Teaching with Violence

In my day (warbles the ancient reviewer) horror was simple to classify. You had ghost stories. Creature features. And, of course, Slashers. Ah – the good ole days. * Now things have gotten more varied. Found footage. Torture porn of every shape and size. Hostel. Saw. Every Wayan’s spoof ever made (now that’s real torture, folks!) As a horror subgenre, sadism can be tricky. It’s easy to write. And very easy to get wrong. Audiences will inevitably cringe when characters are threatened. But one slip of the keys, and a psychologically effective script can easily descend into mindless sadism… usually tinged with misogyny. Teaching With Violence is one script that treads the thin line successfully. Yet doesn’t lose its shock value.

A simple premise, TWV follows bartender Sarah as she closes up for the night. Before leaving, waitress Emily drops off a cell phone left behind by a careless customer. She offers her friend a ride home – but Sarah’s waiting for her boyfriend. Left alone in the bar, Sarah idly browses the phone’s picture gallery – and finds horrifying photos. Next thing she knows, a man arrives at the door looking for the phone. Sarah lies and says it’s not there; but he spots the phone on the bar. And can easily guess what she saw. Sarah calls 911 – but the man’s already broken in… Will Sarah survive the ordeal that follows? What does the stranger want, anyway?

Straightforward and shot in one location, TWV lives up to its name. It’s violent. But it teaches a valuable lesson: that brutality can work in short films. When handled intelligently.

* Just to clarify… we’re talkin’ 80s here. Don’t put the STS staff in Depends yet. (Unless you’re kinky that way.)

About the writer: Our very own James Williams (IMDB credits here.) With both shorts and features to his name, James is perhaps best known for the So Pretty vampire trilogy of shorts – the third installment now in production!

Pages: 13

Budget: Very low budget.  Only two main characters, and two supporting characters (three, if you consider a boyfriend lying on a couch support.) Oh – and one setting. A bar.  Doesn’t get simpler than that.

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

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All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

Cooked

A this-or-that of urban legends as an old cat lady goes about her day. …

There’s something about mixing horror and comedy that just works so well.  You know, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – mix chocolate and peanut butter (or is that peanut butter and chocolate?), and the result is better than any single ingredient.  Doubt me on that?  Try some of these titles on for size: Army of Darkness, Shaun of the Dead,  American Werewolf in London (in parts.).  ‘Nuff said.  Game, set and match.

Following in that noble of tradition of laughing at potentially grisly events, Cooked follows the story of little old lady Barbara, as she pulls into her driveway.  Her son Jacob has lent her the family cat for a day of fur-baby sitting – and Barbara’s thrilled.  But, as old people sometimes are (especially in films), Barbara can be a bit… absentminded.  As the script progresses, the feline dangers in house begin to mount.  An open microwave.  Upended knives in the sink.  Will Barbara be a good grand-mamma to little pussy?  Or is there a cat-astrophe in their future?

Give Cooked a read.  It’s a fun little script with a strong ending.  And hey…  any script that endangers a cat is fine with me.

About the writer: Chris Shamburger was a semi-finalist in the 2011 Shriekfest Film Festival and finalist (Top 10) in 2013 for his recently-produced script, Hiccups. He was a semi-finalist in the 2008 Straight Twisted Horror Screenplay Contest and has been published in Twisted Dreams Magazine and Horror in Words. He lives in Marietta, GA with his partner and their Chow-mix rescue, Walter. Aside from writing, Chris has been teaching pre-kindergarten for the past five years.

Pages: 4

Budget: Low budget ; the entire script takes place at a single house (interior and exterior shots.)  One character.  Two, if you count the cat.  Which  is probably the only tricky part.  But that’s what stuffed props are for!! Or housecats you no longer need…

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

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All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

Fabric

“A newly hired accountant searches through a village balance sheet to weed out inefficiencies. But is cutting corners always wise?”

Anticipation; it’s an experience vital for any script reader. Not to mention film audiences everywhere. Want to experience that tingly, edge-of-your-seat sensation?

Then crack open a script. And stop. Page One.

There it is. Can you feel it?

Before reading a single paragraph – anticipation’s the emotion you crave. That foreboding sense of things to come; the ebb and flow of narrative.

Now, imagine sitting in the theater. The lights dim; your dreams and hopes soon to appear. I hope this movie’s really good. You focus attention on the screen. And before you know it, the story grabs you by your very soul. Anticipation rules the day. Your sense of wonder; riveted. What’s going to happen next? That’s the best question of them all. What a captivating feeling!

The undercurrent of Anthony Cawood’s script Fabric, Anticipation is a gift to any script reader. One that keeps on giving.

The hero of our story: Jeremy Saunders – a newbie 20-something accountant, hired by a tiny village to audit its stumbling finances. When we first meet him, nebbish Jeremy’s hard at work at his PC – scrutinizing questionable payroll activity. The suspicious sum: “twenty thousand pounds a year” – an exorbitant amount being paid to some local man named Pater. And Pater’s “services” are suspect: winding the one and only church clock in town. One single time. Every day.

Though he presents his findings, Jeremy finds his concerns rebuffed by superiors: Pater provides an “essential service”, Old Man Gutherie claims. That of ‘clock winder’? How can this be? Unsatisfied by Gutherie’s dismissal, Jeremy’s bean-counter mind rebels. So he strikes off to tour the village, interviewing reluctant town folk everywhere. His mission: to uncover the suspected scam – in search of ‘truth’ and ‘clarity’.

As they say – game on.

As the day winds towards a close, Jeremy’s quest for Pater widens. Eventually, he tracks the elusive man down – meeting Pater at his very door.

And so, the mystery is laid bare. Who truly is Pater? Does he exist? And what do his “services” actually mean? A delicious underdog fantasy, Fabric weaves anticipation into a lyrical tale. One filled with wonder, and a pevertedly satisfying moral twist: “Be careful what you wish for. Pursue one’s questions, if you dare…”

Are you a director with imagination? Then give fairy-tale Fabric a whirl. Anticipation is a beautiful ingredient. One that will fill your audience’s hearts. Not to mention, the silver screen.

Pages: 16

Budget: A small challenge, due to the rural setting. You’ll need some creativity to pull this one off, but the story is so worth it. :D

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working on a historical feature.

About the Writer, Anthony Cawood: I’m an award winning screenwriter from the UK with over 15 scripts produced, optioned and/or purchased. Outside of my screenwriting career, I’m also a published short story writer and movie reviewer. Links to my films and details of my scripts can be found at: www.anthonycawood.co.uk

READ THIS SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

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All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZOMBIE CHICKEN

Big brothers will always scare little brothers.  Even after a zombie apocalypse.

If you’ve ever had an older sibling, chances are you’ve been the target of a prank, a butt of a joke, or even be falsely accused of a crime you didn’t commit.  Big brothers and sisters will always have your back, but let’s face it, sometimes they can be real jerks.

Then, of course, there’s always urban legends specifically created to scare the crap out of unknowing, naïve little kids.  You know, the ones that sound almost too weird to be true, but will still keep you awake all night shaking under your covers.

Such is the tale of the Zombie Chicken.

Our story begins at Creek Farms.  Immediately, we know from the maximum security fences and guard towers that this is no ordinary idyllic rural landscape.  And soon afterwards, we discover this is no ordinary world. Indeed.

Two young boys, Oscar and Michael, gather eggs in the chicken coop while they discuss a disturbing story about a man accused of stealing food and being fed to — zombies.

Could this be true, or is it just a legend created to scare people straight?  Even if they doubt there’s any truth behind the story, Oscar and Michael aren’t brave enough to find out.

After their chores are finished, they encounter Michael’s younger brother Billy, and decide to scare him with their own urban legend about a hideous, undead creature known as the zombie chicken. Billy refuses to believe the older boys, but it’s too late – the seed has been planted in the young one’s impressionable brain.

Is the zombie chicken stalking Billy, waiting for a chance to peck him and turn him into one of the undead?  Or is Billy the gullible victim of his brother’s vindictiveness?

Author Phil Clarke Jr. captures the innocence of childhood in a dangerous world.  Even in the most deadly situations, kids will be kids. Even after the zombie apocalypse.

Zombie Chicken is that rare horror film which is both suitable for and stars pre-teens.  Directors who enjoy working with young actors and are fans of the horror genre have an opportunity  to  make a truly scary family film. Just think about how much this one could stand out – and keep your audiences talking!

Pages: 9

Budget: Small.  A stock shot of a prison.  A farm location complete with chickens.  And, of course, the dreaded zombie chicken.  Friends of guys like Rick Baker – should totally apply!

About the Guest Reviewer:  David M Troop has been writing since he could hold a No. 2 pencil.  He’s a contributor and award winner on websites such as the late lamented MoviePoet.com, WriterArena.com, and this here one.

About the Author: Phil Clarke, Jr. is a contest winning writer who has had multiple feature films optioned.  Produced shorts of Phil’s have been featured at Cannes and Clermont Ferrand.  More of his work is available at his website: www.philclarkejr.com.  (IMDB Credits listed here.)

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

AFRAID OF THE DARK

In a world over-run by electricity-consuming monsters, only one source of power remains…

The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The War Of The Worlds,  Cloverfield, The Thing…

Notice a common theme? That’s right – monsters. In all their slimy, shape-shifting, slamming, shrieking, marauding glory. A few other films with monsters that leave a lasting impression: Alien, The Day of The Triffids, The Fly, and that granddaddy of all monster flicks (recently remade) – the 1954 classic, Godzilla.

The creation of the monster/creature feature has long held our attention. As a genre, Science Fiction and in particular ‘end of the world’ scenarios gained renewed popularity following World War II and the advent of the Cold War, when the combined fears of foreign occupation and the threat of global annihilation by nuclear weapons entered the public consciousness.

In Afraid Of The Dark Paul Clarke creates a unique monster of his own imagination. Cleverly combining elements of sci-fi, horror, and heart-pumping action, with a cursory nod to The Matrix and sub-genre cyberpunk, the story is set against that perennial crowd-pleasing backdrop of a post-apocalyptic ruin – burning waste, burned out cars, weeds, no electricity…

We open on a darkened room in the dead of winter. A conversation takes place between a young woman and a child, both of them huddled over their only source of light and heat, a solitary tungsten bulb. But this bulb is not connected to a cord and it’s not plugged into the wall. Instead we’re given a rather startling and surreal image. The bulb is connected to a writhing and pulsating black blob. And that blob is locked inside a cage.

The bulb is just about to go out. And for the remaining survivors now forced to live in lockdown, it appears time is running out.

Cue our protagonist and the female narrator of the tale and her retelling of how the beast came to be:

WOMAN (V.O.)

No one knows where they came from.

Some say a meteorite. Some say from

deep under the Earth. Others even

believe they’re something we cooked

up in a lab.  …

Whatever this monster is, and wherever it came from, there’s no doubt it is nightmare inducing… a formidable monster with a selective appetite.  Appetite for what? Well, you’ll just have crack this one open to find out.

Let’s just say the hunter is about to become the hunted. The remaining survivors are going to have to use the one element in the beast’s arsenal that they now need to survive – the beast himself.

Afraid Of The Dark is a richly layered and allegorical tale with a specific cautionary message about our reliance on energy and technology.

Filmmakers: Want to jumpstart your sci-fi/horror short-film career? Well, this one has the spark and surge you’ve been waiting for, and the power to leave audiences with a long lasting impression.

Pages: 10

Budget: Mid-range. You want a decent budget to do this right. But trust us – this one’s worth it!

About the reviewer: Libby Chambers has been writing all her life. Over her career, she’s worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, trained as a FAD, and served professionally as a freelance web-content editor and proofreader. She lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia, and describes him as being both a good and a bad influence on her writing. You can contact Libby at libbych “AT” hotmail

About the writer: Paul Clarke is an Australian based screenwriter who works as a cinema manager by day and paid coverage writer by night. His success so far has included a top 10 place in the Writer’s Store Industry Insider competition. And is currently working on a selection of short, feature, and pilot scripts. He can be reached at paul.clarke.scripts “AT” gmail

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

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All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

 

Yep, the notorious CJ Walley does it again!  This time, STS is thrilled to announce that El Paso Loco Luchadoras has been optioned to director Darian Fardghassemi in Dallas Texas!  Fortunately for you indie directors out there, CJ’s got a lot more available.  We have a few scripts currently in queue, and some reviews you should check out right away:

Dixie Gash Bandits – When they stop to fix their get-a-way vehicle, two runaway sisters must tackle both love at first sight and the bounty hunters hot on their tail.

Lone Star Runner Hunnies – Fleeing a drug deal gone wrong, four girls held up in a lonely Texas diner face the dilemma of capture vs saving a mortally wounded friend.

About the writer, C.J. WalleyI began writing in 2012 and I’m pleased to say it’s been very exciting so far. I have been fortunate enough to have a short produced by a director in London and Amazon Studios have spotlighted one of my features as a notable project. My scripts place within the top 10% of various major screenwriting competitions and, as I continue to write new specs, I am remotely collaborating with a producers, directors, and actors in LA, NYC, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington DC, Zurich, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Dallas while occasionally blogging for Stage 32.  If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, then I’d love to join forces with you whatever the scale, do not hesitate to reach out and drop me a line. (CJ “AT” CJwalley DOT COM; http://www.cjwalley.com

 

 

“Dixie Gash Bandits”

When they stop to fix their get-a-way vehicle, two runaway sisters must tackle both love at first sight and the bounty hunters hot on their tail.

I believe Mr. Torrance said it best when he tapped: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Pulling for good to triumph over evil is human nature. Rooting for and wanting to be the bad guys once in awhile – it’s just fun. Especially when they’re on the run.

Butch and Sundance riding from state to state. Bonnie and Clyde driving from bank to bank. Thelma and Louise flying in their T-Bird to a better life. We all have an inner want to be the one pushing the pedal to the floor, thumbing authority as we streak down the highway.

In the opening scene of CJ Walley’s “Dixie Gash Bandits,” a Mustang blazes down said highway through the night and we know we’re in for a helluva ride. The car is being pushed to the limit by Savannah, whose sister Ginger implores her to ease up on the gas and give their stallion a break. No way Savannah’s giving in. And no way these women are going back or stopping for whatever’s chasing.

The stage is set for the entire story in less than half a page. Brilliant.

GINGER

You’re pushin’ too hard.

SAVANNAH

Baby, you run fast enough for long

enough, people have to stop chasin’.

GINGER

Yeah, and if you run too fast or push too hard,

you crash and burn. You’re burnin’ us up.

They’re running on empty and troubles a comin’. Savannah spots a lonely and much-needed gas station “with small store and a rusting hut workshop” and pulls the tired ‘Stang into its lot. Is this gas station an oasis or their final resting place? Or neither?

A mechanic, Bobby, saunters out. He stares a little too long at Savannah. Instant connection.

BOBBY

What can I do you for?

 The Mustang hisses, steam erupts, a definite foreshadowing of the steam to come after Savannah admits “we got cash flow problems.” Soon after, she and Bobby crash as one into the workshop, kissing, groping and unbuttoning.

Not too far off in the horizon, relentless and ruthless bounty hunters Colt (what an awesome name for a “suited and booted” good old boy) and Jessie are hot on the sisters’ trail, questioning a man about Savannah and Ginger’s whereabouts when…BANG! Question time is over. Man slumps.

COLT

Now that was an overreaction.

JESSIE

No, that was a waste of time. Now

what? I’m getting impatient.

 You won’t lose patience racing through the rest of this tightly-woven tale as Jessie and Colt catch up to the runaways at their gas station. The story ends with multiple bangs as all five characters find themselves in a bloody shootout leaving just two survivors.

Do Savannah and Ginger go down in a blaze of glory a la Butch and Sundance? Do they go out on their own terms like Thelma and Louise? Or, do they write their own classic ending? I’m guessing you know which and you also know this superbly-written story will find a director faster then you can type “All work and no play….”

Pages: 8

Budget: Find a kick-ass Mustang and a rusty old gas station and call ‘er a day, partner.

About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. Zack was a latch-key kid (insert “awww” here) whose best friend was a 19-inch color television (horrific, he knows). His early education (1st grade on) included watching countless hours of shows like “M*A*S*H,” “Star Trek” and “The Odd Couple” and movies like “The Godfather,” “Rocky” and “Annie Hall.” Flash forward to present day and his short “The Confession” was recently produced by Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. He’s currently working on a futuristic hitman thriller with a partner and refining a dramedy pilot perfect for the likes of FX. You can reach Zack at zzupke “at” yahoo.

About the writer, C.J. Walley: I began writing in 2012 and I’m pleased to say it’s been very exciting so far. I have been fortunate enough to have a short produced by a director in London and Amazon Studios have spotlighted one of my features as a notable project. My scripts place within the top 10% of various major screenwriting competitions and, as I continue to write new specs, I am remotely collaborating with a producers, directors, and actors in LA, NYC, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington DC, Zurich, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Dallas while occasionally blogging for Stage 32.  If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, then I’d love to join forces with you whatever the scale, do not hesitate to reach out and drop me a line. (CJ “AT” CJwalley DOT COM; http://www.cjwalley.com

 READ THIS SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.