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New Story Ideas For the Big Screen

By 

Harold Ginn

A

fter deciding not to challenge Donald Trump for my party’s 2016 presidential nomination, I had time to think more about the role of art in modern society. As a highly evolved Republican I am fully aware of the importance of art in the maintenance of a healthy democracy but no, I don’t see a contradiction in being an appreciator of art while working to eliminate federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Why should hard working Americans have to pay for weird performance art when we can just get drunk at parties and do that stuff ourselves for free?

In order to really understand the proper role of art in society, we must ask ourselves some basic questions such as: exactly what is art and why do we need it? How do we know when we are having it?  Is it really important and if so, why? Does art have worth beyond its value as mere entertainment?  

Speaking of entertainment, there’s no time like summer to kick back in a nice, dark, air-conditioned theater and watch some of those summer blockbuster movies that people are always blabbering about (I guess I should say about which people are always blabbering).

Anyway, last summer I watched a bunch of those movies and now that I’ve had time to reflect upon my viewing experience I’ve decided that Hollywood needs my help.

Many people don’t know this but there is a closeted contingent of conservatism in Hollywood and so I’ve got a few contacts to call on out there and so I’ve decided to get into the movie business. For your perusal, here’s a short list of some of my eminently marketable story concepts, along with my first-choice casting picks:

#1    EYEBALL  (Sci-fi horror.)

A group of elderly vacationers is trapped on an island tour bus and harassed by a giant eyeball. Audrey Tautou plays an otherworldly agent who acts as a liaison between the eyeball and the tourists when the irascible group of seniors run low on Depends and threaten to self-immolate before the eyeball can finish telepathically airing its scathing indictment of humankind.

NOTE: After reading the synopsis, Steven Spielberg has generously opined that this story can be made into a real tear-jerker by characterizing a few of the vacationers as having peculiar but not offensive behavioral tics or maybe slightly noticeable neurological disorders.

According to Spielberg, pathos will lead to tear-jerking as the old farts become increasingly depressed and self-conscious of their goofy frailties because the eyeball won’t stop staring at them. No one knows how to yank your chain like Spielberg and he does have some sci-fi street cred so this story could turn out to be Hollywoods’ first sci-fi/horror/tear-jerker. Actually, now that I think of it, that category has prolly already been scooped by Ridley Scott with his 2012 release Prometheus which, it can be truthfully said after having seen it, was so horrible that I’m sure I would have cried had I not been on medication.

#2  EVIDENCE OF PORK  ( Courtroom drama.)

Woody Allen is Zaza LaFundge, a geriatric gay porn star who contracts mad cow disease after attending an underground Hollywood S&M barbecue. In his final days, Zaza is cared for by Twyla, his youthful but hideously disfigured man-servant, played by Ashton Kutcher. Questions arise when it is discovered that only Carolina pork barbecue was served at the underground bash, proving that S&M barbecues between consenting adults do not pose a threat to society but raising the question of exactly how LaFundge contracted mad cow disease.

The dismaying truth is finally uncovered by the indefatigable B.M. Houlihan, played by Jennifer Aniston in an Oscar-bait performance as the uptight assistant Los Angeles County D.A. who rocks an erotic obsession with smelly feet.

#3  MANNOSLAV  (International intrigue.)

Sasha Baron Cohen, in his first dramatic screen role, plays Mannoslav. He’s a public sanitation worker by day but by night, Mannoslav fights for freedom and justice in the Russian republic of Fuzuokistan. While investigating a shady import-export business, Mannoslav uncovers a plot, perpetrated by a group of Mongolian carpetbaggers, to destabilize Fuzu-Russo relations.

Their plan is to foment social unrest in the republic by putting ‘Made in Russia’ stickers on a smuggled shipment of Oprah bobble-head dolls that excrete an unpleasant ointment. Cleverly disguised as a piece of space junk, Mannoslav swings into action.

The story takes a thought-provoking twist when Mannoslav is captured by a cabal of rogue ex-Soviet medical researchers who mistake him for a rhesus monkey. The intrepid trashman rebounds by convincing the slick, stupid Soviets that he is actually Rhesus of Thrace (a king in Greek mythology).  

Adrien Brody, as the real Rhesus of Thrace, spends a  lot of time looking extremely forlorn and Meryl Streep will do some tour de forcing, rounding out the cast as the former KGB hooker with the heart of gold. This otherwise bleak tale of Eastern Bloc oppression takes a fanciful turn when the KGB hooker defects to America and shows up on Conan, making jokes about Vladimir Putin’s surname.

#4  UNDERWEAR KINGS  (Feel-good success story.)

Three nerdy young punks from the ‘hood’ endure the sadistic taunts of local gang members when they decide to pursue their dream of becoming underwear models.

The boys quickly find their way to the top of the high-stakes world of underwear modeling but, their ambitions not fully satisfied, they use their fortuitous expertise in nanotechnology to design the world’s first generation of high-tech underwear.  

La’Montauge, the most likable of the three, is contacted by aerospace defense contractors who try to turn the miraculous underwear into weapons of mass destruction.  Bad p.r. ensues and, threatened with the loss of the upscale hipster market, the youthful team has a crisis of conscience.

Wisely spurning the corporate advances of Northrup-Grumman and Raytheon, the boys laugh off the loss of defense industry revenue and form the Hosey Dudes, a ‘made for Disney Channel’ rock band. The trio enjoys worldwide commercial success as the Hosey Dudes while continuing their research, eventually perfecting the world’s first unisex (for guys and girls too) cybernetic underwear.

In the second act of this conventionally structured three–act drama, one pair of the cybernetic underwear becomes self-aware and organizes all the other cyber-undies into a militia which attempts to take over the world but, not understanding the difference between media reality and real reality, the cybernetic underwear militia (C.U.M.) perceives Disney Channel as a threat and operating under a pseudonym, C.U.M. lures the Hosey Dudes into a meeting, ostensibly to discuss a marketing deal.

After killing and dismembering the Hosey Dudes, the militia, which at this point in the story has evolved into a consortium, sells the body parts on eBay for a handsome profit and in the third act, the world is taken over by underwear.

#5 ARTAUD AND THE UNWANTED HAIRS  (Euro-existentialist avant-garde.)

In this post-modern meditation on life, Ecole Polytechnique drop-out Artaud takes up three hours of screen time trying to decide whether or not to pluck a nose hair. His sometimes girlfriend Beauzeeta renounces Twitter after a bikini wax goes tragically wrong and in the denouement, a cameo appearance from George W. Bush who mispronounces the word ‘nuclear’ in French.

Woody Allen (who, if things go my way, will be having a busy year) also shows up in this film as the ghost of Jean-Paul Sartre (those new 3-D visual effects should make him a real eye-popper). Allen’s character stands in front of Artaud’s bathroom mirror practicing his ‘pouty’ look (which is really a sly cinematic wink at Allen himself) while pestering Artaud with disingenuous rhetorical questions about the nature of existence as Artaud tries to figure out what to do about the nose hair – so it kind of turns into a My Dinner with Andre type thing.  

Speaking of poppers, 20th century philosopher Karl Popper shows up and further exacerbates Artaud’s dilemma by droning on at length about his concept of  ‘critical rationalism’ and in doing so manages to drag this lugubrious yammer-fest out to nearly the four-hour mark but that’s ok because this is not just an avant-garde film, it’s a Euro avant-garde film so what’s the freakin’ problem?

DISCLAIMER: No boogers will cease to exist or be otherwise harmed in the making of this movie.

Quiz question:

Zaza LaFundge suffered from:

Tourette's syndrome

Tourette's syndrome

Bubonic Plague

Bubonic Plague

Multiple Personality Syndrome

Multiple Personality Syndrome

Mad Cow Disease

Mad Cow Disease

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Issue 10

published 

September 22, 2017

New Story Ideas For the Big Screen was written by Harold Ginn, who is an actor/writer living in Virginia. His feature length screenplay Martin Fogg was a finalist in the 2013 Richmond International Film Festival competition. Harold’s essay In The Land Of Milk And Honey was recently published in Lowestoft Chronicle.   When not writing, Harold likes to hide in his subterranean lair, speak in Pig-latin to his pet emu and binge-watch (responsibly) reruns of Law and Order.

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Issue 10

This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the Lit.cat archives.
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