The Making Of Killer Kite

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Story by Matt Stevens Screenplay by Robert S. Gray

INTRODUCTION

The Making of "Killer Kite," written and shot in 1991 as an M.F.A. Thesis Film, is a reincarnation of a spoof that Matt Stevens wrote, directed, and shot on Super 8 mm in high school:

Like every other young male filmmaker—I'm talking about when I was in high school—I made the obligatory inani-mate-object-attacking-people film. Killer Kite 2, a supposed trailer for a sequel that, of course, didn't exist. I decided to do the attacking kite in the context of a spoof since I was relentlessly bombarded by ads for Jaws 2 during my latchkey kid phase of watching hours and hours of television after school. So it was a spoof of the trailer for Jaws 2. Maybe it was my war on over-hyped cheesy horror films!

Years later, as a graduate student at the F.S.U. Film School, Matt turned "Killer Kite" into a one-page story treatment for a mockumentary about the making of a low-budget horror film, "Killer Kite":

The plan was to follow an inept crew during the difficult production of a beleaguered project. In an ironic twist, the film (within my film) would turn out to be so bad that it would be good—becoming an instant cult classic, a la Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Making of "Killer Kite" would include interviews with cast and crew (who would take themselves way too seriously), as well as clips from the supposed film. I think I was partly making fun of filmmakers who took themselves too seriously—and filmmakers who hadn't evolved beyond that phase of producing films about inanimate objects attacking people. Of course, I was also making fun of the filmmaking process itself, which is so inherently on the edge of farce anyway! And, hey, I was just trying to make people laugh.

After the faculty selected Matt's story for an M.F.A. Thesis Film, they selected Bob Gray to write the screenplay:

I was given the assignment of writing the screenplay and, it became apparent that, in order to tell the story of the making of the fictitious film, "Killer Kite," I would first have to write, at least, a detailed treatment of the "film" itself. I decided to use the classic structure and characters from any of a dozen horror films from the 50s and 60s (i.e., the Mad Scientist and Young Assistant who unwittingly unleash the terror, the Niece of the Mad Scientist who becomes the love interest and partner of the Young Assistant in destroying the beast, and, of course, the final scene that leaves open the possibility of a sequel). Once the story of "Killer Kite" was set in my mind, it became possible to write about the making of the "film."

Matt credits Bob with most of the ideas about the plot of the film-within-the-film, but also with most of the verbal wit in the script ("What is she trying to achieve?" "An orgasm."/"Get the ugly kid out of here or I'll cut your stinking heart out... P.R., that's all I do."). Matt stuck to shtick:

I remember that I had always proposed a number of gags, including: A conflict between the filmmakers—one who wanted raw sex and violence on the screen, and another who thought he was making an artistic masterpiece; terrible actors auditioning for the film; on-set disasters that would lead to continuity errors which would be revealed in the clips; a dolly that wouldn't work or had to be returned, so that the crew had to resort to ridiculous things like using a kid's red wagon to get that money shot; a stunt kite that wouldn't work, so the actress would have to wrestle with the kite to make it look like a fight; a ridiculously overdone scene where a girl with a lollipop would be chased by a kite, and it would cut to a stand-in finishing the scene for her because of shooting difficulties. And I believe that I had large brushstroke ideas for certain set-pieces—the creation of the Kite; a chase scene involving a child actress who is tortured by the crew and a stage mother; a sex/nude scene that turns disastrous; a final climactic battle with the Kite; and rabid fans of the film outside a showing.

As for the mockumentary part of the screenplay, Bob took a different approach:

I decided to pattern The Making of "Killer Kite" after Spinal Tap, which is to say I would try to make the "documentary" as real and believable as possible to help sell the wacky, over-the-top subject it purported to document. I consider it the greatest compliment when someone finds the "documentary" so convincing that they want to know where they can rent a copy of the "film" "Killer Kite."

A feeling I had myself when I saw the mockumentary the first time. But pulling the two stories together on paper and screen was tricky, Bob said:

The greatest challenge lay in telling both stories simultaneously. I tried to weave the stories, dropping hints and skipping around, referring back in a scene to something that was set up several scenes earlier. I think it works and, in the end, the viewer has a good grasp of both stories.

Getting there, though, wasn't easy:

Creating the script and the eventual film became an exercise in schizophrenia. All of the "documentary" portions would be shot on video and should have the sound, look and feel of hand-held, impromptu footage, while all of the "film" portions would be shot on film and have the sound, look and feel of a scripted and rehearsed—albeit schlocky— motion picture. Hence the VIDEO or FILM at the head of each scene in the script. This schizophrenia carried through the production for me as well since I was also the Director of Photography/Camera Operator. I would spend a morning shooting run-and-gun video and the afternoon shooting traditional, motion-picture-style tripod/dolly cinematography.

In production, a number of changes occurred. As director, Matt threw in some "visual things" during production, just as Bob did as D.P. on the project.

And the actors, Matt said, made valuable changes in the screenplay and film:

I depended a lot on the contributions from the actors— improvisations, etc.—while rehearsing and shooting. Especially since much of it was supposed to have a documentary feel, I wanted to give them that freedom to play. And there are several funny ad-libbed moments that made it into the film.

Matt also did some restructuring during post. He and Bob both said they were happy with the final product. As Bob summed it up:

In the end, I think The Making of "Killer Kite" is a good script that became a very good film through the efforts of the multi-talented Matt Stevens and the incredible cast who were, to a person, able to take the "documentary" and make it seem off-the-cuff and personal and then turn around and play the intentionally-bad "film" script right to the top without going over. The film was as much fun to make as it is to watch, and the many accolades it's received have been very gratifying indeed.

In 1991, The Making of "Killer Kite" won the top student Emmy—First Prize for Comedy from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences College Television Awards. It also won First Place in narrative from the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival and Best Student Entry from the Canadian International Film Festival in Ontario. It was a Top Five Finalist in the Lucille Ball Festival of New Comedy in 1992 and it has been screened in venues across the United States, including the Director's Guild of America.

Since The Making of "Killer Kite," Bob Gray has been "working steadily but wearing a lot of different hats to work steadily," he told me. He shot an independent feature, Samantha, and wrote a Movie-of-the-Week, Invisible Angels, based on the book Born to be Hurt by Ida Muorie. He has also developed and produced a cable series about boating, Sail Away, with former CNN anchor Patrick Emory, and is currently producing a national TV series called, Inside Tennis With The Koz, which airs on The Tennis Channel. "It's a monthly, thirty-minute, magazine-style show," Bob told me. "We've covered events from San Diego to the Cayman Islands to New York to Moscow. In addition, I'm producing a variety of educational and documentary programs for The Education Channel as well as some commercials." He lives in Sarasota, Florida, with his wife and two children.

Matt Stevens is now a Los Angeles-based writer/producer who has sold both fiction and documentary projects, produced biography shows for E! Entertainment Television, and worked as a script analyst for Creative Artists Agency and other companies. His short films have been screened at national and international festivals, winning many awards, and two of his feature-length screenplays, Obscenity and Psycho Bitch (both co-written with me), were 2002 finalists for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. He's the co-author (also avec moi) of Script Partners: What Makes Film and TV Writing Teams Work. Before relocating to Los Angeles, Matt taught screenwriting and directing at the Florida State Film School, where he and I first met and took an instant dislike to each other (we tell the story of the unlikely evolution of our writing partnership—an improbable connection if ever there was one—in Script Partners). "I've also been working a lot in new media," Matt told me, "writing about film for E! Online and contributing to numerous other Web sites. I even try to find time to squeeze in some acting, singing, and voice-over work."

THE MAKING OF "KILLER KITE"

Story by Matt Stevens Screenplay by Robert S. Gray

FADE IN:

EXT. HARLAN LaRUE'S MANSION—NIGHT (FILM)

The ancient stone building sits dark and lifeless. A single light shines from a room near the roof. Lightning flashes as THUNDER ROARS.

CUT TO:

INT. LaRUE'S MANSION—NIGHT (FILM)

The laboratory is cluttered with giant batteries, transformers and dials. PROFESSOR HARLAN LaRUE, an elderly, disheveled man in a white lab coat, hurriedly makes a last minute inspection of a melange of coiled wires, flashing lights and bubbling beakers. His assistant, JONATHAN SCOTT, a young, handsome all-American lad, stands looking out the window.

Lightning flashes.

JONATHAN (checking his watch) It's moving in this direction, Professor LaRue. In five minutes, we'll be in the center of the storm.

PROFESSOR

All right Jonathan. No time to waste. Ten years of research and it all comes down to this moment. Prepare the kite.

Jonathan throws a large switch and a glass case begins to pulse with green light, growing brighter until a black, bat-shaped kite becomes visible inside. The two stand staring into the case, their faces an eerie green.

PROFESSOR Think of it, my boy. In the future when they power an entire city with the power from one storm, men will speak of this night. The

PROFESSOR (CONT'D) night Harlan LaRue changed the course of history.

Jonathan opens the glass case and connects two wires to either "wing" of the bat kite. He carefully removes the kite from the case.

JONATHAN The kite is ready, Professor.

PROFESSOR Onward, into the future.

The two go up the stairs to the roof.

CUT TO:

The Professor and Jonathan, with kite in hand, come out onto the roof. They set the kite to sail almost effortlessly. The Professor grabs the kite string and holds on tightly, wind gusting, lightning flashing and THUNDER CRACKING.

PROFESSOR (yelling) Check the connections.

Jonathan runs back down into the laboratory as the Professor looks mechanically into the sky. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning hits the kite and the Professor. Jonathan returns to the roof.

JONATHAN

It worked. The batteries are charged. Professor?

He sees the Professor's empty shoes sitting on the roof, smoking.

JONATHAN

Professor LaRue?

He looks up to see the kite as it flies off. Now, there is the hint of an evil smile on its face.

CUT TO:

EXT. LABORATORY ROOF—NIGHT (VIDEO)

From a different angle, we see Jonathan standing on the roof, watching the kite.

Cut.

The VIDEO CAMERA zooms out until we see a film camera on a dolly sitting only a few feet in front of Jonathan. Behind the camera is COLIN KISHMAN. As the shot continues to widen, we see the roof is actually a set on a soundstage. CREW MEMBERS wander about.

COLIN

Perfect everybody. Really. Good job. Let's just do it one more time.

GROANS are heard from the Crew.

CUT TO:

Colin Kishman is in his late 20s and very hip; in a black shirt, buttoned to the throat, wire rim glasses and hair that is lacquered straight back. Awards, film posters and books decorate his tastefully conservative office. He sips a mineral water as he sits back casually in his overstuffed chair.

COLIN

"Kite" had been a dream of mine since I was in film school in Iowa but it was too far ahead of its time for school and none of the studios were interested so we did it as an independent.

JUMP CUT:

COLIN

It's set in the horror film genre but it's actually a neoexpressionistic vision of the classic struggle between man and his inner demons.

CUT TO:

INT. BARREN ROOM—DAY (VIDEO)

CARL KISHMAN, mid-thirties and looking older, is dressed in a plain blue work shirt as he sits at a metal table. Behind him is a cold concrete wall. He smokes constantly as he runs his fingers through his hair. There is a nervous tic in the corner of his eye.

CARL

Well, yeah, that's the great thing, you know, it's got something for everybody. I mean, it scares your pants off to begin with plus, it's got a little . . .

He uses his hands to indicate breasts.

CARL

You know? I mean, you've got to show a little skin if you're going to sell the thing.

CUT TO:

COLIN

I just didn't want to do that same old, tired, bedroom love scene that's been done to death. Setting it in the laboratory, I thought, was not only thematically correct but very sensual.

CUT TO:

CARL

And, where the guy ends up buffing the broad right on the giant battery... I mean, is that great, or what?

CUT TO:

COLIN

Casting? Don't remind me. No, honestly, ours was tough but worth it. We ended up getting the best talent in Hollywood.

CUT TO:

EXT. KISHMAN PRODUCTION TRAILER—DAY (VIDEO)

An old trailer sits on a vacant lot. Concrete blocks serve as stairs. Next to the door is a sign that reads, "Kishman Brothers Productions—Hollywood, Florida." There are about a DOZEN ACTORS lined up in front. LIZ BOWDEN exits the trailer and addresses the actors.

All right, who hasn't filled out a form?

A few actors raise their hands. She goes to the FIRST ACTOR and offers them a form.

(coldly) Any union affiliations?

FIRST ACTOR

Good.

A COWBOY exits the trailer, slamming the door.

COWBOY

Don't waste your time, boys. These idiots don't know talent when they see it.

CUT TO:

An OLDER ACTOR is practicing his lines in a baroque and theatrical voice.

OLDER ACTOR The night Harlan LaRue changed the course of history.

The night Harlan LaRue changed the course of history.

CUT TO:

A definite CHARACTER ACTOR.

CHARACTER ACTOR I'm going to read for the lead. I've paid my dues doing characters and I think I'm at that leading-man stage in my career, now.

CUT TO:

A precocious YOUNG GIRL stands reading her lines while her doting STAGE MOTHER kneels beside her, brushing her hair.

YOUNG GIRL Mother, do you mind? I'm trying to learn this.

STAGE MOTHER Sorry, honey. Go ahead.

The Young Girl goes back to the script, pauses and then lets out a blood-curdling SCREAM.

CUT TO:

INT. KISHMAN PRODUCTION TRAILER—DAY (VIDEO)

The two Kishman brothers sit at a table stacked with resumes and photos. Carl is now wearing a shirt and tie that is loosened at the neck. He does not run his fingers through his hair or have a nervous tic. Colin has much longer hair than before and wears a T-shirt that says, "Film Iowa." Film and Iowa share the letter "I". The two appear very fatigued.

COLIN (unenthusiastically) Very good. Really.

He looks to Carl for confirmation but gets only a glaze of disinterest.

COLIN

Really, very nice. We see that it is the Character Actor.

COLIN

It's not exactly what we had in mind for the lead but, if we decide to go that way, we'll be in touch.

We jump through a series of lines being read by different actors. Each one is worse than the last:

FIRST ACTOR It's moving in this direction, Professor LaRue.

SECOND ACTOR I can't stop seeing that poor child's face and that . . . thing.

OLDER ACTOR The night Harlan LaRue changed the course of history.

THIRD ACTOR Tammy, it's too dangerous. We should. . . wait, can I start over?

FOURTH ACTOR We should leave it to the authorities. That fiend has already killed five red-haired children.

FIFTH ACTOR (snickering) Make love to me, Jonathan.

SIXTH ACTOR (seductively) Make love to me, Jonathan.

SEVENTH ACTOR

(sternly) Make love to me, Jonathan.

The Brothers are rocked awake by the Young Girl's SCREAM.

YOUNG GIRL Shall we proceed with the audition, gentlemen?

CUT TO:

INT. LABORATORY—DAY (VIDEO)

ASHLEY DAVENPORT is sitting on the laboratory set for her interview.

ASHLEY

Tammy is the pivotal character here. It's really her story and I want to give her a very positive, can-do, sort of 90s-woman quality.

JUMP TO:

ASHLEY (proudly)

Yes, I was the "Love-My-Floor-Wax" lady. It ran for six months in the Jacksonville area.

JUMP TO:

ASHLEY

I'd rather continue doing dinner theatre here than move to California. It's just that whole L.A., showbiz, starlet thing is definitely not me.

CUT TO:

BILL PRINZ is sitting on the same set.

BILL

This is Jonathan's story. He is the central character around which all the supporting characters revolve. I mean, he helps build the beast, he destroys the beast and he gets the girl. Gets her right here, in fact. That should prove interesting.

JUMP TO:

BILL

My looks are holding me back as an actor, I think. I mean, all I'm offered are the leading-man roles and, just once, I'd kill for one of those juicy, character parts. Oh, well.

CUT TO:

Colin holds up a large poster for "Killer Kite." Near the bottom of the poster, we see a child sitting on the sand, a small shovel in hand and a pail at her feet. Near the top of the poster is a large, menacing bat-shaped kite.

COLIN

This was the original poster idea but I felt it was too derivative of JAWS, so . . .

He holds up a second poster. Instead of the child at the bottom, we now see a couple, running in terror from the kite.

COLIN

We came up with this which I thought was better but still didn't grab me so. . .

He holds up the final poster. It is a close shot of Ashley and Jonathan, partially undressed and in passionate embrace. On the wall, in the background, is a small shadow of a kite.

COLIN

I designed this one myself. I just felt the story was not about some kite, really. It's about people.

CUT TO:

INT. BARREN ROOM—DAY (VIDEO)

CARL is once again in the stark concrete room where we first saw him.

CARL

My advice to young filmmakers? (beat)

Hire Lizzy Bowden as your A.D.

CUT TO:

Film equipment and CREW are everywhere. Colin sits behind the camera atop the dolly crane while Carl paces nervously, checking his watch. Liz holds a red wig and addresses the Young Girl in a whisper as her Mother looks on from the background.

Yes, your mother did a wonderful job but the kite only attacks red-headed children. So, you can either put on the wig or I'll shave your head with a rusty razor. Got it?

CUT TO:

EXT. IRICK PARK—SHORTLY LATER (VIDEO)

The child is now wearing the red wig. Just behind her the kite is being suspended in the air by ASPEN GREENWALD, the stunt coordinator.

Ready on set?

Aspen looks high in the tree to his assistant SHORTY LOGAN, who holds the other kite line.

ASPEN

Ready, Shorty?

SHORTY

Ready.

Okay, quiet everybody. This is a take. Roll sound. SOUND MAN

Speed.

Roll camera.

COLIN

Speed.

LIZ (slating) Killer Kite. Scene 43, take 1.

COLIN

The Girl runs from the kite which is closing in on her. She looks back, SCREAMS and falls.

Cut. Good for everybody?

SOUND MAN

Sound good.

COLIN

Sorry, I lost her when she fell. Let's just do one more.

CUT TO:

EXT. IRICK PARK—LATER (VIDEO) Liz, agitated, holds the slate in front of the camera.

Scene 43, take 15.

She marks and drops the slate to reveal the Young Girl spattered with dirt and wig askew.

COLIN

Action.

The Young Girl starts running and turns to scream. This time, it is a raspy and pale imitation of its former self.

Cut.

CUT TO:

EXT. IRICK PARK—LATER (VIDEO) Carl paces as he talks to Colin.

CARL

You just don't get it, do you? We've got the dolly for two more hours. That's it. Then, no more dolly.

COLIN

We only need it for three more shots. CARL

You've already spent four hours on this one. COLIN

We're fine.

Carl's cell phone RINGS. He turns it on and puts it to his ear.

CARL

Your brains are in your ass.

(becoming nervous) Oh, no. Not you, Mr. Van Arsdale. Ha, ha. No, it was just . . . one of the actors.

(to no one in particular) You'll never work in this town again.

CUT TO:

EXT. IRICK PARK—LATER (VIDEO)

The Stage Mother sits comfortably as the Young Girl limps over, tired, defeated and on the verge of tears.

YOUNG GIRL (hoarsely) I can't do't again.

The Mother sprays antiseptic in the Young Girl's throat.

STAGE MOTHER Like hell. You'll do it all day if they tell you to. (softly)

Okay, honey?

The Young Girl turns and lets out a piercing SCREAM, right into the microphone. The Sound Man rips off his headphones and begins chasing the Young Girl, murder in his eyes. Liz jumps up and brings him down with a flying tackle. She looks up with a face full of dirt.

Okay people, that's lunch.

CUT TO:

EXT. IRICK PARK—LATER (VIDEO) Everyone is again in position to re-take scene 43.

Scene 43, take 22.

COLIN

Action.

The Young Girl takes off running and screaming. She falls, looks up and, instead of screaming, begins choking.

Cut. What the hell's the matter now? Aspen? ASPEN

The line's wrapped around her throat. Give me some slack.

CARL

Careful. Easy, you're tearing the kite. The Stage Mother runs over to assist the Young Girl.

STAGE MOTHER

My baby.

You'll be hearing from my lawyer.

Liz yanks the line and, unnoticed by anyone, Shorty is pulled from the tree, landing with a THUD. The Young Girl and Stage Mother head for their car.

Where are you going?

STAGE MOTHER I'm taking my daughter to the hospital, if that's all right with you, bitch.

Liz yanks the wig off the Young Girl's head.

Christ, never work with kids. (to Colin)

Okay, we've wasted five hours, we still don't have this shot and we've lost our actress. So, who are we supposed to get to finish this scene?

Colin turns slowly to look at Liz, the only woman on the set. The implication of his look sinks in.

CUT TO:

EXT. IRICK PARK—LATER (VIDEO)

Liz is now in the red wig as an ASSISTANT is strapping her breasts with an Ace bandage.

COLIN

Believe me, it will cut. No one will ever notice.

He gives her a quick kiss on the cheek and leaves.

(to the assistant) I can't believe this. I've worked with Bob Altman, Mike Nichols . . .

The Assistant is unimpressed.

Anson Williams. The Assistant looks up, awestruck.

ASSISTANT

Really?

CUT TO:

INT. BARREN ROOM—DAY (VIDEO) Carl continues his interview.

CARL

Of course, the ironic thing is that the special effects are what made the film, in some ways, but also what . . . broke it, actually, with the lawsuit and all but, God, don't remind me of that.

He takes a long drag off his cigarette and blows smoke into the air, staring blankly as his eye twitches quickly.

EXT. LABORATORY ROOF—DAY (VIDEO)

Aspen stands next to Shorty, who's dressed in a full-body, bat kite costume. A patch covers one eye; a scar on the cheek below.

ASPEN (to camera) This next stunt is really revolutionary. It's never been tried before. This kite costume, that my test pilot Shorty here is wearing, is like a small hang glider so, when he jumps off here, they'll be able to get these great shots of the kite circling and circling. Really menacing looking stuff, man. But the really wild thing is, there's a camera stuck inside Shorty's costume here so, at the same time, he'll be getting these great aerial shots. I told him, "Hey, make 'em pay you D.P. rates."

He slaps Shorty on the back, playfully. Shorty looks over the rail, panic stricken. It is a long way down.

ASPEN (to camera) No, we haven't had time to test it yet but, if anybody can do it, Shorty can.

(to Shorty) Right, buddy?

(to camera) There's nothin' he won't do.

CUT TO:

INT. COLIN'S OFFICE—DAY (VIDEO) Colin's interview continues.

COLIN

Probably the most rewarding thing about "Kite" was the relationships that developed on the set, especially between the actors and myself. There was a real simpatico there.

CUT TO:

INT. LABORATORY—DAY (VIDEO)

The set is lit, the equipment in place and the actors in costume. Colin, fatigued and nervous, addresses Bill and Ashley.

COLIN (to Ashley)

No, I don't think they would go to his room. This is something they do in the heat of passion. Okay? This isn't a romantic weekend in the Keys. This is raw animal lust. Get it . . . got it . . . good.

ASHLEY

But, I don't understand Tammy's motivation here. It seems so submissive. What is she trying to achieve with this?

Carl, with a three-day growth of beard and clothes straight from the floor, passes through.

CARL

An orgasm. LAUGHTER is heard around the set.

COLIN

All right, people. Let's have quiet. This is a very difficult scene for everybody so, let's just cooperate.

(to Ashley) Tammy realizes she is becoming the same isolated, lonely, embittered person that her uncle Harlan had become and the only way she can avoid that is to dare to love another and her disrobing is merely symbolic of her losing the veils of secrecy that have enshrouded her soul.

Ashley is moved by his words.

COLIN

Okay, let's try one.

JUMP TO:

ASHLEY

Jonathan, we may not live to see another day and I don't want to die a woman who never knew love. Make love to me, Jonathan.

They embrace and kiss passionately. Ashley begins snickering.

Cut.

JUMP TO:

ASHLEY

Make love to me, Jonathan. They kiss, her face to the camera side of his.

BILL

Sorry, but shouldn't my face be on the other side? LIZ

Cut.

COLIN

No, Bill, we'll want to see Tammy's face here.

JUMP TO:

ASHLEY

Make love to me, Jonathan.

They embrace and kiss. She rips the buttons from his shirt. He unbuttons her blouse and, as he finishes, she self-consciously begins to re-button it.

Cut. Damn it, what are you doing?

ASHLEY

Sorry, I'm ... I just. . . Can we do it again? Sorry. LIZ

Okay, let's get Jonathan another shirt.

JUMP TO:

They are set to retake the scene. Bill's shirt is a different color, now.

ASHLEY

Make love to me, Jonathan.

Again, they embrace, kiss and begin to disrobe each other. This time, as he finishes unbuttoning her shirt, she manages to turn her back to the camera. He wrestles to turn her back around, kissing all the while.

Cut. Where does it say, "Tammy and Jonathan wrestle"?

ASHLEY

I'm sorry. This isn't easy, you know? LIZ

I don't care. Act if you must.

ASHLEY

Fine. You think it's so easy, then you get naked in front of them.

She points to the crew, who look around embarrassed and guilty. Ashley leaves the set in tears.

CUT TO:

INT. SOUNDSTAGE—SHORTLY LATER

Carl and Liz are off to one side of the set, talking quietly

CARL

We've got to have this scene. I mean, we've got to have it. No "R" rating, no sale. It's that simple. We've got to have it.

Colin joins them.

COLIN

It's no use. She says it's purely exploitive and she won't do gratuitous nudity.

CARL

We'll pay her.

COLIN

I offered. She said, "I'm an actress, not a stripper."

CARL

That's it. We're screwed.

That's your answer. The brothers only look confused.

Pay someone to body double the rest of the scene.

Colin and Carl come alive at the simplistic genius of her suggestion. Together, they turn to look at Liz.

Oh, no. Absolutely not. N-O, no. Forget it. Hire a body double.

CUT TO:

INT. COLIN'S OFFICE—DAY (VIDEO) Colin's interview continues.

COLIN

The love scene, as it stands now, is different than we had originally planned, but I think it works very nicely. I still get a lot of comments on it.

CUT TO:

INT. LABORATORY—DAY (FILM) Tammy and Jonathan enter.

TAMMY

Oh, Jonathan, I can't stop seeing that poor child's face and that . . . that thing.

JONATHAN Shh. Try not to think about it.

TAMMY

Jonathan, we may not live to see another day and I don't want to die a woman who never knew love. Make love to me, Jonathan.

When we cut back to Jonathan he is wearing the different colored shirt. The scene plays through until her shirt is unbuttoned and her back is to the camera and then there is an awkward cut-away to a flashing light. The scene plays through to the end in close up, a body-double now standing in for Tammy. He removes her shirt and the body-double has tassels glued to her nipples. The two crawl upon the giant battery to consummate the relationship and the camera dollies to a bubbling beaker.

CUT TO:

INT. BARREN ROOM—DAY (VIDEO) Carl's interview continues.

CARL

I've gotta be honest with you, I don't remember the last five or six days of the production. I've heard some pretty weird stuff, though. As long as they can't prove it, 'eh?

CUT TO:

Tammy sits in the driver's seat with Jonathan next to her. In the middle of the back seat is a mannequin wearing a red wig.

TAMMY

Okay, we know all the children were attacked in Irick Park, right?

JONATHAN

Right.

TAMMY

And, they all had red hair, right?

JONATHAN

Right.

TAMMY

And, since the curfew prohibits children from being outside alone, little Rusty here will be the perfect decoy.

JONATHAN

Let's hope the kite has the Professor's same bad eyesight.

CUT TO:

Tammy and Jonathan enter the park carrying little Rusty and two machetes. CHILDREN and PARENTS scatter at the sight. The camera dollies beside them, only now, instead of a dolly and track, Colin and the camera ride atop a children's red wagon. Tammy and Jonathan prop Rusty in the middle of the playground.

TAMMY

Okay, you take cover in those bushes and I'll wait in the car.

In the background, a CHILD continues to play on the playground, her MOM beside her.

Cut.

You're supposed to be gone by now. You see these two people with machetes and you grab your child and leave. Got it?

Carl comes over.

CARL

That's it. You're off the film. Goodbye. Leave. MOM

We were never in your stupid film, remember? You told us you'd already cast everyone.

Well, you'll have to leave. We can't get this shot with you in the way here.

You Hollywood people are all the same.

Lady, please, just leave before we call the cops.

Carl takes the machete from Jonathan's hands.

Why don't you go make your smutty movie somewhere else.

CARL

Look, bitch, this smutty movie has already put me fifty thousand in debt. I've mortgaged my house, my boat and my Beemer. I haven't slept or bathed in three days. My wife has moved out and I think my dog may have starved to death. Trust me, I'm losing my sense of humor. So, you can either take that ugly child and get out of here or I swear I'll cut your stinkin' heart out.

The Mom grabs the child and runs off.

CARL

CUT TO:

FILM REVIEWER It was twenty-five months ago tonight that I had the unimaginable burden of watching "Killer Kite" for the first time and, as I said at the time, "the film is not worthy of a serious review." So, of course, every child between nine and twenty has been to see it at least six times. It's now made the greatest profit of any independent film in history and, tonight, it begins a record 105th consecutive week at Los Angeles' famous Polk Theatre. Yes, I've been to see "Killer Kite" again and, no, I haven't changed my review. What everyone takes to be that camp, Kishman style of comedy is nothing more than inept filmmaking. The fact that these guys got a three-picture deal with Paramount is an inauspicious statement on the health of the American film system. Just take a look at this awful segment from an even worse film.

CUT TO:

We see the segment where the kite is chasing the Young Girl. She falls and looks back at the kite.

CUT TO:

KITE'S POV

Of the Young Girl lying on the ground, screaming. RETURN TO SCENE

Only, now, it is Liz in a red wig, wrestling with the kite. She screams and acts as badly as anyone has ever screamed and acted.

CUT TO:

COLIN

Of course the critics didn't like it. None of them understood it. Not one realized that the kite is an analogy for prejudice. It only attacks red-haired children. Get it?

(disgusted)

Critics.

CUT TO:

Tammy sits behind the wheel, looking up at the sky. Slowly, the kite rises beside the car until it is looking through the window.

TAMMY

(startled) Uncle Harlan, no. It's me, Tammy.

The kite backs away. Tammy grabs a machete and lunges at the kite, missing. The kite takes off. Tammy jumps out of the car and calls Jonathan.

TAMMY

Jonathan, be careful. He knows we mean to destroy him.

ANGLE ON JONATHAN

As the kite swoops down and attacks him. He falls to the ground, bleeding. The kite then attacks the mannequin. A loud CRUNCH is heard and the kite falls to the ground, injured. Tammy and Jonathan quickly descend on the kite and stab it with their machetes. Trickles of blood come from the kite's wounds.

TAMMY (sobbing) Oh, no. Uncle Harlan, no.

Jonathan helps her up.

JONATHAN

Come on. It's over. The Professor is in a better place, now.

They walk off, arm-in-arm, toward the car.

CUT TO:

EXT. POLK THEATRE—NIGHT (VIDEO)

A long line of YOUNG PEOPLE extends from the front door. OTHERS wait behind barricades. Many are in costume, wearing kite suits and waving kite puppets. TWO BOYS are dressed as the Professor, ANOTHER as Jonathan and ONE as Ashley. Shrieks are heard as a stretch limo pulls up. Ashley gets out.

ADOLESCENT BOY

I love you, Tammy.

Ashley enters, the epitome of the Hollywood starlet. She is dressed in a low-cut gown and poses for the myriad flashbulbs. Bill Prinz gets out next, looking tan and manicured. There are more SHRIEKS from the crowd.

TEENAGE GIRL 1 Make love to me, Jonathan.

TEENAGE GIRL 2 Make love to me, Jonathan.

Another limo pulls up and Colin gets out, dressed in a tuxedo and escorting Liz who looks elegant in an evening gown. She swats away a child who asks for an autograph and hurriedly pulls Colin inside the theatre. A black motorcycle pulls up on the sidewalk and PEOPLE scatter. The rider gets off and we see it is Aspen. Next, the Young Girl arrives in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace. She is being pushed by her Mother. They are swarmed by a pack of pre-pubescent girls and the last we see of them is the wheelchair tipping over.

CUT TO:

INT. POLK THEATRE—NIGHT (VIDEO)

We see several of the AUDIENCE MEMBERS, the light from the screen shimmering on their faces. They deliver the final lines of the film with the actors on the screen.

FEMALE CROWD Oh, no. Uncle Harlan. No.

MALE CROWD Come on. It's over. The Professor is in a much better place now.

CUT TO:

After Tammy and Jonathan walk off, the camera remains on the kite. A breeze lifts it and turns it over, revealing a dozen baby killer kites below. The Crowd OOOHS and AAAHS.

FADE TO BLACK: FADE IN:

GRAPHIC:

"This Film Is Dedicated To Shorty Logan. 'There's nothing he wouldn't do.'"

CUT TO:

COLIN

I am very busy, right now. We begin principle photography on "Prom Bomb" next week and I'm just finishing the script for "The Town That Couldn't Spell," which we hope to have in production by the time Carl gets out . . . if we can straighten out this I.R.S. thing.

CUT TO:

INT. BARREN ROOM—DAY (VIDEO)

Carl finishes the last of a cigarette butt and looks nervously over his shoulder. He checks his watch.

CARL

Do I have any advice for young filmmakers?

On the SOUND of a jail cell opening, the camera pans over to reveal the jail bars beside Carl as the GUARD enters.

CARL

Yeah, take care of the legal work first. Trust me. The Guard leads Carl out of the cell.

FADE TO BLACK:

ROLL CREDITS.

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