Frost: Portrait of a Vampire

Scene 1: Present Day San Diego California

Fade In:
Ext. Parking Lot-Day.
TITLE: PRESENT DAY


[A HOMICIDE Investigation in a small parking lot. A PHOTOGRAPHER takes photos of the body; a young woman, about twenty. Police mill about. Some take measurements and others are recording statements. A POLICE CRUISER slowly drives into the parking lot. In the front passenger seat is MICAH TOMES, a BLIND Man. DAN RICHARDSON, a Homicide Detective, who was standing near the body, walks to the car and greets Micah as he steps out.]

DAN: I'm glad you could come, Micah.

MICAH: You sounded pretty serious on the phone.
[The two men walk away from the others so that Dan can quietly bring Micah up to speed.]

DAN: I hadn't seen anything like this in awhile.
(beat)
Almost ten years.
[Micah's head snaps up a bit in understanding.]

DAN: There's a dead girl on the ground over there…and there's no blood left in her body. Clean as a whistle.
[Micah let's out a long, slow exhale of breath.]

MICAH: You talk to Jack?

DAN: Not yet. I haven't been up to see him for awhile. There wasn't much I could do…after…
[He lets the thought trail off, half-finished.]

MICAH: Can I get a little closer to the body?
[Two officers carry the body on a stretcher with a plastic sheet over it. Dan motions for them to stop and lifts the sheet. Micah moves toward it and reaches out, finding, then gently stroking the dead girl's forehead. He nods to Dan and Dan gestures for the officers to take the girl away. Alone again, Micah lifts his hand and gently smells it]

MICAH: I don't think you're going to have much choice, Dan. You'll need Jack's help on this. [He starts to turn away]

DAN: I thought this was all over a long time ago…

MICAH: You knew before you ever asked me to come here. It's starting all over again.

DAN: How can you be so…certain?

MICAH: Because I'm not looking with my eyes.
(beat)
Whoever killed this girl was already dead themselves.
[Dan walks away with Micah toward the squad car and the camera settles low to the ground, near the outline of where the body had lain]

MICAH: A lot of people don't know about evil. Not real evil, anyway. They used to. A hundred years ago, people were smart enough to be afraid of those things that moved in the shadows.
(beat)
Take Jack for instance. He didn't believe in anything that he couldn't see with his own eyes. He had to be able to touch it…before he knew it was real. His buddy Nat was the total opposite. You remember. Not real religious, but loved the pomp and circumstance. Crucifixes, rosaries…the scary stuff from movies.
(beat)
Two men. They were best friends until one of them died.
(beat)
Then they were enemies.

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Deleted Scene: Russian Occupied Northern Afghanistan, August 1989 Opening Credits

 

Dissolve to:
EXT. The Afghanistan countryside - night
TITLE: Afghanistan, Eleven years ago.


[Smoke and fire filter up through the night sky as we DOLLY past the remains of a burntout building, smoldering. Lying amongst the charred rubble, we see a Russian Soldier. He is dead; his throat ripped out, his vacant eyes stare upward. CONTINUE the DOLLY and we see the lifeless form of a young man, perhaps eighteen years old. He too has blood spattered on his neck and it is clear that he is no longer alive. A dark shape moves nearer-one that at first we did not notice, but had taken as part of the debris. The shape turns, and we see it is a man; a wild, wide-eyed expression on his face, his victims' blood stains his chin. In an instant, he darts out of view and the camera pans up to the darkness of night. OPENING CREDITS.]

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Scene 2: Russian Occupied Northern Afghanistan, August 1989

 

CUT TO:
EXT. The Afghanistan countryside - day
TITLE: A CIA-backed mercenary campaign. Afghanistan, Two days later.


[Aerial shot of the mountainous desert. We track with a Russian HIND HELICOPTER. Inside the cockpit, we see the Russian pilot and a small swaying, plastic HULA GIRL on his dash. Slight UPSHOT on a HALFTRACK making it's way toward camera. It's a large vehicle--half tank and half truck, capable of carrying a hefty group of soldiers into combat. This one has a 50 CAL MACHINE GUN mounted on top. We're on the desert floor, with ridges and mountains rising up on all sides. The half-track is very close to a small boulder-covered hill as it lumbers to a halt. Suddenly, the air is filled with the sound of incoming artillery and the halftrack is rocked from the explosion. RUSSIAN SOLDIERS mill about, trying to see where their attackers are. A billowing cloud of dust explodes within a dozen feet of the "driver's side" of the vehicle. AS THE SMOKE CLEARS, we see a MAN, FROST, standing on a distant ridge, a ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADE LAUNCHER in his hands. The RUSSIAN COMMANDER madly gestures for the big 50 CAL MACHINE GUN to aim at the attacker.]

RUSSIAN COMMANDER: Shoot him! Shoot him!! He's only ONE MAN!!

[The Machine Gunner starts to spin the massive weapon around. CLOSE on the RUSSIAN COMMANDER who's practically foaming at the mouth. SUDDENLY, a coconut-sized rock strikes him in the temple, grazing him, but drawing blood. He turns in anger to see who struck him. POV, we see at least TWENTY MUJAHADEEN FIGHTERS jump up from behind the boulders, AK-47's in hand screaming at the Russians. It's an ambush. CLOSE on the RUSSIAN COMMANDER, shocked that he'd been duped. WIDE SHOT of the Mujahadeen storming down the hill to overtake the Russians. PAN RIGHT--we know what's going to happen with these soldiers--Our story is with the lone figure we saw in the distance. END PAN on FROST standing on the ridge, lowering the RPG. He begins to turn around and walk down the other side of the ridge.

FROST: Clean. Non-interventive. Just like the CIA spooks asked for.

KEN: Non-interventive?

KEN: (In Scotty-speak) You've broken the prime-directive, Cap'n! You've given the emerging race a helpin' hand against the technologically superior oppressor!

FROST: Thanks, Scotty.

NICK: Man. Star Wars. I loved that movie.
[Ken looks at his friend in disgust.]

KEN: You are so hopeless. No pop-culture sensibility whatsoever!

[Nat turns to see a RUSSIAN HIND HELICOPTER coming in the distance.]

NAT: Incoming!

[The helicopter bears down on them and the team splits up, running in opposite directions. Jack and Nat are followed, with the Hind going into a strafing run. They manage to avoid getting shot and the helicopter overtakes them, passing them up. They only have a few seconds to prep a Rocket Propelled Grenade before the Pilot turns his craft back on them. Nat tosses the grenade to Frost, who loads the launcher. The Hind wheels around to take another shot at the two men. Frost takes aim…slowly…he'll only have one shot at this. Just before the gunner can aim, Frost fires the rocket, blowing the helicopter out of the sky in a Fiery explosion. Walking through the wreckage, we see the Pilot's HULA GIRL, now singed and melting, lying on the ground. A hand (Nat's) reaches down and picks it up.]

[Dissolve to: CRANE SHOT of FROST and FOUR OTHER MERCENARIES walking down on the other side of the ridge. Among the band are: JONATHAN "JACK" FROST: a six-foot, three-inch man with black hair and a full beard and mustache. NAT MCKENZIE: an unshaven man in his mid-thirties with long, unkempt hair. He has a little bit of the Southern Rebel in him. KEN PFLUG: a powerfully built black man, approximately five feet, ten inches tall. NICK STANLY: very lean, with a close-cropped military-style haircut. KOCHA, one of the mercs is working on the HALFTRACK, with it's hood up.]

FROST: Are you about finished fixing this thing?

KOCHA: Just about. This is 1940's American technology. Shit'll run forever. (smiling, patting the half-track.)
[Frost glances up the hill behind Kocha at a group of Afghanistan villagers.]

FROST: What's up with them?

KOCHA: Same shit, different country. They want your help with...hell, I guess you'd call it a civil matter.
(beat)
I didn't understand it all. 'Sides, Danny's the translator.
[Frost begins to walk away, to meet with the villagers but turns back to Kocha before leaving. Kocha's starting to get up from the crate.]

FROST: Kocha...

KOCHA: Yeah, Cap?

FROST: You and I know who's side we're on here...but that doesn't mean these people won't turn on you. They don't like us much more than they do the Russians.
(beat)
Watch your back.
[KOCHA is walking away toward the other side of the vehicle.]

KOCHA: Aw, Hell...
CLOSE on Frost's face, we see Kocha walking away, REFLECTED in his sunglasses.
KOCHA:...I was born under a lucky star.

[DISSOLVE TO: The mercs walk up to the villagers. Several rural villagers are surrounding a thin, stringy-muscled man who's hands are TIED by a thick rope. One of the men pushes the prisoner from behind, knocking him down onto the ground in front of the mercs.]

VILLAGER: (in Afghanistan dialect) This man is a demon. He has killed three of our children. Kill him!

FROST: What'd he say, Dan?

DAN: He said that this man is some kind of monster. He murdered three of their kids. Apparently, he'd been killing for awhile, but...

FROST: But what?

DAN: He'd only been killing Russians. They thought he was an avenging demon. Now that most of the Soviets are gone, he's turned on the locals.

NAT: Ran out of RED MEAT...?
(to the villagers) So your own damn demon jumped up and bit you on the ass--? (he laughs)

FROST: What do they want us to do about it?

DAN: They want us to kill him, Captain Frost.

NAT: For cryin' out loud, tell them we're not with bloody NATO. Let 'em bribe one of their cops to do his job for a change!

KEN: What do you want to do, Cap?

FROST: Nat's right. We shouldn't get involved in this.

[Dan turns to the villager and begins making dramatic hand gestures as he speaks, shaking his head and pointing to the prisoner as if talking to a deaf person.]

DAN: (In Afghanistan dialect) I'm sorry. We can't do that. You need to take this man to the police...or the Mujahadeen.
[The man shakes his head violently. He's not taking no for an answer.]

[PAN RIGHT, to a woman walking up carrying the body of a five year old girl. Her clothes are dirty and tattered. The woman is crying. ZOOM OUT as she gives the body over to the villager who was speaking earlier. At the end of the ZOOM OUT, we see NICK revealed in the foreground frame right, turning his head back to Camera--Frost's POV.]

VILLAGER WOMAN: (In Afghanistan dialect) This man is a demon. He stole her life. He must be killed and his body burned. The soldiers have taken our weapons. Help us.
[The woman moves closer to Frost, pulling on his shirt, begging.]

VILLAGER WOMAN: (In Afghanistan dialect) Please. Help us kill the demon.

DAN:(looking at Frost) She says that he is a demon and we have to kill him and burn the body. They can't do it 'cause of their religion...and something like a curse.

[Nat walks over to the prisoner and grabs a fistful of hair, lifting his head up.]

NAT: Of course, they don't care if we get cursed.
(beat)
(in a laughing, snide way) Give us a look, Mr.Demon.

[CU on the prisoner. DOWNSHOT, Nat's POV. We see that he has red-rimmed eyes, deeply sunk in his head with piercing black irises. He BITES Nat on the forearm, breaking the skin.]

NAT: He BIT me!

PRISONER: (chuckling a low gutteral laugh, deep in his throat.)

[NAT stumbles back, letting the man go and pulls his sidearm, firing it into the man's skull not once, but emptying the clip. Frost moves quickly, Shoving Nat hard on the shoulder.]

FROST: What the Hell do you think you're doing, Nat?!

[NAT snarls back, getting right up into Jack's face, defying the drastic difference in the two men's height.]

NAT: I put that Godforsaken thing out of our misery, that's what! You didn't look into it's eyes, Jack!
(beat)
These people were right--it wasn't human! It BIT me!

FROST: Are you saying he was possessed?

NAT: No...I'm saying that Satan himself jumped up from the fiery pits of hell, crawled his way up this raghead's ass and drove him bug-nuts crazy!
(beat)
That thing was as close to Hell as I'd care to look for awhile. And I'd think you'd feel the same way.

FROST: Maybe I don't believe in Hell.

NAT: Oh, that's right. Jack Frost doesn't believe in ANYTHING he can't touch or taste or smell. Well, I'm tellin' you now, there are some things you can't explain.
(beat)
Sometimes you've got to take matters into your own hands.

[We come in tight on Nick and Ken. They're discussing what's going on.]

NICK: What's he talking about? Why'd he blow that freak's head off?

KEN: More things in heaven and earth, Horatio...

NICK: Screw this, Ken! I didn't know what the hell he was going on about and now you're starting!
(beat)
And who the HELL is Horatio?!

[Nat spits on the ground and crosses himself. Then walks back to the villagers and Nick.]

NAT: (looking at Nick) Burn it.

[Medium shot of a pile of sticks-being lit on fire. The Prisoner's body is thrown on the pile. As it lands, we see a sharp, jagged end of one of the sticks PIERCES the body. SMOKE rises off of it before the flames can reach it. Fade to black]

[EXT. CAMP SITE - NIGHT Nick, Ken and Frost are seated around a CAMPFIRE that night. Nick is cleaning his PISTOL. Frost is taking NOTES in a JOURNAL.]

KEN: You do know you've cleaned that thing three times tonight, don't you?

NICK: I ain't sleepy.

KEN: Yeah, well if you keep-

FROST: Can you guys take it down a few notches?

KEN: When are you going to let us read your book, Mr.Bigshot writer?

FROST: It's art history, Kenny. You wouldn't like it. It's not the kind of book that comes with crayons.

KEN: Ha-bloody ha.

NAT: (offscreen) AAAAGHHH!

[The three men jump up, running to the sound of Nat's voice.]

FROST: NAT--?!

[They reach Nat, who's standing near his tent, holding a burning ember from the fire, like a small torch. He's holding the flames near his forearm.]

NAT: I'm alright. Just trying to…

[Nat's starts to collapse when Frost catches him. He picks him up and carries him to the campfire.]

FROST: Dammit, Nat…
(to Ken)
Ken-grab the medic kit-Nick, you got your canteen on you?

NICK: Got it, Cap.

[Frost takes the CANTEEN and pours some water on to Nat's bite wound. It bubbles and looks hideous. Nat stirs, raising up and grabbing at Frost, coughing, before passing out.]

NICK: Damn, Cap'n. You think that guy had rabies?

FROST: I don't know what he had-we've just got to get Nat cleaned up and get some antibiotics in him.
(beat)
I don't take any chances.

[Ken runs up, carrying the MEDIC KIT. He kneels beside Frost and pulls starts cleaning the wound with alcohol.]

KEN: That is nasty!

[Frost takes a SMALL FLASHLIGHT and checks Nat's pupils. Lightly slaps Nat's face, waking him.]

FROST: Wake up, Nat. You doing alright, buddy?

[Nat starts to wake up. Ken has to struggle to hold Nat's arm as he finishes applying a new bandage.]

KEN: Hang on, tough guy. There. Good enough for government work, anyway.

[Nat is looking straight into Frost's face for a beat-searching for something.]

NAT: I'm sorry about your eyes, Jack.

FROST: What?
(shaking his head as he realizes)
Drop it. What were you doing back there?

NAT: Trying to cauterize the wound-That thing got something in me, Jack. I know you don't believe me, but I can feel it. I shouldn't have gotten so close to that thing.

FROST: It's done. You probably did everybody a favor. Come on, let's get you in the sack.

[Nat is weak. Frost picks him up effortlessly and carries him to Nat's tent. Nick and Ken stay behind.]

KEN: You catch that thing about Nat being sorry for the Captain's eyes?
(beat)
You have noticed that you never see our illustrious leader without his shades, haven't you?

NICK: I just thought he liked how they looked.

[Ken pokes at the fire with a stick.]

KEN: Right. This hellhole's all about the fashion statement for me, too, No, he can't stand bright light. He took a load of flash powder from a phosphor grenade in the face a couple of years ago. Nearly blinded him.

NICK: Damn.

KEN: Thing is, he's not the one that hit the tripwire. Nat went charging in some place he didn't belong and Capt'n Frost saw the trigger at the last second and pushed him out of the way.
(beat)
They've been friends longer than me or Dan have known them. Like family-and it doesn't matter how much family pisses you off, they're still family.

[DISSOLVE TO: INT. NAT'S TENT - NIGHT Frost seated, cross-legged in the tent. Nat is sleeping, holding the BURNT HULA DOLL in his hands. He reaches up to his sunglasses and starts to pull them away. Before we see his eyes… …NAT Sits up VIOLENTLY.]

NAT: INCOMING!

FROST: It's OK, Nat-there's nothing incoming-you're dreaming--

Nat's insistent.

NAT: Can't you hear? We've got to take cover!!

[Frost stops for a second to listen and we hear nothing. Then, CLOSE on NAT. We HEAR THE DRONE OF A MOTOR COMING CLOSER. It's another Chopper. Special, VAMPIRE SOUND indicates that we're hearing something supernatural.]

NAT: We've got to MOVE!!!

[NOW we hear the chopper with normal sound. It is accompanied by the SOUND OF GUNFIRE from OUTSIDE. MEN ARE SCREAMING. Frost sticks his head out the tent and we see chaos-flashes of light and explosions. The lights on the attacking HELICOPTER are visible in the nightsky. KOCHA is running. He starts to head toward his friend, but… …A STRAFING line follows KOCHA with twin trails of dust hits chasing him as he runs.]

FROST: KOCHA!!!

[We see Kocha, silhouetted by the blast. CLOSE on FROST. The tragedy sweeps across his face. The BULLET HITS PICK UP AGAIN, this time headed for the TENT. FROST RUNS back toward the tent and grabs NAT, hauling him out of the line of fire. THE TENT explodes in flames… Frost and Nat exchange looks. Both men wondering how Nat had heard this chopper coming. CLOSE ON FROST, the reflection of the flames in his glasses. We hear the screams of the dying. The RPG-(Rocket launcher) is near the burning tent. FROST runs for it-grabs it up, loads and fires… FLASH TO WHITE:

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Scene 3: Mountaintop Mercenary Camp, Northern Mexico - one year later


Title: one year later

 

[INT. mercenary camp bunkhouse - MEXICO - night Extreme CLOSEUP on NICK. He is shaken and sweat dots his forehead.]

NICK: I swear to GOD, Nat! I'll do it! I'll blow her damn head off!

[NAT McKenzie is standing/half leaning against a wooden cot. A prostitute, SHERRI-a pretty young woman is hanging on one arm, though he seems to be ignoring her and he has a BEER in his hand.]

NAT: I don't care WHAT you do to her.

[Wider on Nick. He raises a pistol, aiming it. Reverse angle, down the barrel of the gun from Nick's POV. Rack focus to reveal: The Burnt remains of the Cockpit hula girl from the Desert scene. A BLUR moves in and the doll is gone. Nick squeezes the trigger and a shot is fired. WIDE SHOT. Nat moves toward Nick, knocking the gun back. He's holding the doll in his other hand.]

NAT: Hey! You don't go shooting at a man's good luck charm!

SHERRI: How'd you grab that thing so FAST?

NICK: Give me back my money!

KEN: (off screen) You did steal his money, Nat.

[PULL BACK to show several mercs scattered around the room. Some have a girl that they're making out with. Some play cards, others are just drinking beer and hanging out. Many are the same men from the earlier scene in Afghanistan. Ken is seated at a small table and playing cards with COOLEY, a new face in the group. Another prostitute is sitting on his lap. Nat is picking up his hula girl souvenir and giving Ken a dirty look.]

NAT: Ken, you saw it! I won it fair and square in Poker!

KEN: The man got up to take a piss and you looked at his cards.
(firmer) Nat.

NAT: What, Mr.Buttinsky?

KEN: Can we get on with more…
(licking his girl's neck)
…important things?

[Some wadded ten dollar bills hit Nick in the face as he looks up.]

NICK: Choke on it. You, too, Ken!

[Tighter on Nat and his girl, Sherri as they move away from the others. Nat's kind of ignoring her, but she's persistent. She strokes his back and shoulders with her fingertips.]

NAT: Sorry. I'm not in the mood.

NICK: Now, that's a first. Since when have you turned down anything hot-blooded?

NAT: It's not the hot-blooded part that…never mind. I'm just not in the mood, okay?

SHERRI: What's the deal with the little burnt-up doll, anyway?

NAT: This little thing, is a memento from some scary times. We were being chased by a big Russian chopper in the middle of God-Forsaken Afghanistan. The twins over there ran off in the other direction while me and our Captain tried to draw the Russian's fire.
[Sherri's eyes grow big as saucers as she listens.]

NAT: I knew I had to think of something quick. One of us had an RPG-that's like a rocket launcher. And the OTHER one had the rocket. We only had one chance. I had the Captain toss me the rocket and I blasted the Communist menace right out of the sky.
[Ten feet away, Ken fakes a sneeze.]

KEN: AHHH_BULLcrap!

NAT: This little lady fell to the ground at my feet. It's been my good luck charm ever since.

NICK: Wasn't too much luck for the Pilot of that Hind!

SHERRI: Wow! What happened to your Captain? Did he make it?

[Nat places the burnt hula girl next to a hunting knife on a small shelf over his bunk.]

NAT: Yeah. He made it. He just got tired of playing soldier. Left us kids behind in the sandbox.

SHERRI: So you're the Captain now?

NAT: No…there's a lot of politics and stuff. Paperwork. Probably some math. I really didn't want to get into that whole mess.

CAPTAIN: (off screen) Besides, that's my job.

[Slight UPSHOT on THE CAPTAIN, a tall gray-haired man in his late forties standing in the doorway. He is lit from behind and looks quite imposing.]

CAPTAIN: You men did an excellent job. The people of Bacanora, Mexico has a new leader thanks to our assistance. The General sends his regards. You'll each be receiving a substantial bonus before you leave.

NAT: How soon you gonna get our transport up here? S'about time we got off this damn rock. Y'know?

CAPTAIN: Soon. You've earned this chance to unwind. There's plenty of booze and these ladies don't seem to mind your company too much. Maybe another fifteen minutes.

[Ken Pflug takes a break from his partying.]

KEN: Some of us like it slow and easy, Sir. Better make it twenty.

CAPTAIN: Take your time. There's no rush.
(beat)
Enjoy, fellas.

[The Captain turns and leaves, closing the door behind him. In the deep shadows, the mercenaries continue their celebrating with the ladies. MEDIUM CLOSE on Nat. He's sitting on the bed, very somber looking. The lighting should be very moody. He's clearly a different man than he was in the earlier scenes. Sherri is on the bed as well. She crawls up toward him. He glowers at her and she lies BESIDE him, not touching him. SLOW MOTION begins as Nat turns his head to face her, his long hair draping across her skin. His eyes catch the sight of her lovely throat-a gentle throbbing comes from below the surface of her skin and we hear an AMPLIFIED HEARTBEAT rise in the soundtrack. His eyes betray a primal hunger-foreshadowing of the transformation to come. His lips part…. From OFF-SCREEN, we hear in VAMPIRE SOUND: A metallic CLINKING sound and SHUFFLING FEET. CLOSE on Nat's eyes as they dart around the room. No one seems to hear it.]

NAT: GET DOWN!

SHERRI: (thinks he's talking to her) You don't need to shout, honey-

NAT: AMBUSH!

KEN: Are you having a FLASHBACK, you crazy son of a--

[STEADICAM backward across the room. We pass KEN and his girl and pivot toward the DOOR at the end of the room as it… …BURSTS OPEN and three black-dressed mercs open fire with AUTOMATIC RIFLES. Nick is drunk and the attack strikes him as a surreal dream. He slowly looks down and sees that he is still holding his pistol. As the realization takes hold, he simply raises it and fires at the oncoming attackers, striking one in the shoulder, sending him back into the wall. The remaining attackers take revenge, firing several rounds into Nick.]

ALL: (Screaming)

NAT: Set-up!

[NAT KICKS up at the shelf over his bed, sending… …THE HULA GIRL and HUNTING KNIFE into the air, where he catches one in each hand. The KNIFE is hurled at one of the attackers, catching him in the throat. The THIRD attacker fires at Nat, but they're too late. He leaps over to the bed Cooley and his girl are on. The force of his weight tips the bed over and it winds up on its side, to be used as a shield. KEN shoves his girl down to the ground, trying to get her out of the line of fire. He rounds the table and slams one fist down, tipping it over to shield him from the attack. PLAYING CARDS, BEER BOTTLES and a PISTOL fly into the air. Ken CATCHES the GUN and fires back at the attackers, but misses. A bullet strikes Ken's girl, killing her. Another bullet nearly takes Ken's head, splintering the table. BEHIND THE BED, Nat is watching the battle. He shoves the HULA GIRL into his waistband. Sherri is behind him.]

NAT: KEN! The WINDOW! Get over here!

[Ken is trapped by a barrage of gunfire.]

KEN: I wouldn't get five feet! Get out of here!!

[Ken fires again at the attacker, but is shot by the man that Nick wounded.]

NAT: Can you run, Sherri?
(beat)
Sherri?

[Nat looks back and sees Sherri is DEAD; a bullet wound in the forehead. CLOSE on NAT. Rapid intercut between images of Nat's bloodlust and the blood draining from Sherri's head. He is completely transfixed. His lips curl back and… COOLEY. The girls are dead, man-we gotta go for it! Cooley makes a gambit for the sole window in the room, with Nat not far behind him. Just as he leaps to break through the glass, he's hit from behind and his body goes sailing into the window. The glass shatters and his body comes to rest on the shards, half in and half out of the window. Nat doesn't slow a bit. He continues running and jumps, having to actually climb over his friend's dead body to escape the bloodbath. Bullets richochet all around him.]

NAT: (whispered under his breath) Sorry, buddy.

[The HULA GIRL falls from his waistband, hitting the floor. Just before he can make it, he catches a bullet in the SIDE. CU of Nat's face as the force of the gunblast is still sending him forward and out of the window, into the darkness. Shock and pain read on his face. Medium UPshot of the CAPTAIN in the doorway. He is mostly lit from the harsh light in the hallway behind him. Smoke from the gunplay hovers in the room.]

CAPTAIN: HOLD YOUR FIRE!

CAPTAIN: (turning to someone unseen in the hallway) Do you wish to inspect the room, Sir?

[Closer on the Captain who fills the left side of frame. Soon, we see a man, slightly older than the Captain, with a very commanding presence. He is the General. Keep him lit low-key, with strong shadows playing across his harsh face. The General makes a slow, visual appraisal of the room. Finally, he turns his attention back to the Captain.]

GENERAL: (calmly) Where's McKenzie?

CAPTAIN: He...jumped. Out the window.
(beat)
Do you want a search team sent out, Sir?

[The General slowly crosses the room. He looks down to the floor and sees… …the fallen HULA GIRL doll. He picks it up and casually inspects it, then places it in his pocket. He steps over the corpses and looks out the window, past the impaled body of Cooley.]

GENERAL: No.

[The General's POV, looking down at the sheer drop-off immediately outside the window. The night is dark, but we can see that the cliff wall goes on for hundreds of feet--straight down.]

GENERAL: There's no need.

[CLOSE (Slight downshot) on the General as he turns back around to face the Captain.]

GENERAL: Get this mess cleaned up. The new recruits are due in two weeks.

CUT TO: EXT. NIGHT
[FREEFALL with NAT, falling from the window. It is obvious now that he is falling for hundreds of feet. SONAR POV-Vampire vision. The darkness is illuminated in an odd variation of night vision. This is how Nat sees now. Rushing up at him, he sees a branch jutting out from the mountainside. He grasps for it… …and makes it. A normal man would have his arm wrenched from the socket. But Nat McKenzie is no longer a normal man. PULL BACK to reveal NAT hanging by one hand. He's bruised and bloody, looking up to the distant window he fell from and trying to stay out of sight. He is concealed from view by the outcropping of rocks immediately above him. CLOSE on his FACE as we see a look of anguish. His mouth slowly opens to let out a silent wail and we see that he has FANGS. PAN down to his side. With his free hand, he lifts his shirt, showing that the bullet wound in his side is already healing…. SLOWLY, he begins his long, treacherous journey down the face...]

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Scene 4: Rosie's Bar

 

CUT TO: INT. Rosie's bar - day [POV from the center of a TABLE looking out at a CROWD of perhaps a dozen onlookers cheering on their favorite contestant in an arm wrestling contest. Many of them are biker types, but there is a good mix of clientele...Some wave money, gambling on the outcome.]

ONLOOKER 1: Take him down, Kocha!

ONLOOKER 2: Quit playing with him, Jack!! Break him!

[EXTREME C.U. on two fists locked together, arm wrestling. PULL BACK to show FROST. He's arm-wrestling with John Kocha, the merc working on the Halftrack in Afghanistan. He wears a red bandana on his head and has a BIKER style of dress. Both are well-built. Kocha has sweat visible on his forehead. CLOSE on Kocha. He's slowly licking his lips, looking up at Frost.]

KOCHA: You mean what you said back there?
(beat)
About the beer?

[Close on Jack. His movement is small, confident. A barely perceptible NOD. CLOSE on Kocha again. Veins pop out on his neck as he strains.]

KOCHA: Good.

[PULL BACK, framing from the waist up, to show Kocha take Frost's arm to the table. He's won. The crowd goes wild. Money exchanges hands among a few of them. Some are obviously happy with the winner; others are annoyed.]

KOCHA: (grinning) You're good, Jack! Almost had me for a minute!

[A beautiful woman stands near Frost looking down at him as he gently rubs his hand, clenching and unclenching his fist, returning the circulation. She is NANCY MCKENZIE, five foot, four inches tall.]

NANCY: I thought you never lost...getting soft in your old age, Jack?

FROST: (slightly annoyed) He does have an advantage. I haven't spent the last year learning to walk on my hands.

[Now we PULL BACK FARTHER to show full figures of FROST and KOCHA. Kocha braces his palms on the table between them and spins himself to the ground. He HAS NO LEGS below the waist. He gets on a SKATEBOARD and makes his way to the BAR. The crowd parts to let him pass, some cheering him for his triumph.]

KOCHA: (Shouting) Hey, Tom--Beer for everyone! It's on Frost!

[Frost rises, leaning in and kissing the woman on the cheek.]

FROST: Nice to see you, Nancy.

[Medium close on Nancy as she looks up at Jack.]

NANCY: Thanks for meeting me. I know you're busy. I heard you're going to be signing your new book on Sunday.

[Frost nods and gestures for Nancy to sit down and join him.]

NANCY: Far cry from mercenary work. It's an art book, isn't it?

FROST: High Renaissance. Northern Italian painters, primarily.

[Close on Nancy. She's silent. Obviously she has something on her mind, but doesn't know how to broach the subject. She subconsciously chews on her lip. Frost gestures to the bar.]

FROST: Would you like something to drink?

NANCY: No.

[CLOSE on Nancy.]

NANCY: Thanks for being so patient with me, Jack. I never was any good at small talk.
(beat)
Nat's missing.

FROST: How long?

NANCY: He took off about three months ago to join a group of guys that went to Mexico. Did you hear about the revolution in Bacanora?

FROST: I caught something on CNN. Nat was fighting for the revolutionists?

[Nancy nods, sighing deeply.]

NANCY: Mmmhmmm. A lot of the old gang went--Cooley, Sharp--several of the guys. Even Kenny and Nick.

FROST: I thought that all shook out a month ago. Out with the old regime, in with the new.

NANCY: It did. I got word from Nat that he was on his way stateside. Their basecamp was in Northern Mexico someplace and he was going to stop over there for debriefing. He always parties a little after a job, so...I didn't expect him right away.
(beat)
But, that was two weeks ago.

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Deleted Scene: Nat's Survival

 

CUT TO: EXT. Desert - Night PAN DOWN from the full moon into the Southern California desert. Smoke rises, crossing the face of the moon. TILT DOWN to reveal NAT, crosslegged before a campfire. He has the remains of a lizard skewered on a stick, cooking it over the fire. Another lizard scurries by and Nat's hand DARTS OUT and grabs it, bringing it up to his mouth to take a bite out of the still squirming creature. C.U. He looks haggard, bruised and scary. His dirty, matted hair hangs in front of his eyes and the firelight plays eerie shadows across his face. Blood rings his mouth.

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Scene 5: Micah's Museum
[This is actually a flashback used in Scene 7 in the final cut of the film]

 

DISSOLVE TO:
INT. San diego Museum of art - night
[INTERCUT several images of the museum. Paintings from various periods hang on the walls. Statues from ancient Greece as well as Remington bronzes. PAN UP to a gorgeous painting--a study by Rubens. Then... FROST comes into frame, entering from above. He is hanging upside down. He is suspended from a thin cable rope via a lightweight harness around his waist. He is dressed in black and has a pair of "night-vision" glasses on. A SHOULDER HOLSTER is visible, holding a 9mm pistol. There is a long, cylindrical tube strapped to his back. He has a pencil-length, THIN BLADE between his teeth, made of highly polished surgical steel, like a scalpel. He takes the blade from his mouth, but it slips from his hand landing on the floor. Looking Down, Frost grimaces. He pulls a SMALL SPRAYCAN out and dusts it over the floor. The MIST reveals… …Regularly spaced, thin, red laser beams, barely visible about six inches above floor level. They are part of a motion-sensing security system. The BLADE is squarely placed in between a grid. He was lucky that it didn't break the beam. FROST carefully reaches down and retrieves the blade-avoiding the beams. He then raises himself back up to the painting. CLOSE ON Jack's gloved hand as he meticulously begins to CUT the painting from the frame, staying close to where the canvas meets the inner edge. Returning the blade to his teeth, he gently rolls the painting, pulling a rubber band from his wrist and twisting it around to secure the masterpiece no differently than you would a rock star poster. REACHING BEHIND him, he carefully uncaps the tube and removes a similarly rolled canvas, replacing it in the tube with the one from the wall and seals it. GINGERLY UNROLLING the new canvas, we see that it appears to be the same painting as the masterpiece. Apparently, a brilliant copy. He tucks the painting into the frame; a perfect fit, just enough so that it will rest there, although to anyone looking closely, it's obvious that the painting has been cut away. FROST begins his climb up, ascending toward the high ceilings above.]

Dissolve to: MUSEUM EXT. NIGHT.
[Outside, we see FROST in his car, a late-model sports car, watching the museum. He's parked nearly a block away, for safe surveillance. CLOSE on Frost's WATCH as he checks the time. It's nearly ONE A.M. As if on cue, we see a dark figure cross the roof of the museum. He glances around furtively. Making sure he's not being watched. FROST'S NIGHT-VISION POV: We TRACK the figure. He's making his way to a skylight on the building's roof. It's the same one that Frost entered through earlier. END NIGHT-VISION POV.]

[CLOSE on FROST. He allows a slight smile to cross his lips, removes the night-vision glasses and tosses them on the seat beside him. He pulls away from his parking space, passes the museum, then glances down to his watch again. CLOSE on the WATCH. It's 1:07 A.M. The car pulls up to a STOPLIGHT. Frost reaches for a small digital pad -a NEWTON, or other 1990 tech- on the car seat beside him. He flips open the lid of the device and selects an item from the screen. SIMULTANEOUSLY... EVERY LIGHT in the museum turns on at once and the air is filled with the deafening noise of alarms going off. The stoplight turns green and Frost proceeds through the intersection. Halfway through the next block, we see two POLICE CARS racing in the opposite direction, toward the museum, with their lights and sirens going.]

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Scene 6: High Desert

 

Dissolve TO: EXT. DESERT - NIGHT
[We see a WINDING, DUSTY DESERT ROAD. The soft shoulder (frame left) drops off, becoming a sloping hillside leading to the desert valley below. In the distance, we see a tiny pair of brilliant headlights. A STAGGERING FIGURE--NAT, stumbles onto the road, entering from frame right. The lights occasionally disappear behind boulders and turns in the road. Circular DOLLY pan around to a Medium CLOSE-UP of NAT. He looks his worst yet. Two weeks of wandering through the desert have taken their toll. He is half-conscious as he stares at the still-distant headlights. Unsure if they truly exist, he hangs onto the hope that they're real. WIDE SHOT from behind NAT, who's practically a silhouette. He's barely standing. He raises his right arm, preparing to wave at the oncoming vehicle, but loses his balance and falls to the ground, rolling until his body is stopped by a man-sized boulder. MEDIUM SHOT of Nat, his weight supported by the rock. He shakes his head, in an attempt to clear it,then we see him jerk back suddenly as the boulder rolls backward.

PULL BACK to show the boulder giving way and beginning to roll down the hill. Nat goes with it, tumbling head over heel. Finally, he comes to rest at the bottom, unconscious, and badly hurt. Fresh blood flows from several small cuts, mingling with the dried blood and dirt on his face. PAN UP to the road where Nat had been only moments before. We see the headlights passing by. Track with what we now see is a beat up PICKUP TRUCK as it passes. CONTINUE to TRACK the truck. Allow it to LEAVE FRAME as we come to rest on a ROAD SIGN. (SIGN) ENSENADA 56 KM US BORDER 65 KM]

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Scene 7: Micah's Art Gallery

 

CUT TO: INT. MICAH's Art Gallery - night
[INTERCUT on several bits of statuary and paintings. These are very different from what we saw in the museum. Most of what we see here is modern art-stylistic, almost abstract paintings. LONG PAN, coming to rest frame between two paintings on easels, framing… MICAH TOMES across the room at the cash register counter. He is tall and rugged, perhaps fifty years old. His wears dark glasses. He's blind. He is a survivor of the Vietnam prison camps where he was tortured. Since, he's made his living as a gun-runner for the CIA. The gallery is a diversion. You get the feeling that he's a bad-ass with or without the use of his eyes. Micah is polishing a brass candle-stick holder. BEHIND Micah, we see FROST enter through the front door. A small BELL over the doorway RINGS as the door opens. MEDIUM SHOT of MICAH, raising his head. HOLD on Micah for a beat. He resumes polishing the brass, not needing to ask who it is.]

MICAH: Come in, Jack. How's the night?

FROST: Not bad, Micah. I think it's finally cooling off.
(beat)
Lot of activity around the museum awhile ago.

MICAH: Really?

FROST: Yeah. Looked like someone was breaking in, but he must've been careless. The alarms went off. Police were all over the place in a couple of minutes.

MICAH: Unlucky bastard.

[FROST sets the tube up on the counter and begins pulling out the canvas.]

FROST: You may as well tell me now what made this particular bastard so unlucky that he deserved to get set up for a museum heist?

[Micah stops polishing the brass and sets the piece aside. He reaches out, touching the canvas, stopping Jack from pulling it the rest of the way out.]

MICAH: Makes you stop and think, doesn't it, Jack? Never screw someone in a business arrangement. You just don't know what kind of friends the other guy might have.
(beat)
Take this guy for instance. He and I had a nice simple deal. He brings guns in from South America by boat, I act as a distribution storage facility...I hate the word,'fence', don't you?

[Frost nods. Not waiting for an audible answer, Micah continues.]

MICAH: And we split the cash. That wasn't good enough. Greed's a terrible thing, Jack. Remember that.
(beat)
So. Here it is six months later and this fellow's back in town.He steered clear of me, but I know these things. A few choice people were told that there was a buyer out there for a particular piece of art…next thing you know, he's bragging about his plans to steal a Rubens painting. Some rich guy's willing to pay three-quarters of a million for it.

FROST: Only five-hundred thousand.

MICAH: (arching an eyebrow) I guess you would know.
(beat)
By the way, you did a wonderful job playing the rich stolen art buyer.

FROST: Thank you.

MICAH: So. On one hand I needed to do a little payback, and it so-happened that I also needed to do a favor for an old friend. Sort of found myself with a couple of birds to kill and only one stone. An old lady-friend of mine, Anastasia, had a son. A real heartbreak to her. A damned talented painter, but he had a larcenous heart and well...he liked to paint like the old masters.
(beat, leaning slightly toward Jack)
Just like the old masters.
(beat)
Well, she died a few months ago. But before she went, she asked if I could set something right that her thieving son had done a long time ago.

FROST: The Rubens painting.

MICAH: (nodding) The Rubens painting. The boy had managed to pull a fast one about twenty-five years ago, replacing the original with his own. He was clever. Cut the original right out of the frame, stole a couple of minor pieces, then left his copy of the Rubens behind for the authorities to find. They figured the thief just dropped it in the excitement of the getaway.

FROST: Sounds familiar.

MICAH: I figure, why reinvent the wheel?
(beat)
So, I've got this original Rubens. Annie didn't know I had it all this time, bless her, or she'd have disowned me. But the boy needed cash and...anyway, she wanted me to find the painting and return it to its rightful owners. I know I couldn't SEE it, Jack, but I'd studied that painting in books when I was young.

[CLOSE on Micah's SCARRED EYES.]

MICAH: (continuing) Before the camps. And when I held it in my hands, I FELT like I could see it.

FROST: (quietly) I know.

MICAH: So, I ask myself, "Micah Tomes, how could you fulfill a dying woman's wish and screw the little piece of crap that crossed you in the gun deal at the same time?" Do you know how I answered?

FROST: Me?

MICAH: That's right. With my best friend Jack. I've said it before. A friend will help you move.
(Beat)
A BEST friend will help you move...

TOGETHER: ...a body.

[Micah pulls the painting out of the tube, unrolls the canvas, acting as if he's looking at it, straining with eyes that have seen nothing but blackness for 30 years. Finally, he lowers it and sadly shakes his head, his eyebrows furrowed.]

MICAH: Can't picture it as clearly as the real thing. Smell's all wrong. The real one was rescued from a fire in 1723. Annie's son climbed up on her roof and held his fake over the chimney to smoke it up.
(beat)
Too much pine in the fireplace.

FROST: It fooled the curators for twenty-five years.

MICAH: They were just looking with their eyes. Their minds were on keeping the grants coming.

[Micah rolls the painting up and sticks it back in the tube, placing it under the counter.]

MICAH: Thank you, Jack. I owe you one.
(beat)
Now, you asked me on the phone about Nat McKenzie. I did some checking with a few of my friends who run guns for the mercenary crowd. It sounds like Nat hitched up with, "The General" down in Mexico. You heard of this guy?

FROST: Yeah. He tried to get me to work with him a few years back. He's a little power-crazy.

MICAH: Well, if the word I'm getting is right, he's more than a little crazy. Rumor has it that he's gotten so paranoid that he refuses to use the same crew twice. And he doesn't want them talking, so...

[Micah holds his hand up to his head, pointing his index finger like a gun.]

MICAH: (mouthing the word) Bang.

[PUSH IN on Frost.]

FROST: Where is he now?

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Scene 8: The Mountains of Bacanora North Mexico, Two Days Later

 

CUT TO: T. mercenary camp plateau - day
[We se a plateau atop a mountain. A GUARD walks the perimeter. The guard's POV, looking out over the cliff's edge. A Bell Jet Ranger rises into view, filling frame. It is fighting the wind a bit, but is fairly stable and hovers there for a few seconds. REVERSE ANGLE - Helicopter's POV. PAN UP on the guard's face -- dust flies through the air and the guard's medium-length hair blows in the strong winds kicked up by the blades. PULL BACK to show three RECRUITS get out of the helicopter. They carry dufflebags CLOSER, as the pilot ducks low and runs around the front of the helicopter. He is shaking his head and grinning at the guard in the foreground.]

GUARD: (shouting,off-camera) What'd you think of those crosswinds on the East face?

PILOT: (shouting) Killer! That's a pretty treacherous flight! I've got three more men to haul up here tonight--I can't believe that's the best route!

DOLLY in on a C.U. (slight upshot) of the guard.

GUARD: (grinning) It's better than the alternative!

CUT TO: EXT. Mountainside - day
[CLOSE PROFILE of a ROCKY MOUNTAINSIDE. We see FROST'S HAND enter BOTTOM OF FRAME. MEDIUM CLOSE on FROST as he pulls himself up. He's climbing the face of this treacherous mountain. This should be extremely impressive. Since he is alone, he's forced to travel light. His SUNGLASSES are visor-like, more of a one-piece semi-circle that wraps around his eyes. Once he does so, he allows himself to rest on the cable for a moment, pulling out a canteen of water and taking a small drink. As he swings there a moment, shifting his weight, his foot brushes loose rocks sending a few pebbles downward. DOWNSHOT, Frost's POV, looking PAST his FEET, we see the rocks bounce against the wall of the mountain along their seemingly infinite descent.

PULL BACK to show that he is only a third of the way up the dangerous face. He puts the canteen away and resumes the climb. This shot should emphasize scale, stressing that he is a small speck on the side of the mountain. This shot should also show that it is getting late in the day, nearer to SUNSET. The low sound of a HELICOPTER can be heard in the distance. Medium Close on Frost again as he climbs. The HELICOPTER gets LOUDER and he stops in mid-climb, cocking his head to the wind. There's a crevice that he can wedge himself into about Ten feet to the right of him. Otherwise, he'll be totally exposed on the face, easily spotted by the chopper. SLIGHT UPSHOT on FROST as he scrambles for cover, swinging pendulum-style across the face. The helicopter should be visible any moment, for the sound is almost deafening, echoing off the mountain wall. JUST as he reaches the crevice, the helicopter-THE same BELL JET RANGER we saw earlier-comes into frame. It is struggling against the strong winds, climbing ever upward. It is far enough away from Frost that his rope and pitons aren't readily visible. The Helicopter struggles upward out of frame. PULL BACK to show FROST wedged into the rock, deep in SHADOW, out of view. Once the Helicopter moves on, FROST continues his climb.]

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Scene 9: High Desert and Mexican Jail

 

CUT TO: EXT. Mexican desert - An Hour before sunset.
[We see Nat lying on the rocky ground. A scorpion crawls closer to him, curious. A large black boot comes down, crushing the scorpion. PULL BACK to show a MEXICAN SHERIFF standing over Nat's body. He is about five feet, nine inches tall, with a day's growth of beard and a black mustache. There is a small lump in his jaw--his tobacco. His uniform is slightly ratty, but clean. His jeep is about fifteen feet behind him. MEDIUM CLOSE on NAT, unconscious on the ground. A brief stream of dark brown tobacco spit hits him squarely between the eyes. He stirs, but doesn't wake up. A low groan lets the sheriff know that Nat's still alive.]

SHERIFF: (muttering under his breath, disappointed.) Chingado. I thought you were dead.

[CLOSE on the JEEP'S EMPTY back seat. Suddenly, it's not so empty as the Sheriff dumps Nat's limp body inside like a bag of potatoes.]

SHERIFF: Welcome to Mexico.

[The SHERIFF walks around to the driver's seat and gets in, adjusts his mirror, kisses his finger tips, then touches the plastic replica of the Virgin Mary on the dashboard and drives off.]

CUT TO: INT. MEXICAN JAIL CELL - SUNSET.
[LONG DOLLY SHOT as the SHERIFF drags Nat toward his cell. FROM THE DOORWAY, we see that the cell is extremely dark and confined. The only light entering the room is coming in thin shafts between the bars in the windows, high above. The floor is adobe covered in straw. The SHERIFF'S callused hand shoves Nat into the cell, slamming the barred door behind him. From INSIDE the cell now, LOW ANGLE. We see NAT hitting the floor. PAST him, we see the SHERIFF looking through the bars in the door.]

SHERIFF: Stupid American...

[CLOSE on the SHERIFF. BACKLIT, his face pressed against the bars.]

SHERIFF: (Looking to his right on the last word) ...Meet the boys.

[PUSH IN on NAT, who is struggling to put his weight on one hand to support himself. He raises his head and looks to his left, SQUINTING in the darkness. On the other side of the cell, we see THREE CELL-MATES. Hector, Alejandro and Miguel. They're a rough looking bunch and they look like they're ready to play a fun game of beat the hell out of the new guy.]

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Scene 10: The General's Camp in the Mountains of Bacanora North Mexico

 

CUT TO: EXT. The General's camp - night.
[The mountaintop plateau. A similar scene to the one we saw earlier, but it is now night-time. The same guard walks the perimeter of the edge of the cliff. The helicopter is parked in it's landing spot. DOLLY in on a close-up of the guard. He hears a sound near the edge, perhaps five feet behind him. We follow him as he slowly turns, walking back to the spot. He holds his rifle up a bit higher, in preparation for whatever may arise. He bends at the waist, peering over the edge of the cliff. GUARD'S POV. In the darkness, we can only see ten feet or so of the cliff wall before the view gives way to the blackness. There is no sign of an intruder. The guard straightens his back, pulling himself up to his full height, letting out a small breath.

SUDDENLY, we see a thin wire pulled tight around the guard's throat. As the guard's hands instinctively come up to pull at the garotte--still holding the rifle, we see the black-gloved hand of the attacker behind him firmly snatching the gun away. PAN DOWN the guard's flinching body. It's here that we see that the guard has been lifted off the ground by the strength of his attacker. End the pan on the combat boots and hold for a moment until the life drains away, and all movement ceases. FULL SHOT of FROST, a near-silhouette in profile, the rifle in his left hand as he thrusts the lifeless body of the guard over the edge. In the distance we hear...]

DALTON: (Voice Over) Let's just make it quick, ok?

[RAPID DOLLY IN on CU of FROST. He looks sharply to his left. WHIP PAN LEFT to DALTON and the PILOT. They are walking down the path from the camp toward the helicopter.]

PILOT: You didn't really have to walk down here with me you know. I think I could find my own helicopter.

DALTON: General's rules. No one leaves the bunkers without an escort.
(beat)
Wouldn't want any spies signaling the ATF or anything.

[We see the Pilot opening the door of the helicopter, reaching inside and rummaging around. PAN DOWN as the Pilot pulls out a black flight bag. Within inches of the Pilot's feet, we see the familiar black-gloved hand pull back into the shadows UNDERNEATH the helicopter. CLOSE on the Pilot as he pulls a pillow from his bag. He smiles sheepishly.]

DALTON: That? That's what we walked all the way down here for?

PILOT Hey, I can't sleep without it! I was a walking zombie the first two weeks of my tour in the Gulf. I had to have my wife send me this stupid thing in a care package. (continuing) But I could sleep on a bed of nails as long as I had this under my head.

[He slams the door shut and the two return up the path, the Pilot in the lead.]

DALTON: Good. Then you won't mind our bunks.

[downshot on the two walking up the path,away from the helicopter.]

DALTON: All right, you've got your pillow. Unless you need your blanky now, we should get back. I'm supposed to meet with the Captain in a few minutes.

PILOT: I'm ready. What's up next for you guys?

DALTON: We're heading to Europe. You should hook up with us. Supposed to be some real action.

[Track with the Pilot as he continues to talk, not looking back at his companion.]

PILOT: Not me, Pal. This is about as adventuresome as I get.
(beat)
Soon as I get enough money together, I'm taking my bird to Kauai and run me a little charter service. I've got friends over there that take tourists up and show 'em the island. They make a lot more money than they ever did running dope.
(beat)
Know what I mean, Dalton?

[We see the Pilot begin to turn, looking behind him. Then CUT TO the PILOT'S POV, continuing the turn in a PAN, revealing that he is ALONE. Dalton is gone. CU on the pilot now. He has a scared/nervous look on his face.]

PILOT: Dalton?

[JIB SHOT. Begin with more-or-less the Pilot's POV showing that Dalton is gone, then rapidly ascend (ending in a downshot) and rotate back toward the pilot, who is running to the camp. TRACKING, follow the Pilot as he runs, constantly looking back over his shoulder to see if he's being followed. The Pilot turns his head back in the direction he's running. As he looks up, he pulls up short, almost falling down in his attempt to stop. From behind the Pilot as he looks ahead we see FROST only a few feet away. CU on Frost's VISOR. We see a REFLECTION of the Pilot in them.]

PILOT: (off-screen) Who--Who are you? What do you want?

[PULL BACK for a TWO-SHOT showing Frost towering over the pilot. With an rapid gesture, Frost's PISTOL is in his hand, pointed at the smaller man's forehead.]

PILOT: NO! Don't SHOOT!!

[PILOT'S POV. Medium Up-Shot of Frost. He twirls the 9mm around, so that he's holding the barrel in his hand. He pulls back with the gun... (Reverse Angle)...then brings it down HARD across the Pilot's temple, knocking him out. PULL Back to show Frost standing over the Pilot, his gun still in his hand. He looks around intently, listening for any sign of other guards. Secure that he's alone, he holsters the weapon and runs into the shadows.]

CUT TO: Ext. The General's bunker - same.
[It is clear in this shot that the building's backside is within a few feet of the cliffside. A single light shines in one of the windows.]

GENERAL: (Voiceover- offscreen) You're running out of options, Captain.

INT. The General's office - night.
[WIDE SHOT, showing the General and his CAPTAIN seated across from each other at a small table. A CHESS set is spread between them. The General has BLACK, the Captain, WHITE. The remainder of his office is spartan, but functional enough. A simple desk, a chair in front and behind it. A file cabinet in the corner with a lamp on top. An army-style field radio-phone sits on the DESK. There is one door and one window in the room. The GENERAL smokes a cigarette, wisps of smoke fill the air above him.]

GENERAL: You've lost your Queen...maybe you should just give in. Hmm?

CAPTAIN: Not yet, Sir. Quitting's not my style.

[LOW-ANGLE on the Chess set. The CAPTAIN moves his King back and left, behind his ROOK. CLOSE ON the GENERAL, smirking.]

GENERAL: Of course not. But this, "tactical retreat" won't keep your King from falling.

[Pan DOWN as the General moves his Knight into play, capturing a BISHOP. MEDIUM CLOSE on the CAPTAIN. He is deep in concentration. His brow furrowed. The silence is broken as the radio-phone squawks. PULL BACK as the Captain rises, reaching for the phone. Beside the phone is NAT'S HULA GIRL. The Captain absent-mindedly plays with it as he talks. FROM BEHIND the desk now, the CAPTAIN, talking on the phone, fills the left side of frame; the General is on frame right, slightly out of focus.]

CAPTAIN: General's office, this is Captain Janus. (listening, then...) Very good. Show them where to stow their gear and inform them that the briefing will be at oh-seven-hundred tomorrow morning.

[The Captain holds one hand over the phone and turns his head slightly toward the General. Rack focus, shifting from foreground to background.]

CAPTAIN: The new recruits have all settled in, Sir.

GENERAL: Good. It's about time we had some fresh blood around here.

CAPTAIN: (back into the phone) The General says to extend his welcome. (looking at his watch) Right. I hadn't noticed how late it was. I'll meet him there.

[The Captain hangs up the phone and turns to address the General.]

CAPTAIN: I promised Dalton that I would go over his notes. He needs some help calculating travel times for the Stroudsburg-London leg.

GENERAL: Dalton can't read a train schedule?

CAPTAIN: It's just that--

GENERAL: (Holding up a hand to cut him off) I can beat you at chess as easily tomorrow night. There's no need to explain.

CAPTAIN: Of course not, Sir. Have a good night.

GENERAL: Good night, Janus.

[The Captain leaves the room and the General looks at the chessboard. He could win in a matter of five moves or less. HE STANDS, stretching, the CIGARETTE still in his mouth. He walks to the window, looking out. From his view, he can see the almost full moon shining brightly. SLIGHT DOWNSHOT, Wide angle. The GENERAL turns from the window to see... FROST seated where the Captain had been moments before.]

GENERAL: Who the hell--?

[The GENERAL makes a sudden move for the phone. Frost points his 9mm PISTOL at him, COCKING it.]

FROST: Sit down, General.

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Scene 11: Mexican Jail

 

CUT TO: INT. MEXICAN JAIL CELL - NIGHT.
[Nat starts to stand, but is KICKED from behind and he's knocked to the floor. His attacker raises a foot to stomp Nat's skull, but Nat rolls and catches the foot, throwing the man off balance. One of the other men, ALEJANDRO, laughs out loud, pointing to his friend that just got dumped on his ass.]

ALEJANDRO: (Hector's letting this faggot kick his ass!)

[Nat gets to his feet and is trying to get his back to a wall. The other two men close in on him. HECTOR stands up and pushes the others aside.]

HECTOR: (He's mine!)

[Hector pulls off his BELT, showing off a MASSIVE STEEL BELT BUCKLE. He wraps the belt around his fist, holding the buckle tightly. He swings at Nat, but Nat blocks the blow, responding with a GLANCING UPPERCUT to the chin. Hector isn't phased and responds with a HEADBUT, knocking Nat back into the wall. Nat's reeling and drops to one knee.]

HECTOR: (Take that, bendejo!)

[Nat PUNCHES straight out at eye-level and connects with Hector's GROIN. Hector collapses like a sack of flour. Alejandro and Miguel's surprised expressions quickly turn to anger.]

ALEJANDRO: Su Muerté! (You're dead!)

[Alejandro jumps for Nat, but Nat leaps up, WALKING up the BARS, then grabbing them, he clings to them, out of reach of the men. FADE TO BLACK]

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Scene 12: The General's Camp in the Mountains of Bacanora North Mexico

 

INT. The GENERAL'S OFFICE - Night
[We see Frost talking to the General. He is very calm. The General is a little grumpy, but shouldn't be too nervous. He's been in tight spots before.]

GENERAL: (narrowing his eyes at Frost) I know who you are. You're Frost.
(beat)
I tried to recruit you once. Well, if breaking in here is your way of auditioning...

FROST: No. I've come to kill you. (gesturing to the chessgame) Mind if I play White?

GENERAL: (half-shrugging indifference) Really? Just like that? Why do you want to kill me?

[Frost moves the King's Bishop closer to the front of the ranks.]

FROST: Some friends of mine fought for you not too long ago. No one's seen them since.

GENERAL: What makes you think I had anything to do with that?

FROST: You have a certain reputation for not liking loose ends. I believe you had them killed after their work was through.
(beat)
You're move.

[The General looks down at the game, then captures the Bishop with a Rook. CLOSEUP on the General's hand underneath the table. He is feeling around for something. Finally, his fingertips come across a loose strip of duct tape hanging there.]

GENERAL: Nonsense.

FROST: Looking for this?

[He rapidly places a small, 22 Caliber pistol on the table beside the chessboard, rapping it against the tabletop with a metallic thump. Frost moves a knight into play, capturing the rook. The General sits back, eyeing his opponent more seriously now.]

GENERAL: Who were your friends?

FROST: McKenzie, Pflug, Cooley, a few of the others.
(Beat)
Pawns.

GENERAL: (exhaling slowly) Well.
(beat)
There's not a lot to say, Mr.Frost. Those men did follow me in a military campaign. And they are dead now.

[The General moves his own knight into play, endangering Frost's King.]

GENERAL: Check.

FROST: And you ordered their deaths?

GENERAL: How do I put this...when the great pyramids were built and the burial chambers fashioned to hold the bodies of the Pharaohs...
(beat)
The slaves who built them were put to death upon their completion. And in turn, the Taskmasters who commanded them were killed.
(beat)
They simply outlived their usefullness. This was no different.

[Frost then moves a pawn, capturing the Rook and opening up a direct line between a Rook and a Bishop, putting the General's King in check. The General can't move backward without putting himself in check with another Knight.]

FROST: Check Mate.

[CLOSEUP on the General. Bewildered. The attack came from nowhere.]

GENERAL: What? How did you-- (Realizing) Your pawn. You set me up.

FROST: You underestimated the power of the weakest piece.

[LOW ANGLE. Frost topples the Black King. As the chess piece falls in slow motion, His GUN RISES, coming into focus as Frost squeezes the trigger. WHITE FLASH FRAME;]

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Scene 13: Mexican Jail

 

CUT to: INT. MEXICAN JAIL CELL - NIGHT.

[Nat is still CLINGING TO THE BARS in weird ANIMAL-LIKE way. Finally, he can't hold out any longer. The men pull him down. He is getting seriously beaten up. He gets a few blows in, but he's outnumbered, half-starved and exhausted. Finally, he does manage to grab Hector's fallen belt buckle and strikes out at Alejandro, cutting his neck. Blood flows freely. AGAIN, Nat is TRANSFIXED by the sight of the blood. REALLY play up look of LUST/HUNGER in his eyes. While Alejandro is trying to stop the bleeding, Miguel jumps on Nat. Hector, now conscious again, also piles on.]

ALEJANDRO: (Son of a bitch!)

[The fight continues as the other two pound Nat into the ground. TIGHT on Nat as a trickle of blood rolls down his cheek and into his mouth. His eyelids SNAP OPEN, revealing PALE, COLORLESS EYES and his FANGS have returned. FROM the direction of the fight, we hear a low, gutteral growl. Alejandro slowly turns back in their direction.]

ALEJANDRO: (What in the hell?)

[Hector and Miguel are thrown off of Nat and violently hit the walls and floor. Nat rises, looking at Alejandro. It is clear that Nat is not acting very human and he is very, very pissed.]

ALEJANDRO: Madré de Dios! (Mother of God!)

[Nat POUNCES on the man, grabbing him by the hair and pulling back his head to expose the bloody throat. He drinks deeply-a violent, animalistic act of pure survival. FADE TO BLACK: Fade in on a DOWNSHOT--rotating 20 degrees over the course of the truck in--of Nat on the jailcell floor. He's crouched over Hector. The other two men are lying around him, dead and drained of blood. As the camera spins down to focus on Nat, he raises his head and SCREAMS.]

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Deleted Scene: The General's Camp, Frost's Rampage

 

CUT TO: INT. The General's camp - night
[We see Frost running through the corridor, heading away from the General's bunker. His gunshot has drawn attention. He's attacked by a couple of mercs who fire at him, but miss. Dust and sparks fly as the shots ricohet near his head. MEDIUM SHOT OF FROST as he returns fire... ...striking one man in his gun arm and the other shooter in his leg, taking them both down. FROST continues out of the bunker when he sees the Captain. Show him raise his gun to fire... ...BUT his aim is spoiled as a young MERC stumbles into his line of fire. Before he can adjust his shot, the Captain manages to get away, disappearing into the night. The young merc spins on Frost, fumbling with his gun that is still holstered. SUDDENLY, another attacker enters FRAME-RIGHT, swinging a wide hook with his left fist. Frost ducks into the punch and comes up under the man, propelling him into the fumbling younger man. CLOSE on FROST as he looks up. The Captain has gotten away.]

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Scene 14: Mexican Jail

 

CUT TO: INT. MEXICAN JAIL CELL - NIGHT.
[The Sheriff returns, sticking his face up to the bars.]

SHERIFF: What's going on in there?

[Nat's hand darts between the bars, grabbing the Sheriff by the hair and pulling him hard. SHERIFF'S POV. Through the bars, looking at Nat's face pressed up on the other side. Dried blood covers his face.]

NAT: (A harsh whisper) Let me out of this hellhole.
(beat)
Now.

[The Sheriff shrinks back, and Nat slams an OPEN PALM against one of the BARS. Cement dust falls from where the bars are embedded. He's STRONGER than he thought. He KICKS out at the lock and breaks it. The door opens and Nat arches his back upward soaking in the freedom. The Sheriff cowers behind him. Nat turns to face the Sheriff, a wicked hunger raging within him. CLOSE UPSHOT on Nat. He has an utterly evil expression on his face and as his mouth opens, we see that he has indeed changed. There's a different air about him than we've seen before. More powerful, confident.]

NAT: The boys and I didn't hit it off. Sorry about the mess.

[Sheriff's POV. Inside the jail cell, the bloody remains of the three men litter the floor.]

NAT: You welcomed me to Mexico.
(beat)
Let me welcome you to Hell.

[Fade to Black.]

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Scene 15: The General's Camp in the Mountains of Bacanora North Mexico

 

EXT. The General's camp - night
[We see Frost in pursuit, trying to catch up to the Captain. He's running now--the terrain flashing by in the background. The Captain stumbles through the darkness, pushing the PILOT ahead of him. They've reached the helicopter.]

CAPTAIN: MOVE! We're taking off--Now!

[BACK to Frost in pursuit. WIDE SHOT on the Helicopter as it takes off. CLOSER as we can make out the Captain in the passenger window. He has an arrogant look of triumph on his face. He's going to escape. DOWNSHOT: The CAPTAIN'S POV. We see Frost pull something from inside his vest, next to his heart. CLOSE on the CAPTAIN. The expression on his face undergoes a dramatic transformation from cocky triumph to one of wide-eyed terror as the realization hits him. CLOSE UP of Frost. Same angle as before. It's clear now that he is holding a small, single-button detonator. Rapid intercut of Frost pressing the button with his thumb and images of a silent scream on the Captain's face in the window seconds before the helicopter explodES in a massive fireball. Downshot of FROST. He looks down in his hand at the BURNT HULA DOLL-Nat's Memento. FADE TO BLACK]

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Deleted Scene: Nat Kills a Biker

 

EXT. MEXICAN BORDER TOWN. - DUSK.
[Nat is leaving the town, trying to get to the main road. We show a series of dissolves of him first in town, then on the road, time-lapse style. He stops and turns as he hears a motorcycle in the distance. THE MOTORCYCLE stops near him.]

NAT: (smiling) Nice bike.

DISSOLVE TO: EXT. DESERT ROAD - NIGHT.
[It is a deserted road and a light wind blows across the dusty terrain. In the distance, we see the motorcycle appear on the horizon. CLOSER. It's the same Motorcycle, with only one rider. STILL CLOSER. It's Nat, a fresh blood stain on his chin]

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Deleted Scene: Micah and Frost

 

DISSOLVE TO: EXT. MICAH'S HOUSE - NIGHT
TITLE: Several Days Later.


[A large, older home, in a wealthy neighborhood. PIANO MUSIC can be heard from within.]

MICAH: Sorry to hear about your friends, Jack. Damn sorry.

[INT. MICAH'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Micah is seated at a PIANO and is playing. Frost sits on a couch, nearby. The room is in near darkness. After all, it's a blind man's house and Frost has his own sensitivity to light.]

FROST: I know.

MICAH: Rumor has it that a group from Northern Africa took out the General. There are already a couple of extremists taking credit for it.

FROST: They can have it.

MICAH: Said it had to have been at least ten men that did the massacre.

FROST: Somebody's not too good at math.

[Micah stops playing for a moment.]

MICAH: You blew up another helicopter?

FROST: The guy was getting away.

MICAH: So it's not anything personal…

[He resumes playing the piano.]

MICAH: against rotary-driven aircraft…per se.
(beat)
I suppose this kind of put a real close to a chapter of your life.

FROST: I lost some good friends.

MICAH: You hadn't seen most of them in a long time, had you?

FROST: We drifted a bit after I dropped out. That didn't mean…

MICAH: But this is much more final. You're Art book's coming out. The world will know you as a man who writes intelligently about bits of pigment swirled on canvas more than 400 years ago. Not as a man who has to blow things out of the sky on a semi-regular basis.
[Micah's playing turns more somber. More melancholy.]

MICAH: I thought you were sick of all the killing. That's why you left.

FROST: I got tired of that a long time ago. It was watching my friends get blown to hell that I got sick of.

MICAH: So you killed again…for your friends.

FROST: You know if I wanted to go to a shrink, I can afford a better looking one than you.

MICAH: (ignoring him) How do you reconcile being a man who's made his living bringing death…and all the while having the soul of an artist?

FROST: (coldly) How did you?

[Micah stops playing again, turning to Frost. He thinks for a moment, grasping for a truthful answer.]

MICAH: I couldn't. I never could keep things neat and tidy. Killer and Painter. For me, one tainted the other. I fell from any hope of perfection. I don't mean to play pop psychiatrist with you…but it fascinates me. You left the life a year ago, did nothing but paint and write and yet you were able to pick up your guns, go into this place and end up the last man standing. Like throwing a switch.

FROST: You don't forget some things. I was a soldier. Not an assassin.

MICAH: True. That was my job. But you're a killer, nonetheless. You can shut it down completely. Most of us can't.
(beat)
When most of us struggle with our darker sides, we lose.

FROST: Losing's not an option.

MICAH: Somehow when I hear you say it, Jack…I can almost believe it.

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Scene 16: Nancy's House

 

EXT. Nat and Nancy's House--BackYard garden - day
[We see a beautifully arranged flower garden. Nancy is seated on a bench, under a tree. She is somewhat nervous, looking around, waiting for something.]

FROST: (Off-screen) Hello, Nancy.

[STARTLED, Nancy turns her head back around to see... FROST standing in front of her. As if out of nowhere.]

NANCY: I didn't hear you walk up.

[FROST takes a seat beside her on the bench. There's a brief moment of silence before he speaks.]

FROST: Nancy...

NANCY: Nat's dead. (looking into Frost's eyes) Isn't he?

[Frost can be a kind and caring man, but he's not good at physical displays. He reaches a hand out to place on her shoulder, but stops short, almost UNSURE, before following through in this act of comfort.]

NANCY: (a single tear rolling down her cheek) How did it happen? The mission was supposed to be over.

FROST: There was an ambush. All of the guys were killed...set up by the man they were working for. It must have happened right after you heard from him the last time.
[There is a moment of silence as the death of her husband sinks in.]

NANCY: I never thought it would happen like this. You know?
(beat)
When we first got married, I thought he was going to die every time he went out the door. He always made it back.
(beat)
I guess I thought he was bulletproof.

[Nancy pulls her hair back out of her face and wipes her eyes.]

NANCY: What do we do now?

FROST: We move on, I guess. We'll miss him...

NANCY: (interrupting) I know that. I mean how do we get the lousy son of a bitch that killed them? What's to stop him from doing this to the next guys he hires?

FROST: Don't worry about that.

[Nancy looks into his eyes again, this time trying to divine something by looking into those dark sunglasses.]

NANCY: You already--? (Frost nods, slowly.)

FROST: There was a certain amount of money I found there...
(beat)
...a little over eight hundred thousand. An advance on the next mission, I'd guess. I think you and the other wives would be as entitled to it as anyone. As far as I know, Sharp didn't have anybody, so it'd be a four way split.
(beat)
If you could get me an account number, I can make sure the funds are transferred without it raising anyone's eyebrows over at the IRS. Nancy looks a bit incredulous.

NANCY: I don't know what to say. Nat didn't have any kind of insurance policy. And you know there's no Soldier of Fortune Pension Fund.
(beat)
I feel so weird about it, though...

FROST: Don't. Losing your husband's worth a lot more than a few hundred thousand.

[Frost stands, looking down on her. In the distant sky behind him, we see a jet coming into the landing path.]

FROST: You think you're going to be OK?

NANCY: (nodding) Yeah. I will be. What about you?

FROST: I wish I'd seen him more…this last year. Guess you really never know when…

[CLOSE on Nancy's HAND as she reaches up and squeezes his hand.]

NANCY: Thank you, Jack. I don't know what I would have done without you.

[We hear the roar of the jet increase as it gets closer.]

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Scene 17: Aeroplane

 

Cut to: EXT. DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO - day
[INSIDE the JET, we see a SIXTY-SOMETHING WOMAN waking up from her nap, the tiny square pillow barely supporting her head. She's sitting in the window seat and the sun is coming through the plexiglass to shine on her face.]

CAPTAIN: (VO from intercom) Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching Lindbergh Field and will be touching down in just a moment. For those of you on the right side of the cabin, if you look out your windows, you'll find a gorgeous view of historic Balboa Park, home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

[We see the WOMAN stretch, then look out her window. Suddenly, a look of sleepy curiosity changes to one of utter fear and revulsion. Her mouth stretches wide in a silent scream. LOW ANGLE, looking up at the plane landing overhead. We pan with it and realize that we're on a ROOFTOP. There is a HUGE POOL of BLOOD on one end of the roof and we soon see that it is coming from the body of a DEAD WOMAN, clothes tattered and dirty. She is lying in the blood and it is splattered everywhere, particularly around her throat.]

WOMAN: (VO Off-screen--Screaming)

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Deleted Scene: Bookshop

 

CUT TO: INT. A bookstore - day
[There is a small crowd standing inside the BOOKSTORE and we see that they are waiting to get someone's autograph. It's FROST and he's signing his new Art Book. We see him finish his signature, smile and look up as he hands it to the happy reader.]

FROST: Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy it.

[The fan takes the book.]

FAN: Thank you.

[A middle-aged woman with short-cropped black hair steps up to the head of the line. She is slightly heavyset and wears glasses. Her clothes reveal that she is trying to recapture a youth that is long-gone. She is emptyhanded, but looks over her glasses at Jack somewhat expectantly.]

FROST: Did you want me to sign a copy of my book?

[She looks confused for a half-moment, then realizes what he's referring to and picks up one of the books from a stack beside him.]

ANNOYING WOMAN: Yes. (pushing up her glasses) Yes, I suppose that would be nice. (She hands him the book) I'm a writer, too. A novelist.

FROST: Really? That's great.

[Frost signs the book and hands it back to her.]

ANNOYING WOMAN: It's a journey, really. You see...

[Frost realizes that she's not leaving and sits back for a moment, attempting to be politely patient. CU on FROST. As he looks up, smiling. FROST'S POV of the woman.]

ANNOYING WOMAN: You know, a coming of age story. It's amazing to me that no one's done it already.

FROST: Amazing.

ANNOYING WOMAN: One publisher thought that my story lacked conflict. I told her that I wasn't writing some violent trash--this was art. I do detest violence, don't you, Mr.... (looking at the book cover) ...Mr.Frost?

[CU on FROST.]

FROST: Despise it.

[She's about to rattle on some more, but the bookstore manager steps up to the table to the rescue. He's a Medium-built man.]

STORE MANAGER: (speaking to the crowd) I'm afraid Mr.Frost has to leave now. If any of you are waiting to purchase an autographed book, we have a few up front that he was kind enough to sign this morning.

[Frost rises, shaking hands with one or two of the bystanders. ANNOYING woman chooses to ignore the Manager. She tries to tag along with Frost, not letting him get more than a few feet away.]

ANNNOYING WOMAN: We don't get a moment's peace, do we?

STORE MANAGER: (Trying to shuffle her away) Ma'am, Mr.Frost has to leave. If you've finished shopping, you can take the book to the front register and they'll be glad to ring it up for you.

ANNOYING WOMAN: Ring it--? Oh...Well, how much is it? (looking down at the book, finding the price) Oh, gracious! No wonder people don't read today. This is outrageous!

[Medium-close on Frost as he watches the two walk away, the STORE MANAGER rolling his eyes at FROST behind her back.]

JILL: (V.O. Off-screen) She's right, you know.

[Frost turns his head to see JILL, an attractive young woman standing near him. She's wearing jeans and a t-Shirt. She's between 20 and 23 years old. Her hair's in a ponytail.]

FROST: Yeah?

JILL: Oh, yeah. They really gouge you for artbooks. I mean, the real thing in a museum's like practically free. Maybe you put in a two dollar suggested donation, if you want to, but to see the same thing in a book--it's fifty or sixty bucks. Frost just looks at her, not saying anything. A little bit of a glare.

JILL: (laughing) I can't help it, Jack! You're too easy! Here you're this big tough guy that can take anything--God knows what all you've been through--but I can push your buttons anytime I want!

[We see Frost allow himself a slight smile as he begins to walk away. She follows.]

FROST: Apology accepted. Believe me, Jill, I understand that at your age that kind of thing's probably pretty funny...

JILL: (suddenly exasperated) Who said anything about apologizing?! And what do you mean my age, Grandpa? You're not that much older than me. Frost stops and leans down to look into her eyes.

FROST: Sorry, I couldn't resist. You shouldn't talk about pushing people's buttons when yours are the size of dinner plates. He gently touches her nose, as if pushing a button.

JILL: Funny.
(beat)
Are we going to your place this afternoon or what?

FROST: That's the plan. I can be ready in five minutes after we get there. It'll take you that long to get undressed.

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Scene 18: Frost's Home
[This Scene is much earlier in the film - Intercut into Scene 3 where the guys are discussing what has happened to Frost. The second half of it is cut out all together]

 

CUT TO: EXT. FROST'S House - day
[We see the outside of Jack's home. It is upscale and very attractive.]

JILL: I don't think I've ever done this before.
(beat)
You know, in the daytime, I mean.

CUT TO: INT. FROST's study - day
[PAN across the study, filled with books, a few plants and of course, ART. A pair of Japanese samurai swords adorns a wall. We see a Jill, her hair down, reclining on a couch. She is nude, stretched out with her weight on her left elbow, resting on a small couch pillow. Her body is facing the back of the couch with her back to us. A SHEET is draped across her legs from mid-thigh down. It is a very classical life-drawing pose. We CONTINUE THE PAN to see that Frost is painting the model in oils.]

FROST: Right...You always posed for the evening classes.
(beat)
This is much better. You can't beat natural light for portraits.

[Frost concentrates on the painting for a moment, adding a touch of rimlighting to the right side of her form. His painting is nearly 2/3rd's complete. It is a very strong, confident piece with a clearly defined light source, almost a chiaroscuro touch. THEN, he dips the brush in paint thinner and begins to clean it with a rag.]

FROST: Okay, Jill. I think that'll do it for today. We're losing the sun. I think one more session will finish it.

[Jill joins him, pulling a robe on as she walks over.]

JILL: Let me see.

[She looks at it for a moment, studying. Her eyes half-squinting in concentration.]

JILL: My butt's too big.

[Frost raises an eyebrow as he considers the statement, then glances down to her backside.]

FROST: You think so...? Personally, I think you have a pretty nice butt.

JILL: (Annoyed) No. In the painting. I think you...over-emphasized my hips. I'm not that Rubenesque.

FROST: (sighing) You're probably right. I've had Rubens on my mind lately. But if you want to stick around, I could work on getting the proportions right; maybe take a few measurements…

JILL: (Sticking out her tongue, playfully) Not tonight, anyway. I've got a psych class I've got to get to by six, or I'm going to flunk it.

JILL: (sticking her head back in the room) Guess you'll just have to work from memory.

[She ducks her head back out of the room as a COUCH PILLOW goes sailing in her general direction. With that, Jill walks over to the bathroom to change. As she does, she passes a photo of Jack on the wall with another young woman. It's several years old. Jill looks SAD as she thinks about another love that Frost once had in his life. Frost puts the brush down and goes over to the couch, folding the sheet and setting it aside.]

FROST: When do you want to finish this pose? I'm tied up until Saturday, but after that I'm open.

[We see Jill getting dressed in the bathroom with the door open. She has her bra and panties on and is pulling up her jeans.]

JILL: Saturday's cool.
(beat,thinking)
It'll have to be Saturday. I'm taking off for Big Bear Sunday morning.

[Cut to FROST, sitting on the couch. He's got his sunglasses off and is rubbing his eyes.]

FROST: I didn't know you skiied.

[Back to Jill in the bathroom. She has one rubberband in her teeth and is pulling her hair up with one hand, then pulling another rubberband off of her other wrist and putting the hair through it, into a ponytail. She then pulls the other rubber band from her teeth and secures her hair further.]

JILL: I don't. But I flirt well and I haven't broken any bones yet. A couple of my friends are going up to celebrate the fact that we survived Professor Gintner's class.
(beat)
Believe me. Getting through a semester with that anal-retentive freak's something to celebrate!

[She walks out to the study, picking up her bookbag. She steps over to the painting.]

JILL: It is coming along, isn't it? I think we really can wrap it up on Saturday.

FROST:I hope so.

JILL: What do you mean?

FROST: I've been thinking about what you said. (totally dead-pan) You do have a big butt. We may need more canvas.

[Close on Frost, a small smile on his face. He ducks as the couch pillow sails back at him, missing his head by inches.]

FROST: (laughing) Hey, I was agreeing with you!

[Angle around to a corner of the room surrounded by bay windows. Outside, Nat watches…and waits.]

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Scene 19: Rosie's Bar - Massacre

 

CUT TO: INT. ROSIE'S BAR - night
[CLOSE on a man's hands wrapped around a drink at the bar.]

BARTENDER: What's the matter, buddy? You don't like it, I can make you another Bloody Mary.

[We see that the man is NAT. He is gritting his teeth as he tries to swallow the drink.]

NAT: Wouldn't make any difference.

BARTENDER: Whatever, pal.

[PANNING the room, we see that it's a fairly tough looking crowd. Several BIKER types. One particularly BIG BIKER jerks his thumb in Nat's direction and looks at the bartender.]

BIKER: Maybe he can't handle the booze. (to Nat) You need something with a little pansy umbrella on it, buddy?

NAT: Go away.

BIKER: What'd you say?

NAT: I said, "I'd hate for you to have to pull your head out of your ass long enough to get me one."
(beat)
Go away.

[The biker's friend slaps him on the back.]

BIKER'S FRIEND: He's got your number, Jimmy!

[The Big BIKER steps over to Nat, towering over him. Nat isn't moving.]

BIKER: Why don't you go away, asshole? Get out of here before I-

NAT: (standing) Before you what? Open your fat mouth again? Are you gonna bore me to death or are we going to see what you're made of? The biker bellows in rage and throws a PUNCH at Nat who GRABS it in mid-air. Twisting, he BREAKS the larger man's ARM with a sickening crunch. BIKER: (Scream)

NAT: Come on. Show me what kind of guts you have.

[With that, Nat punches the biker hard in the STOMACH, pushing his hand deep in the flesh and pulling back a BLOODY FIST full of the man's insides.]

NAT: It's what's INSIDE that counts!

[He licks some BLOOD from the back of his hand and then, throwing the guts to the ground, he CATCHES the dying biker before he hits the floor and BITES deeply into his NECK. SLOW MOTION of the other patrons of the bar in SHOCK. Our camera moves among and BEHIND them, watching the tableau, like seeing a jungle cat feed while watching through the tall grass. Nat comes out of his reverie, looking down at the man he's just fed upon. He starts to move toward the door and the crowd parts to let him pass. One biker starts to move toward him, but an older, SMARTER man puts a hand on his chest to stop him. Nat leaves the bar and the crowd starts to come back to its senses, screaming, shouting to call 911, etc; Just then, KOCHA pulls up on his SKATEBOARD. He looks inside at the carnage. He looks out across the street and follows after Nat. FADE TO BLACK.]

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Scene 20: Frost's Home

 

Int. Frost's Bedroom - WEDNESDAY night
TITLE: A Week later.


[We see Frost in bed, asleep. The room is tastefully decorated with nice furniture and various bits of art, from busts to paintings adding to the decor. Very dark and moody. A digital clock on the nightstand reads: 2:58 A.M. THEN, a thin band of light falls on his face and grows--someone is opening the bedroom door. In an incredibly fast move, Frost snaps awake and pulls a 9MM PISTOL from under his pillow, aiming at the doorway. We see NANCY, standing in the now-open doorway. She is backlit and most of her features are buried deep in shadow.]

NANCY: Jack! It's me, Nancy! Please--don't shoot!

[CU on FROST. He has a questioning look on his face. Why would she have broken in like this? He lowers the gun, a bit--not completely. It is still dark in the room, the only light coming from the open door.]

FROST: Nancy? What are you doing here? It's three o'clock in the morning.

NANCY:I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have come so late.

[She crosses the room, sitting beside him on the bed. He sits up, returning the gun to its place under the pillow.]

FROST: Why didn't you call? I would have met you or something...
(beat)
You almost got yourself killed breaking in here like that.

NANCY: I'm sorry. Nat showed me a few things about locks.
(beat)
It was so late when I got here. I didn't want to disturb you, and I thought I'd just crash on your couch 'till you woke up.
(beat)
Guess I got impatient.

[FROST sits up a little straighter and reaches for the lamp on the nightstand. Nancy turns away, hiding her face from him, but there's a brief glimpse of a swollen black eye. The left side of her face is bruised.]

FROST: What happened? Who did this to you?

[MEDIUM CLOSE ON NANCY as she turns back around. We see that she's been beaten. Her collar is pulled up high around her throat, but we see the discolored hints; the tops of finger bruises on her neck. She looks him in the eye, then lowers her head.]

NANCY: Jack...

[She raises her head again, this time with an angry look on her face. She jerks a small 22 PISTOL up into frame and aims it at his face.]

NANCY: ...open your mouth.

[Frost straightens up a little. He's a large man and Nancy is a very small woman. The contrast should be heightened any way we can here.]

FROST: Nancy...

[She moves the gun closer to him, threatening him.]

NANCY: Open your mouth, dammit!

[FROST could quite probably take the gun away from her without harming either of them. Even though the thought occurs to him that she might stick the gun inside his mouth, he opens it. Close on Nancy, squinting, inspecting his mouth...his teeth.]

NANCY: Wider.

[He does so. CLOSE on Nancy as she makes her determination. Then, as her anger drains away, so does her strength.]

NANCY: Then...you're not like him...

[She loses consciousness and falls forward. Frost snatches the gun away with one hand and catches her in the other. Fade to black:]

[INT. Frost's LIVING room - a half-hour later. We see FROST in the foreground, removing the bullets from Nancy's gun and putting it back in her purse. He pockets the ammunition. There are two steaming cups of tea on the table beside the purse. Behind him, we see Nancy on the couch as she wakes up.]

NANCY: Jack...I'm sorry.

[FROST turns to her, picking up the tea and hands her a cup. She sits up, running a hand through her hair as she accepts the drink.]

FROST: What happened?

NANCY: I was kind of hoping you could clear things up for me.

FROST: Start with who did this to you. Who beat you up?

NANCY: My husband.
(beat)
Nat.

FROST: Nancy...Nat's...

NANCY: Apparently, you were wrong. He survived the ambush.

FROST: Nancy

NANCY: I'm not crazy, Jack. He showed up at the house two nights ago. I would have called you, but he asked me not to.
(beat)
He was in a lot of pain. He said his stomach felt like it was on fire. I begged him to go to the hospital, but he wouldn't do it.

[NANCY begins to cry as she remembers.]

NANCY: He was different, Jack. Angrier. Meaner. He'd changed a lot in the last year. Since you guys did the Afghanni deal…he was pretty withdrawn. But this…I didn't KNOW him.

FROST: Why did he hit you?

NANCY: That didn't happen till this morning. I'm getting to that.
(beat)
I couldn't get him to eat anything. He said everything tasted like dirt and he started running a fever.

[Nancy gets up and walks to the other side of the room. She looks up at a painting on the wall.]

NANCY: Before the fever started...there were moments when he was like his old self. Like the man I married. But afterward...

[She trails off, taking a drink of the tea and wiping her eyes.]

NANCY: This morning, I woke up and he was leaning over me. He had the most terrifying look on his face.

[CLOSER on NANCY as she describes it.]

NANCY: A hunger. Not sexual...this was like an animal that hadn't been fed. There were two little drops of blood on his lips.
(beat)
Mine. He'd actually BITTEN me, Jack. Not a deep bite. Just enough to draw blood. His teeth were so sharp I hardly felt it.

FROST: What did you do?

NANCY: I hit him as hard as I could. It seemed like it knocked some sense into him for a second, 'cause he pulled back.
(beat)
Then he got mad.

FROST: That's when he hit you.

NANCY:(nodding)Then he looked at me like he was torn between ripping my head off, or...
(beat)
or...

FROST: Or what?

NANCY: Or crying. He looked hurt. He had never hit me before. Then he ran into the living room and when he came back he threw an old book at me. (beat)
And told me to give it to you. You could take it back to Micah Tomes, where he got it. Then he left.

FROST: The book in your purse.

[Nancy picks up her purse and pulls out an old, brittle book, handing it to Jack. The pages are all but falling apart. CLOSE on the book cover as she hands it to him. It's entitled, "The Vampyr Myth"]

FROST: This is why you looked in my mouth.
(beat)
Checking for fangs.

NANCY:(V.O. off camera) Jack? Do you believe in vampires?

[FADE TO BLACK]

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Scene 21: Street

 

[EXT. U.C.S.D. Campus - twilight THURSDAY.
We see JILL getting out of her car, reaching in the back for her bookbag, then heading for one of the campus' many buildings. A SHADOW falls on the ground behind her, that of a man, following, keeping pace with her steps. MEDIUM CLOSE ON JILL. She pulls her bag tighter to her and appears to sense someone behind her. She TURNS... (JILL'S POV)...but there's no one there. No person. No shadow. CLOSE on JILL as she looks around. Not scared really, just cautious--curious because she would have SWORN someone was there. DOWNSHOT. She turns around and resumes her walk to the steps leading into the building. Near the top of the steps, she meets LINDA JINKS, a friend from school, who's heading out. LINDA is very petite-- perhaps 5'2" or smaller.]

JILL: Hi, Linda? How was the old creep tonight?

[TWO-SHOT, reverse angle. We're tight on the two girls, but we can see up into the branches of a few trees in the background behind them.]

LINDA: Professor Gintner? (snarling) How is he every night?

BOTH:(Laughter)

LINDA: Hey, Jill--I wanted to remind you that I'll need you guys to pick me up at Vince's house Sunday morning. We're going to go dancing Saturday night at the Crying Tattoo and I'm just going to stay over afterward. Okay?

JILL: No problem. But get some sleep, all right? I don't want to listen to you snore all the way to the lodge!

LINDA: As if!
(beat)
Hey, I gotta run--see ya Sunday!

JILL: You got it. Have fun tomorrow night!

[JILL goes on into the building and Linda heads to the parking lot (Off-frame). As the two girls PART, we shift focus to the trees in the background, where we can make out the definite shape of a MAN crouched in the branches. TRACK with LINDA as walks, looking down into her purse for her keys.]

NAT: (Off-frame) Hey, Darlin'...

[Linda looks up, startled. Full-shot of Nat standing ten feet in front of her. He is dressed as we saw him last--in dirty, tattered clothes. Evidence of old wounds are still apparent and his shirt is now stained dark brown with dried blood. He looks like hell. He spreads his arms out in a friendly open-palmed gesture at his sides.]

NAT: (cont'd) ...wanna dance?

[WITH A BLUR of INHUMAN SPEED, Nat is at the girl's throat. He pulls her body to him like a lover...or a dance partner in a ballroom dance. The MUSIC--a Waltz--can be heard in the background as we come in CLOSE on Linda's face, watching the consciousness fade away. PAN DOWN HER BODY to her HAND as it comes unclenched, her keys hitting the asphalt of the pavement. CLOSE ON THE KEYS as a spot of BLOOD spatters upon them. WHICH DISSOLVES INTO the SONAR-LIKE Vampire Vision of the scene. PAN RIGHT to the SHADOWS of the two figures on the ground being illuminated by the overhead lamps of the parking lot. They appear as dancers and Nat begins to spin, taking her weight in his arms as he feasts, her legs leaving the ground in a macabre parody of a minuette as the WALTZ music builds to a dramatic crescendo.]

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Deleted Scene: Frost's Bedroom

 

Cut to: INT. Frost's House-The Bedroom.
[Slowly pan around the room. Frost is seated on the bed, his fingers underneath his dark glasses, rubbing his eyes. He is tired and concerned about Nancy and about Nat, for that matter. On the far side of the room, on his desk, is the vampire book that Nancy brought with her. CLOSE on the book.]

[Back on Frost. He's torn. Everything in him says that this is superstitious garbage. We definitely get the idea that there is a great internal struggle going on here. At last, he reaches for the book and opens it, beginning to read…]

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Scene 22: Micah's Art Gallery - Vampire Lore explained

 

DISSOLVE TO: EXT. Micah's ART GALLERY - FRIDAY day
[THROUGH the PLATE GLASS WINDOW, we can see Micah inside. We aso see FROST'S reflection as he steps into the shop. Micah is reading a book in braille. He raises his head when Frost steps into the room. Frost is carrying a small package. A young lady is seated behind a small desk near him.]

MICAH: I thought you might be coming to visit.

FROST: Why's that?

MICAH: Just a feeling, really. (turning to the young woman) Julia, would you mind getting Jack and me some coffee from that little place across the street?

JULIA: Still like it straight, Jack?

FROST: That would be nice, thanks.

[Julia leaves the two alone.]

MICAH: She's great with the customers. They feel more comfortable buying a painting from someone who can tell if it's upside down or not. Not that it matters with some of this stuff. Seems to be good with the books…but you know…
(beat)
she could be stealing me blind
(smiling at the pun)
Why did you come?

[FROST sets the package on the counter top, opening it to reveal the book that Nancy had brought to him.]

FROST: To bring this back to you. It's a book...

MICAH: (feeling it) The vampire book that Nat borrowed. First Edition from 1868. Why are you bringing it back? Nat ask you to?

FROST: No. I haven't seen him. His wife Nancy gave it to me. She said he wanted me to give it to you.
(beat)
Micah, did you notice anything strange about him when he was here?

[Micah puts the book under the counter, letting the question hang in the air.]

MICAH: (totally deadpan) You mean besides the fact he was dead?

[There is SILENCE for a moment.]

FROST: What do you mean?

MICAH: I smelled death everyday for two years when I was in the camp, Jack. You don't forget a smell like that.

FROST: What are you saying? He's a walking dead man?

MICAH: I'm saying that judging from his interest in this book that at least HE thinks he's a vampire.
(beat)
An UNDEAD man.

[Medium Close on Frost. He's very stoic.]

FROST: There are no such things as vampires.

[Back on Micah now.]

MICAH: Maybe not in your world. There are in his.
(beat)
I don't know if vampires exist or not, but I'm willing to bet that Nat thinks they do. And if he thinks he's a vampire, then he'll have to drink blood to survive. That's what vampires do.

FROST: I can't believe in that stuff.

MICAH: What if you're wrong? Just this once?
(beat)
You're friend Dan's in homicide. Call him. Ten-to-one he's had a stiff or two missing a few pints.

FROST: Nat's no murderer.

MICAH: Forget Nat. He's dead--Or dying. This thing is just a shell of the man you knew.
(beat)
But he thinks like Nat...has Nat's memories. That's why you're the only one who could take him down. My bet is that's why he got the message to you--Before the vampire in him wins. If that's what he's struggling with inside, he'll lose.

FROST: If you're right, bullets won't stop him.

MICAH: That's what the book said, huh? I knew you couldn't resist reading a little bit of it. What else did it say?

FROST: It recommends wood. Like in the movies. It says a Vampire's body is especially susceptible to wood penetrating it. You drive a wooden stake through the heart and it's over.

MICAH: Then you have your answer. If you can get close enough. But be careful, Jack.
(beat)
Nat knows you as well as you know him.

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Scene 23: Rosie's Bar

 

CUT TO: INT. ROSIE'S BAR - FRIDAY DAY
[CLOSE on the bar as we see a MUG of BEER slam down onto it, spilling a bit of foam onto the surface. Then we see KOCHA'S HAND grasp the edge. PULL BACK as we see KOCHA lift himself up onto a barstool beside FROST.]

KOCHA: So, what's up? Don't tell me you wanna re-match?

FROST: No.
(beat)
I heard you were in here after that guy got killed the other night.

[Kocha sips his beer and squints at Frost.]

KOCHA: Yeah. I missed the action. But I saw who it was that did it.

FROST: Was it Nat?

[Kocha swallows a little hard, like it's tough going down.]

KOCHA: Yeah. You knew, huh? I wasn't sure it was him. Not at first, anyway. He looked pretty rough, Jack. Like maybe he'd been living on the street or something.
(beat)
But it was him. I followed him a little ways afterward. Wound up on the other side of the Gaslamp District. You know where they've got the streets tore up on Eighth?

[As KOCHA tells his story, we see a few FLASHES from the night he's talking about. Nat, by the sewer tunnel, Kocha skateboarding on the street, etc;]

FROST: Yeah.

KOCHA: Well, those are sewerlines they're working on over there. Let me tell you, it doesn't exactly smell like roses, neither. An' Nat goes sauntering in there like it's home sweet home. From the look of him, maybe it is. Frost looks a bit shocked. He can't imagine his friend really being in this shape.

FROST: If he was in trouble, why didn't he come and ask me to help?

KOCHA: Why you think? He's probably tired of having you bail his sorry ass out of trouble every time he turned around. That and the guilt, I'd imagine.
(beat)
Look, I've got no one but me to blame for blowing off my legs. I got cocky and dropped my guard. You even warned me. But you didn't almost go blind because you screwed up. Nat did that for you.
(beat)
When you dropped out of the life, I thought Nat was going to tag along and find something legit to do, too. But he didn't. I don't think he could stand seeing you all the time. Constantly reminded of how big he screwed up. He looked up to you too much.
(beat)
How do you deal with knowing you almost killed the best friend you ever had?

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Scene 24: Frost's Home/San Diego Police Department

 

CUT TO: INT. FROST'S STUDY - Day
[Frost is seated at his desk. There are the ususal PAPERS and a PORTABLE COMPUTER and so forth, as well as a PHOTO of Frost and JILL. He is going through drawers, looking for something. He pulls out a SCRAP BOOK. FLIPPING through the pages, we see a mini-history of the group of old friends. There are photos of NICK, KEN, FROST and the others. Some are from the Afghanistan era, others from different campaigns or social gatherings. There's a large picture of FROST and NAT together taken in a backyard somewhere. He turns a page and we see a picture of DAN, taken from around the time of the desert campaign. He has bleached blonde hair and a goatee. In RED MARKER beside it is a hand-scrawled note: NOTE "Can you believe I used to look like this? It's a miracle they let me in the Academy!-Best, DAN" Below that picture is a more recent shot of Dan in a POLICEMAN'S UNIFORM. He is clean-shaven. His hair is jet black. FROST sits and looks at it for a moment, then reaches for the phone.]

FROST: Connect me to the Homicide Division of the Police Department, please. No, it's not an emergency. Thank you.
(beat)
Could I speak to Dan Richardson, please?
(Pause, while connecting)

DAN (V.O.) This is Richardson.

FROST: Dan. This is Jack. Do you have time to see me this afternoon?

[Fade to black:]

EXT. San diego police department - FRIDAY DAY
[Frost crosses the street and up the steps into the Police department. INT. Police squad room SDPD - FRIDAY DAY]

FROST: How was she killed?

[CLOSE on photos. These show Linda Jinks in close detail. Her shirt is torn and soaked in blood. Her eyes are open. But it is her throat that is of particular interest. There are teeth marks, like those from an animal wound.]

DAN: We've ruled out mountain lions. I was on the case last year when that teacher got mauled up in the canyon. It's a totally different kind of wound.
(beat)
The jaws that inflicted this didn't belong to a bear or coyote, either.

[CU on DAN.]

DAN: They measured one point five inches from canine to canine.
(beat)
Human.

[FROST looks through the photos again. studying them, then places them back in the envelopes and hands them back.]

FROST: You said there were two murders?

DAN: Yeah. The other was a woman in her mid-thirties; caucasian. They found her on the roof of a parking garage downtown. Right in the flight path of the airport. Great first impression when you arrive in town, don't you think?

FROST: Same M.O. with her?

DAN: Pretty much. Massive blood loss. Severe trauma to the neck. We've got a pretty sick creep on our hands.
(beat)
Now. I've given you what I've got. Your turn. What do you know?

FROST: I'm not sure I know anything.

DAN: Don't give me that crap!

FROST: It's not much and I'm not sure I believe any of it myself...

DAN: Try me.

FROST: Nancy came to see me a couple of nights ago.

DAN: Nancy McKenzie?

FROST: Yeah. She said that Nat attacked her.

DAN: Did she report it?

FROST: No. She also said she thinks he's a vampire. Or at least he believes he is.
(beat)
See what I mean?

DAN: Damn. You think she's crazy?

FROST: No. But he might be. I don't know. I'm trying to find him.

DAN: Well, there's not much I can do if she's not willing to report a spousal abuse...
(beat)
You think he might actually be involved in this crap?

FROST: I really don't know. Not the man we've known for eleven years. But if he's snapped...

DAN: Keep me posted. I don't think his wife saying he's a vampire's enough to get a warrant, but I can have some of the boys keep an eye out.
(beat)
He watched my back more than a dozen times. I'd hate to see him go down like this.

[Fade Out.]

[EXT. Parking lot - day Frost makes a call from his cellular phone. He tries Jill's apartment and gets her message.]

JILL: (VO, answering machine message) Hi, it's me. Let me think...it's Friday night, I'm running out to drop off some movies, I'll be back in later. Leave a message. Bye.

[RISING CRANE SHOT, exterior of Frost's car as it speeds away. FADE TO BLACK:]

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Scene 25: Sewer

 

EXT. SEWER ENTRANCE - NIGHT
[FROST DESCENDS into the sewer entrance. He's dressed in dark clothes, similar to the ones he wore at the museum in the earlier scene. He has a light-weight vest on, and underneath that, a shoulder holster. A powerful flashlight is clipped to his belt. INSIDE the sewer, we see him climb down from the ladder, his feet lightly splashing in the watery tunnel. INSIDE the TUNNEL, ahead of Frost--looking back as his LIGHT becomes visible and he enters frame. A RAT scurries by in the foreground. WE HEAR an incessant DRIPPING noise in the background. Frost proceeds into the tunnels, cautiously playing his flashlight on the walls around him. DRIP DRIP DRIP

EVENTUALLY, he comes to an area where the tunnels BRANCH into THREE. Not knowing which to take, he leans toward the first, straining to catch any sound that might lead him to Nat. DRIP DRIP DRIP It's the same at the second tunnel entrance. Pausing at the third, we hear Frost's own breathing, heightened by the otherwise silent labyrinth. All we hear is Frost's own breathing, heightened by the otherwise silent labyrinth. His gun held high, he strains to listen again. Now, in addition to the dripping sound, we hear the faint sound of a distant fluttering, then it builds as the source comes CLOSER. OUT of the INKY BLACKNESS of the tunnel, we see a swarm of black shapes streaking toward Frost. BATS.

There must be close to a hundred of them, a flurry of leathery-winged creatures with twin needles for teeth. Frost reacts, trying to knock them away, keeping them from his face. The bats attack for a time, one makes contact with his face, scratching him--he strikes another with his fist, sending it back into the water. Finally, they pass him, moving on down the tunnel. Frost gets himself together, then continues. As he rounds a corner, we see that there's a crack in the side of the tunnel and a thin glimmer of light is escaping. A few straggling bats fly overhead, then escape through this fissure. Frost moves forward, reaching the crack, then looking inside. It's not quite big enough for him to squeeze into comfortably, but somehow, he realizes that this is what he has to do. Really play up the struggle to fit into this space. Extremely claustrophobic. The crack carries him perhaps ten feet, opening into a larger room. Show severe earthquake damage from decades ago blocking his path. As he makes his way through, pushing rubble and debris aside, we move with him, revealing what appears to be a small mission or church room. It's clear that no living person has been down here for perhaps as much as a hundred years. It's definitely dressed in a period fitting the late 1800's. We see a couple of old wooden pews, some religious art on the walls and perhaps a simple wooden podium or altar. The centerpiece is an eight foot tall crucifix. The earthquake damage has collapsed an area of the ceiling, leaving rubble to fill up one entire corner nearly from floor to ceiling. Crane-up on Frost, taking the camera as high as we can go. Reverse angle: Also a crane up on the crucifix, revealing Nat somehow hanging/hovering behind Christ's statue.]

NAT: Hello, Jack.
(beat)
Long time no see.

[Dolly-in, three/quarter view of Frost as he looks at his friend--a mixture of shock and disgust on his face. Remember, Frost conveys a lot with a little.]

FROST: I was told you were dead.

NAT: Me an' Sam Clemens, Jack. The reports of our deaths... (smiling; revealing the fangs) ...were greatly exaggerated.

[Nat lowers himself to the ground.]
(beat)

NAT: Not that that son-of-a-bitch General didn't TRY, mind you. I went back to pay him a little visit 'bout a week ago.
(beat)
But you beat me to it. I can see it now. Touching really. I mean you going in and avenging the senseless deaths of your friends.
(beat)
Beautiful work. What'd you use on the helicopter? C-4?
[Frost Nods.]

NAT: Classic Frost. Your style was stamped all over it. By the way...did you ever see a helicopter you DIDN'T have to blow up?

FROST: What are you doing down here?

NAT: (spreading his arms as he looks around) Oh, this little rat hole?
(beat)
Just hanging out.
(beat)
Kind of fitting, don't you think? A church...Guess they just built right over it when the quake hit.
(glancing at skeletal remains in friar's clothing)
Padres here took up permanent residence about then. There's a bank up top now. Maybe thirty feet up.
(gesturing to the crucifix)
He gets pissed--Money changers in the temple and all that...

FROST: Nancy wanted me to find you.

NAT (snarling) She was better off when she thought I was dead!

FROST: Listen...

[NAT MOVES IN ON HIM, covering the ten feet as if it were a half-step. As he lunges, he pushes Frost back against the church wall, pinning Frost's gun hand (his right) to the wall. He's within a few inches of Frost's face.]

NAT: No, you listen! (punctuating his sentence by slamming Frost's wrist against the wall) You don't know anything about what's going on here or what happened to me out in that damn desert!

[CU on Frost.]

FROST: Tell me.

[NAT Hurls Jack to his right, onto the ground. Frost loses his flashlight, but it still casts an eerie glow from where it lands. Nat turns away a half-step, then pauses.]

NAT: You know about the ambush. What you didn't know was that I escaped. I made it down that rock and out into the dunes. Hoping to reach the highway.
(beat)
I probably should've died in Afghanistan last year. You didn't believe me when it happened. That thing the locals called a demon…

Nat turns back around to Frost, looking down at his friend.

NAT: He bit me. I killed him. Now I'm one of them. End of story.
(beat)
Believe me. I thought I was crazy too.

[Frost stands, picking up the flashlight.]

FROST: Let me help you.

NAT: It's too late for that, Jack. Much too late.
(beat)
I thought I could come back here. Live with Nancy like nothing happened...I was kidding myself. I nearly killed her the other day.
(beat)
You don't know what it's like. To watch the woman you love, sleeping so peacefully...and it's all you can do to keep from ripping out her throat and draining every last drop of blood from her pretty little body.
That demon was a vampire. Maybe they don't call 'em that over there. But's that's what he was. You told me then that you weren't sure there was a hell.
I can tell you, my friend...
(raising his eyes--now with contacts)
...There is.

FROST: If you didn't want me to help, you wouldn't have given Nancy the book.

NAT: Quaint, wasn't it? Lots of stuff on how to hurt us, but they neglected to include the chapter on curing a vampire.
(beat)
See, when I realized what I had become...when I truly saw what I was capable of...
(beat)
I wanted to die. And there's no one I'd rather have kill me than my ol' buddy Jack.

FROST: Thanks.

NAT: Who else would even have a fighting chance?

[CU on NAT, an evil look on his face--in his eyes.]

NAT: But, that feeling's past. I kind of like what I've become. I plan on sticking around awhile. But...I'm going to give you something I don't have.

[MEDIUM CU on FROST, listening. Then, in a flash, Frost is struck, the light falling from his hands. Then he raises up, looking around... FROST'S POV. Show that Nat is gone. CU on Frost. Nat's whispering in his ear from behind.]

NAT: A choice. Leave me alone and live.
(beat)
Don't...and I'll kill you.

[FROST spins in the direction of Nat's voice, but no one's there. Frost is all alone. Circular dolly shot to show that no one else is in the tunnel with him. Nat's last words seem to echo off the walls. Fade to Black:]

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Scene 26: Nancy's House

 

[INT/EXT. Nat's house - night FADE IN on a black and white photograph of NAT, KEN PFLUG and FROST. They are in military gear and standing in a stretch of woods somewhere. They're all smiling.]

NANCY: So I'm not crazy.

[PAN RIGHT across the wall. There's another photo--this one of Nat and Nancy on a beach. END PAN as we see Frost sitting at Nancy McKenzie's kitchen table. Nancy is pouring herself a BRANDY.]

FROST: I never said you were.

NANCY: You didn't have to. I said it enough for both of us.
(looking at Frost, searching)
Did he say what he planned to do?

FROST: Not really. Just that he didn't think he could come back here. He was afraid he'd hurt you.

NANCY: What do you think?

FROST: In the state of mind he's in...I think he might. Even if he didn't mean to.

NANCY: But do you think he's a...

[She finishes her sentence by making a GESTURE with her hands of a bat fluttering.]

FROST: I think he's killed people...and I don't doubt he's drank blood...

NANCY: You're right. None of that makes him a vampire.

[Nancy takes the remainder of her drink in a swift shot, draining the glass.]

FROST: I'm just saying that I haven't seen real evidence of the...supernatural definition.

NANCY: Of course...
(beat)
...but you really think he's killed people?

FROST: Yes. At least two women. A man in the bar…I left him out when I spoke to Dan. There's enough hanging on Nat without that.

NANCY: Oh...

[Nancy reaches for the wine, but fumbles, knocking over her glass.]

NANCY: Dammit!

[She starts crying. Until now, she had been able to keep her emotions in check, but she's lost it.]

NANCY: I'm sorry...It's just--

FROST: Hey...

[He moves to her side, putting an arm around her shoulder.]

FROST: You have nothing to be sorry for.

[Nancy reaches up and pats Frost's hand.]

NANCY: Thanks.
(wiping her eyes)
Again.
(looking up at him)
What can we do?

[They step outside.]

CUT TO: EXT. NAT'S HOUSE - NIGHT.

[FROST: You sure you're going to be all right here? I could give Jill a call. I'm sure you could stay with her.
Nancy gives him a hug.]

NANCY: No thanks. I'll sleep better in my own bed.

[Frost turns to walk to his car, crossing the driveway to the driver's side.]

FROST: Ok, then. But if you need anything--anything at all--you call me.

NANCY: I will.

[Frost gets into his car, which is parked in her driveway. Stay on him as he backs out and drives away. Track with the car, then pan up to reveal: NAT sitting on the top of a streetlight. He is stock still, like a macabre gargoyle. CLOSE on NAT. We see that he has an expression that is a mix of anger and pain. He thinks his lovely wife has betrayed him with his best friend. Nat's hands as he twists the wedding ring, removing it. TRACK with that ring as it begins to FALL to the ground. SLOW MOTION. NAT'S POV. PAN DOWN--reverse of the pan that led us up to him--we see the street with Frost's tail lights receding in the distance, then down to NANCY as she walks back to her door. She is about to place her hand on the doorknob. We hear a faint "tink" of the gold wedding band hitting asphalt in the distance. CUT ON ACTION: CLOSE on her hand as it makes contact with the door knob. In a blur, Nat's hand lands on her shoulder, spinning her around to face him. He clearly must have covered forty or fifty feet in a split second. NANCY'S POV: We see Nat standing over her. He's pissed.]

NAT: Hi, Honey.
(beat)
Miss me?

[Nat thrusts his hand forward in a rapid motion. Reverse angle, showing his hand clamp over Nancy's mouth, stifling her screams. Zoom in on her face, the eyes silently screaming in terror. FADE TO BLACK:]

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Deleted Scene: Cemetary, Nat kills Nancy

 

EXT. CEMETERY - Later that night
[We see the establishing shot of the cemetery from the outside. It is an older place, full of statues and interesting design. The outside is fenced with wrought iron and stone. The night is FOGGY. The camera moves in, passing BETWEEN the bars of the gate, into the cemetery. A shadowy shape moves around in the distance. It is difficult to make out who or what it is. Move through the cemetery (steadicam), really building up the mood of the place. Now we see that there is indeed a figure ahead of us. It's Nat. He's carrying Nancy in his arms. She's unconscious.

We see an old CRYPT ahead of them. Nat steps over the protruding roots of old trees, and bits of tombstones that have broken over time. He lashes out, kicking the mausoleum door open with his foot. Years-old dust and stale air billow out from the crypt as he enters. He places his wife's still body on the floor of the chamber as he turns back to the doorway. It's as if he's trying to convince himself not to do what he's about to. Nancy's eyes flutter open and she looks around, frightened. She makes an attempt to back away from Nat, but there's not anywhere to go. He moves closer to her, and she kicks out catching him in the cheek, drawing blood. CLOSE on NAT as he feels the blood with his fingertips and puts them to his mouth, tasting it. He leaps on her, back-handing her and knocking her out. Nat brings his fangs down to pierce his beloved wife's neck an with that act, his humanity is gone. FADE TO BLACK:]

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Scene 27: Discovery of Jill's Death

 

INT. Frost's Study - Saturday DAY
[Frost enters, tosses his mail on the desk. He checks his machine for messages, then walks over to the painting. He uncovers it and looks at it for a moment, then at his watch. Jill hasn't shown for her modelling session and Frost is concerned. He dials her house.]

JILL: (VO, answering machine message) Hi, it's me. Let me think...it's Friday night, I'm running out to drop off some movies, I'll be back in later. Leave a message. Bye.

[She would have changed her message. It's Saturday now. We see Frost leaving, obviously headed for her apartment.]

CUT TO: EXT./INT. JILL'S APARTMENT. NIGHT
[CLOSE on the lock on Jill's apartment door. Frost leans in, manipulating two small metal picks. With a twist and a barely audible clicking sound, the door knob turns. He's in. There is nothing terribly unusual about the apartment. It's a one-bedroom place and only slightly messy. Jill's a college girl and her home is decorated as such--a stereo, TV, an old pizza box on the counter, etc. There are two RENTAL VIDEOTAPES on a small table near the door. Suspense builds as Frost begins to search the place, fearing the worst.

INTERCUT: Flashes of JILL preparing for her BATH. A quick look in the bedroom reveals little more. The bed's unmade and a few dirty clothes cover the floor.

INTERCUT: FLASHES OF JILL in the BATH. Then a high angle looking down. NAT'S FIGURE enters the foreground as he crawls down the wall, spider-like; descending on her. INSIDE the BATHROOM as Frost enters. It's almost as if he knows before he looks.

INTERCUT: Jill's eyes snap open as Nat's hair hangs down and brushes her cheek. She tries to scream, but fails as Nat's mouth widens and his fangs sink into her throat. Back with Frost. He sees her in the tub. She's DEAD. FROST KNEELS by the tub, looking down at his girlfriend. The water is RED and covers most of her body. Her neck is twisted oddly, perhaps broken. Telltale bitemarks show how she was killed. angle up, looking past Frost to reveal NAT in the corner of the ceiling BEHIND him. He's wedged up there by his own strength. CLOSE on Frost as he turns, but Nat's already gone. We see the open window, the curtain blowing in the slight breeze. Then, we focus on a note scrawled on the wall that wasn't there moments before--

NOTE: Almost over, Jack. Alice misses you.


It's a challenge. And Frost understands its cryptic meaning. Frost rubs his eyes, then walks out to the living room. He picks up the phone and dials a number.]

FROST: Yes. Lieutenant Richardson please. Thank you.
(beat)
DAN, it's Jack...I'm at Jill Allen's apartment. She's…
Frost pauses for a moment. He can't speak.
(pause)
Yeah. I'm all right.
(listening)
Wait, what about Nancy? I thought you had a black and white keeping an eye on her. When did they make their last round? Damn. Any sign of Nat?
(listening)
He was here. No mistake. Same throat injury, massive blood-loss...
(listening)
I can't wait around. Your boys'll be here soon enough.
(listening)
Something I should've done three days ago.
[He hangs up, then picks up the phone again, dialing.]

FROST: Micah? I need one of your gunsmiths to make me something special. I need it today. I'll pay extra…

[FADE TO BLACK:]

Scene 28: Confessional

 

EXT.Church - night
[Establishing shot of a stone Catholic Church. Dissolve to: INT. CHURCH - NIGHT Inside a dimly lit church, we see a few empty pews, some lighted candles… …and a wooden CONFESSIONAL. INSIDE, we see a Priest, an OLDER man seating himself, and blessing his vestments.]

PRIEST: You may begin, My Son.

[Through the screened partition, we see a man in shadows. It is NAT.]

NAT: Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been…
(beat, reflective)
how long HAS it been since my last confession, Father Harris?

[DISTURBED, the priest squints to see through the screen.]

PRIEST: Nathaniel? Is that you?
(beat)
It has been a very long time, my son. Perhaps five years…

NAT: Five years.
(beat)
There's been a lot of death in five years, Father. A LOT of death. I've killed more than a few men.

PRIEST: War is a terrible thing, but it is not unknown to Him. Sometimes it is HIS will that soldiers take up their arms.

[There's a moment of silence and then it is broken by Nat's voice.]

NAT: In Afghanistan, I killed nearly twenty men in combat. In Africa, there were nearly twice that many.

PRIEST: My

NAT: When I think of the waste, Father

PRIEST: Life is precious. HIS gift should not be--

NAT: No. Not the lives. The BLOOD. Perfectly good blood soaked into the dust.
(beat)
I'm much more careful now. Take my wife, for example. When I killed her, I swallowed every last drop of her sweet, precious blood. Not one bit was wasted.
[Throughout this dialogue, the Priest is visibly disturbed. He moves to put his hand on the sliding panel between them.]

PRIEST: (frightened) Nathaniel…God forgives-God forgives…the truly penitent…you can be helped…

NAT: That's just it.

[The PANEL is JERKED open. Nat, with his haggard face, dried blood on his chin and FANGS BARED stares maniacally at the Priest.]

NAT: (angrily) When she died, I gave up any chance of saving whatever soul I had left!
NAT Withdraws back into his side of the confessional.
So, forgive me, Father…

[SUDDENLY, NAT drops down into the PRIEST'S side of the confessional. He's right in front of the priest. EXTERIOR of the CONFESSIONAL. The Priest screams and screams…and the CANDLES blow out.]

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Scene 29: Cemetary

 

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT
[OPEN on a FULL MOON. CRANE down OUR POV is from inside the gates of the old cemetery. FROST is standing outside the gates. Heroic, larger than life. And something is in his hands. THEN we get the CLOSEUP. It's a CROSS-BOW. Frost tries the gate, but it's locked. It only takes a moment for him to pick the lock and he's inside. TRACK with Frost as he walks through the cemetery, passing the newer graves and entering an older section. After several moments, he reaches a familiar tombstone. It's a statue of a young girl. The base of the stone says, "ALICE FROST" CUT TO: A flOCK of Bats flying in the nightsky. They are swooping down into the cemetery. They fly behind a a MASSIVE CROSS and in one motion, Nat steps out the other side. FROST looks at the small statue, not seeing Nat nearby.]

FROST: (quietly) Hello, Alice.

NAT: (off-frame) I wasn't sure if you'd remember her.

[Frost spins to his left to see Nat standing near the Cross.]

NAT: Since you've got a new girlfriend and all. You tell her that you had a wife once?

[Nat pats the statue. Pan down to show the name "FROST" in big letters on the base of the CROSS. Below that, we see the names, "Elizabeth" and "James."]

NAT: You used to say she reminded you of Lewis Carroll's "Alice." With that same little-girl-lost look on her face. That's the romantic in you, putting up a stone like that. Figured you might like finishing this up near your family plot.
(beat)
Makes it easier on the funeral home if you're already here.

[Nat watches Frost, looking for a reaction, goading him, but receiving none.]

Ya like nursery rhymes, Jack? I've had a little time on my hands, an' kinda wrote one for you. See what you think.

[As Nat recites his poem, he leans against the Cross.]

(in a sing-songey,child-like rhythm) "Jack found Jill up on the hill, her body in the water. Jack looked 'round all over town, a vampire he was after."
(beat)
I'm no Lewis Carroll, but then I never had much of a taste for little girls.

[Wide shot of the two men, perhaps twenty feet apart.]

FROST: Why did you kill them, Nat?

NAT: Don't be so high-and-mighty with me! You've killed too many men to wash the blood off now!! We're not that different!

FROST: I'm not a murderer. And I never killed a woman.

NAT: How else could I have convinced you? I had to make sure you'd take me seriously.

FROST: I didn't even know the first two women...

NAT: (snapping) I'm talking about Jill and Nancy. The others were...food.

FROST: NANCY? She was your wife! All I did was try and help her...

NAT: Then I was wrong. Once I'm through with you, we won't have to worry about you ever again.

FROST: You wanted to finish this here.
(beat)
I intend to.

NAT: At least you're better-armed this time.

[LOW-ANGLE, CREEPY, ground-level POV, moving toward Frost and Nat. Frost turns when he hears a rustling sound in the bushes behind him and to his left. FROST'S POV, we see a small figure crawl from the shadows. Reveal that it's KOCHA.]

FROST: Kocha--What are you doing here?

KOCHA: (Eyeing Nat, then looking back at Frost) I thought you might need some help.

[Frost relaxes a bit, turning his attention back to Nat. In a blur, Kocha springs on Jack, clambering up the man like monkeybars. He uses Frost's left-arm, the one closest to him as a starting point, then pulls himself up and onto the bigger man's back. Dramatic upshot as Kocha leans back, his fangs bared. Frost reacts in shock, straining to pull away. Frost pulls a crossbow bolt from his quiver and thrusts it into Kocha's chest. The legless man falls to the ground and screams in agony. Smoke rises off of his body as he dies a final death. Frost pulls his 9mm and shoots his former friend repeatedly. Kocha's body reacts with violent spasms.]

NAT: That's gotta hurt!
(beat)
The bullets were just for good measure, huh? Not that they do squat!

[Nat pulls his shirt away, baring his chest. We see three desicated bullet wounds.]

NAT: Hell, I took three in the ticker last week from a street cop in the sewer!

[Slowly, Kocha's body stops twitching. Frost wipes the sweat from his forehead and upper lip. Upshot,full-figure. Frost's POV. Nat shakes his head in mock sadness.]

NAT: You're running out of friends, Jack!

[Jack fires the crossbow at Nat... ...and misses as Nat leaps, cartwheeling over the repeated firing of the bolts. Frost manages to fire another bolt at Nat, who blocks, but is struck across the back of the hand. The deflected bolt EMBEDS in a nearby TREE. CU of the wounded hand. The flesh boils where the wood penetrated it. Frost throws a punch at Nat, who catches it in his hand, effortlessly. Frost punches with the other hand, with the same result.]

NAT: I can feel the HUNGER. Like when I killed the cop...and the women.

[Nat pushes Frost backward, still holding both fists; like a macabre game of mercy. Tight on the two men in profile. Nat, still clutching Frost's fists-still driving him backward, but rising as he does. He is now looking down on Frost-several inches taller now. Frost realizes the eyeline/height difference at the same time as the audience. He looks down to see… NAT HOVERING, a foot off the ground. Nat SLAMS the astonished Frost into the tree where the crossbow bolt is embedded. Nat lets loose of one of Frost's hands and backhands him…FROST's GUN is KNOCKED out of its holster to the GROUND, several feet away. …Nat plucks the bolt from the tree and plunges it into Frost's hand, pinning it to the tree. Frost is in agony, trying to free himself as Nat steps back several feet.]

(beat)

NAT: What are you going to do, Jacky? You don't have a God to pray to...
(beat)
...no God.

[FROM the SHADOWS, the figure of the PRIEST crawls from amongst the tombstones. Nat applauds the Priest.]

NAT: Oh, Bravo, Father! Bravo!!
(beat)
You're timing is impeccable. I mean, even IMPLY crucifixion and you people just come out of the woodwork, don't you?

PRIEST: Please…don't do this…

[Wider on the scene. Frost is in incredible pain, Nat hauls the priest to his feet with one hand, showing his incredible strength.]

NAT: I know I've never been quite the ARTIST you are, Jack.
[He makes a sweeping gesture of the tableau before him.]

NAT: But even YOU have to agree that this is art. The hero nailed to the tree, the Man of God about to die at the hand of a soulless creature that is totally and COMPLETELY unredeemable.
(beat)
You really should try to capture it on canvas…if you live long enough.

FROST: (gritting his teeth through the pain.) Go to Hell.

[Nat turns his back on Frost, who's no longer a threat. He drags the priest away into the shadows.]

NAT: Oh, I will. I guarantee it!

[FEAR plays in the priests eyes. He is going to die. Nat is right. He is beyond redemption.]

[Back to FROST who is trying to pull the bolt out with his good hand. It's NO USE. It won't come. BACK on NAT and the Priest-the vampire looming over the Holy man. On Frost. EXTREME CLOSEUP on his injured hand as he does the only thing he CAN do-- --He rips his hand away, tearing flesh and cartilage--the bolt staying embedded in the tree. TWO-shot of Nat and the Priest…as Nat prepares to feed. PUSH IN on Nat whirling back to face Frost--as we hear (vampire sound) the highly audible sound of a gun being reloaded and cocked. Wide on Frost. This is the Hero shot-the moment in the film where the audience knows that it's all about to hit the fan. Jonathan, "Jack" Frost, is standing tall, dramatically backlit in all of his heroic glory, gun in (his good) hand. It's the moment from Aliens when Ripley appears in the power-loader (Get away from her, you bitch!); It's Dirty Harry's arrival on the dock to save the girl from being raped in Sudden Impact. In short, this is where everybody who ever rooted for the good guy gets his wish and the audience goes wild. This is the shot that will make it clear that Frost is undeniably…the hero.]

FROST: It's over, Nat.

[Nat looks at Frost's injured hand, the blood dripping; he licks his lips and drops the priest violently to the ground. He takes a step toward Frost.]

NAT: Guns don't work on me, remember?!

[Come in CLOSE on Nat's eyes. We see the fiery arrogance there. We see how eerie his eyes really are. We HEAR the sound of Frost firing the gun. BLAMM BLAMM STILL on Nat's EYES. They register a myriad of things all within a few seconds. Intense pain/surprise and astonishment/total disbelief that he's just been shot.]

NAT: H--how?

[Tight CU on Frost.]

FROST: The Bullets. Brass jackets with wooden tips.
(beat)
I don't believe in vampires...
[Extreme CU on Frost's lower face.]
(continuing)
...but I don't take any chances.

[TIGHT on Nat's Chest. The flesh around the bullet wounds begins to boil and steam rises off of it. Nat's body smolders and transforms into a decrepit corpse with a permanently fixed expression of anguish outlined on its skull. Frost stands over it for a moment, pulls something from his pocket and tosses it down, on top of the body. CLOSE on the BURNT HULA GIRL DOLL lying on Nat's Chest. PAN UP to show Frost slowly walking away. He helps the Priest to his feet and they make their way from the scene. Among the tombstones, we see a dark figure moving slowly, watching… FADE TO BLACK:]

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Scene 30: Epilogue, San Diego, present Day

 

INT. FROST'S HOUSE - NIGHT
TITLE: TWO DAYS LATER.


[TIGHT CLOSEUP on WOOD-SHAVINGS flying through the air and landing on a hard-wood floor.]

MICAH: (Narration) The thing on the ground in the cemetery...the thing that was once Jack's friend... is truly dead now. But that wasn't Nat McKenzie anymore. Nat must've died weeks before.

[PULL back to show Frost sitting in the dark, slowly and methodically carving a stake from one of his crossbow bolts, a big hunting knife in his BANDAGED hand.]

MICAH: (Narration) Jack didn't want to kill his friend. He didn't have a choice. I got him what he needed when he called. Bullets with their tips filed off and small chunks of rosewood embedded in them. It must've been like firing a bunch of little stakes into that vampire's heart.

[INTERCUT with shots of a woman walking in the cemetery. FROST is waiting for something. The room is illuminated purely from light coming through the window, casting a deep shadow on the room. The window panes throw a cris-cross shadow pattern on Frost and the floor in front of him.]

MICAH: (Narration) Jack's pretty smart. I guess he finally believed even if he didn't want to admit it.

[INTERCUT to the woman in the cemetery. Slow Motion. Creepy as hell, like the brides of Dracula.]

MICAH: (Narration)I could picture him in my mind's eye. Sitting in a pitch black room, wearing shades and sharpening crossbow bolts. He'd realized it was the wood that did the trick. No need to make special bullets again. He'd gotten pretty handy with that cross-bow.

[CLOSE on the woman in the Cemetery. It is NANCY.]

MICAH: (Narration) Nancy died three nights before.
(beat)
And she was probably pretty hungry.

[Fade OUT:]

[Ext. Parking Lot-Day. - present day. THE SAME HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION we OPENED with. Similar angle as the one we left on MICAH and DAN by the SQUAD CAR.]

DAN: But why now? Jack took care of Nancy a long time ago.

MICAH: And it nearly killed him doing it.
(beat)
Nat was bitten a long time before he turned. That always bothered me. But I've been thinking-Maybe it's not the bite that completes the change…
(beat)
…but the dying. If you happen to die when you're bitten…

[Medium Close on Micah and DAN as MICAH SNAPS his fingers.]

MICAH: You're a vampire like THAT.

DAN: You think it was someone that was bitten before…and it's taken this long?

[DOWNSHOT of the two men by the SQUAD car.]

MICAH: (sighing) Not really. This murder…at this specific spot…it seems too personal.

[START TO ZOOM OUT of the scene.]

MICAH: I like the theory, though.
(beat)
But maybe just because it's better than the alternative.

[CONTINUE the ZOOM OUT to realize that we are looking down from a nearby rooftop. We ZOOM OUT to the point where we are behind a figure looking down on the scene. His LONG, Brown Hair blows gently in the wind and with a soft, barely audible chuckle, Nat McKenzie walks away. FADE OUT:]