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.

Top 15 Katharine Hepburn Movies

 

Finding just 15 movies to highlight from someone with a career like Katharine Hepburns is just literally insane…as she has well over 15 movies worth highlighting. She’s amazing, and quite possibly my favorite actress.  So I’ve narrowed the list down the only which way I could…I simply list my favorites. All of her films are worth watching, but if you’ve never seen any of them yet, here’s a good start:

15 – Summertime (1955)summertime

David Lean is famous for his grand epics, but it’s fun to highlight an intimate film like this for both Katharine Hepburn and David Lean. Katharine Hepburn was more than impressed with her experience working with David Lean. She even asked to sit in on the editing sessions with him to watch him at work. In her autobiography, she wrote, “[Summertime] was told with great simplicity in the streets, in the Piazza San Marco. We would shoot in tiny streets only a few feet wide. The sun would come and go in a matter of minutes. It was a very emotional part, and I tell you I had to be on my toes to give David enough of what he wanted practically on call. But it was thrilling… He seemed to me to simply absorb Venice. It was his. He had a real photographic gift. He thought in a descriptive way. His shots tell the story. He was capable of a sort of super concentration. It made a very deep and definite impression on me, and he was one of the most interesting directors I ever worked with. Wasn’t I lucky to work with him?”

This material is well within Hepburn’s wheelhouse but is very different for Lean. What I find to be of great interest with the material is that Hepburn had a great eye for stage plays and especially ones that would make fine transitions over to the big screen. Many of her success came from turning great plays into marvelous movies. The writer is Arthur Laurents who wrote the plays Home of the Brave, Gypsy and West Side Story.

14 – Stage Door (1937)stage-door

Another play (you’ll find that most of this list started out as plays), but this one is even more interesting, as it’s about the behind-the-scenes drama of actresses trying to make it big on Broadway. Originally, the writer of the stage play, George S. Kaufman, upset and bemused by the way the screenwriters had substantially changed the play, suggested that the title also be changed, to “Screen Door”. The screenplay was considerably altered from the hit stage play. Director Gregory La Cava was particularly gifted working with actresses. For two weeks prior to filming, he had his cast improvise in the boarding house set as if they were actually rooming together, and had a script girl take down all their interchanges. Most of the dialog you hear in the boarding house is extemporaneous ad-libs by the actresses during rehearsals. Just as an example of how much the play had been rewritten, Adolphe Menjou’s character was not in the original stage play at all.

Katharine Hepburn was in discussions to star in the original Broadway stage production of “Stage Door”, but Broadway producer Leland Hayward, reportedly jealous of her deepening friendship with noted film director John Ford, cast his then-girlfriend Margaret Sullavan in the leading role. Hayward and Sullavan married one month after the stage play opened. Margaret Sullavan was considered for the film version but became pregnant with their first child, and the part went to Katharine Hepburn.

13 – Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967)hepburn_tracy_guess_whos_coming_to_dinner

Worth mentioning in this film is one of three of the finest speeches I’ve ever seen written for Spencer Tracy at the end of a film. The others being in State of the Union and Judgment at Nuremberg. Now particularly, in this film during this scene, Katharine Hepburn doesn’t have a single line and yet she speaks VOLUMES. The brilliant decision to have Tracy stand up and then move back to where Hepburn is sitting so that the camera has her in view as he gives the speech about their love, is simply a work of genius. I get choked up every time I see it, as the emotion erupting from both of them is palpable. It’s also important to note that this is their last film together and Tracy’s final film before he died. He would die a few weeks later, and I can’t help but think he was expressing how he really felt about her for all of us to see.

Hepburn would win one of her four Academy Awards from her performance in this movie and it’s not hard to see why, from a single scene where she doesn’t even speak. She’s that good. Ironically, Tracy and Hepburn would do a total of nine movies together but this film was the only one where they were both nominated for Academy Awards, but Tracy would lose out to Rod Steiger, for Heat of the Night, a film also starring Sydney Poitier. Both Tracy and Poitier had won Oscars previously, for other films.

12 – The African Queen (1951)katharine-hepburn-african-queen

There are two movies on this list where Hepburn is stuck on a raft or a boat going downstream with a gruff character, this one with Humphrey Bogart and Rooster Cogburn with John Wayne. The movie was directed by Bogart favorite, Walter Huston. In both movies, she plays a christian, a missionary in one and the minister’s daughter in the other. She took her part quite seriously in African Queen, according to Katharine Hepburn’s autobiography, John Huston initially found her performance to be too serious-minded. One day, he visited her hut and suggested that she model her performance on Eleanor Roosevelt; putting on her “society smile” in the face of all adversity. After Huston left, Hepburn sat for a moment before deciding, “That is the best piece of direction I have ever heard.” Lauren Bacall famously ventured along for the filming in Africa to be with husband Humphrey Bogart. She played den mother during the trip, making camp and cooking. This also marked the beginning of her life-long friendship with Katharine Hepburn.

11 – State of the Union (1948)katherine-state-of-the-union

What I love about Katharine Hepburn’s performances most is that she plays some incredibly strong women characters but in vulnerable ways. She lets little cracks come through, we see her characters doubt at times, even as she tries to keep her chin up and fight through. This one is directed by my favorite director, Frank Capra. This was a political film, and pride runs strong with Capra and most of it’s cast, but the country was going through some turmoil over what would be known as the Hollywood Blacklist. There was tension on the set between the strongly conservative Adolphe Menjou and liberal thinking Katharine Hepburn, who had recently made a public speech against America’s anticommunist hysteria and was facing a backlash as a result. Adolphe Menjou was a hard-line political conservative who had willingly co-operated with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and named names. Katharine Hepburn was decidedly more liberal and had been an outspoken critic of the blacklist. When Hepburn learned Menjou had worked with HUAC, she refused to speak to or have anything to do with him unless they were filming a scene. Once the cameras were off, she kept her distance. They had previously worked together in two other films (Stage Door and Morning Glory) and had no problems those times. Perhaps the familiarity between the two had caused some deep disappointment in each other’s hard stand.

10 – Holiday (1938)hepburn-holiday

This is the first of three films on this list with her other frequent collaborator, Cary Grant. They are magic together. I love all the movies she does with Tracy, they seem like the perfect pair, but quite possibly what I love about Hepburn matched up with Grant is that they seemed like the perfect foes. They’re completely at odds with each other but Grant is not quite her equal, she’s a queen he keeps trying to knock off of her pedestal, whereas with Tracy they seem to be equals. This one was written by one of Katharine Hepburn’s favorite writers, Donald Ogden Stewart, who also wrote her other films, The Philadelphia Story, Keeper of the Flame, and uncredited work on Summertime. He was uncredited in many of his later screenplays as he was one of the writers that were eventually blacklisted by the (HUAC) House Un-American Activities Committee.

9 – Rooster Cogburn (1975)katherine-hepburn-and-rooster-cogburn

This is the latest movie on the list, and even though I liked her work in On Golden Pond in 1981, it didn’t quite make the list. This one was a follow-up to John Wayne’s Academy Award winning turn as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. She enjoyed working with the Duke very much because they were both spitfires! Katharine Hepburn was bemused by co-star John Wayne’s tendency to argue with everybody, especially the director, during filming. At the party to celebrate the last day of filming she told him, “I’m glad I didn’t know you when you had two lungs, you must have been a real bastard. Losing a hip has mellowed me, but you!” The film received terrible reviews on release. Many critics felt that it was too obviously derived from The African Queen, and that both John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn were too old for their parts, but I really love seeing these two veteran actors going head-to-head. John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn were born a mere two weeks apart (Wayne being the eldest), and their careers paralleled each other, yet this film marked the only time the Hollywood veterans appeared together onscreen.

8 – Bringing Up Baby (1938)Bringing Up baby Lobby Card

Holiday, Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story all make my list as well for the Top 15 Cary Grant Movies, you can see the blog post here to see where they wind up on that list. I also talk about this movie in a blog post about What’s Up, Doc?, you can read that one here if you’re interested. Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant frequently socialized off the set, double-dating with their respective steadies at the time, Howard Hughes and Phyllis Brooks. They loved working on the film so much that they frequently arrived early. Since Howard Hawks was usually late, they spent their time working out new bits of comic business. Hawks and Hepburn started out a little rough at the beginning of shooting.  After the bad start, Hawks grew to respect Hepburn tremendously for her comic timing, ad-libbing skills and physical control. He would tell the press, “She has an amazing body – like a boxer. It’s hard for her to make a wrong turn. She’s always in perfect balance. She has that beautiful coordination that allows you to stop and make a turn and never fall off balance. This gives her an amazing sense of timing. I’ve never seen a girl that had that odd rhythm and control.” I talk a little more about this film in a blog post about the Top 15 Films Directed By Howard Hawks.

7 – Desk Set (1957)katharine-hepburn-desk-set

This one was written by Phoebe Ephron and Henry Ephron, the mother and father of Nora Ephron! Great writing runs in the family! I love this movie as an older couple meet and fall in love.  It’s also got some very interesting research details and a fun computer bit. The computer dates the film however because it’s so big and blinky.

6 – Alice Adams (1935)

ALICE ADAMS, Fred MacMurray, Katharine Hepburn, 1935

George Stevens directed Hepburn in Alice Adams and Woman of the Year. Both films make my list but her character is so starkly different! The first one is about a young woman trying to break through certain social circles, very unsure of herself and naive and the second is a very strong reporter trying to make it in a man’s world, very secure and confident.  She enjoyed working with him but he really pushed her to be a better version of herself. She was having problems with her public persona, which was of a cold woman. She credits Stevens for her change in the public’s perception, by helping her, in “Alice Adams”, portray more warmth and vulnerability than she had ever shown previously. For example, there was a disagreement among Hepburn and Stevens about the post-party scene. The script called for Hepburn to fall onto the bed and break into sobs, but Stevens wanted her to walk to the window and cry, with the rain falling outside. Hepburn could not produce the tears required, so she asked Stevens if she could do the scene as scripted. Stevens yelled furiously at Hepburn, which did the trick and the scene was filmed Stevens’ way, and Hepburn’s tears are real. I think this scene is dead right the way Stevens has created and set the mood.

5 – Lion in Winter (1968)katharine-and-lion-in-winter

Katharine thought very highly of Peter O’Toole. She thought he could do anything, strong but kind, funny but dramatic…she really admired him. Although Hepburn was a great admirer of his work, she had no intention of putting up with the rather bad habits he often exhibited on his productions. “You’re known to be late,” she told him on the first day of work. “I intend for you to be on time. I hear you stay out at night. You’d better be rested in the morning if you’re going to work with me!” O’Toole meekly obliged when she told him “Peter, stop towering over me. Come and sit down and try to look respectable.” O’Toole readily admitted in her presence that she reduced him “to a shadow of my former gay-dog self.” “She is terrifying. It is sheer masochism working with her. She has been sent by some dark fate to nag and torment me.” Her reply: “Don’t be so silly. We are going to get on very well. You are Irish and you make me laugh. In any case, I am on to you and you to me.” In spite of her stern warnings, she enjoyed O’Toole tremendously. She said his vigour and energy helped restore her own vitality at a time when she really needed it.

This film is also the first film for Timothy Dalton and Anthony Hopkins. Timothy Dalton was hugely impressed by Katharine Hepburn, particularly when she came in to shoot reverse shots with him on her day off from filming.

4 – Little Women (1933)little-women-katharine-hepburn

She got the coveted iconic role in this one and runs away with the film. It helped to cement a long relationship with director George Cukor, who would go on to direct her in Sylvia Scarlett, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, Keeper of the Flame, Pat and Mike, and Adam’s Rib. Katharine Hepburn wrote in her autobiography, “This picture was heaven to do – George Cukor perfect. He really caught the atmosphere. It was to me my youth!”  The third screen adaptation of the novel, following silent versions in 1917 and 1918. Little Women would be filmed a total of 8 times for film and several more times as TV shows and a couple mini-series!

3 – Woman of the Year (1942)woman-of-the-year-katharine-hepburn

This is the first of nine films Hepburn and Tracy would do together. She was unaware of how they would do together onscreen for the first time and wondered if they had the right chemistry.  The first scene shot was the characters’ first date, in a bar. Hepburn was so nervous she spilled her drink, but Tracy just handed her a handkerchief and kept going. Hepburn proceeded to clean up the spill as they played the scene. When the drink dripped through to the floor, she tried to throw Tracy off by going under the table, but he stayed in character, with the cameras rolling the entire time. After this she knew the two of them would be golden as they became so comfortable together, she knew it was magic. As Hepburn’s close friend and frequent director, George Cukor was a natural choice to direct, but for her first film with Tracy, Hepburn wanted Tracy to be as comfortable as possible, so as a quasi-producer, she hired George Stevens, who had directed her in Alice Adams. As Hepburn said, “I just thought he (Tracy) should have a big, manly man on his team – someone who could talk about baseball.” Cukor (who was openly gay and known for his friendships with actresses) would later become a good friend of Tracy and would direct both actors in 3 more movies.

2 – The Philadelphia Story (1940)philadelphia-story

Grant trying to knock Queen Hepburn off her pedestal is never more evident than in this movie. He even calls her a Queen and mocks he high and mightiness, in a marvelous duel of words between exes that were never more in love than when they were fighting. To get back at him she falls off the pedestal for short time and lands in Jimmy Stewart’s arms. James Stewart never felt he deserved the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in this film, especially since he had initially felt miscast. He always maintained that Henry Fonda should have won instead for The Grapes of Wrath (1940), and that the award was probably “deferred payment for my work on Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)”, but I thought he was great in this one as well.

1 – Adam’s Rib (1949)adams-rib

I wrote about how gracious Hepburn was with co-star Judy Holliday in this film, in a blog post you can read here. What I didn’t talk about in that post was how great she is in the movie, on her own right. Written by husband and wife Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, they would become lifelong friends of Hepburn and Tracy and Kanin would also go on to write an intimate biography on Hepburn and Tracy.

Interesting bit of trivia, in the memorable Tracy-Hepburn massage scene, a radio plays Frank Sinatra singing Cole Porter’s “Farewell, Amanda,” a gift to Amanda Bonner (played by Hepburn) from her songwriter-neighbor, Kip Lurie (played by David Wayne) who, earlier in the picture, had crooned the ditty, accompanying himself on the Bonners’ piano. While Adam Bonner (played by Tracy) is massaging his wife, he abruptly shuts off the radio. Sinatra is again heard when a record is accidentally started in a later scene. This prerecording of “Farewell, Amanda” is lost.

Madeline Kahn, Comedienne

 

Madeline Kahn’s first role was as the dowdy fiancee to Ryan O’Neal’s professor in Peter Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc? and she steals the movie right out from under him and the film’s star Barbra Steisand. In defense of Barbra, she has stated in interviews that she didn’t get the comedy…but it’s obvious that Madeline did, because she nailed it. I talk about that film here. It’s no surprise that she would become a star in her own right and a permanent fixture over the next 20 years with the biggest comedy filmmakers, like Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Burt Reynolds and Neil Simon.madeline-kahn-whats-up-doc

Her next follow-up film was again for Peter Bogdanovich and Ryan O’Neal in Paper Moon. She would go up for an Oscar nomination, but in that film, 9 year old, Tatum O’Neal, Ryan’s real-life daughter steals the show and walks away with the Academy Award, to boot. Madeline is good as always. She soon found more comedians to work with when she did Blazing Saddles the very next year with Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder. They really loved her and would spent the next ten years casting her in Young Frankenstein, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother, High Anxiety, and History of the World, Part 1.paper-moon-madeline-kahn-1973

Burt Reynolds would work with her the year after that for the first time in Peter Bogdanovich’s At Long Last Love, which was a musical. It played to Madeline’s strengths as she was an Operatically trained singer. The film failed at the box office, however, I believe because no one wanted to see Burt sing, although he does it well. She would work again with Burt in City Heat along with Clint Eastwood.  Neil Simon would work with her for the first time in 1978 in The Cheap Detective, with Peter Falk. Madeline Kahn’s Mrs. Montenegro character is a spoof of Mary Astor’s Brigid O’Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon. She would do another Neil Simon years later for London Suite in 1996. The third of Neil Simon’s “Suite” movies, the others being Plaza Suite (1971) (remade as Plaza Suite (1987)) and California Suite (1978). It’s the fourth made of Simon’s “Suite” movies counting the TV remake.madeline-kahn-in-cheaper-detective

Now all of these films of hers are worth watching, but my favorite of hers is the movie Clue, which came out in 1985. If you haven’t seen this movie based on the board game, it’s fantastic. The cast is amazing and was given some leeway in improvising some of their dialogue. An example of this is Madeline Kahn’s improvising of “flames, flames…” which is just brilliant. It’s been said that the cast of great comedians loved working together on that film and it’s no wonder that Madeline is a favorite of everyones. Many directors, writers, actors and filmmakers would recast her time and time again. She was that good.  She’s definitely missed.madeline-kahn-in-clue

Robby Benson, Actor-Writer-Director-Singer-Professor

 

I love it when father and sons get together to write a screenplay, Rance Howard and Ron Howard for Grand Theft Auto come to mind and Robby Benson and his father Jerry Segal wrote One on One together.  Both films were released in 1977.  I wrote about the first one in a blog post you can read here.  Robby Benson was already a pretty big child star up until that point and started to become what is commonly known as a teen idol, showing up in tons of teen magazines. I know because he was one of my sister’s favorites and we had Dynamite magazines laying all over the house. He was about to explode to super-stardom with One on One as well as Ice Castles (one of my family’s all time favorite) the very next year.ice-castles-robby-benson

Both could be considered sports movies, as One on One is a movie about basketball, but Ice Castles is a movie about ice skating. We already loved him as an actor, but deep inside he had a talent for writing and singing that we were not aware of until he decided to star in and write the music for a movie called Die Laughing in 1980. My brother and I LOVED that sound track and would record it directly off our video copy straight on to a good old cassette tape that we proceeded to listen to thousands of times over the next decade! We’re still looking for a decent CD of it, but recently I have found workable digital copies of the songs that someone was thoughtful enough to transfer online. This film is hilarious, and Robby Benson does some fun acting, writing and singing for it. Definitely a sleeper if you get a chance to find it anywhere, snatch this movie up.

DIE LAUGHING, Robby Benson, 1980. ©Orion Pictures
DIE LAUGHING, Robby Benson, 1980. ©Orion Pictures

He would go on to act in several films over the years, and started to add to his abilities by directing back-to-back pictures with White Hot in 1989 and then Modern Love with wife Karla DeVito in 1990. He eventually moved completely behind the camera as a director, but once in a while you can hear his voice again like as the Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  I just wish he sang more in that movie. He directed a lot in the 1990’s and 2000’s, with Evening Shade, Thunder Alley, Ellen, Friends, The Naked Truth, Jesse, The Huntress and 8 Simple Rules. Since then he’s written a few books (Who Stole The Funny?, I’m Not Dead…Yet), a play (Open Heart…and another one on the way) and has been a professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, the University of Utah, University of South Carolina, and Indiana University.professor-robby-benson

We look forward to whatever he decides to tackle next!

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.

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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