melanie anne phillips




Body Parts - Treatment of a Story

 by Melanie Anne Phillips

Any artist's out there want to help me turn this into a graphic novel?

Body Parts

Treatment of "Body Parts"

a screenplay


Melanie Anne Phillips


"Body Parts":

A warm human comedy about a little girl

and a bloody stump.


Key to this production is the understanding that the timber of the picture must be "black comedy" at its finest.  (Note George C. Scot in "Hospital" and David Lynch's "Twin Peaks".)  The mood of the finished film is best described as a cross between "Little House on the Prairie" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".  Indeed, it this very dichotomy of iconoclastic satire and warm human truth that lifts the production beyond being a flash-in-the-pan comedy into a long-lived celebration of the human spirit.

In order for this kind of approach to work, the Characters cannot be aware of the ridiculous nature of their situation.  In other words, the scenes must be played "straight" by the actors, as if they are dealing with a dramatic reality.  But the scenes themselves, by the nature of their content are patently absurd.



A severed arm, trying to stay alive.

An 11 year old runaway street girl looking for the father who abandoned her when she was seven.

An ex-brain surgeon turned Junkie who dropped out of his profession to find himself.

A street lay preacher driven to destroy the arm.

A friendly undertaker (a woman), who aids the arm in its quest.

Dr. Frank Einstein, creator of the serum that brought the arm to life, and villain to the story.

Thumbnail sketch  of the story:

Our hero is a bloody stump:  the severed arm from an auto accident, thrown from the scene by the force of the collision and accidentally brought to life by an experimental serum lost by a modern Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Frank Einstein.  The arm has gained self-awareness and realizes it must rejoin the body or get more serum to survive.

It is joined in its quest to seek out both its host body and the doctor by an 11 year old street child who has run away from an orphanage and an ex-brain surgeon turned junkie.  Together, they traverse the perilous streets and alleys of the crumbling inner city into the thriving heart of the steel and glass metropolis as they struggle to complete their journey before the serum runs out and the arm "dies".

Along the way, they run into many adventures, hindered by a lay preacher who considers the arm an abomination to be destroyed, and a friendly female undertaker who finds in the arm the hope of life after death.

Theme:  Individuality vs. serving as part of a group.

Point of view:  You can maintain your identity and still contribute to the group.



The Arm (Archard):  Seeks maintain its individuality by obtaining more serum, but must decide the moral correctness of keeping itself separate from the body it belongs to.  The arm is afraid of losing it's self-awareness and wrestles with whether its personal needs outweigh the needs of the body as a whole.

The Girl (Anna):  Seeks acceptance by society through reuniting with the father she believes abandoned her.  The Arm wears a ring she remembers from her childhood and wonders if the arm belongs to the body of her father.

The Junkie:  Seeks to avoid rejection by rejecting society first.  Looks for answers totally within himself, trying to be self-sufficient.  Hopes to obtain a supply of serum for himself to create completeness internally.

Elroy Hubub (the Lay Preacher and head of the orphanage where Anna is kept):  Seeks to avoid facing his own fear of aloneness, by destroying the arm which represents a threat to God's plan for living as a flock together.

Ruda Wakening (the Undertaker):  Seeks to protect the arm as a symbol that there is indeed the hope of life after death.

Doctor Frank Einstein:  Seeks to prolong life in stasis, not recognizing that life is a process, not a condition, and can only exist through constant change, even through death to the world beyond.  Wants to withhold serum from the arm and "process" it to prevent word of his atrocities from destroying his career.


An amoral doctor suffers from a progressive leprosy-like disease that slowly rots away parts of the body.  To save himself he has been experimenting beyond the fringe of known medicine.  He has grafted various cadaver parts to his own body to replace disintegrated organs and limbs, but they quickly are rejected by his body.  It is his goal to keep the donor organs alive indefinitely, independent of their association with the body.

On the moral plane, he justifies his actions as being of benefit to society.  He sees his discovery as reducing suffering and prolonging both the quantity and quality of life.  But in reality, he is driven to success by the selfish motivation of helping himself and therefore warps the value of his experiments versus the cost to others.

To this end, he has created a serum that when injected into an organ, gives it a life of its own.  Problem is: the new organs cannot be controlled as they appear to have a mind of their own.  Again, he justifies that it is only a pseudo-intelligence, a glorified shadow of habit that should be eradicated.  But even should he solve THAT problem, they will still succumb to the disease.

As a solution, he intends to create a complete, living human being entirely from rejuvenated parts, ultimately transferring his brain into the disease-proof body.  Unfortunately, it takes many organs to be "processed" in order to create enough serum to rejuvenate even one organ or limb.  Plus, he has met with repeated failure as the organs he has only been able to obtain are from the slaughter house where he works as staff physician, and the animal DNA is too dissimilar to its human counterpart.

So he must find a source of fresh human bodies, both as parts for his creature and as raw material for his serum.

The picture opens in a graveyard in the dead of night.  Through fog, wind, the swirl of leaves and distant lightning and thunder, we move through the headstones toward the sound of picks and shovels.  Creeping around a marble marker we see, silhouetted in a flash of lightning, Dr. Frank Einstein hacks away at the bottom of a pit, while his assistant, Gory, holds a lantern to drive away the eerie darkness.

With sinister deliberation in the ghastly flickering light, Dr. Einstein continues his grisly chore until his pick strikes something hard and metallic.  Wiping the sweat from his brow, he looks up at Gory and asks if he is sure the grave is fresh.  Gory replies that grass had not yet taken root.

Kneeling at the bottom of the hole, the Doctor wipes away the moist soil, exposing a brass nameplate.  "Fluffy".  The Doctor mouths the name, cocking his head at its oddness.  Sinking his fingers into the dirt at the side of the casket, he finds the latch, takes a crowbar from Gory, and puts his muscle into the lever.  The lock snaps with an echoing crack.  Various angles of the cemetery cut on the echoes, the last hitting in unison with a clap of thunder as lightning flickers sinister shadows on the Doctors face.

Leaning down, he pries the creaking lid open and peers inside.  Gory holds the lantern high.  Just then, lightning strikes illuminating a strange furry body.  They both jump back, startled.  Einstein takes the lantern and brings it close to the occupant of the coffin.  It is a dog.

He leaps to his feet.  "You idiot!", he screams at Gory through clenched teeth.  "This is a PET cemetery!"

Lightning illuminates a brass plaque on an ivy covered brick wall, "New Haven Animal Valhalla", as raindrops begin to pepper the polished surface.  Camera cranes up to reveal Doctor Einstein struggling over the wall while Gory hands him the tools.  Gory whines that it was a simple mistake, the two cemeteries are right next to each other.  Einstein slips on the wet brick and falls over to the other side.  Gory scrambles up the viney wall calling to the Doctor, fearing the worst, and peers over the top.  Dr. Einstein has fallen into the outstretched arms of a statue of Jesus above a reflection pool.  The Doctor makes to curse Gory, but the movement is too much for the now-cracked statue and the arms break off, Jesus dumping the Doctor into the fish pond.  Gory ducks back behind the wall, fearing his punishment.  The Doctor's enraged voice yells Gory's name from the other side.

Hard cut to later, as the two ghouls move through the cemetery looking for a fresh mound of dirt, crawling on their hands and knees.  Finally, Gory locates a new one and they begin to dig.  Ultimately, Dr. Einstein has the hole down to the metallic object - finally!  He swings his pick a final blow and the hole erupts like a fire hydrant broken off at the stem.  We hear the Doctor yell, "Gory!" just as Gory notices the sawhorse markers proclaiming the hole as "Sewer Maintenance Project".

Hard cut to a sign "Central Pork: humane animal division" (We divide animals humanely) hanging proudly above the faded letters of an earlier advertisement painted on the wall "Mr. Piggy's Slaughterhouse - Mr. Piggy says, 'Eat Me!'"

Camera cranes down to reveal the thriving slaughterhouse in its night shift, all lit up and humming like a refinery.  A car pulls into a parking space with the placard: "Reserved for: Dr. Frank Einstein - Staff Physician."  Gory opens the trunk and hauls out the lumpy, cloth bag containing the booty from the ghoulish activities.  As Gory struggles with the sack, we see the bumper sticker on the Doctor's Car:  "Replace Lab Animals With Aborted Fetuses".

Still covered in slime, The Doctor walks up to the main gate, Gory dragging the lumpy bag behind him.  The guard, wearing a T-shirt that reads "Meat Never Sleeps" waves them a greeting, comments on their appearance and the lumpy sack, "Wow, Doc!  You been out there hacken' on the produce again or what?".  They move past the pens of edgy animals, the doctor stopping to pet a cow with three legs, the fourth being replaced with a wooden peg leg.  "Don't worry Bossie, you can keep the left one until tomorrow."

He makes his way past the assembly lines of death, animals lined up in chutes, then herded complacently into pens where an air injector gun is placed against their temples, exploding their brains.  The Doctor curls his lips in a satisfied smile at the "pleasant" sound of a "pop!".

Main Title Sequence:  Similar to West Side Story using graffiti as the titles.  In our case, the camera moves past various animals being slaughtered and focuses on walls behind them where the blood splatters, then drips to form the titles.  Shadows of the gruesome hatchet-work play across other walls and equipment, as more titles splatter.  In the background we hear the workers in various conversations matching the shadows of the action including the silhouette of a meat cutter using a power saw on a dead cow, followed by a hideous animal scream and the comment, "Oops, I guess this one wasn't dead yet!"

Director's credit forms in magots on a rotten piece of meat in a pile of discards.

Dr. Einstein and Gory finally arrive at the stairwell leading to the "Boiler Room" and "Dispensary".  The Doctor Swings open the heavy metal door, Gory hurries in behind him, the door swinging shut, hitting him in the rump.  Gory drops the sack which falls onto the stairs scattering its contents all over the steps, as Gory slips, knocks into the Doctor and all of them, Doctor, Gory, and freshly dug up body parts land in a heap at the bottom of the stairs.

We look over the Doctor's lab, all glass tubing, computers, and machinery.  But strapped in between are writhing animals he is experimenting on.  (NOTE: Use the horror of this practice to thematically speak out against Animal Experimentation, but temper it with "sick" humor.  This should make the audience feel guilty at laughing and perhaps aid the movement to end Animal Experimentation).

Dr. Einstein's cat rolls over to greet him (it's rear legs have been removed and it sits on a skateboard, pulling itself along with its front paws.

Gory dumps the bag of hacked off limbs into the sink, and Dr. Frank rushes to process them while they are still "fresh".  He shoves them, one by one, into a hand-cranked meat grinder, the protoplasmic sausage plopping into a bowl.  Einstein pours the contents into his distilling machine and sets the bowl on the table.  While watching the meat move through the tubes, Gory absently runs his hand along the inside of the bowl and licks his fingers.

At the end of the condenser coil, the first drop of glowing, green liquid collects.  It is "Psycho-plasm", a rejuvenating liquid based on brain tissue (medical name, LSDNA).

We dissolve to later as the last drop of serum plops into a nearly full vial.  Anxiously, the Doctor dips his syringe into the substance and injects a brain and spinal cord that is stretched out on the lab bench.  He stands back to watch.  At first, nothing happens and Frank turns away dejectedly, lamenting that he has failed again.

While his back is turned, the spinal cord slowly begins to undulate, like a snake waking up from a nap.  Dr. Frank turns to see it coil and uncoil, stretching itself.  He is ecstatic!  The new serum works!

But just then, the brain/cord goes into convulsions.  It begins to lurch violently across the table, smashing glassware and spilling chemicals.  Einstein and Gory leap forward to subdue it, but the slippery thing escapes, lunging deep into the equipment.  Just as they seem to have it cornered, the two lobes split like a mouth opening, and a hideous scream echoes from the cavity.  Before they can react, the brain/cord spasms into two beakers which shatter, dumping their combined contents into the Bunsen burner.  The mixture goes up in a white hot, almost explosive fire.

Gory catches fire and runs aimlessly around the room screaming.  Dr. Einstein runs for his life and barely manages to make it through the door, slamming it behind him in the face of the ravenous flames.  Inside, the whole lab is incinerated, equipment, animals, everything.  Gory, burned to charcoal, opens two white eyes in his black ash face and peers down at his carbonized flesh.  He peels off a piece, tastes it, then keels over dead.

Einstein runs past the guard to his car.  The perplexed guard has his attention diverted by an explosion and flames from the plant.  Another worker runs from the facility hysterically screaming, "Barbeque!".  The doctor peels out of the parking lot into the heart of the storm.

Hard cut to a lonely stretch of road.  A bus pulls up and deposits a somber-faced man in the pouring rain.  The silhouette of an austere Victorian building is backlit by lightning.  There is a sign on the ratty front grounds.  The man walks up to the sign just as lightning illuminates it - "Burbank Home for Unwanted Children".  The man pulls a tattered photograph from his pocket.  Lightning shows the smiling face of a six-year-old girl, all warmth and love, the man standing next to her, holding her hand.  The faded paper is peppered with raindrops and tears.

Dr. Frank barrels down the slick road in the darkness, his anger at losing everything manifesting itself in his reckless manner.  Suddenly, his headlights illuminate the man standing in the middle of the road.  Einstein tries to avoid him, but it is too late, and his car smashes into the man with a sickening thud.

In fact, the impact is so great, the man's arm is torn from his body.  It is thrown through the air and the fist socks a right hook to the eye of a passing bum (the Junkie) who is knocked unconscious and falls into the trash.  The arm and Junkie fall in such away that one of his arms is buried and the arm looks like his.  The arm is still clutching the photograph.

Inside the orphanage, lightning flashes as the little girl, Anna (now age nine) opens her eyes, then sits bolt upright sensing someone very dear has been hurt.  She hears commotion in the hall and opens the door to see.  A vicious-looking vulture peers at her from the crack.  She gasps, and the door is yanked open pulling her into the hall and face to face with the stern minister, the head of the orphanage, Elroy Hubub.  The vulture sits on his shoulder.  He tells her to go back to bed.  He tells her the commotion does not concern her; her only concern is her holy family of brothers and sisters at the orphanage as nobody in the outside world wants her or she wouldn't be there in the first place.  She is told not to try running away again, she can't get far, they always catch her and the Punishment of Love will be even worse this time; Hubub indicates a hickory switch hanging on the hallway wall.

The door is slammed in her face.  For a moment Anna casts down her eyes, lower lip quivering, but she has developed an inner strength over the years and as soon as she hears Hubub hobble down the stairs, she sneaks across the hall to knock on another door.  Another girl opens the door.  Anna asks her what all the frenzy is about.  The girl says she heard the head matron call 911 and report a car accident.  She tells Anna she better get back to bed, "You remember what happened LAST time!"  The little girl slams her door in compliance with the house rules and Anna scampers back across the hall and runs to the window, peering through the masking rain at the street below.

The doctor examines the man, initially trying to help him, but then stopping as an idea forms.  After a moment's thought, he puts the emergency equipment back in his bag, returns to the car and pulls out the bag of equipment he used at his laboratory.  He opens it up, pulls out a bottle of Psyco-plasm and breaks open a syringe.

Just then, Hubub, vulture, and several staff members arrive on the scene startling the doctor.  He tries to hide the syringe and bottle, thrusting them into his bag.  But the small bottle of the serum falls out of the bag and cracks, rolling across the street, into the alley and up against the severed arm.  The serum leaks onto the arm and seeps into the skin.

Inside the orphanage, the girl comes to a decision, maybe she can get away in all the commotion. "It's now or never!"  She begins tossing her few meager possesions, including a copy of the same picture the man held into a small neckerchief, referring to a ratty picture of Huckleberry Finn on the wall, and looks for a stick to tie it on.  Remembering, she opens her door, tip-runs across the hall and yanks the hickory switch from its mounting.  She ties the neckerchief on it traditional style and slings it over her shoulder.

Back in the alley, the serum has clotted on the crack in the bottle, stopping the leak with the bottle still half full.  At the ragged stump, the blood flow stops and color returns to the fingers.  Off-screen, sirens approach.

The staff is huddled around the doctor as he grudgingly works on the man, but his heart in not in it.  The ambulance a hook and ladder and a police car arrive at the scene.  With the commotion as a background, the front door of the orphanage opens and Anna steps into view.  She glances at the accident scene, then edges her way down the walk and into the shadows.

Reluctantly, the doctor relinquishes his custody of the victim.  Einstein overhears the cop ask a paramedic where they will take him.  The paramedic replies that this is the ******** district so he has to go to ******* General.  The cop says its too bad, he might have had a chance.  Dr. Frank asks the cop what he means and the cop tells him that ******** General has got the worst recovery record in the state.  They have a drive through emergency service.  The staff plays lottos on survival times.  Frank grins and tells the paramedics he feels responsible and wants to accompany the man in case anything happens in route.    Suddenly, the man goes into cardiac arrest.  They charge the difibulator.

In the alley, the fingers on the arm begin to stir.  Visible in the background they jolt the man.  The arm jolts in response.  Cutting between the accident scene and the arm, every time the man is jolted, the arm jolts.

 The girl appears in the street adjoining the alley where the arm is.  The man is jolted one more time.  His heart returns to normal rhthm.  The arm jolts again, its fingers flex open and close and the photograph falls into a small rivulet and floats away down the gutter and into a drain, just as the girl turns the corner.

Anna, drawn by the spectacle in the street moves cautiously forward.  She steps on the arm.  It lurches.  She sees the arm.  The arm sees her.  She screams, the arm spreads its fingers in fear and the two dart for cover in opposite directions.  The arm burrows into te trash, the girl trips over a trash can which dumps on her.  The door of the ambulance slams shut.

Attracted by the sound the arm struggles up through the garbage, raises its hand like the head of a snake and "looks" around.  It sees the man missing the arm, looks down at its own ragged stump, then, with effort, begins to slither toward the man - its "home".  The girl sees this and, fascinated, steps from her refuse hiding place and follows the arm.

As the ambulance screeches off, sirens wailing, the arm struggles frantically toward the end of the alley desperately trying to catch its body.  But the ambulance disappears around a bend leaving the poor arm behind.  The arm stops, aware that it cannot catch its body.  It "weeps" for a moment, sad and dejected.

The girl stands transfixed, then walks forward slowly, coming up next to the arm.  The arm starts at her unexpected presence, but she speaks calmly to it, gently reaches down and pats it on the hand.  Just then, a staff member bursts out of the orphanage and sounds the alarm that Anna has run off.  Hubub storms around the street calling her name.  The Pastor starts toward the alley.  Anna darts for cover, followed by the arm who reads the fear.  The two of them dive into a pile of refuse just as Elroy stops in front of the alley.  She rants and raves and swears that when he catches up with the little trollup she'll wish she had never been born.  Lightning flashes behind her while the girl and the arm huddle together in fear.  Rain falls heavily in a cloud burst and Hubub with a vicious huff retreats to the orphanage.  The arm looks from the Pastor to the girl to its own stump, then turns and burrows under the girl's arm.  Anna lowers her gaze from the space Hubub had occupied to the lonely and helpless arm and encircles it gently.  She strokes the hand and the two of them huddle in the cold rain in the garbage in the alley.  Superimposed over them is an angle on Dr. Frank as he sits in the back of the moving ambulance.  The shot, still supered, moves into a bumpy ECU of his wicked smile.  In the street raindrops fall on the puddle of blood.  A stray dog runs up and begins lapping up the puddle of blood.  Fade out.

The ambulance arrives at the hospital and the conditions are the equivalent of a human slaughterhouse.  Every shot, every angle from the earlier sequence at Mr. Piggy's is duplicated or parodied.

An operating room with a door on either side, the sick wheeled in on one side, the dead out the other.  A man who came in for a an appendectomy and got his legs removed.  A woman in a coma on a rocking chair being set in motion by an intern to drink from a cup like a dunking bird.  A man who cam in for a vasectomy and got a sex change: "I'm sure Mrs. Martin will get used to the new look, Mr. Martin."

Screaming and crying,

wounded and dying,

blood on the walls

and the sick by the balls,

Frank Einstein surveys,

the pain, in a daze,

no more will he roam,

He says, "I've come home!"

Walking through the pathos he begins to smile - the first time since his lab was destroyed.  He drinks in the suffering, inhaling to fill his being with it, then smiles again as he exhales, softly uttering a single word, "Home."

Cut to the word "Home" on the sign, "Home for Unwanted Children", hanging on the orphanage.  Crane down to reveal the girl asleep, with the arm curled up in the crook of her neck.  Slowly a shadow moves across them and hesitates.  Suddenly, the pastor's voice rings out, "Gotcha!"

Anna snaps instantly awake.  Hubub looms over her, flanked by his hefty matron and assistants.  She makes to run but he grabs her arm.  Actually, he grabs the Arm and it comes free in his grip.  An awkward moment as he stares at the appendage.  Then, it pokes two fingers in his eyes like the Three Stooges.  Elroy drops the limb like a severed arm, which slithers off in a direction opposite to Anna.  He stares after it with incredulous venom.  "What manner of abomination is this?!"  The arm moves with incredible speed and disappears down a gutter.

Meanwhile, the vulture, waddling stealthily, has jumped down and is tracking the girl, who is hiding behind some mannequin parts in the trash.  It uses the hunt and peck method.  Fearfully, Anna backs further down the alley and around a corner, but she trips over a mannequin leg.

The vulture hears the racket, perks, then hobble-hops quickly through the rubble and around the corner.  It immediately focuses on the girls dress and legs, protruding from the pile of mannequin parts.  Hubub arrives behind the vulture and watches with venomous pleasure as the bird sneaks up on the unsuspecting girl.

With anticipatory savor the scavenger raises its beak, hovers for a moment, then plunges the knife-like bill at the girl's leg.  But instead of piercing the flesh, the beak bounces off rudely, the vulture screeching in shocked anger.  Hubub runs up and pulls out the leg, which belongs to a mannequin wearing her dress.

We cut to the outside street, where the girl, wearing the mannequin's clothing.  She looks cannily around, and disappears into the crowd.

The arm, from its storm drain hideaway, sees the girl and starts forward but is stopped by an unencroachable chain-link fence.  It pounds on the fence, effectively "screaming", but the girl is gone.  Giving up with the same dejected sadness that it exhibited when the ambulance pulled away, the arm lets go of the fence and slithers back into the alleys.

Hubub and vulture arrive at the entrance of the first alley in time to see the arm and girl vanish.  Hubub raises his eyes to heaven, proclaiming that he has finally seen the meaning of his sojourn at the orphanage: to be led to discover the abomination before it spreads.  He swears that he will destroy the abomination at any cost as a martyr of righteousness.

Observing surgery on the accident victim, the doctor realizes at once that this is a perfect source for his needed bodies.  The staff is so inept and nonchalant about suffering and death that he can easily procure all that he needs.  He offers to join the staff, ostensibly to make amends for the accident.  Grateful for the help, the hospital administrator agrees.

Meanwhile, the arm plays a "little dog lost" story in musical montage as it travels through the city streets, searching for its body.  It has no sense of direction, but rather a kind of "homing" pigeon instinct that leads it on like a radio beacon.  Although "aware", it lacks common knowledge, much as #5 in "Short Circuit".  Somehow, it "sees" as evidenced by its scanning of newspapers and watching TV screens in a video store window.

It sees in the screens various pictures of hands in odd positions and professions and watches with interest.  It perks up at a soft-porn movie showing a hand in action.

It hides in drain pipes, slinks down gutters, nuzzles mannequin parts, and confuses a small child by hiding as an extra arm on a mannequin.  Impatient, it taps its fingers.

Intercut within this musical montage, the girl is seen showing the picture of her and her father to storekeepers and passersby, eating garbage in the alleys, sharing what little she has with a thin-ribbed dog whom she leaves behind.  She passes some of the same landmarks as the arm, but they never connect.  For example, as the arm looks at the TVs in the store window, the girl is visible across the street in the reflection in the window.

Finally, darkness arrives and the girl and the arm curl up to sleep in their separate safe cubbies in the backstreets.

Meanwhile, the doctor has assembled his hidden lab in the basement of the hospital.  Here, he performs his first experiments on fresh organs.  He is amazed when the first organ takes on not only life, but awareness.  The newly created thinking part is frenzied and the doctor has to chain it down.  He reasons that intelligence, although centered in the brain, is not wholly contained in it.  It must be that every cell contains some pale copy of the mind that ran the body, and his serum brings this forth.

Nevertheless, he believes that this is a minor byproduct that can be avoided when he perfects his technique.  But for the meantime, he must proceed and, to that end, begins to construct a "jail" of lab cages, to hold the various organs he needs.

The arm stumbles into an alley, nearly out of life, frantically trying to give itself more serum.  But with only one hand, it is nearly impossible to get the contents out of the bottle as the serum that was leaking from the crack has coagulated, sealing the leak.

In the midst of the struggle, the arm is spied by a Junkie, who wakes up from the commotion.  The Junkie staggers over to the arm, sees it sticking out of the garbage and assumes there is a body attached.  Figuring the person is a fellow user, the Junkie fishes out a syringe, wraps a cord around the arm to make the veins stand out, and gives it an injection of the serum.  He reaches down to help the "person" out of the trash, and pulls out the arm.

When he awakes from feinting, he finds the arm waiting for him.  He begins a conversation with it and learns of the power of the serum.  The Junkie used to be a brain surgeon and dropped out because in his own mind, he began to see himself as just another cell in a larger organism called society.  He felt his individuality at risk and rejected participation in the greater collectivism.  But, despite his claims to the contrary, has not found peace as an individual, but rather isolation.  Therefore, he has turned to the "high" to destroy the very self he wished to preserve in order to satiate the pain.  From his medical background, he can see that the serum offers the potential for internal fulfillment.  "Some people take drugs to go up, some to go down.  Me, I wanna go SIDEWAYS."  He decides to join the arm in its quest and ultimately they go off together, the arm with a friend and the Junkie with what he feels is something like a pet dog.

The doctor begins collecting parts for his creation, using the remnants of the unfortunate and downtrodden.  He actually kills no one.  In fact, he does his best to save them, but with the facilities available many are lost, both his patients and others.  For the time being, he has all the parts he needs.

With the aid of the Junkie, the arm visits a palm reader, Alabaster Moonglow, in an effort to learn something of its past or future.  The Junkie hides his arm under his jacket allowing the Arm to crawl down his empty sleeve.  Moonglow comments that, "This is MOST peculiar!  You seem to have TWO life lines.  One is hidden, the other obscure...."

She tells the arm that the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, but the part is equal to some of its holes.  The corporate whole exists only through the interactions of the individuals, but an individual can only be defined by the function that would not be fulfilled by his absence.

The Doctor has now established a prison, which is populated by various organs: eyes, lungs, stomachs, sphincters, feet, what have you.  They are all clamoring for release, but he is unsympathetic.  "Shut up, you're just an organ!"  Those that can "verbalize", do: hands throw him the finger, sphinchters bellow.

The organs wait in their cages like inmates on death row, awaiting processing.  As the stomach runs its tin cup over the bars, an arthritic joint creaks and the sphincter joins in, until the organs realize they can create music. Good music, in fact!  Real "with it" rock music.

Briefly left alone by the Junkie who has gone in search of food "Man does not live by drugs alone!", the arm is seen by an eleven-year-old street child.  More accurately, she sees the ring on the arm's finger.  It obviously means something to her, as it overcomes her fear, and she approaches the severed limb.  It sees her and gestures.  She gestures back, then verbalizes so the audience is aware that both she and the arm know deaf sign language.

This is the means of communication for the arm, who has remained silent up to this point.  From here on out, either the girl translates what the arms is saying, or subtitles appear on the screen.

She questions the arm, as she has run away from an orphanage and is searching for the father who abandoned her years ago, and the ring strikes a memory.  Did the arm "know" her father?  Could the arm be part of her father?  The arm does not know, as it possesses intelligence, but not memory.  Nevertheless, the girl decides to join it in hopes of learning the truth when the arm finds the body.  Opposite to the Junkie, she feels society (in the guise of her lost father) has abandoned HER.  Her response, again opposite to the Junkie, is to track him down and FORCE him to accept her.

The Junkie returns.  He and the girl are suspicious of each other, but decide to remain with the arm on its quest, and start off through the city.  The arm asks if they will meet more Junkies, as it is scared.  The Junkie says, of course!  They will no doubt cross paths with allot more junkies.  Well, asks the arm, how about street gangs?  The girl says, yes, they will surely run into street gangs... and bums!  They begin marching down the alley in a parody of the "Yellow brick road"  chanting, "Junkies and street gangs and bums, oh, shit!  Junkies and street gangs and bums, oh, shit!"

The Doctor has begun his creature, just a brain, spine, arm, ear, nose and one eye (sensual necessities), but all the parts seem to work together, their "intelligence" vanishing as they are connected, but the good news is short lived.  The first parts attached are already starting to fail.  As the doctor admires his handiwork, talking to the creature over dinner, its ear falls off.  Then its nose falls into the soup.  Something must be done!

The doctor realizes he must obtain additional serum.  Unfortunately, there are not enough natural deaths to provide him with the quantity of tissue he needs.  So he rationalizes that the poor, needy, and homeless who are a drain on society should benefit society instead by donating their lives to the cause.  Unable to bring himself to do the dirty work, he instructs his creature to murder patients.  The frightening thing begins to stalk the corridors at night, picking off victims to add to itself.

The arm is captured by the Elroy, who locks it in a basement.  As the door is shut, the last rays of light are cut off plunging the room into absolute darkness.  The arm struggles to find a way out, but, due to its weakened condition has very little strength to move.  Just as it is about to give up hope, someone in a third floor apartment across the street closes a window that reflects the sun through a hole in the ceiling creating a small, one-inch pool of light.

Mustering every last ounce of strength, the arm manages to claw its way over to the rejuvenating rays.  But just it is about to reach the warm glow, a truck pulls in and blocks the path, causing the light to be reflected off the truck window and a near by mirror in a store front, through the hole to the OTHER side of the basement from where the arm just came, or up on top of some crates.

Ultimately, the arm fails in reaching the new location, as it has run out of energy, when someone it helped coincidentally places something reflective (bike mirror, dog license, etc.) in the reflection off the window of the truck, moving the light slowly across the crates and down onto the arm.

At the hospital, the high death rate has attracted the attention of the authorities, who begin to make things tough and risky for the doctor.  The creature is nearly completed, still lacking a skin and a few other parts.  But because there are so many parts now attached to it, the serum needs are even greater, and the thing begins to pick off janitors, orderlies, doctors, nurses, even the children's ward and a stray dog.

Running out of time, the arm "hotwires" a car for the trio and takes off down the road at full tilt.  It can't reach the turn signals and steer at the same time, so it just changes lanes without warning, cutting off a motorist.  The guy honks his horn long and loud, and the arm flips him the finger.  The motorist pulls along side to confront "the driver" and ends up running into a fire hydrant from the shock.

Finally, the doctor has all the parts he needs and has arranged to show his creation to the medical community.

The Doctor begins to present his creature on stage, having left a chemical cannister to destroy the organs back at the lab, thereby covering his tracks now that he is about to hit the big time.

The arm shows up and realizes that the doctor, the cause of its being severed in the first place, has also cut up the body, giving it no home to go back to.

While the doctor makes his presentation, the arms sneaks into the body part storage room (stopping occasionally to look up the skirts of pretty nurses) and releases the latches on the cages.  Gesturing with a John Wayne style, "Hiyo!" the arm leads them from the room, just in the nick of time.

At the presentation, the organs block the exits, then close in on the doctor.  He battles off lungs (by strangling them), eyes (by poking them), and feet (by tickling them and stomping on them), but it is a losing battle.  Eventually, they capture the doctor, strap him to the operating table, and the detached limbs dismember him.

Ultimately, they remove his brain, inject it with the life serum, and flush it down the sewer to suffer.  The organs re-assemble themselves into as many bodies as they can (a few parts left over give some bodies three legs or four arms), but without losing their sense of self.  The hodgepodge group dons trench coats and hats for disguise and disappear into the crowd.

The arm, having met some of its other lost parts from the same body, realizes that it was part of the girl's father.  But has gained the knowledge from the other parts that the man did not abandon the girl.  Rather, she had been taken from him because he was deaf and the authorities believed him to be unfit as a parent.  This explains the arms signing and her knowledge of it.  In fact, the man had been  looking for her for years and was just about to finally locate her when he was hit and killed by the doctor.

The Junkie, tries the serum, only to find that it has no effect on living tissue.  However, he realizes from the arm and friends that a sense of individuality comes from within, not from without, and can neither be taken from him from without.  He befriends and becomes father to the girl.

The body parts go on to form a highly successful rock band, and, led by the arm, go on a world-wide tour.  The ending scene has the "All Body Band" on stage at a sold out concert.  The audience goes wild as the arm leads them in rock and roll, then turns to sign, "I love you", to the finally happy little girl in the front row, next to her new father, the ex-Junkie, and her new mother, the undertaker.

We cut back to the exterior of the concert amphitheater and pan down to a manhole cover.  The cover raises, the doctor's brain peers out, sizes up the situation and disappears back underground, laughing.  Cut to black.  The End.

Notable scenes include:

1.  As the ambulance drives off in the rain, a stray emaciated dog lapping up the puddle of blood.

2.  The Junkie's description of his efforts to save victims at a plane crash.  "The looters swarmed over the injured and dying like maggots on a rotten piece of meat."

3.  The girl's tearful explanation of her belief she was abandoned, her feelings of being unwanted and unloved, and her vindictiveness at those who deserted her (so bitter for a child so young!)

4.  The battle on stage between the doctor and the vengeful organs, swarming over him.  He stomps on eyeballs, which pop, kicks testicles, and is strangled by an intestine.

5.  The gruesome, partially completed, skinless creature, stalking the darkened halls of the hospital in search of victims.

6.  The comic situation engendered by a single arm of drinking age out on the town.

7.  The odd characters they meet on the street, some dangerous, some kind, all strange.

8.  The arm snapping its fingers when it gets an idea.

9.  The musical interludes (a la "Rocky Horror Picture Show") provided by the "All Body Band". 

10.  And a host of sick jokes, black comedy, weird scenes, with nothing held back, but tempered with an honest theme of moral importance and a likeability of our main characters that moves them close to the hearts of our audience.

Again, a reminder that these gruesome scenes will be played straight, but for laughs.  This approach and subject matter should elevate the productions to the status of minor cult classic among the video release junkies.


"Spontaneity doesn't happen by accident."

"Who do you think you are, coming in here spilling your guts!"

"Everybody's taking uppers and downers.  I want something that'll send me sideways."

To Elroy Hubub: "You're the Good Shepherd?  Then flock you!"

"All's war when love's not fair."

Girl uses word "coughling" to describe when you cough and sniffle at the same time.

Name for the All Body Band:  "They Might Be Gonads"

Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips