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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Horror Scripts  ›  Honey Mustard - feature Moderators: bert
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  Author    Honey Mustard - feature  (currently 8095 views)
spesh2k
Posted: November 19th, 2020, 12:52pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from kev


Congrats Michael! I certainly smiled when I saw this on the list. Well deserved. I threw Bad Influence in there, but I believe it ended up in the maybe pile. Got an email saying it's getting thrown into the amateur showdown, we'll see how it fares there. Best of luck with it!


Thanks! "Bad Influence" is definitely my favorite unproduced spec I've read this year, I think if Carson were to read further, he'd really dig it. But it shall be getting my approval when I see it posted there for Amateur Showdown.

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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spesh2k
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Quoted from LC
Hey, Michael...

Thought I'd give this a read having read the original short, which I'm assuming inspired this longer version.

Reading the reviews for that one I notice I wasn't a big fan. This one however is a different beast.

I've not got much to add really that hasn't already been said... Minor typos along the lines of queue/cue etc., but that's just me nit-picking and nothing stood out to affect the read.

I love this version of Honey Mustard.
The horror/action comes thick and fast and never lets up and the writing is terrific. Lots of terrific surprises from left field that kept me on tenterhooks.

I flew through this yesterday so just thought I'd add a few words of admiration to the pile.

Good luck with it moving up the finalist ranks of Script Shadow.
A much deserved selection.



Hey, Libby! Thanks! It's not that I don't put thought into my shorts because I do think about them before I write them, but once I write it, that's pretty much it. I did, however, put a lot of thought into the feature version. Glad you enjoyed it! Doubt it's going to be picked by Carson, but I really do feel like, given it's low-ish budget, that it will be produced at some point. Hopefully this Scriptshadow thing gets it noticed a little bit more.

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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LC
Posted: November 19th, 2020, 10:20pm Report to Moderator
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I was just reading through some of this thread and wondered if you'd seen this, Michael?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6738136/
Suspension of disbelief is a prerequisite on some plot points, but it's highly entertaining regardless.


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spesh2k
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Quoted from LC
I was just reading through some of this thread and wondered if you'd seen this, Michael?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6738136/
Suspension of disbelief is a prerequisite on some plot points, but it's highly entertaining regardless.


Yes, I actually did see this and LOVED it. The direction and the cinematography is out of this world. And it's like 90% or something on Rotten Tomatoes. Think the director is French or something, but their name is one of the names on my "Wish List" for Honey Mustard. And whenever I've had someone question the believability of some of the stuff in HM (a lot of people surviving some brutal shit), I always point to "Revenge" as one of the examples -- a woman falling off a cliff and being impaled on jagged rocks and then coming back and kicking ass literally within a day of that (after giving herself some Rambo esque first aid treatment) -- that's much more of a reach than anything in HM. And there's next to no backstory here, not a huge amount of character development... And I think it's great! I think my violence fits in the world I pictured in HM despite it being grounded in reality, similar to how it was handled in "Revenge" -- which was the first movie I saw when I officially subscribed to Shudder, and one of the reasons why I kept it. One of my favorite horror flicks of the past 5 years.

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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LC
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Yep, Coralie Fargeat is the Director.

Being impaled on the tree and surviving was iffy, and yep, cauterizing the wound with a scalding beer can and the subsequent phoenix logo imprint was pushing it, but I just went with cause it was so much fun. The blood-bath of an ending is a riot too.

You get her onboard I'll be paying for my HM copy to come express-post just like I did with Revenge.  

P.S. When Buford pulled out the blowtorch I thought of Revenge, and then those darned cops turned up.


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spesh2k
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Quoted from LC
Yep, Coralie Fargeat is the Director.

Being impaled on the tree and surviving was iffy, and yep, cauterizing the wound with a scalding beer can and the subsequent phoenix logo imprint was pushing it, but I just went with cause it was so much fun. The blood-bath of an ending is a riot too.

You get her onboard I'll be paying for my HM copy to come express-post just like I did with Revenge.  

P.S. When Buford pulled out the blowtorch I thought of Revenge, and then those darned cops turned up.


We shall see... it can be hard getting writer/directors on board for another writer's script. But we shall see.

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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Heretic
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I had a blast with this one. Good nasty fun, and clearly coming from someone who understands the ins and outs of genre.

Just a couple thoughts --

SPOILERS THROUGHOUT

I had kind of a meta problem with this story, I guess, in that I never believed that Stella was going to work out to be the bad guy, which sapped the tension in key parts. Early on I thought that Buford and Stella might end up as a pair of protagonists with a common interest somehow; once it became clear that that wasn't happening, I knew the way things would work out with Stella. The script is too tasteful to start off by heaping so much violation and unhappiness on Stella without being on her side, and we feel that right away. Consequently, once we get into the home invasion stuff -- which is very fun in and of itself -- I was cut off from the tension, because I didn't believe that there was a genuine threat from her (ie. that we would see her murder an apparently innocent person) and so I didn't believe Buford would get hurt during that sequence. I was kinda just left waiting for the other shoe to drop through that whole thing, despite recognizing that it was a fun, well-crafted sequence.

I thought Captive Woman got a bit of a raw deal at the end there, but even more I thought that it was one too many for surprise attacks from off-screen. A LOT of people get ambushed in this script. I wonder if this could play out in a more unexpected way.

The moment where Buford learns his family has been killed is a little bit underwhelming, I think. It seems like this moment could and should be bigger. Along with that, there's the little Get Out moment here where you worry that the cops showing up is actually a bad thing, and I think that could be milked a little more too. Maybe Hardley enters and finds Buford kneeling over his dead family, and that's how the climax kicks off -- I don't know, but I didn't think everything was quite gelling here yet.

This was fun to read. I'll hope to catch the movie one day.
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spesh2k
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Quoted from Heretic
I had a blast with this one. Good nasty fun, and clearly coming from someone who understands the ins and outs of genre.

Just a couple thoughts --

SPOILERS THROUGHOUT

I had kind of a meta problem with this story, I guess, in that I never believed that Stella was going to work out to be the bad guy, which sapped the tension in key parts. Early on I thought that Buford and Stella might end up as a pair of protagonists with a common interest somehow; once it became clear that that wasn't happening, I knew the way things would work out with Stella. The script is too tasteful to start off by heaping so much violation and unhappiness on Stella without being on her side, and we feel that right away. Consequently, once we get into the home invasion stuff -- which is very fun in and of itself -- I was cut off from the tension, because I didn't believe that there was a genuine threat from her (ie. that we would see her murder an apparently innocent person) and so I didn't believe Buford would get hurt during that sequence. I was kinda just left waiting for the other shoe to drop through that whole thing, despite recognizing that it was a fun, well-crafted sequence.

I thought Captive Woman got a bit of a raw deal at the end there, but even more I thought that it was one too many for surprise attacks from off-screen. A LOT of people get ambushed in this script. I wonder if this could play out in a more unexpected way.

The moment where Buford learns his family has been killed is a little bit underwhelming, I think. It seems like this moment could and should be bigger. Along with that, there's the little Get Out moment here where you worry that the cops showing up is actually a bad thing, and I think that could be milked a little more too. Maybe Hardley enters and finds Buford kneeling over his dead family, and that's how the climax kicks off -- I don't know, but I didn't think everything was quite gelling here yet.

This was fun to read. I'll hope to catch the movie one day.


Hey, Heretic, thanks for taking a look. It wasn't until recently that I gave the script another look and I got the same feeling you express with the ending -- I give the big moment to the son rather than Buford. I think it would work to have Hardley find his deputy and the officer dead and then find Buford standing over his family, destroyed. I think I tried to hard to end the story there and keep the majority of it at the house. When I think that maybe Stella and the CAPTIVE GIRL maybe get away but is then tracked down by Hardley perhaps? Maybe Buford is hospitalized? And there's a showdown later with all three at the hospital maybe? Maybe after Hardley hears that voice mail from his dead deputy? Would add some $$$ to the budget, but it's already pretty low budget as it is and maybe could afford another location. I dunno, I'm sure I'll figure something out. But thanks for that note, it highlighted some doubts I gathered from rereading the script again in regards to the ending.

Thanks again! Glad you had fun reading!

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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eldave1
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Quoted from spesh2k


Hey, Heretic, thanks for taking a look. It wasn't until recently that I gave the script another look and I got the same feeling you express with the ending -- I give the big moment to the son rather than Buford. I think it would work to have Hardley find his deputy and the officer dead and then find Buford standing over his family, destroyed. I think I tried to hard to end the story there and keep the majority of it at the house. When I think that maybe Stella and the CAPTIVE GIRL maybe get away but is then tracked down by Hardley perhaps? Maybe Buford is hospitalized? And there's a showdown later with all three at the hospital maybe? Maybe after Hardley hears that voice mail from his dead deputy? Would add some $$$ to the budget, but it's already pretty low budget as it is and maybe could afford another location. I dunno, I'm sure I'll figure something out. But thanks for that note, it highlighted some doubts I gathered from rereading the script again in regards to the ending.

Thanks again! Glad you had fun reading!

-- Michael


For what it matters, I wanted Captive Girl to survive the ordeal.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
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I think I'm with Dave on Captive Girl.
I keep thinking of the mom and her fliers.

I suppose it depends on her not getting in the way plot-wise and her survival being clever and a surprise -if she were to play dead, perhaps?

Ever since Alien (which made a huge impression on me) slasher/horror movies have become a little predictable with their kill 'em all Final Girl denouements. I'm kinda torn on the other hand though cause the ending of HM is pretty darned effective and satisfying.


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spesh2k
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Quoted from LC
I think I'm with Dave on Captive Girl.
I keep thinking of the mom and her fliers.

I suppose it depends on her not getting in the way plot-wise and her survival being clever and a surprise -if she were to play dead, perhaps?

Ever since Alien (which made a huge impression on me) slasher/horror movies have become a little predictable with their kill 'em all Final Girl denouements. I'm kinda torn on the other hand though cause the ending of HM is pretty darned effective and satisfying.


Yeah, I'm definitely considering changing that and making her live while also considering adding another 10 pages or so, extending the ending so that there's not another "guy we thought was dead comes out of nowhere" moment again -- there's a few of them in this already. I liked Heretic's idea of Hardley arriving to find Buford devastated by the death of his family -- while also perhaps adding humor there. I was thinking of Buford picking up pieces of his son and hugging them or something lol. Still mulling the climax though, not sure whether or not I want the story to leave the house or not. I was thinking, since a small town and it would take a while for an ambulance to arrive, Hardley maybe gets Buford in his car and rushes him to the hospital. While in the car, he notices a missed voice mail from the Deputy -- the message is the Deputy saying that Buford was the real killer at the diner. Or maybe as Hardley arrives, Stella and Captive Girl are leaving and they hide in Buford's truck -- Captive Girl doesn't understand why they can't get the Sheriff's attention. Stella (thinking everyone in the house is dead) tells her to wait until she leaves (in Buford's truck -- she knows the law is looking for her) and then run in and tell the Sheriff everything.

I dunno, still needs some thought and I'm backed up with projects right now that I need to deliver on somewhat of a deadline. But I'm definitely gonna keep thinking of a better and more original way to end this.

-- Michael

Meanwhile,

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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eldave1
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Quoted from spesh2k


Yeah, I'm definitely considering changing that and making her live while also considering adding another 10 pages or so, extending the ending so that there's not another "guy we thought was dead comes out of nowhere" moment again -- there's a few of them in this already. I liked Heretic's idea of Hardley arriving to find Buford devastated by the death of his family -- while also perhaps adding humor there. I was thinking of Buford picking up pieces of his son and hugging them or something lol. Still mulling the climax though, not sure whether or not I want the story to leave the house or not. I was thinking, since a small town and it would take a while for an ambulance to arrive, Hardley maybe gets Buford in his car and rushes him to the hospital. While in the car, he notices a missed voice mail from the Deputy -- the message is the Deputy saying that Buford was the real killer at the diner. Or maybe as Hardley arrives, Stella and Captive Girl are leaving and they hide in Buford's truck -- Captive Girl doesn't understand why they can't get the Sheriff's attention. Stella (thinking everyone in the house is dead) tells her to wait until she leaves (in Buford's truck -- she knows the law is looking for her) and then run in and tell the Sheriff everything.

I dunno, still needs some thought and I'm backed up with projects right now that I need to deliver on somewhat of a deadline. But I'm definitely gonna keep thinking of a better and more original way to end this.

-- Michael

Meanwhile,

-- Michael


Speaking of adding stuff.....

Not sure if this helps, but when I first read this I had a thought that it would be cool if Buford forced Stella to serve him Honey Mustard. Right here:


Quoted Text
INT. BUFORD’S DARK BASEMENT ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Wincing in pain, Buford gingerly squats down next to Stella.


I'd have him with a plate of chicken fingers and a bottle of honey mustard admonishing Stella that all you had to do was your fucking job. Have her give Stella the bottle - command that she pour some on the plate - she refuses - spits on him or something - then the thumb into the shoulder wound - POUR THE FUCKING HONEY MUSTARD - then he spots the photo of Matilda  - continue the scene.

Just thought it would be a neat full circle trick - didn't mention it the first time because didn't want to suggest adding pages - but sense you considering - some food for thought (literally).


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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spesh2k
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Quoted from eldave1


Speaking of adding stuff.....

Not sure if this helps, but when I first read this I had a thought that it would be cool if Buford forced Stella to serve him Honey Mustard. Right here:

I'd have him with a plate of chicken fingers and a bottle of honey mustard admonishing Stella that all you had to do was your fucking job. Have her give Stella the bottle - command that she pour some on the plate - she refuses - spits on him or something - then the thumb into the shoulder wound - POUR THE FUCKING HONEY MUSTARD - then he spots the photo of Matilda  - continue the scene.

Just thought it would be a neat full circle trick - didn't mention it the first time because didn't want to suggest adding pages - but sense you considering - some food for thought (literally).


Haha! That's a thought. Will consider it. Not sure if that would TOO campy at that point in the story, but would definitely be a cool little layer to add to that scene.

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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rolo
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Decided to crack this open. Thought the writing was solid. Haven't read anyone else's comments as didn't want them influencing my own! There were lots of things I liked in this script but I'm only going to focus on the stuff I had issues with.

First off, I've seen similar opening scenes where the girl is distant while the guy is thrusting away. I wonder if this scene might work better if Stella's acting like she's having the best sex ever, only for Oscar to stop, but she doesn't even notice and keeps faking an orgasm for a while longer?

I wasn't really a fan of the structure. For me, there were too many flashbacks to the diner. I don't think you need all of them. They don't really serve much purpose other than to slow the narrative down. They're showing us things that we the audience can work out for ourselves. Ideally, a story should always be moving forward. The only flashback I would maybe keep is the actual killings.

The reveal that Buford was the killer was cool, but pretty obvious. I knew it as soon as he gave the talk to his son, Newton, about trying to be a good person and not end up being like him. Might want to scrap that chat? Because anyone who has read a lot of scripts as well as written a fair few of their own, will see the twist coming imo.

Speaking of Newton, I think it was really disappointing to see him turn out exactly like Mom and Dad. I think a far more interesting story choice would be to have him try to help Stella! It would make sense because even though they're both nuts, his parents have brought him up to know the difference between right and wrong.

Also, I think a lot of producers would be put off seeing a 15-year-old kid meet such a gruesome end!

Gertrdude's character came off as tonally inconsistent. One minute she's chastising Buford for not tipping Stella, the next she's a full blown psycho! Also, not sure, given how much of a fight she put up, that she should be 'gut' shot? Think that would be way too painful. In real life she'd probably be writhing around in agony on the floor!

Speaking of wounds, given the amount of life threatening injuries Buford endured, he comes off as a character more befitting a horror than a thriller. Michael Myers immediately springs to mind. Might want to dial it down a little?

Hope you find something of use amongst these brief notes. Best of luck!
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spesh2k
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Hey Rolo, long time no see!


Quoted Text
Decided to crack this open. Thought the writing was solid. Haven't read anyone else's comments as didn't want them influencing my own! There were lots of things I liked in this script but I'm only going to focus on the stuff I had issues with.


Cool.


Quoted Text
First off, I've seen similar opening scenes where the girl is distant while the guy is thrusting away. I wonder if this scene might work better if Stella's acting like she's having the best sex ever, only for Oscar to stop, but she doesn't even notice and keeps faking an orgasm for a while longer?


Only other movie I can think of is "You're Next" probably. Hardly think it's a cliche. As for your suggestion, I don't think that would really set the tone properly, especially since she's a battered woman. Might come across better in a romantic comedy.


Quoted Text
I wasn't really a fan of the structure. For me, there were too many flashbacks to the diner. I don't think you need all of them. They don't really serve much purpose other than to slow the narrative down. They're showing us things that we the audience can work out for ourselves. Ideally, a story should always be moving forward. The only flashback I would maybe keep is the actual killings.


I get it, but the structure is probably also what most people (including myself) think the strength of the script is. Paint by numbers works and most of my scripts work like that, but I wanted to do something a little different. And its not like I'm breaking new ground, here.

Not sure what you mean by ALL the flashbacks to the diner -- there were 2. And I believe they served a lot of purpose. I get it, it's kind of a feaux pas in screenwriting (mainly with other screenwriters) to include flashbacks. Some readers prefer no flashbacks at all -- many, just because they've heard other people say flashbacks are a no-no and believe that any flashbacks whatsoever show weakness in storytelling, which I think is absolute horseshit. They're usually more frowned upon in scripts by other writers than in movies by movie fans. Sure, if used poorly, they suck -- just like ANYTHING in a script. But I believe they do keep THIS story moving forward. Here, they're used to fill in the blanks. But I think I used them pretty well, here. The 1st flashback is a huge reveal (the Buford reveal) and the 2nd shows how Stella survived and decided to go on her quest for vengeance -- while adding a much needed emotional element. And it's not like the flashbacks come out of nowhere, I thought they were properly placed. The first one comes as a reveal, the 2nd one is placed after she's knocked unconscious -- thus far, the 2nd act has been nonstop and I felt a reprieve was appropriate. Here, the flashback comes when her momentum comes to a stop. The flashback ends when she wakes up locked in the basement. I thought that showing what happened would be more cinematic than alluding to it with expositional dialogue, even if written well and with subtlety. And it's not repetitive, it's showing different parts of the incident.


Quoted Text
The reveal that Buford was the killer was cool, but pretty obvious. I knew it as soon as he gave the talk to his son, Newton, about trying to be a good person and not end up being like him. Might want to scrap that chat? Because anyone who has read a lot of scripts as well as written a fair few of their own, will see the twist coming imo.


I think you're probably right on that one. Might need to tone it down -- maybe just have him tell his son "It's not too late for you" without comparing his kid's behavior to his.


Quoted Text
Speaking of Newton, I think it was really disappointing to see him turn out exactly like Mom and Dad. I think a far more interesting story choice would be to have him try to help Stella! It would make sense because even though they're both nuts, his parents have brought him up to know the difference between right and wrong.


You might be right. But to me, that would the obvious story choice to make. I'm of the firm belief that you're supposed throw as many obstacles as possible into your protagonist's way, not give them an easy out/deus ex machina device. To me, having him help Stella is too easy for Stella. Sorry, but I think that would be the least intriguing choice. I think it's predictable, boring and safe -- it's the choice most writers would make and probably a choice I would've made years ago. But, to me, it's the obvious, easiest choice.


Quoted Text
Also, I think a lot of producers would be put off seeing a 15-year-old kid meet such a gruesome end!


I think you're wrong, there, IMO. There's been a million slasher movies where high school kids are butchered. And the character had it coming.


Quoted Text
Gertrdude's character came off as tonally inconsistent. One minute she's chastising Buford for not tipping Stella, the next she's a full blown psycho! Also, not sure, given how much of a fight she put up, that she should be 'gut' shot? Think that would be way too painful. In real life she'd probably be writhing around in agony on the floor!


She's more of a sociopath. And sociopaths don't always behave like maniacs. I dunno, a person's behavior is going to change according to the situation, won't it? Maybe you're right. But she's trying to protect her business, here, without drawing attention to police or any other things that might endanger their business. She wants her to just go away. But once Stella makes that impossible and nearly kills her husband... not sure about you, I'm not a psycho, but regardless of whether or not I'm involved in nefarious dealings, you touch my fucking spouse, I'm gonna be a fucking psycho and kill you. Also, I've seen my friend get stabbed in the calf and saw his calf muscle hanging off and he wasn't on the ground, crying. Adrenaline can carry you a long way. Is it completely believable here? Probably not. But I think it was believable enough given the story.  

"In real life". Yeah, this isn't real life if you haven't noticed by the various deaths that came way before this scene lol. This is a horror film. I wasn't writing something based on a true story or necessarily grounded in complete reality. My goal was to make a pulpy, old-school 80's style horror/action flick. This is a movie that you KNOW is a movie. Sure, there's tons of shit in movies where I'm like "there's no way that can happen", but you have to consider the tone of the story you're seeing something "unbelievable" in. Mr. Orange in "Reservoir Dogs" took a gutshot, bled about 10 pints onto a warehouse floor and then woke up to kill Mr. Blonde an hour and half later. No fucking way that can happen. But it didn't bother me nor most people.


Quoted Text
Speaking of wounds, given the amount of life threatening injuries Buford endured, he comes off as a character more befitting a horror than a thriller. Michael Myers immediately springs to mind. Might want to dial it down a little?


Maybe. But this IS a horror film. And he IS the bad guy. And again, I believe it fits the tone. But perhaps I may decide to dial it down -- maybe instead of the axe wound to the back, he loses a few fingers or something.

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2


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