Happy (not) Halloween everybody. The first seven days of October have come and gone, and another spooky script is almost in the till. Over thirty pages have been written for this latest project.
Out of all the classic monsters, Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy and others, the Werewolf has always been the most fascinating to me. It deals with themes of transformation, loss of self control and individuality, and threatens to tear down man’s view that he’s somehow separate from the natural world. I always wanted to do a story about werewolves, and now I’m nearly done with the fifth draft of that little dream, the script known as Manhunters.
A story of lycanthropes hunting a serial killer in their city, Manhunters is a blend of a traditional werewolf story and a psychological thriller in the style of the Hannibal Lecter series or Se7en. An imagined horror must fights against the very real, much more sinister horrors that aren’t confined to the page.
Pictured above is Ted Bundy, the inspiration for the villain of the piece. Bundy at a glance looks like a proper and well educated young man. He could be a politician or a lawyer celebrating victory on a case. Don’t let that smile fool you however. This photo was taken of Bundy while he was on trial for the brutal rape and murder of a 13 year old girl, one of his thirty known victims. No fangs, no scales, no claws, just real evil in its purest form. To write for a character like this is hardly fun, and all I can say is I’m looking forward to shotgunning his face off in the script’s closing pages-again.
A number of noticeable improvements have marked this latest iteration of Manhunters. My four leads are far more fleshed out, greater use of suspense and dread has been employed, the macabre imagery of the villain’s house of horrors has been upped, and several plot holes, usually dumb decisions by the characters or moments of contrivance, have been filled in with actions and events of a much more sensible nature. It may be a longer script, so far longer than the last draft by nine pages, but it makes a lot more sense, and is much closer to that ever elusive final vision.
I had said the book would get no attention from me until this script was finished. After a few weeks of little to no inspiration I wondered if that would ever happen. This week that section of the script that so troubled me is done. Now all it takes is twenty more, then the time will come to let the script rest before breaking out the polish to give it a fine mirror shine.