RED TERROR Part I – opening montage

A dodgy horror movie screenplay in celebration of Halloween and the Spring Racing Carnival, brought to you for your spine-tingling(ish) terror by pinknantucket press. Enjoy!

CAST

  • Phar Lap (horse)
  • Harry Telford – Phar Lap’s trainer
  • David Davis – Phar Lap’s owner
  • Tommy Woodcock – Phar Lap’s strapper
  • Jimmy Pike – jockey
  • Louis, Joan and Leslie Jonas – taxidermists (New York)
  • Various interviewers (voice only) and voice-overs

 

PART 1: OPENING MONTAGE

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (Phar Lap in his training outfit, rolling in the sand, chasing Tommy Woodcock for sugar)

VOICEOVER

This is not a disguise that dodged the gunman, it’s just Phar Lap in his exercise clothing. That’s better, no clothes now! The nude colt and the sand bath, and how he enjoys it! Roll the wrinkles out of that, he tells the stable boys. Young Tommy Woodcock! I say, come here old man, it’s mine, and I’ve earned it. I want my sugar sir, hand it over immediately. Hand it over, come on!

INT. JONAS BROTHERS TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LIT BY OVERHEAD LAMP ONLY

Horse carcass hits metal table, close up of glassy dead eyes.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (Interview with Harry Telford)

INTERVIEWER

Mr Telford, how many firsts has Phar Lap won?

TELFORD

Thirty-five.

INTERVIEWER

And how many seconds?

TELFORD

Three seconds.

INTERVIEWER

And how many thirds?

TELFORD

One third.

INTERVIEWER

Amazing.

INT. JONAS BROTHERS TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LIT BY LOW OVERHANDING LAMP

We see hands preparing a scalpel, near Phar Lap’s body.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (Interview with Harry Telford)

INTERVIEWER

What is the total amount of his stake earnings to date?

TELFORD

Fifty-six thousand, four hundred and twenty.

INTERVIEWER

Fifty-six thousand, four hundred and twenty!

TELFORD

Yes.

INTERVIEWER

That’s colossal.

INT. JONAS BROTHERS TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LIT BY LOW OVERHANDING LAMP

We see the scalpel cutting into horseflesh, some peeling back of skin.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (or voice-over, over image of newspaper headline, or maybe people rushing to buy the paper)

VOICEOVER

Early on Saturday morning an attempt was made at Caulfield to kill or maim the Melbourne Cup favourite Phar Lap. The horse was returning to the stable after his training work when a shot was fired from a motor car which was immediately driven away. Phar Lap was not injured and later in the day he brilliantly won the Melbourne Stakes at Flemington.

INT. JONAS BROTHERS TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LIT BY LOW OVERHANDING LAMP

We see hands removing Phar Lap’s heart from his body and placing it onto a scale. His ears and tail cut off and saved.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (Phar Lap winning the Melbourne Cup)

VOICEOVER

Time records don’t last when the red terror goes after them! Here he comes now….(etc)…it’s like taking candy from a baby! It’s all over, Phar Lap wins!

INT. JONAS BROTHERS TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LIT BY LOW OVERHANDING LAMP

Time lapse of dermestid beetles eating away flesh on horse skeleton.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (Phar Lap being transferred to boat)

VOICEOVER

The famous racehorse being taken on the Ulimaroa yesterday, which later left for New Zealand. It is believed that he will be taken to America at a later date.

INT. JONAS BROTHERS TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LATE AFTERNOON LIGHT

The Jonas brothers manufacture Phar Lap’s taxidermy support in their New York workshop – the skeleton being fitted together with wire and steel rods, covered in plaster, tendons and muscles modeled in clay.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (Phar Lap winning at Agua Caliente; show a fair bit, it’s pretty impressive)

VOICEOVER

Come on Phar Lap, Phar Lap you beauty.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (after the race; Phar Lap is a bit skittish)

VOICEOVER

One of the handsomest horses ever seen on an American track. A little temperamental, but what star isn’t?

INT. JONAS BROTHERS TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LATE AFTERNOON LIGHT

Continued manufacture of taxidermy support – clay and plaster mould removed from skeleton, coated with wax and layers of paste, paper and burlap; dried parts of shell hammered onto wooden and metal framework, veins made of rope soaked in glue attached.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (Phar Lap winning a race, but footage slows down and stops mid stride)

VOICEOVER

Phar Lap, the world’s most successful racehorse has died in California of a mystery illness.

INT. JONAS BROTHERS TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LATE AFTERNOON LIGHT

Jonas brothers mounting Phar Lap’s hide. The hide is pulled and pressed over the form, taxidermists poking and pulling to make lines and ripples. Tail and ears attached, glass eyes inserted.

EXT. CITY STREET – MORNING

People are buying newspapers on their way to work. Camera closes in on newspaper headlines, then jumps to subsequent headlines, all on different newspapers. Voiceovers read out headlines.

VOICEOVER

Phar Lap dies in strapper’s arms

VOICEOVER

Phar Lap was willfully poisoned!

VOICEOVER

While tired trainer slept, gangsters fixed the horse

VOICOVER

Woodcock told that he, too, would have been bumped off if had wakened

VOICEOVER

Opinions conflict: poison found in organs

VOICEOVER

Arsenic found in Phar Lap’s last pasture may be the result of tree spray

VOICEOVER

Colic thought to be the cause of Phar Lap’s death

INT. TAXIDERMY STUDIO – LIT ONLY BY INTERIOR LIGHTS

Phar Lap’s skeleton is cleaned and packed into a crate. The label on the crate is addressed to the Dominion Museum, Wellington, New Zealand. Then we see his heart being packed and shipped and a label put on the crate addressed to Sydney University, Australia. Lastly, his mounted hide is shut up in a wooden crate and shipped to Melbourne Museum.

INT. DAVID DAVIS’ OFFICE – AFTERNOON.

David dictates a letter to his secretary.

DAVIS

DJ Davis and HR Telford have the pleasure of offering to the Melbourne Museum the hide of the race horse Phar Lap. The taxidermist has made an excellent job in mounting same, and has also advised us that with proper care it will last a hundred years. No doubt this would necessitate you placing it in a glass case.

INT. DOMINION MUSEUM, RECEIVING AREA, NEW ZEALAND – MORNING

The crate containing the skeleton is brought into the building.

INT. SYDNEY UNIVERSITY LAB – MORNING

The crate containing the heart is placed on a bench in a lab and opened. The heart is lifted out. We see it being weighed and a small section cut out with a scalpel.

INT. MELBOURNE MUSEUM, RECEIVING AREA – MORNING

A large crate is opened and packaging removed to reveal Phar Lap’s mounted hide.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (interview with Harry Telford)

TELFORD

He was a splendid horse.

INT. DOMINION MUSEUM, EXHIBITION AREA – LATE AFTERNOON

Museum workers place Phar Lap’s skeleton on a display. The step back and look for a moment, then switch of some of the lights and leave the room. The camera pans back from the skeleton as further lights are turned off. Sound of footsteps receding. Skeleton is left alone.

INT. SYDNEY UNIVERSITY LAB – LATE AFTERNOON

Staff put Phar Lap’s hide into its glass jar, put it into a box, then in a cupboard and shut the door.

INT. MELBOURNE MUSEUM, EXHIBITION AREA – LATE AFTERNOON

Phar Lap’s hide is just being placed into a glass case in the exhibition space and the glass case is closed. The staff are chatting a bit and pause to admire the horse in his glass box, then, like the staff at the Dominion Museum, turn off the lights and leave the area. Phar Lap recedes, in darkness, alone.

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (interview with Jimmy Pike)

PIKE

I don’t think we’ll see ever see his equal again

NEWSREEL FOOTAGE (Phar Lap running)

VOICEOVER

Well Phar Lap, happy hunting old man, give him a hand everyone.

APPLAUSE

FADE TO BLACKNESS AND SILENCE

SOUND ONLY: AFTER A MOMENT, WE HEAR THE SOUND OF A HEART BEATING. IT GETS STRONGER; THEN WE HEAR HOOFBEATS. THE HOOFBEATS GET CLOSER TO US, AND LOUDER. THE HEARTBEAT GETS FASTER AND LOUDER. IT SOUNDS AS IF THE HORSE IS NEARLY UPON US, THEN IT SLOWS. WE HEAR THAT SORT OF SNORTING THING HORSES DO. THE HEARTBEAT HAS NOT LESSENED OR QUIETED.

A HORSE OPENS ITS EYES. THEY ARE RED, AND FILL THE WHOLE SCREEN.

CUT TO BLACK AND SILENCE.

(To be continued)

Nice horsie

Nice horsie

One response to “RED TERROR Part I – opening montage

  1. Pingback: RED TERROR, PART IV: THE JOININGING | pinknantucket press·

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