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WHAT WAS NEW

 

5/7/01: The Martians Are Coming!!

As some of you have most likely noticed, my collection has moved. Letís launch the new site with a bang!

Invaders From Mars has long been considered one of the finest sci-fi films of our time. A tale of Martian invaders secretly landing and taking over the minds of humans, this story has the interesting twist of being told from a childís point of view.

The Original

Made in 1953 by director William Cameron Menzies (Things To Come), this wild tale was brought to life through imaginative sets and a wonderful performance by Jimmy Hunt as the young witness to the invading Martians. Though this draft is an early one (writer John Tucker Battle only received story credit) itís still pretty similar to the final film. A major polish and the infamous twist ending would later be supplied by Richard Blake.

The Re-Make

Immediately following the semi-success of Lifeforce, director Tobe Hooper again joined forces with writers Dan OíBannon and Don Jakoby to update Invaders From Mars for modern (1980ís modern, that is) audiences. Though bashed by critics and most fans of the original, Hooperís unique take on the material attracted an audience of its own. I finally managed to see this film a few weeks ago. While darker and more gruesome than the original, it manages to capture the sense of fun and excitement of 50ís era sci-fi schlockers and update it with fine acting, a tighter script, and stunning effects. This early draft by OíBannon and Jakoby has a fair share of differences to the final product, but is a fun and entertaining read nonetheless.

 

4/6/01: War, Humanity, And A Journey Through Time

Wow! Itís been almost five months since I last updated this site. Well, Iím back with a few scripts focusing on the works of legendary author H. G. Wells.

Things To Come

What will the course of humanity be for the next hundred years? Thatís the question this treatment by Wellsí himself tries to answer. Beginning in 1935, the world struggles to survive war, a new plague, power-hungry tyrants, and a failed utopia. The science may be vastly dated and the dialogue a little speech-heavy, but the power and scope of the story are stunningly believable. I havenít seen this film but, based on the strengths of this treatment (which was also used as the final shooting script), Iím eagerly searching for a copy.

The Time Machine

Most time-travel movies take us ten, fifty, or even a hundred years through time. But here, we follow the journey of a man - called the Time Traveller, but also referred to as George - as he travels several hundred thousand years to a future divided between two kinds of humans: the gentle Eloi and the menacing Morlocks. Though a little campy at times, novelist David Duncanís adaptation of Wellsí first novel is a fun and rousing adventure.

The War Of The Worlds

Despite some fine direction and Oscar-winning effects, this adaptation of Wellsí classic tale of a devastating Martian invasion has one of the corniest scripts Iíve read. Often ludicrous dialogue, stupid attempts at explaining every facet of the Martian technology, and an intelligent female university professor who is reduced to a babbling fool at the slightest sign of danger. Sounds like classic material, right? But, despite the aforementioned problems, there are a few serious sequences - particularly near the end. Screenwriter Barrť Lyndon also adds an interesting religious theme to the story, which is somehow both moving and annoying. Oh, well. Itís still great - if not always plausible - fun.

(As a little side note: the main characterís name, Clayton Forrester, was later used for the evil scientist in MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000.)

 

11/20/00

Letís start this site with a little variety: Two classic sci-fi films, two cult classic horror flicks, and one not so classic remake of a definite classic monster movie. Whew!

Evil Dead

This is the first in a wickedly hilarious trilogy of terror. The Star Wars of horror, if you will. A group of friends vacationing in a cabin accidentally unleash a slew of demons which posses each one by one. The character of Ash - the shotgun slinginí, chainsaw whippiní hero of the series - gave actor Bruce Campbell the recognition he needed to become an overnight cult success. This was also the film that put writer/director Sam Raimi on the map, unleashing his adrenalin-packed visuals upon the world. Hereís an early draft of the script. Quite short at a mere 66 pages. This was before Raimi broke the film into shot-by-shot mechanics as he did with...

Evil Dead II

This over-the-top, roller-coaster ride of a sequel picks up where the original Evil Dead left off. The hero Ash must defend himself and another group of wacky characters from the evil and vile Deadites. This is one of my all-time favorite films; especially the sequence with Ash vs. his hand. This is the productionís seventh draft. Itís pretty much the final script, broken down into separate shots (some even explain how certain effects are achieved) and contains only a few differences from the final film.

Fantastic Voyage

A group of scientists have to shrink down into the human body, fight natural defenses, remove a brain clot, and save the life of a scientist with a guarded secret...all in one hour. This is generally considered to be one of the most intelligent science-fiction films of the sixties (second, of course, to 2001) due to the immense research, smart and witty dialogue, and big-budget effects that took home an Oscar. Here is the final shooting script to the classic film.

Thing From Another World

This is definitely one of the classics in the sci-fi horror genre. A group of soldiers and scientists isolated in the arctic must fend off an alien intruder. The original story by John W. Campbell, Jr. (as Don A. Stuart) featured a shape-shifting creature that could mimic any living thing. Unfortunately, due to the limited effects of the time, this had to be dropped, and the creature was turned into a Frankenstein imitation that wanted to spread its seed (literally) over the earth. The characters in this early draft by Charles Lederer arenít as fun as they are in the movie, but the creature as he describes it sure beats James Arness with a big forehead. Even though the science is in the same "golly-gee-whiz" vein as most other flicks of the 50ís, the suspense and fear still stand out today.

(NOTE: The shape-shifting aspects of the creature and the paranoia it caused were brought shockingly to life when John Carpenter re-made this film in the 80ís.)

Godzilla

As a fan of the cheap - though always fun - Godzilla series, I was excited when I heard Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich were working on a re-make. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find the film lacking all those things that made a Godzilla film fun: rubber skin that no weapon can penetrate, giant lumbering footsteps, blasts of atomic flame every few seconds, and some of the worst dubbing imaginable. Donít get me wrong, though. I love this film. It just isnít Godzilla. Itís The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms given a modern effects makeover. Hereís the filmmaking duoís first draft which - though missing the fun Siskel/Ebert reference, among other things - is pretty close to the final film.

Some of you may be wondering why two scripts (Evil Dead II and Fantastic Voyage) are premiering on my site when theyíve already been on-line for more than a month. Well, when I originally scanned these two, I ignored the original formats of the scripts for one less time-consuming. But, now that I have more time on my hands, Iíve decided to re-do these two scripts in their original forms (or as close as I can achieve with this medium). So sit back, relax, and enjoy...