Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Missing Masterpieces

Not every Danman Production made it past the script stage. Given the general quality of the movies that did get made, I know this is a harrowing assertion. Nevertheless, I can think of at least three movies that were put into perpetual turnaround. For the first time ever, I share these lost films with the world. Behold!

No matter that I had never actually seen Friday the 13th. I knew enough to cobble my own version: there was a kid who was really into hockey and who died a terrible (possibly hockey-related?) death and who now rose from the grave to murder teen campers.

I had all the materials: I had a glow-in-the-dark hockey mask from a Halloween set. I had enough corn syrup and dye to make ten gallons of fake blood. I had a freakin' lake, for crying out loud. One thing I did not have, however, was enough actors. I recall calling Joe and trying to cajole him to come out one Saturday, but on this rare occasion he declined. So I took the script that I had scrawled out that morning, as well as the "Camp Crystal Lake" sign I had hastily made from some college-ruled paper and a sharpie, and put them into a drawer. Unlike Jason Vorhees, they were never to rise again.

Much like Battle of the Arms, this was meant as a late-in-the-game "Tales from the Creep." At some point, someone had given me a novelty bear-trap the size of a quarter, and so I wrote a movie around it. The premise was rather delicious: two bored aristocrats (to be played by Joe and I), make a wager about the nature of greed. Their plan? Throw a dinner party, and on the bathroom floor hide the tiny trap within a wad of money. By the end, the entire cast was fingerless - including one of the aristocrats.

Genius, right?! But if you didn't notice, the period between Misery and Fear were lean times for Danman Productions. Most of my actors had vanished (it was summer vacation, I think), and I ended up starring in everything. The Wager required an entire dinner party worth of actors. I'm sure I considering playing all of the roles, but sadly did not.

[EDIT: Turns out I remembered this wrong. Get the real scoop here.]

This project was so top-secret I don't think I ever told anyone about it - until right now. It came near the end of Danman Productions, when I was high on power and convinced that I could do no wrong. It required a large cast, elaborate costumes, set dressing enough to turn my garage into an underground labyrinth, and songs.

What, didn't I mention that it was going to be the freaking Andrew Lloyd Webber version? Yes. Yes. Shad was going to be the Phantom. I was probably going to be the normal dude. I'm not sure who was tapped for Christine. But it gets even crazier. See, the problem with the soundtrack album was the vocals. If I could only somehow isolate just the music tracks then we could actually sing. You heard me right. I intended to make my actors sing.

Ultimately, the logistics were too complicated. My actors dodged a potentially soul-crushing blow to their psyches. And the world was robbed of perhaps the worst musical in history. [See the actual script here.]

A Danman-only awards show that I have recreated here.

[NOTE: Long after writing this post, I uncovered a bunch of additional unproduced scripts. Check them out here!]

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