“I’ve written and seen too many vampire movies to think this is really Fade to Black,” I wrote after Iowa. “And, in any case, there’s a sequel coming right up: The New Hampshire Primary: This Time, It’s Personal.”
She’s ba-ack! And right on schedule.
The more I follow politics, the more I realize that the bigfeet reporters, pundits and opiners aren’t really journalists any more. Instead, they’re more like sportswriters, blithely predicting the outcome of the World Series during the first week of April. They can bloviate to their hearts’ content and are never held responsible for anything they say. Do you think Chris Matthews really gives a rat’s patootie about foreign policy? No more than Tony Kornheiser does.
But even more, the Washington press corps, with its emphasis on story lines, twists and turns, surprise developments, and “the narrative” is starting to look and sound more and more like –
Screenwriters and TV show runners. Us.
You remember us — the guys on strike? The guys who tell stories for a living? The guys who are losing their houses to Sumner Redstone and Rupert Murdoch and Jeff Zucker?
Here we are, on our knees, sucking wind, and counting down the days to foreclosure, and along come these putzim trying to horn in on our business. Maureen Dowd’s been trying to write dialogue for years — Mo, honey, give it up — and the only context Frank Rich understands is show tunes.
So here comes Hillary again, as big and as ugly as life, as most of us knew deep-down she would be. Not for any intrinsic political reasons — after all, show me somebody who actually likes her and I’ll show you Terry McAuliffe — but for the sheer “drama” of it. Maybe Neal Gabler was right after all, in his book Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality.
Now, I may be on strike, but there’s nothing to prevent me and rest of my tribe here in Hollywood from writing what we call “spec scripts,” scripts we write for free and hope to sell someday, if Murdoch & Co. ever see fit to throw us a frickin’ bone, as Dr. Evil would say. While the dry cleaners, auto dealers, restaurant workers, cell phone stores and escort services slowly go out of business around us, we writers can still be found at the Kings Road Café on Beverly, tapping away at our Vaios and pretending we’re actually doing something.
Like this, which I’m tentatively titling Nosferatu 2: The Morning After the Night of the Return of the Living Undead:
INT. SPOOKY ANTEBELLUM PLANTATION HOUSE — PARLOR — MORNING
It looks like the Mother of All Benders happened here last night. Furniture knocked over, portraits (Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Robert Byrd, D.W. Griffith) on the walls knocked askew, confetti and funny hats. Ladies’ bras and men’s undershorts hang from the divans. Then we notice –
In the middle of the floor, the apparently dead BODY of a woman. There’s a STAKE lying next to her, but it doesn’t look like it’s been used. Yet.
Suddenly, the front door opens and a biracial couple waltzes in, giddy and very much in love: let’s call them BARRY (Keanu Reeves) and MANDY G (Sandra Bernhard). As Barry spies the body –
Never mind about her. She’s dead.
You sure about that?
Dude, like have a beer and chill.
As Mandy G bustles about, tidying up the place, pocking the loose change, Barry glances nervously at the dead body. Was that a breath he just saw?
Um, Mandy G, I’ve got a bad feeling about this…
Mandy G looks over her shoulder coquettishly and smiles.
As she does, we notice that the body is moving. She’s getting up off the floor!
Barry’s back is to her, so he doesn’t notice. And as the corpse rises, we see at once that it’s HILLARY THE NOSFERATU, whom we saw finished off at the conclusion of our first movie.
A weird cackling fills the air. Nostrils flaring, his senses on red alert, Barry turns.
He rushes for the stake and is about to drive it through Hillary’s heart when –
The cackles turn to sobs. The hair grows blonder. Nine hundred years’ worth of wrinkles melt away, and suddenly Hillary has been transformed from a crazed, power-mad witch into a demure schoolgirl whose dog just got run over by Karl Rove.
Boo hoo hoo. Boo frickin’ hoo…
Barry is poised to strike, but he’s helpless in the face of her awesome Ewig-Weibliche power. His hands drop to his sides; the stake slips from his grasp.
POW! Struck from behind, Barry is knocked to his knees. He turns to see Mandy G standing over him, a fireplace poker in her hand, as the weird, unearthly CACKLING begins again.
Mandy G, I never thought –
Hillary and Mandy G exchange triumphant smiles…
Right. You never thought.
She clobbers him again. The two women walk out the door, leaving Barry stunned and bloody on the floor. Hillary is holding aloft the stake.
Ha ha ha ha!
As the cackling reaches a FEVER PITCH –
The door closes. Night falls. The wind begins to howl.
Yeah, it needs work. But you get my point. Just keep telling yourself: it’s only a movie.
Except, of course, it’s not.
— David Kahane is a nom de cyber for a writer in Hollywood. “David Kahane” is borrowed from a screenwriter character in The Player.