Tuesday, March 5, 2013

From The Idea Hole: This Meets That, Part Three (Skinless Heroes, Zombie Dingos, Shark Men, Haunted Slackers, and Adult Babies)

Okay, you know the drill by now (if not CLICK HERE). The game is This Meets That, we take two movies at random, combine them, and see if we can come up with a new movie idea based on the convergent themes and premises. I initially didn’t think about doing themes for this series, but these next five all happen to be somewhere on the horror spectrum, so maybe from now on I’ll try to be a little more consistent.

1: Skinner – (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets DarkMan)


I don’t know why my mind always went here, but whenever I watched the Leatherface movies, I always wondered where his leather face actually came from. Of all the origin stories we’ve now seen of this character, why haven’t we been told that story, showing the guy who first got his face ripped off so this crazy cannibal could sew his flesh mask? Combining the freaky killer family concept with Dark Man, about a deformed victim of a violent assault who gets revenge on his attackers, I would tell this story (or a similar one, obviously), but presuppose that this faceless victim was left for dead, but actually survived. Now covered in bandages, he plots his vengeance, training himself to become an evil hillbilly fighting vigilante superhero, eventually staging a final assault against the whole family of freaks like the dual chainsaw wielding Dennis Hopper at the end of Texas Chainsaw 2. One man turned into a human monster to fight other inhuman monsters.


2: The Outback – (Night Of The Living Dead meets Escape From New York)


There are always arguments on both sides about how successful a zombie apocalypse would actually be, with some believing that a viral outbreak would be unstoppable, while others feel it would be easily contained and eradicated. I’m personally in the former camp, but for this one, I’m splitting the difference. The outbreak happens, but we’re able to contain it to a single continent, specifically our smallest populace one, Australia. The place is crawling with the undead and effectively a no man’s land; any living human presence remaining is unknown. Politics and international sensitivities have heretofore stopped any nation from just bombing it to oblivion, so it is simply quarantined and off limits. That is, until the president’s daughter’s plane crash lands into the heart of Zombieland, and the only man able to get her out is a crack team of currently incarcerated bad asses willing to risk the mission in exchange for their freedom. I know there’s a zombie dingo ate my baby joke in there somewhere.

3: Wereshark! – (Jaws meets The Fly)


Specifically, we’re dealing with the 80’s remake of The Fly, about one man’s gradual transformation into a hybrid human insect. A man on vacation in Hawaii is attacked by a shark while surfing, but manages to escape with only minor injuries. At first those around him are amazed by his survival, until some of the locals notice the pattern of the bite suggests a specific type of legendary shark that we later learn is able to infect humans and transform them into more of their kind. Surviving a second attempt on his life, this time by a Hawaiian shaman who warns him obliquely of the coming danger, he returns to the states, only to find himself gradually becoming a cannibalistic predator. His teeth become sharper, retracting back to normal when not feeding, and he smells blood from a mile away. When in the water, he moves like an Olympian and eventually grows retractable gills, but can’t get the urge to kill out of his mind. I imagine that much like real shark attacks, it ends with the final girl punching him in the face and scaring him away.

4: The Manor – (The Shining meets Clerks)


Sometimes the easiest way to play this game is just to take the setting from one movie and the character types from another and see what happens. A rage-aholic in a convenience store, even a haunted one, seems a little stupid, so for this, I went in the other direction. A haunted hotel, or large manor house of some kind, is left vacant by its mysteriously unseen owners, left in the care of a twenty something man with little in the way of goals or prospects. The ghosts begin to show themselves, trying their hardest to drive their new tenant insane and ultimately get him to kill himself so his ghost will join their chorus. The twist – our main character is the prototypical 90’s apathetic shlub, caring so little for his duties that he is effectively immune to their tactics. He has no passion or vice to exploit, and has so little investment in what is happening around him that he doesn’t even notice the horror surrounding him. I see it as playing out a lot like one of my favorite Clive Barker short stories, The Yattering And Jack, where eventually the supernatural forces go insane, and the human wins out, in this case without even trying.

5: Big Baby – (Misery meets Jack)


That’s Jack the Robin Williams movie about the man with the mind of a child, and of course Misery, the Cathy Bates movie about a disturbed older woman who keeps a man captive and tortures him. So far, this is the movie I think I actually might try to come up with an outline for and maybe write it, mostly because it highlights one of my biggest fears. Something that always freaks me out in movies is when a person is transformed against their will into something else, their identity and form taken from them, and then they are driven insane to the point where they accept their new lot in life. Like when you go into the crazy guy’s basement and meet his Dogslave, a guy with a canine snout sewed onto his nose-less face, whose been conditioned through years of abuse to act like an animal.


My idea here, a man goes to a prostitute, only to find the old woman he meets at the door does not match the picture of the young lady online. She knocks him out before he can leave, and when he wakes up, he’s tied down in a giant adult sized crib. The woman reveals herself to be insane, with an unrequited maternal instinct that compels her to turn grown men into her babies, pulling out their teeth, breaking their fingers and stitching mittens onto their hands, hobbling them at the Achilles tendon so they must crawl everywhere, and force feeding them laxatives and medications to remove their bladder control. We follow the man as he tries multiple times to escape his plight, only to be re-captured and punished each time, until finally we cut to months later, where he has finally acquiesced to his new life, with a final shocking moment of him being breast fed by the old lady and falling asleep in her arms.
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