Review of: Serial Killers: An Anthology Ver2 

reviewed by joxyjoxyjoxy on 09/29/2011
Credited Review
joxyjoxyjoxy
SERIAL KILLERS Credited Review
To all writers:

sorry I wasn't able to give each of you more feedback esp. those of you I could only give a couple lines to. A common theme I found in most of these was a lack of character, and lack of context. I realize six pages isn't much time to do this but if I know nothing about a protagonist, or villain, or victim for that matter, I can't relate to their experience. And I don't mean whether they're tall or they like red vinyl purses. What motivates them? Show me who they are by the choices they make. Show me why they are the way they are. Show me repeating behavior. And what are the circumstances of their situation? Show me some irony, show me an epiphany of some kind.

Anyway. Sorry to ramble. Here you go.


AIR

Well written with a few minor no-no's. For ex -

fueled by fear, terror and a mother’s desire to save her child.

This is something you can't see or hear, the only two things you're allowed to describe. People's thoughts, motivations, feelings and other ethereal things are right out.

As for the story, I liked it. Six pages doesn't give youmuch time to develop a story but this author did a decent job, though i'm puzzled why Jeannie died. Was it the result of the altercation or was it just her time? Perhaps this could be made clearer.

I would like to have seen a more climactic struggle between the two and a more clever way for Iona to defeat him. Other than that, I found little to criticize about this one.

THE KILLER IN BLACK BOOTS

right off, reporters don't talk like that.

And neither do cops giving interviews to reporters.

Repeating the voice over about missing the biggest clue of all isn't necessary. Just omit it.

If I were to make a suggestion about the story itself which I liked, it would be the ending. Why not have Lawrence reveal to us that he's the killer by killing the reporter? He could start singing in the moments before he pulls out his axe or whatever. I would try to show her slow realization that he's the killer. The slow onset of terror makes for a gripping scene.

AGENT BURGUNDY

I found this enjoyable, humorous. I liked the ending although it seems weird he would reveal his alien form in the hospital. Maybe make this a more secretive place.

Some context about who the agents are, how Burgundy came to be one, etc. would be nice, otherwise, little to criticize.

DIRTY

It's a little unclear – is Jane's sister Dan's latest victim? If not, I wouldn't have Jane looking for her sister because it seems confusing.

If her sister is Dan's latest kill, this needs to be fleshed out more thoroughly, perhaps with FLASHBACKS to Dan torturing and killing her, or perhaps opening the story with him strangling her.

Overall, well-written, good dialogue.





INSIDER

this story, like many of the others, does a good job of keeping you guessing who the killer is, but provides no information on who the boy is (other than a cop's kid), what his motivation is for killing these people. I also find it somewhat implausible that a twelve year-old kid would be able to pull something like this off. And all Harlan has to do is wipe his prints from the typewriter and that evidence is gone. Plus, it's unlikely a cop wouldn't have alibis for the other murders.

RUDE

I thought of all the shorts (so far) this had the most teeth in that it spent time giving us insight into our protagaonist's perspective, his character and motivation. I enjoyed the exchange with his mom in the beginning.

2 issues: one, the plausibility of getting all those skewered people into his little room, especially without mom knowing (this is not such a big deal). Two, I thought his monologuing at the end could be more...I don't know, dramatic, insightful, spectacular. Overall, though, well done.

A DOG LIKE ME

Sorry, don't get this one. He's a butcher but he strangles hookers. And why does he strangle hookers? And was he really looking for a girlfriend in a crack whore? And the stunning woman who kills him out of nowhere. She just happened to be trailing him the night he decided to kill a hooker? The dialogue between them was kind of weird. Clever euphemisms to be sure, but out of place.

MOON

first thing that stands out are the formatting errors and incomplete writing style. Scripts must be written with complete sentences, not text messages. And I don't understand why each sentence needs its own line. As for the story, wow, setting her vagina on fire? I found the dialogue between the two at the end of her life somewhat interesting but again, like many other scripts, this is more a series of events than a story. I know nothing about either character so I can have no empathy for either of them.

HANDS

unclear about her motivations for hunting down a piano teacher: her hands are fine so she doesn't need a new pair. Does she do it because she wants to play piano? Unsure what her seeing him as a kid has to do with anything. The bloody gloved hands at the end- again, I don't get the significance of it. Is this some thing she does ritualistically like a vampire sucks blood? What exactly is her supernatural power. And it's obvious you're trying to make Michael a bad guy with the porn and toys and ogling, but it's hardly a reason to strip a guys hands off. And how could Kristen have known he was such a perv anyway? All she saw was an ad.

KILLERS ANONYMOUS

this was very well written, I thought the premise was hilarious. A help group for murderers. Great idea. But where is the ending? They bust the guy and that's it? There was no reveal of any kind because we knew about the surveillance. Confusing.

INTERSTATE

I liked this one. Love at first dismemberment. Again, I'd like to know more about my characters and why they're sociopaths. But one glasring issue is brevity, or lack thereof. THE NUMBER ONE RULE OF WRITING: ELIMINATE ALL UNNECESSARY WORDS.

Brad points out the windshield at a parked car...

there is no need to indicate the windshield, it is obvious he is doing so since there's no other way to point at something from the inside of a vehicle. And those introductory paragraphs can and should be whittled in half. Scripts are not novels, they are skeletons, drawing plans. Leave details and highly descriptive adjectives to the director.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Again, well written but the reveal that he really is married with a family – I have to ask myself “okay, so...” it just seems like a pretty pedestrian M.O. For a sociopath. These kinds of people are everywhere.

RICKY AND CHLOE

I really liked this one. I thought the dialog was clever and authentic. The use of voice-over was well-done also. I liked the linking of a passionless, even spiteful marriage to the songs that once made you think of her. Brilliant, and I don't say that often.

I was kept in suspense over what was to come, even in the scene with Chloe in the bedroom I couldn't figure out if Chloe was about to die, or him. Turns out it was a third option. Well done.

I can't figure out why he kills his dad. Seems these two got along like bacon and beans and they have a lot in common. They both killed their wives. I mean, what's he got against his old man, anyway?

I actually thought a pretty strong ending would have been to just have him kiss her good night or something. Maybe he puts an old song on and he thinks of her again now that she's dead. Whatever. Overall the best of the bunch










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