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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
by Angela Aycock (angiebaby1222@yahoo.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Miscellaneous   User Review: ****


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:

EXT. REALITY VS. SURREAL - DAY
                                                            
BLANK SCREEN
                                                            
Duke's headshot appears in front of a black blank
background. Duke appears shocked and confused in a daze as
he stares into the camera. Simultaneously, the camera will
zoom into a screenshot of his eyes while a swoosh sound is
in the background. Digital effects will distort the image of
his eyes into a swirl that represents him hallucinating.
                                                            
 
EXT. MIRROR SCENE - DAY
                                                            
BLANK SCREEN
                                                            
Duke appears looking into a full sized mirror feeling and
moving his face into the distortion.
                                                            
 
EXT. RED CONVERTIBLE - DAY
                                                            
DUKE is unable to look away from his face; however he is not
touching it. This scene suggests that the prior distortions
were possibly due to hallucinations instead of DUKE touching
his face. The drugs were beginning to take hold of DUKE.
                                                            
 
EXT. REALITY - DAY
                                                            
Shot begins showing only DUKE'S face. As camera slowly zooms
out and shows his surroundings, DUKE'S face shows his own
realization of reality. DUKE realizes that he is driving a
red convertible at 100 mph. DUKE'S face shows a shocked and
paranoid look as the camera zooms out to display him
speeding dangerously. He realizes that he was not paying
attention to the road.
                                                            
 
EXT. TAKING HOLD OF WHEEL/REALITY - DAY
                                                            
DUKE desperately grabs the wheel as if it were reality. He
acts as if the drugs are trying to pull him away from his

2.

focus on driving. In order to drive safely he grabs the
steering wheel tightly and closely so the hallucinations
cannot pull him away from it again.
                                                            
 
EXT. TALKING WITH DR. GONZO - DAY
                                                            
Now both characters are seen together in the car for the
first time. DR. GONZO appears in the passenger side of the
car cracking open a beer can. He is wearing sunglasses and
appears to be sunburned as well. He seems calm and collected
overall seeing as how he was unaware of DUKE'S mirror
distraction.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
I feel a bit light headed; maybe
you should drive...
                                                            
 
EXT. THE BATS - DAY
                                                            
Shot displays DUKE suddenly distracted by something flying
and screeching above his head. He regains his paranoid look
from earlier mirror scene.
                                                            
                       DUKE (V/O)
Suddenly there was a roar all
around us of what looked like huge
bats.
                                                            
Shot then shows human-sized bats with vampire fangs flying,
screeching, and swooping around the car.
                                                            
Shot of DUKE swatting above his head as if the bats were
insects small enough to swat away.
                                                            
                       DUKE
Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn
animals?
                                                            
 
EXT. DR. GONZO - DAY
                                                            
DR. GONZO appears seemingly uninterested in his friends
remark as he admires the desert surroundings.
                                                            

3.

Shot shows the desert as if from DR. GONZO'S perspective
which is a calm hot afternoon. There is no huge bats
screeching, or swooping around the car. This confirms that
DUKE was hallucinating before when he saw the bats.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
What the hell are you yelling
about?
                                                            
As GONZO responds to DUKE he begins to unbutton his shirt to
pour beer on his sunburned chest. He still remains
uninterested in whatever DUKE has to say.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
Nevermind, its your turn to drive.
                                                            
DUKE hits the brakes and aimed the car toward the shoulder
of the deserted highway. DUKE looks at GONZO'S calm demeaner
as if he anticipates the drugs might take hold of GONZO,
although DUKE displays no hint of worry.
                                                            
DUKE switches seats with GONZO while making remark under his
breath. DUKE is under the impression that his remark was
internal thought; however he cannot control his mouth from
speaking what his mind is really thinking.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (UNDER BREATH)
No point in mentioning these bats.
The poor bastard will see them
soon enough.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
What?
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
You better get ahold of yourself
man. I never said a thing.
                                                            
Scene of the Great Red Shark driving away and out of sight
as the desert wind blows sand making the car less visible as
it fades away into the distance.
                                                            

4.

                                         FADE TO FLASHBACK
                                                            
 
EXT. FLASHBACK - DAY
                                                            
DUKE and GONZO appear in the Polo Lounge drinking exotic and
colorful cocktails. Alongside the cocktails are beer cans.
GONZO chews up mescaline and chases it with beer. A lounge
employee approaches the table with a telephone on a platter.
                                                            
                       EMPLOYEE
      (to DUKE)
This must be the phone call you
have been expecting.
                                                            
DUKE picks up the phone.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (on Phone)
Yes. Uh-Huh. Uh-Huh.
                                                            
DUKE hangs up the phone. He waves off the employee. The
employee leaves looking frustrasted for not having recieved
a tip.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
That was Headquarters. They want
me to go to Las Vegas at once ,
and make contact with a Portuguese
photographer named Lacerda. He'll
have the details. All I have to do
is check into my suite and he'll
seek me out.
                                                            
GONZO slams the arm of his chair.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
God Hell! I think I see the
pattern. This one sounds like real
trouble! You're going to need
plenty of legal advice before this
is over.
                                                            
GONZO rubs his chin as he gives his seemingly expert advice.
                                                            

5.

                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
As your attorney I advice you to
get a very fast car with no top
and get the hell out of LA for at
least forty-eight hours.
                                                            
GONZO shakes his head sadly.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Well this blows my weekend,
because naturally I will have to
go with you--and we'll have to arm
ourselves.
                                                            
Shot switches to DUKE leaned back in his chair taking a long
drag from his cigarette. As he speaks the smoke slowly
escapes from his mouth.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
Why not? If a thing like this is
worth doing at all, its worth
doing right. We'll need some
decent equipment and plenty of
cash on the line--if only for
drugs and a super-sensitive tape
recorder, for the sake of a
permanent record.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
What kind of story is this?
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
The Mint 400
                                                            
DUKE takes another long drag from his cigarette before
continuing.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
It's the richest off-the-road race
for motorcycles and dune-buggies
in the history of organized
            (MORE)

6.

                       DUKE (cont'd)
sport--a fantastic spectacle in
honor of some fatback grossero
named Del Webb, who owns the
luxurious Mint Hotel in the heart
of downtown Las Vegas.
                                                            
DUKE looks off into distance away from GONZO
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
At least that's what the press
release says. My man in New York
just read it to me.
                                                            
GONZO says nothing for a moment appearing lost in thought.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Well as your attorney I advice you
to find the cash so we can start
rounding up the car, drugs, and
equipment.
                                                            
 
INT. GETTING MONEY - DAY
                                                            
GONZO appears sitting in a bar chasing more mescaline with a
beer. Duke approaches him drenched in sweat.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
The money-woman said she had no
idea who I was, so she refused to
give me more than $300 in cash.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
No wonder she didn't trust you.
Good God man, you're pouring
sweat.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
My blood is too thick for
California. I have never been able
to properly explain myself in this
            (MORE)

7.

                       DUKE (cont'd)
climate. Not with soaking sweats,
wild red eyeballs, and trembling
hands.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Well, this won't make the nut. We
need unlimited credit!
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
Jesus, calm down! We'll get the
money. You Samoans are all the
same. You have no faith in the
essential decency of the white
man's culture. Jesus, just one
hour ago we were sitting over
there in that stinking baiginio,
stone broke and paralyzed for the
weekend. When a call comes from a
total stranger in New York,
telling me to go to Las Vegas,
expenses be damned, and sends me
over to some office in Beverly
Hills where another stranger gives
me $300 dollars in cash for no
reason at all… I tell you, my man,
this is the American Dream in
action! We'd be fools not to ride
this strange torpedo all the way
out to the end.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Indeed.
                                                            
GONZO pauses appearing lost in thought for a moment.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
We must do it.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
Right. But first we need the car.
We'll also need a tape recorder
            (MORE)

8.

                       DUKE (cont'd)
and some Acapulco shirts. Then we
can worry about restocking the
drugs. That won't be a problem.
The car and the tape recorder
won't be as easy to round up at
6:30 on a Friday afternoon in
Hollywood.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
I'm on it.
                                                            
GONZO heads over to the payphone inside the bar. Duke turns
to order a beer. After a few moments, the bartender brings
it to him and then Duke turns his attention to Gonzo.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (on Phone)
Hang onto it. We'll be over to
make the trade in 30 minutes.
(pause as Gonzo listens) WHAT!? Of
course the gentleman has a major
credit card! Do you realize who
the fuck you're talking to?!
                                                            
GONZO slams down the phone.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
Don't take any guff from these
swine. Now we need a sound store
with the finest equipment. Nothing
dinky. We want one of those new
Belgian Heliowatts with a voice
activated shotgun mic, for picking
up conversations in oncoming cars.
                                                            
GONZO sits at the bar and drinks his beer.
                                                            
GONZO appears again with three empty beers in front of him.
He sighs as he is getting impatient. Duke slams down the
phone.
                                                            

9.

                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
Finally! I located the equipment
store about 5 miles away. They are
closed, but the salesman said he
would wait if we hurry.
                                                            
The two leave the bar. They pull up and park alongside the
street next to the store. GONZO tries to open the
double-glass door but it is locked. GONZO violently bangs
and kicks on the door.
                                                            
                       GONZO
Open up you fucking bastards!
                                                            
After a few moments of continuous banging, two salesmen
brandishing tire irons approach the door.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to SALESMAN)
We spoke on the phone. I am just
here to pick up our equipment.
This is a very ominous assignment.
Besides, you wouldn't want to see
my attorney here angry.
                                                            
The SALESMAN opens up the door wide enough just to shove the
equipment out before slamming and locking it again.
                                                            
                       SALESMAN
      (to DUKE)
Now, take that stuff and get the
hell away from here.
                                                            
DUKE picks up the equipment and walks back toward the car
with GONZO. As GONZO walks away with him, he shakes his fist
in the air and shouts back at the store.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to SALESMAN)
We'll be back. One of these days
I'll toss a bomb into this place!
I have your name on the sales
slip! I'll find out where you live
and burn your house down!
                                                            

10.

                       GONZO
      (to SALESMAN)
That will give them something to
think about. That guy is a
paranoid psychotic, anyway.
They're easy to spot.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Now as your attorney, I advise you
to get some cocaine as quickly as
possible.
                                                            
Shot of car driving off into the distance.
                                                            
 
EXT. DRUG DEAL - NIGHT
                                                            
Now it is dark out and the car appears again parked outside
a house. Duke is walking back with suitcase to Gonzo who is
waiting in the car. Duke gets into drivers side and hands
the suitcase to Gonzo. Gonzo opens it. Inside is a whole
galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, and
laughers.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Jesus, this looks like a mobile
police narcotics lab. What all do
we have in here?
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
Well let's see... We have about
two bags of grass, seventy-five
pellets of mescaline, five sheets
of high powered blotter acid, a
salt-shaker half full of cocaine,
a quart of tequila, a quart of
rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint
of raw ether, and two dozen amyls.
                                                            

11.

                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Jesus, that's what took so long...
Let's go! I told the car rental we
would be there 3 hours ago.
                                                            
Duke drives off to make the car exchange.
                                                            
 
EXT. CAR RENTAL - NIGHT
                                                            
DUKE appears in the bright Red Shark. The RENTAL-MAN
approaches and gives DUKE the papers to sign. After quickly
scribbling on the bottom of the papers DUKE hands back the
papers.
                                                            
                       RENTAL-MAN
      (to DUKE)
Say there… uh… you fellas are
going to be careful with this car
aren't you?
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to RENTAL-MAN)
Of course.
                                                            
DUKE speeds backward toward the gas pump.
                                                            
RENTAL-MAN runs over toward DUKE in the Great Red Shark
                                                            
                       RENTAL-MAN
      (to DUKE)
Well, good God! You just backed
over that two-foot concrete
abutment and you didn't even slow
down! What were you going about
forty-five in reverse?!
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to RENTAL-MAN)
No harm done, I always test a
transmission that way. The rear
end. For stress factors.
                                                            
GONZO begins to load the trunk and pump the gas.
                                                            

12.

                       RENTAL-MAN
      (to DUKE)
Say, are you fellas drinking?
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to RENTAL-MAN)
me. We're responsible people. This
car is in good hands.
                                                            
Gonzo gets into the car and before he can finish closing the
door, Duke slams the gas and speeds off. The Rental-man
watches helplessly as the car flies away and dodges through
traffic.
                                                            
 
INT. JOURNEY BEGINS - NIGHT
                                                            
GONZO and DUKE appear in the car. DUKE is driving.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Its 5a.m. now. We need to start
driving to Vegas.
                                                            
GONZO reaches for case of drugs.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
As your attorney I advise you to
test out the cocaine so we can
stay awake long enough to make it
there. Later on the way, I will
test the ether and you can test
the LSD.
                                                            
The car drives off into the desert. The night is well-lit by
the moon.
                                                            
                                         FADE OUT
                                                            
 
INT. FLASH FORWARD/HITCHHIKER - DAY
                                                            
The scene returns to the duo driving in the desert toward
Las Vegas. As the car speeds through the desert, it passes
alongside a hitchhiker, thumb aimed at the sky. The

13.

hitchiker is dressed in cheap hand-me-down clothing. GONZO
is driving and sees him first. He slows down to pick up the
hitchhiker.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Let's give this boy a lift.
                                                            
The hitchhikers watches the car as it slows to give him a
ride. As the car finally came to a stop far from where he
was standing and waiting, he runs with obvious excitement
toward the Great Red Shark.
                                                            
                       HITCHHIKER
Hot Damn! I've never rode in a
convertible before!
                                                            
As hitchhiker runs up to car, DUKE whips his head around in
a jumpy fashion. DUKE was caught offguard by the HITCHHIKERS
approach and HITCHHIKER was startled by DUKE'S reaction to
him. The HITCHHIKER comes to a hault a few feet from the
car. After a few moments of looking the HITCHHIKER up and
down, DUKE stares off into the sky appearing lost in
thought. After realizing he has caused an awkward moment
DUKE responds.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
Is that right? Well, I guess your
about ready, eh?
                                                            
Camera changes to show close up of DUKE'S face who smiles in
a creepy way with his eyes widened. In trying too hard to be
friendly, DUKE comes off as crazy and weird.
                                                            
The HITCHHIKER nods eagerly as he climbs into the car. As
the HITCHHIKER gets situated, he stuffs his suitcase under
his feet. GONZO turns around to HITCHHIKER who looks at
GONZO.
                                                            
                       GONZO
      (to HITCHHIKER)
We're your friends,we're not like
the others.
                                                            

14.

GONZO slowly turns head back around toward the road and then
speeds off into the distance. Camera remains grounded and
displays car speeding and the dust cloud it creates.
                                                            
Focus returns to the car as DUKE points at GONZO with a hand
that is half holding a beer.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
No more of that talk, or I'll put
the leeches on you.
                                                            
Camera shows same close up of DUKE'S creepy eye-widened
smiling face again. HITCHHIKER laughs nervously.
                                                            
Camera slowly circles the car.
                                                            
                       DUKE (V/O)
Now that we've both gone round the
bend I wonder... How long can we
maintain? How long before one of
us starts raving and jabbering at
this boy? What will he think then?
This same lonely desert was the
last known home of the Manson
Family. Will he make a grim
connection when my attorney starts
screaming about bats and huge
manta rays coming down on the car?
If so--well, we'll just have to
cut off his head and bury him
somewhere. Because it goes without
saying that we can't turn him
loose. He'll report us at once to
some kind of outback nazi law
enforcement agency, and they'll
run us down like dogs.
                                                            
As DUKE appears to be lost in his internal thought, the
camera reveals that he is actually speaking every word out
loud.
                                                            

15.

                       DUKE
      (V/O and out loud)
Jesus! Did I say that? Or just
think it? Was I talking? (Becomes
whisper) Did they hear me?!
                                                            
DUKE looks over at GONZO. GONZO remains oblivious watching
the road driving at about one hundred and ten miles per
hour.
                                                            
                       DUKE (V/O)
I'd better have a chat with his
boy. Perhaps if I explain things,
he'll rest easy.
                                                            
DUKE leans in his seat toward the HITCHHIKER. DUKE'S face
moves up to an uncomfortably close distance to the
HITCHHIKER'S. DUKE'S eyes look at all angles of the
HITCHHIKER'S head and face.
                                                            
                       DUKE (V/O)
I couldn't help admiring the shape
of his skull. I imagined molding
it like a lump of clay.
                                                            
Shot changes from DUKE looking at the HITCHHIKERS head to
DUKE rubbing his skull. DUKE realizes that he is touching
the HITCHHIKER'S head and tries to regain control of keeping
his internal thought inside his own head. DUKE'S internal
thoughts constantly change into reality.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
Just admiring the shape of your
skull...
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
By the way, there's one thing you
should probably understand.
                                                            
HITCHHIKER stares at DUKE not blinking. His jaw was tighted
and he obviously feared DUKE'S unpredictable and crazy
actions.
                                                            

16.

DUKE screams at the HITCHHIKER unable to control the
accuracy of his voice's loudness.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
CAN YOU HEAR ME!?
                                                            
The HITCHHIKER nods at DUKE with his eyes widened.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
That's good because I want you to
know that we're on our war to Las
Vegas to find the American Dream.
That's why we rented this car. It
was the only way to do it. Can you
grasp that?
                                                            
HITCHHIKER nods again with nervous eyes.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
Good. Because this is a very
ominous assignment-with overtones
of extreme personal danger.
                                                            
DUKE slowly moves his gaze down his arm toward his hand
which held a can of beer.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
Hell! I forgot all about this
beer, you want one?
                                                            
HITCHHIKER shakes his head.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
How about some ether?
                                                            
                       HITCHHIKER
      (to DUKE)
What?
                                                            

17.

                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
Nevermind. I want you to
understand that this man at the
wheel is my attorney! He's not
just some dingbat I found on the
Strip. Shit, look at him.
                                                            
DUKE points at GONZO who is completely ignoring him.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
He doesn't look like you or me,
right? That's because he's a
foreigner. I think he's probably
Samoan. But it doesn't matter,
does it?
                                                            
DUKE'S face moves even closer to the HITCHHIKER. DUKE looks
him in the eyes. DUKE looks almost demonic.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
Are you prejudiced?
                                                            
                       HITCHHIKER
      (to DUKE)
Hell no.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
I didn't think so. Because in
spite of his race, this man is
extremely valuable to me.
                                                            
DUKE looks over to GONZO who continues to completely ignore
him.
                                                            
DUKE whacks the back of the driver's seat with his fist.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
This is important, goddamnit! This
is a true story!
                                                            
The car swerves violently then straightens out.
                                                            

18.

                       GONZO
      (to DUKE)
Keep your hands off my fucking
neck!
                                                            
The HITCHHIKER jumps in his seat look as if he was ready to
leap out of the car and take his chances.
                                                            
                       DUKE (V/O)
Our vibrations were getting nasty.
But why? I was puzzled and
frustrated. Was there no
communication in this car? Had we
deteriorated to the level of dumb
beasts? My story was true. I was
certain of that. And it was
extremely important, I felt, for
the meaning of our journey to be
made absolutely clear.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to HITCHHIKER)
Our trip is different. It is a
classic affirmation of everything
right, true, and decent in the
national character. It is a gross
physical salute to the fantastic
possibilities of life in this
country-but only for those with
true grit. AND WE ARE CHOCK FULL
OF THAT!
                                                            
                       DUKE (V/O)
My attorney understands this
concept despite his racial
handicap, but our hitchhiker was
not an easy person to reach. He
said he understood, but I could
see in his eyes that he didn't. He
was lying to me.
                                                            
DUKE realizes again that his internal thought is being
spoken out loud. The HITCHHIKER hears him narrate his own
life.
                                                            

19.

The car suddenly veers off the road and comes to a sliding
hault in the gravel. All passengers are hurled forward. DUKE
sits up.
                                                            
                       DUKE
      (to GONZO)
What's wrong? We can't stop here.
This is bat country!
                                                            


FADE OUT.


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From Justin Tedrow Date 8/7/2010 ****
whats the point of changing the beginning of one of the greatest movies of our generation and poorly copying another portion of the film?


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