The screenplay for Sleepwalkers has never been published. There's nothing peculiar about that; the only King screenplays that HAVE been published are Silver Bullet, his Tales from the Darkside episode ("Sorry, Right Number") a segment from Cat's Eye ("The General"), and Storm of the Century. I don't think I forgot anything.
If you're anything like me, you think this is a shame. The ones that did get published are all very readable; whatever you think of them AS screenplays, they tend to be more readable than your average screenplay. King's writing voice and sense of humor come through loud and clear.
Before I began this series of posts (the first two segments of which can be found here and here), I knew I was going to read the screenplay. A fellow collector sent it to me a couple of years ago, and I'd been intended to read it; this seemed like the perfect excuse. And I also knew that I wanted to write about it.
What I wasn't sure about was whether I should write about it. After all, this IS a piece of unpublished fiction; so an argument could be made that I shouldn't even have a copy of it, much less put proof of it out into the world. Would Stephen King want me NOT to review it?
If you're me, you ask yourself questions like that sometimes.
Obviously, I decided to go ahead with it. Would King approve? Eh ... probably not. But I figure Uncle Steve has better things to do than worry about some fatso in Alabama expressing his enthusiasm in blog-post format.
The case I'd make FOR it goes like this. For one thing, I think it's instructive -- rarely (if ever) necessary, mind you, but certainly instructive -- to read a movie's screenplay in order to better understand the movie. For another thing, screenplays tend to be very commonly traded among film enthusiasts; they are not always super easy to find, but this IS a different thing than a manuscript of a short story or novel that has never been published.
What decided me, however, is that there are places where the screenplay is being sold.
Now, say what you will about enthusiasts sharing the screenplay among themselves for the simple pleasure of the reading. That's one thing.
Attempting to profit off the work is another thing entirely. But in researching the issue, I found for-sale copies of the same draft of the Sleepwalkers screenplay that I was sent; their price ranged from $20 to in excess of $100. These were not in uncommon places, either; they were in the types of places one would be most likely to think of if looking for something like that online.
When I saw that, I thought, well, if THAT sort of thing is being allowed, then I doubt me simply talking about having read it is going to cross anyone's eyes. It's not like I'm posting the screenplay for others to read. And it can be a public-service announcement of sorts: there's really no need to give some fuckhole $100 for a bootlegged copy of this screenplay. Just make a friend in a screenplay community, and you'll almost certainly be able to get it for free eventually.
The draft we will be considering is the sixth draft, dated March 20, 1991. As far as I know, none of the previous drafts have ever leaked into the world; I know that Rocky Wood, in his book Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished, says that an initial draft was titled Tania's Suitor. I also do not know if this was the final shooting draft; there may well have been further drafts, since the finished film does have some differences.
But since this is what we know, this is what we will review.
The reason to compare screenplay to film, in my eyes, is pretty simple: to gain insight into some of the creative choices that went into the finished product. There have been cases where the "final" screenplay would not be particularly final at all; a director can make huge changes, actors' performances can change the meaning of scenes, and the editing process can radically change the writer's intent.
So: is King's screenplay for Sleepwalkers a radically different animal that demonstrates director Mick Garris ruined and distorted his original vision.
Nope, this is essentially the movie you know and love/hate/endure/ignore. There ARE some significant and highly interesting differences, though; by the time I finished reading it I was -- even apart from the sheer enjoyment of the reading -- very glad I had decided to do so.
What we'll do in examining it is a two-part process. The first part will be a simple bullet-pointing of some of the notes I made as I read the screenplay. I won't be noting every difference; that would require a lot more devotion than I've got (since there are minuscule changes on virtually every page). But I'll be detailing everything that interested me, and there's a good bit of that.
Then, once that's done, I'm going to port over an altered version of a thing I've been doing over at Where No Blog Has Gone Before with my reviews of Star Trek original-series episodes. See, back in the sixties and seventies, author James Blish wrote a dozen or so books that novelized all of the episodes. He wrote them based on drafts of the teleplays, and this often resulted in interesting differences. So I've been doing a section for each episode that covers the Blish short-story adaptations, and the end of that segment -- which I call Blishful Thinking (I happily accept your thunderous applause) -- has involved me dumping all the unused screencaps of the episode, and captioning them with bits of Blish's prose that I enjoyed.
I still had a LOT of unused screencaps from Sleepwalkers, so it occurred to me that I could do the same thing here: just dump them all into the end of this post, and supplement them with bits of King's screenplay that I enjoyed. I don't think that crosses any ethical boundaries. If it does, let me know!
So let's get cracking. Here are some of the things that struck me while reading the screenplay:
- The entire scene involving the two Bodega Bay policemen going into the vacated Brodie house is missing. In the press interviews we looked at in part 2, Garris mentions having occasionally asked King for changes to help thing; King would make these changes and fax them over, usually by the next day. The implication seemed to be that this would occasionally involve creating new scenes, so my assumption is that this is what happened here. As written by King, the point of the opening scene seemed to be reveal all the dead cats, and then cut away to the rest of the movie. Garris must have felt that insufficient, so he asked for the scene to be extended. So I assume, at least.
- King described the scene of the dead cats as being "a B. Kliban nightmare." I had to Google Kliban, who turns out to have been a cartoonist who drew (according to his New York Times obituary) "zany cats."
- The screenplay itself calls for the song "Sleepwalk" to be used.
- The, um, climax of the first incest scene is a good deal more graphic,and includes "the sounds of love-making." From that, we cut to the oven in the kitchen, where Mary's dinner is still cooking. "We are looking through the glass window. Inside, the chicken is glowing brightly beneath the rosy heating coils. Hot trickles of juice sizzle down the bird's taut skin. Faint cries of passion reach a crescendo. The oven-timer's buzzer goes off with a long, hoarse cry." Gross. I love it! I wonder if this stuff was filmed, only to be censored out by either Columbia or the MPAA. Neither would surprise me, but it would also not surprise me if Garris simply opted not to film it under the assumption that it would never get into the movie.
- [Sidebar: in transcribing bits of the screenplay, I am not necessarily being faithful in replicating some of the formatting. Proper screenplay format involves CAPITALIZING certain words so as to help with ... uh ... well, to help with something, I'm sure. So in the foregoing passage, the phrases "HEATING COILS" and "FAINT CRIES OF PASSION REACH A CRESCENDO" are actually typed like that. But for our purposes, I find that to be both distracting and unnecessary, so I'm just typing things the regular way. Just wanted to mention it!]
- At the movie theatre, it's Stephen King's Misery that is playing.
- Instead of Tanya un-self-consciously dancing, we get a scene of her trying to successfully sweep popcorn into a bag; she keeps having it dribble over the side. I can, as a theatre employee, attest that this can be an issue. This is why you never try to sweep and then dump the sweepings into a loose bag; you should always endeavor to dump the sweepings into a bag that has been rigidly loaded into a trash can, and then go from there. Anyways, the dancing scene is WAY better.
- Charles goes behind the counter with Tanya, and he does so by vaulting over it, not unlike how he gets into his car. The first time it happens, she doesn't see it; neither do we, and the emphasis is on how he got back there. The second time, she sees him do it; and later, she will ask if he was on the gymnastics team. You might recall from her yearbook entry that she herself was on the gymnastics team; and she explains to Charles that she isn't anymore due to a wrist injury. I think I like that all of this was omitted, but I do also kind of like it.
- "Am I beautiful again?" Mary asks Charles after he gets home from the theatre. Given that they screwed earlier in the day, I take this question to be related to that activity, and I take it that way so as to be able to make the following assumption: their human appearance must be tied to their frequency of feeding. Neither the film nor the screenplay spells this out, but it seems reasonable. For one thing, bear in mind that Mary is seen cooking regular human food on several occasions; I doubt she is doing this so as to maintain their cover. More likely, she is doing it for actual sustenance. If so, the "feeding" she refers to in relation to Tanya must be of another sort. It seems reasonable to assume that without that sort of feeding, they could begin to age in appearance. If so, would feeding then cause the appearance to become more youthful again? Interesting ideas that the movie does not follow up on, because King did not prompt it to do so.
- Sidebar: how does Mary and Charles' continuous migration around the country(/world?) work from a financial standpoint? They were just in Bodega Bay, California, right? And now -- at an indeterminate point of time later, though possibly quite soon (given that it seems to be the case that Charles is still pumping the essence of the last virgin he consumed into Mary) -- they are in Travis, Indiana. So ... how did they afford that? Did they already have the house in Travis bought, so that when they fled Bodega Bay they could go straight to Indiana and not have to worry about such things? Where does the money come from? Understand, I don't need to know the answers to these questions; but I'd kind of like to.
- I assumed it was spelled "Fallowes," but it is in fact "Fallows."
- The bit where Fallows smacks the guy's hand with a ruler isnot in the screenplay; the bit where Jeanette mimes fellatio is.
- Charles vaulting into his car "like a stock car driver" is in the screenplay. I just assumed this was something Brian Krause improvised. (It's this that causes Tanya to ask about gymnastics.)
- The bit involving Tanya trying to get her panties away so Charles can't see them plays differently. They fall and land on his shoe before she is finally able to kick them under the dresser.
- When Mrs. Robertson comes barging into the bedroom, Tanya and Charles seem to be on the verge of leaning in for a kiss. Unless I missed it, the movie does not play it that way at all; they are just sort of standing there, so there's really nothing for them to be sheepish about.
- Similarly, when Charles is trying to remember the name of the place they are going the next day -- "Homeland" -- the screenplay makes it clear that Tanya is mortified. This, presumably, is because she knows her mother knows Homeland is a makeout place. Presumably THAT is because her mother once used it in that manner herself. The movie makes it seem more as if Tanya is un-self-conscious about it, but her mother knows anyways and is kind of forcing herself not to say anything about it. That's how I took it, at least.
- [I went back just now and looked at both of the scenes I just mentioned, and you totally CAN see the intent of the screenplay in both cases; it's just really subtle, and not emphasized by the performances. I think it works either way; this is an interesting couple of examples of what a director and actors bring to the table in interpreting a screenplay.]
- While Mrs. Robertson is interrogating Charles about gravestone rubbings, there is an additional bit of dialogue that really ought to have been kept in. In the movie, when asked if he finds charcoal sticks hard, he just says something about the powder method being too messy. But in the screenplay, he says, "Yeah, but I'm clumsy. My mom uses powder-and-brush and even on a windy day she walks away without a speck on her. But I always look like I rolled around in a fireplace." That's way better! Not only does it sound true (which is interesting), but you know damn well it would make Mrs. Robertson that much more accepting of Charles, which is what he's after.
- As Charles is leaving, there is a completely nonsensical addition to the scene in which Tanya suddenly realizes it's weird that Charles knew where she lives. she asks him how he knew, and he says he asked her friend Jeanette at lunch. Now, this is silly for two different reasons. For one thing, it's not only an obvious lie, but it's an incredibly dangerous one to Charles; no way he'd think that Tanya would not immediately call her friend and find out it's a lie. At that point, his obtaining her virginal essence becomes more difficult by a factor of ten. But apart from that, it's dumb because there is almost no chance that Tanya would not proactively give him directions as they were driving. It's not like he showed up unbidden; she was with him! Have you EVER been given a ride home by somebody who doesn't know where you live and then just sit there assuming they'd find it? In the pre-GPS days, I mean? Probably not, and if you did, you're a fucking weirdo. So presumably Garris read this and said, "Steve, this doesn't make any sense, I'm going to cut it." To which Steve said, "Can't say I blame you, Mick, do what you gotta do."
- After Charles drives off, Mrs. Robertson tells Tanya that he is "a stone fox." I mean, she's not wrong. I kind of wish that had been in the movie.
- As he's driving home, Charles in the screenplay is listening not to "It's a Monster" by Extreme (which I like both as a bit of hair metal AND as an amusing song choice for Charles) but to "Roadrunner" by Bo Diddley. I can kind of see why they went with Extreme, but "Roadrunner" would have been really good. Might have been even better for the chase scene.
- The moment in which Charles unhands Fallows plays differently. In the first post I wrote about the movie, I noted that Fallows' line about money not being the only medium of exchange rang some bells; was that a sex thing? I wondered. Well, King implies that that is what's going on. "Mr. Fallows has reached down through the window. We can't see exactly what he's doing, but then, we don't really need to, do we?" I checked the movie again, and what happens is this: Fallows delivers the line, reaches into the car and sort of pushes Charles in the chest, and then does indeed snake his hand down out of sight for a second. Charles grabs his arm. This is all in a single shot. It MIGHT be that the intent was to later film an insert of Fallows groping Charles, but the screenplay doesn't call for it. I wonder how many people have seen the movie and not really gotten that anything like that is going on here? Probably a lot. I think they ought to have leaned into it a bit more.
- The screenplay, interestingly, does not call for Charles to "morph" into a more animalistic form during this scene. He does later, the Homeland sequence; but not here.
- The screenplay is very vague in terms of what happens while Fallows is running away from Charles; it basically just says "He chases Fallows into the corn" (corn?!?) and then there is some violence. This is not uncommon with action scenes.
- As Charles is driving away from this, he's now listening to "Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon. "We hear Charles singing along," King writes, "and he sounds good -- eerily good -- on the aaaa-ROOOO parts." Too bad this didn't make it into the movie. Little old lady got mutilated late last night; werewolves of London again!
- The next time we see Charles he is playing "Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent, but I'm not linking to a song by that guy. (Even though it's a good song and would have been cool in this movie.)
- The weird baby-talk that Andy is doing with Clovis is straight out of the screenplay. So is the use of "The Rodeo Song"!
- Throughout the screenplay, when Andy or anyone else is talking to Laurie over the police radio system, she never says "over." She always says "bye" instead. What's up with that?
- I made kind of a big deal in my first Sleepwalkers post about Castle Rock being set in Indiana for this film. Well, as I was reading the screenplay, a thought occurred to me: it COULD just be a different town named Castle Rock (and a different county named Castle County). I mean, duh, right? Well, King's screenplay makes that increasingly less likely, because it mentions two things not mentioned in the movie: the Mellow Tiger bar and Sheriff Alan Pangborn himself. Neither are ever included in the events apart from just being mentioned, but this makes the use of Castle Rock SO MUCH MORE problematic. What the fuck, Steve? This really makes no sense.
- There's an entire subplot about Ira, the sheriff, being a recovering alcoholic. Ira asks Andy to go check out the bars so he doesn't have to, so as to find out whether there were any patrons who seem like they could be the mysterious vanished speedster. There are several more brief scenes that reference this later on, including Captain Soames purposefully giving Ira shit about it. The only bit of this that survived into the movie is when Ira tells Soames he thinks he just felt a cold draft and Soames asks if he could use one. So that's not just a weirdly aggressive pun; it's intended to be part of a subplot! I wouldn't be surprised if some of this was filmed but cut for time to keep the movie below ninety minutes.
- The screenplay makes it clear that while Tanya is in their house, he's worried Mary might just kill Tanya herself. That comes across in the movie, but reading it here made me wonder ... why doesn't Mary? I mean really, this is the perfect situation: drain that girl dry and go on ahead and move to another town. Why NOT? I suppose I can rationalize it by saying that since these are kind of catlike creatures and cats like to play with their prey, that's what is happening. Sure, fine.
- The screenplay sort of implies that just like Charles has weird faces beneath his human face, so does his car. This will obviously cause one to think of both From a Buick 8 and "Mile 81."
- In Homeland, Charles jokingly -- although not-so-jokingly, in fact -- delivers the "They're coming to get you, Barbara" line from Night of the Living Dead. Oh, man, why take THAT out?!?
- There's a bit where Tanya asks Charles for a Coke from the picnic bag, and h replies in French, "S'il vous plaint, mademoiselle." She answers him, "Je vous remercie milles fois, mon tres gentil monsieur." Charles then quotes a bit of Baudelaire at her, and she can't follow that, so he translates it for her: "I am like the king of a rainy country," he says, "rich but powerless, young yet very old." This is obviously charged with extra meaning, and it REALLY ought to have been kept in.
- Well, we're in the Homeland sequence, and one of my big questions in previous posts was whether King's screenplay would shed any light on Garris's approach to filming the sequence. What I'll say is this: Garris more or less did exactly what King asked for, tonally. King makes it a bit clearer that Charles is fighting his natural impulses, but personally, I think the switch gets flipped much too quickly. I also really -- and I mean REALLY -- don't understand why King decides to turn this into a comedy. Reading the screenplay really drives it home that that decision was 100% his, and not Garris's. You can carp with the manner in which Garris did it, but doing it to begin with absolutely was Stephen King's decision. And, again, I don't quite get it. Has he ever done that with one of his novels? Or even one of his short stories? (I guess you could argue "Slade" or "The Blue Air Compressor," but beyond that...?) This is a man who built a cataclysmically successful career out of taking his stories seriously. The raw material for doing that with this movie was all there; he just ... didn't. Seems like a shame to me; even though I have developed an appreciation for the film that is, the disappointment over the film that isn't remains present as well.
- I also wondered previously if the moment where Tanya decides to go back and see if Charles is okay would work in the screenplay. It sure doesn't in the film. And ... it's not one bit better in the screenplay, I am sorry to say. This is clearly one of those things King did just because it's the kind of bullshit thing people do in low-rent horror movies.
- I hate Charles' line about his mother being mad about ruining his shirt, and it is SO much worse in the screenplay. "Just look at this shirt!" he cries. "Not even Tide will get these stubborn stains out!"
- King actually includes some of the lyrics to "The Rodeo Song" in the screenplay. HE transcribes the line as "He's a one-ball man," whereas I had been hearing it as "one-balled man." But listening to it again now -- both the movie version and the original Showdown version -- I think it probably IS "one-ball." I believe this may be "ball" in the verb usage, as in "to ball," as in "to throw a fuck at one." So Johnny being a "one-ball" man is perhaps an impugning of his sexual stamina. [I've had this song stuck in my head for, like, six days now, by the way.]
- King spells "allemande" as "alamand." For clarity's sake, I believe that in this song, "allemande" is being used in the square-dancing sense of the word. So is Johnny incapable of executing a proper allemande, and is therefore ruining the square-dance for every other participant? Is this taking place at a rodeo? How does his sexual stamina enter into the story? I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS. Anyways, it's spelled "allemande." But I don't fault King for this too much, especially since he, at one point, gives "license" the British spelling ("licence"). I am going to assume this is because he had the excellent and severely underrated James Bond film Licence to Kill on his mind.
- All of the cameo stuff involving King, Hooper, and Barker is missing from the screenplay. I wonder if it was written later, at Garris's request? It might even have been more or less improvised on the set, although that seems less likely to me.
- After Charles staggers home, gravely wounded, a furious Mary slams her fist right through the refrigerator in a moment designed to show off (to the audience) her incredible strength.
- Captain Soames makes his entrance a bit earlier. In the film, you first see him when he comes in the back door, but in the screenplay he arrives on the scene and has some not-too-friendly banter with Ira. I am again betting that this stuff was filmed but cut to limit the runtime. I wish it had been left in, but that's probably more due to wanting more Ron Perlman than to anything else.
- The screenplay includes a scene of animal control officers showing up to try to deal with the dozens of cats hanging around the Brady house.
- The screenplay includes a pretty good little scene of Mary telling a near-death Charles that she is going to bring Tanya to him, and that regardless of what happens Tanya WILL die.
- In the movie, when Mrs. Robertson gives Horace the last piece of corn, she kind of bobbles it and almost drops it onto the floor. This is not in the screenplay, so I suspect that it was a near-accident that happened on the set but stayed in the film. This sort of thing happens with movies all the time; happy accidents are one of the great joys of cinema. This little bit of Sleepwalkers is by no means on the list of all-time-great happy film accidents (if it was accidental at all), but I like it. It makes the moment feel more real.
- When the "dim" Mary is making her way out to kill the state police officers, she is whistling "Sleepwalk." They hear it but have no idea where the sound is coming from. Her bashing their heads together is much more violent; "blood spatters everywhere," specifies King. Too bad it wasn't that way in the movie!
- Now HERE'S an interesting change: when Horace fires his weapon at Mary, he hits her ... several times. And some of the other cops hit her later. This in the film is one of the weirdest and least effective scenes; it seems like Horace is firing with his eyes closed, he's such a poor shot. In the screenplay, there's no real indication that Horace is intended to be a buffoon, so I think we can blame this one either on the casting or on Garris's direction. Or both.
- The screenplay includes a brief bit that I like involving a woman sitting on her front poch with her cat in her lap; as Clovis and the gang of cats go running down the street, this cat leaps up and runs to go join them.
- There's a scene in which Ira intuits that Mary must be headed back home with Tanya, which explains how and why he shows up there. He also tells Laurie to "have Pangborn meet me on Wicker" at the Brady house. This never happens; I guess Alan couldn't get there in time!
- The screenplay makes it clear that Charles is NOT in fact dead. But he's about as close as a critter can get, and it seems to be only the contact with a human that begins bringing him back. The rest of the dance (and Tanya's gouging out his other eye) plays out the same as in the film. However, in the screenplay, Charles -- who is shot by Ira but more or less unfazed by it -- trundles his way outside. Both he AND Mary are attacked by the cats, all while "Sleepwalk" continues to play: "Charles battles on until he reaches Mary and one by one throws off the marauding cats. And at last he takes Mary in his arms, the two of them ancient destroyed creatures, burning alive on the pyre of their own bodies. Slowly, like tallow, they begin to melt and fuse together. And together they howl their final note, a long, ululating cry that is as old as their race on earth. It echoes and fades with the only dignity this cursed kind knows." For my money, this is vastly better than the as-filmed version.
- Oh, and Ira lives! In the movie he is flung onto a picket fence and presumably dies.
- "Let them sleep together," says Tanya. "Forever."
Alright, so there you have it. I think the screenplay is superior to the film in some ways, but I'd say the movie has the virtues of its performers, especially Alice Krige. Mary is, in her hands, a more interesting character by far than what there is on the page; and I think the same is probably true of both Charles and Tanya, as well.
So let's call it a split decision. I do think that Garris handled much of the screenplay capably. It's just not that great a screenplay, sad to say. I enjoyed reading it, and would recommend it to any King fan; but it's clear that this was a lesser King work even on the page. Garris failed to fix that, but I'd argue that in some respects he did elevate it; without his casting (and directing) of Krige, this could have been about 50% less good a movie than it ended up being.
Let's now turn our attention to all those leftover screencaps I threatened you with earlier. I will supplement some of them with text from King's screenplay, and I might have a few things of my own to say, too; it'll be easy to tell which is which.
|"A beautiful community nestled against high cliffs rising from the bright blue Pacific; Norman Rockwell, west coast style."|
|"In the" [foreground] "are six uniformed policemen -- State cops, town cops, and a hefty sheriff in a gray shirt with sweat-stained armpits."|
|"The good-looking kid lying back on the bed in his shorts is Charles. About 18. A studious, earnest face with just enough edge to be interesting. He actually might write poetry and play football. A face adults could trust and girls get dreamy over.|
|BRYANT: Hmm...! I thought I remembered the yearbook specifying she had been a gymnast! Maybe that's what it says to the left of "Cheer Leader"; hard to tell.|
|"A cat carefully moves through very high grass, as if seeking something . . . hunting. Then the cat stops, head cocked to one side."|
|"Mary Brady stands at the window, behind the curtain, as if hiding from the stalking cat, watching it intently. Mary is pretty in a kind, sweet way. She might -- conceivably -- be as much as forty but she looks younger, quite a bit younger."|
|"Now Mary and Charles both look like they're birdwatching . . . holding their collective breath. Mary tenses with excited anticipation."|
|"Charles bows theatrically. But Mary takes a last look out the window and turns away. A frisson shivers her body."|
|"Well he certainly likes this."|
|"Another cat sits on the sidewalk, washing itself, its dry pebbly little tongue smoothing its fur."|
|BRYANT: I can't quiiiite read the sign on the window; it says something about "PLEASE DO NOT PARK AT" but after that, I can't tell. Is it a sign asking people not to park on the curb, like Tanya's father does later?|
|"He manages to look soulful, lonely and cool all at the same time."|
|"Once inside, Mary turns into Charles' arms and smiles playfully. Even in a chenile bathrobe, Mary manages to look pretty sexy. Anticipating something, like a child when Daddy gets home from work."|
|"The class listens with interest. Tanya seems almost passionately involved in the story."|
|"Mr. Fallows joins in, but he has a strange, knowing look and his smile is slightly cruel."|
|"Crawford, a student who looks like he's maybe majoring in Smoking Area, tries to take advantage of this diversion to pass Jeanette a note. Mr. Fallows sees this. His eyes are sharp, and he sees almost everything."|
|"Only Fallows is here now. He's the one looking out through the venetian blinds, and that cruel expression on his face is more pronounced now."|
|BRYANT: This weird moment of a teacher dragging a student along by the ear is not in the screenplay. In my mind, this is the teacher's son, and the teacher is angry at him for even attempting to grow a mustache as good as his own.|
|"Tanya walks with Carrie and Jeanette, the two girls near her in Mr. Fallows' class. Carrie and Jeanette chatter in stunned disbelief."|
|"Charles nods, a smile of genuine gratitude at his lips. There's a moment when it almost feels as if he should kiss her.|
|Instead, Charles swings open the door to the Trans-Am. Faced with the reality of her decision to let him drive her home, Tanya hesitates for a second."|
|"Meanwhile, Charles has been checking out the locale. It's pretty deserted. This is probably not such great news for Mr. Fallows.|
|Fallows, meantime, is getting all turned on. Puffing and blowing like Ferdinand the Bull."|
|"All at once, Charles makes a move -- a sudden quick jerk.|
|We can't see what he does, but Mr. Fallows screams.|
|Blood sprays up on the inside of the Trans-Am's windshield.|
|Mr. Fallows pulls backward. His right hand has disappeared. There is a spouting stump where it used to be.|
|Charles remains as cool as cucumber slices on crushed ice."|
|"Andy is speaking to the cat in the high-pitched, goo-goo-ga-ga voice so many single people seem to use with their pets when they're alone. That voice gives us an image of Andy before we even see him: an effete nutcase."|
|"Charles is flying over the two-lane blacktop." "That atavistic part of him is still in charge."|
|"Charles grins and pops his middle finger at Andy. Then his eyes shift a little...|
|...and suddenly his grin falters.|
|It's Clovis. He's still in the back seat and staring hard at Charles with green, knowing eyes. He lays back his ears and hisses!"|
|"Charles is changing.|
|He begins to look like what all Sleepwalkers look like in reality.|
|But whatever the awful face might be, right now it's worse because it is neither that face nor his human mask.|
|He is caught somewhere in between, a sort of Francis Bacon world of agonized metamorphosis.|
|This enraged apparition roars across at Clovis.|
|An awful inhuman sound, as unfocused as the face."|
|"It begins to happen to the Trans-Am, what happened to Charles' face when he saw Clovis. It's beginning to dissolve, to ratchet back and forth between one reality and another and finally it begins to fade and Charles too."|
|"The road ahead is empty. And where Charles' Trans-Am should be parked on the shoulder of the road by the trees, there's nothing. Nothing at all. And there's nothing ahead but a stright stretch of two-lane blacktop a mile and" [a] "half long."|
|"Andy looks right at the Trans-Am. And sees nothing. He shakes his head in disbelief. But there in the back seat of the Cruiser, Clovis looks out at the Trans-Am and Charles.|
|A warped monochromatic view of the car and Charles, flickering between a Twilight Zone state of human and sleepwalker.|
|Charles stares stright at Clovis, his face disfigured with hate and fear.|
|He gowls to himself: 'Stop looking at me you fucking cat! Stop looking at me!' He opens his mouth. A wordless sound comes out in a hiss.|
|Clovis hisses right back at Charles."|
|"Clovis still stares at the invisible Trans-Am right behind the Cruiser.|
|He lays his ears back and hisses."|
|"Three people surround Andy. There's Laurie the Dispatcher. Odd to find that officious voice belonging to an attractive woman in her thirties. She wears a uniform because she likes it . . . not because she has to."|
|"Mary Brady is waiting. In a negligee, hair down in a soft cascade, an air of warm anticipation, she never looked lovelier."|
|"Mary embraces him again. He tries to break free but without conviction now. Gradually she soothes him, calms him . . . as she always has."|
|"One long fluid move across the bed, as the room is partly lit by the Kirlian glow of Sleepwalker mating. We see their feet, then slowly travel the length of the bed, gradually revealing the coupled bodies, naked and sheened in light.|
|"Mary and Charles sit on the edge of the bed. She is stitching up his wound with a needle and thread. Several quiet beats; Charles' mind is racing, deep and newly troubled."|
|"She looks at him. Her face says, I'll do whatever I need to do, Charles."|
|"Tanya and Charles are startled; Mary has crept up quietly. Tanya looks at Charles' mother with curiosity: Mary looks back at her with a smiling interest that's a trifle predatory."|
|"Tanya comes in. Mary closes the door between them and the outside world -- the sane world. The house inside seems shadowy. Cold. Dangerous. Unsafe for mortal beings like Tanya."|
|"His eyes widen. He sees Mary taking a pair of long, wickedly sharp scissors from the drawer. Tanya doesn't see it; she's now spotted half a dozen cats in the back yard."|
|"She turns, and her eyes widen with fear as she sees the scissors in Mary's hands. The points are less than two feet from her breast. Mary is still smiling her ferociously charming smile."|
|"This is a beautiful abandoned little country graveyard circled by rock walls long since crumbled and broken. The surrounding woods have overgrown most of the back so there is no way to tell where Homeland ends and the woods begin."|
|"For a moment they look at each other and it seems that something must happen. Instead, Charles grabs a stick of charcoal from his pocket, and when he heads deeper in Homeland, he might almost be running away from her."|
|"Charles kneels by a slate, reading the inscription.|
|He looks up over the gravestone to see Tanya taking photos in the gold afternoon sunlight.|
|He watches her with a mix of emotions:|
|genuine attraction, growing fondness, need and ancient hunger.|
|A plethora of lusts."|
|"A quiet beat. What's Charles going to do? A moment of choice. Then a kiss. Hard to say who moved forward first."|
|"But she's pushed too hard. The ancient desire within Charles overwhelms the loving young man without: Charles' smile has the slightest edge of cruelty."|
|"Tanya rips away. Her eyes wide with fear. She doesn't know what he just did. But she knows she doesn't like it."|
|"Tanya is poised to run... But she doesn't. Even beyond horrified fascination with this bizarre and awful thing is the very human desire to help a fellow creature in pain. She bends over the body... touches him...|
|He sits bolt upright! His face is a hideous mask of blood, but his eyes are wide open. And he's grinning."|
|"He throws her down on the ground, face first. He puts his knee into the small of her back and sets his hands at her neck. He's going to rip her apart to feed."|
|"He swerves over and pulls to a stop right behind the blue Trans-Am."|
|"Tanya appears from out of the trees lining the entrance to the cemetery. Her face is bloody, her clothes in rags and tatters."|
|"Charles leaps from the bushes, howling" [,] "and rushes toward them. His face streams with blood. He carries the sharpened No. 5 charcoal stick in his raised fist. And he buries it in Andy's ear."|
|Dazed and sobbing, Tanya tries to get up. But Charles is right over her. Then, amazingly, Charles offers her his clawed hand. An almost courtly gesture. Shortlived. He grabs her and jerks her upright.|
|'Now... where were we?' His mouth opens hungrily and he begins to lower his face toward hers.|
|A sudden, rising scrowl: The Battle-Cry of Clovis The Attack-Cat. He stands in the car door, fur bushed out, ears laid flat to his skull, eyes blazing."|
|BRYANT: Dig that! Some dude flung a cat at Brian Krause! Actually, I think it was probably a dummy cat, since that's obviously what is happening in the rest of these screencaps.|
|"Eight, ten cats stand sentry in front of the house as Charles' car squeals around the corner, up the driveway and into the open garage.|
|Mary is busy fixing dinner in the kitchen. Once again a mood of quiet domestic bliss. At the sound of a car in the driveway, her eyes light up with happiness and anticipation.|
|She rinses her hands under the tap quickly and grabs a towel to dry them, practically licking her lips."|
|BRYANT: This guy played the murderous bellhop in one of the very best X-Files episodes, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose."|
|"Mary kneels beside him, her face an agonsy of worry, pain and fear."|
|"As she stands by the window she can see the backyard.|
|There are a dozen cats by now. Some traps are sprugn. Most are not. The"[y] "all sit and stare at the house."|
|"Soames looks at a loss and angry to be that way. He's a pompous, opinionated prick."|
|"Tanya lies back in a tub full of warm soapy water. Her hair is pulled up and back. She draws lazy circles in the water with a washcloth, then leaning her head back she closes her eyes and drapes the cloth over her face.|
|Long beat. Then... Tanya isn't alone. A shadow looms over her. She whips the cloth off as Charles bends over the tub toward her, his face a slashed, burned, smoky ruin.|
|BRYANT: Alice Krige + green dress + red lipstick = super hot.|
|"Mrs. Robertson turns toward Tanya's voice. Mary grabs her at the waist and lifts her like a rag-doll."|
|"Horace lies expiring in the pool of his own blood. The phone twists and untwists just above his head. If he could still hear, he would hear Ira's faint filtered voice from the phone."|
|BRYANT: One of those state cops just parks right on the lawn of the house across the street. Right on the dadburn lawn!|
|"Soames takes a step forward and reaches out toward Mary. CAPTAIN SOAMES: 'Put her down...'|
|Mary grabs Soames' outstretched hand.|
|She yanks it into her mouth and bites off three fingers. Soames doesn't even scream for a moment. He just looks at where his fingers used to be, now useless bloody stumps.|
|Then he screams."|
|As she swings around, the" [t]"wo State Cops know what's coming and they dive away from 'the safety' of the cruiser. Mary pumps three rounds into the other Cruiser. FOOM! Fireball."|
|"The Brady House is surrounded by cats. Every cat in Travis and probably a few from Castle Rock. They're everywhere. On the front lawn, in the driveway, on the sidewalk. There are even cats on the roof."|
|BRYANT: I don't know why, exactly, but this white cat fascinates me.|
|"Mary becomes very still. She looks at Charles with dawning comprehension... Then her face closes up. She cannot, will not see."|
|"Tanya cannot move. She's pressed right up next to Charles' face. Almost kissing him.|
|"Tanya battles to get away, but Charles holds her tight. He pulls her close to his ravaged face and inhales. That Kirlian essence begins to flow from Tanya into Charles."|
|" 'Sleepwalk' will end soon; that last guitar whine will come. The room and the old record player begin to shimmer as the old Janus 45 spins out its final aching note. FADE OUT: THE END."|
Well, y'all, that's another post about Sleepwalkers in the can. ONE MORE left, and it will be focused on the music, mainly in the form of a review of the soundtrack CD.
See you then!