SCRIPT

Desert Six-person crew tries to finish before the sun sinks

Desert six-person crew rush remaining shots before the sun sinks.  ©Michael Cartel

 

Runaway Title

 shooting title for "Runaway Nightmare" was "Platinum Bombshell." Name changed on slates two weeks into production.


Shooting title for “Runaway Nightmare” was Platinum Bombshell.” Name changed on slates two weeks into production.

 

Ralph and Jason's business address. Subtle indication that this just might be a dark comedy after all.

Ralph and Jason’s business address.
Not too subtle indication that this just might be a dark comedy after all
.

Runaway Nightmare actually had a shooting script, although often it was used as just a sketch.

Runaway Nightmare actually had a shooting script, although often it was used as just a sketch.

Runaway MJ target startJASON – “That’s just it, it’s too quiet and boring; nothing ever happens out here!”

Addendum to Page 1; revised dialogue; images over titles refers to 16mm I shot at the San Onofre nuke demonstration that was less effective than the desert pan that was used instead.

Addendum to Page 1; revised dialogue; images over titles refers to 16mm I shot at the San Onofre nuke demonstration that was less effective than the desert pan that was used instead.

Two men bury an oblong crate in a shallow grave.

Two men bury an oblong crate in a shallow grave.

Rand and Jason dig up the crate after the men leave.

Ralph and and Jason dig up the crate after the men leave.

Fate is buried unconscious but still alive.

Fate is buried unconscious but still alive.

Much of the dialog when read out loud wasn't acceptable and was re-written on revision notes.

Much of the dialog when read out loud wasn’t acceptable and was re-written on revision notes.

Jason and Ralph gently load Fate into a van to their ranch house.

Jason and Ralph gently load Fate into a van to their ranch house.

Ralph and Jason carry in the buried girl while unknowingly being watched.

Ralph and Jason carry in the buried girl while unknowingly being watched.

a cult member runs past the kitchen window as Jason gets a wet cloth for Fate and feels that he is being watched.

A cult member runs past the kitchen window as Jason gets a wet cloth.


j-and-ralph-look-for-noise-int

p3

Jason tells the women that Fate was on the bed only a moment ago.

Jason tells the women that Fate was on the bed only a moment ago.

Ralph asks Leslie "You mean you didn't plant her? (then who did?)

Ralph asks Leslie “You mean you didn’t plant her?” (then who did?)

P4

The sequence is simplified by putting to use a large wall mirror that captures reactions from a hefty cast in one set-up, avoiding all but Ralph’s necessary reverse medium shot.

Torchy has been away from male companionship for far too long. Torchy has been away from male companionship for far too long. p5

Mari bathroom sharp

Andromeda tells Leslie that Fate is asleep in the bathtub just as she is to execute Ralph.

Andromeda tells Leslie that Fate is asleep in the bathtub just as she is to execute Ralph.

p6

Fate emerges alive just as Ralph is to be executed.

Ralph’s reverse medium shot widens to include Fate emerging (alive but groggy) from the washroom.

p7 Much of the dialog was either eliminated or rewritten when it was rehearsed on the set.

Ralph and Jason think about what's next while probing Pandora for information.

Ralph and Jason think about what’s next while probing silent Pandora for information.

Reverse shot of Pandora in same van several months after Ralph and Jason scene

Reverse shot of Pandora (Kathy Mojas) in same van several months after Ralph/Jason scene.

p8

Ralph and Jason plan an escape now alone with Leslie in the commune.

Ralph and Jason plan an escape now alone with Leslie in the commune.

p9

Before Ralph can get Leslie's gun, several cult members appear from nowhere.

Before Ralph can get Leslie’s gun, several cult members appear from nowhere.

p10

Ralph and Jason surrounded by cult women as leader Hesperia enters

Ralph and Jason surrounded by cult women as leader Hesperia enters.

p11

Ralph confronts Hesperia.

Ralph confronts Hesperia and gets slugged.

p12

Pandora smiles for the first time anticipating the new candidates' initiation.

Pandora smiles for the first time anticipating the new candidates’ initiation.

page 13

Ralph wakes imprisoned with Jason.

Ralph wakes imprisoned with Jason.

Ralph barn In the dungeon, Ralph sees a chance to escape with Jason. page 14

Sadie lets her captives escape so she can hunt them down and discipline them.

Sadie lets her captives escape so she can hunt them down.

Sadie has fun hunting down her prey after letting the men escape.

Sadie captures her prey and will now torture them to death without Hesperia’s approval.

page 15 RN Masey with knife dungeon You shouldn’t open things you don’t know about.

Impromptu shot list

Impromptu shot list

R hot iron page 16 The difference between the script business and the edited scene is considerable. What seems to work on paper is often unacceptable when edited. There were also other considerations during filming since the actress playing Hesperia had disappeared during this sequence, a double had to be used. During post-production, another voice had to dub all of Hesperia’s dialog as well.  Cindy Donlon’s (Hesperia) voice was deep and sensual while the dubbing voice-actress was whiney and unexpressive, no matter how much direction.

Zipper signals the start of the duel.

Zipper signals the start of the duel.

Sadie gunfight new

page 17 RN gunfight wide page 18Quickly breaking down the script on the spot (above)

Sadie out-pulls Hesperia but takes her time befoe shooting.

Sadie out-pulls Hesperia but takes her time befoe shooting.

page 19

Torchy and Masey watch the excitement.

Torchy and Masey watch the excitement.

Hesperia calmly watches the result of the exploding gun she had switched with Sadie.

Hesperia calmly watches the result of the exploding gun she had switched with Sadie.

page 20

"Oh wow man, her head's all gone."

Oh wow man, her head’s all gone.”

Fate casually luxuriates on an apple after Sadie gets her head blown off.

Fate casually luxuriates on an apple after Sadie gets her head blown off.

page 21

Jason gets water-doused by Clio from the cellar ceiling door leading to the commune floor.

Jason gets water-doused by Clio from the cellar ceiling door leading to the commune floor.

page 22 Runaway candle fate R J candles reverse Ralph and Jason are told that they have to endure a series of initiations to join the cult. Jason is eager for the adventure, but Ralph is skeptical. Joining however, is mandatory. page 23

Ralph and Jason go through the first of their ordeals.

Ralph and Jason go through the first of their ordeals.

page 24

Face stabs the deciding vote.

Fate stabs the deciding vote.

Page 27 NOTES to page 27 (pages 25 and 26 deleted)

Ralph and Jason are surprised by a final initiation.

Ralph and Jason are surprised by a final initiation.

Page 28

Hesperia, Leslie and others welcome Ralph and Jason as the only male members of the cult.

Hesperia, Leslie and others welcome Ralph and Jason as the only male members of the cult.

Page 29 The edited scene may have moved faster with cutaways of Ralph looking at images within the commune while the dialog was churning.

Joey tells Jason more than she should in the shadow of the broken plane.

Joey tells Jason more than she should in the shadow of the broken plane.

Page 30

Ralph gets shot just over his head and ordered to work.

Ralph gets shot at over his head and ordered to work.

Page 31 RN Ralph chops wood

Ralph walks past another reminder on the way with Torchy

Ralph walks past another reminder on the way with Torchy.

Page 32 NOTES on Page 32

Ralph hears shower water running as he brushes his teeth. Soon one, then two women appear washing each other.

Ralph hears shower water running as he brushes his teeth. Soon one, then two women appear washing each other.

Two of the commune members mystically appear in the shower as Ralph brushes his teeth. Two of the commune members mystically appear in the shower as Ralph brushes his teeth. Page 33

Ralph finds himself in a Alice-In-Wonderland tea party.

Ralph finds himself in a Alice-In-Wonderland tea party.

Page 34 (page 33 excised) Ralph dinner

Clio is confused with Vampiria is amused as Ralph leaves the dinner table

Clio is confused but Vampiria is amused as Ralph leaves the dinner table.

Page 35 The sequence ends with Ralph jumping from his seat from the burn with rising music as Vampiria smirks with a flash cut to another scene. The result is burlesque and desperately needed to build an ominous, foreshadowy suspence before the fadeout.

Ralph gets threatened again while Jason has another intimate romance.

Ralph gets threatened again while Jason has another intimate romance.

Ralph is stalked by commune member Vampiria, sometimes supernaturally.

Ralph is stalked by commune member Vampiria, sometimes supernaturally.

Page 36 I tried to carry much of the thin dialog with moving scenes, but this rope scene didn’t work on the Movieola, although it was included as part of the fantasy song sequence that isn’t in the script.

What appears to be a romantic scene with Jason in a bedroom turns out to be in the back of a traveling van.

What appears to be a romantic scene with Jason in a bedroom turns out to be in the back of a traveling van.

Page 37

At the tavern, Pepper (l.) becomes angrier at Ralph and Jason when Zero teases her about liking the men.

At the tavern, Pepper (l.) becomes angrier at Ralph and Jason when Zero teases her about liking the men.

Clio bar smile

Bar scene good

Page 38

Ralph gets knocked into a juke box that lights up while reluctantly helping Pepper and Zero escape trouble.

Ralph gets knocked into a juke box that lights up while reluctantly helping Pepper and Zero escape trouble.

Page 39 The sequence of Ralph walking down the long, creepy hallway (not the static reverse shots or inserts) was filmed with Jerry Wolfe sitting in a rolling desk chair holding a camera being pulled by a grip for a dolly effect (because the crab dolly couldn’t fit in the hallway). The result was actually smooth and effective.NOTES for Pages (36 thru 40); Actual edit composes scenes after bar

Ralph opens several doors through the hallway, this time interrupting Jason with two girls in bed.

Ralph opens several doors through the hallway, this time interrupting Jason with two girls in bed.

Page 40 The continuous shot of Ralph waking up tied with his outstretched arms began with a facial close-up and slowly dollied back (as the room brightens from the morning sun) looked very good. However, it slowed the film down and was never included.

To avoid being murdered, Ralph has to watch from every side, but misses danger from straight up.

To avoid being murdered, Ralph has to watch from every side, but misses danger from straight up.

Page 41 The Leslie scene was never shot because it showed Jason as a victim of the cult rather than Ralph.

From the line "Ralph hears a beautiful voice..." begins a musical montage ending with Ralph and Fate together embracing in the night desert.

From the line “Ralph hears a beautiful voice…” begins a musical montage ending with Ralph and Fate together embracing in the night desert.  Skeptical Ralph falls for Fate’s trick.

Page 42

Hesperia decides to invade the warehouse

Hesperia decides to invade the warehouse

In the van, Ralph sits next to Andromeda on the way to the warehouse

In the van, Ralph sits next to Andromeda on the way to the warehouse.

Page 43

Ralph and the gang in a difficult drive to the warehouse.

Ralph and the gang in a difficult drive to the warehouse.

Ralph has to punch the warehouse sky roof open after everything else fails.

Ralph has to punch the warehouse sky roof open after everything else fails.

Page 44

Ralph takes a wrong turn in the dark just as Jason finds the light switch.

Ralph takes a wrong turn in the dark just as Jason finds the light switch.

Page 45

Mazey takes a pot shot at Ralph claiming that she was shooting at a spider.

“I thought I saw a spider,” Mazey tells Ralph after taking a pot shot at his head.

Page 46

Ralph tries to open the priceless suitcase while Pepper stares through him.

Ralph tries to open the priceless suitcase while Pepper stares through him.

Page 47

Cult girls after the warehouse assault, oblivious of their new threat.

Cult girls after the warehouse assault, oblivious of their new threat.

Page 48

The syndicate, from the warehouse assaults the commune.

The syndicate, from the warehouse assaults the commune.

Page 49

Ralph gets shot-gunned by Hesperia to prove the strength of the bullet-proof vest he's wearing.

Ralph gets shot-gunned by Hesperia to prove the strength of the bullet-proof vest he’s wearing.

Page 50

Ralph sees something that may actually extend his life.

Ralph sees something that may actually extend his life.

R sets bomb Ralph connects and sets the time bomb that he had seen when he was at the warehouse earlier. Page 51

Mr. X threatens a very painful ending if Ralph does not tell him where the stolen suitcase is hidden.

“There is no god, nothing can save you now.”

Page 52

The time bomb that Ralph had set is a minute late.

The time bomb that Ralph had set is a minute late.

Page 53

Fate gets Ralph's call and pretends that everyone else has died.

Fate gets Ralph’s call and pretends that everyone else has died.

Page 54NOTES for Pages 54 and 55
fate with gun “This is just where you’re getting off.” Page 55

Fate (Seeska Vandenberg) finally finds her fortune.

Fate (Seeska Vandenberg) finally finds her fortune.

Fate fireJPG
Page 56

Ralph struggles after the explosion to see Jason and the cult girls in the van.

Ralph struggles after the explosion to see Jason and the cult girls in the van.

At the back of the van, the women ask Ralph what's next for them now that Hesperia left them holding the bag. At the back of the van, the women ask Ralph what’s next for them now that Hesperia left them holding the bag.
Page 57

Ralph sees men burin something in the distance.

Ralph sees men burying something in the distance.

As in the beginning, Jason and Ralph are thunderstruck by the contents of a buried treasure.

As in the beginning, Jason and Ralph are thunderstruck by the contents of a buried treasure.

END Final page of the original script. Five different endings were shot before one was accepted.

END
Final page of the original script. Five different endings were shot before one was accepted.

New ending included character freeze-frame developments

New ending included character freeze-frame developments

nuke waste

RN Mike VampireAfter the platonium explosion, Ralph gets contaminated

After the platonium explosion, Ralph gets contaminated

Both Vampiria and Ralph finally get what they've wanted all along. Both Vampiria and Ralph finally get what they’ve wanted all along.

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