Workshop Wednesday

We continue our read through of my vampire hunter script, Van Helsing Syndrome, as we pick up with the action of our main character, Mark, after the cold open at the start of the film. Amusingly, going back through this script I realized I'd actually set this in the Indianapolis area (where we planned to film it) and had completely forgotten -- the first draft was set in the Washington D.C. area where I'm from (write what you know). Just something that caught me as I was going back through.

If you haven't already read part one of this series, I'd recommend hitting that first before diving into this second part here.

Van Helsing Syndrome: Part 2

EXT: HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, NIGHT.

Camera slowly drifts along the road, just taking in the scenery of one vinyl-sided house after another. Cars are parked mostly in driveways, but there's the occasional one parked on the road. After a few houses, we come to an open clearing with a hill leading down to a park. A black sedan is parked near the hill, and MARK is leaning, back to the sedan, eating a cheeseburger.

SFX: Ring tone. Something rocking and yet funny.

MARK:

JACOBS here. (pause) On a case. I can come in tomorrow. (pause) Active agent, JAKE SCHUMAKER, late sixties, deceased 1973. Priority three kill. Ten confirmed. (pause) Right. (pause) No, I don't need backup.

MARK takes another bite of his burger.

MARK:

Tomorrow, yeah. (pause) Because it's already late and I don't want to go back downtown again. (pause) Fine, eight in the morning.

MARK hangs up his phone and finishes his burger. He walks to the trunk of the car, opens it up, and unzips his duffel bag. Over his shoulder we see a couple of handguns, some stakes, holy water vials, and a large sword. MARK grabs two vials of water, and then walks around to the far side of the car, where a rifle is standing, ready for use. MARK picks up the rifle, checks it over once more.

SFX: Car engine.

MARK sets the rifle along the hood of his car and peers through the sniper scope.

SFX: Car door slam.

From the POV of the scope we see a tall, youngish looking guy get out of his car. The man spins his car keys on his finger as he walks around to his trunk.

SFX: Front door slam.

We see a neighbor lady from a different house come out, get in the way of a clear shot.

MARK:

Come on, come on...

SFX: MARK's ring-tone.

JAKE's head spins around, and his eyes go wide as he looks directly at the "camera". The neighbor screams as JAKE grabs her and puts her in the way of MARK's shot.

MARK:

Shit.

MARK runs to his trunk and grabs his sword. When the camera pans around, JAKE and the neighbor are both gone.

MARK:

Fuck...

MARK spins around, looking around the neighborhood for JAKE.

SFX: Twig snap.

MARK spins around again, sword at the ready but not pointed straight out (which would be silly looking). We don't see anything. Then, MARK is hit from behind by the body of neighbor. He falls to the ground, sword skittering off, and is pinned down by the weight of the body.

The camera whips around as the body is knocked aside and MARK is picked up by JAKE.

JAKE:

You lost your little toy.

MARK:

(gasping rasp)

JAKE:

What?

MARK slams a vial of holy water into JAKE's face. The vampire drops MARK and staggers off, face smoking.

MARK:

I said: there's more where it came from.

JAKE staggers to his knees. MARK bashes another vial into the back of JAKE's head, and the vampire falls to the ground.

MARK:

JAKE SHUMAKER, you are wanted in connection to 10... wait, make that 11 homicides. By order of the PHA, I am authorized to deal swift justice and close your case.

JAKE:

(cough) You think you're the law.

MARK:

No, that's Judge Dredd. I'm just a guy with a badge. And you're a vampire.

JAKE:

(laughs) Puny human...

MARK:

And let's take a moment to discuss your name. "The Vampire Jake". Really? What about "Mephisto" or the ever classic "Vlad". Even "Trent" would be preferable. "Jake" is too amiable a name.

JAKE starts to get up. MARK quick-draws a pistol and shoots him two times in the back. Smoke rises from the holes in JAKE's back.

MARK:

Stay down. Now, do you have anything to impart in your defense before I carry out your final sentence.

JAKE shifts sides, ala the T-1000 in Terminator 2 -- one moment he on his stomach, the next he is on his back, actually wearing his clothes backwards.

MARK:

Interesting...

JAKE kicks out and catches Mark in the ankle. MARK falls.

MARK:

Fuck.

JAKE rises up, from flat on his back to standing in one straight move. MARK doesn't rise nearly as nicely, more groans and stumbles. He's favoring his ankle a little. JAKE lunges at MARK, and he stumbles. The two go down together, JAKE on top.

SFX: Two gun shots.

JAKE rolls off, smoke pouring out of a gaping hole in his stomach.

MARK:

Silver shot, asshole. As good as any stake.

MARK rolls away and gets onto his knees. Smoke begins to pour out of JAKE's mouth, from his ears, his eyes, his nose. JAKE's skin goes ghostly pale and a little ethereal.

MARK:

Oh, shit...

MARK dives behind his car just as the vampire explodes. Blood splatters everywhere, and all that's left is a torso in ragged business clothes in the middle of a crater in the road. MARK stands up as some gore still rains down. He walks back around his car and walks over to the torso. He then sees his car, absolutely covered in guts and gore.

MARK:

I just had that thing detailed, ass.

MARK kicks the torso once for good measure. It skitters away a bit. Mark leans over and grabs a part of the torso. He drags the torso over to his car, leaving a lovely bloody streak along the way. He grabs a plastic bag out of the trunk and puts the torso inside it.

SFX: Police sirens

By this point neighbors are starting to come out. MARK tosses the bagged corpse into his car, then starts to clean up his weapons, all of which he sets in the trunk. MARK then pulls out a badge from his pocket. Police cars pull up, and one OFFICER gets out. OFFICER walks over, gun out and aimed at MARK.

OFFICER:

FREEZE! Lay down on the ground and put your hands behind your head.

MARK:

Edward Vedder, Homeland Security.

OFFICER looks at the badge.

OFFICER:

What happened here?

MARK:

Rabid dog. Had to be put down.

OFFICER lowers his gun. MARK smiles.

NEIGHBOR:

We heard an explosion.

MARK:

Very rabid dog.

NEIGHBOR:

And repeated gun fire.

MARK:

It didn't go down easily. If you'll notice...

MARK waves over at the body of the slain neighbor.

MARK:

...this citizen was taken down by the animal. Dog bites. Very nasty.

OFFICER walks over to the body, inspects a bite mark on her neck. MARK pulls out a phone, dials a number.

MARK:

This is Jacobs. I need a cleanup, my GPS location. One human and a lot of blood. Cover story of rabid dog.

MARK hangs up.

OFFICER:

This thing destroyed her neck.

MARK:

Tragedy, I know.

OFFICER:

What's Homeland Security doing here?

MARK:

I have friends in the area. They asked me to keep an eye out for a nasty dog. Just lending a hand, OFFICER.

MARK opens up his car, starts to get in.

MARK:

If you need any information, call my superiors. Always happy to help.

MARK drives off, leaving the police and the scene of the carnage.

OFFICER:

How does a rabid dog explode?

EXT: MARION COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES BUILDING, NIGHT.

MARK's car pulls into the mostly empty parking lot. He pulls up next to the actual building, hops out of the car, and goes around to the trunk. MARK grabs the torso-bag and walks towards the entrance. Little drips of blood follow behind him.

INT: MARION COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES BUILDING, LOBBY, NIGHT.

MARK walks up to the front desk. CATHY THE RECEPTIONIST is on duty behind the desk.

MARK:

Dropping off. One crispy critter.

MARK lifts the bag up and puts it on her counter.

CATHY THE RECEPTIONIST looks disgusted.

CATHY THE RECEPTIONIST:

I'll call DR. ALLEN.

MARK pulls the drippy torso off the counter while CATHY THE RECEPTIONIST calls DR. ALLEN. Mark walks up to a SECURITY GUARD and shows a different, non-Homeland Security, badge. It simply has his picture, his name, and three blue bands on it. The SECURITY GUARD scans the blue bars and looks at the readout.

SECURITY GUARD:

You're free to enter, Agent JACOBS.

As MARK walks through the doors, we see CATHY THE RECEPTIONIST cleaning her desk with a tissue.

INT: MARION COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES BUILDING, MORGUE, NIGHT.

MARK walks into a morgue, with lots of equipment, metal tables, and a bit of blood here and there. Mark wanders over to DR. ALLEN, an elderly gentleman, who is busy setting some beakers filled with glowing fluid around a corpse.

MARK:

DR. ALLEN?

DR. ALLEN:

Ah, MARK. Another vampire delivery?

MARK:

This time, sure. Although I have a particularly annoying aunt, if you'd like to help me get rid of her.

DR. ALLEN:

(laughs) Not yet, I'm afraid.

DR. ALLEN motions MARK to another table, and MARK sets the torso-bag on it. DR. ALLEN cuts open the bag while DR. ALLEN's lab tech, JENNIFER GREYSON, comes up with a clipboard.

JENNIFER:

JAKE SHUMAKER. Aged 25 at human death. 10 confirmed kills.

MARK:

11, actually. He got another tonight. Meat wagon will probably be bringing her in any time now.

DR. ALLEN pulls the bag completely away to reveal the torso.

DR. ALLEN:

Where's the head?

MARK:

Kablooey.

DR. ALLEN:

You blew it up?

MARK:

It blew itself up. This vampire, for whatever reason, violently exploded. This was all that was left.

DR. ALLEN:

Well, this will make kill confirmation harder.

MARK:

Oh, believe me, you do not want to see the paperwork I'll have to fill out for this.

DR. ALLEN:

I'm sure it will be just as lengthy as the report I will have to file. JENNIFER, let's get a pot of coffee on. I'll be here all night working the identification spells.

JENNIFER:

Yes, Doctor.

MARK:

That's my clue. The magic stuff never interests me. A lot of humming and nothing for me to see.

DR. ALLEN:

The internal magics reveal visions that are quite illuminating to the caster, MARK.

MARK:

I'm pretty certain that's what I just said.

MARK leaves as JENNIFER comes back with candles and a crystal ball.

End Part 2:

That's part two said and done. We're about an eighth of the way through the script, give or take, so there will be plenty more sections of this to come. Still, I don't want to dump a huge wall of text on ya, so we'll go a bit at a time for now. More to come...