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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2K16 One Week Challenge  ›  Call Me Mama - OWC
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  Author    Call Me Mama - OWC  (currently 1826 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2016, 12:14pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Call Me Mama by The Brothers Grim

Comes from the Italian tale--The Slave Mother

Short Action Horror based on The Slave Mother

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Posted: October 15th, 2016, 2:34pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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Cave Creek, AZ
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I read the fairy tale first and thought to myself, "what an odd in the world will this transfer to horror...then the script.

Doesn't work for me at all. I don't buy any of the characters, the action, the set ups, nothing.

The writing, although not terrible, by any means, is loaded with mistakes, is unclear throughout, and just not very good.

No horror at all until very late, and I wouldn't even call it horror.

Finally, although there is a glimmer of the original tale here, for me, it doesn't really work, as there's no magic - it's simply straight up revenge, although the events make no sense as written.

Sorry, not for me.


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pale yellow
Posted: October 15th, 2016, 3:17pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Jacksonville FL
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No logline? Shucks, I like to get a feel for the premise before I start reading. I read your ‘based-on’ story so I do have something to go on.

I did not get any characters I really wanted to follow here. I felt sorry for Maria when she was taken and I did like the revenge part at the end, but here is one problem with why the revenge wasn’t as good a pay off for me: At the beginning when you set up Maria and Jake, he doesn’t even call her by her real name. You don’t show any sort of bond between them, so when she comes back for revenge, it’s weird because you are having them talk like they were really in love yet Jake is married with kids. One thing that could’ve possibly helped is if you had shown their love for each other and then out of the blue, Jake let’s them take her over over the baby for the shorted cash. Then maybe show him going through obstacles to save her but when he finally does, she offs him and takes the kid she felt cheated out of. Just some ideas. It’s a good concept and I feel like it just needs a little more work.

The dialogue needs work IMO.  It was strange the way the characters would talk English and then have Spanish words mixed in. Sometimes they would say the same thing twice, English then Spanish. It slowed the read. Also, I like to feel like each has their own voice and all the dialogue sounded the same  no matter who was talking.

I think you did great creating the twist at the end.

Good job!

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Angry Bear
Posted: October 15th, 2016, 4:39pm Report to Moderator
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The Swamp...
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I would call this one slasher rather than action horror.

It was a fast read and easy to understand. I just wasn't convinced Maria would kill all these people out of revenge. She wants her kid back. I can understand that, but does she really think she will have a future with him after killing his father and two more people? And, why now? Why did she wait 12 years before she did this?

Not a bad effort at all, just has some believability issues.  

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Posted: October 15th, 2016, 6:15pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Sydney, Australia
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This one wasn't for me.

I'm not sure 3 slashed throats constitute a horror. Where's the tension, where's the horror?

Most action movies have more killing than this but that doesn't make them a horror.

The writting is okay, nothing jumped out at me.


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Posted: October 16th, 2016, 7:50am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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A good setup and well written. You had me in that bar and I felt part of the proceedings. It didn’t feel like a fairy tale but I realise the scope of this OWC was quite wide.

A disappointing second half which, to me, felt more like an adult drama than a horror. I can see a few throats cut on an episode of CSI, it doesn’t make it a horror.

A predictable revenge drama but solid writing.


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Posted: October 17th, 2016, 10:25am Report to Moderator
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Cast Your Fate To The Wind

Upstate NY
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Decent revenge tale, although it seems formulaic. However, I did like the touch of Luis' lips sewn shut and the explanation for it. There's not much meat on the bones of this story, and it feels a bit thin. I think with more time you definitely have the making of a good tale. I'll try to come back and read the source material, but for now I give it just a consider because I think the story itself could be told better.

But a pretty good job for the time allowed.


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Posted: October 17th, 2016, 3:13pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Well written, clean and sharp. It tasted like a Ghost Pepper actually; nothing, nothing then… POW! Vomit. By vomit, I mean gruesome.

Read the original tale and, I like the whole Mexican – slash – salsa thing you had going on, made for a unique take on the theme but, not the genre… with respect to the Cartel that is; the original was pirates, probably the cutthroat type, so this works well for adaptation here. It reminded me somewhat of ‘The Counsellor’, actually. Wherein the finalé treats all those hell bent on easy money to a sick and brutal twist of fate.

Come to think of it, The Counsellor left me with such feelings of dread, overwhelming despair, and non-closure, that I would rank it the most horrific movie I’ve ever seen, so much to the extent that I hate Cameron Diaz to this day.

In keeping with the theme of Mexican gore comics “Presido”, you also gain massive points but, why’d she have to tie up Billy? If she can’t take a 12 year old mouthing off, she ain’t gonna do much better when he’s 15 and cops a real attitude. Mind you, if he saw Mama have at the trio in the house, I would imagine he’d keep his shit clean… real clean.

Great use of theme and lucid visuals, good work.
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c m hall
Posted: October 18th, 2016, 10:21am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

peninsula of Jersey
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The source material is creepy but this screenplay is downright chilling.  It takes the mother's (Maria's) tragic story way into nightmare.

Very scary, horrifying story.  Very well written.

The starkness of the story is heightened by the spare writing -- when this is filmed, the director needs to show the same kind of restraint.  If the audience can share Jake's horror (when he sees the carnage at his home) just as they size up this older Jake; successful, self centered, incapable of hearing the fear in his wife's voice (that must have been there) when they spoke on the phone -- then we will share, with Jake, the horrible certainty that all of the ruin in Jake's life resulted from his own failing.

With a really good director this will be a terrific film.
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Posted: October 18th, 2016, 4:02pm Report to Moderator

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The beginning grabbed me and it felt like it had some interesting tension building.

However, the middle and end took me out of it. Not much horror here for my taste.

Overall, it is written well and the screenplay moves quickly, but it just didn't get my attention.
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Cam Gray
Posted: October 18th, 2016, 4:17pm Report to Moderator

Laaaaannnndddaaaan (London)
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You've got the writing down pat, and the dialogue all seems natural. It's well written but I'm not sure where the horror is, definitely falls into the thriller bracket for me. Also, lack of logline isn't a great start.

Anyway, it's a good attempt, but not sure it fits the brief

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Posted: October 19th, 2016, 12:54pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Something about slavery, the source says…

The title could fit well I believe. It's a decent choice. A logline could help but okay…

Somehow I must have read over if there are other people in the cantina or not. I was interested to know because of the overall scenario and if there wouldn't be some reactions of other visitors -- reread some parts and, nope, haven't found anything. I'd suggest you to mark that the place is abandoned. It's part of the dramatic situation.

Okay, it is clearly more thriller territory.

P5 such a great use of changing the timeframe. Often it's a fault - here it's a damn good hook to make me want to know more! Thumb Up. A heavy midpoint I'd say.

p6 Do I see it coming that there's revenge of an old love from Mexican times to await???

Great action!!

Okay I was right with "Maria". No problem but there's another very important thing here: When Jake asks his new wife if she hired a new maid, you cannot expect us to understand, keep, and transform that information back into the later plot. It just seems secondary information, the way it's delivered now. I only understood it because I guessed there must have been an information, went back to check the logical construction, and found the sentence. In a running movie, it could be missed.

You didn't make it all easier with calling his new wife Mary by the way - I know it might look clever in hindsight ((also regarding the Mary/Maria discussion from the opening)) -- but there's a feel of constructed coincidence WE NOTICE. It makes things a bit inorganic, look as a clear artificial Intervention by you.

WOWyyy…  What a third act. There was some stuff I critiqued before, hopefully to help reflect on those "little things"… but except for those "little" moments, this is an awesome ride and even the structure, where my little points aimed at, is awesome in general.

Heavy on action here. Great work. I didn't perceive the real fairytale/story behind it, but honestly, if that's what you found here, no problem. In the end it feels like a Thriller. Though it had mystery, tension, and suspense in it. All characteristics of the Horror genre. There are only few minor flaws from my view. All in all it's an impressive script.

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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 20th, 2016, 11:02am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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Some sound ideas going on in here.

An abandoned woman, child gone, and a surrounding of drugs. Volatile cocktail.

I was a little confused over wife and maid in the final episode.

I think the problem is that there is too much for a short. I know the feeling...

Further, the abandoned woman is a tad unbelievable

I did like the idea of her driving off with the child and asking it to call her mama

Not bad for a week and has potential, although may be more as a feature.

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Abe from LA
Posted: October 20th, 2016, 2:49pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Downey, California
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Ok, a Grimm Brothers tale set in a Mexican cantina. For starters, I like it.
I've never been one for the medieval European setting, for whatever reason.
So, when I read the opening pages, I was all aboard.
It bothered me that Jake and Maria don't connect at the beginning. I guess that was
intentional. Giving her up to Luis just didn't seem that big a deal. It's not what he says, but the way he interacts with Maria.
Some of the names threw me - Maria, Mary, Willy, Billy. Probably more of a rush job thing.
To be honest, as soon as I read that Jake's new wife hired a maid, it got predictable. I did enjoy the way Maria came back cutting throats. Nice.

My suggestion:  In keeping with the spirit of absurdity, I would have dropped dead and gone to Mexico if you had brought Maria back as a dude. Not a full-on transgender.  Or maybe full-on, who knows.
Then when she ends with, "And you will call me Mama," it would have been a soft kick to the stones. Followed by a chuckle.
No horror here, but not so horrible. I might give this a consider based on potential.
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Posted: October 20th, 2016, 7:25pm Report to Moderator

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Besides a few stumbles in the writing, it was very readable, which is hard to say for many entries. As for the story, I feel as if it dragged on a lot longer than it should have. There wasn't much substance here either, especially with the switching of protags (which may not have been on purpose) -- which is incredibly hard to do in a revenge story by the way, and I have to say it didn't work here.

We didn't feel for Maria, like at all, there's a grizzly story here at its core -- but it's too simple and way too long for us to attach to any of the characters. It desperately needs some character building and just...depth, that's what's really missing here. Not a bad effort by all means, but didn't quite work for me.
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