DESERT OF BLOOD
The American West, 1886: For ex-Civil War hero turned gunslinger Tom Ford and his
sexy partner Mary Hathaway, robbing the Bank Of Corkscrew was a breeze. Especially
`when the Head Teller Owen Hawks is your inside man.
The haul is close to a hundred grand in cash and gold, but when the job goes wrong the
three are forced to shoot their way out of town... leaving behind a wounded sheriff,
Martin Siegel, vowing vengeance.
To cover their tracks the three don disguises and split up. Owen riding to the north,
Mary to the south, and Tom (disguised as a preacher with the loot hidden in a trunk full
of bibles) taking his wagon to the west through the Paint Desert. The three will meet in
Tombstone to split up the loot.
In the desert: Tom stops for the night at a Wells Fargo relay station run by old cowboy
Hank Sturges. Whenever there's two day's ride or more between towns, the stage
coach company has built a relay station where fresh horses and a water supply.
Sturges has been living alone at the desert outpost over a dozen years - tending the
horses... he's happy to have company, even if it's a preacher like Tom.
In the middle of the night, when the wind whistles through the sand and the coyotes
howl like a hundred screaming babies, Tom hears the sound of hoofbeats and the
insane cry of renegade Indians lead by Chief Raincloud... Except Raincloud and his
tribe were killed a dozen years ago to make the stage route safe for passengers. Are
these the ghosts of Indians? Tom is attacked.
The next morning Sturges finds Tom brutally dead, scalped by Raincloud. Sturges
buries Tom and his wagon in the middle of the desert... this isn't the first time
Raincloud's ghost has attacked people staying at the station. Is Raincloud really alive?
Is Sturges his protector? Or is Sturges just worried that people will think he's crazy if he
accuses a ghost of murder?
A week later Mary and Owen meet in Tombstone and wonder what happened to Tom.
Did he double cross them and steal the loot? With Martin Siegel hot on her trail, Mary
backtracks into the desert to the old Wells Fargo relay station... where she encounters
old Hank Sturges... and the ghost of Raincloud.
Now it's up to Owen - a shy bank teller in the savage desert, trying to hunt down his two
partners and the missing money and gold. Riding into a world of Indian folklore, evil
spirits, and hungry coyotes... a cowboy Icabod Crane in a barren Sleepy Hollow. Will
Owen find a ghost on horseback? A legend with a hatchet? Or an Indian thought to be
dead getting revenge against the whites who double crossed him? Or will he find an
elaborate double cross by Tom and Mary designed to cheat him out of his share?
When the darkness settles on the desert, Owen is forced to confront his fears, his
friends, and an evil that will not die. Cowboys and the ghosts of slaughtered Indians.
DESERT OF BLOOD copyright 2004 by William C. Martell (818) XXX-XXXX
For a copy of this script... E-mail me! Wcmartell@compuserve.com
Back to script menu... CLICK HERE.
I've written 19 films that were carelessly slapped onto celluloid: 3 for HBO, 2 for Showtime, 2 for USA Net, and a whole bunch of CineMax Originals (which is what happens when an HBO movie goes really, really wrong). I've been on some film festival juries, including Raindance in London (twice - once with Mike Figgis and Saffron Burrows, once with Lennie James and Edgar Wright - back to "jury duty" in October of 2009). Roger Ebert discussed my work with Gene Siskel on his 1997 "If We Picked The Winners" Oscar show. I'm quoted a few times in Bordwell's great book "The Way Hollywood tells It". My USA Net flick HARD EVIDENCE was released on video the same day as the Julia Roberts' film Something To Talk About and out-rented it in the USA. In 2007 I had two films released on DVD on the same day and both made the top 10 rentals.