It’s been a while (a year, actually), but here’s the latest installment of our dodgy horror movie screenplay in celebration of the strange alignment of both Halloween and the Spring Racing Carnival. If you missed it last year or want to remind yourself, here’s the story so far…
PART FOUR: THE JOININGING
- Director, Melbourne Museum (MM)
- Steve, MM Preparator
- Alan, MM Preparator
- Director, National Museum of Australia (NMA)
- Minion #2, employee of NMA
- Director, Te Papa Tongarewa (TP)
- Minion #3, employee of TP
- Museum couriers 1, 2 and 3
- Truck drivers 1, 2, 3 and 4
- Receiver, Flemington Racecourse
- Phar Lap
NB: Our usual disclaimer—the characters in this dodgy screenplay bear no resemblance to the actual office bearers of positions depicted.
EXT. MELBOURNE, EARLY MORNING, CUP DAY. Bit of a montage of racehorses eating and being groomed, jockeys doing jockey things, birds tweeting, etc.
RADIO ANNOUNCER [VOICE-OVER]
And we’ve got some beautiful weather for the Melbourne Cup today! Call in with your tips! Next up we’ve got Geraldine on to give us the low-down on what celebrities are in town for the big race.
INT. MELBOURNE MUSEUM, PREPARATION STUDIO
Wait, so how does the cat get in the box?
He puts it there.
With the radon?
What a pyscho.
DIRECTOR, MM BURSTS INTO THE ROOM AND LOOKS ABOUT WILDLY. STEVE AND ALAN ARE STARTLED.
You – er, George?
And – John?
Yes, well, I need you to do something for me, today, it’s very urgent.
Er, sure, boss, what do you need?
Phar Lap. He’s been requested by – well, it’s for the Cup. Someone from the Royal Family’s going to be there and they want him on display, so we need to pack him up and send him off.
Just do it! They’ll be political hell to pay if we don’t.
He needs to be out of here before we open to the public.
I’ll just leave this in your capable hands, then, shall I? Excellent!, Good work, Peter – er – John – I mean Steve.
Gotta zip, let me know when it’s done, ta ta!
DIRECTOR EXITS, LEAVING STEVE AND ALAN IN STUNNED SILENCE.
AFTER A MOMENT, THE DIRECTOR SUDDENLY POKES HIS HEAD BACK AROUND THE DOOR.
Oh, and let’s keep this between ourselves, eh? No need to tell conservation.
DIRECTOR EXITS (AGAIN). STEVE AND ALAN LOOK AT EACH OTHER.
STEVE (together with Alan)
ALAN (together with Steve)
INT. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIA, CUP DAY. The Director, NMA sneaks into the exhibition gallery and looks over at Phar Lap’s heart in its jar. The Director visibly shudders. She walks out of the room and nearly bumps into Minion #2.
Ah, there you are! I have an urgent job for you.
MINION, TRYING TO HIDE HEAVY SIGH
DIRECTOR, NMA, POINTING AT THE HEART
It needs to go. Conservation dug up some old files that indicate it was treated with asbestos at one point and it has to be decontaminated at a special facility in Melbourne.
Well, I can’t remember the exact details, maybe it was fluoride. Polonium? Ebola. Something like that. Anyway, you need to get it packed up and shipped to an address I’ll give you, ASAP.
No time for dilly-dallying, time is of the essence. I have an important meeting now, I expect it to be taken care of by the time it’s finished.
DIRECTOR, NMA WALKS OFF. MINION LOOKS AFTER HER, OPEN-MOUTHED. THE DIRECTOR STOPS SUDDENLY AND TURNS AROUND.
Oh, and no need to tell conservation about this, OK?
DIRECTOR EXITS. MINION LOOKS OVER TO THE HEART GLISTENING IN ITS JAR. THEN THE CAMERA FOLLOWS THE DIRECTOR, WHO WALKS QUICKLY THROUGH THE BUILING TO HER OFFICE, GREETING STAFF AS SHE GOES. ONCE SHE REACHES HER OFFICE SHE GETS UNDER HER DESK, CLUTCHES HER KNEES AND SHIVERS.
INT. TE PAPA, MINION #3’S OFFICE, CUP DAY. Wellington is two hours ahead of Melbourne but let’s try not to draw attention to the time difference too much.
DIRECTOR BURSTS INTO OFFICE OF MINION #3, WHO IS PLAYING PLANTS VS ZOMBIES ON THEIR PHONE.
Get that bloody horse skeleton out of here. Pack it up, ship it out, I never want to see the fucking thing every again. Send it here [HANDS SLIP OF PAPER WITH ADDRESS]. I’m off on leave now – Provence. Maybe the Mediterranean. With Moet. I should’ve been a fucking banker, I tell you. See you in a month. Bob’s in charge – tell him when he gets in, will you?
But – but you said –
DIRECTOR, TP (YELLING)
I’m not listening lalalalala goodbye.
DIRECTOR SLAMS DOOR. MINION STARES, LOOKS AT ADDRESS – IT READS “FLEMINGTON RACE COURSE, HORSES RECEIVING”.
THE DOOR OPENS AGAIN AND THE DIRECTOR PEERS AROUND IT.
And don’t bloody tell conservation about this just get it off this island. The Australians can have it.
DIRECTOR SLAMS DOOR AGAIN. MINION IS SPEECHLESS, STARING AFTER THE DIRECTOR. THE MINION’S PHONE BUZZES TO INDICATE HE HAS JUST LOST A PLANT OR A ZOMBIE OR WHATEVER.
INT. MM LOADING BAY. MM CRATE IS LOADED ONTO TRUCK 1. Truck 1 drives to from Melbourne Museum to Flemington (via a long and circuitous route, put in some things it absolutely wouldn’t need to drive past to get to Flemington just so we can get some nice pix of Melbourne in there and hence some funding from Melbourne Tourism Board). We see similar scenes of Truck 2 driving from NMA to Canberra airport and Truck 3 driving from Te Papa to Wellington Airport.
EXT. MELBOURNE, CANDIED BAKERY, SPOTSWOOD. [NB see if Candied Bakery is available for movie catering]. TRUCK 1 PULLS UP OUTSIDE.
MUSEUM COURIER, YELLING FROM TRUCK
You can’t just stop and get a pie!
TRUCK DRIVER 1, GETTING OUT OF TRUCK
I’m bloody getting a pie.
EXT. CANBERRA AIRPORT. NMA CRATE IS LOADED ONTO PLANE
EXT. PLANE IN SKY.
INT. PLANE CABIN. Person watching morning TV on inflight entertainment system is watching a news item about how Melbourne is getting ready for the Cup. There is a brief fuzzy overlay of a horse’s face with red eyes, over Sam and Kochie. Commuter looks confused, but horse’s face vanishes.
EXT. MELBOURNE AIRPORT. NMA CRATE UNLOADED FROM PLANE AND PUT INTO TRUCK 2, EN ROUTE TO FLEMINGTON.
EXT. MELBOURNE STREET. TRUCK 2 STOPS OUTSIDE TIVOLI ROAD BAKERY, SOUTH YARRA. [NB check if Tivoli is also available for catering]
DRIVER 2 (GETTING OUT OF TRUCK AND TALKING TO SOMEONE INSIDE THE CAB)
I’m getting a fucking pie and there’s nothing you can do about it.
INT. AIR NEW ZEALAND FLIGHT. [If Air New Zealand refuse to be sponsors make up an airline, like Air Hobbit or something]. It is quiet but everyone is gripping on to their chairs and looking freaked out. All of a sudden there is a massive bump and some shaking etc. A passenger looks desperately out of the window, revealing the weather is calm and clear.
CAPTAIN [OVER SPEAKER]
Apologies again for the turbulence again, ladies and gentlemen, we appear to be passing through an irregular high pressure system. Please keep your seatbelts fastened.
INT. AIR PLANE COCKPIT
What the fuck is DOING that?
No fucking idea. This ever happened to you before?
Fuck, I could do with a pie right now.
INT. AIR PLANE HOLD. CRATE CONTAINING PHAR LAP’S SKELETON IS ROCKING AND RATTLING.
EXT. MELBOURNE AIRPORT. FRAZZLED PASSENGERS DE-PLANE AS PHAR LAP’S CRATE IS UNLOADED AND PUT ONTO TRUCK 3.
EXT. MELBOURNE STREETS, TRUCK 3 EN ROUTE TO FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE.
TRUCK DRIVER 3 [VOICE-OVER]
Bad flight, was it? Look, I’m just going to stop in here for a pie. Want one? [PAUSE] Awww no mate, nooo don’t spew in me cab! Ahh fuck.
EXT. TRUCK 1 ARRIVES AT FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE, HORSES RECEIVING.
INT. LOADING BAY, FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE, HORSES RECEIVING. TRUCK 1 ARRIVES.
TRUCK DRIVER 1
Delivery for Tommy Woodcock.
There’s no one here by that name.
Tough titties mate. Sign here willya, I want to get out of here before the traffic goes nuts.
Well – uh, ok, I guess we can put it over there for the time being.
INT. LOADING BAY, FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE, HORSES RECEIVING. TRUCK 2 ARRIVES.
RECEIVER, LOOKING AT DELIVERY FORM
Another box for Tommy Woodcock? Someone’s taking the piss.
TRUCK DRIVER 2
Not my problem mate sign here wouldya.
INT. LOADING BAY, FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE, HORSES RECEIVING. TRUCK 3 ARRIVES.
Let me guess, for Tommy Woodcock?
TRUCK DRIVER 3
Over there, next to the others. [TO SELF] I haven’t got time for this crap today.
INT. LOADING BAY, FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE, HORSES RECEIVING. TRUCK 4 ARRIVES.
For Tommy fucking Woodcock, right?
TRUCK DRIVER 4
Nah mate, I’ve got the crate of Moet for the [INSERT MOVIE SPONSOR] pavilion. [NB SEEK MOVIE FUNDING FROM MOET]
Oh! Ok, great. Put it over there next to he [INSERT MOVIE SPONSOR] showbags and croquembouches. [GESTURES TOWARDS A PILE OF LUXURY]
TRUCK DRIVER 4
I’d kill for a pie, mate, is there a cafeteria around here somewhere?
Tell you what, let’s swipe one of the Heston Blumenthal pies from [INSERT ANOTHER MOVIE SPONSOR] pavilion, come with me.
TRUCK DRIVER 4
RECEIVER AND TRUCK DRIVER DEPART, CLOSING DOOR BEHIND THEM.
CAMERA SWINGS ROUND TO THE THREE CRATES.
Ominous music begins. The crates appear to vibrate, then rock, as if something inside them is trying to get out. There is a high-pitched whine of some kind. We hear the beat of Phar Lap’s heart getting louder [and it continues to get louder all through this scene]. We see a rat snuffling a nearby croquembouche being repelled by supernatural forces, a la Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Suddenly the crates shatter to reveal skeleton, hide and heart [latter is beating]. All are surrounded by a phosphorescent glow. The skeleton shakily steps out of the remains of the crate and walks over to hide, sort of pushing itself into it. There is a flash of light. Then the hide also moves, stooping down to the heart and walking through it. The heart is also enveloped. Lots of mystical light wooshes around, musical score goes nuts. Why not chuck in a distant horse’s scream for good measure?
Then everything goes quiet. The mystical light clears up to reveals a complete Phar Lap, who shimmers with a phosphorescent glow, perhaps even he is outlined in ghostly flickering flames. His eyes open – they are burning! [Not literally but it would be cool if they could kind of look as if they are]. Phar Lap tosses his mane, pulls back his lips to expose his teeth [if possible] and whinnies. He looks about carefully, sniffing, whickering, eyes narrowed. Silently, except for the heartbeat, he starts walking, apparating through a wall and out into the unknown.
(To be continued)