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The Mandrake
by Timothy L. Fox (t_fox123@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Horror   User Review:

A sleepy New England town is terrorized as a man commits murders with a new breed of plant. It reaps what it sows . . . IN BLOOD.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


A hand reaches forward and takes a volume from the shelf.
The hand takes it and places it upon the desk and opens it
to the entry entitled "Mandrake," which reads as follows:
MANDRAKE(mahn - drek): n. An
apocryphal, head-shaped plant
found mainly in the forests of
ancient France and Germany,
rumored to have supernatural
powers. According to legend,
anyone who pulled the mandrake up
by the roots would go insane from
the sound created by its death.
Our story takes us to a decent-sized castle located on the
English coast. Inside, a man works away in a dark, damp
room, whose only light is provided by an open portal. This
man is a soothsayer. He looks over his various bubbling
flasks, filled with mysterious liquids. He takes a vial
filled with a red liquid and pours it into the pot of an
oddly-shaped plant. He cackles with glee. He picks up a
small sack and removes fingers, hands, eyes, etc. and feeds
them to a plant resembling a Venus flytrap.
Yes, my children, feed on this,
its substance brings my only
bliss, to see you grow to large
size, to kill by shrieking ungodly
At this point, the King and Queen of this castle enter with
two guards and a Spaniard. The soothsayer is shocked.
My benefactor honors me so, what
is it that thy wish to know?
Mince not words, little cad, this
evil time is finally had. The time
hath come to clear thee out, and
send thee on thy route.


My liege, what foolish things you
speak! These confections are
truley very weak!
Thine lies are easily known. We
know your evil plants are grown.
      (gestures to the
Senor Escrito knows thy trade.
Thou feedst these plants with
water of the blade.
Escrito, my very own pupil! I see
thou hath lost every scruple. Turn
over thy mentor after I'd impart
the sacred learnings of my heart!
Sacred, nay. These plants are
cursed with an evil plauging only
the worst.
At this, Escrito takes a piece of flesh from the
soothsayer's bowl and throws it at a plant, which heartily
devours it. The guards step back in horror.
Take this soothsayer for the time.
His punishment shall fit the
The soldiers seize the soothsayer and drag him out of the
room, followed by Escrito. They walk to the edge of the
cliff, which overlooks the crashing waves, and the guards
tie a rope around his body.
      (gestures to
According to this noble man, end
thy curse only one thing can. Thy
sentence of execution shall be to
plunge into the brimy sea.
Before I die, I have to say -- I
curse you all this fateful day.
The time will come when each child
you rear will grow tenfold in
thine own fear. Their fear shall


                       SOOTHSAYER (cont'd)
grow with each new child, and
never shall the curse less or
mild. The only way to stop this
all is for thy children to forever
Enough of this! Now end your
words, and be thee fodder for the
birds. Now say my curse to strike
thee numb: thy children and their
own shall all be dumb. This curse
shall always last, 'til from this
country all shall pass. And now,
by the name of great Saint George,
I drop you to this watery gorge!
The soldiers push the soothsayer off the cliff into the deep
waters below, his rope trailing behind him.
Fade to another rope being pulled up - that of an elderly
fisherman fishing in a small pond. It is present day, in the
New England area. A train passes in the background.
On board our hero, John Hapsburg, is going through his notes
with his secretary, Francine Newmeyer. He paces the room,
dictating to her.
. . . And in conclusion, the test
results rule out any possibility
of Mrs. Moore having poisoned her
      (turns to Francine)
Got all that?
Nope. You lost me at "take a
Going to be one of those trips, I
This WASN'T my idea, John.


Look, Frankie, I know you're not
keen on the idea of spending two
weekends at a nice little old log
cabin in the middle of nowhere,
but it's going to be a welcome
change to being stuck up in the
office all day, isn't it?
For the last time, don't call me
Excuse me, Fran-ceen. May I
She throws her hands in the air.
This cabin means a lot to me. It's
been in the family for years. I
remember the summers I spent there
with my uncle, hunting, fishing .
. .
John, when was the last time you
handled either a fishing pole or a
John sits down next to her.
I doubt we'll be spending that
much time doing much of either,
Frankie. We're both adults, after
all. Don't you think we should . .
. OCCUPY our time a little more
He places his arm around her shoulder. She removes it
"We" can start acting maturely
anytime we want, John. Now, how's
about getting some drinks? I'm
I can take a hint. Anything


Iced tea should be fine.
Iced tea. Right . . .
John leaves the room to locate some drinks. Francine
continues to flip through the files.
And don't call me Frankie.
John walks in to get some drinks and passes a table seating
three women and a man. They look to be on-edge. The man taps
his fingers. John glances over at them, and sits down at the
bar. He orders a sandwich. The waiter brings one back, and
John proceeds to eat it as he watches the group. Suddenly
the man's phone rings. He picks it up.
Hello? Yes? Are you positive? Very
well. Thank you, officer.
      (hangs up)
There's still no sign of Maria. We
may just need to conduct the tour
by ourselves.
Surely they must've found some
trace of her . . .
Not yet. And it's only six more
hours before they're going to give
up on the search. I'm sorry girls,
I just don't know what to tell
John, who has been listening in, gets up from his table and
walks over to the group.
. . . Excuse me, sir, but perhaps
I could help.
Who are you?
Hapsburg. John Hapsburg.


Sounds Austrian.
Very much so.
My name's Seltzer. Albert K.
You're kidding, right?
It's a stage name. Anyway, what is
this all about?
Well, I couldn't help overhearing
your conversation about your
friend, Maria. Missing, I assmue?
She couldn't make it to the train
on time, so she was going to meet
us at the next town. We were
scheduled to perform at the local
hotel. But now she's turned up
Perhaps I can help you. I'm a
private investigator. I can help
you locate your friend, Maria.
Wait a minute. How do we know
you're not just some con man?
You think I'm pulling your leg, do
you? Very well. I guess I'll have
to prove my credentials to you.
You stated earlier that Al K.
Seltzer was a stage name, correct?
Yes . . .
Well, I know for a fact that your
real name is Fred Phillips, and
that the reason you changed your


                       JOHN (cont'd)
name wasn't due to a preference
for a goofy moniker, but rather
because your parents wanted you to
become an accountant and you
couldn't bear their shame. So, you
dropped out of college and formed
this group of girl vocalists -
Maria Newman, Sonnet Majors, and
Carolyn Yong - from the local
nightclubs and lounges. You
rounded out the party by hiring a
secretary, Elizabeth Rogers. You
have currently been touring the
country trying to hit the big
time. Besides that rather trivial
information, you claim Fontaine,
Minnesota as your hometown, you
have two brothers and three
sisters, you don't smoke, although
you are a fledgling member of
Alcoholics Anonymous, you were 3rd
in your high school class, you
were on the swimming and tennis
teams through college, and you
were a member of the Phi Gamma
Delta fraternity for two years.
Well, did I miss anything?
How did you know all of that?
It's been a long train trip, I had
a computer, there's not much else
to do, and idle hands and all
that jazz.
He seems decent enough, Al. I
don't see why not.
All right, Mr. Hapsburg. You've
proven your point. Can you begin
work immediately?
Yes, sir. Let me just pack my
bags, and I'll meet you at the


John runs back to his room and begins to pack his bags at a
furious rate. Francine walks over to him.
John, what in heaven's name are
you . . .
Can't talk now, Frankie. We've got
five minutes before we reach New
Cornwall, and then we're getting
But we're not stopping at New . .
Oh, I see. It's that girl's group,
isn't it?
How did you guess?
Well, that's too bad . . . I was
looking forward to going to that
nice little cabin of yours.
I thought you hated that idea!
No, I actually enjoy fishing and
hiking quite a bit . . . it's what
you had in mind that didn't strike
my fancy.
John rolls his eyes and continues to pack. Francine helps
The train has stopped at New Cornwall. The passengers get
off and head off to pick up their luggage. John walks
alongside Seltzer, with Francine at his side.
Al, I'd like to introduce you to
my secretary, Miss Frank . . . er,
Francine Newmeyer.


      (shakes her hand)
Pleasure meeting you. We'll be
performing at the Dancing Warthog
for the weekend. You can take the
room we reserved for Maria.
They are suddenly startled by the appearance of a smiling
hunchback, wearing a porter's cap.
Luggage, Mr. Seltzer?
Who are you?
Dub Smith. Proprietor of the local
train station. Sign here and here,
He hands Seltzer a clipboard. He signs it and hands it back.
I also run the local general
He switches hats.
Can I get you folks anything after
your long trip? Maybe some drinks,
some cigarettes, or something?
I think we'll be fine.
Can you tell us how to get to the
Dancing Warthog?
Would you like a map? I could sell
you one for . . .
The group shakes their heads.
No? Okay . . . Well, you take
Maple Street down five blocks,
turn left, and keep going until
you reach the parking lot. It'll
be on your right.


Thank you very much.
The group walks off, ignoring Dub.
Thank you. And have a nice day,
Dub picks up a broom and begins to sweep the platform as the
train pulls out.
Meanwhile, at an apartment, a man opens a door, having heard
a knock. He sees a package on the floor. He picks it up and
rattles it. It has no return address. He brings it into his
living room and sets it on the coffee table. He gets a
letter opener and opens the package. All he can see is a
bushy spot, but nothing else. He takes the box and shakes
it, trying to get the object out. Unbudged, the man reaches
in and begins to pull on the object. It finally rips out --
it appears to a human head turned green! A hideous scream
echoes from its mouth. The man screams, being driven insane
by the sound of the head. He tries to let go of the plant,
but his hand has gripped onto the plant so tightly that he
cannot let go. He tries to wrench it loose, but it won't
budge. He spots the letter opener. In desperation, he starts
hacking away at his hand, to get it loose. It is useless. He
finally drops to the ground, dead. Fade out.
Back at the Dancing Warthog, the girls wait in the wings
before their act goes out. They are desperately waiting for
their fellow performer to show up. On the stage, a magician
runs through his act. John and Francine are back-stage as
Oooh, how I wish I was Jack Lemmon
right about now.
Francine smacks him on the shoulder. Elizabeth walks up to
the girls, looking at her watch.
We go on in five minutes! Where on
earth could she be?


We've got to do something,
Perhaps we wouldn't have had this
problem if we had rehearsed an
alternative performance, would we?
That's absurd! How was Al to know
she'd turn up missing all of the
John steps forward.
Excuse me, but perhaps I could be
of service.
He whispers into the girls' ears. After he is finished, he
walks out onto stage and takes the cloak from the magician.
If you would be so good, sir . . .
And just who do you think you are?
The next act!
The magician gathers up all of his stuff and runs off-stage.
John flings the cloak around his shoulders and begins to
sing a song. The girls strut out behind him and begin to
sing. The audience enjoys the show. Seltzer walks back-stage
and sees Elizabeth, who is looking on. He sees that John is
leading the girls in a stage show. It ends. John and the
girls give a collective bow and walk off of the stage.
Seltzer stops them.
What do you think you're doing?
I'm helping you with your act. I
don't think the audience minded,
you do?
He points out to the audience, which is cheering
hysterically. Seltzer turns to Francine.


Is he always this obstinate?
You wouldn't even begin to know,
Mr. Seltzer.
I paid you to locate my third
performer, not to become some
cheap chippendale dancer!
I'm NOT a chippendale dancer,I'm a
lounge singer from way back, and
if you don't mind, I was taking
her place until I could find some
decent evidence. Consider it a
"fringe benefit."
"Fringe benefits" or not, it's
highly unlikely that you're going
to find any evidence prancing
around with my act out on stage.
So, if you don't mind, I'd like to
see some hard evidence, and soon!
      (turns to the
Come along, ladies. It's time for
allof you to get some rest.
We'll rehearse an alternative show
Seltzer and the girls walk off. John turns to Francine and
shrugs his shoulders.
Well, Frankie, we all have our
fifteen minutes of fame.
I would hardly consider an
improvised lounge act in a rustic
hotel fifteen minutes of anything.
She takes him by the arm.


Come on. Let's go see if the
police have anything that could
help us.
They walk out of the hotel.
John and Francine walk into the precinct building. A man
wearing a cowboy hat sits at the desk, his feet leaning
against the desk. He snaps to attention once they approach
the desk and John coughs.
How may I hep ya?
Uh, yes. We're here to inquire
about an investigation of a
missing person.
Name, please?
I believe her name was Maria
something . . .
No, YOUR name.
Er, John Hapsburg. This is Miss
Francine Newmeyer.
Thankee, that won't be necessary.
Tell me, what is your relationship
to this missing person? Sister?


Friend of the family?
Then how on Earth do you know this
I've never met her in my entire
Is this some sort of joke, Mister?
We don't take very well to pranks
at this here police station.
At this moment, Dan's superior (George McHenry) walks in.
Is there something the matter
here, Dan?
Well, these folks here are asking
about a missing person. I think
they're putting me on, personally!
Really? Hm.
      (to John and
What did you say was the name of
the girl in question?
It was Marie something . . .
      (turns to Francine)
Do you remember it?
I think Mr. Seltzer said it was
Marie Freeman.
Mr. Seltzer? Who is this Mr.


My employer. He sent me out to
find information on this missing
girl, so I thought that this would
be the best place to check.
George crosses his arms and looks at Dan. It seems like he's
not buying John's story.
Here's his card, if you don't
believe me.
He hands it to George. He looks it over, and glances back at
Any credentials?
John takes out his wallet and thrusts his credentials into
George's hand. He slowly looks over the credentials and
turns to Dan.
I think we can trust these people,
Dan. They seem legit.
Thank you!
So, what is Mr. Seltzer's
connection to this girl?
She's a performer for Mr. Seltzer.
He's her agent.
She's part of a girl's band.
Like the Bangles, huh?
Yes, only not nearly as classy.
Is she a native of New Cornwall?


No. She was only supposed to stop
here, earlier in the week.
Well, Mr. Hapsburg, we most
probably wouldn't have any
background info on her on hand,
but we might be able to check on
her info once we get in touch with
her local police department. That
may take a couple of hours. Where
is she from, again?
New York City.
Until we get word from them, I'll
have Dan call around to see if
she's reserved any rooms at any of
the local hotels, or if anybody
has seen her. Get on that, won't
you, Dan?
Sure thing, boss.
In the meantime, I'd like to meet
this Mr. Seltzer, just to make
sure this isn't some monumental
joke on the fine officers of the
New Cornwall Police Department.
You're actually going to look into
this, boss?
It's best to err on the side of
decency. That's what we're paid
for, Dan. I'd rather be thought of
as a monumental fool than someone
who didn't offer any help to a
person in trouble.
Okay, Boss. It's yer skin off of
yer back.
Dan picks up the phone and begins dialing. George leads John
and Francine out of the police station.


The group walks towards the Dancing Warthog.
You'll have to forgive Dan if he's
overly cautious. He's still
getting used to the new position.
I'm guessing he's not from around
these parts.
Transferred from Dallas last week.
He used to be a Texas Ranger, but
we had an opening, and he was
looking for a cooler climate, so
he fit the bill perfectly.
He seems to relish playing the
part of Texas Ranger.
You don't know the half of it! The
guy spent three-fourths of his
free time participating in rodeos
back in Dallas. Shooting,
bull-riding, lassoing - Dan "The
Lasso" Basso, they would call him.
Most of the time, he complains
that there isn't enough action in
our sleepy little town.
Don't quote me on this, Mr.
McHenry, but I'm beginning to feel
that Mr. Basso might just get his
day, if this case continues on its
current course . . .
The girls are performing an encore presentation of their
act. John, Francine, and George watch. At that moment,
Seltzer walks up to them.
John, I thought I told you to get
to work on my case.


Uh huh.
Then what the hell are you doing
sitting around here?
I brought along the sheriff to
meet you.
Mr. Seltzer.
      (under his breath)
Godammit, John, I don't need
publicity like this!
      (under his breath)
I couldn't help it. He wanted to
see that I was on the level.
If you're afraid of getting bad
publicity, Mr. Seltzer, you
needn't worry. We'll keep the
whole thing under wraps until we
can get some conrete evidence.
Tell me, was she planning on
staying here at the Dancing
Yes, but she never showed up. I
thought I could at least get a
phone call from her, or something.
But I get nothing!
George's cell phone rings.
Excuse me, gentlemen. This may be
the very information that I need.
He walks off to the corner, and answers the phone.


Dan is on the phone, holding a piece of paper in his hands.
Hello, chief? I've got that
information on Marie Freeman. I
got ahold of her landlord, and she
said Marie had left for the
weekend and was heading for New
Cornwall, but that's all I could
get out of her.
                       GEORGE (V.O.)
Did she stop anywhere on the way
to New Cornwall?
No reports of any cars breaking
down on the way, or her stopping
at any restaurants or gas stations
on the way there. If she's lost,
it's somewhere within the city
                       GEORGE (V.O.)
Oh, one more question -- when was
the last time anyone talked to or
saw her?
Well, according to the landlord,
she left yesterday morning around
Well, I suppose that's about all
we can do at the moment, Dan. Call
me if anything turns up.
He hangs up.
      (looks at his
It's seven now . . . That makes
about thirty-four hours since her
Well, what did he say? Any sign of


Don't worry. I shall keep you
updated as we get more information
on her whereabouts. Now, I suggest
you and your entourage get a
little bit of sleep, and leave
everything to us.
All right.
      (walking off)
All right, girls, we're calling it
a night!
Seltzer and the girls leave.
It seems we have our work cut out
for us, John.
What makes you say that?
We have fourteen hours at the most
to locate this girl before the
48-hour period since her
disappearance is up. After that,
I'm afraid we'll have to expect
the worst.
You can't possibly think she's
dead, do you?
I don't know what to think. But
we're going to have to get the
ball rolling on this one before
too long.
If you need any help on this,
sheriff, just let me know.
Sure thing. I'll probably be up
all night, anyways. You two had
better get some rest. You've
probably had a long trip.
Good night, sheriff.


George leaves.
Well, I suppose I'd better get to
work myself.
Didn't you hear George? You need
to get some rest. Right now. It'll
do your nerves some good.
You know me, Frankie . . . when
have I ever been the type to
listen to advice?
When it comes from an irate lady
who constantly has her name
She grabs him by the ear and begins to drag him off.
Now, come get some sleep!
As . . . you . . . wish . . .
It is the middle of the night. Carolyn lies asleep in her
bed, tossing and turning restlessly. A cool breeze blows in
through the window. Disturbed, she stirs from her bed to go
to her closet. She takes out a robe to cover her abbreviated
nightgown. Completing this task, she goes to close the
window. She stands at it, staring out into the beautiful
country surrounding the small village. Exhaling a deep sigh,
she turns, takes a candelabra from her dresser, and walks
out the door.
Seltzer, forlorn, sits at a table in the lobby, slowly
drinking a martini. He is deep in thought as two forms
approach him. He looks up, recognizing Sonnet and Elizabeth.
Hey, girls. What are you doing up
this late?


We couldn't fall asleep, so we
thought we'd join you.
What made you think I would be
down here?
We know you too well, Al. A little
hair of the dog that bit you is
all that it takes to sooth your
Have a seat. I'll get you some
drinks. What'll you have?
A cosmopolitan for me, thanks.
Me, too.
They sit down. Seltzer motions for the waiter.
Waiter, two cosmopolitans for the
ladies, would you?
He hands the waiter a twenty. He nods and walks off.
Elizabeth and Sonnet glance over, sensing Seltzer's haggard
It's Marie, isn't it?
He nods.
Don't worry, Mr. Seltzer. I'm sure
Marie is perfectly alright. She
could always handle tough scrapes.
I know. I just wish I had thought
this all out better, and then none
of this would've happened. All
this overscheduling shit is just
insane, now that I look at it.
Damn it, I haven't given you girls
as much time off as you deserve.
And now look where it's got us!


It was as much our decision as it
was yours. Besides, who would've
known something like this would
happen to Marie?
That's what I don't understand.
Marie didn't have an enemy in the
Are you sure we can trust this
Hapsburg guy? I have yet to see
any of his amazing private dick
investigation work.
I'm not sure. He seems honest
enough, if not terribly quick.
He contacted the local police.
That must mean he's honest, at
Or, at least, he knows how to lead
us down the wrong path.
      (looks at watch)
Well, whether or not he's for
real, we have only a few hours
before they give up on her case.
If only I weren't so careless . .
Where's Carrie?
She's up in her room. The train
trip really took it out of her.
Sheriff George and Dan hustle into the room. They approach
Seltzer and the girls.
We've got some rather urgent news.


Do you know an Aaron Sanders?
Well, yes, that's Carrie's
boyfriend . . . you don't mean
that he's responsible for Marie's
I highly doubt it, since he's
We've just gotten a report from
the Boston Police Department that
Mr. Sanders was found dead in his
apartment last night. His hand had
been horribly hacked off.
Oh, no . . .
Come on. We've got to tell Carolyn
about this at once.
Better get your keys. You know how
nervous Carrie can get at these
bed-and-breakfast places . . .
Seltzer, dropping a tip on the table, leads the group up the
stairs to Carolyn's room. They approach the room, only to
find the door open. Seltzer runs into the room and rushes
back out.
She's gone! You've got to find
Come on, Dan!
George and Dan run down the stairs and out the front door.
They hop into their police car and drive off. George gets
onto the car radio.


Calling all cars . . . this is an
APB. Keep on the lookout for young
woman, dark hair, of asian
extraction, approximately twenty
years old . . .
Carolyn runs through the forest, running from who knows
what. Whatever it may be, she is panting furiously. She
glances over her shoulders, and continues deeper into the
The police continue to drive around, slowly surveying the
landscape with their searchlights. The search is a slow and
laborious one. Suddenly, a wave of fog emerges from the
forest, impeding the search process.
Carolyn strides further and further into the forest,
nervously. The fog begins to envelop the forest, and she is
becoming more and more disoriented. Suddenly, a mysterious
hooded figure jumps upon her, roaring. She screams. He draws
a knife and stabs her.
The polic have come to a dead stop, due to the fog. They
wander aimlessly, unable to see a thing.
The dark figure carries the flaccid, dead body of Carolyn
through the woods. He approaches a small graveyard,
populated (if such a place could be considered to be
populated) by only a few tombstones. He walks over to one of
the larger stones and presses a button. A gaping hole opens
in the middle of the earth. He slowly walks down the
corridor inside the tunnel, as the earth closes up behind
him. The graveyard goes silent, save the few random howls of
the owl. Fade out.
Dan slams his car door and walks over to George at the steps
of the police station.


No sign of her chief. We covered a
fifteen-mile radius with a fine
tooth comb, and we still couldn't
find a thing.
All right. Go get some coffee.
It's probably been a long night.
Dan goes into the station. John and Francine walk up.
I came as soon as I heard what had
happened. Is there any way I can
I think we've got it under control
for the moment, if you could even
call it that. We haven't found a
trace of her at all.
Do you have any idea as to where
she might have gone?
I have my suspicions that she's
somewhere in the woods, but before
we could enter into the woods, a
bank of fog appeared out of
nowhere and brought the search to
a stand-still.
No other leads besides that?
If you can think of any, I'd like
to know them.
Well, whenever I find that I've
come up against a brick wall,
there's always something that I do
that helps get the creative juices
What might that be?
John and Francine look at each other with a knowing look.


George and John are playing a game of 8-ball.
So, what's your theory?
Well, it could be a number of
George hits the ball into the corner pocket.
Now, these incidents with Carolyn,
her boyfriend, and Marie might not
be connected at all.
But the odds of these things
happening to all of them at the
same time . . . surely they must
be connected!
It would seem to be as much. Now,
it's possible that Marie and
Carolyn's boyfriend were more
connected than we would think . .
George hits another ball into a pocket.
An affair?
Exactly. They planned to get
Carolyn out of the picture.
Perhaps Marie double-crossed her
lover in the very end.
But Carolyn was lost in the woods
after this guy's death, not
before. And how would they know
she would die by running into the
Good point.
He shoots again, sinking in another ball.


But let's look at this from
another angle. What if Carolyn
only THOUGHT that her boyfriend
and Marie were having an affair?
That still wouldn't explain how
that bank of fog happened to
appropriately appear out of
nowhere at the least convenient
Well, then, that leaves only one
explanation . . .
What's that?
We have a greater power at work
George hits another ball in.
Are you seriously suggesting that
the supernatural might be at work
I don't see why not.
Now, now, wait a minute. I always
thought you police were a bit more
empirical in these sort of
situations. Aren't you supposed to
be the Doubting Thomas in this
I've worked in this town to know a
little bit better. You know, it's
a little known fact, but New
Cornwall was the site of over
three dozen witch hangings back in
the days of the Salem witch


That happened over three hundred
years ago.
Yes, but there are still isolated
incidents of foul play that have
yet to be explained. Arson,
vandalism . . . and now you can
add murder to the list.
George hits yet another ball into the side pocket. Now, only
the eight-ball is left. George glances up and smiles.
What on earth are you holding that
pool cue for? I hope you didn't
intend to use it. Eight ball,
corner pocket.
George hits it in, but he scratches as well. George looks at
John, who is beaming.
I don't believe it!
I don't lower myself to using a
stick. I prefer to use my skills
at luck.
One thing you must learn when
playing Johnny . . . the fates are
always on his side.
Have you stated your theory to
anybody else?
Dare I ask why not?
Because you've got the fates on
your side, remember? Besides, I
know no one else would believe me.
I need your help on this, John.
I'll admit it - I'm just a
small-town sheriff. I've never had


                       GEORGE (cont'd)
anything as terrible as a double
disappearance, possibly homicide,
happen in my town. I'm going to
need all the help I can get on
this. You've obviously had a lot
more experience than I have. So,
are you willing to help?
I'd like to think of myself as an
open-minded fellow. If you think
that this is a viable option, I'll
work along those lines, no matter
how fantastic.
All right. Report any of your
findings to me. If you need any
help, give me a call.
George tosses Francine the stick and walks out. John picks
up the eight ball and stares at it.
You know, I wonder who actually
won that game.
You aren't seriously going to
follow his lead, are you?
Well, he seems convinced of it, so
there must be some truth in it.
Well, I've known you to do crazier
things before, so I guess I'll go
along with you on this.
Good girl. Let's get started.
Might I ask what I've done that
merits being crazier than this?
Don't act so sly. You remember
that time with the devil's food
cake and the dead poodle . . .


Dan and George are driving from house to house, questioning
the townsfolk. They drive up to a dilapitated house, park,
and walk up to the door. After knocking, and elderly lady
answers the door.
Whadye want?
      (clears throat)
Excuse me, ma'am, I'm Lieutenant
Dan Basso of the police
We're here investigating the
disappearance of a young lady.
He shows her a picture of Carolyn.
"Nope," what?
Ain't seen her.
You sure?
Of course, I'm sure!
Sure that you're sure?
I'm sure that I'm sure about being
Are you sure -


Yes, I'm sure! And if you don't
get out of here right now, I'm
gonna be sure that I bust yo ass!
Now ma'am, you have to understand
that I have to make sure . . .
The woman goes postal and begins beating him with a rolling
pin. Dan, having taken a beating, runs back to his car.
Before getting in, he turns to speak to the woman.
I could have you brought in for
assaulting a police officer, you
know . . .
He ducks as the woman hurls the rolling pin at him, gets
into the car, and drives off.
Dan drives up to Dub's store. Dub sits on a rocking chair
out front, rocking back and forth. Seeing Dan, he gets up
and goes down to greet them.
Evening, gentlemen. How may I help
Hiya, Dub. I need to consult you
on some business.
Oh, nothing bad, I hope?
Oh, I'd just like to have a look
at your sales records, ifn you
don't mind.
No, no! Come on in!
They walk inside to Dub's store. Dub walks behind the
counter and gets out a large book.
Now, Dan, what is it that you
would like to see?


Do you have records of any
transactions involving a fog
      (flips through the
Hmmm . . . no.
Well, how's about any dry ice?
No record of that, either.
Do you know of anything purchased
here that might've been used to
create fog?
Nope. I haven't sold anything that
could be used to create fog of any
Dan scratches his head, puzzled.
What seems to be the trouble,
      (handing him the
Well, Dub, there's been a
disappearance. This girl wandered
off into the woods just as a bank
of fog rolled in.
Hmmm . . . Isn't the weather a
little odd for . . . oh, so that's
why you wanted to know about the
dry ice and such, eh?
You said it.
Well, unless my store has been
pilfered, which I can tell you
right off it has not been, I see


                       DUB (cont'd)
of no way anyone could have
obtained the materials necessary
to produce this fog.
All right. Thanks anyway, Dub.
Always a pleasure, Dan.
Dan leaves the store and goes out to the squad car and picks
up his receiver.
George, this is Dan.
                       GEORGE (VO)
I talked with Dan, and he said
that there were no items were sold
that could create the fog.
George's squad car is parked outside of the hotel. Seltzer
has walked out to the car.
All right, Dan. The best idea now
would be to continue to send out
search parties for the girl. Keep
me abreast of anything else that
might come up. I'll be at the
Warthog if you need me.
                       DAN (VO)
Right, Chief.
Any sign of her yet, Sheriff?
Nothing. Not so much as a strand
of hair. It's almost as if she
disappeared off of the face of the


We are going to need a replacement
for Carolyn tonight, Al. Where do
you suppose were are going to get
Damn it, Sonnet, two of my girls
are missing, and you're wondering
about who we're getting to replace
them? Could you be a little more
I'm being a realist. Our employers
are paying us for each
performance. We barely make enough
as is - how can we keep up at this
All right, all right! God! Look,
we'll pull something together. I'm
sure there's somebody in this town
who could take her place. Now, go
get some rest, okay?
Taken aback, Sonnet and Elizabeth wander back into the
Excuse me, Sheriff. I need some
rest as well.
Of course. I'll see to it that you
and your girls get proper
protection for the evening.
Seltzer walks back into the hotel. John and Francine walk
across the street and approach George.
Having any luck with the magic


I can't think of any other
possible explanation. Dan just
radioed in and told me that from
what he's found that there's no
possible way the fog was
artificially produced.
Still, if it is magic, George,
it's going to be hard to get any
concrete evidence and convince a
judge of it.
Have you found anyone who might
possibly have a motive?
Maybe not magic, but definitely
motive . . . I just overheard a
very interesting conversation.
Apparently, Miss Sonnet is
concerned about her income as
affected by this turn of events.
Go on.
You do the math. If she's
underpaid with two fellow
actresses, imagine what she would
earn if she got their shares of
the profit as well.
They exchange meaningful glances.
John and Francine are at work in their room. George and Dan
enter. George is carrying a folder full of papers and Dan
carries a few cups of coffee.
Hello, you two!
We thought you two could use a
break, so we brought some


Great. I don't know how many
all-nighters we could pull without
a jolt.
Dan hands John his cup of coffee and then turns to give
Francine her cup of coffee.
What's in the folder?
I finally got that fax about the
murdered boyfriend. These are the
scenes of the crime.
George lays them out on the table. Dan sits next to Francine
as the others are engrossed in the photos.
So, babe, what got you into this
What exactly is it that you DO do
for Mr. Hapsburg?
Our relationship is purely
professional, if that's what
you're asking.
Francine looks over some papers.
You know, there's plenty of people
working on this case already.
Shouldn't a beautiful woman like
yourself be out on a night like
this - enjoying herself?
Dan wraps his arms around Francine's waist. She cooly inches
her way out of his grasp. She turns to him and smiles.
Thank you, but no. I've got plenty
to keep me busy.


Okay. You may think so now, but
I'll git ye someday. Ol' Dan never
takes "no" for an answer.
John continues to look over the photos with George. He
suddenly spies something with his magnifying glass.
Hey, George, look at this.
      (hands him the
       magnifying glass)
What is that? Do you see it?
Yeah. Huh.
Do you have any idea of what it
might be?
There's no mention of it in the
reports. Your guess is as good as
Frankie! Look at this!
For the last time, my name is . .
. oh, forget it. If you're not
going to be able to remember it by
now, you're hopeless.
No, look at this.
Dan and Francine get up and go over to look at the photos.
You see that?
It almost looks like a plant or
shrub of some sort.
It's got an odd shape about it,
you must admit.


George, could you get in contact
with New York again and see if
they could give us any info on
Sure thing.
A young man works diligently at starting a fire in the
fireplace. He finally succeeds at his task and warms his
hands in front of the fire. He walks back into the kitchen
to get a drink. He gets a glass, pours in a drink, and looks
through the mail on his desk. Most of it appears to be junk
mail. His eyes fall upon a large package. He takes the
package, along with the drink, back into his living room. He
clears off the coffee table gingerly, picking up a picture
of his girlfriend (Sonnet) and moving it aside. He places
the box on the table and proceeds to tear open the seal. He
pulls it open and the same greenish plant head as before is
ripped out. The man screams as his ears are filled with a
piercing shriek. He knocks over his drink as he tries to pry
the plant from his hand. Desperate, he finally throws
himself into the fire. The scene ends with a close-up of his
hand as it roasts in the fireplace.
Seltzer paces in front of a table as Elizabeth looks through
a collection of resumes.
How many more auditions do we have
for tomorrow?
Three more, as of today, and five
the day after that.
Oh, Jesus . . . I don't think I
could stand another day of
auditions, if this is the best
that this hick town can offer.
You didn't think that any of them
could come close to being a


Not a single one. You heard them!
There wasn't a drop of talent in a
single one of them!
Well, talented or not, we've got
to find someone soon. Otherwise,
we won't be able to fulfill the
obligations of the contract.
I know, I know . . . I just need
some time to rest. And you do,
Don't you need these reports typed
Take the rest of the night off.
It's been a long day.
Seltzer walks off, grabbing a bottle on his way out.
Elizabeth stands up, wistfully wondering what she will do
with her free time. It seems as if she has a pretty good
idea of what she will do.
The pool is empty until Elizabeth walks out. She is wearing
a fetching one-piece and carrying a towel. She inhales
deeply, taking in the fresh night air. She lays her towel on
one of the nearby lawn chairs, walks over to the deep end,
and dives in. She swims a few laps around the pool, unaware
that a shadowy figure is watching from the bushes. After she
has swimmed a few laps, she takes a rest, floating in the
middle of the pool. She slips down her straps to get more
comfortable. The figure still watches from the bushes.
Finally, she swims back to the ladder and climbs out of the
pool. The figure approaches faster and faster. She begins to
dry herself, not knowing that the figure approaches closer
and closer. She gasps when the figure finally reachers her -
it is Sonnet, wearing her two-piece and carrying her towel.
Oh, I'm sorry, Sonnet. You
startled me there, for a second.
Have you seen Al anywhere around?


He was going to the bar a few
minutes ago. He needed a rest.
He's had enough rest - and enough
alcohol, for that matter. He
should be working on getting me an
understudy, and fast.
You're too good for an understudy.
      (not paying
Godammit . . . that bastard
isn't doing anything except
getting piss drunk and locking
himself in his room. He doesn't
give a fiddler's fart about my
career. He's been avoiding me, I
tell you. And if I catch him
again, you can be damn sure that .
. .
As Sonnet walks over to the row of bushes, she sees the
shadowy figure lurking in the bushes. She screams, and both
her and Elizabeth run out of the pool house. The killer
scrambles off.
John and Francine are out on the patio, relaxing, when
Elizabeth and Sonnet run on, out of breath.
What on earth -
We saw the killer! He almost got
He was lurking in the bushes
outside of the pool!
All right. Just wait here.
Frankie, go get the police on the


Right, John.
Francine runs into the hotel. John pulls a rifle out of his
pocket and walks about the patio.
Elizabeth and Sonnet have changed. John still stands guard,
along with Francine.
Where is Al? He should've been
here by now.
George walks onto the patio.
We searched the premises. There's
not a trace of him.
                       DAN (O.S.)
Hey, chief! Chief!
Dan enters at a frantic pace.
I just got a call from the New
York Police Department. It appears
that Sonnet's boyfriend was found
dead last night.
Sonnet is taken aback.
Any idea as to what killed him?
Not exactly, but they know fer
sure that he died after opening a
package sent by Miss Sonnet to
Seltzer enters carrying a bottle, obviously intoxicated.
That's a lie!
What seems to be the trouble,


I'm afraid I'm going to have to
bring in your lead singer, Mr.
Seltzer. She's under arrest for
murder in the first.
You've got to be kidding me! . . .
George motions to Dan to handcuff Sonnet.
You have the right to remain
silent. Anything you say can and
will . . .
As Dan tries to put them on, Sonnet pushes him away
Don't you fuckin' touch me! Filthy
inbred hicks! I'm above your
goddam suspicions, you hear me?
Take her away, gentlemen . . . she
never was a good singer, anyways.
Why, you filthy son of a bitch!!!
She turns and knees him in the groin. He moans in pain,
grabbing himself. Sonnet stomps off.
Taxi! Taxi!
Dan, John, and George chase after her, but she has gotten
into a taxi and driven off before they could catch her.
She's gone!
Seltzer stumbles out of the hotel.
Taxi! Taxiiiiiiiiiii . . .
John catches Seltzer as he falls into his arms, out in a
drunken stupor.


Hold it, Mr. Seltzer. No one's
going anywhere.
Oh, come on, Chief! I could catch
'er! Lemme go lasso 'er!
Sorry, Dan. No dice. I've got some
police friends waiting on the
train. If she makes a break for
it, they'll be there. Now come on.
Let's get some coffee into Mr.
They drag Seltzer back into the hotel.
John, George, Dan, and Seltzer wait outside the train
station. Seltzer glances at his watch as time passes. Dub
walks out of the station and approaches the men.
I'm sorry, gentlemen. There's been
no sign of her here. I've checked
and double-checked and
Well, thanks anyways, George.
Always glad to help, gentlemen.
The four men pile into the car and drive off as Dub waves
them off.
      (cups his hands to
       his mouth)
And feel free to stop by anytime
this week! We've got a special on
canned preserves and jellies!!!
None of the men heard Dub's offer, but remain sullen about
the whole affair.


You sure there was no report of
Sonnet's taxi at the taxicab
I called them this morning. They
said that there's been no sign of
the driver who picked up Sonnet
since last night.
No sign of her . . . it's as if
she's vanished from the face of
the earth!
I don't think so, Mr. Seltzer.
There's still one possibility that
we haven't considered, and it's
beginning to look more and more
like the only viable option.
What's that?
Whoever is doing this must be
operating out of those woods.
Them woods are so big that you
could lose yourself in them, if
you didn't have a ranger with ye.
Exactly. Dan, I want you to call
the State Troopers and have them
come and block all entrances into
the woods. Sooner or later, he's
got to come out of those woods. I
don't want any more murders during
my watch.
I don't think any of us do,
Everyone stares at Seltzer suspiciously.


Seltzer walks into his room and plops down in his chair. He
takes a bottle and begins to chug it. Someone knocks on the
Yeah, come in!
Elizabeth walks in slowly. She has a look of concern on her
Well what?
No sign of her, huh?
No sign of her at all.
Damn it all. If those two
half-witted yokels hadn't been so
hasty in accusing Sonnet, she
wouldn't have run off like this.
Now, she's out there somewhere,
probably injured . . . or dead.
He takes another swig, but the bottle is empty. He throws it
to the floor.
Shit, if it's not one thing, it's
another . . .
He gets up and begins to look for another bottle. He
rummages through his mess of a room.
I'm sure everything will turn out
all right. It always does.
Seltzer stops searching for a moment and turns to Elizabeth.
You know, Liz, if it weren't for
your Pollyana attitude towards
life, I don't think I could go on


He smiles, and presently turns to looking for more bottles.
Elizabeth begins to help him.
Don't you think it's a little too
early in the morning to start
Don't deny me this one pleasure,
They continue to search. After a great deal of furniture
overturned, their search comes up empty.
Well. Whaddya know. Not a drop in
the whole room.
You want me to call room service?
Yuck! No!
He takes two twenties out of his wallet and hands them to
Go get me a couple bottles of
whiskey from Dub's store. He's got
the fine quality stuff. And get
something for yourself, okay?
Okay. I'll be back in a few.
As Elizabeth walks out of the room, Seltzer calls after her:
And stay away from the woods, you
Elizabeth turns, smiles, and walks out of the room.


As Elizabeth walks out of the hotel, she walks past the pool
room, where Francine and John are currently engaged in
another nerve-wracking game of pool. John is lost in thought
as he stares at the pool balls, contemplating his next move.
It is obvious that Francine is winning.
Come on, John. Stalling isn't
going to change the fact that
you're losing to me.
Shhh. I need to concentrate.
John, we could actually be doing
something productive on this case,
instead of sitting here all day,
playing pool -- or losing pool, in
your case.
You know that I think my best
whenever I play pool. It's an old
John prepares to make a shot.
Fine, but don't feel sorry when I
beat you so hard that your
grandchildren feel it.
John stops mid-shot. He has had a light-bulb moment.
Grandchildren. Grandchi . . .
Frankie, go to the Public Library
and pick up all the genealogy
books you can get your hands on.
Bring them back here as soon as
you can!
What is it?
I may have just hit on something.
It might be nothing, but then
again, it could be the missing
link to this whole mystery!


John and Francines make their move out of the pool room.
A young man walks up the stairs, carrying another large
package. He enters the penthouse and puts the package down.
He goes over to the television and turns it on. He surfs the
channels randomly. Bored, he finally turns it off and goes
back into the kitchen. He takes some cold chicken out of the
fridge and eats it, all the while staring at the curious
package. He goes to open it, but decides to wash his hands
first. After he has done this, he finally goes to open the
package. He opens it, to find another head-shaped plant
pulled out by its roots. He screams. He tries to get rid of
the plant by tossing it out the window. It is no use,
however; the plant continues to make the ear-piercing
scream. The man tries to plug up his ears, but the sound
continues, louder than ever. He grabs his phone, trying to
dial, but the sound is too much for him. He yanks it out of
the wall. Eventually, the man bursts through the penthouse
window and falls fifty stories to the pavement. The crowd on
the sidewalk screams in terror, and begins to surround the
dead man. Not five feet away from the dead man is the
shrunken head of the plant.
Elizabeth walks into Dub's store. She waves at the jolly old
man as he awakens from a nap.
Hello, Dub!
Oh! Eh, er, hello, young lady . .
. Elizabeth, is it?
What can I do for you today?
Yes, I'd like two bottles of your
finest whiskey, please.
      (on second thought)
On second thought, could I use
your phone first, please?


Well, sure thing. There's a pay
phone in the back, you could use
Thank you.
She walks to the back of the store to the phone. She inserts
a few quarters, dials a number, and waits patiently. She
waits quite a bit with no answer. Dub leans over his counter
to see what is going on. Perplexed, Elizabeth hangs up.
Is there something the matter?
I tried calling my boyfriend, but
there's no answer. Says the line's
been disconnected.
Maybe I should call the phone
company or the police to see
what's gone wrong.
I wouldn't worry about it just
yet. Maybe they're running tests.
I'm sure if you call back in a few
minutes, the line will be back up
I suppose you're right . . .
Elizabeth places the phone back on the receiver and walks
back to the front of the store.
Now, didn't you say you wanted
some whiskey?
Yes. I want two bottles of your
finest whiskey.
Okay. Let me see what I can find
for you, young lady . . .


He walks back into the back room and begins putzing around
for bottles. He finally comes back carrying two bottles.
Maker's Mark okay?
Eh . . don't you have anything
I know exactly what type you're
looking for! We've got some finer
brands down in the cellar. Now, if
you'll just follow me, I'll show
you what a fine selection we have
. . .
Dub takes Elizabeth and proceeds to lead her down into the
damp, dark cellar.
John and Francine are looking through files when John comes
across something worth noting.
John, we've looked through every
single one of these books at least
three times. Can't we give this a
Not just yet . . .
He cross-checks in the other books and files that he has,
and then drops them, with a smile of satisfaction.
I've got it!
What is it?
I've found a connection. Here,
take a look at this.
He hands a book to her.


On a whim, I thought I'd look up
the genealogies of all the victims
thus far. What I found was quite
an astounding discovery - all of
the victims were ancestors of a
group of witch-hunters who were
cursed by a soothsayer in the
employ of the King of Cornwall.
Apparently, they were taught by a
Spanish inquisitor in the ways of
detecting a sorceror. They found
the soothsayer engaged in acts of
the occult, and sentenced him to
death - but not before he cursed
them and their children for
So? A couple of witch-hunters were
cursed by a magician and now their
ancestors are dying. It's sheer
coincidence. Why, you could find a
whole town full of people who
could trace their line back to
half the crown heads of Europe.
Does that necessarily make for a
plausible connection?
It does when you look at the
evidence. Wouldn't you find it odd
that all of these people died of
mysterious circumstances -- even
metaphysical, might I say?
But what on earth makes you think
that all of these murders were
accomplished using black magic?
I finally received that
information this morning from
George regarding those plant-like
objects found at each scene of the
crime. It didn't make sense
before, but now it's starting to
fall into place.
Go on.


Look at these photos.
He hands her the file full of photos. Each one is of the odd
plant. They all resemble human heads.
It had been established by the
coroner that each man was driven
to kill themselves after they had
gone insane. Now, according to all
reports, these "heads," if you
will, have been found at the scene
of every crime. Each head was
delivered in a cardboard package,
which was rigged to pull these
heads out by the roots as soon as
the victim opened the box. Plant
residue has been found on every
victim. Whatever caused these men
to go insane was caused by this
plant. What's more, at one point
these plants may have actually
resembled human heads.
Human heads?
Huh. You know, it's the craziest
thing, but this reminds me of
something Felipe would talk about.
Felipe Escrito. He was an old
boyfriend of mine.


He was really into that sort of
thing. - you know, black magic,
sorcery, that sort of thing. He
told me that that "supernatural
botany" was part of the family
business for ages.
So, a real weirdie, eh?
I don't think you have any room to
So where is he now? Cackling over
some boiling cauldron?
Afraid not. He got out of the
family business. Now he's got his
own shoe store in Vancouver.
Still in the business of selling
"soles," huh?
She gives him a shove. He is knocked off-balance.
That's no way to talk about my old
Well, maybe he could help us. Do
you know his number?
If I remember old Felipe, he'll
probably be at the family's old
summer house this time of year.
She goes to the phone and puts it on speaker. She dials his
It is a house decorated to resemble your basic hunting
lodge. Felipe walks into the room. He is very well dressed.
He picks up the phone and sits down.


Hello, Felipe?
Francine! It's good to hear from
you again!
      (to John)
You could learn a thing or two
from him.
                       FELIPE (V.O.)
What was that?
Oh, nothing! Felipe, I wanted to
ask for your help on something.
                       FELIPE (V.O.)
Anything you want! What is it?
Now, I know this might seem a
little odd, but I'm working on a
case that is extremely odd to
begin with. We've had a rash of
murders down our way, and in the
vicinity of each victim, there was
a small head-shaped plant. Would
you happen to know what breed of
plant it might be, and whether or
not it has any bearing on our
Felipe is shocked by this statement, his mouth agape.
Tell me, were these plants


Well, yes, but I don't see how . .
                       FELIPE (V.O.)
Francine, if what you are telling
me is correct, then we are dealing
with a sort of plant that
supposedly went extinct in 1665.
                       FRANCINE (V.O.)
What plant is that?
A plant so despicable, so so
wicked, so foul that it deserved
to die out with the base men that
would resort to using it - the
mandrake. Torturers, sadists,
murderers - all made use of its
powers to drive insane and kill.
There are apocryphal records that
Barbarossa himself used the plant
on numerous occasions. The plant
was wiped outlawed in the 14th
century, and by the end of the
next century, it was assumed that
it had been eradicated. It seems
now to be otherwise.
Deep in the woods, next to the graveyard, lies the wrecked
taxicab taken by Sonnet. It has crashed along the side of
the road. A door lies ajar. There are no bodies inside. We
close in on the graveyard.
                       FELIPE (V.O.)
But the most insidious factor has
to deal with the plant's growth.
You see, unlike other plants, the
madrake does not grow on normal
earth and water, as do most
We now go deep inside a damp, poorly lit cave.
                       FELIPE (V.O.)
For you see, the madrake only
grows in the hallowed ground of a
dead man's grave . . .


Our eyes come to rest upon a grave marked "Vernon Allen."
                       FELIPE (V.O.)
And they get their sustenance not
from water, but from the pure
blood of virgins.
A hand reaches in with a watering can that pours red blood
all over the grave. The hand belongs to none other than Dub.
He cackles as he pours the blood, and turns to get more.
Hehehehe . . . yes, grow my
babies. It won't be long before
you, too, will be put to use.
He turns around and walks back into his shop. Hanging from
the walls are the corpses of Carolyn, Sonnet, and now,
Elizabeth. Their throats are all slit, and he has a basin
under Elizabeth's, as it still pours out blood.
It's so helpful to have this extra
catacomb, deep in the forest,
where I can drain the blood of
young virgins, far from the
curious eye of the police. If only
they knew . . .
Dub laughs maniacally as Elizabeth's blood continues to flow
into the basin.
Seltzer has six shot glasses lined up along his table. He
stares emphatically at them, and then proceeds to down them
as quickly as possible. When he is finished, he gasps for
air and falls back into his seat. At this moment, George and
Dan bust into the room. Seltzer looks up at them, sullenly.
What do you want? What's going on?
You're being rustled, friend.


What Dan is trying to say is that
we have a warrant for your arrest,
Mr. Seltzer.
WHAT?!? On what grounds?
You've been the last person to
talk to each one of your girls,
Seltzer. That, plus the fact that
you were in charge of shipping
their mail to their boyfriends,
leaves us enough evidence to
convict you of at least four
counts of murder.
No, you can't do this! I'm not
guilty! . . .
'Cuff him, Dan.
Dan handcuffs him, and they begin to lead him out of the
You have the right to remain
silent. Anything you say . . .
John and Francine enter the station. George stands to greet
      (extends his hand)
Enjoy this moment, friends. You
are looking at the man who put the
New Cornwall Killer behind bars.
      (shakes it tepidly)
I think you're wrong, George.


We've got enough evidence to give
him the death sentence, for sure!
How could you think otherwise?
Because I've just received
evidence that confirms a theory of
mine. Those men, and perhaps their
girlfriends, were killed by a
supernatural force.
Ha! Bull!
No, George, this is for real. You
remember those plants, don't you?
The ones that mysteriously popped
up at every murder scene?
Apparently, according to a source
of ours, these plants have the
power to drive men mad to the
point of suicide.
They're just red herrings, meant
to throw us off of his trail.
A rare breed of plant, unknown to
the expert botanist, let alone the
average layman, grown by a
disgruntled agent as a means of
throwing off police? A rather
obscure red herring, wouldn't you
All right, so the case isn't
airtight. What do you want us to
We only wish to get ahold of an
old friend of mine who's an expert
in this field. If he were allowed
to review the case, he might be
able to confirm some things for


I don't see any harm in it. Dan,
hook these two up with a police
escort. Send one of the boys out
with them.
Sure thing, Chief.
Dan walks over to the radio and picks up the receiver.
A shadowy figure makes its way through the villa adjacent to
Felipe's summer house. He finally makes it to the front
steps. He places the box down, rings the doorbell, and runs
off. Felipe opens the door, looks around, and sees the box.
He picks it up and goes back inside.
John and Francine are being driven to Felipe's place by a
policeman. They sit in the back, chatting.
How did the killer know that
Seltzer's girls were virgins?
Simple. He must've done his
research like me. Seltzer signed
on the girls while they were still
underage, quite a few years ago.
Since he had to watch out for
their well-being, he had a
morality clause written into their
contract, making sure that none of
them would be doing anything
I can't believe that Felipe would
know all of this. To think, his
family has been doing this sort of
thing for ages . . .


Wait a minute. You said that
Felipe's last name was Esrcito,
Sergeant, get this car there as
fast as you can! We can't waste
any time!
What's going on?
Felipe Escrito is the ancestor of
the Spanish inquisitor who
instructed the witch-hunters in
finding the soothsayer. The
killer's saved him for last!
The sergeant turns on the siren and picks up the pace.
Felipe takes the box, curious as to what it is. He shakes it
and listens to hear what is inside.
Try to get ahold of him on your
cell phone!
She takes her cell phone out of her purse and begins to
dial. She holds it up to her ear and waits.
Felipe is about to open the box when the phone rings. He
goes over and picks it up.
Felipe, this is Francine! Don't
open any packages until we get


                       FRANCINE (cont'd)
over there, okay? Not a single
Felipe gets nothing but static.
Hello? Helloooooooooo . . .
He waits patiently, but still nothing, so he hangs up.
Felipe! Felipe, for God's sake,
pick up the phone! Felipe!
      (hangs up)
It's no use. The signal's too bad.
We'll never get ahold of him by
Step on it, Sergeant. Every second
The car speeds up to reach its location.
Felipe returns to open his package, but is having a deal of
trouble, so he goes over to the desk drawer, presumably to
get a letter opener. He sorts through all the junk in his
drawer to find it.
Now where'd I put that letter
The car continues to speed towards Felipe's house.
Felipe finally finds his letter opener and brings it over to
the desk. He begins to cut into the box.
Outside, the killer lurks. However, the police car finally
arrives. The sergeant honks the car horn.


Felipe is distracted by the noise, but continues to pry open
the box.
John and the police officer jump out of the car. John turns
and leans in the window.
Wait out here. I'll be back in a
      (to the sergeant)
Stand guard!
John runs into the house.
John makes his way into the living room just as Felipe is
about to open the package completely.
Felipe drops the box, stunned. John runs over and inspects
the box.
A few more seconds late, and you
might've been dead for sure.
What do you mean?
Inside this box is the mandrake
you were talking about. Pulled
this lid open, and you would've
lost your head. So this is how
he's been doing it.
The officer continues to pace around the squad car.
Francine, on edge, waits inside. The officer draws his
pistol, hearing the sound of a twig snapping. He looks
around, weary of who might be there. Suddenly, a shadowy
figure jumps from the bushes and lodges an ax into his head.
Francine, watching, screams. The figure turns and makes his
way towards the police car. Francine locks the door, scoots


over to the driver's seat, and honks the horn. At this, John
and Felipe run out of the house. The killer smashes through
the window, which cuts Francine's arm. She gets out of the
car and grab's the policeman's gun. She begins firing
aimlessly at the killer. John and Felipe stand back, not
wanting to be hit by the bullet. The killer runs off, hit in
the foot by a bullet. He hobbles along. Felipe gives chase,
shooting at the killer with his gun. John goes to bandage
Francine as she lies prostrate on the ground.
Francine sits in a chair, her arm being bandaged by John.
George and Dan regard the box that George has.
Well, George, I hope this whole
incident clears Seltzer of any
wrong-doing. There's no way he
could've made this attempt on our
lives if he were in jail.
Of course. It's a good thing
you're alive, Mr. Escrito.
If he weren't alive, we'd be
helpless against that maniac.
It's comments like that which kept
us apart.
Francine smiles through the wincing pain as John applies
alcohol to her wounds.
Since this box is such a deadly
weapon, I'm thinking that we
should keep it under constant
supervision so that it doesn't
fall into the wrong hands.
Good idea.
Dan, you stand guard tonight over
this box.
Right, chief.


We'd better get some sleep. It's
been a long night.
You're telling me!
Good night, Sheriff.
See you tomorrow!
The group gets up and begins to head for the door. Dan
settles in for a long night.
The police station is dark, save for the lone desk lamp Dan
uses to read his magazine, with his feet planted firmly on
the desk. The box sits next to him. He glances over at it,
pats it, and returns to his reading. Unfortunately, he does
not see the masked figure sneaking up behind him. The killer
knocks him out with a club, and he sinks to the floor. The
killer turns, grabs the box, and runs off.
The group walks in collectively gasps, seeing Dan lying on
the floor unconscious. They also realize that the box is
The box is gone!
He runs off to search the rest of the station. George leans
down and picks Dan up. He smacks him a few times to restore
him to consciousness. Dan looks around, shocked.
What happened, Chief? I was
reading one minute, the next I was
out cold!
You were knocked unconcious. The
killer must've broken in and
stolen the box.
Aww, sheeeeee-it . . .


John runs back into the room, breathless.
It's just as I feared - the box is
nowhere to be found.
What are you going to do, George?
Something I should've done a long
time ago - round up a posse and
comb that forest from top to
bottom. If there is a killer in
there, by God, we'll catch him.
Let's rock and roll.
The police go through the town, knocking on the doors and
calling out people to join them in their hunt for the
killer. Bars, bowling alleys, diners, offices -- the men are
called from all over the town to join in on the manhunt. Dub
grabs his rifle and runs out of the trading shop/train
It is dusk before the posse has formed outside the forest.
John, Francine, and Felipe wait near the front when Dub
makes his way through the crowd to them.
Whoo-hoo! How's about all this?
Pretty exciting, huh?
I think we've all had more
excitement than we asked for.
Oh, trust me, there'll be more, if
I know anything . . .
At this moment, George climbs onto a tree stump to address
the crowd.
All right, everyone, now just
listen up . . . attention . . .
attention please . . . listen up!


The buzz of the crowd slowly diminishes. Once George has
their complete attention, he continues.
I'd like to thank everyone again
for coming out tonight. It's good
to see such a big turn-out. Now, I
know this all seems like fun and
games to most of you, but I must
warn each and every one of you:
the man we are looking for is not
your run-of-the-mill criminal.
This man is a serial killer - I
repeat, a serial killer. He is
known to be armed and dangerous.
He is not to be taken lightly. So
I want each of you to take extreme
precautions. No group will be
smaller than three persons. Even
then, I want each and every group
to remain within five hundred feet
of the other groups AT ALL TIMES.
If you find the madman or any
evidence of him, don't face him
alone. Alert the other members of
the posse with a blast from your
rifles. We'll be there to back you
up. Now, if you do happen to
corner the killer, I want him
taken alive if possible. If,
however, he posts an immediate
threat, and he must be killed, by
all means, do so - but do so only
as a last resort. Are there any
other questions?
The posse has none.
All right, then. I assume that you
all have your lanterns and
flashlights, so good luck.
The posse members take their lanterns, torches, flashlights,
and rifles and proceed into the woods. They slowly trample
through the thick underbrush and wade through the ponds.
Some of the group begin to scale a rather steep hill,
looking for the killer. The hounds are released, attempting
to locate a trace of the killer. John and Francine stop to
take a breather.


At this rate, we'll get to
Timbuktu before we find the
He could be anywhere in these
I know a place where they haven't
looked yet. Come on!
He waddles off. The other two decide to follow him.
Meanwhile, the rest of the posse continues its wild goose
chase through the forest. Dub finally brings the two to the
site of the old graveyard.
Impressive, ain't it? I found it
on a walk through the woods one
time. Seems like the original
settlers of New Cornwall built
this here place. Must've been lost
for ages.
Dub, are you sure about this
place? Let's just go . . .
No worries. If we need to get
ahold of the others, we can just
fire our rifles, remember?
Dub slowly makes his way down into the graveyard. Francine
turns to John, who, though skeptical at first, just shrugs
his shoulders. They both make their way into the graveyard
behind Dub. He turns and stops this.
Now, just you wait. This is
amazing. I found this when I was
wandering around this graveyard
one day.
He presses against one of the tombstones. Suddenly, a
man-sized hole appears in the ground. He looks up at them
and smiles.
How's about that? A trap-door


Well, what should we do now?
      (almost jokingly)
What any grave robber worth his
salt would do . . . rob this
grave! After you, Dub.
Dub uncharacterisitcally seems reluctant to go first.
Oh, come on now, Dub. I insist.
Dub slowly lowers himself into the grave.
I don't trust him. He knows too
much. I just want to see how much.
Do you think it's safe to go down
into that God-forsaken hole with
Don't worry. I'll leave my lantern
so the other can spot the grave if
we go missing.
John then helps Francine down into the grave and, after the
two are gone, leaves his lantern on top of the tombstone for
the others to see. He turns it up as brightly as possible
and then slowly descends into the grave.
John and Francine follow Dub at a safe distance. John slowly
reaches for his gun when Dub stops.
I wouldn't use that gun if I were
you . . . JOHN.
Why not, Dub?
      (turns and smiles)
Well, for one thing, you might end
up killing me, which would be most
unfortunate for me. For another,


                       DUB (cont'd)
you might cause a cave-in, which
would be most unfortunate for you.
And for another thing, you might
alert the others as to our
location, which would be
unfortunate for them --
He presses a button on the wall which closes up the
Follow me, if you please . . .
after all, it doesn't look like
you have any other choice.
They follow Dub into his lair. He turns to them and smiles.
He takes off his boots, revealing the rifle wound on the
back of his foot.
It was you!
Yes, my dear, it was me. How do
you like my sanctum sanctorum?
It's where I like to spend my free
time -- when I'm not taking a nap
out on the front porch, of course.
Some hobby.
Revenge is a hobby that takes up a
great deal of my time, friend. It
takes a dedicated person.
So it's for revenge, is it?
Revenge for something that
happened to your ancestor over a
thousand years ago? These people
had nothing to do with it!
They had nothing to do with it.
They had nothing to do with it . .
      (regains his


                       DUB (cont'd)
I'll bet there's one little part
of the legend you haven't heard.
They don't like to tell it much,
it muddies things up . . . you
see, my ancestor was cursed by the
King of Cornwall. His ancestors
would become more worthless and
stupid throughout the generations,
and now this. You see, I am the
epitome of a loser. I look at the
ancestors of my accusers and see
how happy and successful they have
become, and then I look at myself
. . .
You obviously aren't as dumb as
you think you are, having conjured
up this whole sordid affair. It's
God has given me free will to
avenge my father and fulfill my
father's strange blessing.
You see, each generation of the
witch-hunters grew in fear, until
I was chosen by Providence to end
their suffering by causing them to
die by those who loved them most -
how better to kill the three men
than to have their lovers send
them packages made straight from
the heart - or should I say,
straight from their own blood?
I won’t be half as mad as John is
when I make him pull the plant.
Mad enough to kill himself.
Dub takes out a box and carefully removes the top. It is the


And once John is dead, my dear,
I'll drain you of your blood to
grow another mandrake meant for
Felipe, and get my final vengeance
by destroying the last heir of
that infernal inquisitor who
ruined my family line!
The others are continuing the search. Felipe stops George
for a moment.
      (wipes his brow)
Sheriff, is it just me, or did we
lose John and Francine a ways
Why, I think you're right about
that! How far back was that?
It was back around Miller's Creek,
ifn I recollect, Chief!
Well, come on. Let's go find them.
They turn heel to go back. George signals to the other
members of the posse to follow him back to the creek bed.
They begin the long trek back that way.
Dub still has the two cornered in his lair.
What about the others, Dub?
They'll find us eventually once
they realize we're missing.
I may be a practitioner in the
black arts, but I am not entirely
magical. You see, I have to rely
on mechanical means as well.


Dub walks over to a switch and flips it. A fog machine
slowly begins to spurt out fog.
It is not long before the whole of the forest in enveloped
in a bank of fog. The posse wanders about aimlessly, having
lost its bearings.
So . . . a fog machine.
That's how you managed to obscure
yourself after killing Carolyn!
Yes, yes, yes . . . but that's all
in the past now. I'm afraid it's
time for John to take his last
sane breath on earth.
Dub walks up behind John, pointing a knife in his back.
Are you ready, John?
. . . Yes.
John steps up to the plant. He spreads his finger, ready to
pull the plant out.
Do it now.
John reaches down, about to pull out the plant . . . when he
turns and roundhouses Dub. He drops the knife onto the
table. They begin to engage in fisticuffs around the
catacombs. Francine takes this opportunity to run to the Fog
machine switch and turn it off.
Go get the others, Francine!
John and Dub continue to fistfight. Francine runs down the
corridor and presses the button which opens the doorway to
the catacombs. She climbs out of the grave and starts to run


to the others. Meanwhile, it appears that John is getting
the upper hand when Dub spots his knife, sitting next to the
mandrake. John blocks his path to the knife. Dub furtively
attempts to grasp the knife, lunging forward. He clenches
his fist and pulls. Instead of the knife, however, he has
accidentally grabbed the hair of the mandrake's head and
pulled it out by its roots. Dub begins screaming at the
sound of the screaming. John, however, cannot hear it. It
all appears to only be in Dub's mind. Dub reaches for the
knife to kill himself, but John tosses it away. Dub runs
around the room, banging his head against the wall, trying
to end the awful sound. He finally slumps over in a corner.
The fog begins to clear once again, giving the posse a clear
The fog's beginning to clear!
Hey, Chief! Here comes Francine!
Francine runs over to them, panting.
Francine! Where's John?
With Dub, trapped in the basement
of the goods store! Dub's the one
who's been committing all these
murders with the mandrakes!
It appears that the only way to
end the terror is to dispose of
Dub the way his ancestor was 500
years before. Dan, you get a
lasso, George, you get a squad
car. Francine, follow me.
All right.
      (to the posse)
All right, men! We're taking it
over to the dry goods store!
The posse begins to hustle out of the forest. Felipe takes
Francine by the arm and leads her out.


John peeks over to see what has happened with Dub. He turns
around to reveal that HE HAS BECOME A HAIRY BEAST! He lunges
for John's throat. John spots the stairs leading to the
store. He bolts up them with the monster in hot pursuit. He
runs into the store, followed by the monster. John pulls
down displays of canned foods and boxes of cereal to block
his path, but the monster bursts through the aisles,
throwing the various sundries out of its way. Suddenly,
George, Dan, and a few other deputies burst in.
      (draws his pistol)
Stand back, John!
John ducks out of the way as George approaches the monster,
firing his gun. The monster is unamused and gives George a
severe blow to the head. George falls to the ground,
motionless. The other deputies lunge forward and engage in
short brawls with the monster, but it easily tosses them
aside. Dan, bearing his lasso, finally steps forward and
thrusts it towards the beast. He lassoes the monster, but it
remains belligerent. Dan and his fellow deputies are engaged
in a tug-of-war with the beast, trying to pull him down.
Drag him out to the bumper, men!
We'll take it from there!
Dan runs out to start the squad car. The other deputies,
along with Felipe, manage to drag him out to the squad car.
Felipe ties the rope around the bumper and gives Dan the
thumbs-up. Dan puts the pedal to the metal. Dan speedily
makes his way towards the coastline. He glances back and
sees that the monster is slowly dragging itself up the line
towards the car. He continues to speed along, until the
monster has almost made his way onto the back of the car.
They near the coast.
Dan jumps out of the car.
The monster and the car crash into the waves and sink to the
bottom of the ocean. The others run up to Dan to check and
see if he is all right.
Dan, are you all right?


      (shakes his head)
A little konked out, but besides
that, sure, I'm fine!
Wait a minute . . . What about
They rush back to see what has happened to John at the
The group returns to the store. After dilligent searching,
they find John buried beneath a stack of groceries. Francine
pulls him to his feet.
      (dazed and
Well, Frankie, what'd I miss?
Oh, John. You were your usual
wonderful self.
And what of the mandrake?
I think that answers your
He points to the ground. Francine gasps and rushes into
Felipe's arms. He holds her tight. John shakes his head and
crosses his arms.

The mandrake head, left on the floor, has shriveled and
disappears into nothingness.


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