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Buckets of Blood Part II by Sean Elwood, James McClung, Mike Shelton, Jordan Wiebe - Short, Action, Horror - Four action packed blood soaked tales of suspense. A brutalized hooker hell bent on revenge. Treasure hunters come face to face with an ancient evil. A cop fed up with a corrupt judicial system takes justice into his own hands. The living dead rise to feed on human flesh. Four times the blood, four times the suspense, if you think you've seen it all you ain't seen nothing yet. Get ready for more buckets of blood. 149 pages - pdf, format
Since I have already read the first one in this collection, I decided to move onto the second one, Tomb Raider Terror. My guess on who wrote it would be James.
I liked it quite a lot and enjoyed the setting and characters. It was fresh to read something that didnít take place in the more common places in screenplays. Common American places for the most part.
The writing was good too and if James did write this I would also add that your style is getting better and better. If youíre not JamesÖ well, just take the compliment anyway. I have to add that I had to look up some of the words.
Having said those things, I still feel this story needs to be fixed in some areas. Structure mainly. Not that Iím an expert. Far from it. I know I can really fuck up a story. I think when it comes to the structure, what I felt didnít work is how itís seems to be about Duke, Hoover and Gahiji, but it ends with the final battle being Imenand and Jinni. Those two characters come in too late in the story for us to care too much about either one of them, IMHO of course. To me, once Duke, Hoover and Gahiji are dead and out of the picture the story was over for me. Your beginning and end worked very nicely as bookends to this script both being of the nomads in the desert, I just wished that either Duke or Hoover or maybe both had been in the final fighting scenes.
I think you did a good job on developing the characters. I could pretty much picture all of them and they were all different. Maybe because you did a good job on them, I wanted those three to be there in the end fighting Jinni instead of Imenand.
This script left me with some questions. Iím not nit picking. Iím genuinely asking because I donít know the answer.
If Imenand can help them find the gold and he wants to get paid in gold himself, why wouldnít he have tried to find it before? Why would he need Duke, Hoover and Gahiji?
Are there torture chambers inside the pyramids? I thought they were places where the pharaos were buried along with treasures to ensure they would go on to ďheavenĒ. Somehow I just canít picture torture chambers being there.
Lastly, a pet peeve of mine is using the word baron when it should be barren.
Anyways, I really enjoyed it and thought you did a good job!
The problem with reviewing any intentionally bad exploitation script is the fact that these things are basically review proof. Any criticism I could offer can be countered with "it was meant to be like that". Having said that, I'm gonna try my best here to offer some helpful comments rather than rambling on endlessly as I seem to be doing now, starting off with 70's blaxploitation splatter-fest.
In a nutshell, this fucking rocked. Worthy of early seventies Pam Greer.
The dialogue. Very authentic tough-as-nails black chicks in 70's New York movies. Whether hookers in 70's New York actually spoke like this, I have no idea, but that's not the point. Point is it's well-written, snappy and funny as hell. Especially Lateesha's run-on mentoring speeches. The line "...So the first thing we gotta do is change that fat cottage cheese ass white suburban no dick suckiní only missionary position fuckiní under the covers with the lights off house wife bitch name of yours..." comes to mind. Very nice.
Character development. I wasn't expecting to actually sympathise with these people. Roaring revenge rampages aren't about being on anybody's side, it's about seeing blood and guts and shotgun rape. But the writer has managed to turn this beloved band of workin' gals (Lateesha especially) into a family of people we come to care for. I think the character of Mama has a lot to do with this. I thought the first scene with her at the diner was perhaps a little clunky, because there's really no conflict between mother and daughter. Mama is instantly supportive and understanding, I assumed she would've been a little less "I'll always be there for you, baby girl" type person. But that's by the by, her later scenes at the hospital have a nice emotional resonance and certainly tilted my sympathies in Lateesha's favour.
The violence. Fuck me sideways, this is where the rockin' aspect of the script I was talking about earlier comes in. This was gross and offensive and disturbing and totally brilliant. I don't know what kind of person sits there and thinks "Hey, I'll have a guy get anal raped by a shotgun" but I'm sure as shit glad the writer is that person. Well done.
What Didn't Work:
I already mentioned the clunky diner dialogue scene. A little conflict between Lateesha and her mother would have added a little depth to their relationship. Then again, when you're writing a short blaxploitation revenge movie, having depth in the relationships isn't exactly a priority. I understand that, so we'll just leave that be.
A few structural things bugged me a little. Lateesha gets kidnapped, raped, beaten and left for dead on the sidewalk. She's in hospital for a while, she vows revenge and then she literally goes out and get it. The last fifteen pages or so are all pay-off, no build up. I'd like another scene with Mama, where she intuits exactly what Lateesha is planning to do and they can talk about vengeance vs. justice and what's right and wrong, bring a little moral grey-area into the piece. Or maybe just have a "suiting up montage" of Lateesha getting ready for the take down. Have some padding. Having her in hospital beaten and defeated on one page and then having her drilling holes in Hector's kneecaps on the next is a little jarring.
Mo'Nique and Jamiqua are dropped kind of unceremoniously halfway through. I liked those girls and was definitely disappointed they didn't show up in the climax. I can't really see how you would fit them in, but I was just personally hoping to see a little more of them.
The Bottom Line
Fun. This is what this script was, just good, old-fashioned, bloody-as-hell fun. It's well-written, it's funny, it moves like a rocket and it has genuinely interesting characters. I'd love to see Lateesha get her own feature length spin-off. What's up with her daughter? What if Lionel escapes from Bellevue and decides to get a little revenge on Leon the pimp? What if Wayne has a brother? I want answers. And, of course, more shotgun rape.
I've read the next short and am about halfway through the third, so stay tuned....
This one was sort of a mixed bag for me. There were some things that didn't work at all, and other things that I really loved. I think a couple of rewrites would make this one a lot better.
The setting. The Egyptian stuff added a lot of nice texture. I loved all of the stuff with the snake charmer and Imenand. Making it both a period piece and a location story was a good move, it keeps things interesting and adds a nice flavour of the exotic. Kind of reminded me of The Mummy, just a lot more violent, which serves as a good segue into my next point....
The violence. Lots of imagination in here. I loved the descriptions of the Jinni when he comes into the story. His fiendish murderous persona kind of put me in mind of Pinbacker from Sunshine, the Danny Boyle movie. Some of his stuff is scary as hell, brought a lot to the script at a point when things were starting to drag a little for me. The rats, the feces, the torture, all well-written and packed with imagination (I dunno if the shit-smearing stuff was a little nod to Salo or not, but that was another movie that came to mind while I was reading this).
Hoover and Gahiji. I really liked these guys. Funny and surprisingly well-developed for such a brief script. I was sad to see them go. Hoover especially, as he was good for keeping Duke in his place (I particularly liked the "....It takes more than brains to deduce thereís gold in a cave. It takes less than brains to deduce thereís bats...." line.
The story. Having to bring someone back from the dead against their will in order to find the gold, really interesting idea. I wish this had played out a little more clearly. Obviously when something like this needs to be done in the movies, it always goes wrong and with good reason. When things happen exactly as they're supposed to, it's kind of boring, but I just thought this was a nice idea. Very spooky and supernatural, added nicely to the script.
What Didn't Work:
Pia already did a good job of pointing out some of the problems with the structure, so no sense in repeating it.
Duke. Why the hell was he so stupid? It felt like whenever Hoover and Gahiji or Imenand tried to explain what they were going to do, it was "what is he talking about?" or "why are you doing that" or "what the hell is going on here?" His impatience and skepticism combined with his apparent reatardedness was really irritating. If he's going to be that stupid, he needs to die about ten pages earlier. I'm glad that he eventually went slowly and horribly. I liked the alcoholic Indy aspect of his character, but the rest of him was a bit much.
The torture scene between Imenand and the Jinni dragged a little bit. I'm all for superfluous violence, but since both characters were introduced a little later on the story, it's kind of hard to care. That's just a personal problem, but I think trimming some of Imanend's torture methods might make the scene move a little quicker.
The Bottom Line
Like I said earlier, this one was kind of hit-and-miss. When it hits, it really hits, but the misses drag the script down as a whole. It's nicely written with some good characters and genuinely disturbing moments. I think bringing Imenand into the story sooner would be a big improvement, and possibly dialing Duke back a little bit. Other than that, this was good. I wouldn't say it was an enjoyable read, but it's certainly well-worth reading. Nice work.
Sorry it took me so long to get this one up, but X-mas has been taking up its fair share of my time. But I finally managed to finish this one off, so here we go.
This one didnít work quite as well as the others, for me. It mostly has to do with the fact that the story picks up a little too late. The opening scene has Big-U getting off and Jud swearing vengeance Ė but we have nothing to really grab on to. Why does Jud go off like he does? How are we supposed to know heís sick of this shit if this is the first weíre hearing of it? A vendetta needs to be earned, but this script is just one pay-off after another after another with no set-up.
Having said that, this thing isnít all bad. In fact, parts of it were quite good.
The chases. Nice work here. Having them be so Chicago-specific couldíve been a problem, especially for people who have no knowledge of Chicagoís geography, but I never had a problem following any of it because it was written very clearly without any clutter or over-indulgence in the descriptions. Having take place on Chicagoís streets lends a nice urban feel to the piece, creates a great energy and vibe that helps carry the script even when the story isnít quite working.
Kids on cocaine. Always funny.
Gangster names. Big-U, Neutron, Bam-Bam, Mothball, Lips and Fuckhead. Genius. Great cast of villains, they have great energy, their dialogue is funny without being over the top or cartoony. Itís a good blend of comedy and danger.
The violence. Like the two previous stories, thereís a lot of imagination here. Arms being chainsawed off, mob bosses being ripped in half by police cars, thugs being keyed in the jugular, shootings, stabbings, beatings, explosions, all good stuff.
What Didnít Work:
The story. Like I said, itís all action, action, action without any context. What this script needs is about twenty more pages before the opening scene explaining who Big-U is and what he is supposed to have done this time, and how heís managed to get out of jail time in the past, and why Jud cares so fucking much.
Bumblebee. She gets assaulted, shot at, involved in a high-speed chase and still wants to go to her party? If it were me, I think Iíd like to go home. And why does she stay with Jud? Sheís never met this man, he brings her nothing but danger, there is absolutely no inclination in the script that she even begins to like him, yet she sticks by him? This didnít make a lick of sense to me. There needs to be a reason for her to stay other than the convenience of the plot.
What was up with Jud going apeshit on that street crazy? That was just weirdÖ
The Bottom Line:
This script wasnít all bad. Itís got itís problems, but nothing that a few rewrites couldnít clean up. The action was good, most of the dialogue was snappy and funny, thereís a nice blend of violence and comedy. Itís just the plot that needs tightening up. Judís vendetta needs better justification and Bumblebee needs a stronger reason to stay by his side. Do that, and youíll have a stronger script.
I'm not sure I'll make it through this entire 149 page script so I'll take it in chunks.
BITCHSLAPPED ------------ Beside a couple of glaring but small typos...I liked this script. It captured black-plotation very nicely with a solid hero you felt something about. I especially thought the first half of the script was done quite well, good character development and dialogue. The part after the hospital stay, however, lost steam quickly.
First off, I think you kind of threw away this whole business about Peaches because you don't really mention her again.
Secondly, I think you needed to carry the "need information" thing further than the garage. Maybe he knows where one of them is and the next knows where the last is. She needs more trouble finding these guys. As it is she really doesn't have much difficulty getting rid of them. It needs to be more of a challenge.
Lastly, while the gunfight was ok, I thought it was one of the weakest parts of the script. Be more creative.
Overall, I really liked it - but like anything it can always be improved.
While I kind of liked it (it had significant grotesqueness), I thought it had a number of issues that need some work.
There were a couple of typos - nothing huge - but they were there.
It looked like there was a continuity error after Duke and the rats. All the guys were in the tunnel with him while they were also in the burial chamber.
And if I'm not mistaken, the fiery eyed jackal just sort of disappears. And unless I missed it, there really is no explanation for this odd creature.
Also, again not certain about this, but sometimes it seemed like we were in India, other times in Baghdad, and other times in Egypt. Culturally this didn't add up well for me.
As far as the Jinni goes, I could have missed it but I think things would have been tenser if you told us some of the Jinni mythology first. Like what to expect from him. as it stands I was confused as to why the Jinni was acting the way he was.
But the major issue I had with this script was the ending. I didn't like that Imenand ran off with the gold at the end. I thought Gahiji should have gotten the gold. Or you should have had Imenand in there from the beginning. I didn't like Duke, I was surprised you choose him as a main character, you should have given him a bit of redemption.
With a little bit of editing this could be quite good. Looking forward to seeing the rewrite.
BREAKNECK VENGEANCE -------------------------- I really enjoyed this one. I thought the character development was great. The storyline was good too but a bit on the cliche side of things. No problems though it was still a lots of fun to read.
I had a couple of issues with it.
One was context. Since this sits inside BOBII, it is kind of similar to Bitchslapped and therefore maybe the inclusion of both of these pieces might be reconsidered.
The second was length. It was a bit long and could probably be cut down a bit without sacrificing the story. I don't have a specific example but I'm sure at least one could be found.
The last issue was the Bumblebee. Though it was a cute idea (and I love that she stung him with a pin), I think ultimately it would be too silly on the screen and I would recommend losing it.
FLESH EATERS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE --------------------------------------------- It's a pretty typical zombie flick and I enjoyed reading it - after the zombies started the reading got much better but there were a number of issues that didn't work for me with the script.
Mostly it's the 60s thing. This breaks into a number of sub issues.
1. The slang seemed kind of clunky and it was used rather unevenly. A couple of times you were spot on, other times you weren't using exactly the right slang like 'book it' is was actually always said as just 'book'. I also noticed an absence of calling people 'man' which was extremely common slang back then. If you are interested in the slang then watch something like 'Woodstock' or 'Monterrey Pops Festival' you get some interviews with the music.
2. Why was this set in the 60s anyway? There really wasn't a point for the time period. Everyone knows that didn't happen and you didn't explain why people wouldn't know why that happened (Like the government make everyone involved disappear). I didn't even find the energy of the characters very 60s like. The seemed to me to be modern transplants. Write what you know works every time. Set it at a later or future date.
There was something else but I can't remember it at the moment because someone is talking to me every 2 minutes. Well they shut up for a minute or two and then they talk again. It's very distracting.
Like I said, I enjoyed the read but I would rethink the 60s thing.
Hey Cornetto thanks for the read, I'm surprised you made it through all of them in such a short period of time , glad you seemed to find something to like in each one I know that both breakneck and bitchslapped are kinda similar, that's why I split those two up, but I think there is enough of a difference in style and tone in them to separate them. Again thanks for the reads.
Thanks for checking it out. I'll go more in-depth with my responses once who wrote what is revealed (like mine is terribly difficult to figure out ), but I just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that I'm watching things.
My god, this is one nasty piece of work. The ending was just twisted and brutal.
Formats good and there were barely any grammar errors.
The characters were all decently developed. Lateesha especially. She seemed like a real person, just not a very pleasant one.
My favorite thing about this script was the dialog. I loved every one of Lateesha's lines. She's such a bitch, and yet you're still rooting for her.
The pacing. The first 20 pages were the set up, and then the rest was nothing but climax. It was just BAM BAM BAM oh fuck they're dead. However I'm sure length limitations held this back in that area, so no biggie.
This has a very grindhouse type feel to it and I think it was the perfect way to start BOB2. I'm looking forward to reading the rest.
As for who wrote this, I'm going to have to say this is Mike's work. It seems like he'd know a thing or two about vengeful black prostitutes.
I thought this one was pretty good, but I did have some issues with it.
I agree with everything Michael said first of all. Everything he said is definitely taking into consideration. I have a few suggestions as well.
Although I did not grow up here or even at that time period, my husband did so I asked him a couple of questions. The first one that struck me was the water bottle. I know that might seem weird, but back then people didn't carry water bottles with them everywhere they went. That's actually a more modern day thing. Extremely uncommon for people to buy bottled water back then. Plus there were no plastic bottles... they were glass.
The story itself was like Michael said fairly standard, but it worked, so... I think for a 30+ page script though, it took way to long before anything happened. Nothing much of big importance happens until page 11 or so. I'm thinking you were probably just working establishing characters, but it still has to move the story forward. If you know what I mean.
Once the action starts it's relentless and goes on till the end. I wish there had been a better build up in the beginning so the transition into the action doesn't come across as too sudden.
I know that my next comment may not seem important, but something that seems common to me in these types of films and that is that the whole world is affected, our heroes are the only ones left, we're all going to die kind of thing. It always amazes me that none of the teenagers ever stop and wonder how there families are doing? Are their parents, siblings and other loved ones dead? They always only seem to be able to think about their friends.
All in all I think you did a good job and the action was good.