I've written a few synopses/treatments in my ime, always with the hope of eventually getting them financed.
Here's one I recently found lurking in my drafts folder, an idea for a Brotosh Horror film in the 'true' stylee.
Let me know what you think of it:
THE RETREAT by D.R. Shimon
For years, the Waterside Retirement Home has existed by the English coast, providing retreat and sanctuary for elderly and/or infirm people from the artistic sector: actors, comedians, musicians, writers, painters, etc. The one thing they have in common is that none of them were ever quite famous enough to make the grade, or their fame elapsed more quickly than they would have liked.
There is just one major problem: no-one ever admitted there ever seems to be officially pronounced dead. Ever.
Music and film impresario John Richmond has recently bought the rights to and released a DVD of a cult film starring obscure late 60s/early 70s singer/actor Pete Grodnels, and has been overwhelmed by a response of thousands of emails asking him where the artist is today. A detailed search reveals that Grodnels’ current whereabouts are unknown, but he was definitely a resident of the Waterside some years ago- as were, as Richmond finds out after further investigation, several other artists whose work he is interested in.
Richmond presses a friend of his in the police, Inspector Dave Boats, to do something: Boats enlists WPC Cressida Murchison, who goes ‘under cover’ and admits herself to the home, disguised as non-existent late 70s/early 80s popstrel-cum-dancer Jennie Julex, now suffering from the after effects of an ME-related exhaustive breakdown. Soon, Cress discovers the Waterside’s hideous secret- the building is in fact alive, and rather than ever physically ‘dying’, the exact opposite happens to the residents- they remain there in perpetuity, becoming part of it, feeding the house. The house eats the souls of those who did not bargain with the Devil to achieve fame and constant immortality (ie Dylan) or who didn’t make a pact for later rediscovery (ie the Stooges), chewing them daily until their physical form has been reduced to mere wisps of etheria.
They can never be given death certificates, but seeing as none but a select group of anoraks will miss them, no-one will make much fuss over their disappearance anyway. The inhabitants are unaware of this at the time they are ‘selected’ for residency: not everyone is accepted, but by the time those that are eventually learn the truth from the proprietor, the mysterious and sinister Dr Thorold, it is too late. They are given a daily pill with their morning tea which depletes their physical existence by making them use the toilet regularly (which is the entrance to a ‘soul filtration system’, if you will) and they cannot leave except to stroll in the grounds. The minute they leave the premises they collapse and are immediately returned: the only way to escape is to fake one’s own death in the gardens and be sent to the nearby morgue.
Cressida befriends another recent admission, actor Alan Marker, but is he all he seems? She must plot her escape, whilst at the same time maintaining secret contact both with Richmond and Boats. Sooner or later, however, Thorold begins to suspect something and the future becomes increasingly uncertain for our heroine.
There is one other alternative: to destroy the building altogether. But as it is joined to a residential street, will this kill innocent people? And how do you destroy something which has existed since before the dawn of time itself, and which maintains by its very existence the balance and equilibrium of fame and obscurity in the world?
There are several possible endings, choose one.
(1) the building is destroyed but as a result it is believed that all the famous people who DID make a Satanic pact will now die. Cressida buys a newspaper, only to see that several famous film stars and musicians have just died of unknown causes in their homes.
(2) (my fave) the building burns down and is destroyed, but all the souls have to go somewhere, so they enter Cressida, who ends up with Multiple Personality Syndrome ala Sally Field in ‘Sybil’ and is incarcerated in the asylum next door (the twist being that the audience don’t know until this point that there was one, and how many other ex-escapees have ended up there?)
(3) the building is destroyed, but so is Cressida, leaving part of her soul intact in the ground so that when new buildings are erected on the site ‘several years later’ she is the new ‘resident’
(4) the building is destroyed but re-appears elsewhere ala DEATH SHIP (very silly idea)
It would be at least advisable that Cressida remain in some form or other, so her voice can sporadically narrate the story. An alternative is that if she dies, the story is narrated by her daughter: she would have discovered her mothers’ notes in Boats’ archives after he agreed to adopt her. However, this would necessitate writing her into the plot to begin with…..
© copyright by D.R. Shimon