Outside Men

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A three-part horror story about the survival and redemption of one of Hitler’s treasured youth, set after the fall of the Third Reich.

This feature screenplay started with an idea to make a horror trilogy much in the same vein as multi-chaptered films like Creepshow. I was drawn to the ability to hit on three different ways to chill an audience, instead of clinging to the same myth for the entire story. But instead of having my host be a creepy grindhouse usher or crypt keeper, I weaved the breaks in between into a story of their own, connected circumstantially to the three major segments of the narrative.

I think it works, and it was fun to try and up the scare ante as I went along while sticking to the theme suggested in the title: that some men on the fringes of life become skilled adaptors, and have hidden strengths and gifts that can always see them to freedom. The title also alludes to the source of terror in the third act.

Logline: A former member of The Hitler Youth recounts horrifying tales of monsters and supernatural evil during his journey across Europe immediately after the war.

That’s the snappier version, written to appeal to a more commercial mindset. The longer one allows for a wider breadth of summary…

Logline: A former Nazi youth member receives an appraisal of his missing and assumed to be dead partner’s property after their bayside tavern full of exotic artifacts is destroyed in a storm. While the skeptical insurance agent works to uncover the mystery, the old man recounts fantastic tales of horror of their journey after the war that may include clues to his partner’s disappearance.

Which is better? Dunno, really. The one that gets the read, I guess.

Pitch/Synopsis: Outside Men is set up as a trilogy of stories told by our main character to a skeptical insurance adjustor who is intent on discovering the truth behind the missing partner. If he does, he believes it’ll make his services more attractive to larger and more lucrative contracts, plus he can put it to what he considers to be the more unappreciative and unsavory members of our society. His more down-to-earth brother, a rugged, commercial diver, is at odds with him over his version of the “value” of things but is often outfoxed in conversation about it. This obvious strain in their relationship allows our main character to exploit it to his purposes, and he lets rip with tales of undead concentration camp prisoners, vampires on a trans-Siberian railway journey to hell, and finally, vengeful spirits know as Outside Men still haunting and protecting a stretch of war-torn beach in the bowels of the Aleutian Island Chain. The structure recalls popular anthology horror films like Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt, however the individual stories are all part of another suspenseful and concurrent, larger mystery. Thematically, his experiences tell a story of a man born into one of history’s most evil chapters and his long, arduous journey to redemption. The question is, how much of what he says is the truth that saved his soul, and how much is created to save his skin?

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About S. Norton

Writer, marketer, musician.
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