roughly placed over her mouth. She slowly goes slack and loses consciousness.

FLASH CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

The memories are flooding in a torrent against her. She cries openly, trying to gain her composure.

SARA

It was Jake…he wanted to get back at me for firing him…but he was a junkie…I couldn’t have that in the office anymore. I covered for him way too long…

FLASH CUT TO:

INT. WAREHOUSE – EVENING

She slowly wakes up from the floor. She gets up groggily. She can hear voices in the next room. She shakes her head and walks over to the door.

INT. ROOM – SAME

Jim and Jake are arguing. There’s a table between them with cocaine and hard liquor scattered about. A gun sits in front of Jim.

JIM

…we can get a ransom!

JAKE

From who? She’s got no friends or family, everyone hates her!

JIM

-Then what, JAKE? WHAT DO WE DO WITH HER?

JAKE

Make her clear her bank account! Get all the stuff from her house–

Sara opens the door and staggers in. She’s not quite right yet, still not lucid from being drugged.

SARA

I’ve got to get to the police! You’re going to JAIL! YOU’RE…

Jim picks up the gun, startled as she hobbles forward like a creature from a horror movie.

She sways forward, woozy, Jim thinks she’s coming to get him. He pulls the gun up and everything SLAMS to slow motion…

His finger pulls the trigger.

The gun FIRES…

She gets shot in the chest. Looks down at the gaping hole where her heart should be. She crumples to the floor.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Sara stops. Dante nods.

DANTE

You remember now, don’t you?

She reaches up and unzips the jump suit to reveal a Y INCISION on her chest.

DANTE (CONT’D)

They only do a Y-Incision when there’s been an autopsy…

She looks at him, in amazement.

SARA

You knew?

DANTE

It always goes smoother when they find out for themselves. I’ve been through this before remember?

She looks over at the casket. She walks over and lifts it.

The body of Sara Lipton still lies inside. She is looking at herself.

SARA

But how?

DANTE

The ones who aren’t quite ready yet, just need a little time to adjust. To get use to the idea of passing through…

SARA

Passing through, where?

DANTE

A much better place.

She cries.

SARA

Really?

DANTE

Yes. You have loved ones, Sara.  They are waiting for you.

SARA

For me?

DANTE

Yes, Sara. You’re not alone. There is a place for you, and you’re not alone. A much better place than here.

She walks forward and wipes her tears. She smiles up at Dante. She reaches over and touches his eye.

SARA

You see much better than we do, don’t you?

He smiles at her.

She turns and walks away.

SARA (CONT’D)

You’re the ferryman, aren’t you? The river Styx, come to bring me to the other world…

DANTE

The river Acheron actually. My name’s Charon.

He nods to her.

DANTE (CONT’D)

You’re free to go, Sara. Go in peace.

SARA

Thank you, Charon.

She smiles and slowly fades away.

He walks over and closes the casket.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT CEMETERY – MORNING

A plain black casket lay closed on a pallet above a freshly dug grave. The casket is closed.

The cemetery is void of people, except Dante Charon.

DANTE

Aristotle once said, “Happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it…”

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE – SAME

He lowers the visor and takes the postcards down. He shuffles them until he finds Georges Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” He puts that on top and closes the visor.

He skips the CD to number 2 and “Sara Smile” from Hall and Oates starts to play.

He smiles.

DANTE

But what the hell did he know.

SMASH CUT TO:

BLACK.

13 Ghosts, Horror by Design

 

One of the finest crafted horror films of all time would have to be the remake of 13 Ghosts (2001), which boasts the most comprehensive movie set I’ve ever seen. It also has a wickedly fun script, engaging props, great characters and a slew of fantastic actors.matthew-lillard-13-ghosts

13 Ghosts is based on an original film by horror master, William Castle that is about a family who inherits what proves to be a haunted house, but a special pair of goggles allows them to see their ghostly tormentors. It was one of his special presentations where something crazy happens during the showing, in this case, every person in the audience was given a special pair of glasses to see the ghosts. The “ghost viewers” contained a red filter and a blue filter. The red filter would cause the ghostly images to intensify while the blue filter caused the images to fade.13-ghost-house

The remake takes the idea of the glasses and actually puts it into the movie in a very creative way.  The characters put on the special glasses to see the grewsome ghosts. The remake is about Cyrus Kriticos, a very rich collector of unique things, who dies, then leaves it all to his nephew and his family. All including his house, his fortune, and his malicious collection of ghosts!  As the Kriticos family explores their bizarre new home – a modern architectural masterpiece, filled with Cyrus’s collection of priceless antiques – Arthur and the children can hardly believe their good fortune. But it isn’t long before they discover that there is something hideous trapped behind the house’s elegantly etched crystal-clear walls: one by one, twelve evil spirits – each horribly disfigured by their deaths – are being released and begin stalking the family. ghost-in-13-ghosts

If they are to leave the house alive, Arthur, the children and their mortal companions must solve its deadly riddle – a lethal puzzle that contains the key to their imminent salvation or destruction.  It is Kalina who uncovers a clue to the deathly enigma in “The Arcanum,” an ancient manuscript filled with inscriptions and sketches, including containment spells for the tortured spirits trapped within the house. But the darker secret buried in The Arcanum reveals that Cyrus’ house is much more than the impressive glass and steel structure it appears to be.13-ghosts-house-set

The house is in fact a machine – a machine fed by the energy of the ghosts as they are released. As the machine “powers up,” one ghost at a time, it opens The Ocularis… or the Eye of Hell.  According to The Arcanum, he who controls The Ocularis is the most powerful man on earth. It appears that Cyrus built this deadly machine in the guise of a home to power the Ocularis and pursue his malevolent goal of penultimate power.13-ghosts-house

The most incredible thing about the film is the design of the house, designed by production designer Sean Hargreaves, based on the architecture of the the New York Science Museum.  During the three months that it took to design the set, Hargreaves and his production team worked closely with Director Steve Beck to ensure that the remarkable structure would be both visually compelling and function as a practical film set.  Another important aspect of the house’s design is its relationship to a key element in the script.  “In the story, an ancient book known as “The Arcanum” contains the blueprint which Cyrus used to build the house,” Hargreaves explains. “It’s filled with writings and drawings and sketches, almost like a Da Vinci notebook, and it’s illustrated with pages of Latin inscriptions. These inscriptions are actually containment spells for the ghosts trapped inside the house, which we transferred onto the glass walls of the set. “production-design-for-13-ghost

More than 3 miles of etched glass walls and a total of 8,500 square feet of glass were used to construct the set. The Latin “etchings” were actually rendered on a plastic overlay and adhered to the glass walls to achieve Hargreaves’ “Arcanum” design motif. Bridge welders were brought in to fuse the house together, using nearly five tons of steel in the process.  The construction of the centuries-old Arcanum book itself is another example of the attention to artistic detail evidenced throughout the production of the film. A great deal of painstaking effort went into the materials and design needed to make the book look authentically ancient. Propsmaster Dean Eilertson reveals that three people worked for a week just to age the parchment paper used in the four books that were eventually created.set-design-for-13-ghosts

Along with the house and props, each ghost was extremely detailed with their visual look and backstory. It made for a very fun and scary experience for the actors. The cast is filled out with some of the finest actors with F. Murray Abraham, Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, JR Bourne, and Shannon Elizabeth.thirteen-ghosts-2001

Peter Jackson and The Frighteners, A Scary and Fun Ride!

 

It’s very rare for a film to cross genres effectively, but The Frighteners (1996) is just one of those special films. It’s altogether funny, and terrifying, but most of all a thrilling fantasy. The film is about Frank Bannister, who develops psychic abilities, after a car accident kills his wife and he is injured, allowing him to see, hear, and communicate with ghosts. He gives up his job as an architect, letting his unfinished “dream house” sit incomplete for years, and puts these new skills to use by befriending a few ghosts and getting them to haunt houses in the area to drum up work for his ghostbusting business; Then Frank proceeds to “exorcise” the houses for a fee. But when he discovers that an entity resembling the Grim Reaper is killing people, marking numbers on their forehead beforehand. With the help of his ghostly pals, Frank pursues this ghastly creature. Meanwhile, Dr. Lucy Lynskey is investigating Patricia Bradley, a woman who was involved in a mass-murder as a teenager, and has been experiencing ghostly attacks. Despite the fact that the police, and FBI Agent Dammers want to pin the murders on Frank, he and Lucy realize that something supernatural and sinister is happening in Fairwater and will stop at nothing to find the truth.the-frighteners

This film didn’t do too well at the box office, because frankly, no one knew what to make of it so the marketing fell apart. If you want to watch some both funny and scary…both fantasy and thriller…then this film can be a great mix! Michael J. Fox plays Frank Bannister with his usual charisma and instantly pulls you in effectively to this strange new world. No other actor was considered for the Frank Bannister role other than Michael J. Fox. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh were having a meeting with Robert Zemeckis (who produced) about the film and his name came up. Zemeckis liked the idea, and sent the script to Fox. The film was originally planned as a Tales from the Crypt (1989) feature, but producer Robert Zemeckis liked the script so much, he decided it should stand on its own and not be part of a series. Danny Elfman was so impressed with Peter Jackson’s previous movie, Heavenly Creatures (1994), that he offered to do the score for one of Jackson’s next movies, and agreed to this movie without even knowing what it was about. milton-dammers-the-frighteners

Michael J. Fox performed many of his own stunts in the film. Ironically he broke his foot by a simple fall whilst filming in the forest at night. Peter Jackson said Fox’s injury was actually a blessing in disguise because it allowed him to work on the script some more, and edit some of the film’s scenes while Fox recovered for a week. When Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson were writing the part of the Drill Sergeant in the graveyard, they wrote the part as a spoof of R. Lee Ermey’s character in Full Metal Jacket (1987) with the intention of getting an actor in New Zealand for the role. But they didn’t feel the actors who auditioned were right and finally ended up approaching Ermey himself, and he said YES! The shot of R. Lee Ermey screaming down at Frank Bannister in the cemetery is a clear reference to the shot of him screaming down at Pvt. Joker in Full Metal Jacket.frighteners-ermey-fox

The film’s serial killing couple is based on real life people. Charles Starkweather, the real life killer referenced in the movie, killed 11 people (and 2 dogs) during a nearly two month killing spree. His 14-year-old girlfriend (Carillon Ann Fugate) accompanied him for, and participated in most of the killings. He was caught, tried, convicted, and executed (by electric chair), in a seventeen month span. Caril was not executed, but sentenced to a “Life” term in prison. She was paroled after serving 17 years in prison. In order to trick the audience into believing that Patricia Bradley (the Caril character) was innocent of the Fairwater murders, Peter Jackson specifically wanted Dee Wallace for the part. He figured that her role as Elliot’s mother in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was about the sweetest character you could find, and therefore no one in the audience would suspect her.frighteners-2

The Goodbye Girl

 

I love this movie. That’s my main thought as I think about The Goodbye Girl (1977). I can thank my sister, Page, for introducing this and Chapter Two (1979), another Neil Simon written film, to me when I was much younger. And The Wiz (1978) and Chorus Line (1985) for that matter. That’s what you get when you have a sister that is 4 years older than you and influences your early film experiences…sometimes I regret the last two, when I get razzed by my buddies about my specific favorite films, but not with Neil Simon’s stuff. There’s something to be enjoyed there by any gender and tastes…especially his brilliance in writing the perfect argument. From the Odd Couple (1970) on, he has been the master of hilarious arguments. According to Neil Simon, no one expected anything special at the box office from the film. “It had only one real star, Richard Dreyfuss; one rising star, Marsha Mason; and one cute ten-year-old, Quinn Cummings, with a slight love story directed extremely well by Herbert Ross and a rather nice script by me, if I have to say so myself…it probably wouldn’t have been made were it not for Ray Stark’s faith in it.”the_goodbye_girl_lobby_card

The movie is about an unemployed dancer and her 10-year-old daughter who, after being dumped by her live-in boyfriend are reluctantly forced to live with a struggling off-Broadway actor. My sister was a dancer growing up and now a retired dance teacher, so I can see where her interests drew her to this movie. It was directed by Herbert Ross, who directed 5 of Neil Simon’s movies over the years but also the classics (well, they’ve held up over time, anyway): Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969), The Turning Point (1977), Footloose (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989) and one of my other forgotten favorite’s, Undercover Blues (1993). What’s interesting about Goodbye Girl and Turning Point is they were both released in 1977 and unusually enough, he won Best Drama at the Golden Globes for Turning Point and Best Comedy for Goodbye Girl. Nobody has ever done that before and also not since.the-goodbye-girl_marsha-mason

Other than a brilliant script and a wonderful director, the real spark is between Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss. They were both nominated for Oscars from this film, but only Richard one, which is a shame because Marsha was amazing as well. When Richard Dreyfuss was asked in a 2000 interview what made the film so special, he replied, “Goodbye Girl was a wonderful script. Wonderful. And as actors we never got tired of it. Never…It was funny and loving. And the actors and actresses in the show–especially Marsha and Quinn–were perfect. Like God had said these are the actors to work with. I once said that I’d like to play Elliot until I retired and got a Swiss watch because he was great. I wanted to be him, and I wanted to acquire his personality for my own.” Marsha Mason also recalled later, working with Richard Dreyfuss – “Richard was fast and funny. I was thoughtful and more serious. Richard was wild and free. I was a responsible wife and mother and an actress. I wanted so much to be like him. He was so sure of himself, so sure of his place and space, and he moves forward accordingly. He’s bright, bright, bright, incredibly well read, and comfortable with his intelligence.”1977-goodbye-girl-the-02

Another thing of note is that this film has just about the finest ending credit song there is. The film’s theme song “Goodbye Girl”, was sung and written by David Gates, and went to No. #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1977.

Starter For 10, The British Brat Pack

 

Every so often a movie comes around that is so chocked full of amazing actors that you have to wonder how they acquired such an incredible cast. It’s in hind sight of course. The secret is the cast was not well known back then but over the following ten years after the release of the movie, they’ve all racked up impressive lists of movies all on their own. Now, I must admit, that Great Britain has some of the best actors in the world, but it’s rare to find so many of them in one film. The film I’m talking about in this case is Starter For 10 (2006). Throughout this post I want to examine the cast and where they have gone.starter

To start, the film was written by David Nicholls, based on his own novel. He would go on to write some great stuff for the BBC, including Tess of the D’Urbervilles (2008), Great Expectations (2012) and Far From the Maddening Crowd (2015). The film was directed by Tom Vaughan who would also direct What Happens in Vegas (2008), Extraordinary Measures (2010), and Some Kind of Beautiful (2014). Now, not only was it produced by the BBC, but also by Tom Hanks and Playtone! Say what you will about his acting, he’s amazing at that, but has also really shown a talent for picking amazing projects over the years as a producer! His producer credits include Band of Brothers (2001), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), John Adams (2008), Mamma Mia! (2008), The Pacific (2010) and Parkland (2013).starter-10

James McAvoy:  The lead actor in this film, which is a period comedy set in 1985, where the story chronicles the misadventures of Brian Jackson (James McAvoy), a student trying to navigate life at Bristol University and his goals to be on the hit quiz show, University Challenge. Because of the time period, setting and cast, it makes it feel like an early 80’s Brat Pack film in the vein of The Breakfast Club (1985), St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), Oxford Blues (1984) and Class (1983). It’s interesting to note that it was Andrew MacCarthy’s acting that inspired James McAvoy to be an actor. In an interview he would state, “Yeah, St. Elmo’s Fire is probably the one that I love him in the most. He was really vulnerable, really open, I think. And he had floppy hair, kind of bad hair, and I had really bad hair for quite a long time when I was a kid…”.  starterfor101

Benedict Cumberbatch:  The center connection for all the actors would probably by Cumberbatch as James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch would later co-star together in Atonement (2007). He would also be cast as Sherlock Holmes in a BBC Series created by his co-star Mark Gatiss and he would star in Star Trek Into Darkness with co-star Alice Eve. 4 of the actors would also be hired by Marvel as Cumberbatch plays Doctor Strange set to come out this year, McAvoy plays Professor Xavier in the X-Men movies, Dominic Cooper plays Howard Stark in the franchise and in Agent Carter on TV and Rebecca Hall appears in Iron Man 3. james-mcavoy-dominic-cooper

Mark Gatiss like I said, created Sherlock Holmes for the BBC (along with Stephen Moffat), but he’s also written for Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Doctor Who, and The League of Gentlemen. I like to think of him as a fine writer, but he has over 80 credits as an actor for the BBC.  Rebecca Hall has gone on to some very fine films like The Prestige (2006), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), The Town (2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), The Gift (2015) and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG (2016). Alice Eve has finally broken out is some very good films over the years that include Men in Black 3 (2012), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Before We Go (2014). Dominic Cooper has recently been in Mamma Mia! (2008), Captain America (2011), and Warcraft (2016). And last but not least would be the understated, James Corden!  Who can forget that he’s taken over the Late Late Show, but he was also fantastic in Begin Again (2013) and Into the Woods (2014).james-corden-james-mcavoy-dominic-cooper

What an incredible cast and a lot of their careers really took off after this film.