Teaching with Violence – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

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.




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.



Roly Poly – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

Roly Poly
Shriekfest Finalist 2009

 A vampire’s latest victim reminds him of who he once was.

There’s a ton of vampire scripts out there.  A whole heck a’ lot of them.  Shorts, features, novels – everything from The Vampire Lestat to the Lost Boys, to Twilight.  Um.  Forget I mentioned Twilight, okay?  Seriously.  That’s a movie that Shall Not Be Named.

Needless to say, it’s sometimes difficult to find anything that provides readers with a fresh take on this well explored genre.  Yet, vampires are still so damned appealing.  It’s that sexy, immortal thing they’ve got going on.  Done right, vampire stories have such potential to illuminate interesting aspects of the human condition. And that’s why they’ll always be around… in one form or another.

Roly Poly is one vampire short that pulls it off.

The script follows the plight of Amy Santiago – an unfortunate woman who wakes up in an old barn, tied to a chair.  Before her is Roly Poly, a large African American man (and a pretty good juggler), who she first takes to be simply a homicidal maniac.  The truth is far worse.  Roly’s a vampire. And she’s his next meal.

But before Roly can feed, he catches an interesting scent.  Amy – it turns out – is a descendent of Roly’s first victim.  The discovery throws the vampire for a loop. He  reminisces about his life of slavery before becoming the monster he is… and what’s happened to his humanity since.  He begins to recall what it was once like to be human; and considers letting Amy go…

Despite the genre, this script is unexpectly sweet. A hymn to humanity: the good – and bad. A Shriekfest finalist in 2009, it’s definitely worthy of inclusion in vampire lore.

About the writer: Phil Clarke, Jr. is a contest winning writer who has had feature films optioned, but no mainstream feature length productions as yet.  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.)

Expected Budget: Somewhat high, and not necessarily for a newbie.  Yes, there are only two main protagonists (Roly Poly and Amy) – and one primary setting (the barn.)  But the flashbacks do require additional characters; and a touch of historical accuracy.

Primary Genre: Horror/Vampire

Page Length: 20




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.

Territory – Feature Length Script Review (Available for Production)


A young girl volunteers for service in the Philippines, and finds herself embroiled in a world of sex, corruption and dark local legends…which may ultimately prove to be all too real.

“If you don’t hunt it down and kill it, it will hunt you down and kill you.”

A powerful statement by American writer Flannery O’Connor from her novel “Wise Blood” published in 1952. Have you read it? If there ever was a single perfect tagline, this is it!

And as for all things Horror, it’s a theme that always applies.

Good versus Evil is a universal mantra for all genres of storytelling – and particularly essential for Horror. In order for a good guy to triumph and find redemption, there must be an equally capable sinister being — a person, place, or thing which threatens every shred of innocence.

But is Good versus Evil always black and white? Anyone who’s survived to adulthood knows that compromise is a fact of life. So – what if the greater good requires sacrifice? Is that acceptable? Maybe. And if that’s the case… isn’t the bad guy sympathetic then?

It’s concepts such as this which elevate Horror films to classics (as opposed to simple gore and jump scares.) And it’s that question that screenwriter J.E. Clarke tackles in Territory – a horror with a refreshingly unique mythos and an intelligent, contemplative theme.

The setting: Angeles City, Philippines – a dreary place “awash in neon and rain.” There’s not much to smile about here – only the constant perpetuation of prostitution, drugs and alcohol. A world where women are forced by starvation and monetary concerns to endure every indignity of life.

Enter Cate Mitchell (23). A recent political science major from California, she arrives one night on a bus. In the rain. A privileged girl from an affluent family, graduate Cate’s determined to travel and see the world – not to mention do good deeds in her life. Her goal in Angeles: to volunteer bookkeeping services to Pasaga Mission, a charity that helps out women in the city’s sex industry… providing shelter, food, and job training.

Upon arrival, Cate meets the staff at Pasaga: Administrator Daniello Reyes – a street-toughened character, accustomed to skirting “moral grays.” Which is true of Sister Eva Flores as well. The headmistress of Pasaga, Eva’s the Mission’s true backbone – nicknamed the “Titanium Butterfly.” Then there are Cate’s fellow volunteers: Indian New Yorker/Photographer Kurt Kapoor, and long-term worker Paul – a charming rogue from Australia.

As Cate learns the ropes at the Mission, various truths come light. Especially that money’s tight and comes at a price. As the sun sets every day – bathing the city in neon signs – the Mission makes compromises; tapping unorthodox resources to survive. Faced by the realities of Port Angeles’ sex industry, Cate finds herself overwhelmed. Has she bitten off more than she can chew? Though dedicated to helping women, are the colorful personalities at Pasaga doing anything useful for their plight?

And if conditions aren’t bad enough – worse Evils lie in wait. Soon, a serial killer targets the street girls. A predator lingers in the shadows – on street corners and doorways. It’s possibly a rogue tourist – killing and mutilating his prey.

But there are other suspects as well: Kurt, who seems to have taken a liking for the girls. Paul, who appears to harbor deep secrets, and disappears many nights. Then there’s Daniello and Eva. After all, Pasaga isn’t perfect. And it may be worse than it seems.

There are even rumors of an Aswang on the loose. A terrifying creature of Filipino legend, Aswangs are vampiric shape changers – monsters that prey on children and the elderly. Not to mention pregnant women…

Trapped in a world and culture she can’t understand, Cate vows to protect the women she’s come to view as friends. Only to be targeted herself… Will Cate survive the dangers of Port Angeles? And – even if she does – will her world view be destroyed in the fight?

A horror with a fresh spin and deep premise, Territory is a complete package for Horror fans. A gritty blood splattered tale, it presents a formidable struggle between Good and Evil. Not to mention moral grays. Are you a Horror director that admires Pan’s Labyrinth, and Guillermo del Toro’s gothic style? Then grab Territory for a read. Because sometimes reality bites. And when you live in third world poverty – fairy tales become nightmares…

Pages: 107

Budget: Moderate. An establishing shot should suffice to set up the Philippines location. Lots of neon for the dark, dank underworld atmosphere and to replicate the Mission, bars, city streets, and alleys. This women-centric story offers a variety of strong roles for actors, a huge plus. And if you’re the traveling type… the actual Philippines is cost effective as well!

As for the wicked twist, any horror-savvy director will know what needs to be done. 🙂

NOTE: While the feature length is available only on request (email janetgoodman “at” yahoo), the original short script of Territory can whet your directorial interest here!

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

About the Writer: Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has placed QF and SF for feature lengths in Page, and has two feature length films optioned for 2015/2016: limited location horror  “Containment.” and SF feature “Stream of Consciousness.” More of Ms. Clarke’s work can be read at www.philclarkejr.com/jec.html. Ms. Clarke can be reached directly at janetgoodman “at” yahoo.




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.

So Pretty Series – The Dexter of Vampires – Produced Video Review

Along with a selection of shorts ready for production, we at Simplyscripts will also be posting videos from a few special short scripts that have already made the leap to the silver screen – with notable results!

So Pretty (the script)

The continuing tale of Sean – a 200 year old vampire with a conscience; who preys on the equally monstrous….

An ongoing web series, that is well on its way to success, the first script – So Pretty – was workshopped on Simplyscripts by long-time member James Williams.  Meant to appeal to the anti-Twilight, pro Dexter crowd (and who doesn’t count themselves as at least one of those?) the script featured a chance meeting on a subway train between a vampire-fan, and a fellow passenger who isn’t quite what he seemed.

But who could possibly want to stop there?  The sequel quickly followed, entitled:

So Dark

Chronicling what happened after the initial slaughter….

And it looks like they’re just getting started.  The cast and crew are currently on Indiegogo, seeking funding for

So Dark 3 (now on Indiegogo here)

Sure to be a huge success.  So hats off to both the crew and James!  This is what successful indie production should look like!

About the Director: Al Lougher (IMDB credit here.)

About the Writer: Our very own James Williams (IMDB credits here.)