Halloween is a day of celebration, a day of joy, a day of boosting Nestle’s profit margins and reinforcing their belief (shaped entirely by consumer behaviour) that it’s fine to exploit child labour and destroy rainforests so long as it’s far enough away and the chocolate tastes good. On this day, everyone has the right to get spooked – and spooked hard! No matter who you are or where you’re from, you deserve to snuggle down on the couch with a loved one and watch a movie so scary (not Scary Movie) it causes voluntary anal prolapse.
For Movie Quibble, Halloween is also a time of mourning, and not just because of my earlier discovery that a taping of The Fly 2, from the channel Movies 4 Men, has only been partially recorded. But I digest. This scariest of holidays serves as a painful reminder of the dozens of failed Horror spec scripts which I have submitted to major Hollywood studios over years past, all of which have been firmly – often violently – rejected. Below are just a few…OK, many of the films that would have been successful All Hallow’s Eve hits if the execs had been paying any attention to my screenplays instead of their numerous out of court settlements. There’s a horror movie for everyone floating in the murky waters below, so get bobbing! That’s an apple metaphor.
The Full Moon-ty – Five unemployed football-loving blokes from Wolverhampton go dogging to escape the dull and depressing reality of living on the dole. On one fateful night when the moon is full, they receive a vicious dogging by a hound from hell! When they awake in hospital, and after they recover from the initial embarrassment of being found bloody and naked in the bushes in a community which condemns homosexuality, they discover that they have been bestowed professional-standard dancing skills! They use these newfound abilities to form an all male dancing troupe. But when the next full moon rolls around, they are transformed…into, you guessed it: Were-Wolverhampton Wanderers FC!
Honey I Drank the Kids – Crazy scientist and serially irresponsible father Rick Moranis puts his family in grave danger (as in danger of going to the grave, if that’s unclear) by accidentally transfusing his DNA with that of Dracula’s. Will he drain his own children’s blood to slake his ancient thirst , or will he see sense and go for the elderly and disabled like any rational person would? The stakes are high, and the author is higher still! Possibly on oxycontin, but who can say for sure?
Mr & Mrs Smith 2: Blood is Thicker Than Holy Water – On the anniversary of their wedding Mr and Mrs Smith renew their vows – which is a bit awkward for the film’s divorced stars – and then, after a modest reception, hunt down the vampires who’ve overrun the San Fernando valley. When the world’s top contract killers meet the world’s oldest blood spillers, anything can happen! In a shocking twist, one of them gets infected with Vampirism, the first symptom of which is an unrelenting ‘coffin fit’.
Hannibal Lectern – Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hob-Nobs) is accepts tenure at the University of Leeds. His subject? The Culinary Arts. He lectures his students on a range of topics, extolling the wonders of ‘exotic dining’, his thinly veiled code for cannibalism. He also shows them how to eat out on a budget – but his techniques are not so much Dine n’ Dash as they are Dine n’ Slash! At the end of semester two he’s sacked because, inevitably, he eats one of his students with a side of Tesco everyday value baked beans. #Austerity #StudentLiving
The Job – Deeply disturbing Dystopian horror in which a man has to get up earlier than he’d like to in order to get to a place where he is forced to toil relentlessly – with only thirty minutes of rest, plus a tea break – or else risk losing his place in the labour camp. If that happens, he wouldn’t be able to afford as expensive food as he normally eats or buy new video game titles and thus be forced to download them illegally or wait a year then go to CeX.
Shorter by the Dozen (Inches) – In this raucous revisiting of the beloved Cheaper by the Dozen series, Lorraine Baker’s (Hilary Duff) jaded lover turns up at the Bakers’ lakeside cabin to reduce by a foot the heights of Lorraine and each of her family members. He also cuts off their feet for good measure. Hilary Duff is henceforth known as Hilary Duffel Bag, because her dismembered body parts fit into one.
Pacific Grimm – Pacific Rim spin-off set in the Ye Olde England of Fairytale and Folklore. Idris Elba inside a Giant-Mecha-Robot fighting witches, forest nymphs, talking goats, willo-the-wisps, banshees, trolls, plague victims, and the Muffin Man? Yes, please!
“Today we are cancelling the Ale-pie-calypse!”*
*In those days a lack of ale pies was a primary indicator of the impending rapture.
Pirates of the Carob Bean – Rebooty of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise/Disneyland ride in which yoga-practising pirates ransack a fleet of merchant ships carrying a cargo of fruit pods harvested from the carob tree in order to corner the market in chocolate-alternative candy bars and flapjack snacks.
Nightmare for Elms, No matter What Street they Live On! – Freddy Kreuger develops a sexual obsession for the elm tree (Latin: Ulmacae). Using his phallic-knife fingers he etches all manner of crude messages into their barks, usually detailing the sordid things he’s done with former romantic partners. Neither the deciduous nor semi-deciduous variants of the elm tree are safe from his haphazard slashing! Co-starring Ulmacae Thurman.
Nightmare On Elmo’s Street: Open (Wound) Sesame – Big Bird, the Cookie Monster, and Elmo teach young children the ABCs…of DEATH! When their dreams are invaded by a creepy man with cutlery instead of hands, they must help each other to stay awake by learning complex nursery rhymes and playing Pat-a-Cake. They tried to play Pat-a-Cookie first, but the Cookie Monster – oh, fuck my life.
A Farewell to Elms – Ernest He(l)mingway’s long lost pulp noir novel about a monster who chops down elm trees in their sleep, adapted for the big screen. Answers the eternal question: Do Ent-droids Dream of Elm-lectric Sheep?
No Countree for Old Elms – An ageing Elm tree finds a stash of contraband seeds at the scene of a gardening-related shooting and must flee for his life from an escaped lunatic woodpecker. Written and directed by the Cone brothers.
Van Helmsing! – Hugh Jackedman chops down fucking vampire elm trees! Throw another stick on the barbie, mate!
(S)Elma, Alabama – Martin Lumber King Jnr — No. Stop writing.
Cabin N’ the Hoods – A group of ethnic-minority schoolmates decide to spend the night in a mysterious log cabin that has suddenly erected itself in the heart of South Central LA. To their horror, they find it’s home to a maniac killer who tries to knock them all off simultaneously because they’re ALL African American, which totally screws with the unsavoury ‘black guy dies first’ trope. Worse than that though, it’s also the early beginnings of gentrification in their neighbourhood! “What’s next”, they say, “an Olive Garden?”. Alternative title: Friday the 13th Amendment. Because of the horror film Friday the 13th, and also the Ava DuVernay documentary about institutionalised racism, 13th. Do you see what I d…
The Groundhog Day After Tomorrow – A man who plays the lead role in a stage play version of Groundhog Day (and therefore has to repeat pretending to live the same day forever, two to three times a day depending on if there’s a matinee) has his life controlled by puppeteers who ensure that his day to day existence is as repetitive as possible, spending trillions to that end.
He loses his mind and becomes convinced he’s trapped in the same time loop as Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day, and starts committing atrocious and unspeakable acts which the original film didn’t dwell on but which we all know Bull Murray did, even if she has since retracted the statement after receiving a large payout sum…whoops, what was I talking about again? “It’s The Truman Show meets Groundhog Day meets the televised Trials of O.J Simpson”, was how I pitched it in meetings.
Aus-strangle-ya Day – On Halloween Australia’s population strangle one another to death so that there will be no crimes for the rest of the calendar year, somehow. NOT a rip-off of the Purge. Call that a purge? I’LL SHOW YOU A PURGE! Kang-Kong, a kangaroo of gigantic proportions, saves the day at the very end by disembowelling the white settlers, setting the natives free to go drink lager and watch Sky Sports in WalkAbout, just as their ancestors did.
Mission LimbPossible – Tom Cruise joins forces with Limb Cutter to prevent deviant Harvey Weinstein from signing a deal locking Tom Cruise into yet another ten year contract with a fake wife. Weinstein is desperate to hide the reality that Tom Cruise is the second highest-grossing gay leading man in Hollywood, coming just after Dwayne’s Rock Hard Johnson. Limb Cutter cuts off all of Weinstein’s limbs, and also the W of his surname, quipping: “Try buying your way out of this one, Einstein”.
ScLIMBdler’s List: A German cousin of Limb Cutter named Limb Gutter tries to stop the Nazis from using recently uncovered voodoo magic to reanimate dismembered segments of Jewish people’s anatomies, which he does by cutting off the Germans’ limbs. Like those of Himmler, who becomes No-Limbsler. Admittedly, probably the worst idea and name for a film that anyone has ever had.
Limbless in Seat-attle: The same plot as the movie Sleepless in Seattle starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Except nobody has limbs because Limb Cutter has cut them all off and put them in a burlap sack, meaning they all have to sit down on seats.
All the President’s Limbs – Teddy Freewheelin’ Roosevelt has his polio-riddled limbs replaced with those of the exhumed corpse of Limb Cutter’s presidential protege Abraham Limbcoln who, it turns out, was positively nutty about limbs! He’d cut them off whoever, wherever, whenever! Emancipation? More like Em-amputation! He was real a chip off the ol’ chopping block, was Abe. “Honest Abe”? Hah! “Honestly, Abe, isn’t that enough limb cutting for one day?”, is more like it!
Thanks for reading them words.
Now here’s the greatest 90s hip-hop song ever recorded…as a post-credits tie-in to a horror movie released over Halloween.