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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February, 2010 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - The Killing Gene *
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  Author    OWC - The Killing Gene *  (currently 7386 views)
Posted: February 14th, 2010, 9:29am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Killing Gene by Tim Ratcliffe (trojan) - Short, Supernatural Thriller - A man has his beliefs put to the test when he is confronted with an offer he simply can't refuse. - pdf, format

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- Wayne Gretzky

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Don  -  February 21st, 2010, 2:31pm
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: February 14th, 2010, 10:45am Report to Moderator
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Would also work well with the limitations of the software. It's one of the very few I've read that seems to fit into category.

The dialogue is quite excessive and expositional, but that's not a major concern. Some parts felt like they'd been done before a little bit and the whole concept is not hugely original, but it still tinkled along nicely enough.

Not much more to say really.

I could definitley see this as a moviestorm movie.

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Scar Tissue Films  -  February 14th, 2010, 11:30am
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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 11:06am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Twin Ciites
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This is an engaging read. Well thought out. Many will, no doubt, enjoy it.  And with good reason. There is much to like.


Stranger Than Yesterday

And Sweetie XD

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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 11:52am Report to Moderator

Florida, USA
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Good show, outside of the grammar and spelling that seems to be running amok all over this particular OWC...

A little too chatty in some places, waxing philosophical about the nature of evil gets a little dry after a while.


Liked the twist with the cell phone in the alley; very cool. I don't why he just took Edgar's word for it when he was informed of the situation at his house...Seems that he would want some kind of evidence, however, given the nature of Edgar, I suppose it works in context of the story...

David is a bit cowardly; suddenly given the power to do the dispicable act, he chooses to take out a harmless hobo. Why not make it count? Take out the corner drug dealer or the known pedophile in the neighborhood.

Liked the ending. I often wondered why these other voices  people hear always tell them to kill people. They never say helpful things like volunteer to help the poor or anything like that.

Good insight, and a good job overall.

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Dove Chocolate Wrapper
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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 12:45pm Report to Moderator
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So, right off, this title appeals to me a great deal.  I am a big fan of the sciences, as some may know.  And there has, in fact, been some debate as to whether one might be genetically predisposed to antisocial behavior.

But unfortunately, this was less about science and more about convoluted killing schemes.

However, inside those parameters, this story works just fine.  It has a brisk pace, some twists in the right places, and a good conclusion.

After being thoroughly confused by the last piece I read -- making for a difficult review -- it was nice to find such a straightforward piece could easily make for a contender in Cornetto's little project.

I only wish there was a bit more science to it, as promised by the title.  A-

Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 1:07pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Soon to be Sydney, Australia!
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I had actually considered you as a possible author, bert, but I guess you have quelled that thought.

This is my favourite to date. Yes, it is does suggest and lean on a few previous films - the opening spoke to 'I Am Legend', to me - but it tells a pretty large story in short space, and does so well.

No real comments regards improvements, 'cos it works as it is, but maybe he could have a reason to not test the phone prior to carrying out the killing; reason being that rather than being drawn into a clever deflection with the number being cut off, I wondered why he hadn't already called it.

It veered out of the machinima tone visited in Michael's reel, but it does speak to the audience and is fully deserving of some form of production.

I have a strong suspicion of who this is, and it would be a departure and improvement for that person; so I hope it is.


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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 1:14pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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I liked this one pretty much.  As BW said, there are some issues, but not nearly as many as most of these scripts.

Problems I had were that it had a definite Saw feel to it, which is getting very old at this point.  It was also way too chatty, with 2 characters sitting talking for long periods of time, with nothing going on around them.  Biggest issue is like BW mentioned, so many possibilities to not proceed with the killing...go to his house and check it out...remove the knife and even the body if he has to.

A little confused as to why this "Edgar" dude is doing this...who is he, is he God?  Satan?  I doubt that Sullivan is just whacko, as it sure doesn't come off that way.

Easily one of the better scripts so far.  Good job!

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 1:26pm Report to Moderator
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Creepy, cerebreal.

Kinda reminded me of the premise from "The Box". I liked the line where David says "These people have a psychological imbalance that causes them to create certain scenarios that only exist inside their minds as a way to justify their dark impulses".   That could easily apply to the creative process of a screenwriter, too.   Art imitates life.   You should've given David the name "Gene" to match the title.  

Nice work.

P.S. - I've seen this Writer's work before. Don't know why he puts the two words "thankyou" together.  Is that a UK thing or just a reoccurring typo?  

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Scar Tissue Films  -  February 17th, 2010, 1:21pm
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Angry Bear
Posted: February 14th, 2010, 2:30pm Report to Moderator
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The Swamp...
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I liked this one. My favorite so far as well.

I loved how Edgar goes from his science type talk on page 3 then ups the stakes for David in an instant by saying there's a body at his house. That was perfect timing.

My only little gripe would be, if I were David, I would have dialed the number before shooting anyone. Testing the phone in other words.

Great job!

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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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This was good.

A little too chatty in certain areas, but it's a good concept executed from something that's very complex to something that's actually pretty simple.

Two parts in here were pretty chilling; the part where David calls the clean up team but gets the recording.  Real sense of dread there.  The other was the very ending where the camera from David's interview stops on him.  It's simple, but after what he just went through and experienced, it's a creepily effective ending.

Good job.


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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 9:57pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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Yeah, have to agree...this is the best so far (though that isn't saying too much compared to some of the others).

Concise writing, good premise. The only thing that nagged at me was how easily David made his way back to the basement? Um, i dunno, I sorta went, huh? So he just strolled back there?

Anway, nice effort

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Posted: February 14th, 2010, 10:25pm Report to Moderator

I am a writer first and a critic second.

"On the road to Rome."
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Too the writer...

This was good very good IMO.  A few errors but nothing too distracting except the "Thankyou."  I liked the concept and this definitely fit the scope of the "Dark," theme.

I wasn't really surprised in the alley, that the cellphone was disconnect.  Not too much to say, except one of the better one's.

Good Job







"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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Posted: February 15th, 2010, 12:46pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Hmmm, I have to say this one was more miss for me than hit, though it had its good moments...

Basically I didn't buy the premise - in other words, I have a lot of questions here:

Why does Edgar go through this whole exercise in the first place? His initial reason is a ruse, and I sniffed him out as the devil / someone who couldn't be killed right away. It was obvious he did not work for a corporation. Actually, if he did, the story would be more plausible. As it stands now, he did a dastardly thing to David because he knew he secretly longed to kill? A stretch IMO...

Second, I don't buy that the public would have no sympathy for someone who was born to kill. This argument is not so much nature vs. nurture, but free will vs. pre-destination. If I am "part of God's plan", so to speak, and I must kill you to fulfill that plan, then what choice did I have? I'm blameless. And so would be the killer who was genetically programmed to kill. You can fight against environmental influences, but not who you are "hard-wired", or even pre-destined, to be.

Then again, since Edgar's speech here was part of the ruse, maybe it doesn't matter?

Lastly, David is set up for a murder, and must kill - to save himself. Not his wife, his children, etc. His choice is take a human life or go to jail. What would you do? I would go to jail. So David becomes thoroughly weak-willed and unlikeable (and I agree with Blakkwolfe - picking a homeless guy is the easy way out).

Then again, it proves Edgar's point - that David was a killer all along. But I ask again - why the exercise in the first place?

I guess it's good and thought-provoking writing if I'm asking so many questions. Overall, a good idea that may have suffered from some execution problems.

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Posted: February 15th, 2010, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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The killing gene. It's always there. Some just need a little push. Ha ha ha. Good stuff!

I think this one could be one of Cornetto's picks, and if it isn't well, I think it would be easy to film for someone else.

I liked this, but I agree that the bum guy should have been spared. Too easy. I'd like to see even more conflict there. I know there already is afterward with the call, but I'd like to see it upped even more, maybe he ends up having to shoot a cop. ???

Great job for a OWC, but then again, I'm positive that I know who wrote this, and when you enter a script for these challenges yours are always one of my favorites.


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
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Posted: February 15th, 2010, 2:18pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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This ones been pretty well reviewed and I can see why. Very good flow to it. Good setup and payoff. Really got nothing else to add that somebody already hasn't. This should be in the running to get made. Good work...  James

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