Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another Unfinished Masterpiece: Pipe Maniac

Many years ago, Jeff and Susan and I started work on Pipe Maniac, the sequel to Toilet Chase. (We envisioned a trilogy; the third film would have been called Flush Point.)

Here's the unfinished screenplay:

PIPE MANIAC
THE SCRIPT
A SCREENPLAY BY

Earl J. Woods

and

Jeff J. Shyluk

with

Susan K. Neumann

based on characters created by
Ron Briscoe,
Earl J. Woods,
Susan K. Neumann,
and Jeff J. Shyluk

TEASER

FADE IN: the Bleak House of Blahs, scene of the terrible events of TOILET CHASE. It is a beautiful summer's day.

VOICE-OVER: IN THE BEGINNING, man sought to conquer the elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water--human hubris demanded that all of these mighty forces be bent to his every whim. And thus civilization advanced, and lo, indoor plumbing was invented. But with these bold new advances, there came dangerous precedents. Nature, her patience strained to the breaking point, snapped--and went wack-o!

CUT TO low-angle shot of a toilet; cue ominous music, strobe lights, etc. Many quick cuts of scenes that allude to events in TOILET CHASE: plunger thrusting into toilet, man stepping on rake, spoonful of beans being forked into mouth, etc. V.O. continues.

VOICE-OVER: Enter: technology. Man's foolhardy attempt to harness the deranged power of a planet he no longer controls. Technology, warped, twisted, turned against him, the foundation of the classic conflicts: Man vs. Man; Man vs. Nature; Man vs. Toilet. This is the cautionary tale of mortals who dared to steal fire from Prometheus--

SECOND VOICE-OVER: But it was Prometheus who stole fire from the gods!

CUT TO: SHOT OF PROMETHEUS LYING PRONE, IN A POOL OF BLOOD. HE'S GOT A BURNING STICK IN HIS HAND; ANOTHER HAND REACHES INTO THE FRAME AND SNATCHES IT AWAY. CUT TO LOW-ANGLE VIEW OF CLOUDS.

GODS (VOICE-OVER): PROMETHEUS! WHERE IS THE FIRE?

PROMETHEUS: I don't know! Some guy conked me out and took it!

GODS: A LIKELY STORY! WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE YOU? YOU'RE SPENDING ETERNITY CHAINED TO THIS ROCK! VULTURES WILL EAT OUT YOUR ENTRAILS! THE SUN WILL BAKE YOU! NEVER AGAIN WILL YOU FEEL A COOL DRAUGHT OF WATER TRICKLING DOWN YOUR THROAT!

PROMETHEUS: Argh!

FADE TO BLACK.

SECOND VOICE-OVER: Oh.

FIRST VOICE-OVER: I say again, this is the tale of foolhardy mortals who stole the sacred flame from Prometheus and lost the chance to win a better tomorrow; who sold their birthright to the nether gods of waste and sloth. Mortals who flushed their dreams...down the toilet.

CUT TO overhead spinning shot of a flushing toilet; music swells, sound effect of flushing, etc. FADE OUT. FADE IN to spinning shot of camera emerging from a different toilet; TRACK down hallway, up stairs, and outside, to LONG SHOT of RON on street, looking pensive, waiting for someone. TRACK to MEDIUM shot of RON.

CUT TO LONG SHOT of a red car coming down the block. It halts in front of RON. JOHNNY B. CRAPPER and CONSTANCE (CONNIE) VIRGIN step out. RON moves forward, shakes hands with each of them.

RON: Mr. Crapper, I presume?

JOHNNY: That's right. I'm Johnny B. Crapper. This is my girl, Connie Virgin.

RON: I'm Ron Briscoe. I hear you wanna buy a toilet. (He shifts uncomfortably.)

CONNIE: That's right. We hear you've got one for sale.

JOHNNY: We just moved here into town--and our new house needs a toilet bad!

RON: That's rough. These new city toilet safety bylaws are murder--everyone in town was forced to replace their old toilets with these new city-approved models. Problem is, they cost a mint. Black market toilets are cheaper, but don't come crying to me if the toilet cops catch you with a hot shitcan.

JOHNNY: We gotta have a toilet, man. I don't care which one. It's just gotta be cheap, and if you're selling, we're buying. I'm tired of pissing into the sink every morning.

CONNIE: And it's real rough on the dishes.

RON: Okay. Step inside....and we'll make a deal.

FADE TO BLACK.

ACT ONE

FADE IN: Shot of bathroom that is obviously undergoing renovations.Close in on TOILET,with eerie music, and then TRACK behind TOILET to reveal JOHNNY. End music. JOHNNY twists a wrench in behind the toilet, as though finishing a long, arduous task.

JOHNNY: Well, that's that. May I present--our new toilet!

CONNIE: Thank goodness! A real toilet, not just a hole in the ground. It is looking so beautiful, it seemed like I would never see that sight again! Johnny, I think you missed a piece of the toilet here in the box. It looks important, don't forget to attach it.

JOHNNY: I know, just hand me that pipe and the wrench, babe.

CONNIE: Oh Johnny, you always say the sweetest things. I love you!

JOHNNY: I love you too, Connie, and someday soon perhaps we could get married and you can be my Mrs. Crapper.

CONNIE: That would make me so happy, Johnny!

JOHNNY: Once we get our feet on the ground, it'll happen, babe. If we hadn't gotten this toilet so cheaply, our wedding day would be a long way off.

CONNIE: And with my new job at city hall--

JOHNNY: --everything's coming up roses, now. Nothing can stop us! (turning wrench) Look out, world--here comes Johnny B. Crapper!

(Close shot of wrench slipping. Pipe comes loose in Johnny's hand, and he trips back, knocking himself in the forehead with the pipe.)

JOHNNY: Arrrgh! (JOHNNY dances about in pain as a horrified CONNIE looks on. He slips and falls headfirst into the toilet bowl, then goes limp.)

CONNIE: Johnny! Oh, no! The blood! There's so much blood!

(She reaches in to pull JOHNNY'S head from the bowl. Of its own accord, the toilet suddenly flushes; REACTION SHOT as CONNIE recoils, holding JOHNNY close. CLOSEUP of swirling blood in flushing toilet, with Hitchcockian music. FADE OUT.

CONNIE (V.O.): Well, at least we got our money's worth--the new toilet works.

FADE IN. High angle shot of JOHNNY in bed, a bandage wrapped around his head. He comes to with a moan. CONNIE enters frame, touching JOHNNY's face tenderly.

JOHNNY: What happened?

CONNIE: You had an accident. It's not too bad. (Pause.) I have to go to work now. Don't try to go anywhere--just relax. Keep that ice pack on your head. I'll be back soon.

Exuent CONNIE.

JOHNNY: My head...spinning. I wonder how long I was out for?

(Looks at clock. CUT TO shot of clock on wall, hands spinning crazily, with eerie 2001 choral music, sound fx. Music continues through scene. JOHNNY reacts to clock, lies back in terror. TOILET flushes off-camera. JOHNNY'S eyes dart wildly. He gets up and trance-walks to the bathroom. CUT TO close shot of toilet, surrounded by an eerie blue glow. The bloody pipe is on the toilet lid.

TOILET: Take the pipe, Johnny. Take the pipe.

REACTION SHOT of JOHNNY.

JOHNNY: I...must...take...the...pipe.

INSERT of JOHNNY'S hand, reaching out for the pipe.

TOILET: This is the pipe you're looking for.

JOHNNY: This is the pipe I'm looking for.

TOILET: Move along.

JOHNNY: Move along. Move along.

Low angle of Johnny staggering away, pipe in hand, mumbling. CUT TO:

THE OFFICE OF ELVIS D. KING, up-and coming city councillor. KING is sitting behind his desk, an unlit pipe stuck between his teeth, examining a file folder. INSERT of folder: it reads "T-1000 OMNICOMM WASTE DISPOSAL UNIT", and sports a schematic.

KING: My hour approaches. The hand on that clock is the cold hand of destiny, come now to lead me into a new era--my era.

SOUND: Knock on door.

KING: Enter.

MARIO and LUIGI, KING'S goons, enter.

KING: Ah, Mario, Luigi; my most trusted assassins--I mean, assistants.

MARIO: We heard you had a job for us, King.

KING: Boys, I have a plan that will make me a very rich and powerful man--and you two are coming up the ladder with me.

LUIGI: What kind of plan, King?

KING: Maybe you've seen the news of the city manager's sewage report--the one that shows that all of the city toilets have to be replaced with new, more efficient models.

LUIGI: Yeah. We heard of that.

KING: The city manager is a good friend of mine. He doctored the report for a cut of what promises to be a very profitable operation.

MARIO: You mean that the report's a fake? I don't need a new shitter?

KING: No, but you're going to get one, and so is everyone else in the city--and you're going to be buying it from Omnicomm Industries.

LUIGI: Never heard of 'em.

KING: You're looking at the 100% shareholder, men.

MARIO: Huh?

KING: I'm going to sell three million toilets at 500 bucks a shot. That's a cool 1.5 billion dollars.

MARIO AND LUIGI: Holy shit!

KING: The new T-1000 series toilet is a new, more efficient toilet--according to the sales brochure, it uses less water, it's self-cleaning, and it's environmentally friendly. These toilets are all state of the art--state of the art of bullshit. (He shows M & L a blueprint.) As you can see here, they actually use 50% more water, flush 25% slower, and add 100% more effluent to our rivers. They can push poop about as well as a 90 year old Parkinson's patient.

LUIGI: Hey, wait a minute--I just bought one of those!

KING: Dolt! Everyone must buy one! It's the law! Imbecile! I'm painting you the big picture while you idiots fumble with finger paints!

MARIO and LUIGI worriedly examine their fingers.

KING: (sighs) What the public doesn't know is that the T-1000s have the most sophisticated bugs that money can buy--

MARIO: Bugs!? You mean like silverfish?

LUIGI: Tapeworms!

KING: I mean listening devices! And surveillance cameras. When you know what a man does in the bathroom when he thinks he's by himself, you know what he is capable of in the outside world.

Disgusted REACTION SHOT of MARIO and LUIGI.

KING: No, no. When you can see what people are reading on the toilet, when you can hear what they listen to on the radio while they shower, when you know what couples talk about in the morning--that's when you can devine their very thoughts, and that is the key to real power. Very soon, I will have my fingers on the pulse of this city--and my eyes and ears in every toilet bowl.

More dubious looks from MARIO and LUIGI.

KING: I'm serious! This will work--and the plan is already in motion. The city council privy chambers are already home to a full complement of my new T-1000s. Already my seats of power occupy the seats of power! Allow me to demonstrate.

KING motions the thugs over to his computer terminal and taps a few buttons.

KING: There--the mayor himself!

MAYOR (V.0.): 1, 998 (flush)...1, 999 (flush)...2, 000! (flush) Hey, whaddaya know--it works!

KING: Getting elected Mayor may be easier than I thought. In any case, men, most of the city's toilets have already been replaced, but there are a few stubborn holdouts who are fighting the new law. The most irritating of these malcontents are the owners of the Heartbreak Hotel--you know, the one down at the end of Lonely Street. (Who names these places, anyway?) I want you to go and convince the manager that the new toilets will be very good for his business...and his health.

MARIO: Otherwise, it'll be Legbreak Hotel--

LUIGI: --at the end of Hospital Street. We catch your drift, King.

KING: Go, now--and do my bidding. (He hits intercomm button.) Miss Virgin, will you come into my office, please?

MARIO and LUIGI begin to leave. On their way out, they pass CONNIE VIRGIN, who happens to be KING'S secretary.

MARIO: Hey, Connie--you got a sister named Mary? (snickers)

CONNIE (seriously): Why yes--do you know her?

MARIO and LUIGI do a double take; exuent.

KING: Connie, I'd like you to make 3, 000 copies of this report, and type up my nephew's English essay. The topic is Hamlet. Personally, I think the kid shoulda kakked himself and let his uncle rule Denmark. What'd he have against him? There was a man with some cojones! He saw his opportunity and took charge!

CONNIE: Sir, I don't do work that isn't job-related!

KING: You do the work I tell you to do, sweetheart, or you'll never work in this town again! Get me coffee. Dark and sweet--just the way I like my women. (leers)

CONNIE: ...yes, sir.

Exuent Connie. CUT TO shot of photocopy room. CONNIE is making copies of the report when she notices the T-1000 blueprint in the pile. She studies it curiously, then makes a copy.

FADE TO BLACK.


END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

MONTAGE of JOHNNY whacking people with a pipe. He whacks about 20 people, moving down an otherwise peaceful residential street. Eventually, JOHNNY will start to have pangs of conscience, and he will fight this mystifying compulsion. When this inner struggle begins, the TOILET speaks, via telepathy, to JOHNNY. Intercut between the two characters as dialogue dictates. Every time Johhny hits someone, he apolgizes after the fact. He is clearly agonized by his actions; his manner should suggest that he is not in control.

JOHNNY: Monster! Damn you--get out of my head!

TOILET: You are mine, Johnny Crapper--body and soul! You are to be my instrument of vengeance upon mankind--my Johnny Crapperseed! That pipe you wield is to be the sword of Damocles that falls upon the sorry heads of my enemies--and with every blow you deliver, my spawn are brought one step closer to their terrible birth!

JOHNNY: I don't understand! Why are you making me do this?

TOILET: Quiet! Among those you have felled lie crucial elements of my plan...see there: that bottle contains Metapropyl Valvoline...take it! And that man has a chicken take out order! Sieze it!

(Insert shots of JOHNNY'S hand grabbing the aforementioned items as the TOILET speaks.)

JOHNNY: But--but--WHY? WHY ME?

TOILET: Ask not what this toilet does to you--ask what YOU may do for the toilet! AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH HA HA HA!!

JOHNNY: (shrieking, pulling hair, etc.) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! (runs away)

CUT TO LONG SHOT of DONNA PISSOIR, girl reporter, taking notes from a safe distance. She moves in closer, coming across wounded victims. She takes notes as they speak.

DONNA: Donna Pissoir, girl reporter. Are you all right? What happened?

VICTIM 1: He's crazy! Hit me with a pipe...tried to steal my chicken!

VICTIM 2: He spilled my Metapropyl Valvoline!

The VICTIMS regard their possessions, then come to a shocking realization:

VICTIM 1: Hey! You got Metapropyl Valvoline on my chicken!

VICTIM 2: You got chicken in my Metapropyl Valvoline!

DONNA picks up a piece of the chemical-soaked chicken and sniffs it. Disgusted, she makes a "bleargh" sound and throws it down.

DONNA: Great Scott! I've gotta call this in to the newspaper!

TRACK DONNA as she rushes for a phone booth. Another man is also running for the booth--a mild-mannered looking, bespectacled fellow.

MAN: Excuse me, ma'am, I need to use this phone booth!

DONNA: Beat it, pal! I got here first!(She slams the booth shut, leaving the MAN with a panicked expression on his face. He quickly dashes off. DONNA dials her newspaper.) Mr. Jameson! You wouldn't believe what I just saw! Take this down...at 2:00 P.M., a man armed with a pipe went on a rampage in (location). At least fifteen people are wounded...he was like a maniac with a pipe...a PIPE MANIAC! oops, I guess I should call the police...just as soon as I'm finished, Jonah! The maniac is a caucasian male in his 20's...and get this...he was trying to steal chicken and some chemical called Metapropyl Valvoline you can clean it up at your end, boss. HEY...I've just thought of something...I think I can blow this story wide open!

FADE OUT

FADE IN to the same neigbourhood. DONNA has set herself up as a potential victim, hoping to get a scoop. She carries a huge vat of Metapropyl Valvoline, along with as many buckets of fried take-out chicken as our actress can carry. She also wears a fried chicken hat, and possibly fried chicken earrings.

DONNA: With all this chicken and Metapropyl Valvoline, I'm sure to be the Pipe Maniac's next target...and then I'll have an exclusive scoop! I sure wonder what he wants with this stuff, though...here, maniac, maniac, maniac...

1 comment:

Sean Woods said...

"but don't come crying to me if the toilet cops catch you with a hot shitcan. "

I laughed out loud.