This Script Practically Writes, Directs, And Universally Pans ItselfCommentary • Entertainment • Opinion • movies • ISSUE 41•22 • Jun 1, 2005 By Josh Nordberg, Producer Josh Nordberg Producer Find yourself a chair, guys, 'cause I've got exactly what we've been looking for: an idea so formulaic, any screenwriting hack could knock it out with his eyes closed. A film so predictable, we could produce it with our Blackberries turned off. Everybody who sees it, critics and audiences alike, will be guaranteed to hate it. Is everybody on this conference call sitting down? Here we go: Van Helsing Reborn! I'm telling you, this script will practically write, direct, and universally pan itself! Van Helsing Reborn! Picture that title on the cover page of a screenplay. Now, see it up on the marquee at Mann's Chinese Theater. Now imagine it next to one star in every newspaper in America. It's a natural! I know Van Helsing didn't die at the end of the first movie! You're thinking too small. Hell, the total lack of continuity is what will make this baby so easy for some schmuck in San Diego to write, a recent NYU grad to shoot, someone's cousin to edit, and the masses to mock! In the first one, Van Helsing went up against who again? The Wolfman, Frankenstein, and Dracula? Okay, so we have a perfect opportunity to exploit some old movie-monster properties! Slap in a couple, and the picture's half done. Think about it: Van Helsing meets the Invisible Man, the Bride of Frankenstein, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Why come up with new monsters? People love the classics! That Black Lagoon thing would be perfect for bringing in the black audience. Okay, so he's green, but I think I've hit on something. We could black him up a little, put some gold chains on him, and make him talk all street. We'll blanket the inner-city neighborhoods with an aggressive billboard campaign, bring in the urban audience in droves, and be criticized by the NAACP as an example of what's wrong with the entertainment industry today! I'm telling you, people all over the country will despise this movie like a freakin' sickness! The word of mouth will be absolutely terrible! Okay, I know what you're thinking: There's more to making movies than displeasing the masses. Don't you worry. Every media outlet from The New Yorker on down to Access Hollywood will hate this piece of shit. Van Helsing's an immortal or something, right? I can't remember why—isn't he half-vampire or something? Or am I thinking of Wesley Snipes? Aw, hell, it doesn't matter. Anyway, since he lives forever, we could set it in any time period we want. He blasts ancient Indian mummies in the Old West. Or we could turn the Headless Horseman into some kind of haunted cowboy, and toss him into the mix. Or he could fight Nazi zombies in World War II, or that monster from They Saved Hitler's Brain. Your silence tells me you have some doubts. Why don't we come up with a decent story? What if we find a talented director? What if we made a movie with some artistic merit? Well, we're never going to find out, because we're going to crank this dung heap out, pocket the opening-weekend grosses, and start on an even shittier movie before the inevitable 78-percent audience dropoff in week two. Wait! I just got an idea. We set the whole movie right here in the present. Van Helsing gets a job working for the CIA—in, like, the Special Monster Tactics Division or something. He fights Freddy, Jason, and Chucky! And the bride and seed of Chucky, too, while we're at it! Think of the toys! With a big enough budget and the right release date, we can't lose. It'll be the most unwatchable summer blockbuster yet! So, you guys on board? Say the word and I can have legal fax you the contracts by 3:00. Come on, boys—let's get out there and shit out some God-awful crap!