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Coming Attractions

by Matt Benoit

Lately, I’ve been thinking about writing a movie script. And not just a script for any old movie, mind you, but for the big, expensive kind that feature constant explosions and attractive women’s breasts getting fully exposed at least twice.

I think I want to make this kind of movie because, as a child, almost all of my “artistic” (and I use this term very, very loosely) drawings looked like story boards for Jerry Bruckheimer or Roland Emmerich films—there was always some sort of massive disaster occurring.

Volcanoes erupted, tornadoes ravaged landscapes, boats sank, planes exploded, and countless people were either being crushed by falling debris or just plummeting directly to their deaths.

I was so innocent back then.

Anyway, the script I have just begun writing is tentatively titled “Sunburn: The Movie,” and is a horror/sci-fi/action-adventure-thriller in which the sun rises one clear summer morning and never goes away, leaving innocent, attractive, scantily-clad people to be slowly burned to death by the constantly-oppressive sunlight (the cast of “Jersey Shore” will be the first to die. I promise).

And with all this ultraviolet light, suntan lotion will become the world’s most precious commodity, and the desperation for it will lead to much bribing, violence, war, and people who look a lot like lobsters. The promotional tagline for the film—whispered by Haley Joel Osment during a very frightening moment—will be “I see red people.”

Even with all this, however, I do worry about how my script will be received by interested studios, using the standard Hollywood criteria for success:

1) Will it gross at least $250 million?

2) Can we get Angelina Jolie to star in it? How about Scarlett Johansson? Megan Fox?

3) Can we find some sort of coherent plot thread to milk a sequel (or two or three or…see “Saw franchise”) out of it?

4) Answer to 3 regarding “coherent plot thread” unnecessary if answer to any criteria in question 2 is “yes.”

And what about the critics, you might ask?

Well, they are merely educated people stating their opinions, which can differ greatly. For example, while one critic may say a film he saw was “a putrid crap pile of a motion picture,” another may write that the very same movie was “a putrid crap pile of a motion picture, but did have Scarlett Johansson in it.”

I however, believe the viewing public holds the most important opinion, so I’ll let you judge the script for yourself with this exciting sneak preview:

NARRATOR (who will definitely be Morgan Freeman): In Ancient Egypt, they worshipped the sun. Today…we fear it…

Camera zooms out from the blazing sun to reveal a city of dead people who look as though they’ve all fallen asleep in tanning beds. John Denver’s “Sunshine on my Shoulders” plays eerily through loudspeakers outside a deserted city mall.

Our two main characters find themselves searching desperately for survivors.

SUNNY BURNSIDE (played by Angelina Jolie): My god, what horror…

BERNIE EASLEY (played by Conan O’ Brien): Yeah, this is a real bummer. But on the bright side, I’ll probably be able to get The Tonight Show back now that Jay Leno’s chin has finally melted.

BURNSIDE (feeling immense sadness): Think about it…there are no more children left to adopt…

EASLEY: Yeah, great. Hey, look…now that Brad’s outta the picture…do you think we could maybe…

Suddenly the sunlight begins to encroach, eating away the shade right in front of them. Finding the mall doors locked, Burnside sees a cluster of trees, offering the only shade nearby.

BURNSIDE: Ohmigod! The sun is coming from behind that building! We’ll never make it to that shade in time! Quick, smear this SPF 35,000 all over your pasty white, Irish Catholic body! It’s our only chance!

EASLEY: (smelling contents of bottle): I think this is seagull droppings.

So there you have it.

And I’ve already got more ideas “in the pipe,” as they like to say wherever they like to say that, including an exciting sequel to “The Alamo,” called—get ready for this—“The Alamo 2.” To do away with the depressing reality of what happened at the Alamo, I’d change the genre to make it more of a romantic comedy:

MALE CHARACTER #1: “Santa Ana really kicked our asses back there. So…you wanna have sex?”

FEMALE CHARACTER #1: “Umm…sure.”

And after that, who knows?

If I can finally get in touch with Sylvester Stallone, another “Rocky” flick could be coming to a theater near you. This time, it’ll be “Rocky 65,” where Rocky will fight the nursing home attendants trying to feed him because he can’t remember who they are.


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