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Hey Alffy, yes, you are too nice! No, kidding...maybe I'm too mean. I don't know.
Listen, it's not that I hated the entire thing at all. As I said, the premise of the village of cannibals is great, IMO. You have some characters who could be really solid and interesting...and I think they will be, if you give them some more life. Also, I do see lots of humor in here that is obviously working for others. I'm just not a comedy guy, so keep in mind that I disliked Shaun of the Dead, and barely was able to get through Hot Fuzz.
With some tweaks, this will be much, much better. If you can change the entire reason the lads are there, and make it seem like they're genuinely freaked out, once things start getting weird, many of the problems go away. Give the boys and the antags some life, character, and maybe back story, more issues go away. Then you're down to the actual writing and how things play out.
I'm sorry to be harsh and picky. I really do mean for it to help, and when I see things that I feel are wrong, I point them out.
I do need to get in the habit of pointing out some positives.
About the grinder vs. the simmered meat. I personally would have large tubs of "stuff" simmering away on the stove in the kitchen at all times. One fo them could even come into play as a great weapon...boiling liquid in the face!
Hope this does help, Alffy. I don't mean to put you down or anything like that. OK?
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Sorry it's taken me so long, but I've got quite a bit on my plate. Normally I'd breeze through a few scripts a day, but that's just not possible as of late.
Anyway, I made the mistake of reading Jeff and Pia's critiques and now I'm at a bit of a loss of what to say. If I had to pick the type of feeling I had after reading it, I'd say I identified more with Pia's attitude of "Well, ok."
I guess my biggest complaint with the piece is that I feel like I've seen this story before, and not a whole lot has changed. There's a film you might want to check out called "Delicatessen" which uses a similar plot line of grinding people up into pies. Here's the direction I thought you were going to take it, that I was slightly disappointed you didn't: I thought you were gearing up to introduce these characters who we were supposed to take as dead-on targets. Like most horror movies. You introduce a bunch of characters that are ripe for the plucking, and you watch them get picked off one-by-one. BUT just when you think that's going to happen, the characters you've introduced turn the tables on the antagonists and become the ones to be feared. Hmm. Am I making any sense? I thought you were going this way when the one guy clocked the girl in the face after she tried to kill him. I thought they were going to re-group and wreck havoc on these guys. And while that did, in a way, happen...I never really felt like they were in control of the situation.
Ok, that was a lot of rambling, and really, looking back, I guess that's just my way of saying that I desperately wanted to see something different with the story.
Also, you utilized a popular horror convention (seen in movies like Hostel) where the girls lure the horny guys to their doom. But why? Why go to all the trouble when Howard just runs around cleaving people anyway? It doesn't make much sense.
Finally, I'd have to agree with people about the characters. The most differentiated one is Gav, but even that's not saying a whole lot. I think you really need to develop some unique voices and character traits for all of them. But that's all stuff you've heard before.
In the end, I think your next draft needs to focus on re-working the characters and the story. Address all the plot holes mentioned by Jeff (and others) and once you do that, maybe you'll re-work it into something entirely different and unique.
Like I said before, I didn't hate your script or anything. It just, in the end, kind of left me feeling kind of "Well, ok." about it.
Cheers for the read Dressel. I've had some good pointers recently and am definately working on this. I don't know if it will change direction much but I'll defo work on the characters. As for the girls luring the horny guys, well it works for most movies so why not lol. After watching a lot of British horror/comedies recently I'd say they have as many plot holes as this so I could be onto something? lol. Anyway cheers for the feedback, I'm not killing this script off yet.
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About time I got 'round to 'Pub Lunch'. Definitely agree a new title is required, maybe something like 'Meat Balls', which I see was the title of the short. Personally, I'd change it back.
Having read the script, I had a gander at the reviews. Not sure I agree with the montage comments. There was a similar montage at the start of the 'An Education' script, so no bother there. The negative reviews tended to baffle me, really. That's the beauty of opinion, though.
This script painted a picture of working class England for me, perfectly. Even down to the beer mat flipping. All that was missing was Stelling, football betting, Stella and the casino! Really good work. You captured some great images, and Kelly rubbing Gav's thigh while he holds his beer is one. Very subtle way of getting so much across.
So, first off, the lad characters do possibly need some tweaking. Further differentiation would maybe give an added depth to their journeys, but would be a waste of pages, IMHO. They do straddle each other's ground at times. Yet, having said that, it does capture a certain type of British working class young man. Preoccupied with women, impressing their peers, living it large and beer swilling; you make a statement in itself by sticking with 3 similar characters. Mozza is a loudmouth but street smart, Gav a bit more thoughtful and innocent and Russ a bit of a scapegoat, so there are marked differences, but from the same pallet. I guess it really comes down to how strong the message you have is. If you kept these guys as they are, I don't think it would drag the script down. You could even make fun of it by bringing attention to how they're actually similar.
Secondly, the issue of 'why would they go', well, I think you have a couple of options there. You can have them placed on this trip as some sort of training exercise, but that leaves possile plotholes, yet Jason is a plausible way out. Me and friends would often take trips to random places for 'dayers', so places like Poole. We'd take the train down and get pissed moving from pub to pub. Then see what happens. It was mindless youthful fun, and a great laugh. Anyway, maybe you could have the lads arrive on a similar ticket, but forced into an unplanned stay due to x or y. Maybe they got there on some kind of gamble. They lost the bet and had to come to this place. You've a wealth of options.
With regards to the believability issue, I do think there is a point. How does the village remain unchecked in its activities? The world in which you set this script allows you to develop believability. 'The Wicker Man' was able to successfully subvert reality with its Pagan theme, and also the fact it was an island. That took them away from the arm of law. Scotland has a few little offshore possibilities, so maybe a relocation could allow you to tackle the problem.
So, yes, this is an unashamedly British film. The lads' banter is amusing in a very British way, with the Mozza/Gav dynamic a strong point. There is definitely a market for this film. It's very marketable to the 'Dead Man's Shoes' crowd. By that, I mean, film-loving Brits with an eye for stories borne of working class roots. That's how I would market it anyway. It touches in the provincial nature of its subjects, their environment and how the two work in tandem. You tread similar ground here. Is this marketable outside the UK? Not sure. Maybe in European markets, but I think it'd fall flat in the States. From what I can see, the reviews tend to fall in line with that thinking. I could be wrong.
I did have an issue with the relationship between the 'Butcher' and 'Howard'. It kind of feels a little too like 'Leatherface' and the Hewitts, and out of place with the rest of the tone. Not a huge problem, nor am I sure what a remedy would be, but it's something that stuck with me.
My biggest problem, however, was that Russ saw Derek (who he presumably knew was the driver, but what about the driver search in the morning?) being put in a body bag, Mozza was almost killed and they still stayed overnight? I get they had no obvious way out, but would they really stay? I think you need a more compelling reason for them to stay.
You inserted some good plotlines here. One that spoke of frustrations many young lads have felt over the years, the gooseberry. Mozza and Gav pull, while Russ twiddles his thumb. Many will be able to relate to that story and it worked effectively towards your end as well. Kelly's issues, while not strikingly original, do give credibility to her actions. As already mentioned, Laura and Kelly being different was a nice touch and worked well with the aforementioned Mozza/Gaz dynamic. Jason was a great touch, and took me by surprise giving the script an extra dimension.
On a sidenote:
- I would've loved to have seen Alan Clarke ('Rita, Sue and Bob too', 'Scum') handle this material. He would've really nailed this.
- Derek's kill was so funny. Kudos.
- Mozza's unpacked suitcase. Gold.
- "I’m going to find my wife. I may not be back for bingo." Brilliant, even if a little 'Carry On'.
- Bingo false calls and 'Doris'. Again, another example of amusing dialogue.
- I loved how you kept revisiting the pensioner with the scarf and its development. It could work in the same way the harmonica does in 'Punch-Drunk Love'.
A great little script, Alf. You've crafted a quick read that hits the right notes.
The question really now is where do you go from here?
I notice a few suggestions have been made, which are all valid.
Personally, the areas that require a look:
- Why don't the boys leave in the night after what they've seen and experienced?
- Location, plus fleshing out the imagery a little more to establish more clearly how weird this place is.
- Reasoning for going there. The coach trip is fine and I like that angle as you bring in the pensioners who added some really good laughs.
The characters feel, largely, fine to me. Refining is the word, I think. Anything more feels too much.
Deep down, you will know when this is 'ready', as per your vision. I suspect it's fairly close. The one thing that I always search for in any movie, irrespective of genre, is some form of message, and I felt it was missing here. Or did I miss something? Some would say it's a throwaway comedy/horror, so why is it needed? My answer would be that all the best films (generally) in their genre are peppered (ahem) with a 'message' and it's this resonance which elevates it.
This script requires subtle changes, but I think you are at the point where you should be getting this out to eyes who will get it made. The BBC would be a start, and while it's unlikely they would make it themselves, you don't know where it could lead from there. Luck will always be needed in this game, as is graft and taking chances. I'd hit relevant prodcos who traditionally produce this type of stuff, and while some may not read it, there may always be one that does, and it may only take one. My thinking is that it's better to get it actively out there, 'cos it's got more chance getting made than churning through endless updates on SS, y'know.
You know what's best for this script, mate and I trust in you to reach the right level with it.
Whatever you do, get this out there at some point soon.
It's a great script, and it would be a real surprise if there are not bods in the Brit industry who agree with me and others who share the same sentiment in the reviews.
I think this definately appeals to Brits more than Americans, and I think you're right when you say it's the humour. Some of the plot holes are being worked on but I fear the page count is pushing up. This may not be to bad as I think it would play a lot shorter than the 90 minutes would suggest.
I also working the characters a little too. I have ditched the motage at the start but the initial kitchen scene remains, now with added banter between the lads and sheds light on why they are going on a break. I like that you found the little things good, like the beer mat flipping and things. Again though, I think these things mainly appeal to the British pub goer lol.
I was ready to try and shufty this about but I think I'll wait till I've worked on the new draft and then I'll see what and where I can send this.
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
Steve, it would be great if you left me some of your thoughts about this. I've actually submitted a new draft as I made a few changes for a director who was interested in this but ultimately it fell through. The changes aren't massive, just a few extra scenes to fill a few holes so dont feel the need to read it again, mate. I have been away a while but hopefully back for the foreseable future.
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards. Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr