Any artist's out there
want to help me turn this into a graphic novel?
Treatment of "Body
Melanie Anne Phillips
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
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,
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.
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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
Notable scenes include:
the ambulance drives off in the rain, a stray emaciated dog lapping up
the puddle of blood.
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."
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!)
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.
gruesome, partially completed, skinless creature, stalking the darkened
halls of the hospital in search of victims.
comic situation engendered by a single arm of drinking age out on the
odd characters they meet on the street, some dangerous, some kind, all
arm snapping its fingers when it gets an idea.
musical interludes (a la "Rocky Horror Picture Show") provided
by the "All Body Band".
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
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.
LINES OF DIALOG TO USE:
"Spontaneity doesn't happen by
"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"