FACT: Right before the war in Afghanistan the National Security Administration ramped up their gene splicing experiments, combining genetic material from the super-intelligent German Shepard search & rescue dog created for the Army's 41st Scout Dog Division (Rover-7) with genetic materials from desert dwelling scorpions to create the ultimate tunnel dog designed to search the caves of Afghanistan for Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorists. The genetic mutations, know as "splicers" in the scientific community, were never deployed. Al Qaeda and Osama and Saddam became old news and we refocused on ISIL and stopping domestic attacks The half dog, half scorpion "splicers" continue to breed in a Los Angeles area laboratory for possible use in some future war. Maybe Syria?
FICTION: When a rolling black out interrupts power to the electronic cages, several of the beasts escape... all but one was recovered. Unfortunately, that one was pregnant. The biotech scientist in charge of the program, Franklin Murnau, believes the splicer went into the subway tunnels to give birth to its litter. Subway passengers are beginning to disappear - eaten by the splicers - and ridership is down. After the 100th passenger is eaten, the Mayor closes the subway for 48 hours to allow a Special Forces team to eradicate the beasts.
To find the beasts in the miles of subway tunnels and sewers that stretch under the city of Los Angeles, General Matheson wants the super-intelligent Rover-7 search and rescue dog (Sevi) from Fort Benning. Sevi has a genius IQ and has been fitted with a communications device which translates the dog's brainwaves into English so that a human handler with a special headset can understand him. (Timmy doesn't need to interpret Lassie's barks to know there?s trouble at the old mill, he can hear his thoughts.) Matheson doesn't want Sevi's handler, burned out Army sergeant Paul Johnson, but the dog insists... the two are a team. Sevi doesn't care that Paul blew a mission in Iraq because he became paralyzed by fear... the two are best friends.
In the maze of tunnels under the city the Special Forces team (five men and two women), General Matheson, splicer creator Murnau, Sevi and Paul search the shadows for the escaped creatures. The splicers have the advantage - they were designed to hunt in tunnels. Springing from the darkness, scorpion tail piercing the body armor of Special Forces soldiers; soon it becomes the ultimate battle between man and beast... with Sevi somewhere in between. These splicers were created with his genetic material - they are like his children. All bad seeds.
After being attacked by a pack of splicers, half of the Special Forces team are killed and Paul and Sevi become separated in the labyrinth of tunnels. Can Paul survive without his best friend? Will Sevi help the humans, or run with the pack? Will the splicers continue to multiply and take over LA - feasting on humans?
SPLICERS is a creature feature action script in the tradition of "A Boy And His Dog", "Aliens" and the classic "Them" about the ultimate battle between man and beast.
Copyright 2016 by William C. Martell
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To read the script online... SPLICERS.
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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.