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IndustryCentral ScreenWriters Exchange: Horror/Thriller: DEAD ISLAND
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Gary Dover (Gdover) on Friday, April 28, 2000 - 09:36 pm:

DEAD ISLAND, 97 page screenplay, action/thriller

Logline: A stouthearted woman must overcome her fear of lightning in order to survive a vacation gone awry on a secret government island full of death and danger.

A top secret government biological laboratory has developed a mutated strain of bubonic plague on a remote island near the Bahamas. While preparing to depart the island for a week of rest and relaxation in Nassau. THOMAS, one the scientists, has mistakenly left behind a test tube of the deadly disease in a laboratory refrigerator.

Two young couples on vacation, board a private yacht in Nassau for a week of sailing and adventure. Our female hero, SHELBY, a mechanical engineer, anchors the yacht in a secluded cove of the secret island to make boat repairs. SHELBY’S husband LESTER and their next door neighbors DOUG and GEORGIA decide to venture ashore to explore the island while SHELBY works on the boat.

The research complex is guarded by two armed guards who get drunk and accidentally throw out the test tube with the garbage, infecting twenty five killer PIT BULL DOGS, who have been conditioned to attack any intruders found outside the laboratory’s perimeter fence. The mutated strain of bubonic plague causes the dogs to grow in size and savagery. The guards are brutally killed leaving the island at the mercy of the DOGS.

GEORGIA, LESTER and DOUG are attacked by the dogs and end up stranded in the laboratory compound only to discover THOMAS has returned to destroy the deadly bacteria. SHELBY must battle her way through the jungle and killer dogs to rescue her party. Our hero SHELBY must overcome her childhood fear of lightning as a tropical storm turns into a category five hurricane. SHELBY has also been informed by the coast guard that her eleven year old daughter has been taken to the hospital while at summer camp and is awaiting emergency surgery.

The Pentagon has ordered the island destroyed to prevent any risk of contamination and has instructed the NSA to redirect a secretly equipped Hubble Telescope to vaporize the island with a laser beam.

With timeclocks counting,, SHELBY must devise a strategy to pass safely through the gauntlet of killer dogs with limited tools available. Devising a pod system made up of used fence material, SHELBY maneuvers her band of survivors through vicious dogs, torrential rains, poisonous sea snakes to a battered Viet Nam era helicopter to fly to safety. LESTER makes a last minute sacrifice saving SHELBY and the others.

While exiting the island and barely escaping the laser blast from the Hubble Telescope, the Pentagon makes one final attempt to destroy the group, by sending two Navy Fighter planes to shoot the chopper down. Only through the skill and bravery of SHELBY and a last minute rescue by a friend does the party survive the ordeal.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By Alan A. Armer (Alana) on Wednesday, May 3, 2000 - 02:08 pm:


Wow! Exciting stuff!

Gary, I wonder if you haven't piled it on a little too thickly. The line between exciting drama and comic book action is a thin one.

So much of screenwriting is subjective. If this were my script, I would lose the daughter and her emergency surgery since it seems outside the scope of your story. Also, possibly one or two other threatening elements so that you can concentrate more on your CHARACTERS.

Because your screenplay is only 97 pages, you will have room to develop some relationships between characters that will help us to know them. The better we know them, the more involved we will become.

I found it a little hard to believe that the Hubble Telescope had a built-in laser device.

I like very much Shelby's fear of lightning; it makes her human. And humanity is what we need to make believable these characters and the bizarre world they have entered.

Good luck with this exciting yarn!

Critique by
Alan A. Armer

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