Below is my review on our May Amateur Monday winning script. Feel free to join in the discussion on our forums, or in the comments below.
Welcome to our May Amateur Monday Review….on TUESDAY!
(Did everyone else enjoy Memorial Day Weekend?)
So kids are officially off school now, which is nice not having to rush in the mornings, but hard to plan the rest of the day.
Anyway, enough excuses, let’s start bashing The Captain!
1.) Marketability of the Idea
If you know anything about him, Captain Peachfuzz definitely has a certain genre of movies/scripts he gravitates towards.
Gorey. Sexy. Low Budget. Horror.
With the above qualities in mind, he didn’t disappoint with this script either.
My sole concern is I don’t know who makes these movies. He posts trailers and trailers of these extremely low budget movies, straight to demand type things, that I didn’t even know existed. So someone’s making them.
If he targets those producers and distributors, I’m sure he’d find someone willing to read Killing Pond.
2.) Plot Stability
Six college kids go for a swim at a secluded pond for some fun in the sun when two crazy masked killers show up and kill anyone that tries to leave the water.
Straightforward plot that we understand right from the opening pages, where a sexy college co-ed goes for a dip in a pond, only to have her leg stuck in a bear trap. Enter two masked crazies, and shit doesn’t end well for her.
After though I have two main suggestions:
1.) Start the next part off right at the gas station.
2.) Have Jack sacrifice himself by going back into the pond for a bit while Glen, Patricia, and Tory all run for it.
First things first.
By starting off at the gas station we cut out the boring dialogue while driving. These scenes slow down the pace (after such a great start).
NOW, knowing the Captain his first thought will be, “But we lose the nude lesbian scene in the intro!” And we do, but the scene doesn’t add enough to warrant the drive to the pond by both our male and female cast. Not to mention, I know he’s clever enough to replace the missing scene with something similar once we’re at our destination.
(Maybe even flushing out the idea of Tory liking Karen, and Karen toying with her emotions in a sexually cruel fashion.)
Now about Jack.
You might find this surprising, but I liked the banter, and how Jack met his end. The only problem is it came too soon.
Should suggestion one be used, we now have more time for Jack to use the rules against Jackal. Essentially by NOT leaving the pond at all, he’s still playing the game, and if he stays his three “friends” have a chance to escape.
Jackal now has to make a choice. Let the 3 others escape OR leave Jack alone in the pond where he could potentially make a run for one of the cars and call/drive for help.
I like the idea of just how crazy Stalker and Jackal are, BUT again, it’d be clever to turn their own game against them.
Really enjoyed the Karen twist, since even though she was a bitch, she was still the character I had the most attachment to.
My question is, how do they NOT notice her body isn’t floating on the surface anymore? Can they stab her and sink her in some way that she can get free and swim under the dock?
Page 24 – I had a difficult time understanding why so many individual groups came to this abandoned pond. Can there be some benefit for them to see it? (Think urban legend or something.)
Page 34 – Coed from the first scene stepped on glass and a bear trap on the shore, which seemed riddled with them, but then seems rather clean when our six some enters the pond.
Page 53 – Tory goes from shy to serial in less than a page. I like that she turns, but no sooner was she presented with the option to kill than she turns on her friend. Needs to either be some underlying tension between she and Patricia, or her decision needs to result from panic after something significant, say maybe after Dwight dies first instead.
Page 59 – Redneck and his girlfriend show up, and it’s at this point that I wonder just how busy can this pond be without Stalker and Jackal being caught by the locals.
Page 65 – Stalker goes into the woods after Redneck Girlfriend, and the four left in the pond don’t instantly bolt? Instead they are having a discussion about how crazy their situation is. Self preservation needs to kick in.
Page 79 – HOORAY! A meth lab scene just like Hot Pursuit! Congrats, you had the same idea in your script as the story written by those beloved sitcom writers you went on and on about.
Page 91 – Tory wastes time with the cell phones in the car instead of just trying to drive the fuck out of there. You’ve already established she’s going to be the selfish one, so just have her try to flee.
3.) Quality of Characters
Right from page 4, Karen is established as a dick, but for some reason we like her. (Reinforced by the ending.)
Jackal and Stalker are a close second with their banter, not to mention I really enjoyed that they were just “crazy” without giving us a real explanation aside from the game getting them off. (Unexplained crazy in horrors seems underutilized.)
The others were necessary filler, and I wasn’t all too upset when Dwight especially bit it.
Again my suggestion here would be to arrive at the pond earlier, and build better connections between all six victims.
This way when things happen, like Tory’s betrayal, it’s believable and more dramatic.
4.) Dialogue and Description
Description was so gorey, lol.
I didn’t mind it, and it fits the tone The Captain enjoys in the films he watches, so that worked.
The dialogue seemed hit or miss.
On one hand Stalker and Jackal, as I mentioned above, were witty. Even discussions on cereals, past and present, were entertaining.
But anytime Jack, Glen, and Dwight talked, I could feel the yawns coming on, and wished they’d get shot first.
Is there a way to make ALL banter witty?
Sure it might take away from the unique stuff Stalker and Jackal talk about, but the other sets of characters need more than just sex to talk about. Or at least some unique twist on twenty something’s bragging about past conquests.
Page 18 – The girls like to say each others’ names a lot in dialogue. Consider editing that out.
Page 20 – Same thing with the lame “Hi, I’m…” intros, that you try to make fun of by having Dwight say, “That must make me Dwight.” Since you’re going for sexy, have names be an afterthought, and just have them pair up first, and get to what their hormones are driving them to do. (Then work the names in via the cleverness I know is in your head.)
Page 75 – Patricia has a line about Tory doing what she thought was right, but again, it was less than fucking TEN MINUTES! Have SOMEONE reference that fact in something other than a “ho, hum” nonchalant way.
This is actually the third script I’ve read of The Captain’s. That might initially seem unfair, but honestly he’s been around almost as much as yours truly (arguably present more). He was there when we started the amateur review site so many years ago, and continues to chime in via his self appointed threads, Your Film Sucks, Lonkey’s Awesome Recommends and Trailer Trash. (All of which have over 4,000 views!)
With that out of the way, this formatting is fine, even enjoyed the mini-slugs he put in when switching from things like onshore and in the pond.
109 pages that read quickly, and the only typo I noticed is not capitalizing “God” when saying, “Oh my.”
6.) What I liked…
That a story called The Killing Pond took place almost entirely at a pond. (Cheap to make!)
7.) What needs work…
Skipping directly to said pond, and establishing better character connections.
Rating: One decent rewrite away from being ready…
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