Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Youth of Australia Halloween Massacre!

A while back, while chatting with my one time comedy parter Damo Sanchez, we noted that a base-under-siege thriller is a good basis for character based comedy - an isolated setting forcing characters to be stuck together, with a plot motivation to get them behaving interestingly... Of course, the ultimate base-under-siege story in Doctor Who is Horror of Fang Rock, leading us to base a YOA episode on it. Trouble was, that ended up as the average YOA story set in a lighthouse and a sea monster. Not the complete carnage, trust no one, nothing gets out of here alive bollocks, so we decided to save that for a special slasher episode which killed every single character (wouldn't you know, only Nigel survived to be killed off in the comedy twist).

Rowan Atkinson pointed out that humor - in particular visual comedy - is closely based on what frightens us. Inanimate objects coming life, people appearing where they shouldn't be, people acting ways they shouldn't... all of it can be hilarious or terrifying depending on context. I'm not sure I could ever match DAAS Kapital for its genius blend of terror and laugh out loud comedy, but here is a chunk of the one time I attempted...

Space. Light moves in a streak between the stars. A smooth grey sphere is hurtling through the darkness. We see it is aiming for Earth. As it shoots past, we hear a strange insect-style warbling which fades into silence as it continues towards the planet. Then, another sphere appears. And another. And another. The warbling, chattering sound gets louder and louder as the shooting spheres finally block out the view of the Earth entirely...


Outback. It is night, and starting to drizzle. A tent is pitched near a creek. Inside, shoved uncomfortably together are Doctor Spoon and Chamber, trying to avoid burning their faces on the lantern that hangs between them. Doctor Spoon is reading a paperback, Chamber is in a sleeping bag that completely engulfs his body.

Chamber: Are you ever going to go to bed?

Doctor Spoon: Don't stay up on my account.

Chamber: I can't sleep with the light on.

Doctor Spoon: Tough. I'm reading.

Chamber: You're always reading! You've been reading that book for six hours!

Doctor Spoon: I'm working on a law suit.

Chamber: A law suit?

Doctor Spoon: Yeah. Against the publishers. They say on the cover "Read the first three pages just before midnight and we guarantee you will find yourself finishing the book by morning, exhausted and terrified."

Chamber: What? They put that on Spot Goes To The Zoo?

Doctor Spoon: Yeah, and this has to be the worst horror novel I've ever read. "Spot finds mutilated corpse by the refreshment stand. Spot deals. Spot plays with a tortoise. Spot finds urgent message scrawled in victim's blood. Spot ignores it..." I think I can sue the publishers for the false advertising on the cover.

Chamber: But... you're nearly finished.

Doctor Spoon: That's not the point is it?

Chamber: What is the point then?

Doctor Spoon: I'd tell you, but I don't want to overload your miniscule brain.

Chamber: You f---

A rumbling crash. Doctor Spoon and Chamber are flung together, burning their faces on the swinging lantern. They cry out in pain and generally get tangled up. Outside, steam pours up from a patch of earth further up the hill. We hear the faint warbling, chattering noise.

Chamber: Oh, my beautiful face!

Doctor Spoon: Forget your stupid face, what the hell just happened?

Chamber: Probably one of your food experiments! My damn arse is still sore...

Doctor Spoon: No comment.

Chamber: Are you inferring something, Rupert?

Doctor Spoon: No, I'm not. I'm implying something. Now, let's have a look-see.

They leave the tent.

Chamber: Don't use your so-called logical back-talk on me, buster...

Doctor Spoon: Fry my nuggets, what do we have here?

Chamber: Crap! That thing nearly hit us! Or, rather, YOU since no intelligent design would ever put me in danger.

Doctor Spoon: Chamber, I am three hours of bitching past putting up with your crap. Mouth closed or die, your choice. This must be the start of the Cosmic Storm they're going on about...

Chamber: You don't believe that crap, do you? Don't get any closer to it!

Doctor Spoon: Why not?

Chamber: We'll get fried!

Doctor Spoon: Don't be stupid, Chamber. Meteorites lose most of their heat on re-entry, we're in more danger of freezing. Don't you ever read Now, we might have a little goldmine on our hands here. Think of it - if you can.

Chamber: Money?

Doctor Spoon: Yes! We have the first meteorite of the Cosmic Storm, we could sell it on eBay for a minimum GBP of $5000!

Chamber: But, if there are gonna be thousands of these things landing all over the Earth...

Doctor Spoon: Ah. Typically, the one time you can use your brain Chamber, you come up with bad news. We'll have to check. If this one is genuinely the first, we should have a case. Right, you stay here and guard the golden egg.

Chamber: What golden egg?

Doctor Spoon: The meteorite!

Chamber: Oh, it's made of gold, is it?

Doctor Spoon: No, don't think so.

Chamber: So why'd you call it a golden egg!

Doctor Spoon: It's a literary allusion, Chamber! You know, Jack and the beanstalk and the goose that laid the golden egg?

Chamber: So what's the goose then?

Doctor Spoon: Forget it. Just stay here, and keep an eye on the steamy egg-shaped rock while I call up the local papers.

Doctor Spoon returns to the tent. Chamber watches him go, flipping him the bird. Behind him, a crack appears in the smooth grey sphere. The chattering noise becomes audible. Back in the tent, Doctor Spoon pulls out a mobile and dials it.

Doctor Spoon: Hello? Junior Gazette? Yes, I do know what time it is... Oh. My watch must be broken. Never mind that, I've got tomorrow's headline today!

Chamber turns and looks at the sphere. The noise is louder.

Chamber: Uh, Rupert? Rupert?

Doctor Spoon: Shut up, Chamber! Sorry, where was I? Yes, "The Sky Is Falling - Local Hunk Inventer Rupert Woosing-Gard Finds ET Debris!"

Chamber: The golden egg's got a crack in it!

Doctor Spoon: Not now, Chamber, this is grown-up talk! Now, I have access to the first of the Cosmic Storm meteorites to hit Earth, I mean, I bet that nowhere else is reporting meteor showers...

Chamber: Rupert! Rupert! Come here, quick!

The noise is much louder. Chamber pales. We see alien monster's POV: tinted red, fish-eyed blur, solarized. The black-red shell cracks and falls free to reveal Chamber's feet. The creature peers up at Chamber.

Chamber: Yuck! Hey, Rupert! Alien twins are born!

In the tent, Doctor Spoon puts his hand over the phone.

Doctor Spoon: What are you dribbling on about, Chamber?

Chamber: The egg! It's really an egg and its hatched and these... these...

The noise gets louder. There are two sets of chatters.

Doctor Spoon: Chamber? Chamber? Look, hang onto the line would you, I won't be a moment. Chamber what the hell are you...

Doctor Spoon peers through the opening of the tent. His jaw drops. POV: The creature looks up and sees Doctor Spoon's shocked and horrified face.

Doctor Spoon: Oh, no... Chamber... I'll never get that twenty bucks back now!

POV: the creature rushes Doctor Spoon, who ducks back inside the tent and closes the flap at the last minute. Inside, the shape of the flap bulges as the thing outside tries to fight its way inside. Doctor Spoon pulls the main support pole free and kicks up at the ceiling. The tent flips and collapses over the creature, and we see its POV as everything goes dark. Doctor Spoon whacks the shrouded creature with the pole.

Doctor Spoon: You stupid, selfish, extra-terrestrial son of a bitch-whore!

The noise becomes distressed and falters. Doctor Spoon kicks it and it rolls into the creek. Thunder rumbles loudly and the drizzle intensifies. Doctor Spoon watches it go.

Doctor Spoon: Yeah, welcome to Earth you freak! Nothing personal! We treat human beings the same way!

There is the loud, angry noise behind him. Doctor Spoon spins around and is taken by surprise as the remaining monster lunges for his throat. POV: Doctor Spoon's screaming face. The scream is muffled by the chattering noise, then suddenly cuts off. Doctor Spoon's hand, clutching the pole, drops into the grass, letting go of the metal rod.

Meanwhile, the squirming tent bundle is washed down the creek. POV: black, rustling, a rip and the material splits. As the rain continues, the sky begins to brighten as dawn rises. The bundle stops by some branches. POV: the creature scrambles out onto the sure. Its noise becomes more even and less distressed. It moves up the hill.

We see a tall, two-storey cottage sitting at the top of the hill in the rain. Light shines behind most of the windows. We hear the chattering noise of the creature.

(That's where the rest of the gang where about to be slaughtered, FYI. The creature breaks into the house and slaughters in that cool "off screen no obvious cause what happens to them manner" to suit the "we never actually see what the monster looks like except it's getting bigger with every death":
  • Dave
  • Callisto
  • Maurice
  • Harry
  • Eve
  • Katy
  • Andrew
Nigel escapes by blowing up the house and everything in it...)

Nigel gets to his feet, dusting himself down.

Nigel: Oh, yeah. Who's your daddy? Who's your daddy? I'M YOUR DADDY! Otherworldly omnivores beware - you've got nothing on Nigel Verkoff! Humanity rules and the Godking N lives to fight another day!

He turns and looks back at the smoldering house.

Nigel: Poor Andrew. Dave. Eve. Carrie. And... whoever they were. Oh, well, couldn't be helped. Acceptable casualties - time to sell my story to the best Australian journalists in the land.

He pulls out a mobile and speeddials.

Nigel: Junior Gazette? Nigel Verkoff here... Hello? Hello? No, no don't hang up... Bastards!

He redials. We begin to hear a rumble in the distance.

Nigel: Hello, Junior Gazette? Sir Nigel Anonymous here... No, don't hang up! Listen, I've got a story about the meteor that crashed yesterday. No, fair dinkum. Turns out the thing was carrying this grinning evil death wraith creature that just kept eating and growing and growing and eating - until, of course, I whupped his gelatinous glutinous maximus! What? Uh, yeah, physical evidence... How "physical" would be necessary? Just the corpse is a bit... burnt to smithereens. I'm sure a forensic pathologist could do something with it. Put in the canteen food as peppercorns, maybe? Well, it's not as if there's another one of those things around for me to...

The rumbling is getting louder and louder. Nigel begins to sway uncertainly as the ground trembles beneath his feet. The chattering noise becomes audible, louder than we have ever heard it. The ground begins to crumble and slide back...

Nigel: I don't suppose the zoo would be interested in a fully-grown alien grinning death monster, would they? No?

POV: The soil falls away to show Nigel dropping the phone and running for it. The view rises up, up, up, further and further to show how huge the second creature has become. It swoops down towards Nigel, who falls onto his back, staring up at the creature at it hurtles down into his face. He opens his mouth and screams. We zoom into his open mouth.

My idea was for the end credits to roll over the rest of the 'cosmic storm' arriving on Earth, hatching out the monsters and one by one all the news reports going off air until finally there is just silence. Damo thought it was just a wee bit too dark and instead we came up with the episode, Book of Revelation...

But that's another story...

No comments: