Genre: Horror
Premise: The son of an infamous serial killer goes on the road with the daughter of one of the victims to find and stop his father.
About: Today’s spec made The Blood List (the annual list of the scariest screenplays) in 2012 and resulted in the writer, an unknown, getting the job to write the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, Leatherface.
Writer: Seth Sherwood
Details: 105 pages

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 1.26.05 AMInterstate 5’s cool title page!

It’s Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeen!

Well, it’s almost Halloween anyway.

Actually, it’s still 11 days until Halloween.

But that’s not going to stop us from enjoying the most unnecessary holiday of the year, right? Carson! How could you call Halloween unnecessary?? Well let’s think about this for a second. This is a holiday… ABOUT SCARING PEOPLE. Does that make sense to you?

We’ve got holidays celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. We’ve got holidays celebrating the birth of a nation. Those holidays feel like there are some actual stakes attached to them, to use a screenwriting phrase. Halloween? It’s like a bunch of dope-smoking teens got together and came up with a joke holiday. “Yo man, they should create a holiday for scaring people.” “Yeah man, and like, you should get candy and shit.”

Hey, I’m not complaining. I still have half my stash of single package Reeses peanut butter cups from 5th grade and I plan to ration those puppies out for another seven years at least. Love me some Resses. But it is one of the stranger curiosities of the American calendar.

Although that’s not the reason I picked Interstate 5 for a Scriptshadow review. It’s important for you guys to know what’s required of a script to get an unknown screenwriter (you) that all-important “big assignment.” Sherwood was just another guy trying to break through the Hollywood gates before he wrote this. Now he’s writing a major horror property. That’s a big deal. Not just for the assignment itself. But once you write on a major property, the rest of the industry takes you seriously. So let’s see what was so special about Interstate 5.

The year is 1985. Noted serial killer Richard Reinhold, who was once captured and thrown in prison, escaped eight years ago, and he’s just started killing again. His victims of choice, like most serial killers, are young women. He picks them up along the highway, rapes them, and carves them like a pumpkin.

But this story isn’t about Richard. It’s about Tommy, a 20-something who was unfortunate enough to be born Richard’s son. Tommy’s life has been a nightmare ever since his father was captured, and now he wants to find some closure. He wants to find his father and kill him.

Tommy is joined by Crystal, whose mother was one of Richard’s victims. The two, armed with Richard’s diary, which details every woman he killed and every place that he stopped at, head down Richard’s famous stomping grounds, Interstate 5, trying to catch up to his killing spree.

Tommy also uses a lot of drugs to cope with his shitty reality. Stress and drugs tend not to mix, so everywhere they stop, Tommy’s convinced he sees the ghosts of the dead victims. Crystal, who was very much pro-Tommy at first, starts to freak out about this, cause she isn’t seeing what he’s seeing.

As they get closer and closer to catching his father, Crystal starts to suspect that Tommy’s losing it. That Tommy may, in fact, be BECOMING his father. The reality, however, is much worse than Crystal could ever imagine. The truth is far far worse.

Halloween-PumpkinMore Halloween scripts coming your way!

So what makes a good horror movie? Scares? Blood? Scantily clad women running through the forest at night? I’m sure we could have a lively debate about the answer, but I’ll say this. I was watching my favorite show last night, The Walking Dead, a show that has somehow GROWN its audience with every successive season, and I asked myself, “Why do myself and others like this so much?”

The answer came pretty early on. What The Walking Dead does better than any other horror show (or movie), is that it provides a constant impending sense of doom. In last night’s episode, our group runs into a priest. The priest seems feeble, a coward if there ever was one. But the longer the episode goes on, the more suspicious we become of this man. Is he really just a priest? Is he really out here all by himself? What is he hiding? We’re not sure, but we think it’s something. And that makes us worried for our characters, which is why we keep watching. We want to make sure they’re going to be okay.

There are parallels in Interstate 5. I have to admit that the first half of the script was a little bland. They’re basically just looking for his dad. Nothing surprising happens. I’d venture to say there wasn’t a single unexpected moment in the first half (you guys know how this drives me crazy – never give your audience what they expect. Find out what they expect and use that against them).

But then the script does introduce a twist, and it’s a pretty good one (spoilers). It turns out Crystal is working with the police. This whole story she’s concocted about Richard killing her mom is a façade so she can use Tommy to find Richard.

Not only does this introduce dramatic irony (we know Crystal’s a cop, but Tommy doesn’t) but it’s the beginning of Interstate 5’s “impending sense of doom.” Tommy’s starting to lose it. He’s starting to see more of these “ghosts.” He’s starting to feel the memories of his father invade him, change him. We begin to realize that Tommy is not as innocent as he seems. He may have those same genetic psychopathic tendencies, which means that Crystal is in danger. The further they go, the more convinced we become that he’s going to do something to her. Just like The Walking Dead. We stick around to see if she’s going to be okay.

But here’s where things get a little tricky. This “impending sense of doom” device only works IF YOU CARE about the character’s safety. With The Walking Dead, we’ve known those characters for 4 seasons. We’ve developed a connection with them. So of course we’re going to care about their safety.

In Interstate 5, I barely knew Crystal. Beyond her having a dead mom (which didn’t even turn out to be true), I’m not sure I knew one unique thing about her. And this is why feature writing is so hard. You have 1/50th of the space (compared to TV) to create a memorable character the audience cares about. Crystal wasn’t a bad character by any means. But I didn’t LOVE her. And I think the audience has to love a character to care whether they get hurt or not.

Despite that, I think Sherwood did a good job delving into Tommy’s character. Just by being the son of a serial killer and all the baggage that comes with that, you’ve got somebody pretty complex. Add to that a pill addiction, visions, flashbacks to happy times between him and his father, and the demons he’s fighting inside when dealing with Crystal, and this is a pretty strong character exploration.

I think that’s what the producers of Leatherface saw in this. They saw an attempt to explore a character as opposed to another boring jump-scare flick or another boring gore-focused flick. Anybody can write jump scares and gore. Literally, a second grader can write, “And then he stabs her over and over again.” Not that I’d want my kid hanging out with that second grader. But the point is, it’s easy. It takes a lot more skill to explore a character. It shows the producer that you’re willing to look into WHY the character became the way he did. And when you do that, you tend to create more interesting characters.

So why didn’t that happen with Crystal? I’ll get to that in the “What I learned” section. But right now, I’ll just say Interstate 5 is a solid worth-the-read. It was teetering between a “wasn’t for me” and “worth the read” for awhile, but I have to admit, its little twist ending there (a total, “How the heck didn’t I see that coming???” moment) solidified it as a script worthy of your attention.

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

What I learned: Remember, when you create “fake” characters, it’s harder to explore them on a real level. One of the reasons I never connected with Crystal was because Crystal’s character was a lie. She wasn’t who she said she was for half the movie. When you’re writing that kind of character, you can’t have the character talk about their REAL life, their REAL experiences, because to do so would give up who they secretly were. So the reader’s only going to get a shell of who the character is. False characters are great for twists, but they provide a challenge on the character development front. So make sure to weigh the risks versus the rewards when you write this kind of character.

  • Citizen M

    OT but here’s a quote from Stanley Kubrick that made me think:

    “Writers tend to approach the creation of drama too much in terms of words, failing to realise that the greatest force they have is the mood and feeling they can produce in the audience through the actor. They tend to see the actor grudgingly, as someone likely to ruin what they have written, rather than seeing that the actor is in every sense their medium.”

    • http://apairoftools.wordpress.com/ Sebastian Cornet

      The problem writers have is giving up control. So long as they’re in command of the words, they’re in command of the character. Ask an actor to step in…and God knows what’s gonna happen. I haven’t had bad experiences so far, but guess that doesn’t matter when a writer fears turning over his/her baby to someone.

    • mulesandmud

      A wonderfully collaborative sentiment from a legendary control freak.

    • brenkilco

      Weird coming from Kubrick who with rare exceptions(Peter Sellers, Leonard Rossiter and one supposes Jack Nicholson) seldom let actors off his leash. The result was often, esp in later films, a lot of overcontrolled and sometimes nearly robotic performances. That platoon in Full Metal Jacket was a strange bunch. And it wasn’t just the stress of war.

  • Chris Ryden

    Great Kubrick quote! ;)

  • Max8

    Would love to read It. Anyone?

    max_krt at yahoo dot com

    Thanks

    • Ryan Sasinowski

      Sent.

  • andyjaxfl

    OT: did anyone catch Fury over the weekend? It’s good, not great, but it’s nice to see a movie that doesn’t have characters monologuing about each other and their harsh experiences to date. I’m referring to the breakfast scene in particular, which despite one bizarre hiccup is one of the best scenes of the year. I won’t go into too many spoilers for those who want to read on…

    I think when the rest of Wardaddy’s tank crew shows up at the apartment, they know exactly why they weren’t asked to join, and each man gets a chance to showcase just how hurt they are because they were ignored (and has their own way of expressing it). Shia LeBouf was tremendous in this scene.

    • Poe_Serling

      I’m really looking forward to catching Fury on the big screen. I’m wondering if it has a chance of giving my favorite tank tale – Bogie’s Sahara – a run for its money.

      • andyjaxfl

        It’s been years since I’ve seen that one but going to revisit it soon. I’m in a WW2 tank movie kinda mood. I watched Kelley’s Heroes earlier.

        The battle scenes in Fury are something to be seen…

        • Poe_Serling

          Kelley’s Heroes is a lot of fun.

          “I’m in a WW2 tank movie kinda mood.”

          On the flip side of things, there’s The Desert Fox starring James Mason as Field Marshall Rommell.

    • Ryan Sasinowski

      I also have that script if anyone’s interested.

  • Randy Williams

    1. Murderpedia is a great writer’s resource when looking for ideas for serial killer stories. Serial killing, from what I’ve read, seemed to be much worse in history before the days of social media and cameras everywhere.

    Just the other day, I’m on my lunch break on the large complex where I work finding some peace and fresh air in a secluded area of trees and bushes. There was the horrible stench of something dead that day. I notified security who joined me there. We discovered a freshly dug area swarming with flies. I had to get back to work so I don’t know what they discovered buried there, but before I left, I looked up and noticed something I’d never noticed before on my walks there. On a tall electric pole, a security camera.

    These days you can’t even bury something dead with privacy.

    2. Since we didn’t have AOW this weekend, I wanted to read something. So, I took a look on Simply Scripts. There’s a recent download, a good little horror piece called “Momma’s Boy” in the amateur horror section. I thought it needed a bit more flesh on the bone, undeveloped in the second act, but I thought the writer really has some talent!

    • Levres de Sang

      I want to know what security discovered! Seriously, that whole scene you painted would make a great teaser for an X-Files-style pilot.

  • Linkthis83

    If anyone has the script and wouldn’t mind sharing:

    linkthis83 at yahoo dot com

    (I’d love to read THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING but I assume that’s a tall order)

    Based on Carson’s review:

    “…and carves them like a pumpkin.”

    That’s a hook! (I can’t see someone pulling that off logistically, but it sounds fucking cool. Does he leave a candle inside them so the carvings glow? That would be a wicked visual. Or, if he just hollowed out the skull. So the eyesockets are empty and you can see the face lit up from within. I hope that’s in the script.

    “…armed with Richard’s diary, which details every woman he killed and every place that he stopped at…”

    Guess that wasn’t part of the evidence that convicted Richard?

    “It turns out Crystal is working with the police.”

    Then she should’ve stolen the diary and bailed on Tommy. Or does Tommy have more insight into this case than this review reveals?

    OT: Saw THE EQUALIZER last night. I was hoping to get a better movie/story. Extremely disappointed they completely removed the emotional investment. Not really impressed overall. If they wanted Ralphie to be the emotional risk, then they should’ve had him in a more prominent role I think. The baddy was awesome until he became every other bad guy ever. Anyone else finding Melissa Leo to be a gorgeous woman?

    • Ryan Sasinowski

      Sent

      • klmn

        Ryan, could you send me a copy too?

        kenklmn AT yahoo dot com

        • Ryan Sasinowski

          Done

          • klmn

            Thanks Ryan!

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            No problem.

          • BigDeskPictures

            One more? bigdeskpictures at yahoo dot com

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            You got it. Sent!

          • BigDeskPictures

            Many thanks!

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            My pleasure.

          • Midnight Luck

            por favor? mucho thanks.

            m [at] blackluck dot com

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Sent!

          • Midnight Luck

            Muchas Gracias.
            So awesome of you to send it along. Really appreciate that.

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            No problem. Glad to help. Anything else you’re looking for?

          • LampLight

            Ryan, if I could please jump on board your tireless Interstate 5 generosity, it would be very much appreciated. Thank you :) k.rstevens@hotmail.com

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Done

          • Kathyface

            Can I please have a copy toooo? kacharles11@gmail.com

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Sent

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Sent

          • Bluedust

            Ryan, could you send one my way? Thanks in advance. risingseeker@yahoo.com

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Sent.

          • Levres de Sang

            Any chance you could forward a copy to my email (for educational purposes, of course)… Many thanks in advance!

          • brenkilco

            If you’ve got it and could forward to brenkilco@gmail thanks.

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Sent

          • brenkilco

            Thanks again

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Not a problem.

          • TheRattler

            hello, I would also like to read it! could you send it at TheRattler81(at)aol.com?

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Sent!

          • Levres de Sang

            No, haven’t got it yet — although it looks like you have. Any chance you could forward my way… paulscott at ekit dot com. Many thanks!

          • brenkilco

            let me know if you got it.

          • Levres de Sang

            Yes! Many thanks.

          • jw

            Ryan, thanks in advance bro! jwright226 at Hotmail
            How irritating is it to come to this place, read someone talking about a decent script only to get to the bottom and realize the link isn’t there? I mean really, are the studios going to come after Carson for posting the link of a script that circulated Hollywood 2 years ago? I don’t know. I wish we could go back to the way this place was!

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Sent

          • Bacon Statham

            Could I get a copy too please? Cheers in advance, dude.

            rooster82@hotmail.co.uk

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            Sent

      • Linkthis83

        Thank you.

      • jgrey

        Ryan, if you have time could you send me a copy too?
        jgrey888 [at] yahoo [dot] com
        Thanks

        • Ryan Sasinowski

          Done.

          • jgrey

            Thanks Ryan!

          • Ryan Sasinowski

            No problem!

      • Mike.H

        please send to me as well: MAY1MSG at gmail dot com. Thanks!

        • Ryan Sasinowski

          Sent

      • Jesse

        Ryan, could you please send me the script jlugoriverbend at hotmail dot com

        • Ryan Sasinowski

          Sent!

      • 3waystopsign

        I know you’ve been inundated but if you get a chance I’d love a copy to 3waystopsign at gmail dot com. If not, thanks anyway and your generosity has been awesome to the site with this one.

    • Casper Chris

      “…and carves them like a pumpkin.”

      That’s a hook! (I can’t see someone pulling that off logistically, but it sounds fucking cool. Does he leave a candle inside them so the carvings glow? That would be a wicked visual. Or, if he just hollowed out the skull. So the eyesockets are empty and you can see the face lit up from within. I hope that’s in the script.

      You’re a sick, sick man, Link. Sick.

      • klmn

        In the South, pig brains are sold in supermakets. I have read that they use compressed air to remove them from the skulls – a process that causes health problems for the slaughterhouse workers. I can’t really remember what the problems were.

        So – if you’re planning on doing that – get you an air compressor!

        EDIT. And yes, Link is sick.

        And I think it’s contagious.

      • Malibo Jackk

        Somebody should look into his background
        (and why is he wearing that catcher’s mask?)

    • rickhester

      I think Melissa Leo’s old enough to be my grandmother.

      • Linkthis83

        Which is why I called her out – she’s looking good and deserves her props. :)

  • Poe_Serling

    Today’s writer has his own website:

    http://sethmsherwood.com/

    • klmn

      That teaser for Fruitcake is intriguing. Note the quote from Rose Kennedy.

      I checked out the page from IMDB. Here’s the blurb:

      “Set in suburbia during the 1950s, Fruitcake tells the story of ‘Rosemary’ and ‘Sallie,’ who for various reasons, feel they are not as happy as they should be with the world around them. Disconnected and ambivalent, they are intrigued by the prospect of a new cure-all for their loneliness. Desperate for their lives to live up to some imaginary ideal, these women might be swayed to take any course of action, even if it costs them their very sanity.”

      Rose Kennedy had a daughter, Rose Marie, known as Rosemary. She liked to cat around and was an embarrassment to the family, which had political ambitions. So they had her lobotomized.

      It looks like Seth left in clues, but changed the story a lot. I guess even today the Kennedys are sacred cows.

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    That is a pretty sexy cover page! Makes me very nostalgic for a video store right about now.

    • shewrites

      Hi Ryan, if you are not burnt out by the requests yet, would
      you kindly send me a copy of The Theory…
      Many thanks
      o.hodge at outlook.com

      • Ryan Sasinowski

        I’m afraid I don’t have that one. Sorry.

        • shewrites

          No problem. Thank you all the same!

  • Scott Strybos

    Would “Techniques to Create Impending Doom” be a good idea for a Carson article. Or is creating Impending Doom as simple as furtive glances, dangerous surroundings, and dramatic irony? ID is an invaluable writing tool.

    And how about a Walking Dead article in the vein of the one you wrote for Breaking Bad, where Carson broke down the episode–that is still one of my favorite articles. (And Walking Dead is currently my favorite show, as was BB at the time.)

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    “Halloween? It’s like a bunch of dope-smoking teens got together and came up with a joke holiday. “Yo man, they should create a holiday for scaring people.” “Yeah man, and like, you should get candy and shit.””

    Worth the price of admission right there. Funny stuff!

  • mulesandmud

    Okay, I doubt I’ll get to read this whole thing today, but the early scenes feature some excellent storytelling, and at least one extremely original situation.

    The first five pages are as follows:

    –A stereotypical horror scene: killer chases girl through the woods.
    –Reveal: it’s a movie. Tommy is the only one in the theatre not scared. He leaves.
    –A sleazy 80s Dude shows off his one-of-a-kind car collection to a sexy Crystal.
    –Crystal acts kinky, cuffs 80s Dude to his office chair, then leaves him there.
    –Tommy meets Crystal there, finds the Ripper’s Camaro in the car collection, steals it.

    A serial killer’s kid and a victim’s kid teaming up to steal the killer’s old car for a road trip; definitely never seen that before. The horror movie bait-and-switch opener was cute and did double duty as a character intro, and there was some cute foreshadowing of the Crystal twist with the handcuffs beat. Some nitpicks with the writing, but lots of good work on display.

    Gonna take some impressive character work to make sense of all this, but if the rest of the story can live up to the promise of the opening, then we’ve got something here.

    • mulesandmud

      Okay, finished it. Complete and utter failure on the character level, and only marginally better on plot.

      Crystal’s motivations for tagging along with Tommy don’t make much sense when we think she’s a victim’s daughter, and they move on to complete and utter nonsense once we find out she’s a cop.

      After the cop reveal, she behaves even less like a cop than ever before. It’s one level of crappiness for her to have sex with Tommy while on the road with him in the first half, but at least at that point we think she’s a fucked up kid. Of course, in retrospect we’ll realize it’s ridiculous, but in the actual moment, maybe it’ll wash. It’s an entirely new level of crap, though, when later on when she refuses to believe that (spoiler) it’s actually Tommy doing the killing, since not only has she seen him acting crazy the entire time, but she’s a fucking cop and she should know better.

      Carson suggests that we don’t get to know Crystal because the she’s-a-cop twist gives us less time to explore her real character. I disagree. We have fifty pages to believe in her as a victim’s daughter, and then fifty more to believe in her as an undercover cop, but we never get to know her in either role because her actions make no sense by either standard. She behaves however the script needs her to behave in order to keep her in the car with Tommy for as long as possible and (spoiler!) get her preggers by the end.

      Compare this character to, say, Viggo Mortensen in EASTERN PROMISES, who exists as a vivid and definitive example of the Russian mafia for half the film before being revealed as an undercover cop. That story is carefully crafted so that all of his gangster actions not only add to his character as we see them, but then also make perfect sense in retrospect as what a cop would do in that position. In INTERSTATE 5, Crystal’s behavior is given none of that foresight, and crumble even further in hindsight.

      Anyway, the script had a nice run for about ten pages. How Carson gave this one a thumbs up, even a qualified one, is beyond me.

    • Midnight Luck

      oddly though, the first thing I think of when you find out the opener isn’t part of THIS movie but is actually a movie someone inside the movie is watching, is STAB. The fake movie version of the movie SCREAM. Can’t remember which iteration of Scream began with exactly that (Scream 2, 3, 4 or something) but it does throw you off and make you think the movie you are there to watch is actually starting. Then it surprises you by revealing they are all watching another movie.
      Actually this same scenario played out in an episode opener for SIX FEET UNDER. In one of the intros, you watch as a young girl is brutally killed in a very standard Horror movie way, and since for a few years you have watched this show open with someone dying, you think it is the real beginning, only to find that no, it is her and her boyfriend watching the movie she is in, inside a theater.
      Of course everything has already been done before. My point though is that, this part of the opener doesn’t feel that fresh (at least to me).

      • mulesandmud

        I agree, that opening is not an earth-shattering innovation.

        I suspect the writer agrees, too, which is why he makes the scene a third of a page long, then quickly pivots to the fresh part: the son of a serial killer bored and annoyed by the sensational film version of his own father’s story.

        • Midnight Luck

          Yeah, that makes sense. I like that part of it. Him being bored and annoyed with the films portrayal of it. Not being interested in any film version of what, to him, contains real personal issues.

  • klmn

    Yes and no.

    • jw

      ahahahaha! And, that’s a literal interpretation.

  • fragglewriter

    I’m not a fan of Horror movies, but I would watch the film based on the logline,
    Great What I Learned Tip, but how

    • mulesandmud

      In most cases, if your character is making choices and taking real actions, then we are in fact seeing who they are, regardless of who they’re pretending to be.

      I mentioned Viggo in EASTERN PROMISES earlier as an example of a false character who we feel we get to know quite well; that’s because we see a real set of values at work while he’s in his fake persona, and those values are only deepened by the revelation of who he really is, not negated. The relationship between the fake and the real adds complexity and drama.

      Likewise, even if the fake and real characters are drastically different, the story could really dig into the implications of the deception, as with Kim Novak in VERTIGO. After we realize that her entire suicidal persona was all part of an elaborate con, the second half of the movie is devoted to the consequences of her lie: her relationship with Jimmy Stewart dredges up her guilt and his obsession, and gradually begins to mirror the relationship he had with her fake self.

      By contrast, in THE USUAL SUSPECTS, the person we’ve been watching is one hundred percent fabricated, so the movie waits until the end to reveal the truth, because there’s no character value in the correlation between the two personalities. Once the trick is revealed, the character is complete, and hence the story is over.

      All that to say, you need to gauge whether your character twist adds dimension or stops your story dead, and plot accordingly.

      • fragglewriter

        I’ll have to watch Eastern Promises as I’ve never heard of the movie. I watched Vertigo earlier this year. Thought it was too long, so I missed the plot twist. The Usual Suspects, not my cup of tea.

        But these three movie did give me a sense of story as to how to structure my script and hopefully, not be cliched. I think Vertigo is along the lines that I was thinking of, but a movie that long and drawn out wouldn’t be enticing to a reader and let alone an audience.

  • brenkilco

    Another quote about him, at the time Eyes Wide Shut came out. Not sure who said it. “Kubrick on sex is like Gandhi on catering. ”

    The characters in his early stuff were sharp and recognizable: the gang in The Killing and the scummy officers in Paths of Glory. But pretty soon it was all specimens under a microscope. Doesn’t mean I dislike his movies. Love Barry Lyndon. Even though you feel little for the main character.

    As for Clockwork Orange not sure what we’re rooting for. The primacy of free will, even if what you decide to do is murder and rape?

    • astranger2

      Wow… Burgess languished most his later life that his biggest regret was the “public’s” misinterpetation of Clockwork. And, in fairness, the American edition of his novel deleted the final chapter of his British release — as did Kubrick’s film.

      Regardless, however, it is not a celebration of violence — as it is too often ignorantly cited. But a vehement cinematic indictment of that violence, and the hypocritic social, political and spiritual mores that permeate all our lives.

      In Clockwork, we are not “rooting” for anyone, but lamenting for ourselves, society and our incapacity to forgive and forget. The film’s theme is about stopping the cycle of senseless retribution in the name of “justice.”

      No matter which altar we worship to, or on whichever day — we always revert to “an eye for an eye.” Sadly… that is the theme and message…

      After Alex the droog is “rehabilitated” and humbled to his knees with contrition — and his spirit as broken as Luke’s in Cool Hand — his makeover is met with naked cruelty and unmasked vengeance…

      In Clockwork Orange we are “rooting” for mankind… and our ability to look past our primal urges for plain, ugly revenge.

      Wow… I understand how the dense, plodding ears and eyes of the masses may celebrate this film for its “gratuitous” violence — after all, there are many more droogs like Dim out there than the “Ode to Joy’s” Alex…

      I did think, however, a writer’s board would see into the greater humanity of this particular Kubrick film…

    • astranger2

      Addendum: And to call A Clockwork Orange a “celebration” of violence, as so many critics have done, is akin to saying Orwell’s 1984 a “celebration” of totalitarianism.

      You really think the film is a simplistic Skinnerian exercise in determinism/free will? Really? I’m amazed…

      • brenkilco

        Well, it was a stray comment, not an essay. And having never read the Burgess novel, I can’t comment on how his themes may have been trampled by Kubrick. Do not much care for Clockwork Orange, but have never considered it a celebration of violence or atavism. However, to suggest that Kubrick intended a humanist message is a new one on me. He was the coldest, most pessimistic and most clinically detached of directors with regard to his view of the human species. And everyone is Clockwork is viewed with something close to contempt. Alex and his droogs prey on the ordinary, and are themselves exploited. While all sides of the political class torment or in the end pamper Alex for their cynical advantage. It is a corrupt world where Droogs can become police because there is little difference. We are left with nothing at the end but Alex’s triumph over his conditioning which is lathered with irony, and portends nothing good. And i think it’s fair to as whether Kubrick is lamenting the horrific society man has constructed or suggesting that he believes it’s the system we deserve.

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sent

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sent!

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sent.

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sent.

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sent!

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sent.

  • Poe_Serling

    Here’s a crazy fun fact about Angus ‘The Tall Man” Scrimm. Courtesy of a recent LA Times article:

    “Even when “Phantasm” hit, Scrimm kept his job at Capitol Records, where
    he was one of the label’s most prolific, accomplished writers of liner
    notes. For 30 years he wrote liner notes for such artists as Frank
    Sinatra, Nat King Cole and even the Beatles under the byline Rory Guy —
    winning the Grammy in 1974 for his notes for “Korngold: The Classic
    Erich Wolfgang Korngold.”

  • HRV

    Would someone send me a copy of I-5. Thanks. websleuth@hotmail.com

    • Ryan Sasinowski

      Sent.

  • drifting in space

    Hey hey, this takes place in my own backyard.

    Though I get the feeling he found an article on a famous serial killer from this area and made a story out of it.

    That being said, I’m about to read it. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sent. Sorry for the delay!

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Done!

    • lesbiancannibal

      Could you send me a copy please Ryan? Sounds intriguing
      prtaylorfreelance@gmail.com

      • Ryan Sasinowski

        Sent

        • lesbiancannibal

          legend, tyvm

  • Guest

    Holy Sh*t!!

    Is everyone sitting down?

    Just announced, and I pray this is true:

    AMC Announces ‘Breaking Bad’
    To Return For 6th Season;
    You Won’t Believe This Plot Twist

    http://empirenews.net/amc-announces-breaking-bad-will-return-for-6th-season-you-wont-believe-this-plot-twist/

    • Malibo Jackk

      In other news…
      US Postal Service announces plans to change to Weekend Only delivery.

  • klmn

    OT: Word of the day coulrophobia

    http://news.yahoo.com/teen-convicted-armed-clowns-spread-panic-french-towns-155808684.html;_ylt=AwrBEiTcMUVUnWEADlfQtDMD

    Now, how many of you knew that word? I sure as hell didn’t.

  • lesbiancannibal

    could someone send me a copy please? prtaylorfreelance@gmail.com

    • Ryan Sasinowski

      Sent

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Email?

  • astranger2

    In most works of great fiction we are drawn to the inner voice of the protagonist. Whether it is Marlon Brando in The Wild One, Roy Scheider in Jaws, or Sandra Bullock in Gravity, we empathize with the character’s struggles.

    Obviously, you and brenkilco have no such feelings for Alex.

    No doubt Alex is a misanthropic thug, preying on the weak and defenseless, much as a wolf pack or lioness preys on the most helpless — targeting those creatures unable to keep up with the pack. A thinning of the herd.

    And based on his actions, one would be hard-pressed to like Alex. Yet, when portrayed well — as with a Travis Bickle, or Hannibal Lecter — we can find slivers of humanity lurking deep within some of these miscreants. As with a Dexter or Walter White. We like them, or at least have some empathy.

    The “ultra-violence” in Clockwork set in an opulently-futuristic world is purposely over-the-top as to satirize society’s view on “crime and punishment.” Accompanied by an extraordinarily well-selected musical score, Clockwork is a visual and sensual masterpiece… right, right, right?

    And yet, despite it’s magnificent dialogue and music, it has great story. It’s structure meets the Hitchcock/Mamet standards. (If you turned the sound completely off, you would still understand exactly what is happening, and why.)

    And do we HAVE TO like anyone in a film for it to resonate in our minds? Do we like John Wayne’s character in The Searchers?

    Kubrick purposely painted Alex as a violent, unredeemable hoodlum — a loner’s loner. Even his own gang hated him, and with just cause. A lover of Beethoven and Rossini in a Sex Pistols crowd. He is the ultimate square peg in a round hole. He is Holden Caulfield in another time, another setting…

    We need the “gratuitous” violence to paint the depravity swirling inside Alex’s mind. It is as pivotal as portraying the graphic homosexual brutality of the Turkish prison in Midnight Express.

    It is because Alex preys on the totally helpless we are stunned into revulsion by his acts. Yet we watch him as he “progresses” through his penal reform, fooling the prison minister into thinking he’s changed. Later, he undergoes a controversial behavior-modification procedure that really does reform him. He is truly contrite. Repentant.

    But upon re-entering society, he is shunned, and victimized by all — the same stupid “kingdom of sheep,” who instead of showing mercy or forgiveness, wish to exact their own ounce of vengeance. So unable to assimilate his new self into the world, Alex decides to snuff himself…

    He re-emerges, recovering in a hospital bed, exalted now (for publicity’s sake) by a new government to showcase the atrocious policies of the past regime.

    He is RENEWED. The old Alex is back, bloody, lustful, and violent as ever.

    The violence has come full circle.

    IF during Alex’s real conversion, someone had reached out a kind hand to him, he might’ve been truly saved. But there was no Father Flanagan for Alex the droog…

    A celebration of violence? Or a indictment of society’s hypocritical Stairway to Heaven mindset?

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sure thing. Sent!

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Sure thing. Sent!

  • Guilherme Alves

    Can you send me a copy, please?

    dolgester@hotmail.com