Thursday, 14 February 2008

Killed by Death

I had to kill a character in a script yesterday, but had a few issues deciding exactly how to do it.

The choices?

1) Handgun. Too easy to be honest, too abrupt. There’s a certain shock value, but ultimately it seemed a little unsatisfying. What’s more, there’s no physical contact, which doesn’t make for a hugely dramatic scene.

2) Suffocation by clingfilm. A much better idea (anyone seen The Last Broadcast?). But then I started to wonder exactly what sort of weirdo carries a roll of clingfilm round with them (sincere apologies to anyone who does, but come on, let's face it - you're weird).

3) Belt. This is more like it. Easy to come by, always at hand, the ideal weapon if you're in the mood for a spot of one-on-one strangulation.

It then suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t really need to kill this character at all – all I needed to do was to incapacitate him. So I clacked him round the back of the head with a fire extinguisher, which brought to mind Irreversible (no bad thing in my book).

Right, I’m off for a quick garrotting. Wish me luck.


Oli said...

Cling film also used to disturbing and memorable effect in My Little Eye...


Jon Peacey said...

1. Handgun. "What’s more, there’s no physical contact..."
-sublimated sexual desire, methinks... see I've read Men, Women and Chainsaws too!

2. Clingfilm. I've seen The Last Broadcast. I feel like Homer Simpson screaming 'I have a file! I have a file!!!. There's a great short film called clingfilm called, er, Clingfilm. I've lost my taping of it. :(

3. Belt. "Easy to come by, always at hand..."
-not in a police cell!

More seriously, when it comes to killing characters I always become very concerned as my more sadistic traits start to creep out... the levels of violence that come out of my mind would not be watchable by me: I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

In a story I haven't blogged about yet there is an interrogation scene between good guy (interrogator) and bad guy (interrogated) that features the good guy using 6" nails, secateurs and boiling water on the bad guy's various appendages. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be pulling it back somewhat.

Elinor said...

The only problem with option three is that yes, you have strangled your victim but then as you hotfoot it from the scene your trousers fall down.

Jon Peacey said...

The exact opposite of being hoist by your own petard!

Lowered by your own pantalons, maybe.

Chip Smith said...

Oli: My Little Eye is great - about time I dug it out again for a re-view.

Jon: I always worry when I start killing characters, as I get more and more sadistic as the rewrites pile up. What starts off as a fairly straightforward bullet in the head ends up being a gruesome strangulation scene, which in a rom-com is always going to be an issue ;-)

Elinor: strangely, this happened to me the other day and dashed inconvenient it was too. I think I'll have to go for Jon's option of boiling water, but then there's the Thermos flask issue to worry about. Tsk! Nothing's ever easy, is it?

Jon Peacey said...

Right, here's the Thermos-based plan:
1. Arrange to meet victim outside very tall building.
2. Climb said 'very tall building'.
3. Drop Thermos on hard surface.
4. Phone victim and tell them to look up.
4. Unscrew top of Thermos and sprinkle glass shards liberally on victim...

Leave Coffee in Thermos so that if nothing else victim will be on a caffeine high for the rest of the day.

Do we have a plan?

Chip Smith said...

You know something? I tried this once and damn it all, the guy forgot his phone!

However, I did have the benefit of a lovely cup of latte as they tried to coax me down from the top of the Town Hall.

Lucy said...

You are clearly forgetting my weapon of choice -- AN AXE. In the nadgers. Niiice.

Chip Smith said...

You can always trust on Lucy to lend any debate a keen edge of subtlety ;-)

Jon Peacey said...

My intended victim forgot his mobile but I had a back up plan. Couple of cans on a long piece of string. Lowered it down, said 'look up' and he did. He then yanked the cord and I plummeted. I badly fractured my left nipple...

Presumably, the axe in the nadgers is a very small, very sharp axe inserted using a pipe-cleaner... or where would the fun be?

Chip Smith said...

You're forgetting Lucy's notion of subtlety - in her case, the axe would be four feet long and would need three people to hold it up.

Honestly, for one so svelte she does has some alarmingly violent habits ;-)

Lucy said...



That's me. I'm like a killer mouse or something with the head of a lion. Grrr.

Wanna scrap?!

Jon Peacey said...

I was imagining some sort of wondrous Dorothy-Wicked Witch mix. Sweet violence...

Chip Smith said...

Lucy - I'll scrap on two conditions:

1) You have both hands tied behind your back

2) I get someone else to fight for me.

Perhaps I'll get Jon to show up with his Thermos of death - that'll teach ya ;-)

Jon Peacey said...

Ooh! I have a spare Thermos... I shall bring soup to enjoy as the results come in.