SPOTLIGHT ON …Carole Parker – Screenwriter : Part One
‘I‘m a Noir/Pulp/Hard-Boiled dame. A chain-smoking, hard-drinking, screenwriting beach babe, and all-around dangerous chick. If you’ve got the crime, I’ve got the time …’
‘Carole Parker writes some of the sexiest, sassiest, dirtiest, ball-busting prose around and one of these days I’ll finally persuade her to stick it in the pages of a book – fiction or autobiography, I don’t care: both would be equally wild. She is also a creature of mystery and secrets, one of which is that behind that titanium- tough exterior there lurks a sweet, caring, loveable woman with a heart of pure gold.’ Tom Cain,best-selling author of The Accident Man, The Survivor, (published as No Survivors in the US), Assassin and Dictator.
‘Carole Parker has a unique style that carries me back to the days of Raymond Chandler. Her writing is fresh yet evokes the days of the great hard boiled detectives. I get caught up and find that I cannot put her work down. I have to read it all the way through and then I’m sorry it’s over. She is my favorite writer today!’ Shelly Liebowitz, Legendary Producer of Music, Television & Films
A DISH BEST KILLED
EXT. JETT’S APARTMENT – BALCONY – NIGHT
Lit by a gas lamp. Jett sits at a small cafe table with a laptop.
A half-dozen empty beer bottles litter the surface.
She lights a smoke. Looks intently at the screen.
ON THE SCREEN
we see a scene from THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.
LANA TURNER, resplendent in a white one-piece bathing suit,
sashays down the stairs. Stops. James Garfield leers.
JAMES GARFIELD (V.O.)
With my brains and your looks,we could really go places —
looks at her wistfully.Takes a pull from her longneck
I’ll have to get Haven one of those.
Her cell phone BRING-RINGS.
She picks it up.
This is Jett.
Hello, you. What’s up?
I need to see you.
But I thought —
It’s an emergency. Dart, he —
I’m right outside. Can I come up?
Jett looks, sees —
HAVEN standing in the driveway down below.
With Buster on a leash.
Small and scared-looking.
She waves, a hopeful half-smile.
My place is a mess. I’ll be right down.
EXT. JETT’S APARTMENT BUILDING – DRIVEWAY – MOMENTS LATER
Jett dashes over to Haven. Worried.
Pulls her down the driveway to where it ends at the canal.
What’s up? Did something go wrong?
He went into shock.
He’s having — an attack.
That’s good, right?
Yeah, but he’s so — loud. I’m scared.
I’m afraid he’s gonna wake up the neighborhood,
especially fucking Nola.
Can you come back to the boat with me?
Isn’t that kinda dangerous?
What about —
It’s one in the morning.
Everyone’s lights are out.
And I want to keep it that way.
INT. CRAYCE HOUSEBOAT – LIVING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER
Buster comes BOUNDING in. Followed by Haven. Then Jett.
That’s what I’m telling you. Listen —
We hear low, ANGUISHED MOANING from upstairs.
What’s happening to him?
His body is screaming out for insulin,
but he’s not getting any, so his blood sugar is plummeting.
He’s having seizures. Bad ones.
How long — will it take for him to —
A couple hours. Maybe more. I dunno.
They didn’t teach us about this at the nursing academy.
What if you gave him a shot of insulin?
Make it look like you tried to save him?
What would happen?
If it’s in time, it would save his life.
So how do I explain not helping him?
You went to sleep in the guest bedroom.
You weren’t feeling well —
But I can fucking HEAR him.
Not if you sleep with earplugs. I do.
Another MOAN. This time, LOUDER.
FEMALE VOICE (O.C.)
Hello, is anybody home?
In walks NOLA.More than a few sheets to the wind.
Nola, what are you doing here?
What the fuck am I DOING HERE?
Your husband sounds like he’s DYING up there.
He’s fine, it’s a new medication —
We’ve got it handled.
Nola stares. Quivering with anger.
I know what’s going on between you too.
I’ve seen you fucking and sucking like monkeys in the zoo.
You fucking BITCH —
And now you’re trying to KILL him, for what?
The INSURANCE MONEY?
Well, I’ve SEEN THAT MOVIE, and you’re NOT getting AWAY with it.
She pulls out her cell phone.
Jett races over, GRABS it.
Nola starts POUNDING on her chest with tiny fists.
No, STOP! Give that BACK! Give that BACK!
Quiet, please! Let me explain!
No! I’m gonna call the COPS!
stands behind Nola.
Bends down, and SHOVES a BUTCHER KNIFE in Nola’s back.
The little demon SCREAMS in pain.
You STABBED ME! Fucking BITCH!
HAVENFUCK YOU! Fucking MIDGET!
Incensed, in shock, Nola turns
and ATTACKS Haven like a wild animal, BITING, KICKING, SCRATCHING.
Haven tries to fight back, but she’s no match against the tiny terror.
I’m gonna fucking KILL YOU!
Leave HER ALONE!
Jett GRABS Nola.
THROWS her across the room.
She HITS the wall with a sickening THWUMP.
BANGS onto the floor. Lights out.
A pool of BLOOD starts spreading.
Fucking nosy MIDGET.
(reels back, in shock)What have I done?
Another, louder MOAN from upstairs.
NOW what are we gonna do?
You go upstairs and shut him the fuck up,
and I’ll care of — the body.
But what am I supposed to —
I don’t know.
But we got to buy us some time, so I can —
(gestures at Nola)
Get rid of — that.
Wait a minute. Listen.Do you hear that?
Hear what? I don’t hear anything.
Exactly. He stopped —
They RACE up the stairs into —
which is empty.
What the fuck? Where did he –?
There he is. Out on the deck.
EXT. CRAYCE HOUSEBOAT – ROOF DECK – CONTINUOUS
Dart stands at the railing. Bent over.
Somebody — HELP —
What are you doing out here?
You’ll catch your death of cold.
She starts to walk toward him, but he freaks out.
No — you — stay away — away —
And, as he tries to move away from her, he lurches backward, loses his footing,
slips, and FALLS OVER —
And HITS the inky black water with a SPLASH.
We’ve just been FUCKED.
What do we do NOW?
We gotta take care of — the body.
They RACE downstairs.
Jett looks around.
Sees her gym bag.
Empties it out.
Goes over to Nola’s dead body.
Stuffs her in the bag.
Uses the gym clothes to sop up the blood.
You COULD help me out here —
Blood makes me — freak out.
Wait a minute. Where’s Buster?
He must have run away.
We’ll look for him later.
He was Dart’s dog.
Drove me fucking crazy.
Jett stuffs the bloody clothes in the bag.
Goes to the sink. Washes her hands.Looks back at Haven.
As soon as I’m out the door, call 911.
Tell them as much of the truth as you can.
He had an attack.
You didn’t hear it because you were sleeping.
I’ve got it. I was listening to my Ipod.
Then, you went to check on him,and he was out on the deck.
And he — and he —
Got startled when you called out to him.
It’ll have to work.
Jett dries off her hands.
Goes to Haven. Kisses her.
I love you more than —
Enough to kill?
PUSH IN ON Jett.
Hugging Haven for dear life.
Straight down the line, baby.
Straight down the line.
THE GRILLING: Part One.
PDB: Where were you brought up?
Carole Parker: Lake Forest, an affluent suburb of Chicago, on the ‘North Shore.’ Where many of John Hughes movies take place.
PDB: Has your turbulent youth been an influence on your writing?
CP:My early youth was far from turbulent. I grew up in a safe, bland ultra-conservative household in a lily-white suburb … My TEENAGE years, however, were fraught with danger and trouble. So for that part, the answer would be YES …
PDB: Who the hell is Carrie Love?
CP:Carrie Love is a chain-smoking, hard-drinking, promiscuous lipstick lesbian private eye who lives on the beach in Venice, California.
And she’s me, about 15 year ago …
PDB: Describe a typical writing session.
CP:In the morning, it’s for hire. Lots of coffee, water, cigarettes and ‘chill’ music on satellite radio. In the afternoon, it’s my joint, with more of the same, although the music fits the story more. Right now it’s jazz, while I finish up the rewrite on THE HEISTERS. (Next up is a zombie film, so I have no idea what THAT music will be … )
In the AM, I go for about two hours, and in the afternoon, about three. I no longer write on the weekends, as it was pointed out by a former manager that I should have a life. And living on the beach, that’s really easy to do.
PDB: What’s this about the Nowhere Girl graphic novel?
CP:Well, after a false start with one artist who never did the work, I was approached by an even better artist in Montreal, and he should have a prototype ready for Comic-con in NYC in October. The thinking was, since so many graphic novels get adapted into films, I figured I’d adapt my spy thriller script into a graphic novel, which will then get adapted into a film. Kind of contrived and ass-backward, but then, that’s Hollywood for you.
PDB: Is this the time of your life?
CP:Probably. But then I’ve had several of them. Back in NYC in the early 80’s, pre-AIDS, when Ecstasy was legal. Good times, that. And then when I left my job as a TV executive to write and produce. That was another. But right now, having so much work under my belt, and so much activity with my career, I guess I’d say right now IS the time of my life.
Hmm. Sounds like a beer ad …
Carole Parker‘s HARDBOILED & HARDCORE
blog, THAT KILLING FEELING
, is HERE
PART TWO OFSPOTLIGHT ON CAROLE PARKER CONTINUES NEXT SATURDAY!