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Skulk
by penny warner (penny.warner@woodlandscenics.com or penadams@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Horror   User Review: ***
A group of biologists travel to Antarctica to study new-found species in the aftermath of melting ice sheets, which had previously covered the tectonic plates. What they find, is a study in terror.


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.



FADE IN:

INT. SCHOOLROOM - DAY
                                                            
At the top of a chalkboard a sign reads MRS. SCAREY'S 5TH
GRADE. A young Mrs. Scarey is taping photos of newly-found
species from Antarctica to the chalkboard.
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY
Class, all of these new species
have just been found in
Ant-arc-ti-ca (enunciates clearly,
and points at globe).
                                                            
The class "oohs" and "ahs" over the photos.
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY
The reason these new species have
been found, is that sheets of ice,
which cover the Antarctica, are
melting.
                                                            
Mrs. Scarey shows an overhead of the earth's tectonic
plates.
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY
The earth was once a solid mass of
land, but through time,
earthquakes and other natural
events, it has broken apart into
what we call, tec-ton-ic
(enuciates clearly) plates.
                                                            
                       KIP
Why are the ice sheets melting? I
though it was waaay cold in
Antarctica.
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY
It is Kip. They are melting
because of what we call Global
Warming.
                                                            
Kip raises his hand, smirking.
                                                            
                       KIP
My dad says that Global Warming is
lies thought up by a bunch of
tree-huggers in monkey suits.
                                                            
The class laughs, and the laughter dissolves into a bubbling
sound.
                                                            

2.

CUT TO: DEEP IN THE OCEAN.
                                                            
Bubbles clear away, and a row of four demon-eyes appear in
an endless fissure, along a rock outcropping. The eyes
disappear and then a fleshy blob starts seeping very slowly
out of the fissure.
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY (vo)
      (frustrated)
Well, your father has a right to
his opinion, Kip, but these are
facts discovered by scientists in
Antarctica right now.
                                                            
                       KIP (VO)
So, there are people down there
right now?
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY (VO)
Yes, right now. The scientists,
biologists, live in what they call
substations.
                                                            
She points to the overhead.
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY (VO)
Now - back to the subject - these
plates sometimes move away from
each other. Those movements are
called faults, and that's when we
see get to see all of these new
insect, plant and animal species.
The ice has been covering these
faults all these years and so
we're only now seeing the new
species because of the melting.
                                                            
The blob keeps coming out of the fissure and it is enormous.
Its face finally seeps out and in front it has a large
cupped mouth. It shakes violently, then terrible, sharp
spikes protrude in rows from its now rigid body. Its four
eyes look in all directions.
                                                            
                       KIP (VO)
Do they get mail at the
substations? Can we write to them
to ask them questions?
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY (VO)
Well, that's a good question. I
will see if we can. That would be
a wonderful class project, Kip!
                                                            

3.

A large fish swims by the creature's cupped mouth and the
creature sucks the fish in, then blows it back out...blood
and bones swirling in the water.
                                                            
                       KIP (VO)
Do you think that they fish from a
boat to find the new species, or
do they go down under the ocean?
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY (VO)
I don't know the answer to that.
Keep that question for your letter
Kip.
                                                            
The creature shakes violently and turns back into the fluid
blob. He seeps back into the fissure.
                                                            
 
INT. SUBSTATION ANARCTICA - DAY
                                                            
Four brawny men and a petite, but rugged, woman are playing
cards at a tiny table in the substation. There are benches
with testtubes, microscopes and jars of odd, preserved fish
species. STEDMAN "ICE" ICENHOWER flips a card down and BILLY
BALLOU smiles widely.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Damn, Ice, it's about time for you
to give up gambling!
                                                            
He slaps his cards down, winning the round, and picks up an
envelope lying beside him. Stedman grins. The woman, HOLLY
WOOD, gives him a steely glare.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Hmm...maybe if I cheated like you
I'd think about it.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Well, Iíve got to get out of here
and catch some supper. I donít
have time to sit here and play
Tiddlywinks with you girls.
                                                            
He turns and winks at Holly.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Pardon my language, sir.
                                                            
The men roar with laughter. Billy holds up the envelope.
                                                            

4.

                       BILLY
Iím going to work on answering
Mrs. Scareyís classroom questions
                                                            
Billy acts like heís writing.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Dear Kip, the only scary species
Iíve seen here is the female
species. And I didnít catch her on
the end of this poleÖshe couldnít
handle it.
                                                            
Billy blows her a kiss and walks toward the door putting on
his parka and gloves. JAMES BELL, a young biologist hands
fishing gear to Billy.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Hey, donít clean your catch so
close to the door this time. It
really stankÖoh, I forgot, thatís
you that I keep smelling.
                                                            
They all laugh as Billy exits the substation with his
walkie-talkie radio.
                                                            
CUT TO: OUTSIDE THE SUBSTATION
                                                            
Billy starts singing and walks about 300 yards to a covered
tent. He unzips the door and goes inside.
                                                            
                       BILLY
      (into his radio)
Hey, uh, what kind of wager would
you scrawny asses like to make
that youíll be skinniní fish in
about five minutes? Holl, youíre
excluded from the scrawny ass
part.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN (VO)
      (filtered)
Iíll take that one for
twenty-five, and Holly is, shall
we say, not happy.
                                                            
                       BILLY
OK, fish. Who wants to be lucky
number one?
                                                            
He drops his line and immediately pulls out a fish. He picks
up the radio and yells into it.
                                                            

5.

                       BILLY
We have a winner, Ice, and it
ainít you.
                                                            
Billy hears the laughter and disappointment on the other end
of the radio. He laughs himself, puts down the radio, then
drops another line. Out comes another fish. They start
swimming to the top. Billy starts scooping them out with his
hands, throwing them aside, laughing and living his ultimate
fishing dream. He picks up the radio and presses the button.
                                                            
                       BILLY
You need to get out here and help
me haul in this boatload of fish.
                                                            
                       HOLLY (VO)
      (filtered)
Aw, shut your fish hole and get
back in here. You are not that
lucky!
                                                            
He ignores the radio when the fish suddenly start popping
about two feet high out of the hole. They start filling up
the bottom of the tent. All of a sudden, the fish stop
coming. It is deadly quiet after the ruckus, except for a
few flops from the fish. He bends to see in the hole. A low
hum begins.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Shit.
                                                            
A shredded, bloody fish pops up and scares him. He picks up
the fish and examines it. As he sets it back in the hole, a
fleshy tentacle slips around his forearm. It shakes
violently and the spikes protract, shredding Billyís arm as
he pulls it free. The humming gets louder. Screaming and
reaching for the radio, he yells into the radio. The
tentacle reaches for him, narrowly missing Billyís legs.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Bring the first aid kit. It nailed
me a good one and Iím bleeding all
over the place.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN (VO)
      (filtered)
Cut it out. Bring your whale and
get back in here. Weíre hungry.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Stedman. Man, I'm not kidding.
                                                            

6.

CUT TO: INSIDE THE SUBSTATION.
                                                            
The team looks at each other and scrambles to get their
parkas on. They race out the substation toward the tent and
hear Billy screaming and then as they approach the tent, we
hear the humming.
                                                            
CUT TO: ABOVE THE TENT
                                                            
As the camera pulls out higher and higher, we see the
creatureís magnitude under the ice. It encircles the whole
encampment and the fishing tent. Itís bigger than several
football fields.
                                                            
CUT TO: POV, BEHIND THE TEAM MEMBERS
                                                            
The ice violently shakes and cracks and moans under the
teamís feet as they near the tent. There is blood seeping
out from under the tent and the humming subsides. As they
enter the tent, they see Billy standing with blood dripping
from his arm. Holly looks petrified. RAYMOND SILLS, a gentle
Englishman, picks up Billyís hat and plops it on his head.
                                                            
                       RAYMOND
What the bloody hell happened.
                                                            
                       BILLY
It just grabbed me. Grabbed me and
tore me up.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Well, letís get you back to the
station and get your bleeding
stopped. I knew something was
terribly wrong when you called me
Stedman. Did you feel that
shaking? Youíre the quake expert,
Ballou. What do you make of it?
                                                            
Billy sees the fear in Hollyís eyes as she wraps a towel
around his arm.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Oh, it was just a babyÖmaybe a two
on the Richter. Hey pick up some
of those lunkers before we leave.
Gotta eat donít we?
                                                            
They start heading back toward the substation. As the camera
pulls back, we see the creature retreating from the area.
                                                            
 

7.

INT. SUBSTATION - DAY
                                                            
Stedman is working on Billyís arm, removing pieces with
tweezers while Holly cleans the wound. Everyone is quiet.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Iím going to contact medical.
Youíre going to need some surgery
and weíre going to need some
backup down here. If that was an
earthquake, I donít want to take
the chance of having to dog-paddle
until they get here.
                                                            
He picks up some of the flesh he has picked off Billyís arm.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
If that wasnít an earthquake, we
need to find out what it was.
                                                            
He takes the fleshy substance to another room and puts it
between slides, under a microscope. He yells to Raymond.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Ray, get on that sonar and check
out whatís happen down there under
the water. That might give us some
clues until medical gets here.
                                                            
                       RAYMOND
Right-o, Ice.
                                                            
Holly stares a hole in Billy.
                                                            
                       BILLY
What?
                                                            
She lowers her voice so no one hears but Billy.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
You know that was no earthquake.
Earthquakes donít tear flesh. What
did you see?
                                                            
                       BILLY
I donít know.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Bull. Youíve got to tell us now,
so we can do something to prevent
this from happening again
                                                            

8.

                       BILLY
Seriously, I donít know. Iíve
never seen anything like it.
                                                            
He winces in pain and looks Holly in the eyes.
                                                            
                       MRS. SCAREY
If I tell them what I saw, theyíll
think Iím crazy.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
If you donít tell them, it could
seriously endanger our lives. We
felt it the other night, while
they were all on the east side of
the quadrant. That shaking and
humming...itís just like the last
time.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Well, Iím a biologist, nothing
more. I think weíre up against
something thatísÖnot of this
world.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Weíve never explored here before,
and youíve seen all the stuff in
those jars. Who knows what else is
under that ice? Youíve just got to
tell them.
                                                            
Billy looks at the other guys, then winces in pain.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Serves you right. You're always
skulking.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Skulking? What's that?
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Lurking with sinister intent.
                                                            
He fidgets and scratches his head.
                                                            
                       BILLY
You really get on my last nerve.
At least my name's not Holly Wood.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Oh, now there's a real grown up
zinger.
                                                            

9.

Holly calls the guys around Billy.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Tell 'em.
                                                            
                       RAYMOND
Tell us what chap?
                                                            
                       BILLY
Iíve got to tell you what I saw,
and whatís been happening while
youíve been on the east side.
                                                            
They listen intently as he tells his story. His talk fades
into blips.
                                                            
CUT TO: THE SONAR MACHINE
                                                            
The sonar shows the outline of the large creature making its
way back toward the substation. The blips blend into slow
heartbeat sounds.
                                                            
CUT TO: UNDER THE WATER
                                                            
The creature slithers slowly and the low hum is heard. The
creature and the hum disappear into the deep.
                                                            
 
INT. SUBSTATION BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
In the early morning the low hum arouses the sleeping team.
Billy recognizes it and bolts upright in bed. He puts
pressure on his arm and screams out in pain. Holly pulls her
covers close to her face.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
No! Not again.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Is that it? Is that the sound you
heard Bill?
                                                            
Billy, still in pain, limps out of bed and runs to the sonar
machine.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Ray, how do you read this thing?
                                                            
Ray and the rest of the team pull their clothes and go to
the team. The humming gets louder.
                                                            

10.

                       RAYMOND
      (yelling)
Donít touch anything. Iíve got the
frequency set spot on and you know
how hard it is to calibrate this
thing.
                                                            
They all gather around the machine. Ray sits down and
punches some keys.
                                                            
                       RAYMOND
Blimey.
                                                            
He stares at the machine. He canít seem to speak. He turns
and looks at Stedman, then back at the screen.
                                                            
                       RAYMOND
See this square here? Thatís the
substation. See this circle here?
Thatís the tent.
                                                            
They nod. The humming is louder.
                                                            
                       JAMES
Yeah, whatís all that dark stuff
around the camp?
                                                            
Raymond stares. He slumps back in his chair.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Well, what is it?
                                                            
Raymond shrugs his shoulders.
                                                            
                       RAYMOND
I think we should prepare
ourselves for unholy war.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Well, weíve got three hours before
the team gets here. Ray, get on
the phone and tell them to meet us
at the west end. Holly, you said
you heard it on the east end the
last time?
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Yes, just at the end of the third
lateral test line. It sounded a
lot like this, but wasnít as loud.
                                                            
The humming gets unbearably loud and then the floor shakes
violently. The team scrambles to hold onto something. The

11.

floor rips open. Large tentacles lash around the room and
water flies everywhere. Holly screams and runs to Billy.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Ray, get that stun gun.
                                                            
Raymond brings the gun and Stedman rips it out of his hands.
He gouges a tentacle and zaps it with the gun. The tentacle
slithers toward Raymond and grabs hold from the top of his
head. He screams as the tentacle shakes violently. The
spikes protract and rip Raymondís body apart as it runs down
his body. Rayís arms fall off and the tentacles slip back
into the water. The rest of the team runs toward the door as
the water rises in the substation. The tentacle jump back
into the room and grabs Raymond. It pulls him into the
water, then spits his bloody bones back up on the surface.
The floor shakes violently again and knocks the team to the
floor. It becomes very quiet. The terrified team slowly gets
to their feet.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Letís grab the radios and anything
you can carry that will be of use.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
What about Ray? We canít just
leave him here.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Now, where are we going to start
at picking him up? Weíll have to
come back for him. Weíre not
spending another minute in this
hole.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Iíve got to get my jars. Itís my
research, my lifeís work, Ice.
                                                            
Billy tries to restrain her, but Holly slips out of his
arms. As she runs to gather her things Billy shouts after
her.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Damn, Holly. Come on. Weíve got to
get out of here.
                                                            
Stedman, Billy and James grab things as they prepare to
leave.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
James, contact them again and tell
them to get down here now!
                                                            

12.

                       JAMES
But, what do I TELL them?
                                                            
The humming starts up again. It gets louder.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
      (yells)
Holly, get out here now! James,
tell them to get to the west end
and meet us there with some giant
firepower. Tell them hell has
frozen over and weíre about to
slide in ass-first.
                                                            
Holly comes running out of the room with a two boxes.
Stedman grabs one of the boxes and throws it aside. She hugs
the second one to her so he canít take it.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
We havenít got time for this.
Letís go!
                                                            
They all run out of the station. They hear the humming, but
it gets quieter as they run. Billy looks down.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Do you see that? Look behind us,
itís dark under the ice. Whatever
it is, its behind us.
                                                            
The camera pulls back as the team runs toward the west end
of the camp. We see the creature just behind them.
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST END - DAY
                                                            
The team makes it to the west end of the camp. The small,
open lean-to allows them to sit and catch their breath.
Holly begins to cry and Billy tries to comfort her. Stedman
and James look at a map for the landing site.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Hey, Holl. You know, I just
figured out why it makes that
humming sound?
                                                            
                       HOLLY
      (seriously)
You have?
                                                            
                       BILLY
Well, hell yeah. Itís cause it
doesnít know the words.
                                                            

13.

The guys laugh nervously. Holly pulls herself away from
Billy.
                                                            
Thatís not funny. A man was ripped apart in front of our
eyes and youíre cracking jokes? I must have been out of my
mind when you asked me to help you down here.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Hey, weíve got to get through
this, and right now I feel like
crying, but Iíd rather laugh. So,
if youíll excuse me, Iím gonna
laugh, and get drunk too.
                                                            
He pulls out a bottle of liquor and takes a swig. Holly
gasps.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
Ice. You threw years of my
research away and let him carry
your booze?
                                                            
                       BILLY
No, itís mine.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
No. I didnít know he had it, but
since he doesÖhere Billy. Let me
have some of that.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Yeah, you open up one of your
specimens there and take a swig.
See how you feel after that.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
I am so glad I put off our
engagement.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Yeah, well me too. I hope you and
your specimens will be very happy.
                                                            
Billy tips the bottle.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Hereís to disengagement.
                                                            
In the distance we hear the WHIRRING of a helicopter.
Stedman shoots a flare gun to mark their location. Holly
picks up her box to carry it out to the landing pad. On the
side, written in large letters is, FEMALE SPECIES. The radio

14.

blares in Jamesí pocket. The pilot is screaming something
through the static on the radio. James picks up the radio.
                                                            
                       JAMES
Base, base, this is Sub Zero. Come
again, out.
                                                            
                       COPTER PILOT (VO)
      (filtered)
I said get out of there now. That
thing is heading straight for you.
                                                            
The humming begins, mixed with the chopper noises and all of
the excitement. The team runs toward the chopper.
                                                            
                       COPTER PILOT (VO)
      (filtered)
Iím gonna blast it with everything
Iíve got. Just keep running toward
the west end.
                                                            
The team keeps running and the helicopter blasts the dark
place in the ice where the creature can be seen. The team
stops. As they do they see a smoldering hole in the ice.
Holly sets her box down and catches her breath. The humming
gets louder and then the ice shakes violently.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Now theyíve pissed him off. Letís
run.
                                                            
Holly picks up her box and as she does, one of the jars
slips out. She runs back to pick it up. Billy and Stedman
yell at her to leave it.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
No, I canít.
                                                            
They run back to get her. She barely scoops the jar back up
and into her box before the guys grab her. From the air, we
see the creature catching up to them. The ice starts popping
up behind the team as they run and the humming is now very
loud.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Holly, grab my hand.
                                                            
Holly grabs on and they are just 200 yards from the chopper.
But the creature is now under their feet. The ice is popping
up and tentacles start flailing around all around. James
runs right into a tentacle, barely slashing his cheek.
Stedman grabs him as he goes by.
                                                            

15.

                       BILLY
Holly, drop that box and hold on
to me.
                                                            
Holly takes out one jar and throws the rest of the box down.
A giant tentacle explodes through the ice in front of Billy
and Holly. Stedman runs to their side. The ice violently
shakes and starts cracking. The ice moans and starts rising
in places around them.
                                                            
                       BILLY
      (screaming)
Hold on!
                                                            
The tentacles start thrashing and the largest lashes toward
them. Holly throws her jar at the creature and it smashes
into the fleshy tentacle. The small specimen inside the jar
sticks to the tentacle and glows a phosphorus green. The
tentacle stops dead in its tracks and it is as if all the
tentacles have frozen. A sickening moan starts, then the
violent shaking begins. The ice pieces start heaving and all
of the tentacles drop sharply back into the ocean. The team
has to hold on for dear life until the ice pieces stop
moving. The chopper hovers over and the pilot talks on the
loudspeaker.
                                                            
                       COPTER PILOT (VO)
      (filtered)
Hang on, weíre lowering a basket.
                                                            
The team sits on the ice pieces, which are rocking on the
water. Billy hugs Holly close to him and whispers in her
ear.
                                                            
                       BILLY
Iím so sorry, I love you.
                                                            
                       HOLLY
      (laughing)
Yeah, I know. But no matter how
much you love me, never make the
female species mad.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
You ainít lying.
                                                            
They all laugh. Stedman turns to James.
                                                            
                       STEDMAN
Come on, lets get you in the
basket. You and Billy can share a
room in the hospital.
                                                            

16.

                       JAMES
Yeah, well, make him take a shower
first.
                                                            
They all laugh and watch as the basket lowers to the ice.
James climbs in and he starts rising to the copter. Below
the water, the creature sinks slowly to the bottom. It
begins breaking up and fluttering down. As the pieces of the
creature hit the bottom, we hear the WHIRRING of the chopper
taking off and flying away. The chopper sound fades into a
gentle (at first) HUMMING. It is coming from all of the
pieces of the creature. As the scene fades to black, the
HUMMING gets louder and louder and louder.
                                                            


FADE OUT.


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From Aaron G. White Date 4/14/2008 **1/2
You've got some good writing ability, but it gets lost in a story that seems overdone by Hollywood. Show us something we've never seen before, and your script will shine...

From Glenn Date 8/22/2005 ***
Nice story. I have seen it before, but there is osmething about movies set in those places that I like. I would like to see more of the scipt, trying to expand it, which i think u r doing. Remember keep it orginally, use ur imgaintation and no things u have seen from other movies.

From Gary Hornbeek Date 8/5/2005 **1/2
Liked the dialogue. Unfortunately, same old story. This theme has been done and re-done hundreds of times since " The Creature from the Black Lagoon". Seems like you have plenty of talent, just need to focus it on more original ideas.

From Kevin Date 8/5/2005 **1/2
it's original but ut never really excited me.

From Asuquo Bassey Date 8/5/2005 ****
Nice story.


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