This is an excerpt (first 20 pages) of a completed screenplay.
"Chopsticks" - screenplay by Derek Paterson. FADE IN: INT. DINER - DAY A greasy plastic spoon overlooking a busy city street. GEORGE and MARIANNE, 20s, slide into a booth. He's Irish handsome with a charmer's smile, she's blonde and pretty. They look like they've been in a Die Hard movie, his suit's torn, his lip's split, her dress is ripped, she presses napkins to her bleeding nose. A WAITRESS comes to the table. She looks from George to Marianne, wondering what hit them. MARIANNE Cad I hab sub more nabkins? The Waitress grabs a handful of napkins from another dispenser. Marianne tilts her head back. MARIANNE Dank yoo. WAITRESS Rest room's through there if you want to wash up. Marianne rises and exits to the rest room. WAITRESS Anything I get you? Coffee? Breakfast? A doctor? George winces in pain, and spits out a tooth. It bounces across the table. GEORGE Two coffees. Make mine black. INT. DINER REST ROOM - DAY Marianne examines her bruised face in the mirror. She frowns and feels under her armpit. Her fingers come away slick with blood. She opens her purse. Takes out a bunch of keys, a silver compact mirror, a pair of red lace panties, a rattling bottle of pills, a .38 caliber pistol. INT. DARK STAIRWELL - DAY Marianne and George stand back to back. He's holding a pistol and shooting upstairs, Marianne's shooting downstairs. BLAM! A CHINESE GUNMAN on the landing below staggers, hit in the chest. He collapses leaving a stain on the wall. INT. DINER REST ROOM - DAY Marianne counts on her fingers. One. INT. DARK STAIRWELL - DAY ANOTHER CHINESE GUNMAN leaps into view, his gun BLAZING at Marianne. BULLETS thud into the wall close to Marianne's head. She shoots back! The Gunman collapses and tumbles downstairs. INT. DINER REST ROOM - DAY Marianne counts on her fingers. Two. INT. DARK STAIRWELL - DAY George urges Marianne to descend. All the time he's shooting upstairs at unseen targets, and they're shooting back at him, peeling plaster from the walls. A THIRD CHINESE GUNMAN rises and takes aim at Marianne. She shoots him through the head, he spins out of sight. INT. DINER REST ROOM - DAY Marianne still counting, three. INT. DARK LANDING - DAY George and Marianne step over bodies, and duck into-- INT. DARK HALLWAY - DAY Marianne leads the way, George brings up the rear. A GUNMAN lurches into view ahead, his gun BLAZING. Marianne drops to one knee and shoots him twice. He staggers and falls, dead. INT. DINER REST ROOM - DAY Marianne counts, four and five. INT. HALLWAY - DAY A door opens and another CHINESE GUNMAN shoots, Marianne throws herself to one side, slaming off the door frame (this is where she breaks her nose). The Gunman and Marianne both shoot at the same time. His bullet kicks off an explosion of wood splinters that peppers her side. Her bullet punches a hole through his heart. He clutches his chest and collapses. George helps Marianne stand up. Angry Chinese voices echo through the building. Closing in. GEORGE You okay? MARIANNE I hurd by dose. He takes a handkie from his pocket, holds it to her nose. She takes it and nods thanks. They hurry along the hallway. INT. DINER REST ROOM - DAY She inspects her nose in the mirror. MARIANNE Four left in the magazine. You're only dead when you're out of bullets. Remember that. Bleeding's stopped. INT. JIMMY'S OFFICE - DAY JIMMY is 50s, a heavyset Chinese with a ravine-like scar that runs from his hairline to his jaw, cleaver damage. His desk is cluttered with statuettes, souvenirs, glass snow globes with miniature landmarks and figures inside, little wind-up toys. Marianne sits facing him, clean and fresh and undamaged. JIMMY Mr. Wong is a special customer. I want him to be happy. Thing is, he's got special needs. He lights a cigarette. The smoke wreathes his face. JIMMY But that's okay because you like guys like that, don't you? MARIANNE Do I? JIMMY Don't play coy with me. He shoves a fat envelope across his desk, pushing a tiny Statue of Liberty and a clockwork Mickey Mouse aside. JIMMY Five grand says you give him the time of his life. If he wants to watch you have sex with horse and a pig, you have sex with horse and a pig. Got it? MARIANNE Is that the kind of guys you do business with? Animal lovers? JIMMY I don't know what he likes, I just know he likes it kinky. Sammy the Fish says that's your thing. MARIANNE Sammy the Fish... huh. JIMMY Is Sammy wrong? MARIANNE No. JIMMY If Mr. Wong goes back to Shanghai not happy, some people will be displeased with me. If that happens I will be displeased with you. Tell me you understand. MARIANNE Maybe it would help if you drew pictures. JIMMY Sammy the Fish said you got a smart mouth. We're alone so I'll let it go. But if any of my people heard you talk to me like that, I'd personally cut your tits off. After that you may find work hard to come by... though I understand there are always perverts who like mutilated whores. Marianne takes the envelope, slips it into her purse. MARIANNE When and where? JIMMY Go back to your apartment and wait. Someone will pick you up. I want you there no later than ten tonight. Just do what you're being paid to do, all right? Marianne stands up. MARIANNE I'll give Mr. Wong the time of his life. You can depend on it. JIMMY Smart girl. She exits. Jimmy stares at the door, real thoughtful. INT. DINER - DAY The Waitress brings two cups of coffee. GEORGE You got a phone? She indicates the payphone. INT. PAYPHONE - DINER - DAY George punches a number. RINGING. A CLICK followed by-- MAN'S VOICE (FILTERED) You're talking to a machine you dumbass. Leave your number I'll call you back. GEORGE (INTO PHONE) Sammy, where the hell are you? You said you'd be here dammit. OUTSIDE THE DINER A sedan pulls up. SIX CHINESE MEN climb out. The leader is a man-mountain called IRON FIST PANG. They head toward the diner, splitting up. George hangs up and hurries to the rear of the diner. INT. TOILET STALL - DAY Marianne sits with her panties around her ankles, examining her face in her compact mirror. A TAPPING on the door. MARIANNE This one's taken. GEORGE (O.S.) We got trouble out here. INT. DINER - DAY Iron Fist Pang faces the Waitress across the counter. She isn't sure what to make of this mountain of inscrutable muscle, or the two unsmiling men behind him. WAITRESS Three breakfast specials? IRON FIST PANG A blonde woman. And a man. Where are they? Her frightened eyes flick to the empty table. Iron Fist Pang sees the two coffee cups. His eyes flick to the door at the back of the diner. INT. DINER REAR HALLWAY - DAY Marianne and George run toward the exit, looking back over their shoulders. The exit SLAMS open, a grinning CHINESE GUNMAN brings up his pistol. Marianne kicks the door, it SLAMS his face! She ducks and George shoots through the door, BLAM BLAM BLAM! Marianne wrenches the door open, jumps over the dead Gunman's body. George turns back-- INT. DINER - DAY Iron Fist Pang runs at the rear door -- CRASH! -- takes it off its hinges, barrels inside. INT. DINER REAR HALLWAY - DAY Iron Fist Pang holds the door like a shield and charges like a mad rhino. George's eyes widen-- EXT. DINER BACK ALLEY - DAY Marianne skids to a stop beside a parked sedan. She tries the door, it's locked. She pulls out a big nail file from her purse, POP, the door's open. INT. SEDAN - DAY She climbs into the driver's seat, looks back-- EXT. DINER BACK ALLEY - DAY George comes sailing out the diner's rear exit and lands in a heap. INT. SEDAN - DAY Marianne hot-wires the sedan in record time. The engine coughs and splutters and turns over. EXT. DINER REAR EXIT - DAY Iron Fist Pang throws the broken door away. He looks down at George, who wonders where the hell he is. INT. SEDAN - DAY Marianne looks ahead. Her eyes widen. EXT. DINER ALLEY ENTRANCE - DAY Two Chinese gunmen block the alley, armed and ready. INT. SEDAN - DAY Marianne slams into reverse and floors the gas! EXT. DINER BACK ALLEY - DAY The sedan burns rubber, heading for the door. Iron Fist Pang's eyes widen-- George sees the sedan coming and scrambles for his life, but the sedan side-slaps him and he takes another tumble. Iron Fist Pang leaps back inside an instant before the sedan SLAMS into the doorway. The trunk springs open. INT. DINER REAR HALLWAY - DAY Confusion as Iron Fist Pang and his men are blocked by the sedan and the open trunk. INT. SEDAN - DAY Marianne leans over and throws the passenger door open. MARIANNE Get in! George dives in. EXT. ALLEY ENTRANCE - DAY The two Chinese gunmen take aim. INT. SEDAN -DAY Marianne licks her lips. George looks at her. GEORGE What are you waiting for? EXT. DINER REAR EXIT - DAY Iron Fist Pang and his men climb out over the back of the sedan. His men aim their guns at George. Marianne rolls down her window. Aims her pistol at Iron Fist Pang's belly. MARIANNE It's me you want. Here's the deal. You let him go, I stay. Iron Fist Pang thinks about it... and nods. GEORGE There has to be another way. MARIANNE If there was, I'd take it. Marianne dangles her pistol by the trigger guard, offering it to Iron Fist Pang. He takes it. Marianne and George reluctantly climb out. Iron Fist Pang grabs Marianne and his men beat the crap out of George, kicking him a dozen times. George sinks to his knees. MARIANNE Son of a bitch! IRON FIST PANG Mr. Chan wants to see you both. His signals to his men. They pick George up. EXT. COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT Floodlights reveal an impressive property set in the middle of walled grounds. INT. LIVING ROOM - COUNTRY HOSUE - NIGHT Marianne stands at the windows looking out. She wears a high collared Chinese silk dress. She nurses a martini. EXT. COUNTRY CLUB HOUSE - NIGHT Car headlights approach the house. EXT. COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE ENTRANCE - NIGHT A big sedan stops and Iron Fist Pang climbs out. He opens the back door and MR. WONG, 60s, steps out. Wong exudes power and cruelty. He's accompanied by a YOUNG MAN, also Chinese, who carries a silver metal briefcase attached to his wrist by a chain. INT. LIVING ROOM - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT Marianne sips her martini as doors open downstairs and people enter the house. VOICES speak in Chinese. Then, RAPID FOOTSTEPS on the stairs. Marianne turns as Wong, Iron Fist Pang and the Young Man enter. The Young Man grins stupidly. Iron Fist Pang slaps the back of his head. The Young Man puts the case down on the coffee table. Wong unlocks the chain cuff. Iron Fist Pang and the Young Man go back downstairs. The Young Man looks back over his shoulder at Marianne. Iron Fist Pang slaps the back of his head. WONG They told me you were beautiful. I'm pleased to say they were right. Marianne bows from the waist. MARIANNE I am yours to do with as you will. WONG I like a woman who knows her place. Loosen my tie and take it off. Marianne loosens his tie and takes it off. WONG Don't lose it, we're going to use it later. Take off my jacket and hang it up in the bedroom. Marianne takes off his jacket and exits to the bedroom. Wong sits down on the couch, makes himself comfortable. The suitcase attracts his attention. He sits up, turns the case around, unlocks it and opens it. Whatever's inside makes him smile. Marianne enters. Wong snaps the case shut. WONG Get me a drink. MARIANNE What would you like? WONG Scotch rocks. Marianne goes to the drinks cabinet and pours. She gives him the glass. He sips it while he stares at her. WONG How much are you being paid? MARIANNE Five thousand dollars. But I don't do it for the money. WONG Oh? Then why--? MARIANNE I do it because I have to. WONG Because you have to... interesting. I don't believe I've heard that one before. Tell me why you have to. MARIANNE I really don't care to discuss it. It has to do with an incident in my childhood. WONG You will discuss it because I say so. Was it a relative? Marianne hesitates, licking her lips. And then... MARIANNE A close family friend. WONG What age were you at the time? MARIANNE Fourteen. WONG And he did what to you? MARIANNE He seduced me. WONG Does that mean he had sex with you? MARIANNE No, he didn't have sex with me. Wong stares at her, waiting. MARIANNE He kissed me and told me how pretty I was. He said he couldn't keep his eyes off me because I was so attractive. WONG How did you feel about that? MARIANNE Confused. Flattered. I don't know. Excited. WONG And then...? MARIANNE And then he touched me. He drew me close and hugged me. I still had my clothes on, it didn't seem wrong. He'd hugged me before, at birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas. When other people were there. WONG But this time it was different. MARIANNE This time he didn't let go, and I didn't want him to. I liked his warmth. I liked his smell. I liked the way his fingers moved slowly up and down my back. I liked the way he wasn't treating me like a little girl any more. WONG Go on. MARIANNE We sat down on a couch and he kissed me some more. Then he asked me if I would like to do something for him. I wasn't sure what he meant but he brought out this box. It was full of clothes. Not clothes, underwear. Silk, satin, lace. The stuff my mom put on when she was going out. With one of her special boyfriends. WONG What you're wearing under your dress now. MARIANNE Yes. And there were shoes. Beautiful high-heeled shoes that made me look a lot taller, a lot older. WONG Did he ask you to put them on? MARIANNE He asked me which ones I liked best. They were beautiful to look at and to touch. He stood me in front of a full-length mirror and told me how lovely I would look if I wore them. Then he went downstairs. I guess he was leaving the decision up to me. WONG The decision? MARIANNE I was only fourteen but I wasn't dumb. I saw how turned on my mother's boyfriends were when they lifted up her dress and saw what she had on underneath. They went nuts, only she was in control. Now I had the chance to drive someone crazy. I had a chance to be in control. She shifts the coffee table so she can step in front of Wong. She puts her hands on her hips and exposes a leg through the long dress slit. He stares at her, totally mesmerized. MARIANNE I picked out black lace panties and bra, and seamed silk stockings, and black heels. When I put them on and looked in the mirror I hardly recognized myself. I wasn't a little girl any more. I was a woman, ready to please a man who'd already admitted to finding me attractive. I opened the bedroom door, went out into the hall and walked downstairs, very slowly, very seductively. She climbs onto Wong's lap, straddling him. He gulps hard. She nuzzles against his neck. Wong has problems breathing. MARIANNE When I got downstairs I found him in the kitchen with his wife. She'd just come in with bags of groceries. She looked at me, standing half-naked in her hallway. Then she started screaming. She grabbed my hair and dragged me upstairs, shouting at me, slapping me and calling me a tramp. He tried to stop her, tried to calm her down, but it was too late for that. She took me into the bedroom, threw me onto the bed, took off her belt and started whipping me. She was crazy, crazy fucking bonkers. I thought she was going to kill me. Marianne picks up Wong's tie and circles it around his neck. She pulls it tight. He chokes but doesn't pull it off. She closes her eyes again and whispers into his ear. MARIANNE And that was when I saw him in the doorway, watching. His hand was down inside his pants. That was when it happened. His beautiful wife was beating me, her leather belt was slapping against my thighs, my belly, my breasts, leaving hot red welts. Her husband was gasping and leaning against the door frame, hardly able to stand up. Everything suddenly burst inside my head and I was in Heaven. And that was the day I became a whore. She stops, opens her eyes. Wong sits absolutely still, eyes open, staring at a point above her head. MARIANNE Holy shit. INT. ROMANO'S OFFICE - DAY ROMANO is big, dangerous, 50s. He's eating a roast beef sandwich while LUCILLE, a barely legal but well-endowed redhead, perches on his knee and smiles. ROMANO Think of it a test. You pass, you're one of my guys. He's talking to George, some hours before George got run over and shot at. George is wide-eyed alert and sitting up straight in his chair, like an eager-to-please schoolkid. ROMANO Wha'd'ya think, Lucille? Is George gonna pass the test? Lucille frowns, giving the question serious consideration. LUCILLE I think George can do anything he puts his mind to. Romano scowls. Lucille shrugs, "You did ask." GEORGE So I find Veronica and I get your money and I bring it back here. ROMANO That's right, that's all you got to do. GEORGE Can I shoot him? ROMANO Why would you want to shoot him? GEORGE You said Veronica thinks it's his money. He thinks that, he isn't just going to give it up. ROMANO You gotta talk to him, make him see sense. GEORGE You really think a six-four, three hundred pound transvestite is going to see sense? ROMANO If I wanted blood shed I'd send my boys round. I don't want that. Veronica and me do business. This is just a misunderstanding. I want you to subtract the "miss" and leave the "understanding." Okay? GEORGE Okay. George stands up and heads for the door. Lucille gives him a little wave. Romano slaps her hand down. ROMANO 'Course, you don't pass the test, I don't want to see you again. Ever. You got that? GEORGE Okay. George exits. INT. WESTERN THEME BAR - DAY A DRUNK COWBOY sits at the bar, happily smiling to himself as he waves a finger in time to piped country music. He picks up a glass, empties it. Adds it to the impressive collection of empty glasses already lining the bar. He leans forward to confide in the unsmiling BARTENDER... DRUNK COWBOY I like this place. Nice atmosphere. He reaches into his shirt pocket, pulls out a wad of money. He peels off a 100 and tosses it onto the counter. DRUNK COWBOY Plenty more where that came from. You bet. Yeah. He stuffs the wad back inside his pocket. He puts his hands on the bar, pushes himself up off his stool. Gets dizzy. He sits down again. DRUNK COWBOY One more for the road. Then I'm outta here. Yeah. Heading north. Got people waiting for me. He beckons the Bartender closer. A conspiring whisper-- DRUNK COWBOY Can't tell you about it. But it's big. Real big. He slaps his shirt pocket. DRUNK COWBOY Bigger'n this. Bigger'n you and me. It's too big. TWO MEN join Drunk Cowboy. He looks from one man to the other, and smiles. They don't smile back. They're big and mean, Redneck Mafia. DRUNK COWBOY Buy you boys a drink? REDNECK #1 You're supposed to be on your way. Drunk Cowboy holds up a set of keys, attached to a lucky rabbit's foot. DRUNK COWBOY Just going. I'm just going. Redneck #2 puts a six-shooter to the back of Drunk Cowboy's head, and thumbs back the hammer. REDNECK #2 You sure are. Drunk Cowboy has a "Huh?" moment. BLAM! INT. CITY STREETS - NIGHT A taxi cab crawls through late night traffic. EXT. VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT A glossy lap dance joint, the name in pink neon. The taxi cab pulls up. George climbs out. The DRIVER, an old black guy who's seen it all before, leans out. DRIVER You sure you want to go in there? GEORGE Yeah, why? DRIVER No offense but you ain't a brother. I'll keep the engine running. George heads for the door. Just as he's about to enter he stops and glances back across the street. A sedan's parked there with a CHINESE MAN at the wheel, watching George. INT. BAR - VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT Private booths, soft lights and music. A sprinkling of CUSTOMERS buy GIRLS drinks. Everything goes quiet when George enters. After a pause they resume their conversations. George heads for the bar. BOBBY, 20s, beautiful and aloof, looks him up and down. BOBBY What can I do for you? GEORGE I'm looking for Veronica. BOBBY You're not his type. GEORGE It's business. Bobby glances at a closed office door. George follows her look. BOBBY He's with some people. He doesn't want to be disturbed. GEORGE I'll wait. BOBBY Come back tomorrow. GEORGE There's a Chinese guy watching this place. BOBBY The guys in there are Three Finger Tong. That's why you should come back tomorrow. GEORGE Three Finger Tong. I've heard of them. BOBBY You're lucky they haven't heard of you. This really isn't a good time-- A SHRILL WOMAN'S SCREAM comes from behind the door. George runs to the door and kicks it open! INT. OFFICE - VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT VERONICA, a large black man wearing a blue sequin dress and a blonde wig, sits behind his desk, held by THREE CHINESE GANGSTERS. One of them just cut three of Veronica's fingers off with a meat cleaver. WHAM, George kicks the door open. MEAT CLEAVER Go fuck yourself. This private business. GEORGE I need to talk to Veronica. Do you mind leaving us alone for a moment? Veronica speaks through clenched teeth. VERONICA Who the fuck are you? GEORGE I'm an associate of Mr. Romano's. MEAT CLEAVER You don't get outta here, you dead meat. No more warning. GEORGE I think we should all calm down and seek a peaceful solution to this situation. Cleaver grins at the two guys holding Veronica. MEAT CLEAVER You want peaceful solution? He reaches inside his jacket-- BLAM, George shoots Meat Cleaver through the head. The other two gangsters claw for their guns -- BLAM, BLAM, they slide down the wall. Veronica looks around in disbelief, stares in wonder at George. VERONICA Did I already say who the fuck are you? George exits. INT. BAR - VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT The customers and girls are gone, only Bobby's still here. GEORGE Ice bucket and a couple of towels. Bobby gives him an ice bucket, George grabs it and runs to the office. Bobby grabs some bar towels and follows him. INT. OFFICE - VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT George drops the severed fingers into the ice bucket. Bobby wraps a towel around Veronica's bloody hand. GEORGE I know a guitar player, got his arm torn off in an auto accident. They sewed it back on. VERONICA Who'd you say you were? GEORGE An associate of Mr. Romano's. VERONICA Didn't catch your name. GEORGE George. I'd shake your hand, only... VERONICA Well George, you just shot three Triad goodfellas. If I was you, I'd be thinking about leaving town. GEORGE I don't want any trouble with Triads. BOBBY Too late now. She ties off a neat knot. Veronica inspects the makeshift bandage and nods thanks. GEORGE I just want to talk about Mr. Romano's money. VERONICA Tell Mr. Romano his money is up my ass, if he wants it he can suck it out. GEORGE I was kinda hoping you'd be a little more cooperative, seeing as how I just stopped these guys from cutting you up. VERONICA They weren't going to kill me. They just wanted to give me a warning. BOBBY Oh man, is that what you think? VERONICA Hell do you know? BOBBY It's in the name. You're a bad boy, they cut off one finger. A real bad boy, two fingers. Three fingers is 'way past warning. GEORGE What were they going to do to him? BOBBY You don't want to know. VERONICA I want to know. BOBBY They were gonna slit your guts open. That's their trademark. I never figured why they didn't call themselves the "Steaming Guts Tong." VERONICA Ah, fer cripe's sake... I'm gonna throw up. GEORGE Slit guts is no way for a man to die. Or a transvestite. So how about it, Veronica? I'd say you owe me. What about Mr. Romano's money? VERONICA You'll appreciate I don't have time to think about that right now. The Chinese driver from the sedan across the street skids to a stop in the doorway, holding a machine gun. BLAM! George snap-shoots without even looking, punching the driver out of sight. GEORGE Make time. Veronica and Bobby exchange looks. BOBBY You'll get out of here right now if you've got any sense. GEORGE I can't leave without Mr. Romano's money. VERONICA Romano tell you what this is about? GEORGE No. INT. HALLWAY - VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT Veronica hurries along, cradling his hand to his chest. George and Bobby follow, George has the ice bucket. VERONICA Romano buys a stake in a deal, see? I take all the risks, Romano gets a split of the profits. How fair is that? Anyway, the thing is, the merchandise we paid for disappears. I've got guys out looking for it-- GEORGE I don't want you to think I'm being rude, but Mr. Romano isn't interested in some story. He wants his quarter million and he wants it now. Veronica stops, George almost runs into him. VERONICA He only staked two hundred gees. GEORGE Guess he must have added interest. VERONICA What you said about that guy lost his arm, is it true? GEORGE Worst guitar player I ever heard, but he wasn't complaining. VERONICA Funny, I know all Romano's guys but I never saw you before. GEORGE I'm kinda new. VERONICA The thing is... George... I don't keep that kind of money here. That's just asking for trouble. But even if I did, I wouldn't give it to you. INT. STAIRWAY - VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT Hurrying upstairs-- VERONICA I appreciate what you just did for me, but business is business and I'm already out a hundred thou' on this deal. I don't see why I should lose more than I already have. You can appreciate that, can't you George? GEORGE Yes I can. INT. LANDING - VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT VERONICA Plus, what with me not knowing you, I'm not going to give you a stale fart never mind a quarter million bucks. GEORGE So what am I supposed to do? VERONICA Go back to Mr. Romano and tell him you don't have his money. GEORGE Who does have it? VERONICA Now you're just confusing me. See, nobody has it. It's in a state of maximized potential. INT. BEDROOM - VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT Veronica empties wardrobes and drawers, throwing clothes and shoes into a big suitcase. VERONICA If it had been delivered when and where it was supposed to be delivered, you and me wouldn't be having this conversation. He picks out a dress, holds it up, has seconds thoughts and puts it back, takes another. GEORGE The Chinese have a stake in this too? VERONICA Smart boy. Only they didn't send a nice guy like you who listens to reason. They sent a bunch'a crazy guys with meat cleavers. He closes the suitcase, zips it up one-handed. VERONICA Then again, they just wanted their money back, none of this quarter million shit Romano's trying to pull, so I guess they're not all bad. He picks up the suitcase. VERONICA If you don't mind, I'm going to get the hell out of Dodge before someone else shows up. George passes the ice bucket to Bobby, grabs the suitcase, throws it onto the bed. He opens it, searches among the clothes, finds a carrier bag containing bundles of banknotes. Veronica looks guilty. GEORGE How much? VERONICA A hundred, give or take. It's my rainy day fund. GEORGE Maybe Mr. Romano won't be so pissed with me if I bring him something back. VERONICA There is that possibility. George catches Bobby's worried look. He pushes the money back into the suitcase, zips it up. GEORGE Guess I'm an all or nothing kind of guy. Veronica stares at him, stunned. George points at the door. Veronica and Bobby exit. George shakes his head at his own stupidity. He follows them outside. EXT. VERONICA'S PUSSY CLUB - NIGHT George watches a CAR carrying Veronica and Bobby drive away. Bobby waves to him out the window. They disappear into the distance. George sighs and climbs into his taxi. INT. TAXI CAB - NIGHT George stares out the window, deep in thought. POLICE SIRENS get closer. DRIVER Where to now? GEORGE I wish I knew. EXT. COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT Lights are on inside the house, outside lies in darkness. INT. LIVING ROOM - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT Marianne stares at Mr. Wong, who stares at the ceiling with unseeing eyes. Mr. Wong has gone to join his ancestors. Marianne rests her head in her hands. What's a girl to do? Her gaze falls on the silver case. She opens the lid, looks inside. A cold silver light shines from inside the case and reflects off her astonished face. The phone RINGS, Marianne nearly shits herself. INT. DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT The Young Man picks up the ringing phone. He listens. His eyes flick toward the stairway. It's for Mr. Wong. INT. LIVING ROOM - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT Marianne stands at the top of the stairs, listening. The Young Man calls upstairs-- YOUNG MAN (O.S.) Sir, I apologize for interrupting, it's an important call for you. INT. DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT The Young Man stands at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for an answer. He frowns, puzzled. YOUNG MAN Sir, is everything all right? INT. LIVING ROOM - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT Marianne leans back against the wall, closes her eyes and sucks in deep breaths. INT. STAIRWAY - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT The Young Man reluctantly climbs upstairs. YOUNG MAN Sir, an important telephone call, from Shanghai... INT. LIVING ROOM - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT He reaches the top, and stares. Marianne's down on her knees in front of Mr. Wong, her head bobbing up and down on his crotch. Mr. Wong stares at the ceiling in apparent ecstasy. Without looking up Marianna raises a finger telling the Young Man, "Just one minute!" The Young Man tip-toes back downstairs, grinning. INT. DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT The Young Man picks up the receiver. YOUNG MAN (in Chinese) Mr. Wong will be with you in a moment, please be patient. Iron Fist Pang gives him a curious look. The Young Man grins and simulates oral sex, sticking his tongue in his cheek. Iron Fist Pang slaps the back of his head. EXT. LIVING ROOM BALCONY - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT Marianne looks down, searching for a way out. EXT. BENEATH THE BALCONY - COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT A GUARD stops and looks around. He lights a cigarette, throws the match away. Looks up in time to see the briefcase swing down from above on its chain and SMACK HIM right in the face. He does a backward somersault and flops on the ground. The briefcase lands with a THUD. Marianne drops down onto soft earth. She checks the Guard, sees he's out cold. She grabs the briefcase's chain and drags it after her. Heave, scrape. Heave, scrape. Marianne ducks down as light suddenly floods the area. EXT. COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT A SEDAN moves up the driveway. It stops at the side of the house, doors open and two CHINESE MEN get out. Iron Fist Pang exits from the house. The two men are surprised to see him and instantly respectful. They speak in rapid Chinese. Marianne approaches the sedan from behind so they don't see her. She grips the rear door handle, pulls it. The CLICK makes one of the men look round. Marianne freezes. He doesn't see her and turns back to the conversation. Marianne puts one foot into the back of the car -- and finds herself looking at a CHINESE WOMAN who looks at Marianne in shocked surprise. SUZI is a beautiful young hooker wearing a tight silk dress with diamond earrings. Suzi looks out the window at the three men, then looks at Marianne. Her thoughts are inscrutable. Iron Fist Pang indicates the house, then indicates the sedan and gestures for the men to GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! He turns and stamps back into the house. The two men exhale with relief. They return to the sedan and climb in. INT. SUZI'S SEDAN - NIGHT CHINESE GUY #1 Who the fuck does he think he is? SUZI What's the problem? CHINESE GUY #2 Someone's using the house. We'll have to go somewhere else. SUZI I'm not in the mood any more. Take me home. CHINESE GUY #1 Man, you gotta be kidding me! We paid you a hundred bucks! Suzi fishes a wad of green out of her purse and throws it onto Guy #1's lap. SUZI Keep it. CHINESE GUY #2 We had a deal. You give us what we want, or else. SUZI Or else what? I go missing, Jimmy will come after you. I tell him you threatened me, he'll come after you. So take me home, right now! CHINESE GUY #1 Bitch! He starts the engine. EXT. COUNTRY CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT The sedan turns around and heads back down the driveway. INT. SUZI'S SEDAN (MOVING) - NIGHT Suzi looks out the window, cool and casual. She glances down at Marianne who is squeezed uncomfortably in the rear footwell, hugging the briefcase. INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAY A black cowboy hat sits on top of a neatly folded black shirt and jeans. A MAN lies face down on the bed, asleep. Tattoos over rippling muscles. PHONE RINGS. He instantly sits up, swings his legs out the bed, snatches the receiver. Listens, as a voice DRONES. When he talks, his voice is gravel. MAN IN BLACK It's gone up. Fifty thousand. (he listens) That was yesterday. When you blew me off for cheap and cheerful. (he listens) Better not wait too long. It's liable to go up again. He hangs up. Stands. Heads for the bathroom. PHONE RINGS. He turns back, picks up the receiver. Listens. MAN IN BLACK Uh-huh. He hangs up, heads for the bathroom, closes the door. Lying on the bedside table, a pair of guns, a Bowie knife in a leather sheath, a hand grenade with a neck chain threaded through the ring. EXT. MOTEL - DAY The Man In Black dumps his bag into the back seat of a black Trans-Am, climbs in, starts the engine, and burns rubber. INT. ITALIAN RESTAURANT - DAY BIG ROCCO, 50s, and three WISEGUYS eat their way through a mountain of spaghetti and meatballs. Also sitting at the table, but not eating, is George. His gaze roams the restaurant, checking everyone out. BIG ROCCO That dipshit Mozatti. He's asking for trouble. Well, he's gonna get it. Nobody makes a fool out of Big Rocco. WISEGUY #1 You go up against him, some people are gonna be unhappy. BIG ROCCO We can take the heat. What about it, Petey? WISEGUY #2 I dunno. He's been recruiting. Street scum, mostly. Turning them into soldiers. They act like they're made men. George's gaze drifts over to a table where a MAN and a PRETTY GIRL are having an intimate dinner together. BIG ROCCO Marty, you bring in muscle from the other territories. Make sure they're solid. No connections with Mozatti or his guys. WISEGUY #3 Okay. When do you want it done? The restaurant door opens and a BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, 30s, enters. She looks around... her gaze touches George, then finds the couple's table. BIG ROCCO When do I want it done? When do you think I want it done? Get on the phone tonight. Wake up those crazy Sicilian cousins of yours and tell them there's some action. They'll be over here before you put the phone down. Hey George. The Beautiful Woman approaches the couple's table. GEORGE Yeah Mr. Rocco? BIG ROCCO You're in on this. Pull in as many guys as you need. I want maximum security from this moment on. GEORGE Okay. BIG ROCCO (to Wiseguys) George says okay. We're going to war with Mozatti and George doesn't bat an eyelid. The Wiseguys chuckle. George doesn't even notice, he's watching the drama at the other table... The Man is shocked to see the Beautiful Woman. She throws wine over him. He jumps up, grabs her, slaps her. The Beautiful Woman is helpless in his iron grip. He hits her again, she cries. BIG ROCCO What's going on over there? WISEGUY #1 Looks like somebody got caught with his pants down. BIG ROCCO George, get that bum out of here, he's ruining my meal. George is already up and moving fast. As the Man raises his hand to slap his crying wife again, George grabs his wrist. The Man turns to George, eyes cold as ice. And that's when George realizes everything's wrong. The Pretty Girl pulls a pistol out of her purse, presses it into George's crotch. She stares up at him with unblinking eyes. The Beautiful Woman and the Man draw silenced pistols and hurry to Big Rocco's table. Big Rocco looks up, his mouth full of spaghetti. The Wiseguys catch on, they claw for their own guns, but too late! The Beautiful Woman and the Man OPEN FIRE at point blank, blasting the three Wiseguys. Blood and meatballs spray everywhere. Everyone in the restaurant screams and runs and ducks under tables. George trembles with angst, wanting to help his boss, only there's a gun at his balls. The Pretty Girl smiles sweetly. A WAITER runs out of the kitchen holding a machine gun with a huge drum magazine. He takes aim at Big Rocco and OPENS FIRE! Big Rocco SCREAMS IN AGONY as he's nailed to the wall by hot lead. The Waiter keeps firing long after life has left Big Rocco's ventilated body. Big Rocco slumps down. The Beautiful Woman and the Man run for the exit, passing George. PRETTY GIRL Take out your gun, real slow. George takes out his pistol, holding it between thumb and forefinger. PRETTY GIRL Throw it away. That's a good boy. George throws his pistol away. The Waiter-gunman runs by. George wants to grab him but the Pretty Girl shakes her head, warning him. PRETTY GIRL I thought it was real nice, the way you helped Christine. There are so few real gentlemen left in the world. She gets up and backs away, still covering George. She reaches the door and runs outside. George walks over to the table of death. GEORGE Sorry boss. I let ya down. George heads for the door, stopping to pick up his pistol on the way out. People crawl out from under their tables to see what happened. NEWSPAPER MONTAGE Front page headline declares, ANTHONY "BIG ROCCO" ROCCANZI GUNNED DOWN IN RESTAURANT BLOODBATH. A picture shows Big Rocco slumped against the wall which is decorated with bullet holes and sauce. A headline reads, 312 BULLETS SPELL MOBSTER'S DOOM. And lastly, A NEW UNDERWORLD RECORD. EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY An 18-wheeler chugs along. The Man In Black behind the wheel. INT. DOWNTOWN BAR - DAY George sits alone on a stool at the bar, staring thoughtfully into his drink. MOZATTI slides onto the stool beside George and gives him a toothy smile. Mozatti's young, ambitious, ruthless. A Great White Shark in a suit. MOZATTI You're a hard man to track down. George looks in the mirror behind the bar. Two of Mozatti's GOONS stand by the door. Another two GOONS stand nearby. They're all watching George. GEORGE I haven't exactly been hiding. MOZATTI A little bird tells me you were at Veronica's last night. The cops are still dragging out the bodies. George sips his drink. GEORGE If you wanted me dead, I'd be dead. So, what do you want? MOZATTI I want you to come work for me. GEORGE I'm working for Romano. MOZATTI Come on, this is me you're talking to. That pissant Romano likes to play games. He gave you a job to complete, didn't he? Maybe something to do with that cross- dressing fag he likes doing business with, who incidentally seems to have disappeared. So here you are, all alone, nursing a drink and trying to figure what the hell to do next. And here I am, offering you a job. GEORGE I hope I haven't wasted too much of your time. MOZATTI Is that a "no"? GEORGE It has to be a "no." You know why. MOZATTI Look, me and your boss had a falling out. I don't know how things got so tense. One moment we were talking, the next he was shaking his fist in my face. Those things happen, don't they? Anyway, don't pretend he wasn't planning to do to me what I did to him first. Look me in the eye and tell me I'm wrong. George stares into his drink. MOZATTI That's what I thought. I already got two of his lieutenants on my payroll, and their crews. You got to be philosophical about these things. What's the point in fighting when your boss is dead? GEORGE Can't argue with that. MOZATTI Now that Big Rocco's gone to the big lap dancing club in the sky, business is good. I'm expanding. I got an opening for someone with your talent. George, I'm trying to be your friend here. GEORGE I appreciate that, Mr. Mozatti. But Big Rocco was good to me. He treated me like his own son. This is difficult for me. Mozatti signals to the BARMAN. MOZATTI Bourbon, no ice. The Barman pours and delivers. Mozatti knocks it back and bangs down the glass. MOZATTI Hits the spot. George, have you ever heard of the Japanese samurai warriors? GEORGE I go to the movies. MOZATTI Then you know how these guys worked. They had a boss, right? They gave him their undying loyalty. But when that boss got killed by another boss, they were out of a job, and that pissed them off. A jobless samurai was not a good thing to be in those days. Everyone treated them like they were Irish. They didn't even get to keep the name. They weren't samurai any more, they were row-nin. Warriors without a boss. Anyway, they'd do anything to be samurai again and that meant getting a new boss. But you know that, don't you? That's why you went to Romano. GEORGE That's why I went to Romano. MOZATTI And he gave you some pissant job to do and said if you succeed he'll take you on, but if you don't, you're still a good-for-nothing row-nin. GEORGE That's right. MOZATTI You know about samurai and you know about those row-nin guys. But do you know what the samurai called the boss of all bosses? They called him the Show-goon. That's what I'm going to be, George, the Show-goon. I'm going to sit on that throne. But I need good quality samurai to get me there. Which is why you and me are talking. I'm sorry Big Rocco had to go, but he had to go. Forget about him. Be my samurai, George. Come and cut heads off for me. The pay's good and I'm working on a health care package. Wha'd'ya say? Look, I'm offering you my hand. Mozatti offers George his hand. George hesitates... then accepts. Mozatti grins. MOZATTI I knew you'd make the right decision. (to his men) Didn't I say he'd make the right decision? (to George) First thing you're gonna do for me. Kill this guy. Mozatti drops a folded newspaper onto the bar. MOZATTI Not to prove your loyalty to me. Not as some kind of test. But because I want him dead and you're my samurai. Go bring me his head. George stares at the photo. EXT. STREET JUNCTION WITH TRAFFIC LIGHTS - NIGHT A MAN in a torn suit lies curled up on the ground, holding his guts. He groans. Pushes himself up. He's beat all to hell. JAKE VARGAS, 30, sways till he gets his balance. He sees a bar across the street. He stumbles toward it. INT. BAR - NIGHT Miscellaneous UNSAVORY CUSTOMERS watch as Vargas painfully sits himself down on a stool. The BARTENDER leans close. BARTENDER You look like shit. Take it outside. Vargas shrugs as if he's easing sore muscles. The motion exposes the .45 AUTOMATIC under his armpit. The Bartender loses his attitude. VARGAS Gimme a beer. The Bartender pours a beer, Vargas drinks, he needed that. VARGAS Phone. The Bartender brings the phone. Vargas cradles the receiver and dials. VARGAS (INTO PHONE) It's me. What's the scoop? (he listens) Yeah? Tell him to go fuck himself. He slams the receiver down. Finishes his beer. Opens his wallet, slides a ten across to the scowling Bartender. VARGAS You can go fuck yourself too. BRUTAL CUSTOMER Hey, tell me to fuck myself, prick. Vargas draws his .45 on the startled big guy. He pistol- whips him to the floor, kicks the crap out of him until he stops moving. VARGAS Anybody else want some fun? No takers. BARTENDER You got serious problems, man. VARGAS Comes with the job. Vargas lurches for the door, stumbles outside, as customers move to help the guy on the floor. EXT. BAR - NIGHT A black-and-white PATROL CAR cruises up the street. Vargas waves, sticks his fingers into his mouth and WHISTLES. The patrol car brakes, turns around, pulls in. The two uniform COPS grin as Vargas leans in the window. VARGAS You guys going anywhere near the precinct house? INT. FRONT DESK - PRECINCT HOUSE - NIGHT The busy DESK SERGEANT nods as Vargas passes by. COPS book STREET SCUM and HOOKERS. Vargas looks the girls over. One of them smiles at him, maybe he'll do her a favor? Vargas ignores her. INT. OUTSIDE INTERROGATION ROOM - PRECINCT HOUSE - NIGHT Vargas and LIEUTENANT LO (Chinese) stand at the observation window, watching the beaufiful woman who sits alone in the room. It's the older HIT WOMAN who took out Big Rocco's Wiseguys in the restaurant scene. LIEUTENANT LO You look like shit. VARGAS I got jumped by a couple of your guys. Didn't even take my wallet. They just up and ran away. LIEUTENANT LO "My guys"? VARGAS They looked Chinese. LIEUTENANT LO That narrows it down. What d'you suppose they wanted? VARGAS Maybe they didn't like round eyes. LIEUTENANT LO Man, I hear that. (re the Woman) We got three positive IDs from customers at the restaurant. VARGAS You look like her, people are going to remember you. Lo hands Vargas a folder. LIEUTENANT LO Organized Crime wants Mozatti real bad. All we need is her signature. Go get it, round eye. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - POLICE PRECINCT - NIGHT Vargas sits down opposite the Beautiful Woman. He opens the folder, flicks pages, shows no interest in her. She watches, impassive. VARGAS Witnesses put you at the scene with a gun in your hand. D.A.'s office has requested death by lethal injection. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN Got a cigarette? VARGAS They tell me it's just like falling asleep. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN You think they'll let me wear a dress? I look real good in red. VARGAS I bet you do. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN Why don't we save the taxpayers some money? Leave one bullet in your gun. I'll do the business right here. She sticks her fingers under her chin, pretending a gun. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN Baboom! Right into the brain. I won't even need touching up. You can watch from out there if you want. Catch yourself a cheap thrill. VARGAS It'll happen in a little room with no windows. Nobody's gonna see you die. Just the doctor who injects death into your vein. He'll stand there, looking at his watch. Timing how long it takes your heart to stop beating. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN Oh, you're good. VARGAS Are you willing to give up Mozatti? BEAUTIFUL WOMAN Do I walk? Vargas gives her a cigarette, strikes a match. VARGAS My guess? You'll serve fifteen years. Her cigarette shakes as he lights it. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN Fifteen years is a long time. VARGAS You'll still have your looks when they open the gates. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN Was that a compliment? VARGAS Nah, just an observation. You're not my type. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN I won't last fifteen minutes. You could lock me up in Fort Knox, Mozatti's still gonna find me. From where I'm sitting, the needle sounds a lot better than a shiv in the guts. VARGAS Suit yourself. Vargas closes the folder, moves to the door. BEAUTIFUL WOMAN You'll come watch when they put my lights out, won't you? VARGAS I already told you. You're not my type. He exits, closing the door on her worried expression. End of excerpt.
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