Monday, November 01, 2010

777 The Formula

777 The Formula

Oh, good. Halloween's over and we're all still here. If you turned in any of half a dozen cable movie channels during the month of October, you'd figure that the monsters and the evil old men killed off all the young people -- including any kid big enough and old enough to walk, and now are devouring the earth, merrily destroying "houses, farms and fields," to quote Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans." Oh. Add cities to that. Mustn't forget the cities.

But all of these pictures follow pretty much the same formula or recipe. And if you want to make one, here's what you will need.


--an evil older man or an evil older couple that either routinely scares the neighborhood to death or routinely plays the kindly couple that invites kids and small animals in for cocoa and cookies but secretly have evil intentions.

--a monster or evil spirit.

--gallons of fake blood.

--a harried but handsome police chief or sheriff.

--some small kids.

--a bevy of girls or girls and boys, tanned, toned, scantily costumed and who screamed convincingly during their auditions on the casting couch. It helps if it's a multi-racial group. (More box office appeal.)

--a bucolic setting with either plenty of fields and woods or a pristine cityscape with hidden scary alleyways. The potential for darkness is important.

--ominous music.

So you open with the bucolic scene. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining. The little kid is playing in the yard or on the street while his older sister and her boy and girlfriends are chatting nearby.

From here, you have a few different ways to go. Use the kindly/evil couple with the ominous music, or the monster or evil spirit. The music will let the audience know what's coming.

Now, the kid has either to vanish or be the only human in the scene to see the evil spirit or seem to get a funny vibe from the couple. He screams. This gets the attention of the tanned, toned covey. He disappear. They call the police guy and he starts to search as darkness falls. They trail after him scouring either the once-bucolic woods or the potentially scary alleyways.

Bring on the blood as at least one of them trips and falls. Here's where the screaming comes in. And the scantily clad-ness.

The cop gives up the search for the night while the covey continues to hunt. The old guy shows up with a knife or an axe and sends them screaming. Eventually, someone -- probably not the cop -- traps the old guy or figures out a way to ward off the monster. But before this happens, lots of cleavage closeups, more running and some allegedly and apparently accidental touching of one another by the screamers.

Make sure you roll the ending credits so fast no one can read them. The cast and crew will be able to get slides for their resumes if they wish, or deny having anything to do with the picture -- if THAT's what they wish.

Put this stuff to use and you'll make a fortune -- by next Halloween.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions (and my formulas) are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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