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I would say this is a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the energy and you have a definite feel for action writing. On the other hand, I think this story suffers from the one week challenge restraints.
Yeah, fix the names of the cops. They should be Officer Drummond and Officer Slates. Or at least Drummond and Slates.
I'm going along with the mystery as to why the officers are not dead, but I think on the next go-around, John and Sam have to act more logical. For example, John comes to a screeching halt when he first sees the waiting patrol car. But the cop car hasn't even budged. Since John has no license and he's already speeding, I think he would panic and gun it. Just try to outrun the stationary cop car.
Maybe he can then double back when he realizes the cop isn't chasing him.
I think you can skip the pissing scene and have John go back with the gun.
Some of the reaction by John and Sam doesn't feel right after John shoots the cop. A suggestion would be to not show the reader the dead cop in the car. Just go with the boys investigating, before freaking out and driving away. When Robert's car all of a sudden comes blazing behind the boys, this would create some drama.
Fix the scene with Kevin calling in to the dispatcher. Figure out some police codes, such as identification and give a location.
I agree that the gas station scene takes us out of the story a bit, but I still like it. Maybe it will work well once you expand this story.
Since Robert is clearly not in his right mind after getting shot, when he goes for gas, I thought it would be hilarious if he pulls on the other side of the pump. While the old guy is filling his car, Robert could walk over and yank the nozzle out of his car and ram it into his gas tank. That is if you're going for some laughs.
As for why John and Sam go back to the speed trap zone, I would think it's because Kevin chases back. So they are trying to elude a cop that is actually chasing them. To everybody's surprise (including Kevin), Robert has set up a road block.
Not sure why John doesn't shoot Robert sooner than later, especially after Robert kills his partner.
The way I see this story ending is that Kevin returns to life and in the last scene, we see two dead cops sitting in a hidden police cruiser, waiting to catch and kill speeders. That could be the urban legend: Phantom cops lie in wait to kill unsuspecting motorists along a canyon road.
Robert reminded me a bit of Maniac Cop, and although I wouldn't compare this movie to the Messiah of Evil, there is still a similar WTF element to the action — I was reminded of Messiah because of the gas station scene and the cop-turning-on-his-partner sequence.
This story has a definite urban legend feel. Maybe if you could make those kids more logical and believable, it will balance the mysterious part of your story. Nice job overall and I love the frenzied pace of the action.
Excellent analysis! Your suggestions are spot on. Thanks. I liked both the pissing and the gas station scenes (you're idea is hilarious) but I've received mixed opinions on them. This was definitely an andrenaline writing experience and it definitely requires a rewrite.
Thanks again for the analysis. I'll have to check out Maniac Cop.
I have to say this was a fast paced adrenanline rush. Most of what I have to say has already been said, so I won't repeat all of it.
When I finished I felt like it was the opening to a feature. To be honest I would love it if you did turn it into a feature as at the end my main question is quite simply WTF? I want to know why the cops are coming back to life. Are they Zombies or something I don't even know about? I want to read more for sure, there are questions I need answers to. As it's a short I'm not sure it's good thing thing I feel like this though which I think is why I hope it gets extended. Maybe with something added to hint at why they become undead killer cops and you've got an excellent first ten pages.
As for the gas station scene, my thoughts would be to have him realise before he gets out of the car that he's a mess. Then he goes inside and when the cashier won't accept the money he blows him away. Then he spots the old man and blows him away too, just for the hell of it. That would certainly add to the what the hell is going on here feel. But I mean, that's just the way I see it.
Thanks for the read and comments. Helpful. When I wrote this I was going for a fast paced story for a challenge. I might not have submitted if one of my script buddies hadn't insisted. That's why when a you and a couple other reviewers suggest that this feels like an opener for a feature, I'm at a loss. I'm not sure I have enough ideas for a feature (only 80 pages to go). It does kind of work for the story before the story approach.
So, you'd like to know what the dead cops are? Me too. I still haven't figured it out. They just are.