Thursday, July 01, 2004

Phase IV

I have to give a shout out to this guy, who gave my blog a nice review over at his blog. His is worth a look as well, an interesting read.

I'm getting a lot of mail about PETER ROTTENTAIL, and I've heard it's selling well. And to think I almost didn't take the rewrite job! The Polonia Brothers mentioned it shortly after I carried some heavy equipment over a rickety old "Indiana Jones" -type bridge while hanging out on the set of AMONG US, and I think my mind wasn't entirely clear, being somewhat paralyzed by fright. I remember telling them I wasn't sure if I could help them with a giant killer rabbit movie but I would look it over.

Soon enough John Polonia's original draft came my way via mail, a real Frankenstein monster fused out of a typed earlier script called PSYCHO CLOWN and some handwritten new pages, then bolted back together. It was a crazy story about a giant rabbit killing people with all kinds of nutty stuff, including pointy carrots. I still wasn't sure what I could do but thought I would give it a try.

I think I'm pretty good with characters and dialogue, so I built up the relationship between the two leads, the relatively straight-laced James and his slacker cousin Lenny, and hung all the killings on an incident at a bad birthday party years before (and we've all had those, or been to them). I think the truth is that if you make real characters viewers can care about you can put them in any sort of bizarre situation and people will go along for the ride. And that appears to have been proved out here, as people seem to like the two main characters quite a bit in PETER (helped quite a lot by their charismatic performances, I think).

Then I laced it with a lot of raunchy humor that I figured I could blame on John Polonia if people got offended, but I ended up with solo writing credit, so I have nobody to blame but myself.

I think the first scene that was shot was when Peter rises from the grave after a couple of teenagers, in typical fashion, read out of an evil book. I remember Mark Polonia called me that night and said they were a little worried about how it would turn out, and I answered, "Why are you guys telling me, you THOUGHT UP the freaking thing!" But the ball really got rolling the next time they shot and I think they immediately felt better.

And I think it turned out quite funny, if not downright bizarre, with some good performances. If you check it out, give me a yell at

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