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The Beast of Ape Canyon by Eric Wall (EWall433) - Short - On the last leg of their family vacation Robbie Turner drags his parents along on a search for Bigfoot, but nothing can prepare them for what they will find. - pdf, format
The dialogue punches out like sitcom comedy, almost like a “Married…with Children” type. Though slightly more on the nose as I kept reading on.
“Kwatoko opens a small box beside the cage and pulls out a dead rat. He takes out a knife and cuts two bits of meat from the rat’s body. He drops the rat meat into the cage piece by piece. The baby eagles feed.”
“The Winnebago pulls into the parking lot. Kwatoko puts the rat away and pulls a blanket over the cage.”
- Wait, is he embarrassed of what he’s doing? NOOO! Do it in front of the kid!
“YOUNG WOMAN We’re headed west. Planning to hit Goat Mountain by sundown.”
- I can only surmise what these two are looking for.
“KWATOKO Come on little one. You have to eat sometime.”
- It feels out of character for me, but I like what you’re trying to get across. I like how you managed to take it from being about big foot and unexpectedly making it about something else. Something not commonly perceived as horrific. I did have some issues with the clarity of some things. They were minor and didn’t deter the read too much for me, but to point out one in particular:
“EXT. FIELD - CONTINUOUS Robbie runs full force through the field. The wind whips the tall grass around him.” Is this an open field or like the open prairie? I mean, they’re in the forest after all so I’m confused as to whether he’s running through an agricultural field or open grassland.
"She wears a red, white and blue sundress." That's strangely specific... EDIT: My bad...
"She holds an open road map that she looks at it for a beat" Typo... I think?
Kwatoko's story just seems to be incredibly forced, I mean they didn't even ask to hear it but he just goes ahead and says it anyway. Make the kid curious and have him suggest it.
The ending was the only redeeming factor to the script, sorry to say, and that even barely worked. The thing is that the family, however American they may be, have honestly done nothing wrong. They're just a couple going out to wherever with their son, and sure, they might come across as a little 'patriotic' but that's no reason to kill them. So when they do die, it feels as if I should be almost happy they died, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. It felt forced.
And then there was the native American, he seemed like a nice enough dude, hell, he was telling the family stories and pinching their money, but then suddenly, he becomes the bad guy. The first 10 pages just didn't work, I felt the story revolved around the twist and just the twist. Maybe have this told me Kwatoko's point of view, maybe something disturbs his cycle of raising the eagles and he has to stop them. He's the only thing in this story that's keeping it interesting and I'd suggest focusing on this.
It has potential, but in its current form it's not working for me. The writing could also use a little clean up, but that's mostly early on.
I liked this one and I'm sure most will. Ok, it has its probs but it delivers in the main.
Here, though, we see the biggest problem of the challenge - the R rating. This script starts off quite family friendly, the title is sorta cliched and we maybe expect a scary story but in a good way. However...because we know the scripts have to have fairly graphic violence in them, we know that some nasty shit is bound to happen - in this case, a woman electrocuted by 1 billion volt ( which I sorta found funny when I read it) and the dad pecked to death by a giant fucking eagle, lol. So this sort of... throwing in of the violence or sex or whatever can make the script out of whack. I know in mine the violence is kinda of forced and I had to redo some pages to make it more 'real'
But hey, not whinging! This has been a great writing exercise!
Anyway, this was a cool little story and good job!
I can't believe this story actually got back on rails just in time to have an good ending. Not only was it good, it was really creepy. Another good script for showing the Pacific Northwest. Kudos for establishing a mythos for your tale. Kwatoko's got to make that money for letting people use his bathroom considering he's got many mouths to feed. Lol
I'm sorry, but you got to find a way to cover up the shit-show beating these characters took. Lol! I literally had tears in my eyes when that eagle did a beak plant into his American eagle shirt. Wtf was up with that egg?
This script would have been my hands down favorite so far, but that one sequence took away from it. Great set up and ending.
The opening visuals set this up to be a well-written script. Super satisfying sometimes when characters don't even have to open their mouths and you already have a strong opinion about them. (Oscar Wilde said that patriotism is the virtue of the vicious )
Kwatoko has an enormous nose, I hope!
The only thing I want (I'm on page 8 now) are a few more cheesy "ominous" gags. Nothing to overt, just something to remind us that the horror is coming. The family is hilarious, but maybe too hilarious, y'know?
To be perfectly deserving of a place in a Creepshow film, this short's only missing one thing -- stronger motivation to dislike the family. We've got the smallpox gag, but really, we need to see them shitting all over Native American culture left and right...or, they need to be warned not to mess with the egg...or, something. This has the perfect, PERFECT Creepshow type flavour, but the setup/payoff isn't quite right because if the payoff is them being horribly killed and cursed, the setup has to be, y'know, them deserving it.
But, the way I read it, a pitch-perfect kinda-goofy kinda-creepy really-fun little horror short. Thinking of Old Chief Wooden Head from Creepshow 2. Great work.
Was that some humor in the Winnebago - very naughty, no comedy permitted. I assume its going to get ugly.
After seeing that killing of his father Robbie's not going to be the same, that's for sure., and later we discover that indeed he won't be the same.
A old Indian, with dodgy eye sight, can morph into a giant eagle to raise babies taken from the human world and at the same time...run a gift shop. He's busy.
Yeah, there were some nice things, the switch from Bigfoot to the thunderbird iliked, a touch of misdriection. I understand that eagle was protecting its nest I just wasn't sure about the old man. He tried to send them the other way.
Small silly point, but for a hidden creature all they had to do was park at the end of the road and an eight year old scampers into the woods and finds it. Sounds a tad easy. More hurdles to get over?
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Okay, I'm definitely in the Pacific NorthWest with this one from the get-go. Love the opening and then the opener of the next scene with Kwatoko cutting up pieces of rat - sets the tone nicely, good visual stuff!
Good characterisations i.e. 'You sure you can't pee on a tree'? And nice set up with Kwatoko recounting the legend etc.
My only quibble is that by page 8 I'm still waiting for something to happen. But you redeem yourself with the payoff.
Loved Caroline getting her foot stuck - did I miss something there? If not I think you could have shown what 'lies beneath' feel it might have been a missed opportunity for more creepiness and suspense.
Now did the family deserve what they had coming? Course they did.
This one's another fav. Pretty darn good! Actually I think you should rewrite after the challenge is done - develop it further. Would make a great lil horror in the vein of 'Creepshow/Twilight Zone'.
Good going & really enjoyable read.
Oh, and a little P.S. I don't think the title does this one justice.
I couldn't help bu laugh when I saw this title. I still can't. Is it a pisser? We'll see...
OK, wait a minute. I just couldn't go into this giggling, so I looked up "Ape Canyon" and see it's a real place in the pacific Northwest and there were actually Bigfoot attacks here. Cool! Now I think it will be a serious entry.
James and Caroline are real jokesters! Not remotely funny, but I like that you tried to give them some life. Same for Robbie.
Very classic (or is it cliched) setup - driving, stop at a out of the way store, creepy old guy at store, etc. Let's hope it veers off course soon.
Page 3 - I like the characterization of James and Robbie, when he asks him if he can't piss on a tree and Robbie says no. Cute - well done.
Page 5 - too slow IMO, and the Indian's dialogue isn't sounding very real to me.
Page 7 - Caroline made a funny...that's funny! A mosquito net - I like it. Well done. These peeps are growing on me.
Page 8 - Great description of the view. Very well done!
Page 9 - A giant eagle with a 40 foot wing span? Wow...didn't see that one coming.
Page 10 - one billion volts of electricity? This reads like a pisser here.
The graphic violence feels out of place here and again, almost borders pisser realm.
The ending is a letdown for me. I don't really get it.
The structure and plotting here is rather cliche, but overall everything is easy to follow and you did a good job!
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Well, that was definitely...creepy? It was different, for sure.
The script was well-written and well-structured, to be sure. I didn't care for the title, as it really didn't relate well to the actual story, unless you consider an eagle a beast. Also, this is a challenge, and so far all the stories I've read haven't addressed the single most defining aspect of the challenge, which is a child discovers something miraculous that will change mankind. I don't think finding an eagle egg is a miraculous discovery.
It took awhile for this to get going and then it wraps up very quickly, with Robbie turned into an eaglet. How does that happen? Does the Indian have something to do with this since he is feeding Robbie at the end? And why would he do this to them? Did they really treat him so poorly in the beginning that he now has some sort of revenge thing going on?
Seems like this was a story that was playing both sides of the fence--the first three-quarters almost comedic and the final quarter truly macabre. I think that hurts the story. Probably should have stuck with a macabre type of Rod Serling/Night Gallery kind of feel and that would have made for a better payoff. Again, though, the writing was the best I've read so far--it's the story I think that let's you down slightly.
Like how you started out with the whole ‘bigfoot’ theme only to spin it in a different direction with the appearance of the Thunderbird. Didn’t feel like you spent enough time with Robbie to make it ‘his’ story, but it felt like most of the other criteria was met.
Think we could of spent less time on the journey and a little more fleshing out the search and Thunderbird scene. I like the idea behind it, but it all came to a head so quickly that it was hard to take seriously. Not bad, but it didn’t do much for me overall.
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I enjoyed this a lot. It took awhile for things to get going but I loved how the story ended. The visuals were nice. The writing for the most part was crisp. My only gripe was the story took place inside the winnebago a tad too long. I would have loved to have seen the family a bit longer outdoors exploring before all hell broke loose.
Very TWILIGHT ZONE with the end. Felt more like X-FILES on the way.
You got me. I thought bigfoot was coming for sure. Until the Native shop. The myth could have been eased into more. It was refreshing to me because I'm not familiar with that legend. I do wish; however, that the legend was better written. This was a great opportunity to flavour the world. Maybe stereotypical dialect would have helped in this instance. He didn't sound Native, more like cut n paste from a legends book. I hope that doesn't sound too harsh.
I also liked the idea that the boy transformed to the bird. It makes me wonder who the thunderbird was as a man. With the egg gone it makes me wonder where it will re-locate. A few questions spring up. I think that is a good thing. Is the boy set to become a thunderbird or an eagle or what.
Solid premise. Intriguing. Some missed oportunites. Unique creature feature.