ROCKETS OF THE DEAD, Third Draft, by Gavin Scott, December 31st, 1997

Continued from Page 3

ACT FOUR

73       EXT. CASTLE - NIGHT:

The Duke's carriage rattles out of the castle and down the road.

RIMINI: (OC)

The problem with vampires, you see, is their relative lack of mobility.

74       EXT.  CASTLE COURTYARD - NIGHT

A dozen Rocket Vampires march into the courtyard and form ranks.

RIMINI: (OC)

A problem I think I have solved with spectacular success.

The vampires, as one, raise their hats - and rise into the night, their rockets firing as one.

75       INT. RIMINI'S CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

Rimini is sitting opposite Rebecca as the carriage rattles along.

RIMINI:

My Rocket Vampires are now the ultimate killing machine. Not only able to fly but also quite incapable of being killed.They are, after all, already dead.

REBECCA:

And the busts?  Homing devices?

RIMINI:

Exactly. Already installed in places of honour in half the cities of Europe.

REBECCA:

You intend to attack every city in Europe?

RIMINI:

One at a time. You see, with every victory, my army is ready to take on a more powerful foe.

The carriage' comes to a halt.

76       EXT. ROAD ABOVE THE FORT - NIGHT:

The carriage has stopped on a stretch of road that looks down on a small fort.

RIMINI:  (OC)

Here is our modest beginning: the barracks of the Gradowice National Guard.

Crash zoom on the bust of the Duke of Rimini set in the wall.

77       EXT. WALLS OF THE FORT - NIGHT:

Soldiers on guard duty are marching up and down the walls of the fort. The national flag flutters overhead.

RIMINI:  (OC)

The first trial of my Rocket Vampires. Let us see how my they perform.

One of the soldiers sees something in the sky and alerts the other. From their POV we look up to see.

78       EXT. SKY - NIGHT

Twenty Rocket Vampires, their cloaks streaming out behind them, their rocket fan-tails glittering, diving down in formation towards the fort.

79       EXT. WALLS OF THE FORT - NIGHT

The sentries sound the alarm - and the rest of the unit clatters out of their barracks.

80       INT.  RIMINI'S CARRIAGE.  NIGHT:

Rimini as he watches his men in action, his eyes glittering.

81       EXT. WALLS OF THE FORT - NIGHT:

The soldiers are firing wildly at the diving vampires -without effect.

One by one the vampires land on the firing platform, ignoring the bullets that tear through them - and each seizes a soldier, pauses for a moment to growl, and then and bites his

RIMINI:  (OC)

Behold - my new recruits. Don't you just Idve the sheer mathematical simplicity of it all? With every victory, my army doubles

82       INT.  RIMINI'S CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

Rebecca is watching the appalling scene through binoculars.

RIMINI:

There is now no reason for delay. We will attack the regional seat of government tonight. By the time the sun rises the first complete city will be under vampire sway.

REBECCA:

So soon? Are you ready?

RIMINI:

Oh yes: the homing device was planted in Nikolograd long ago. I need only return to the castle for the final preparations. And my dear - when we enter the capital, do you know how I want to celebrate my victory?

Beat.

REBECCA:

I can only guess.

83       EXT. SKY - NIGHT

The gondola floats across the moon.

84       INT. GONDOLA -   NIGHT

Tight on Passepartout peering over the moonlit countryside ahead.

PASSEPARTOUT:

Where is castle ... where is castle?

He glances nervously behind him. The trussed up vampire villagers are wriggling vigorously about, trying to get free.

85       INT.  OSSUARY - NIGHT

A sea of piled bones deep in the bowels of the castle. The bones begin to move - and finally Jules and Phileas emerge.

JULES:

I never imagined I'd be so grateful for breaking bones.

PHILEAS:

Remarkable cushioning effect. Not, I think, what the Duke anticipated.

JULES:

So what do we do now?

PHILEAS:

     (Stating the obvious)
We get out of the bones.

86       EXT. CASTLE -   NIGHT:

Rimini's carriage comes clattering back.

RIMINI:  (OC)

Prepare yourself for a triumphant European tour, my dear. We will not return here for some time.

87       INT. GONDOLA - NIGHT

PASSEPARTOUT:

Yes! At last!

He has seen the castle: but even as he does so the Landlord frees himself from his bonds and begins to creep towards him.

88       INT. REBECCA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT:

Rebecca, is busy packing as Jules and Phileas tap at the window. She gives a start of alarm: still covered in ossuary dust, they are not a reassuring sight.

REBECCA:

(As she opens the window)

     (As she opens the window)
Phil! Thank God you're alright!

PHILEAS:

     (Climbing in)
No  thanks  to you, Sis.

REBECCA:

Yes, I'm sorry about that. I had to stay onside with the beast long enough to get the full story.

JULES:

And you have that now?

REBECCA:

And how!   Listen  to  this   -

89       INT. GONDOLA -   NIGHT:

Passepartout is at bay inside the gondola, facing the oncoming vampires with a big stick - and not looking where the Dirigible is going.

LANDLORD:

     (Hissing)
Just one little bite, and night-time will never seem the same again.
     (Advancing on him)
You'll live forever! Think! Wine, women and blood - for all eternity!

90       INT.  CHAMBER OF THE ROCKET VAMPIRE - NIGHT:

Rimini stalks through the room to the doorway into the Vault of the Vampire Army, and raises his hands.

RIMINI:  (OC)

Awake, my little ones. The hour of your destiny is approaching!

91       INT. VAULT OF THE VAMPIRE ARMY - NIGHT:

At Rimini's words, the recumbent Rocket Powered Vampires rise from their catafalques - and give a single, bone-chilling growl.   

92       EXT.  CASTLE COURTYARD - NIGHT:

Jules, carrying one of the Rimini busts and a coil of rope, sticks his head out of a doorway, checks the coast is clear, and races across the courtyard to Rimini's waiting carriage.

Then, as in a single swift movement he slides underneath it and disappears - we hear the tramp of feet and the massed growling of the approaching vampires.

93       INT.  REBECCA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT:

A knocking at Rebecca's door.

RIMINI:  (OC)

My dear: we're ready to leave. May I come in?

94       EXT. COURTYARD WALLS - NIGHT

Phileas and Rebecca are inching their way across the face of the wall. Phileas looks down to see the courtyard filling -    with vampires.

PHILEAS:

I'd never have believed it.

REBECCA:

Can you see Jules?

PHILEAS:

Not yet. He must be -

95       INT.  REBECCA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT:

Rimini opens the door, sees that the room is empty, thinks for a moment - and then goes to the window and opens it.

But as he does so a shock awaits him - and us. The out-of-control Dirigible is plunging down towards him out of the night.

96       INT.  GONDOLA - NIGHT:

A battle royal is taking place between Passepartout and the villagers, with him fighting them off with his stick as the gondola plunges sickeningly towards the castle.

97       EXT. COURTYARD WALLS - NIGHT

Tight on Rebecca as the Dirigible strikes the ancient stones just a few.; feet from her - hurling her off into the night.

REBECCA:

[Screams]

98       EXT.  CASTLE COURTYARD - NIGHT:

Rebecca falls from the castle wall - and lands in the arms of one of the Rocket Vampires.

Rimini leaps down after her.

RIMINI:

We're under attack!
     (He grabs Rebecca)
Come on, my dear - there's no time to lose

And he hurls her into the carriage.

RIMINI:

Drive on!

99       EXT.  UNDER THE CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

Tight on Jules, still busy securing the bust to the axles, as the carriage begins to move. He's not ready yet.

100     EXT.  COURTYARD WALLS - NIGHT:

Tight on Phileas, appalled, as he sees the booby-trapped carriage move off with Jules Verne underneath it and his sister inside it!

101     EXT.  ROAD - NIGHT:

The carriage races away along the road.

102     INT.  RIMINI'S CARRIAGE -   NIGHT:

Rebecca is sitting opposite Rimini, white-faced with shock.

RIMINI:

A narrow escape, my dear. But by the time the sun rises tomorrow - nothing will be able to stop me. Or should I say - us?

103     EXT. UNDER THE CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

Jules is now trying to UNDO the knots holding the deadly bust in place - but without success.

104     EXT.  COURTYARD WALLS - NIGHT:

Phileas looks along the wall to where the Dirigible has embedded its prow in the ancient stones. He calculates his distance to the trapdoor beneath it - and jumps.

105     EXT. BENEATH THE GONDOLA - NIGHT:

As Phileas grabs the handle of the trap-door it opens immediately - and a stream of vampire villagers fall out.

106     INT. GONDOLA - NIGHT:

Phileas hauls himself up inside the gondola, tears the Landlord off Passepartout and hurls him out of the trap-door.

PHILEAS:

Come on, man! Get the ship free! There isn't a minute to lose!

107     EXT. ROAD - NIGHT:

The carriage is rattling along. As it bumps over a stone, we hear the high-pitched sound of the homing device.

108     EXT.  CASTLE COURTYARD - NIGHT:

The army of Rocket Vampires begins to launch itself.

109     EXT. SKY NIGHT:

The Dirigible is racing along at full speed.

110    EXT.  ROAD NIGHT:

Tight on the galloping hooves of Rimini's horses.

111     INT.  GONDOLA -   NIGHT:

Phileas is poised over the trap-door.

PHILEAS:

Hold her steady, man, hold her steady!

He can see the carriage, racing along below him.

PHILEAS:  (CONT'D)

 Now!

And he jumps.

112     INT.  RIMINI'S CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

There's a thud as Phileas lands on the roof - and as Rimini turns round, startled, Phileas swings himself in through the window.

PHILEAS:

Up on the roof, Rebecca! Quick!

113     EXT.  SKY.  NIGHT:            .             

The army of Rocket Vampires aims itself down towards the carriage, attracted by the homing device.

114     INT.  RIMINI'S CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

Rebecca scrambles out of the window as Phileas wrestles with the Duke.

PHILEAS:

My sister!   A vampire!   What were you thinking about?

RIMINI:

Little vampires. Lots of  them.

115     INT.  RIMINI'S CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

Rebecca sees a rope ladder is dangling from the Dirigible above. But even as she grasps it, she sees -

116      EXT.  SKY - NIGHT:

The Rocket Vampires come zooming in.

117     INT.  RIMINI'S CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

Jules reaches in through the opposite window and rabbit punches Rimini on the back of the neck.

JULES:

Come on, Phileas, stop messing about!

And he follows Rebecca up the dangling rope ladder.

118     INT.  RIMINI'S CARRIAGE - NIGHT:

Rimini comes round as his Rocket Vampires begin slamming into the carriage one after another.

RIMINI:  (CONT'D)

No! Go away! Go away! Go away!

119     EXT. BALCONY OF THE GONDOLA - NIGHT:

Jules helps Phileas up into the Gondola.

PASSEPARTOUT:

Oh, Master - what a sight for straw eyes!

And our heros cluster at the front of the gondola to look down as -

120     EXT. ROAD - NIGHT:

Rimini's entire Rocket Vampire Army plunges down on the carriage like a swarm of bees - entirely obliterating it.

PHILEAS:

Somehow, Rebecca, I don't think it will be necessary to drive a stake through that particular vampire's heart.
     (To Passepartout)
Set a course for home, Passepartout.

121      EXT. WEST END THEATRE - NIGHT:

A billboard announces in lights: DRACULA - A NEW THRILLER BY STOKER.

JULES  (VO) :

I thought of writing a book about our adventures in Carpathia - and then decided no-one would ever believe in something as fantastic as Vampires.

Abraham Stoker, preening as Jules did in Act One, greets a glittering throng of theatergoers.

JULES: (VO)

My friend Mr. Stoker, however, thought it was worth taking a chance ...

He throws his arms round Jules, Phileas, Passepartout and Rebecca, dressed for an evening at the theatre.

JULES:           

     (Tapping the bust of Rimini)
What a pity our friend the Duke can't be with us tonight.

The bust begins to emit a high-pitched whine.

REBECCA:

Jules: why do I have the strongest feeling you shouldn't have done that?

First one and then another of the first nighters looks up from their conversations with Stoker as they become aware of a strange phenomenon in the night sky.

Above the lights of the West End, against the moon - all the bats in the world seem to be streaming down towards them.

Stoker's eyes widen as the bats pour down and the first nighters flee into the theatre.

STOKER:

Are you trying to tell me something ....?

 

THE END.

Brian Finch May 12th 1997

Revised by Gavin Scott June 21st 1997

Gavin's Third Draft December 31st 1997

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