Friday, 13 June 2014

The Deathcheater - A Men's Adventure tribute that somehow goes into script form halfway through

Commander Frank Glider was sick, sick of the way of life that he had been hopelessly peddling as what he believed was a worthy occupation for almost twenty-five years. He was approaching fifty, hair dyed platinum blonde to hide the almost identically coloured silver  grey hue beneath. He was a walking contradiction. His legs were fat even though his chest was incredibly chisled. His skin was saggy yet muscled and bronzed with a tan earned from travelling around the world, or at least travelling around Western Europe. He was a stuntman, not the kind of stuntman who worked on films, even though he began his career crashing cars into the Wicklow glens for an Irish television soap opera and had done the odd assistant job on a few motion pictures including "Sea Of Terrors", a co-production between Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy. The plot synopsis was,  "In 1942, a British ocean liner named Triumphant gets blasted by U-boats and floats into the Bermuda triangle. The elderly Captain, Johnson, an American gambler named Chuck, a  young suffragette, Emily Peirce, an eccentric scientist named Professor Balfe, his young assistants Maria and Harald (a Jewish girl and a Hitler Youth reject), an elderly Shelley Winters-alike Jewish lady named Martha Phelps and an Oxbridge-type Simon Hurst leave in a lifeboat to find land. On the way, they encounter large plesiosaurs that eat Harald, and eventually enter a time-warp where they meet two aliens, the cold, callous, emotionless Viktor and the more sympathetic Rune, who are kidnapping humans using the Triangle to repopulate their planet. Balfe, trying to fiddle with the transportation device ends up sending all the collected humans on the Alien World back to Earth to their own time, but destroys the Alien World. Viktor gets into a rage, and shoots Professor Balfe. Hurst speaks up and rebels against him, and is killed by Viktor. Rune, meanwhile introduces Captain Johnson to the alien Zoo. Meanwhile, Emily Peirce and Chuck free a pirate named Long Fred West, whose buccaneering ways prove too much for the aliens. Chuck decides to escape, but is killed by a giant squid. However, Balfe wakes up and ends up finding a Viking ship. Together with Maria and Martha who he develops a love interest with, as well as a tag-along orphan named Wash who is the son of Long Fred, they sail on the ship out of the Triangle, only to find the force field. Balfe finds a wrecked spacecraft and among it, a broken turn-off button for the force-field. Meanwhile, the Captain, Rune and Emily Peirce manage to find a batch of frozen sailors, but are stopped by Viktor. Rune and the Captain combine to become a living bomb to stop Viktor, and they create a surge allowing  the button to work. This allows Peirce to return to the ship, while the Viking boat arrives with the other survivors on board." It was not great. It actually did star Shelley Winters as Martha, in a reprise of her role in "The Poseidon Adventure", except she did not die. It also starred Trevor Howard as the Captain, with Christopher Plummer as Long Fred West, James Mason as Balfe and a young Canadian actor, the unfortunately named Eldred Buttock as Chuck. Eldred had gone missing while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Glider was supposed to train him, and since that fateful event, had felt immense guilt. He felt blame for the death of that promising young actor, even though no body was ever found.

However, Glider was not a film star. He was a daredevil, the kind who took Evel Knievel as a model and then ran with it to the ultimate extreme. He was a pilot, a cyclist, a driver, a boat captain, a juggler, a skier, a swimmer, and sometimes a lounge singer and even a drag act. But the latter was a long time ago, when he had just left school, and had moved from his native Irish village of Buttevant, Co. Cork. He was in England, and the only job that he could find was wearing a mouldy flock-acrylic ginger-blonde beehive wig, long sharp earrings that resembled mirrored daggers and glittery frock. He was acting as "Norma", a stooge to an uncouth woman from Manchester by the name of Muriel Crabbe, who worked as a not exactly hilarious comedienne. However, he had since moved back to Ireland, after twenty years of travelling the world, diving into pits of flame, skiing on broken ice and other death-defying stunts. He had broken every limb at least five times, had four hundred stitches and had lost seven of his toes, and two fingers on his left hand. However, he was now on hard times. He was now reduced to touring around Ireland, around schools and supermarket openings. He often performed at village fetes and sports day ceremonies, in small towns with names like "Ballynook" and "Kilcleer". He currently had in his pocket an outline for a film that was being co-produced by the same Italian production company who had helped fund "Sea Of Terrors".

The idea for the film was a cross between the films "The Cassandra Crossing" (1976) and 1965's "Von Ryan's Express". It was called ExtroGen: Alien Nazi Death Train. The plot was: "An alien spaceship crashes at a World War Two POW (prisoner of war) camp. The alien is killed, but it spirit lives on in a Nazi guard who finds it who boards a train full of allied POWs coming from France. One of the soldiers, the American Frank removes the Nazi's gas mask, after a British POW, Carson opens fire on the Nazi. It turns out that the Nazi's face is deformed due to the alien virus which escapes. Frank takes control of the train and steers it back to the camp, when he notices that the alien ship has detonated and the camp is in ruins. There, he meets a young woman of the name Jane Morgan who has been sent to stop the alien, a lethal being, the last of his kind, looking for revenge, as he comes from a future in which humans punish criminals by sending them back in time. Jane reveals that she is immune to the disease as she is an android, a robot in the likeness of the daughter of a prominent Chancellor. The alien Extrogen virus spreads, killing and then leaving the dead body to infect someone else, especially when the train passes into France where they are captured by Nazis, who become infected and plan to use the disease to spread among the Jews. The Nazis and Jews  get into a battle, thus some are possessed, and those possessed enter a train, but must all be killed. So Frank, a British Colonel, the French Resistance and Jane plot a way of leading the train to a rickety bridge, killing everyone on board."

Glider found the idea a bit naff, but knew that it would lead him back into the spotlight of the international film industry. However, to save costs, instead of being made in Germany, the film was being produced in the small Eastern European country of Rostovia, whose Communist leaders had introduced attractive tax shelters to increase film production. Glider was unimpressed. He thought that it  was a load of loosely-connected cobblers rushed off to form something that kind of almost resembled a script. He was going to turn it down. He knew that Rostovia was a dangerous place to make a film in. Ethnic Rostovian rebels, descended from 5th Century Mongol settlers wanted to break away from the mainly European Rostovian population, and plotted to create their own republic, to be entitled the Democratic Republic of Tarmistan, in the Lugash Mountains, north of the Rostovian capital, Fraunkencaz. They were about to commence production and a group of production design assistants were at the state film studios, on the edge of the Lugash Mountains, when just as Glider got the script, Tarmistani commandos who were trying to set up the Democratic Republic of Tarmistan. The production assistants holed up in the studios, using props they had found in the archives as weapons. They were marooned for three days, until members of the Royal Rostov Guard arrived in helicopters, smuggling the trapped crew from the studios. However, the now empty studios was destroyed three days later when commandos struck back, and the Rostovian Civil War begun. Glider needed a new job.

One day, a mysterious gentleman of German extraction, tall, pale and elderly turned up at the door of Glider's maisonette in Donnybrook,Co. Dublin, dressed in a tweed coat and bow tie.

"I need your help." said the German, before shooting Glider with a tranquilliser gun.

He suddenly woke up in a corridor.


We see a long grey CORRIDOR, empty and dirty. Stretches of the linoleum floor are emblazoned with dirt, semen, God knows what, any type of dubious liquid. It looks as if it is possibly the seediest, dirtiest hospital that you have ever seen. We see COMMANDER GLIDER, seen only from the back. He is dressed in a beige COLUMBO-type trench coat emblazoned and dirtied with blood, sweat and mud. His hair is covered with a trilby hat. He is somewhere over forty. He walks quietly down the seemingly empty CORRIDOR. Suddenly, a door slides out of nowhere on the left side. The first ASSASSIN, "YELLOW PERIL", a tall, pale Asian man, greasy black hair, scars on both cheeks, dressed in a yellow sou'wester rain-coat pops out of nowhere, wielding a saw-blade, a flying guillotine. COMMANDER GLIDER walks past him, and then trips him up. YELLOW PERIL drops the guillotine, and then drops himself, his head bisected as it touches the fallen guillotine. COMMANDER GLIDER just ignores him, and thn we see the next ASSASSIN, "BLACK NARCISSUS", a short, fat figure dressed in a black KU KLAX KLAN outfit. GLIDER pulls out a cheap, squirty children's water pistol, the sort that contains less water than a starving child in Africa, and that costs 50p. It creates a puddle on the floor. NARCISSUS slips on it and falls down, snapping his neck, and his mask falling off.

CLOSE-UP - On NARCISSUS' unmasked head, on the floor, bleeding. He has green skin, and is seemingly already rotting.

CUT - COMMANDER GLIDER walks along, still no sight of his face. Standing ahead of him, we see the final ASSASSIN, "WHITE LIGHTNING", a fat, middle-aged, unhealthy, pathetic looking man dressed in a white leotard with a stripe of yellow lightning cutting through the white cloth. He wields a bottle of WHITE WINE.  COMMANDER GLIDER grabs the wine, smashes the bottle on "WHITE LIGHTNING"'s head, and then forces the little left in the bottle that isn't spilling out, down his neck. WHITE LIGHTNING collapses, and he hits the floor, his head explodes, just explodes, like a pumpkin filled with dynamite. Guts are all over the now almost entirely red TRENCH COAT. COMMANDER GLIDER rips it off to reveal a pristine, ludicrous green, white and orange IRISH FLAG on foil print jumpsuit with flared trousers, a zip at the front and the words "COMM. FRANK GLIDER, DAREDEVIL" written on the back in glitter. He takes off his trilby to reveal a shock of dyed platinum blond hair. He struts down the CORRIDOR, proud and confident, and opens the door at the end.


CUT - We see GLIDER burst through the door and enter a busy, dated room, a kind of amusement arcade-cum-low rent bingo hall and casino. OLD LADIES in twinset and pearls and cardigans of various sizes and colours are playing fruit machines while their husbands in scratchy uncomfortable suits play 1980s-era arcade video games. GLIDER looks crestfallen and surprised. He has an expression on his face, the sort that reads, "Am I in the wrong place?"

At the centre, there is the MISTRESS,  a seven foot tall drag queen in pierrot make up and giant knife-shaped earrings, ginger hair in a huge beehive. GLIDER looks harshly at this unique creature.

MISTRESS (camp English)
Hello, lovey!

GLIDER pulls the tranquilliser syringe out of his leg and throws it at the MISTRESS, a ninja-star slides out of the syringe and bisects the head of the MISTRESS, revealing the shrunken head of a young man beneath, that of ELDRED BUTTOCK. GLIDER looks confused.

THE GERMAN (rising out of a cake)
Mission complete!

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