Movies of Summer’97: The Parody

SUMMER OF SUCKY SEQUELS, SORRY STORIES AND SHODDY SCRIPTS!

or

Movies of Summer’97; a review

1997,

PART B: THE PARODY
(ALSO READ PART A: THE ESSAY)

 

B. A fable, for the enlightenment, entertainment and education of the reader.

[The following started out as a two-or-three pages sketch that degenerated in a formal parody of all the movies I’ve seen this summer, with whole paragraphs of musings about the nature of scripts, movies and screenwriters.]

 

INT. WRITER’S DEN

FADE-IN on a young WRITER, facing his computer. Piles of technical documentation are scattered all around the desk as he struggles with the words on the computer’s monitor. From the shape of the onscreen text, the Writer is scripting a screenplay. Abruptly, he grabs an opened book and compares the written text with the onscreen words.

WRITER
Arg! I can’t write this! It’s not exact! "Cars seldom explode on impact, modern gas tanks being designed to survive such trauma."

He reaches for the keyboard, and press repeatedly on the cursor keys, moving the blinking cursor left and right, but not writing anything.

WRITER
And yet… There could be a really cool explosion here…

His decision taken, he moves the cursor to the appropriate spot with a CLICK of the mouse. As soon as he places his hands on the keyboard, the screen goes black.

WRITER
Hey!

He reaches out with his hand, wanting to tap on the glass. Suddenly, his finger GOES THROUGH the darkness and into the monitor’s case.

WRITER
What?

Experimentally, he puts is whole finger in, then his hand. He is about to remove his hand when abruptly, he is PULLED toward the monitor. He barely has time to scream than the monitor WIDENS to let the Writer’s whole body pass through the darkness.

INT. WARP TUNNEL

The Writer is falling through a tunnel of garish (techni)colors.

(CREDITS) CONTACTING, CONTROLLING AND CONQUERING THE LOST WORLD FROM A VOLCANO WITH MEN IN BLACK: SPAWNING THE FIFTH MIMIC "CON AIR FORCE ONE FACE/OFF" OPERATION ON THE EVENT HORIZON
by
Christian Sauve
with The unwitting help of people actually paid for this stuff.
(END CREDITS)

EXT. DARK CITY

A techno-gothic metropolis. Thunder and lighting included.

EXT. DARK CITY, BACK ALLEY

A BEAM OF PURE WHITE LIGHT opens up on the wet pavement. The Writer is dropped unceremoniously on the hard surface. As soon as he’s down, the beam of light disappears, the ominous darkness reigning again.

WRITER
Now this is too much-

A grating voice (JESTER) interrupts

JESTER
Ah, there you are!

The Writer looks up and sees a grotesque, fat, blue-skinned clown standing over him.

WRITER
And *you* are?

JESTER
Come on, you don’t recognize me?

The Writer slowly stands up, easily towering over the short clown.

WRITER
Let me guess: The Clown.

JESTER
Nah, it’s been done: Call me The Jester.

The Writer feels his bones briefly; nothing broken.

WRITER
(Looking around)
And I suppose there’s a very good reason that I’m here?

JESTER
Right on! You see, I like you, man. You put words together in the right order. I like that. I like that a lot.

The Writer is approaching the wall, gently thumping the bricks. With a frown, he DIGS his finger THROUGH a brick, removing a part of it: Under the spray-painted rust color is the shining light yellow of styrofoam.

JESTER
Stop that! You’re ruining the illusion!

The Writer flicks the offending piece away, smiles innocently.

JESTER
As I said, I like you, but I was watching you write that screenplay, and I said to myself: Hey, Jester… Time to have a little chat with the smart guy.

Jester would like to take the Writer by the shoulder, but height forbids this. Meanwhile, the Writer is walking through the alley.

JESTER
You see… Your stuff is a little too… bland. Where are the chicks, man?

WRITER
My heroine isn’t a "chick". She’s a mature and intelligent young woman. Emphasizing her physical
attributes-

JESTER
What’s with the big words? I tell you man, put a few more explosions, nude scenes and moon shots. People will pay for this, not for some artsy-

WRITER
My script is about the power of friendship and ideals in modern society! I can’t put a car chase without
compromising-

JESTER
Who cares about ideals? These are the nineties, think VAST, man! Violence, Action, Sex and Tits!

WRITER
What about Car chases and Explosions?

JESTER
Well, okay… Think… I don’t know… your’re the Writer, man, think of something!

WRITER
How about VERITAS?

JESTER
(wary)
And what would that be all about?

WRITER
(smirking)
Vision, Entertainment, Realism, Intelligence, Taste, Authenticity and Satisfaction.

The Jester grunts.

WRITER
Of course, there’s still things like Character, Dialogue, Originality to incorporate, but-

JESTER
You really don’t understand, don’t you? These things aren’t IMPORTANT in a movie. People want-

WRITER
People want Truth and recognize it as such! Love, Friendship, Trust, Loyalty, Honor are Truths and-

The Jester is twitching visibly.

JESTER
(growling)
You stand there talking about ideals, but you don’t have any idea about how movies work.

A SPIKE suddenly piece Jester’s back, then another, and another… Soon, Jester is mutating unrecognizably, his skin being torn from the inside and shredded from emerging spikes.

JESTER
Your script may be about whatever you wish, but it’s about to be PRODUCED! And *I* am the PRODUCER!

A hideous monster emerge. More than twelve feet high, and able to crush mere Writers at the flick of an arm, the PRODUCER is simultaneously the highest and the lowest life form of Hollywood. The Writer starts to run.

PRODUCER
Come back, I’m not finished with you!

The Writer doesn’t stop, heading for the brightly lit main street just outside the alley. The Producer start running, throwing bricks of green paper at the Writer. One such brick hits the Writer hard on the shoulder, throwing him on the ground. The Writer reaches for the brick…

WRITER
Money?

PRODUCER
Here, I just bought your scruples. Now, rewrite your
script!

WRITER
You can’t buy me like this. I’m not a string of numbers in a Swiss bank, I am a free man!

The Writer throws the money back to the Producer. At it makes contact, everything FADES-OUT.

INT. LIBRARY

FADE-IN a deserted library. Beam of light. Falling Writer. THUD.

WRITER
Again?

He gets up. A young woman appears from between the shelves. Brunette, glasses, not really slender,
cute rather than beautiful.

WOMAN
You’re not an easy man to convince.

WRITER
Jester! You’re using my characters! That’s not fair!

WOMAN
Few things are fair, man. Who are you to buck against whole *months* of market trends?

She approaches him.

WRITER
Market trends? The only thing you’ll get with polls are what the audience thought they wanted the day of the poll! That’s impure writing!

She begins grinding suggestively against him.

WOMAN
Pure? I’m pure…

WRITER
I wrote you. You’re not that pure.

Suddenly, the woman changes in a blur, transforming in a blonde with a body used as specifications at cosmetic institutes all over the world.

WRITER
You’re using my fantasies against me.

WOMAN
Isn’t that the point of your job? Fulfilling fantasies? The balding guy who dodged the draft and dreams of being a war hero? The housewife who wishes
she’d married her high school sweetheart? The nerd who still stares at the stars in wonder? The female teen who wishes to meet a guy that’s as nice as the one she sees in the movies? What about the geek who’s never gotten the girl?

Her hands are getting more and more insistent.

WRITER
I do believe you’re trying to seduce me.

WOMAN
And what’s the big difference with you? You’re a literary seducer, a puppet-master manipulating the audience to suit the demands of your plot-

The Writer suddenly moves away, toward the shelves.

WRITER
I refuse to be swayed by such spurious arguments! I write stories. If the story is good, then the audience will allow themselves to be moved. Anything else is blatant manipulation! Mechanical in nature, it’s only as good as long as the audience don’t realize they’re being fooled!

The woman advances toward him.

WOMEN
But… there’s a sucker born every minute. Who cares about aftertaste when you can lure them in the first weekend?

The Writer picks up a book to throw, glances at the title: Crime and Punishment, Fedor Dostoevsky.

WRITER
Take this!

He throws the book, hitting the woman’s head. Unperturbed, she continues to advance.

WRITER
Ask Dostoevsky if he cared about first weekends!

He throws a Shakespeare at her.

WRITER
And him!

More books are thrown.

WRITER
Him! Her! Him! Him again! Her too!

But the woman still advances, like a terminator who’s see her target. Her hair darkens, her eyes go from blue to red. Her teeth grow longer… Bit by bit, she’s backed the Writer in the nonfiction section.

WRITER
And what about physics?

He throws a few textbooks at her. She visibly flinches.

WRITER
Admit it! You never took any hard science electives in high school, didn’t you?

The woman morphs into The Jester.

JESTER
No, -ouch!- what would -ow!- be the point?

Books keep raining him on him, slowing him down.

WRITER
You can’t argue with maths!

A strange tremor is shaking the library. Ghostly forms emerge from books, condensing in a single entity.

WRITER
And I bet you never studied psychology either! Is that why you guys love stereotypes so much?

A faint CHEERING is heard from the entity. Jester looks at it with unrepressed hate.

JESTER
I knew it was a mistake to try to argue here!

A whirlwind starts to form around the Writer. A few ghostly tendrils try to reach out to him, but it’s too late, and there’s a FADE-OUT.

INT. CRUISE BOAT, BRIDGE

Beam of white light. Falling Writer.

WRITER
This is getting tiresome.

JESTER
A MUCH BETTER PLACE, ISN’T IT?

The Writer quickly gets up and look around. The Jester is dressed in a white ship captain’s uniform, grinning happily while staring ahead. The Writer looks.

EXT. SEASHORE

The boat is heading straight for a small coastal town, and not decelerating.

INT. CRUISE BOAT, BRIDGE

WRITER
This is ridiculous. What’s the point of being here?

JESTER
You *still* don’t get it, do you? There *no* point for us to be here but the big explosion! Why do you think we’ve got a hundred-million budget-

The Writer notices that the boat is heading straight for a building on the beach named GENERAL MOTOR HOSPITAL. On the lawn between the hospital and the beach, patients in wheelchairs are looking at the boat.

WRITER
(shaking his head)
Where’s the school-yard?

JESTER
Just behind the hospital. Wait for the establishing shot.

WRITER
You’re setting me up for a moral dilemma.

JESTER
Right on! Give the man a prize!

A gift-wrapped box with the typical fancy knot on the top appears in Jester’s hand, who give it to the Writer.

JESTER
Come on! Open it!

The Writer reluctantly begins to unwrap the present.

JESTER
Get this, Mister Real Logic: We’re in a thousand-ton cruise boat, and we’re going too fast to stop. Solve *that* problem with your fancy physics!

Inside the box; a blank piece of paper, and a mechanical pen.

JESTER
(looking at his watch)
You’ve got… oh… not enough time!

WRITER
(staring out of the window)
Thousand-ton boat, beach of volcanic origins, small boats in the water ahead… Ha, there’s your solution!

He begins to write on the sheet of paper.

JESTER
What?

WRITER
(mumbling as he writes)
"The boat’s keel suddenly grinds against the beach sand."

The boat shakes. A grinding noise begins to rise.

WRITER
These beaches are on a very gradual slope, and as you said: This is a thousand-ton boat, we’ve got quite a
keel!

He smirks, and throws his mechanical pencil like a dart at the Jester.

WRITER
Eat lead, Jester!

The Jester catches the pencil, throws it back. The two characters are thrown toward the front as the sound of METAL AGAINST SAND increases to a deafening level.

WRITER
THIS MIGHT BE A THOUSAND-TON SHIP, BUT IT’S GOING AGAINST MAMA EARTH ITSELF!!

EXT. HOSPITAL LAWN

The boat is still decelerating, but almost upon the hospital’s grounds. People are fleeing everywhere. An deaf old woman is sitting in a wheelchair, watching everyone go away. The back of the wheelchair has "I STATE THE BLOODY OBVIOUS" written on it.

DEAF OLD WOMAN
Hey, where is everyone going?

The camera ROTATES around the wheelchair, revealing the ENORMOUS CRUISE SHIP heading straight for the center of the wheelchair. As the old woman looks around, the cruise boat stops, barely touching the chair. The woman has a "I AM THE COMIC RELIEF CAMEO" T-shirt.

DEAF OLD WOMAN
Is this a joke you’re playing on me again?

INT. CRUISE SHIP, BRIDGE

WRITER
Well, that was over-the-top.

JESTER
Damn you, man! Now we’re twenty millions under budget!

He makes a gesture, and the Writer disappears.

INT. TUNNEL OF COLORS

The Writer is falling through the tunnel again, mechanical pencil in hand. He extends his hand, and fin
ds that the pencil CUTS through the colors. He tries to move in the opening…

INT. WHITENESS

…and finds himself drenched in white. The setting desaturates-

INT. HEADQUARTERS, SCRIPTS IN BLACK

-and a burly man (ZAKE) is standing in front of the Writer, dressed in a black suit, sporting a goatee and wearing a permanent quasi-British smirk.

ZAKE
Finally! About time you got here!

WRITER
Jester?

ZAKE
Don’t insult me. You’re in good hands now. Come!

Not even waiting, he walk away. The Writer follows, astonished to see that he’s now wearing a black suit. Even his glasses are now black.

ZAKE
We’ve been really impressed by you, Writer. We’ve been following your progress and we must say, you’re really doing honor to the profession!

They’re walking on a passageway suspended in mid-air at the middle of Scripts in Black’s headquarters. Said headquarters is housed in one of the biggest warehouse ever leased for filming a movie scene. Everywhere one looks, there’s a plethora of inspiring memorabilia. Hanged to the ceiling are famous airplanes (full- sized), spaceship models, even scaled-down pirate ships. On the floor of the warehouse, cubicles; but the biggest, weirdest and most personalised cubicles ever. Each the size of an apartment, and each housing one writer. The method of writing goes from the quill to the word-processor, but all of them are writing the best stuff of their lives. Astonishingly, the place is mostly quiet. The style of decoration varies from writer to writer, going from the war museum to the new-age pastel explosion. One can guess the flavour of each writer’s scripts by the props hanging around them. On the walls, giant-sized portraits of inspiring figures: Paddy Chayefsky, Woody Allen, Syd Field, William Goldman, James Cameron. (These last four being ON PROBATION.) The place of honor, of course, is reserved for William Shakespeare.

ZAKE
These are the headquarters of Scripts in Black.

WRITER
Silly name.

ZAKE
Not really: We are a secret organisation of competent screenwriters aiming to produce scripts that are reasonably intelligent, yet commercially successful.

WRITER
Hence the name "in black".

ZAKE
Have you every seen a script written in green?

WRITER
Any reason for the black suits? Writer don’t-

ZAKE
Some do, on Oscar night. Always remember that.

The Writer digests this.

WRITER
So you’re the allies I must befriend to complete my quest?

ZAKE
Crude and technical, but accurate. We’ve been hanging in here for a while; we can help you if you wish.

WRITER
Sure. It’s time we teach’em something.

ZAKE
Ah, youthful enthusiasm!

WRITER
There’s one thing I don’t understand.

Zake looks at him. The Writer points to the writers in their cubicles.

WRITER
I’ll bet that if I go to these guys and ask them what they’re writing, they’ll all say that it’s the best stuff of their career. They’ll say the script sings, that their story is just perfect, that they’ve one-upped old Bill over there.

He points to the portrait of William Shakespeare.

WRITER
And yet, the movie gets out, and it still sucks. We’re pretty smart; what’s our problem?

ZAKE
You’ve got to realize that while be may be the brightest people around, we don’t make the movies alone. Hundreds of hands help make any movie. Excellent scripts die in devellopement hell. What remains gets rewritten by the directors, the actors, the producer’s teenage niece, anyone!

WRITER
(leaning against the railing)
And there’s nothing we can do about it.

ZAKE
We can go for smaller scripts and retain control. We can take the money and run. We can befriend actors and count on them to steam-roll our script through. We can wait for audiences to come around.

WRITER
Or we can fight.

ZAKE
That’s the spirit!

A flash of rainbow flashes across the Writer’s body.

ZAKE
There’s not much time: Remember to use your-

Wind seems to surround the Writer, making speech unintelligible.

ZAKE
YOUR WEAPON! THE PEN IS MIGHTIER-

The Writer vortexes out.

INT. SMALL PLANE

The Writer opens his eyes, sees that he’s in a plane. He begins to relax, looks around- -and stares into the eyes of Jester, his aisle neighbour.

JESTER
Hello again. Took some time to come here, didn’t you? Changed clothes too, I see.

The Writer is still dressed in the black suit.

WRITER
There’s a reason for being here, or is this a gratuitous plane scene?

JESTER
There’s a point all right: Let me show you.

He takes a whistle out of his pocket, BLOWS in it loudly, then takes an impossibly large RIFLE out of his other pocket and gets up. Around the plane, other terrorists (all dressed in a clownish way, if wearing different colors) are rising too. Some go toward the cockpit, others keep their attention on the passengers. A few gunshots are heard while Jester swaggers to the front of the compartment.

JESTER
Ladies and Gentleman, we apologize for the inconvenience, but THIS PLANE HAS JUST BEEN HIJACKED!

A moment of stunned silence, then cheers and applause from the crowd. One bland man gets up and points at the Jester. Abruptly, all cheering ends.

BLAND MAN
Just how evil are you, guys?

JESTER
As evil as this!

He shoots the bland man, who bounces bloodlessly in his seat. The passengers all laugh, cheer and applause. The Writer is aghast.

CROWD
Encore! Encore!

The cheering eventually abates. Everyone is having a good time.

WRITER
What airline is this?

JESTER
Think of it as a metaphor: Your average idiot-

WRITER
Whom your think of as your audience.

JESTER
-goes to the movies expecting something to happen. Reality is boring, get it? We give’em excitement, we give’em fantasy. We’re hijacking their reality with
their full approval!

WRITER
It’s you who’s not getting the point: Exciting stories don’t require insipid dialogue or over-the-top finales. It’s possible to be exciting while still
obeying the laws of ballistics-

JESTER
Shut up!

WRITER
-and what about love stories? No need for hijacking reality: just tell the story, and-

JESTER
SHUT UP!

WRITER
(getting up)
What’s the matter, Jester? Am I upsetting something? You shouldn’t be so insistent unless…
(a beat as he considers the idea)
…you want something from me…

The Jester grins.

JESTER
Interesting plot twist, no? The script you’re writing; I want it. Remember what I said, put some VASTness in it and I’ll buy it.

The Writer and the Jester are now facing each other in the aisle.

WRITER
Internal coherency flaw: My script is real while you’re obviously a figment of my imagination. What are going to pay me in? Imaginary money?

The Jester blinks twice, then sighs.

JESTER
That’s rotten.

WRITER
That’s why you need writers.

Jester takes thick wad
of green bills and a contract out of another pocket.

JESTER
ENOUGH WITH COHERENCY! You will sign this contract, and you will sign it now.

The Writer takes out his mechanical pencil.

WRITER
I said no earlier-

He jabs the contract with the pen, ripping the paper.

WRITER
AND IT’S STILL NO!

JESTER
MEN! CONVINCE HIM!

All around the plane, different-colored clowns take aim at the Writer.

WRITER
Eeek.

JESTER
Let’s be reasonable, okay?

He shakes the paper, then presents it back to the Writer. The paper is intact. The Writer looks at it a moment, then has a flash of inspiration.From the Jester’s POINT OF VIEW, the Writer draws a circle in the air with the pencil. As the camera CIRCLES the duo, the multicolored edges of the circle on the Writer’s side are very distinct.

JESTER
Cabalistic signs won’t change my mind, man!

The circle completed, the Writer reaches for the middle of the circle, as if for the contract. But before his hands grasp the contract, it encounters a soft membrane, which he GRABS and PULLS. The whole circle of reality inside the circle is pulled away like a cloth, revealing a TUNNEL of random colors. Before anyone can react, he’s jumping head-first into the circle, which closes behind him.

INT. PATHWAY OF COLOR

The Writer’s fall is slowing down. The tunnel is separating in different branches and he takes an alternate route.

INT. OLD SUBWAY CAR

The Writer just materializes inside an old subway car. He has time to notice Zake before the car begins ROCKING and SHAKING as monstrous forms assail it from all sides.

WRITER
IS THIS ANOTHER OF THOSE METAPHORS?

The car is being left alone for a moment.

ZAKE
Absolutely. Consider the car as being your integrity and these guys out there as the ones who wish to destroy it.

The Writer looks outside, glimpsing horrifying forms.

WRITER
Those shapeless, formless horrors…

ZAKE
All assaulting our senses and sensibilities…

WRITER
Sound like a plot.

ZAKE
Actually, it is. While you weren’t looking, we changed the nature of this screenplay from under you.

WRITER
Hang a second… Joseph Campbell; _The Hero’s Journey_: "call to adventure, often refused by hero" No way, Jose, I’m not saving the world!

ZAKE
Aw, come on!

WRITER
(shrugging)
Okay, then.

Zake takes a few things out of his pocket.

ZAKE
Good. Here is your reality remote, your membership card, your box of fund-raising chocolate and your towel.

WRITER
Towel?

ZAKE
Never leave home without it. I think-

The subway car is rocked again, the outside forces getting more insistent in their banging.

ZAKE
GIVE’EM HELL! REMEMBER: YOU’RE THE PROTAGONIST, NOW!

The Writer presses a few button on the reality remote. A vortex of multicolored pixels twirl around him and he disappears.

INT. OPERA HALL

The Writer opens his eyes, sees that he is sitting in one of the best place of the opera. Looking up, he sees a banner: TWENTY-FIRST GALACTIC KARAOKE CONTEST For the moment, lights are still on and the crowd is quiet.

WRITER
I’m already in hell.

JESTER (OS)
I’m working on it, sir!

The Writer turns his head, sees that Jester is sitting two seats at the right of him, talking in his cellphone.

JESTER
I *will* convince the little nerd and he’s going to script the movie. Yeah, Yeah. I know; no money before the Writer’s hired, yeah. No. Yeah. Later,
sir.

The Writer blinks hard, several times.

ANNOUNCER (OS)
Ladies and gentleman, our semifinalist in the Opera Karaoke category, please welcome Mister Jester!

The Writer realizes with horror that the Jester is moving out of his seat, and coming toward him. Before he has a chance to move-

JESTER
You!

WRITER
ME!

JESTER
MEN! HE’S HERE!!

The Writer wiggles out of his seat, falling on the woman on the seat behind him. Jester is moving to catch him while several thickset clownish aliens converge on their position. A chant begins to rise in the opera: "Jes-ter, jes-ter." Realizing he’s being called on-stage, the Jester throws a glare at the Writer, then moves away.

JESTER
MEN! HE’S THERE!

As Jester finally moves away, the Writer looks around and sees some of the aliens block both ends of his row. Getting up, he steps on the back of the seats, and begin running toward the back of the room, precariously keeping his balance and creating a stir among the audience.

WRITER
Make way! MAKE WAY!!

ANNOUNCER (OS)
Ladies and gentleman, Jester will now interpret the main theme from "Madama Butterfly".

The lights dim; the Writer realises he can’t expect to make it through the room in darkness. Fortunately, he’s near one of the pillars that prop the balcony. He grasps the curtains covering the pillar and begins to climb. The Jester begins to "sing." Most of the audience enjoys the torture. Behind the Writer, several aliens begin to climb the same curtain. The Writer sees with horror that the curtain won’t tolerate much more strain, so he LUNGES- -and GRABS the railing just before the curtain’s hinges break off, sending the aliens sprawling on the floor below. By the time they get up again, the Writer is running in the balcony’s aisles. The Writer finally opens the back door of the balcony, gets out.

INT. OPERA HOUSE, MAIN HALL

The Writer closes the door, hugging it with his back. The music is being piped through speakers. He takes a few breaths, eyes closed. When he opens them, he sees fifteen aliens, guns aimed at him.

WRITER
Ah-

The aliens fire: Their shots are wildly inaccurate. Almost immediately, three of the aliens shoot themselves, and five more are shot by others. The aliens keep firing: They blast most of the immediate vicinity, but keep missing the Writer, who’s just too afraid to more. The door behind him is blown backwards, but a piece of it (roughly the Writer’s shape) stays leaning against his back. More shots severely weaken the opera house’s structural integrity, but still, the Writer hasn’t even been grazed. The aliens stop to reload. The Writer darts away.

WRITER
(To himself, falsetto)
No son; don’t go into the army, people might shoot at you! Take a job on a computer somewhere!

He turns a corner, sees that the second-level passageway he’s running on is made of glass, and others aliens are below him.

WRITER
Aiee!!

He runs the distance, the glass exploding from the gunshots from the aliens. Eventually, the shots are replaced by moans are glass rains down on the shooters. The Writer turns yet another corner- -to find himself face-to-face with yet another group of aliens. He turns around and -surprise!- the first group of aliens is there, having made it mysteriously through the broken glass.

WRITER
Plot holes, improbable stunts, spectacular yet senseless scenes, incoherent action, there’s no doubt
about it… I’m in an action movie, and *I* am the action hero!

The aliens take a step back as the Writer grins broadly at them.

WRITER
Too late!!

As the music mixes into a
pulse-pounding disco remix of "Madama Gangsta Butta’fly" (with strains of "Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting"), the Writer uses legs, arms, heads, spoons, modems, chainsaws and classical paintings to pummel everyone into submission. At the end, he is sitting on a pile of unconscious alien corpses.

WRITER
Whee!

He dusts his suit slightly, then activates the reality remote.

EXT. WASHINGTON, LINCOLN MEMORIAL MONUMENT

WRITER
Well, Zake, I think I’m finally getting the hang-

He stops, realizing that Jester is sitting besides him, wearing a ridiculous wig of long brown hair.

JESTER
Woahh, yah’a reelly cute chick taday!

The Writer looks at himself, realizes that he’s wearing a wig of even longer blonde hair, a grey skirt and a blouse (with padded bra).

WRITER
This parody thing is going too far!

JESTER
Yah willin’ to die foh what’ya beleive in, why?

WRITER
And you’re willing to make money off things you *don’t* beleive in, so don’t lecture me, okay?

JESTER
Aw, yah makin’ fun o’ me again.

WRITER
Tell me, Jester: Why are you willing to send your goons to beat me up if you want me to sign your contract?

JESTER
Because you’ll be checked into a hospital, and then you’ll *need* money to get out.

WRITER
Just one small flaw in your plan.

A suspenseful pause.

WRITER
(grinning)
I’m Canadian. My hospital costs are already covered.

Jester gets up abruptly, almost shaking.

JESTER
I drag you here to talk about the difference between faith and reality, and you start giving me that CRAP about universal health care, you- you- YOU SOCIALIST!

WRITER
I might be dressed in drag, but I still have my principles.

The Jester takes a reality remote out of his pocket.

JESTER
We’ll see about that.

Pixels swirl around the two, covering them and disappearing.

INT. RESEARCH TRAILER

The Writer has his eyes closed.

WRITER
Oh great: What now?

He opens them, looks around at the high-tech research trailer. Computers, sophisticated scientific instruments and ergonomic furniture compose the work environment.

WRITER
Cool.

He begins to dust his black suit.

JESTER (OS)
Don’t get too comfortable!

An immense Jester peers in the trailer’s window.

JESTER
You’re about to go down!

Suddenly, a loud BANG is heard from one size of the trailer, which rocks sideways. Then another BANG from the other side. Again. Again. Again. The trailer begins to slide away. The whole rear section falls over a previously unsuspected cliff. The Writer is thrown against the rear widow, making a few cracked-glass star patterns. As soon as he tries to move, the glass cracks even more. Looking down, he sees the Jester waving at him from the bottom of the cliff.

JESTER
Come on! Come here!!

The Writer looks up, where a feather is gently falling.

WRITER
You’re *kidding*!

Slowly, he races against the sheet of paper to handle his reality remote. He is too late: The feather TOUCHES the glass- -nothing happens. The Writer relaxes, begin to smile- -but a FALLING ANVIL SMASHES the window, shattering it. The Writer presses on the remote-

INT. AIRPORT RUNWAY

-and finds himself sitting in the passenger’s seat of a white top-less Hummer, narrowly CHASING a LearJet on the runway. A FBI agent is driving the Hummer while another female FBI agent is acting as a gunner in the back seat.

DRIVER
WE’RE GAINING ON THEM, SIR!

The door of the LearJet opens, with Jester holding a gun a Zeke’s head.

JESTER
DON’T MAKE ME DO SOMETHING MESSY!

WRITER
(To himself)
Hero’s Journey; Death of the Mentor… Okay…
(Aloud)
GO AHEAD! DUMP HIM, JESTER!

ZAKE
WHAT?

The sniper aboard the Hummer goes against every conceivable rule of hostage rescue and tries to shoot Jester; she fails and hit Zeke in the shoulder, who drops to the tarmac. A THUMP is heard as the Hummer passes over Zeke. Embarrassed silence aboard the Hummer. The driver whistles.

WRITER
Now that was a gratuitous Tarantino moment…

He looks back, and sees Zeke getting up, shaking his fist at the Hummer.

ZAKE
YOU DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO CATCH ME, YOU UNGRATEFUL BASTARD!

DRIVER
DO WE FOLLOW THEM IN THE WAREHOUSE, SIR?

WRITER
What-?

Without any warning, the LearJet SLAMS into a warehouse whose side is inexplicably made of dozens of small glass panels. The Hummer follows.

WRITER
This is beyond ludicrous.

He presses the button on the reality remote-

INT. METCALFE STREET, NIGHT

-only to find himself staring at a flow of lava going down one of Ottawa’s main streets. An establishing shot shows that Parliament Hill is now a volcano. A blockade is being established at the Corner of Metcalfe and Slater, in hope of limiting the damage.

TRUSTY SIDEKICK
The barrier is completed, sir! The CL-215 squadron is almost here from Chalk River, sir!

WRITER
Chalk River?

TRUSTY EXPOSITION MAN
The Deuterium-generating plant, sir?

The Writer blinks a few times and looks at the lava again, only to find that it’s now… brown. An unmistakeable aroma floats down Parliament Hill. No establishing shot elaborate the point further.

WRITER
Who would have thought we’d have time for a political statement?

TRUSTY ABSURDITY REPORTER
There’s someone surfing down the flow!

Of course; Jester, dressed in a pinstripe suit and white wig, riding the brown sludge like the best Californian surf freak.

JESTER
YOU CAN’T STOP THE FLOW, WRITER!!

Subliminally, Parliament hill is replaced by the Hollywood Hill. The color, consistency and smell of the brownish sludge stays the same.

WRITER
I get it.

TRUSTY SOUNDBOARD
You do?

WRITER
It’s metaphor time again! On one side of the barrier, producers, greed and… filth. On the other side, us screenwriters, scientists, ordinary people.

TRUSTY EMOTIST
We’re doomed!

WRITER
No; the metaphor isn’t complete! On our side, the Ottawa Public Library! The forces of truth and justice!

People are stopping what they’re doing, looking up at the Writer.

WRITER
For we know what’s right! This deuterium is the symbol of progress and rational thought! It’s not only Heavy Water, but it’s also a stronger version of the liquid of life! We drink of it, we bathe-

Fortunately, cheering drowns the rest of his insipid speech. At the height of the applause, the first CL-215 fire-fighting plane drops a load of Heavy Water, deuterium, on the advancing flow of… lava. It hardens, crackles, slows down a bit. A second load is dumped, then a third, a fourth, a fifth…

TRUSTY MASTER OF THE GOSH-DARN OBVIOUS
Could this be the end?

Soon, the flow has stopped, and everyone is celebrating. Walking to the edge of the hardened lava, The Writer notices a white wig lying in the water. He lifts it- -and the face of Jester comes with it.

JESTER
Time for the second clima
x!

Multicolored flash.

INT. 18TH FLOOR, JESTER’S OFFICE.

The Writer materializes on a plush blue carpet.

JESTER (OS)
What do you think of the headquarters of "Jester Productions Inc."?

The Writer gets up, looking around. The office occupies all of the 18th floor of a small office building. The Los Angeles cityscape is seen all around. In one corner of the office, a large desk where Jester is sitting, working on a computer. At the center, a large elaborate gadget made of three separately rotating circles is spinning at the center of a small shallow pool of water. Comfy chairs, impressive potted plants and coffee tables complete the decoration.

WRITER
Expensive.

JESTER
Why do you think movies cost so much?

WRITER
And you reason for bringing me here is…?

JESTER
You’ll understand in a moment. Goons?! Beat him up!

Out of nowhere, three burly men appear and start clobbering the Writer.

WRITER
Hey! Ouch! Yow! Stop it!

The three goons stop for a moment.

WRITER
(pointing at Jester)
Why don’t you go hit on that guy over there?

JESTER
(not even looking away from his computer)
Because I’m their boss.

The three goons start hitting the Writer again, satisfied of the answer. The Writer tries to move toward the shallow pool, only to be shoved and beaten up in it: The goons are waterproof. Jester completes his FreeCell game.

JESTER
Okay, guys. I’ll take care of the rest myself.

As the goons exit, the Writer laboriously gets up on his feet again, water dripping from his clothes. He’s been beat-up Hollywood style, which means a few bruises and a cracked lip, but nothing worse. Jester approaches him with the contract.

WRITER
Was that *really* necessary?

The cellphone rings. Jester answers.

JESTER
(sweating)
Yes, yes, no. Absolutely. Right away, sir! Please stay on the line, I’ll make him sign, sir.

He thrusts the contract to the Writer, his hand shaking slightly.

JESTER
I’m offering you immortality as the Writer of NYMPHO UNDERCOVER LIBRARIANS. Sign!

WRITER
I’d rather die.

Jester abruptly punches the Writer in the stomach, then kicks him a few times while he’s down in the water. He kneels in the pool and grabs the Writer by the hair.

JESTER
I took audiences to hell and back. You’re going to do it with me the next time.

WRITER
(struggling)
You… despise the audience.

JESTER
Audience is just a word. Let me show you.

Quasi-subliminal images flashes in the Writer’s mind: Drooling idiots in their seats watching endless Ernst sequels, delighting over yet another Home Alone, applauding the inanity of Pauly Shore…

JESTER
Do you see?? DO YOU SEE???

WRITER
Yes, I see.

He REACHES for the cellphone and CUTS OFF the call. The Jester jerks away.

JESTER
You HUNG UP ON HIM! My project is ruined! If it wouldn’t have been for you meddling kid…

WRITER
SHUT UP!

The Writer gets up one last time, massaging his bruises.

WRITER
I’m the good guy and I won. Deal with it.

JESTER
You force me to reach for my weapon so you might kill me in an act of justified self-defense.

WRITER
Sorry Jester; I’m an old-fashioned kind of hero. I don’t do killings. So… I guess there’s only one thing for you to do.

JESTER
Aw…

WRITER
I don’t like it any more than you do.

JESTER
(shrugging)
Okay.

He shakes the hand of the Writer.

JESTER
It’s been fun.

WRITER
Same here.

The Jester then runs for the windows and JUMPS OUTSIDE. The Writer nods once, then notices that the three rotating circles of the center sculpture have aligned and that PERFECT DARKNESS has formed inside the center circle. He walks into the darkness-

INT. WRITER’S DEN

-and steps out of his enlarged monitor. Sitting down in his chair, he sees that the word processor has returned to its previous state. His fingers reach for the keyboard.

WRITER
(writing aloud)
"And then the car crashes at the bottom of the cliff with the sickening sounds of groaning metal and breaking glass. It doesn’t explode."

He turns toward the camera.

WRITER
And how’s that for a happy ending?

Fade-out.

THE END

Rockland, Ontario
September 1997

 

Last Updated:
October 2002

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