Genre: Dark Comedy

Premise: (Original Twit-Pitch Logline) When a lonely masochistic chubby chaser is abducted by two fat lesbian serial killers, it’s the best thing that ever happened to him.
About: Twit-Pitch Review Week – For those recently joining Scriptshadow, I held a contest a few months back called “Twit-Pitch,” where anyone could pitch me their screenplay on Twitter, as long as it was contained within a single tweet.  I picked my 100 favorite loglines and read the first 10 pages of each (which I live-reviewed on Twitter), and then from those, picked the Top 20, which I’ll read the entire screenplay for.  This week I’m reviewing four of the Twit-Pitch scripts.
Writers: Matthew Ballen
Details: 92 pages
Rosie O’Donnel for Kathy?

Hey, what do you know?  More serial killers!  These delightful little rascals are dark comedy gold, which is why they never stray too far from a slugline.

Problem is most writers think that their character being a serial killer is enough.  As if that alone will capture our imagination.  Nope.  Fraid not.  Just like any subject matter, serial killers need a fresh take.  And today we get that fresh take.  Sealed up in a giant zip-lock bag.  Along with kittens.  And anal fisting (more on that in a bit).

Yesterday I complained that serial killer spec “Crimson Road” made too many safe choices, taking what should’ve been an exciting premise and boiling it down to a generic version of Scream.  If you’re going to tackle something as ubiquitous as serial killers, you need to give us more than that.  You need to treat the idea in a unique way.  When I pointed that out, I told everyone to tune into today’s review to see what I meant.

Fatties will offend a great portion of the people who read it.  But one thing you can’t say about Fatties is that it’s predictable.  Or obvious.  Or generic.  Imagine reading the same stories over and over and over again.  That’s my life.  So when a writer has the balls to try something different, it ALWAYS stands out.  And I’m happy to have finally found a Twit-Pitch script that stands out.

Kathy and Linda are large and in-charge lesbian lovers.  Actually, Kathy’s the one who’s in charge.  She’s the one tipping the scales at 400, and she uses every one of those ounces to get what she wants.  Poor Linda, who’s a comparatively slight 300, basically spends her days making Kathy happy any way she can – usually sexually.  If the image of 700 pounds of naked flesh rolling around in a bed accompanied by phrases such as, “Yeah, that’s how momma likes it” terrifies you, you probably don’t want to read Fatties.  Because there’s plenty of that.  Way too plenty!

Oh yeah, Kathy and Linda are also serial killers.  When we meet them, they have a cheerleader tied up in the basement.  As you’d expect, this is mainly Kathy’s idea.  Linda goes along with it because she’s terrified of making Kathy angry.  She remembers what it was like before Kathy came along – how lonely she was – and if she has to support her lover’s little killing habit to keep her happy, well, it’s a small price to pay.

Unfortunately, Linda’s kindness allows the cheerleader to escape.  But before she can get very far, Kathy pops out of nowhere and chops the bitch’s head off.  The killing happens way sooner than Kathy would’ve wanted, and that means finding a new piece of meat to torture.  Kathy turns to the Craig’s List personals where she finds a man in search of a large woman.

Enter Gary – the single nicest guy in the world.  Gary’s skinny, wiry, and has a lot of the same problems these women have – mainly that he’s an outcast.  Nobody pays attention to him.  Nobody gives a shit about him.  If he can just find someone – anyone – to talk to, he’ll be happy.  So when he puts up a personals ad looking for a large woman (to cuddle with – Gary loves cuddling), he’s thrilled to get an e-mail back from a COUPLE.  Two big and beautifuls for the price of one.  Jackpot!

Gary heads over to meet the couple and is instantly smitten.  Of course, Gary would be smitten with a wireless router if it showed interest but still.  He really likes these chicks.  Which is a bit of surprise to them since nobody likes them.  But while Gary is looking for something more…emotional, Kathy is looking for something more… sexual.

She takes Gary home that night and completely degrades him, first by sitting on his face and second by…sitting on his face some more.  She has no interest in giving Gary any pleasure in return.  She just wants to treat him like the trash she believes he is.  The problem is…Gary likes it.  In fact, he LOVES it.  This infuriates Kathy so much that she starts slapping Gary while forcing him into repeated acts of sexual depravity.  But Gary likes it.  So she starts beating the crap out of him.  But Gary likes it.  Gary is like the Life Cereal Mikey of subservient sex.  No matter how many shades of gray Kathy throws at him, Gary likes it.

She finally stuffs him in their basement of torture, tells him he’s going to be their slave, and that at some point in the near future, they’re going to kill him.  But Gary likes it.  Humph.  Kathy is at a loss as to what to do.  She’s not used to any of her victims liking anything she does.

Now during these slave sessions, it’s Linda’s job to come down and feed the captors.  Normally, Kathy’s able to control Linda – reminding her that these aren’t really people but rather playthings for their amusement.  But Gary is just so darn earnest that Linda starts to like him.  She begins to realize that the real enemy here is Kathy, who’s taken advantage of her loneliness all these years to essentially make her a “slave with benefits.”  Once Linda gets this in her head, she starts planning an escape with Gary.  Except Kathy’s no dummy. She figures it out and her plan to kill Gary turns into a plan to kill Gary AND Linda.  Will Linda figure this out in time?  Will her and Gary be able to escape?  And how will Gary fend Kathy off with only one arm (more on that in a sec)?  Fatties offers all these wonderful answers and more.  Much MUCH more.

Did Fatties make me sick?  Yeah.  Did Fatties make me want to hurl several times?  Yeah.  But did Fatties make me want to keep reading?  Yeah.  And in the end, that’s all that matters.  If the reader wants to keep reading, you’re doing your job.

But the reason this script stands above all the other Twit-Pitch entries (so far) is that it makes unique choices.  Focusing the script around a large lesbian couple?  Never seen that before.  Making them serial killers and having them keep a wiry mustached chubby chaser as a sex slave?  Never seen that before.  A killer amputating a character’s arm and then using it to anally fist him, all shown lovingly via a shadow on the wall?  Never seen that before.

But if this script were ONLY about the shock value, I wouldn’t have given a shit.  What Matt does here is he actually creates characters.  He actually incorporates theme!  This script is about loneliness, and the depths humans will go to to avoid it.  For some it’s being with a person they hate, if only because it’s someone to lay their head down next to at the end of the day.  For others it’s allowing yourself to be murdered, if only so you don’t have to die alone.  I mean, it’s freaking sad but you *do* sympathize with these characters because they’re experiencing real-life relatable problems.  You feel their pain and care for them.  Which is why, even though they’re being anally fisted with their own decapitated arms, you still want to see what happens next.

If I have a complaint about Fatties, it’s that Kathy was a wee bit over-the-top.  And when I say “wee bit” I mean Mach 50 completely out of control batshit Gorilla-scary insane.  I mean at one point when her and Linda need money, they pop by an ATM and Kathy stabs a dude to death and steals his cash.  I know this isn’t reality, but come on.  She’d be a little more careful than that seeing as she regularly keeps future murder victims in her basement.  Matt did such a good job bringing out the humanity in Linda and Gary.  Maybe a pass focusing on Kathy’s past and her own humanity will add some depth to the character so she’s not so dependent on shocking actions.

This script is weird.  This script is disturbing.  But I’d rather have weird and disturbing over “predictable” any day.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I Learned: Quentin Tarantino once said, “You gotta be a little embarrassed when you give your script to someone.  You gotta be uncomfortable with some of the stuff you’ve put in there,”  I think there’s some truth to that, especially when it comes to dark comedies.  If there isn’t a single scene or character or moment in your dark comedy that makes you nervous about what people are going to think once they read it, you haven’t pushed far enough.  Safe is always going to be boring.