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Genre: Horror/Slasher
Premise (from writer): Deep in the twisted and lawless labyrinth of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, a hip sociologist named Vega and her dirty gutterpunk friends are viciously hunted by the Lurkers, a pack of deranged, homicidal hobos — or maybe something even worse.
Why You Should Read (from writer): It’s always a lucky day when an idea picks you. Here, I had no desire to draft a horror screenplay, but frequent walks through San Francisco’s parks got me obsessed with what goes on there after dark. I mean, if the City streets are this sketchy during the day, then the nighttime park must be a fucking murder zone. And so the Lurkers were born, and now I’m half convinced they’re real. Definitely dirty business. — I’m more than a little over the current state of horror movies, so this is my effort to take it old school, with a focus on characters and a slow build. But for the shots of San Francisco it would cost little to make, so I hope I can convince an edgy director to take a chance. — Thanks again for all your hard work, Carson, it’s a real inspiration.
Writer: Todd Scott
Details: 87 page


Finding a horror idea isn’t that difficult. You simply identity something that scares you and build a story around it. I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t walked down that dark street late at night, saw that homeless person sitting or standing there, and thought to yourselves, “What if this man just went crazy and tried to kill me?” So I completely understand the appeal of building a story around that idea.

Here’s the problem though. Lrkrz is stuck in genre no-man’s land. Is it a zombie movie? Not really. Is it a slasher movie? Kind of. And that’s an issue. When a movie gets stuck between the cracks, it can slip through them. We saw it just a few weeks ago with Crimson Peak. A horror movie? Maybe? A ghost story? Possibly? A box office bomb? Definitely.

That had me wondering if Lrkrz could survive the same night its characters got stuck in. But here’s the good news. If you write something great, it transcends genre. People don’t care because they’re just happy to see a good movie. Let’s find out if Lrkrz was able to achieve that rare feat.

Vega is a beautiful 20-something latina who lives in San Francisco. She writes for a local paper, and has been working hard on a story about San Francisco’s “traveller” community, which is a politically correct way of saying, their “gutterpunks.” For those of you who’ve never been to San Francisco, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But it has one drawback – its rampant teenage homeless problem. These dirty aggressive vagrants, who aren’t afraid to use the very sidewalks you walk on as their toilets, are a stain on your memory of the city that cannot be erased.

The gang we hang with here have names like Mama Kat, Yahtzee, Shine, and Dusk. And their community is an open one, which makes them more than happy to give Vega access to their group. They honestly believe they’re part of a “movement” (being lazy is a movement?) that will change the way people live in the future. So they take Vega into their favorite parks, get drunk, get high, and tell her all about the wonderful lifestyle they live.

But something strange is a-brewin. Certain homeless men are walking around with blackened eyes. These men can move faster than Neo, are stronger than The Rock, and are set on crushing and killing any living being in their path, particularly – it seems – these gutterpunks.

It just so happens that it’s the vagrants’ big night to show Vega their lifestyle when these “lrkrz” go crazy. It’s the gutterpunks unbridled belief that the entire world is their playground that gets them in trouble. It starts when they start coupling up and heading off to screw. That’s when the Lrkrz attack. And when I say “attack,” I mean “attack.” Like one guy gets his head smashed in like a watermelon.

Because our group is so high and drunk, it takes longer than usual for them to realize what’s going on. And when they do, their goal becomes simple: Get the fuck out of this park! But it seems like wherever they go, more and more of these lrkrz appear. And that means they’re probably screwed. As Vega espouses when the chips are down: “I’m going to die in a Forever 21 sweater.” I don’t know if Vega’s going to die. But I can guarantee that a lot of these people are going to die. And I think the question that bothered me most as I finished Lrkrz was, “Is that a bad thing?”

I can see why Lrkrz won the weekend. As someone pointed out in the comments, it’s the only script with a voice. Todd’s the only one who bothered to infuse some actual personality into his writing (“VEGA looks like shit. She’s a beautiful twenty-something latina woman, but in the elevator mirror all she can see is last night’s make-up, clothes from off the floor, jizz stain on her skirt.”). There’s nothing worse than boring by-the-numbers writing. So Lurkrz gets an A+ in that department.

But despite personality bursting from every page, Lrkrz starts to display a critical problem. There was no one to root for! You’ve got the gutterpunks themselves, who are so dirty and annoying and lazy, you can’t possibly like any of them. That leaves us with Vega herself. And as you can see from her intro, she doesn’t exactly ooze Tom Hanks-level likability. She rails against her subjects the second they turn their back. And her life is just as lurid and directionless as theirs (she drinks, gets high, parties, fucks randoms). That choice might have been on purpose, a commentary on the hypocrisy of her stance on these kids. But I just didn’t like the woman. And that left me with no one to root for.

It’s an important question to ask when you write a screenplay. Who is it that the audience is going to root for here? It doesn’t always have to be the protagonist. But it has to be somebody. And that means considering how you’re going to make that character – gasp – LIKABLE. If you’re not at least considering that question, you’re not doing your full homework as a screenwriter.


Lrkrz’ big strength also turned out to be its biggest weakness. What pops about this script is the authentic realistic bickering between all its characters. I definitely felt the personality of each and every character come out (even if I didn’t like them). But that wandering authentic babbling came at a price. The story started to wander as well. There are only so many scenes I can listen to of these kids’ random opinions. That may work in real life. It doesn’t work on the page when we need some sort to structure to guide us, to remind us where all of this is going.

I mean, what are we looking forward to once they realize they have to escape the park outside of escaping the park? Yesterday we had the reveal of a 200 year-old wellness center to try and figure out. Tuesday we had the revelation of how a little boy became a doll. In Lrkrz, there is no mythology. It’s just people trying to run out of a park. And that’s fine. Not every movie needs to have some deep-set mythology. But if your genre-piece DOESN’T have mythology, it needs to have strong characters we’re rooting for. And that was the thing. I didn’t like any of these characters so I didn’t care whether they got out of the situation alive or not.

I think, moving forward, Todd should work on BALANCE. Instead of making every single character a fast-talking hard-partying trainwreck, look to build more variation into everyone. And always consider the “root for” question. Nobody’s going to root for a character just because you created them. You must GIVE THEM A REASON to root for that character. And Todd didn’t give me a reason to root for anybody. That’s what doomed Lrkrz. And that’s what I’m hoping he’ll learn for the next script. I wish him luck cause he’s very talented.

Script link: Lrkrz

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[x] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Today’s “What I Learned” actually comes from BellBlaq, a former professional reader who gave some great notes to all the entries last week. I read the opening of his notes for Lrkrz and couldn’t agree more: “Reads to me like all of the disdain in this piece comes from you, the writer. I want to be immersed in and enamored with the story, not distracted by how you feel about some shit.” I definitely got that “I hate everything” vibe when I read the script as well, and it probably was a big reason for why I didn’t like anyone. Because the writer didn’t like them either! All the emotions and feelings in a script should come from the characters and the story, not the writer’s opinion about what he’s writing. Never forget that.

  • Poe_Serling

    Nice to see Todd (aka The Colonel) get the AF nod and the review/notes from Carson. Just shows second chances do happen!

    • The Colonel

      What a rush! I’ve been pooping my pants since Wednesday night waiting to see what Carson would say, now I feel like I won the friggen lottery! Haha, I really can’t thank everyone enough.

      • Poe_Serling

        It always makes for a more worthwhile AF when it’s a two-way street.

        Carson provides the script review, and the featured writer shows up as an active participant in the discussion.

      • Kirk Diggler

        Now that you’ve gotten you’re review, please, for the love of gutterpunks everywhere, take a shower and put on some clean clothes.

        Congrats on the review, good luck moving forward.

        • The Colonel

          haha, NEVER!!

          • klmn

            That should make for some interesting meetings if you sell your script.

          • Caivu

            Skype was invented for a reason.

  • The Colonel

    Fantastic, thank you Carson. Those are very helpful notes to add the with the many other great notes I’ve gotten from the SS community. If every you need a testimonial to the substantive excellence of your site, I’m your man.

    I hear you loud and clear about the characters, and as someone else rightfully said, my gutterpunks are too one-note. ALL of them seem to be happy and easy with Vega, something that needs to change. I disagree that I hate them (actually, I really like all of them, but I think I tend to express things in a critical manner), and they’re not bad people (most of them are really sweet, just fuck ups!), but absolutely: if they’re not attractive to you the reader, then it just doesn’t work. I had hoped that Vega, Dusk and Swirly became more likable over the course of the screenplay (through their efforts to save people; etc.), but I need to pump it.

    Let me ask you this, though: don’t you think that the real problem, more than character, is the lack of PLOT? I think that if the plot were more developed that many of the character problems could right themselves. I think if there were a few more “steps” in the development of the story, it would create the tension necessary to allow the characters to flourish. I think maybe if we knew more about how these folks ACTED, rather than just talked (which is most of what they do now), it would highlight them as people, and hopefully make them more likeable–or at least more capable of capturing the viewer’s interest.

    Finally, Carson, and commenters: Should Vega find her sister??? Lots of people seem pretty pissed about her not finding her sister–I think they feel slighted that I raise the sister and never have her slow up. (In fact, the sister is a bit like Ripley’s dead daughter–she’s there to create the space for Newt/Shine to fill). And I can easily have her show up (I was thinking Mariposa, the “missing” character from the opening, could actually be her sister), but doesn’t that seem too damn convenient?? Seems too easy, though the emotional payoff would be pretty large (especially if I then kill her off, right in front of Vega, haha).

    Also: Can I kill Vega at the end? A Blacklist reviewer said they escape way too easy given their injuries, and it got me to thinking: what if she managed to push Shine out, but sacrificed herself in the process?

    Thanks again, Carson and everybody at SS. This is my first try at writing a screenplay, and I can’t say I’ve ever been more inspired to try something for the second time.

    • lesbiancannibal

      One way to develop the plot would be to add to the mythology – often but not always there’s a way for the protags to fight back against the monster, kill the head vampire etc.

      I enjoyed reading this anyway and thought Vega worked as a character. She came across as an actual person rather than artifice but perhaps there’s a way to make her more, ahem, rootable.

      • The Colonel

        Thanks lesbiancannibal! With that name, maybe there’s room for you in my movie, too!

        • Citizen M

          Talking of names, how do you pronounce Goejkian?

          • The Colonel

            GO-shkin. It’s an Armenian name, taken from my favorite professor in grad school.

    • Caivu

      Killing Vega might be acceptable if she’s sacrificing herself. Since she bad-mouths the gutterpunks early on, giving her life for one would show character progression (but would only work if she develops throughout the script).

    • Levres de Sang

      I’m in agreement with both Eddie and Howie’s excellent notes and simply recommend that you watch the classic Western, The Searchers. It’s the perfect model for this particular story.

    • Will_Alexander

      To your question about adding plot: I say this a lot around here and I’m sure some people are tired of hearing it, but I believe it completely and I think it’s sometimes overlooked — plot is a verb, and it’s what characters do.

      So even a question about “lack of plot” is, as you get to in your comment, about character. What your characters say only matters when weighed against what they do. And there is no plot except what they do.

  • klmn

    Congrats to Colonel Todd for getting the review. Carson’s main problem seems to be the gutter punks aren’t appealing enough.

    Perhaps Todd should clean them up a bit. Maybe change them from gutter punks to slacker high schoolers, looking to buy beer and drugs and party in the park. Maybe keep a few gutter punks as a source for the beer and drugs.

    Good luck with it, Colonel.

    • The Colonel

      Thanks klmn!

      I like em dirty (so do the Lurkers), but that doesn’t mean I can’t make them more attractive people on the inside.

      • klmn

        This kind of reminds me of the script Carson reviewed a few weeks ago, Scouts Versus Zombies. There they have young people facing off against zombies, lurkers in the case of your script.

      • Randy Williams

        I actually liked them the way they are. San Francisco is your setting and
        don’t they represent an historically romantic and also troublesome aspect of that city?
        I found their language particularly fun, their sense of community alluring,
        their attachment to animals, nature, something I respect.
        I don’t want them staring at their cellphones all day.

        As for your questions, 1) yes…I wanted the sister’s disappearance to be resolved somehow. Perhaps it’s related to the lurkers. I suggested on AOW that for me it would be fun if the lurkers were actually mutations of the joggers trampling toxic berries on their path and perhaps the sister could have been a botany student at the same university as her sister. So, something along those lines where the sister’s disappearance is tied to what makes the lurkers tick in some way.

        2) Kill off Vega? Punished? yes. Have a cop drag her into a wagon full of homeless, but don’t kill her. Too much social commentary in this to go that bleak for me.

        Finally, congrats for making it on AF! I wrote a whole new beginning, and made tons of changes based on BellBlaq’s notes. I would suggest you can’t go wrong really digesting her notes and following through with them.

        SHE was the story of that weekend.

        • The Colonel

          Totally agreed. It’s amazing–I have a file of notes from the SS comment section, from Carson, and from the Blacklist–it’s like a roadmap to revision.

  • Big Damn Heroes

    Those notes are all dead-bang. Positives and weaknesses. Creating a strong protagonist we can root for is some heavy lifting. But once you figure it out you’re just that much better as a screenwriter. “Homicidal Hobos” is still a clear, genre-worthy premise.

    • The Colonel

      Thanks Big Damn!

  • Poe_Serling

    A quick reminder and a perfect lead up to the biggest night in horror…


    He’s the featured filmmaker on TCM this evening. Turner is rolling out seven of his films. They include Cat People, The Seventh Victim, The Leopard Man, The Ghost Ship, The Body Snatcher, Isle of the Dead, Bedlam.

    and the added bonus of:

    The 2007 documentary Martin Scorsese Presents, Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows.

  • Midnight Luck

    Hey Colonel,
    Congrats on getting your Am Friday spotlight.

    I hope you get some great feedback, and I hope you get some great stuff to work from.

    I am impressed this is your first script and that you got the Friday spot from it.
    That says a ton about what you can do in the future.

    Keep plugging away, with this one, or with another script.

    Sometimes we all have to hit a script with all our angst to get it out, and then start putting the pieces together in later scripts.

    Trust me, I know. I cracked and broke everything into a million pieces the first time, and then had to start again. A lot of anger, a lot of pain, a ton of angst, and the safest best place to get it out, is on the page. Nowhere else can you kill someone, break bones, destroy cities, call people names, and hate everyone, and then have people love you for it, like you can in writing.

    That is why I love it.
    You seem to have the passion, which is all that you need.

    You seem to have skill, which is all you need to turn that passion into something more.

    So I wish you all the luck, and I wish you some stardust to take the luck, and your work into the big time!

    A thousand congratulations.

    I’ll just leave you with one of my favorite William Goldman quotes.
    The Godfather of screenwritiing said:
    “I write out of Revenge”

    and that so speaks to me.

    • The Colonel

      Haha! That’s friggen awesome, thanks Midnight!

  • scriptfeels

    I enjoyed seeing Crimson Peak. Although Carson’s right, about genre no-man’s land. How do you market a movie that is niche. A gothic romance?

    For lrkrz, a homeless horror?Carson mentioned that if you write something great, it can transcend genre. I thought Crimson Peak was a great film, but it didn’t transcend genre for me, it fit in its own niche genre and performed spectacularly within that realm. Just ranting at this point, but I’d be interested in seeing how movies outside of established genres could build audiences and be distributed effectively in today’s modern age compared to being marketed as a horror etc. if its not that kind of movie.

  • Caivu


    (Congrats on the AF slot, Todd!)
    [Quick note about tomorrow: I’ll post the day’s reviews on this thread. I don’t want to take up a bunch of space on the AOW if there is one, and if there’s not they’d be here anyway. Plus, I have a couple of treats (or tricks, depending on your view) planned as well.]

    I think I caught a literal second of this on TV back in… 1998, I guess? Sam Neill was getting attacked with an axe.
    Review. Several hours. Blah blah.

    • Scott Crawford

      Script was written by Michael De Luca, who at the time ran New Line Pictures. They didn’t have enough money for the ending De Luca wrote, so De Luca had to put on his PRODUCER hat and go for a cheaper ending.

      Tried to find an old BBC show where they were talking about Lovecraft and this movie, but I can’t find it. I did find this, about steadicams (inc. Halloween and The Shining).

      • Caivu

        Are quadcopters the new stedicams?

    • Poe_Serling


      “When the world’s most famous horror novelist goes missing, his publisher sends an insurance investigator to track him down.”

      Directed by John Carpenter. Written by Michael De Luca

      Holy Hobb’s End!!!

      One of my favorite horror pics from the 1990s. The last chapter in the aptly named Apocalypse Trilogy.

      I think this is an underrated film from director John Carpenter and company for a few good reasons.

      1) SUTTER CANE

      He’s the ultra creepy antagonist of the story. Even though he doesn’t get much screen time, the character of Cane still comes off as the evil love child of Stephen King (mega best-selling author) and H.P. Lovecraft (master of weird horror).

      2) WHAT IS REAL vs. UNREAL?

      The timeless ? that provides a neverending source of potential storylines, especially on the goosebumps side of cinema. The original Poe even pondered over the notion when he penned:

      Is all that we see or seem
      But a dream within a dream?

      But in this film’s case – it’s more like ‘a nightmare within a nightmare.’

      3) IMAGERY

      For this type of scarefest (one which blurs reality) to work it needs its fair share of unsettling images/scenes/etc. Here the filmmakers nail it.

      Just some to whet your imagination:

      An old woman/young kid/whatever that thing is riding the bike down the road… a not so sleepy village on the edge of nowhere… a bizarre set of locals (that goes way beyond Green Acres strangeness)… a monstrous church located out in the sticks… a ton of slimy tentacles flip-flopping all over the place… a writer tapping away on a manual typewriter (oh, just having some fun now).

      So, it’s safe to say that on the spookiest night of the year…


      This is my Lovecraftian treat.

      • Levres de Sang

        I’d been meaning to ask what you were planning to watch on Halloween, so really enjoyed this rundown of a film I know absolutely nothing about.

        • Poe_Serling

          I might try to watch some of the Lewton films on TCM tonight. And tomorrow (Halloween)? I am hoping to catch an early show of Crimson Peak and after that… I’m not sure of my viewing plans yet. ;-)

          • Midnight Luck

            I think I’m going to an early GOODNIGHT MOMMA freakshow tomorrow.

          • BigDeskPictures

            Please share your thoughts with us Midnight. I’m curious about this one (Goodnight Mommy).

          • Levres de Sang

            If by chance you catch The Ghost Ship then I’d be interested to hear what you make of it. It was the only Lewton film that disappointed me (although I have only seen it once).

            ** Visits to the big screen are something of a rarity for me, but I am considering Crimson Peak after one reviewer said that in many ways it’s like a 1946 film.

          • brenkilco

            Since The Ghost Ship isn’t a horror movie and doesn’t contain any supernatural elements and is called The Ghost Ship it’s bound to be disappointing for anyone expecting a typical Lewton movie. Plus the fact that it was unavailable for decades and built up an undeserved rep. That said, it’s not a bad little thriller. Though Richard Dix isn’t the most subtle actor.

          • Levres de Sang

            You’re right, the film’s long unavailability gave it a mystique and me unreasonable expectations.

          • Poe_Serling

            Here’s an interesting and informative article on The Ghost Ship:


            Even though Crimson Peak isn’t a favorite of the critics or movie ticket buyers, I still think it is one of those films best seen on the big screen for its sets and production design. In my particular case – $6 at the bargain show.

    • Greg

      I just have one question…

      Do you read Sutter Cane?

      • Caivu

        I’m genuinely thinking about re-creating a set of his books.

        • Greg

          That would be amazing. Youd have to choose good horror books to put inside the reproduced covers. Id say a mix of cthulhu and king.

  • Howie428

    I was one of those who didn’t connect with the characters in this and the big question for me at this point is… Does Vega need to be a f’up?

    The way she is intro’d and set up makes her pretty close to being yet another gutterpunk. That being the case, she is probably the least interesting choice for someone to go into this world.

    It might be a bit too obvious, but could she be from a blue collar Midwestern religious family? Someone who believes in hard work, good personal hygiene, and prim clothing choices. It makes sense that she is searching for her sister and that she hates gutterpunks for taking her sister away. She could still use a journalistic cover. And I’d say go back to when she steps off the train/drives over the bridge, and show us the culture clash that happens as she infiltrates this community.

    She arrives as the deaths begin, so maybe the others suspect her. The deaths add urgency to the need to find her sister and get her out. Ultimately though, your hero, called something sensible like Sarah, has to choose between grabbing her sister and escaping, which would leave the other gutterpunks to die, or taking a risky path that might destroy the threat and save the gutterpunk lifestyle. So their ultimate enemy learns to love them enough to become their savior.

    It’s fair to say that I have made some predictable choices in the above sketch, but something that sets up contrast and plays with it seems likely to be the fun way to depict this world. And it should be way easier to get us to engage with this character.

    • The Colonel

      That’s good and a point well taken. It definitely does make sense to clear her up a notch.

  • Eddie Panta

    CONGRATS to COLONEL for making it all the way through.

    I thought that both LRKRZ and SANDBOX were both cool spec ideas.
    But they also made choices that are very difficult to execute, mainly, a ton of characters.

    LRKRZ has what I’d like to see more of… SATIRE, which is what makes a horror movie like American Psycho really have bite and lasting appreciation. Colonel should consider the What Did I Learn and try to have that satirical voice emanate from a character. LRKRZ also made me think of American Pyscho because of all the brand-naming going on, plus the nailing down specific hoods and streets, club names, etc…

    The review made a good point about the lack “mythology” ( I call it the legend)

    The legend in a werewolf, haunted house, or vampire script, usually comes after the inciting incident, in many cases, it’s a separate character, an older, wiser one especially created to deliver the exposition to the lead/s in the form of a story, a legend.

    Mystery equals backstory, mythology demands some exposition.. Which leads me back to making choices that are hard on a spec script, I thought that the script missed what the premise had already set-up a great go-to mythology delivery moment, where a homeless person, perhaps in a psych ward, could tell the authorities, or perhaps even a reporter about the Lurkers, the killers, and maybe he’s witnessed the first attack. Of course they wouldn’t believe him,, consider him a nutcase, you’ve got a great character to add a ton of wild drama to a purely expositional scene — Which is something everyone is looking for!
    You had it, and didn’t use it!

    Colonel didn’t take the easy way out with Vega’s GOAL, her real intentions seem muddled, why not choose a lead you really needs to investigate what’s going on in the park, why is her lost sister backstory and not her motivation?

    Whether it’s supernatural cannibal or not. Genre demands that each and every scene contain at least underlining dread, even in the moments where Vega is simply interviewing. I know we think of great adhoc scenes where characters can ramble, especially street people, but these scenes really need to stay on point if you want to sell the genre.

    The hard thing about the horror genre in a script like this is for the
    kill scenes need to beat in every ten pgs. but because we’re so busy w/
    Vega’s personal life, the non-horror-drama, suspense is lost, there’s no
    feeling that things could happen at any moment.

    The horror element is contained to the park, and there are too many slow arrival scenes into that environment. Also, Vega explains she is going to the park trailing EMT workers, then we see her going to the park trailing the EMT’s in another arrival sequence, that’s not necessary. This is leading, but it’s already a known, the set-up has already done this./ Actually there are a number of arrival or departure sequences in the first ten pages.

    Vega’s flaw seems to that she’s not dealing w/ her sisters disappearance, yet she’s interviewing street ppl. Is that supposed to be IRONIC, or does she have multiple reasons?

    Didn’t really come through, obviously it had many topical, social issues, but not a theme that ties everything together, or helps with Vega’s real goal. Again, the premise should make this ripe with theme, Colonel didn’t take the easy way out.

    Excellent, horror is found in making the ordinary, extraordinary.

    Vega does seem to have an internal problem, but not a difficult external problem.
    She could easily walk away from this reporting task once things get too hairy. Does missing sister take care of this problem? Guess I’ll have to read on to find out.

    Yes, the street kids and the homeless all seem to alike,
    Stereotypes are being delivered in by the boat load, that’s great when you can turn it on its head and make use of it. Why not have a homeless character who is actually well-spoken and really intelligent, this would help a lot.

    Shows like QUANTICO are all about debunking stereotypes, inverting traditional characters, in a way that to me, seems desperate, like a HuffPo blogger wrote the pilot,

    But LKRKZ is not shaking up stereotypes at all, as a matter of fact it’s perpetrating stereotypes. which in itself makes the characters two-dimensional.

    I look forward to seeing another draft, keep up the good work.

  • AstralAmerican

    Actually, a lot of ppl who are not from “Frisco” refer to it as “Frisco.” Myself included, although I try not to anymore bc it’s out of lingo. I was born and raised and still present in the Yay (Bay) Area.

  • The Colonel

    Oh shit, that’s hot.

  • brenkilco

    The reviews are scathing. I think Carson owes us a post mortem

  • S_P_1


    Congratulations to any SS participants that made the 2015 Final Draft Big Break semifinalist round!

  • Midnight Luck

    me too. Portland is LOADED with them. Gutter (skate) punks.

  • Caivu


    Today’s the day! All Halloween reviews will be a part of this comment, and will be significantly shorter; really just the pros/cons and the rating. Check back regularly for updates!

    Pro: Mostly good characters, interesting concept, lots of gore for a 50s film, high body count, good creature design.
    Con: Writing was very exposition-heavy and clunky, creature motion looks slightly dated even for the time.
    [X] Worth a watch

    • brenkilco

      I’d take particular exception to your view of The Uninvited, which, though modest, may still be the best ghost movie ever made. I particularly like it because it’s well plotted and so few movies built on scares are. Vanquishing the ghost, even figuring out who the ghost is, depends on the solution of a mystery. And this is a very neat device that horror movie makers today might learn from. Don’t really get your geography comment. As for the music, to each his own, but the music in this movie includes the composition Stella By Starlight which became one of the most popular standards of the 1940’s

      • Caivu

        About the geography: I had a slightly hard time of keeping track of where characters were during the last half. I’d think they were at, say, the doctor’s place, but then ghostly things would happen and I’d realize where they actually were.

      • Levres de Sang

        Agreed! I’ve said this before, but for me The Uninvited and Rebecca represent the gold standard in terms of backstory; while the Miss Holloway character is surely one of the most chilling in film history. The 1940s did this kind of character to perfection, in fact.

        As we’ve mentioned previously, the film’s only weak spot is the boat trip which overly lengthens Act 1.

        • brenkilco

          Though I doubt the LGBT community is too fond of either Rebecca or The Uninvited.

          • Levres de Sang

            Either way, I’m sure the essay that accompanies the Criterion dvd of The Uninvited perceives Miss Holloway as a liberating force (or words to that effect)…

            N.B. The essay also compares her to another wonderful character actress from this period: Gale Sondergaard.

          • brenkilco

            I forget from viewing to viewing that it isn’t Gale Sondergaard They were strikingly similar.

        • brenkilco

          Yes, there’s a bit too much cutesy byplay with the lovely and unfortunately very troubled Gail Russel.

      • Poe_Serling

        The Uninvited is one of my favorite films. And I’ll echo Luther H’s sentiments – I like how you think.

    • Levres de Sang

      DEEP RED

      Your comments are interesting because I suspect you’ve just viewed Argento’s director’s cut which is around 25 minutes longer than the theatrical version — which DID omit the superfluous scenes you mention. Moreover, the fact that he didn’t have an English dub for these scenes would indicate that they weren’t originally intended for inclusion. My own theory is that they were added to satisfy fans during the home video era. The shorter theatrical version is far more coherent.

      For me, the music in Deep Red is super creepy and a wonderful example of Argento leading the audience: in other words, we know something terrible will happen whenever we hear that music.

      • Caivu

        That actually makes a lot of sense re: the English and Italian. The version I watched had Portuguese subtitles that I could still generally follow, and every time the dialogue switched to Italian it seemed to be redundant info.

    • Midnight Luck

      wait, so had you never seen SCREAM?

      I know there are all ages of people on here, but still, even if someone was 18 years old right now (born before the movies release), seems like as a screenwriter Scream would’ve come up as a must see as you went along.

      I mean Kevin Williamson EXPLODED onto the scene with this script, made a buttload of money and was talked about everywhere for years afterward. I believe he was the most sought after screenwriter during that time, and that also went on for a few years.

      I am just surprised if this was your first viewing of it.

      That being said, it was just a brilliant twist on the standard slasher flick, and all the self referential jokes, all the inside clues, all the setups that were based on famous past slasher flicks, was pure brilliance, I thought.
      Solid movie.

      • Caivu

        Yep! I just never had a chance or made time for it before.

    • Poe_Serling


      Impressive indeed! I’ve always had soft spot for this Universal monster. In fact, I just watched it about two weeks ago.

      There’s a lot more going on here storywise than just a bunch of scientists trying to capture a prehistoric creature.

      I love all the tension among the human players, especially the three leads David, Mark, and Kay. There are romantic entanglements, professional jealousy, capture vs. destroy the beast debate, and so forth.

      Then having the Creature set its sights on Kay only intensifies all of these tropical hothouse dynamics.

      • Caivu

        I think of all the movies I watched this month, this is the one I actually want a (non-stupid) remake of the most. As much as remakes are unfavored here, a good one of this could be amazing.

        • Poe_Serling

          “…this is the one I actually want a (non-stupid) remake of the most.”

          They’ve been trying forever. Just a few of the directors attached to the remake over the years: John Carpenter, Peter Jackson, Breck Eisner, Guillermo del Toro, and others.

          • Caivu

            Del Toro’s creature designs, Jackson’s Weta connections, Carpenter’s score… and I’m not familiar with Eisner, but whatever, he can direct.

    • Midnight Luck

      yeah, I gotta say, I have always LOVED CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.

      Ever since I saw it as a kid IN 3D! I have loved it.

    • scriptfeels

      I appreciated your thoughts on the horror movies you watched this month. Fun to see some of your content as well!

      • Caivu

        Thank you!

    • 3waystopsign

      If you don’t have and would like to see the screenplay for Trick ‘r Treat let me know.

  • Citizen M

    I read this through to the end. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

    Firstly, I would put this very firmly in the “slasher porn” genre. It’s not my thing. I have never seen a Saw movie, for instance, and hopefully never will. So I’d never watch this movie if it ever came out, and maybe I’m not the best person to comment on the script.

    Maybe it conforms to a typical slasher porn structure. I wouldn’t know. But for me, the script was too one-note. It was basically one very long chase scene through the foggy park. There were no story developments or character notes. Just stumble-stumble-horror; stumble-stumble-horror; until there were only one or two of the group left.

    Some of the questions I raised on AOW were answered, such as how could this be happening in a big city. But the fog seemed to come and go at random, and I never got a grasp of the geography. Since this was almost like a haunted house story, with a park in place of a house, an understanding of what is where is important. I think the script would benefit from a map or Google Earth picture of the park with key locations marked. (I’m presuming the script uses the real-life park setting.)

    There was very little connection between the long opening scenes where we meet Vega and the Gutterpunks, and what happens in the park. Typically, there is something ironic about the way people die. So a violent person would die by violence; a peaceful person would be smothered in her sleep; maybe bad examples, but you get what I mean. The thing is, we need to know the characters to appreciate the irony, and they were never distinctive enough.

    Maybe it’s because I never managed to sort the characters out in my head. The names carried no information. I remembered Mama Kat was fat and female because Mama Cass, but most of them I couldn’t tell you who was male or female, black or white, straight or gay. Or what function they served in the group. Mercenary was a soldier or defender; so was Dusk, I think. So you would expect them to stand up against the Lurkers. But the others, I don’t know if they had any distinctive role or position in the group.

    I didn’t reread the first thirty pages, so I can’t remember, but there should be some sort of mythology among the Gutterpunks that you don’t go in the park after dark, and someone needs to persuade them to break the taboo for some reason. The Lurker attacks just seem too random. Why now? Why not at some other time or place?

    • Citizen M

      A couple of extra thoughts:

      Setups and payoffs: There weren’t enough, or what appeared to be setups never paid off. The missing sister, that many have commented on. Also, she has a recorder with her. It should be used near the end, maybe to try to convince the police that something was going on. Her party girl sluttiness led nowhere. Her missing phone. When it rang in the cave it should have led to a revelation or confrontation or something.

      (Spitballing: What if it’s her missing sister phoning her. The sister has seen her heading towards the cave and is trying to warn her to stay away.)

      Near the end it’s clear the joggers view the lurkers as harmless old hobos. Maybe we should see all the lurkers early when Vega takes the bus ride and we also think they’re harmless old guys. Then they sniff the air or something and shuffle off to the park, and we realize there’s something off about them, but we don’t know what.

  • Lucid Walk

    Sounds like a scary version of The Warriors. “Vega, come out to die-i-ie.”

  • JakeBarnes12

    Here’s my notes from last week as I read…

    Two pages in. Too. Much. Detail. Not. Enough. STORY. Some punks buying cheese and pages of them going home.

    Used to live in SF. No one except outsiders calls it “Frisco.”

    On to page 4 and they’ve gotten to Golden Gate Park and opened some cheese.

    p. 5 looking for a bumcave. Gotta love bumcaves. Still no story.

    p.6 Some cheese-eaters we don’t care about get killed in unimaginative ways.

    Now we got Vega doing interviews on p. 6.

    PAGES and PAGES of these interviewees talking about being travellers; where they sleep, their philosophy. Might be interesting in a documentary but this is a STORY-FREE ZONE after the cliched killing earlier.

    p. 11 Someone called Shine says: “I love smells. I mean, I know Swirly
    by his essence, I know when he’s in
    my vicinity. I smell his balls.
    Like…cardamom, maybe.”


    Still no story.

    p. 14 Travellers/gutterpunks say goodbye to Vega. Still no story.

    p. 16 They’re all going to the beach for a party. Vega won’t party though. Still no story.

    p. 17 Vega and her girlfriend are having a meal at a restaurant. Still no story, though they agree the punks are “gross” cause they don’t brush their teeth.

    p. 18 Vega’s really shitting on the gutterpunks to her girlfriend. Still no story.

    p. 19 Vega’s ready to DISCO. Still no story.

    p. 20 Vega and her girlfriend do drugs at the DISCO. This is a horror script? Still no story.

    p. 21 More girl talk. Vega doesn’t like men who aren’t clean. Still no story.

    p. 22 In the alley back of the DISCO Vega has a joint and tells a story about her sister. Still no story.

    p. 25 Blasted but still at the DISCO Vega spills her plans to head back to the park. Still no story.

    And I’m out.

    What do we have so far? Some punks buy cheese, take pages to get to the park, have cheese, get murdered, Vega gets some hobo philosophy from the other punks for a load of pages, spends a lot more pages at a DISCO shooting the shit.

    25 pages out of a slim 86 and we’re not even in first gear.

    My best advice to the writer before the next one is get a sense of the difference between things happening on a page versus a screen STORY.

    • The Colonel

      Yep, you made that point pretty clearly last time, Jake, thanks for your comment.

  • Scott Crawford


    Help me out, guys… is this the same script that was on the Black List a few years ago? The writers are not the same.

    A CIA agent and a rock manager team up to help Stanley Kubrick fake the moon landings.

    • Malibo Jackk

      (Loved the other one.)

  • jaehkim

    2015 blood list. including the pilots. happy Halloween everyone.

    • Midnight Luck

      hey thanks a million, this is awesome of you.

    • Citizen M

      Fabulous resource. Thank you so much.

    • Eddie Panta

      Will someone please run the title page center test on these before I open.

      • The Colonel


    • JakeBarnes12

      You, sir, are a dark prince.

    • Scott Crawford


      • Levres de Sang

        And saved you a few emails…! ;)

        • Scott Crawford

          More than a few!

    • Frankie Hollywood

      I’ve read the pilots Stillwater and Shut Eye so far and I just cracked open Blood Drive. I chose those 3 first b/c they’ve already been picked up or have gone straight to order (CBS, Hulu and SyFy, respectively).

      CBS seems a good fit for Stillwater, it’s a mystery, a character piece. Well written, but kinda slow (well written except for when a woman opens the hood of her dead husband’s crashed pick up and notices the “brake lines were cut”).

      Stillwater has a “series proposal” attached at the end. Anyone writing a pilot should check it out. Kinda like Carson’s “mini-bible” he mentioned a few weeks back. I’m sure as hell gonna include one with every pilot I write from now on.

      Shut Eye (a reference to when a Magician starts to believe his tricks are real) was really entertaining, and very well written. Not sure I’ve ever heard of TV series where underground psychics are the focus. I’m curious to see where this one goes.

      • HRV

        If the brake lines were cut near the master cylinder they could be seen when opening the hood.

        • Frankie Hollywood

          You’re probably right. She was looking at the battery cables when she sees the brake lines were cut.

          I’m obviously no mechanic, always thought those things were underneath. Every time you see someone (in the movies or on TV) cutting brake lines they’re always lying underneath the vehicle.

          • HRV

            Beneath the car would be more accessible in regards to the work required (breaking in) to get the hood open.

      • Frankie Hollywood

        2nd EDIT: Couldn’t get past 10 pages of The Sparrow, it’s overwritten, confusing and, worse, arrogant. Maybe it gets better, but I’m bailing.

  • witwoud

    I’ve been trying to figure out why LRKRZ doesn’t do it for me, and I wonder if it’s this: I can’t identify with the main characters, and that’s the kiss of death for a horror movie. I mean, pretty much every horror movie I can think of involves fairly normal people — people like you and me — encountering the Other. But gutterpunks ARE the Other. That’s pretty much their credo: we’re different from you! However sympathetically you portray them, nobody will actually identify with them except other gutterpunks.

    There might be exceptions to this ‘normal protaganist’ rule, but I honestly can’t think of one. Anyone? Caivu?

    • Caivu

      Alien 3? Maybe…? Ripley’s a clone and pretty much everyone else is a prisoner, so they’re outsiders in different ways, I guess.
      Predator? Also kind of a stretch to call that horror, but most of the characters are special forces guys, so not typical people, either. Unless by “outsider” you specifically mean “social outcast.”
      I don’t know, both of those are the closest I could think of, and they’re both very big maybes.

  • Poe_Serling

    Hey Luther H-

    Loved how you faced your fear, solved the decades old mystery at the Simmons place, used your whole body as a weapon to save the day, and married your dream girl at the end.

  • klmn

    My vote for next Friday’s AF is PINCHERS.

    • Scott Crawford

      I read a few pages and wasn’t over impressed. Did you read any more?

      • klmn

        I read maybe 10 pages and the writing was clear and easy to follow. It moved along at a pretty good clip.

        With the success of >b>Jurassic World maybe the pendulum is swinging back to creature features. A giant crab movie would fit right in.

  • Scott Crawford
  • Midnight Luck

    well, ok. I know we reviewed this a few days back, and I know it didn’t get a very good review.
    However, and I cannot believe I am saying this…..I actually thought it was a lot of fun, and really funny. It was incredibly campy, in good ways, and was just enough over-the-top without being too far out.

    I thought it was an enjoyable, yet not at all scary, romp.
    It isn’t going to be breaking records (there were exactly 8 of us in the theater on Halloween day) and it isn’t breaking any ground on the zombie, horror, or filmmaking front, but it didn’t matter, it was just childish fun.

    And that is probably all it was trying to do.

    Not sure if anyone else is going to see this, or just wait for it to go to video/vod, but, from one reviewers perspective, it was enjoyable and

    [x] worth the price of early-bird admission

    ——–> Now on to GOODNIGHT MOMMY and (hopefully) the real Halloween scare fest….

    • Frankie Hollywood

      Am I just missing it, or did you forget to mention what movie you’re talking about? ;)

    • Erica

      Funny, when I saw the trailer I thought it looked fun. I’m going to see it this week I think. I want to test the seat I have for star wars to see if it’s any good and I think that movie is in the theater that star wars will be in.

  • Scott Crawford

    Do you want the plot of the new Star Wars film spoiled? If so, read this:

    If not, DO NOT READ. I’m in no way advocating spoiling the film for others. So don’t.

    • Erica

      I will not be reading (but thank you for the spoiler alert).

      I don’t know what media’s and some people’s obsession with spoiling movies. They just have to be the first to get it out (and this is not a shot at you Scott, it’s the media’s article I’m referring too).

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        And let’s not even talk about the live tweeters, especially journalists seeing movies weeks or months ahead of the general public :/
        Death to all movie theater phone users ^^

    • scriptfeels

      Not reading it either, but thanks for the post nonetheless

  • The Colonel

    Thanks for the comments, very prescriptive and helpful, much appreciated.

    And yes, I live in the Lower Haight, and we call it Frisco all the time. For almost a decade the best party in town as call the Frisco Disco (which is the party they go to in the middle).

  • Poe_Serling

    As Halloween 2015 fades out, here’s a infograph showing which movie monsters ruled the big screen by decade:

  • Wijnand Krabman