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FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS






              FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS

                           by

              Terry Gilliam & Toy Grisoni




BLACK SCREEN

A desert wind moans sadly.  From somewhere within the wind
comes the tinkly, syrupy-sweet sounds of the Lennon Sisters
singing "My Favorite Things." A series of sepia images of
anti-war protests from the mid-sixties appear one after
another on the screen.

In the violently scrawled style of Ralph Steadman, the title
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS splashes onto the screen.  A
beat, and then it runs down and off revealing:

TITLE: "He who makes a beast of himself
       Gets rid of the pain
       Of being a man."
       Dr. Johnson

The VOICE OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON -- a.k.a. RAOUL DUKE:

                         DUKE (V/O)
            We were somewhere around Barstow on
            the edge of the desert when the
            drugs began to take hold.

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

A red Chevy convertible -- THE RED SHARK -- wipes the black
screen.

EXT. ON THE ROAD TO LAS VEGAS - DAY

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

THE RED SHARK races down the desert highway at a hundred
miles an hour.  THE STONES' "Sympathy For the Devil" blares.

AT THE WHEEL

STRANGELY STILL AND TENSE, RAOUL DUKE DRIVES -- SKELETAL,
BEER IN HAND -- STARES STRAIGHT AHEAD.

BESIDE HIM, FACE TURNED TO THE SUN, EYES CLOSED BEHIND
WRAPAROUND SPANISH SUNGLASSES, IS HIS SWARTHY AND UNNERVINGLY
UNPREDICTABLE ATTORNEY, DR. GONZO.

The music pounds DUKE stares straight ahead.  GONZO froths
up a can of beer - uses it as shaving foam.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I remember saying something like:
            "I feel a bit lightheaded.  Maybe
            you should drive..."

GONZO starts shaving.

                                                            2.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            Suddenly there was a terrible roar
            all around us and the sky was full
            of what looked like huge bats, all
            swooping and screeching and diving
            around the car...

Close on DUKE -- shadows flutter across his face.  The
reflections of bats swirl within his eyes.  We push in close
to one eye ball -- SCREECHING SWIRLING BAT-LIKE SHAPES!

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

                         DUKE (V/O)
            ... and a voice was screaming: Holy
            Jesus!  What are these goddamn
            animals?

CUT TO WIDE SHOT OF CAR -

DUKE, eyes rigid, flails at the air.  No bats anywhere.
GONZO casually looks over...

                         GONZO
            What are you yelling about?

DUCK SCREECHES to the side of the road.  The sudden wrench
makes GONZO nick his face with his razor.

                         DUKE
            Never mind.  It's your turn to drive.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            No point mentioning these bats.  I
            thought.  The poor bastard will see
            them soon enough.

DUKE hops out of the car, keeping an eye out for bats,
frantically opens the trunk to reveal what looks like A
MOBILE POLICE NARCOTICS LAB.  DUKE desperately rifles
through the impressive stash.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            We had two bags of grass, seventy-
            five pellets of mescaline, five
            sheets of high powered blotter
            acid, a salt shaker half full of
            cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-
            colored uppers, downers, screamers,
            laughers... Also a quart of tequila,
            a quart of rum, a case of beer, a
            pint of raw ether and two dozen
            amyls.

                                                            3.


DUKE, eyes darting madly as he hears what sounds like the
SHRIEKS OF BATS returning, grabs an assortment along with
another six-pack of beer - slams the trunk shut and dives
back into the car.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Not that we needed all that for the
            trip, but once you get locked into
            a serious drug collection, the
            tendency is to push it as far as
            you can.

THE RED SHARK RACES INTO THE DISTANCE... on the ground,
weakly flapping is a SEMI-SQUASHED, SLOWLY DYING ANIMAL... A
BAT?

EXT. FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD TO LAS VEGAS - DAY

IN THE RED SHARK

GONZO grips the wheel - stares maniacally down the road - a
lousy driver.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The only thing that really worried
            me was the ether.  There is nothing
            in the world more helpless and
            irresponsible and depraved than a
            man in the depths of an ether binge.
            And I knew we'd get into that
            rotten stuff pretty soon.

The radio news wars with "SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL" on a tape
recorder.

                         RADIO NEWS
            An overdose of heroin was listed as
            the official cause of death for
            pretty 19 year old Diane Hanby
            whose body was found stuffed in a
            refrigerator last week...

GONZO changes the station - "ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE, SWEET
JESUS, ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE" vies with "SYMPATHY"... He
sings along - washes a couple of pills back with a new beer.
The RED SHARK fishtails.

                         GONZO
            "One toke over the line, sweet
            Jesus."

                                                            4.


                         DUKE
                   (muttering to himself)
            One toke.  You poor fool.  Wait
            till you see those goddamn bats.

UP AHEAD - AT THE SIDE OF THE DESERTED ROAD

A LONE HITCHHIKER spots them, jumps up and sticks out a
thumb.  The RED SHARK roars past.  Then, fifty yards down
the road...

                         GONZO
            Let's give that boy a lift.

GONZO wrenches the wheel - THE RED SHARK swerves to the side
of the road.

                         DUKE
            We can't stop here - this is bat
            country!

GONZO JAMS THE CAR INTO REVERSE AND ROCKETS BACKWARDS.  The
HITCHHIKER races to the car.  A poor OKIE KID with a big grin.

                         HITCHHIKER
            Hot damn!  I never rode in a
            convertible before!

Then the big grin freezes on the OKIE KID's face at the
sight of: DUKE and GONZO looking out at him with HYPER-
NORMAL, shit-eating SMILES.

                         DUKE
            Is that right?  Well, I guess
            you're about ready, eh?

The HITCHHIKER hesitates.

                         GONZO
            We're your friends.  We're not like
            the others.

                         DUKE
                   (hissing sharply)
            No more of that talk or I'll put
            the leeches on you.

DUKE turns back to the HITCHHIKER - smiles reassuringly.

EXT. EVEN FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD TO LAS VEGAS - DAY

The HITCHHIKER sits nervously in the back seat as the RED
SHARK screams down the road.

                                                            5.


GONZO sings along to the tape player.

The HITCHHIKER's eyes go to the door - considers jumping out
and taking his chances.

DUKE, sweating bullets, STARES AT THE HITCHHIKER in the rear
view mirror.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            How long could we maintain, I
            wondered.  How long before one of
            us starts raving and jabbering at
            this boy?  What will he think then?
            This same lonely desert was the
            last known home of the Manson family.

The HITCHHIKER's eyes notice a thin line of blood trickling
down GONZO's neck.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Would he make that grim connection
            when my attorney starts screaming
            about bats and huge manta rays
            coming down on the car?

DUKE's mouth moves intermittently - sometimes in sync with
the words, sometimes not.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            If so - well, we'll just have to
            cut his head off and bury him
            somewhere.  Because it goes without
            saying that we can't turn him loose.
            He'd report us at once to some kind
            of outback Nazi law enforcement
            agency, and they'll run us down
            like dogs...

                         DUKE
                   (out loud to himself)
            Jesus!  Did I say that?

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Or just think it?  Was I talking?
            Did they hear me?

                         GONZO
                   (reassuringly to HITCHHIKER)
            It's okay.  He's admiring the shape
            of your skull.

DUKE gives the HITCHHIKER a FINE BIG GRIN and the HITCHHIKER
giggles nervously.

                                                            6.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            Maybe I better have a chat with
            this boy I thought.  Perhaps if I
            explain things, he'll rest easy...

                         DUKE
                   (roaring over the
                   road noise)
            THERE'S ONE THING YOU SHOULD
            PROBABLY UNDERSTAND --

The HITCHHIKER stares at him, not blinking.

                         DUKE
                   (yells)
            CAN YOU HEAR ME?

The HITCHHIKER nods -- giggles -- terrified.  DUKE climbs
into the back seat.

                         DUKE
            That's good.  Because I want you to
            have all the background.  This is a
            very ominous assignment -- with
            overtones of extreme personal
            danger.  I'm a Doctor of Journalism!
            This is important, goddamnit!  This
            is a true story!...
                   (WHACKS the BACK OF
                   THE DRIVER'S SEAT
                   with his fist)


The CAR SWERVES SICKENINGLY, then straightens out.

                         GONZO
                   (screams)
            Keep your hands off my fucking neck!

The HITCHHIKER makes a sudden lunge for freedom.  DUKE GRABS
HIM BACK DOWN.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Our vibrations were getting nasty --
            but why?  Was there no communication
            in this car?  Had we deteriorated
            to the level of dumb beasts?

The HITCHHIKER STRUGGLES IN PANIC.

                                                            7.


                         DUKE
                   (to HITCHHIKER)
            I want you to understand that this
            man at the wheel is my attorney!
            He's not just some dingbat I found
            on the Strip.  He's a foreigner.  I
            think he's probably Samoan.  But it
            doesn't matter, does it?  Are you
            prejudiced?

                         HITCHHIKER
            Hell, no!

                         DUKE
            I didn't think so.  Because in
            spite of his race, this man is
            extremely valuable to me.  Hell, I
            forgot all about this beer.  You
            want one?
                   (HITCHHIKER shakes
                   his head)
            How about some ether?

                         HITCHHIKER
            What?

                         DUKE
            Never mind.  Let's get right to the
            heart of this thing.  Twenty-four
            hours ago we were sitting in the
            Pogo Lounge of the Beverly Wills
            Hotel...

INT. THE BEVERLY WILLS HOTEL POGO LOUNGE 1971 - DAY

A uniformed DWARF, carries a shockingly PINK TELEPHONE
through the glittering, tranquil POGO LOUNGE CROWD.  They
are the ELOI.  HENDRIX AFROS and DROOPING MUSTACHES and BELL
BOTTOMS and LOVE BEADS and BELLS.  ACTRESSES sip Singapore
Slings and PROMOTERS sip ACTRESSES in this MONIED, SANITISED
VERSION OF THE GREAT REVOLUTION YEARS.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            ... in the patio section, of
            course, drinking Singapore Slings
            with mescal on the side, hiding
            from the brutish realities of this
            foul year of Our Lord, 1971.

The DWARF reaches DUKE -- T-shirt, levis, sneakers and
shades.  GONZO -- white rayon bellbottoms and a khaki tank
top undershirt.  They are in the middle of a serious
conversation.

                                                            8.


                         DUKE
            I'm telling you, the Salazar story
            is getting too complicated.  The
            weasels have started closing in.

The DWARF sneers.

                         DWARF
            Perhaps this is the call you've
            been waiting for all this time,
            sir...

DUKE lifts the receiver -- listens...

                         DUKE
            Uh-huh... Uh-huh... Uh-huh...

DUKE hangs up the PHONE with the DEAD-PAN EXPRESSION OF A
MOVIE SPY.

                         DWARF
            That was headquarters.  They want
            me to go to Las Vegas at once and
            make contact with a Portuguese
            photographer named Lacerda.  He'll
            have the details.  All I have to do
            is check into my sound proof suite
            and he'll seek me out.

GONZO, says nothing for a moment, then POUNDS the table!

                         GONZO
            God hell!  I think I see the
            pattern!  This one sounds like real
            trouble!  You're going to need
            plenty of legal advice before this
            thing is over.  As your attorney I
            must advise you that you'll need a
            very fast car with no top and after
            that, the cocaine.  And then the
            tape recorder, for special music,
            and some Acapulco shirts...
                   (GONZO tucks his
                   khaki undershirt into
                   his white
                   bellbottoms -- he
                   means business!)
            This blows my weekend, because
            naturally I'll have to go with
            you -- and we'll have to arm
            ourselves.

                                                            9.


                         DUKE
            Why not?  If a thing's worth doing,
            it's worth doing right.

DUKE and GONZO are up and off.  The DWARF chases after them
with the (very large) check in his hand.

They sweep out through the Lounge door, unaware of it
swinging back into the face of the pursuing DWARF.

                         DUKE
            I tell you, my man.  This is the
            American Dream in action!  We'd be
            fools not to ride this strange
            torpedo all the way to the end.

                         GONZO
            Indeed.  We must do it.  What kind
            of story is this?

EXT. BEVERLY WILLS HOTEL - FRONT ENTRANCE - DAY

DUKE and GONZO emerge.

                         DUKE
            The Mint 400!  The richest off-road
            race for motorcycles and dune-
            buggies in the history of organized
            sport!
                   (handing parking
                   ticket to Valet)
            -- a fantastic spectacle in honor
            of some fatback grossero who owns
            the luxurious Mint Hotel in the
            heart of downtown Vegas... at least
            that's what the press release says.

Their car arrives -- rusted out, smashed door panels.  They
jump in.

                         DUKE
            We're going to have to drum it up
            on our own.  Pure Gonzo Journalism.

And they're off in a cloud of black exhaust as the nose-
bleeding DWARF stumbles out with the unpaid bill in his hand.

EXT. SUNSET BLVD - DAY

The PINTO races through shot.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Getting hold of the drugs and
            shirts had been no problem...

                                                           10.


EXT. POLYNESIAN BAR - DAY

The PINTO skids to a halt outside Polynesian bar, the back
window full of Hawaiian shirts.

                         DUKE (V/O CONT'D)
            ... but the car and tape recorder
            were not easy things to round up at
            6:30 on a Friday afternoon in
            Hollywood.

INT. POLYNESIAN BAR - DAY

TORN YELLOW PAGES with dealer's ads ticked off lie in a pile
as GONZO yells into a PAYPHONE.  DUKE carries over four
Singapore Slings.

                         GONZO
            O.K., O.K., yes.  Hang onto it.
            We'll be there in thirty minutes.
                   (to DUKE -- hand over
                   the PHONE)
            I finally located a car with
            adequate horsepower and the proper
            coloring.
                   (into PHONE)
            What?!  OF COURSE the gentleman has
            a major credit card!  Do you
            realize who the fuck you're talking
            to?

                         DUKE
            Don't take any guff from these
            swine.
                   (GONZO slams the
                   phone down)
            Now we need a sound store with the
            finest equipment.  Nothing dinky.
            One of those new Belgian Heliowatts
            with a voice-activated shotgun
            mike, for picking up conversations
            in oncoming cars.

                         GONZO
            We won't make the nut unless we
            have unlimited credit.

                         DUKE
            We will.  You Samoans are all the
            same.  You have no faith in the
            essential decency of the white
            man's culture.

                                                           11.


EXT. SUNSET BLVD - DUSK

The PINTO races down street.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The store was closed, but the
            salesman said he would wait, if we
            hurried...

EXT. SUNSET BLVD - TRAFFIC JAM - DUSK

They're stuck in a traffic jam -- clouds of exhaust.  DUKE
BANGS ON THE HORN IN FURY.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            But we were delayed en route when a
            Stingray in front of us killed a
            pedestrain.

Directly in front of them: BLOODY CARNAGE -- a covered
corpse is loaded into an ambulance by PARAMEDICS.

EXT. CAR RENTAL AGENCY - NIGHT

                         DUKE (V/O)
            We had trouble, again, at the car
            rental agency.

Behind the wheel of the RED SHARK: DUKE grins with
satisfaction -- checking it out.  A nervous AGENT holds out
a clipboard.  DUKE signs without looking at the rental papers.

                         AGENT
            Say... uh... you fellas are going
            to be careful with this car, aren't
            you?

                         DUKE
            Of course.

DUKE throws the car into reverse -- roars backwards past the
gas pumps to where GONZO is unloading their rusted out car.

                         AGENT
            Well, good god!  You just backed
            over that two foot concrete abutment
            and you didn't even slow down!
            Forty-five in reverse!  And you
            barely missed the pump!

                         DUKE
            No harm done.  I always test the
            transmission that way.  The rear
            end.  For stress factors.

                                                           12.


GONZO transfers boxes of new sound equipment and a large box
of rum and ice into the RED SHARK.

                         AGENT
            Say.  Are you fellows drinking?

                         DUKE
            Not me.  We're responsible people.

He JAMS the car into LOW GEAR and lurches into traffic.  The
AGENT runs into the street and helplessly watches them go.

                         GONZO
            There's another worrier.  He's
            probably all cranked up on speed.

EXT. RUNDOWN BEACH HOUSE - NIGHT

STRANGE AND MAGICAL.  In the moonlight: the silhouetted
figures of DUKE and GONZO as they pack the RED SHARK.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            We spent the rest of that night
            rounding up materials and packing
            the car.  Then we ate some mescaline
            and went swimming.

The surf crashes in the distance...

EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN - NIGHT

DUKE cries out as he dives into the ocean.  He lets himself
float up through the silvery bubbles...

DUKE AND GONZO FLOAT BEATIFICALLY IN THE GLOWING, SHIMMERING
MOONLIT SURF.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Our trip was different.  It was to
            be a classic affirmation of
            everything right and true in the
            national character; a gross,
            physical salute to the fantastic
            possibilities of life in this
            country.  But only for those with
            true grit...

EXT. AND EVEN FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD TO LAS VEGAS - DAY

DUKE's intense face.

                         DUKE
            ...and we're chock full of that!

                                                           13.


                         GONZO
            Damn right!

                         DUKE
            My attorney understands this
            concept, despite his racial handicap.
            But do you?!

The HITCHHIKER nods -- giggles -- petrified.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            He said he understood, but I could
            see in his eyes that he didn't.  He
            was lying to me.

                         GONZO
            My heart!

GONZO clutches his heart.  The car veers off the road and
screeches to a halt.  He slumps over the wheel.

                         GONZO (CONT'D)
            Where's the medicine?

                         DUKE
            The medicine?  Yes, it's right here.

DUKE spills out 4 AMYL CAPSULES from a tin.

                         DUKE
            Don't worry, this man has a bad
            heart... Angina Pectoris.  But we
            have a cure for it.

DUKE and GONZO break 2 AMYLS apiece -- INHALE DEEPLY.  GONZO
falls back on the seat, staring straight up at the sun.  The
HITCHHIKER looks petrified.

                         GONZO
                   (suddenly flailing
                   his naked arms at the sky)
            Turn up the fucking music!  My
            heart feels like an alligator!
            Volume!  Clarity!  Bass!  We must
            have bass!  What's wrong with us?
            Are you goddamn old ladies?

                         DUKE
                   (turns up music to
                   full volume)
            You scurvy shyster bastard!  Watch
            your language!  You're talking to a
            Doctor of Journalism!

                                                           14.


                         GONZO
                   (laughing uncontrollably)
            What the fuck are we doing out here?
            Somebody call the police!  We need
            help!

                         DUKE
                   (to HITCHHIKER)
            Pay no attention to this swine.  He
            can't handle the medicine.
                   (he begins laughing)


                         GONZO
                   (to the HITCHHIKER)
            The truth is we're going to Vegas
            to croak a scag baron named Savage
            Henry.  I've known him for years
            but he ripped us off -- and you
            know what that means, right?

GONZO pulls out a .357 Magnum -- waves it around.

                         GONZO (CONT'D)
            Savage Henry has cashed his check!
            We're going to rip his lungs out!

                         DUKE
            And eat them!  That bastard won't
            get away with this!  What's going
            on in this country when a scum
            sucker like that can get away with
            sandbagging a Doctor of Journalism?

GONZO cracks ANOTHER AMYL.

The HITCHHIKER SCRAMBLES OUT OF THE CAR, DOWN THE TRUNK LID,
AND FLEES.

                         HITCHHIKER
            Thanks for the ride.  Thanks a lot.
            I like you guys.  Don't worry about
            me.

                         DUKE
                   (yells)
            Wait a minute!  Come back and have
            a beer!

The HITCHHIKER RUNS from car.

                                                           15.


                         GONZO
            Good riddance.  That boy made me
            nervous.  Did you see his eyes?
                   (laughing)
            Jesus, this is good medicine.

DUKE glances back at the running HITCHHIKER.

                         DUKE
                   (suddenly clambering
                   into the front seat)
            Move over!!  We have to get out of
            California before that kid finds a
            cop!

DUKE GUNS THE RED SHARK -- TAKES OFF DOWN THE ROAD...

EXT. UNBELIEVABLY FAR DOWN THE ROAD TO LAS VEGAS - DAY

THE RED SHARK races -- DUKE at the wheel -- straight ahead
driving.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            It was absolutely imperative that
            we get to the Mint Hotel before the
            deadline for press registration.
            Otherwise, we might have to pay for
            our suite.

GONZO wrestles with a shaker of COCAINE.  The top comes off
and the powder swirls away on the wind.

                         GONZO
            Oh, Jesus!  Did you see what god
            just did to us?

                         DUKE
            God didn't do that!  You did it!
            You're a fucking narcotics agent,
            that was our cocaine, you pig!

                         GONZO
                   (waving his .357
                   Magnum at Duke)
            You better be careful.  Plenty of
            vultures out here.  They'll pick
            your bones clean before morning.

                         DUKE
            You whore!

GONZO tears up a BLOTTER OF ACID.

                                                           16.


                         GONZO
            Here -- chew this.  It's your half
            of the acid.

DUKE takes his half -- chews it.

                         DUKE
            How long do I have?

                         GONZO
            Maybe thirty more minutes.  As your
            attorney, I advise you to drive at
            top speed.  It'll be a goddamn
            miracle if we can get there before
            you turn into a wild animal.  Are
            you ready for that?  Checking into
            a Vegas hotel under a phony name
            with intent to commit capital fraud
            and a head full of acid.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Thirty minutes.  It was going to be
            very close.

The RED SHARK screams along the highway past a billboard:
"DON'T GAMBLE WITH MARIJUANA! \ IN NEVADA: POSSESSION - 20
YEARS; SALE - LIFE!!"

EXT. LAS VEGAS MINT HOTEL - DUSK

The RED SHARK pulls up outside the MINT.  A great banner
spanning the street announces the MINT 400.

DUKE can feel the drug surging up inside him.  Clutching a
buckled beer can, sweat pouring, he stares fixedly at the
TICKET the ATTENDANT gives him.

                         DUKE
            I need this, right?

                         ATTENDANT
            I'll remember your face.

DUKE stares -- losing it...

                         DUKE (V/O)
            There is no way of explaining the
            terror I felt.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY - DAY

DUKE waits in line at the front desk -- RIGID WITH PENT UP
ENERGY.  GONZO's ahead of him -- muscling in -- trying to
queue jump and failing.

                                                           17.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            I was pouring sweat.  My blood is
            too thick for Nevada.  I've never
            been able to properly explain
            myself in this climate.

A COUPLE move off and DUKE jerks forward -- stops -- eyes
fixed on the stony FEMALE RESERVATIONS CLERK.

                         DUKE (V/O CONT'D)
            Be quiet, be calm... name, rank,
            and press affiliation, nothing
            else...

DUKE moves ANOTHER RIGID STEP CLOSER to the desk -- the
tension almost snapping him in two.  GONZO's FLAPPING
AROUND -- absolutely no success.

Something catches DUKE's eye... He REMAINS ROOTED -- his
eyes turning to the VEGETAL PAISLEY PATTERNS ON THE CARPET
WHICH ARE SHIFTING -- UNDULATING.  THE CARPET PATTERNS ARE
INEXORABLY CREEPING UP THE WALLS...

                         DUKE (V/O CONT'D)
            ...ignore this terrible drug,
            pretend it's not happening...

The LAST PEOPLE leave -- with A FINAL, STIFF MOVE, DUKE
comes face to face with the RESERVATIONS CLERK... AND
EXPLODES!

                         DUKE
            HI THERE.  MY NAME... AH, RAOUL
            DUKE... ON... ON THAT LIST, THAT'S
            FOR SURE.  FREE LUNCH, FINAL
            WISDOM, TOTAL COVERAGE... WHY NOT?
            I HAVE MY ATTORNEY WITH ME, AND I
            REALIZE OF COURSE...

As DUKE stares at her, BABBLING, her FACE BEGINS TO MORPH.
He tries to stop it happening by TALKING FASTER.

                         DUKE
            ... THAT HIS NAME IS NOT ON THE
            LIST, BUT WE MUST HAVE THAT SUITE.
            YES.  JUST CHECK THE LIST AND
            YOU'LL SEE.  DON'T WORRY.  WHAT'S
            THE SCORE HERE?  WHAT'S NEXT?

DUKE sags -- grips the desk -- WHITE KNUCKLES.

                                                           18.


                         RESERVATIONS CLERK
                   (hands him an envelope)
            Your suite's not ready yet.  But
            there's somebody looking for you.

Her face is CHANGING -- SWELLING -- PULSING...

                         DUKE
                   (shouts)
            NO!  WHY?  WE HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING
            YET!

The FACE OF THE RESERVATIONS CLERK TURNS GREEN & GROWS FANGS.
DEADLY POISON!  DUKE LUNGES BACK at GONZO, who GRIPS his arm
intensely -- REACHES OUT to take the ENVELOPE.

                         GONZO
            I can handle this.  This man has a
            bad heart, but I have plenty of
            medicine.  My name is Dr. Gonzo.
            Prepare our suite at once.  We'll
            be in the bar.

GONZO manoeuvres DUKE away from the desk.  DUKE looks
back -- the RESERVATIONS CLERKS is now a MORAY EEL -- green
jowls and fangs.

INT. NAUTICAL BAR - DAY

The bar -- OILY PEOPLE -- quiet music -- nautical theme.
DUKE and GONZO at the bar, a marlin spike hanging on the
wall behind them.  DUKE has turned to stone...

                         GONZO
                   (to the bartender)
            Two Cuba Libres with beer and
            mescal on the side.
                   (opens the envelope)
            Who's Lacerda, he's waiting for us
            in a room on the twelfth floor?

                         DUKE
            Lacerda?

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I couldn't remember.  The name rang
            a bell, but I couldn't concentrate.
            Terrible things were happening all
            around us...

DUKE is staring -- RAPT -- TERRIFIED.  BLOOD FLOWS FREELY
onto the floor.  DUKE keeps his voice low.

                                                           19.


                         DUKE
            Order some golf shoes.  Otherwise,
            we'll never get out of this place
            alive.  It's impossible to walk in
            this muck -- no footing at all...

DUKE looks up -- GONZO has disappeared.

DUKE looks around him -- the entire room has TRANSFORMED
into a ROOM FILLED WITH REPTILES IN CLOTHES, DRINKING AND
GNAWING AT ONE ANOTHER.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I was right in the middle of a
            fucking reptile zoo.  And somebody
            was giving booze to these goddamn
            things!  It won't be long before
            they tear us to shreds!

GONZO IS SUDDENLY BACK -- AT DUKE'S SHOULDER.

                         GONZO
            If you think we're in trouble now
            wait until you see what's happening
            in the elevators.

GONZO removes his sunshades and we see he's been crying...
as he speaks he seems to be floating.  Duke struggles to
keep him in his line of vision.

                         GONZO
            I just went upstairs to see this
            man Lacerda.  I told him I knew
            what he was up to...
                   (GONZO rallies --
                   turns fierce)
            He says he's a photographer!  But
            when I mentioned Savage Henry he
            freaked!  He knows we're onto him!

                         DUKE
            But what about our room?  And the
            golf shoes?

A GROUP OF REPTILES AT A TABLE ACROSS THE ROOM stares at
them, BLOOD DRIPPING FROM THEIR FANGS.

                         DUKE (CONT'D)
                   (grabbing GONZO
                   trying to hold him still)
            Holy shit!  Look at that bunch over
            there!  They've spotted us!

                                                           20.


Cut to wider shot -- DUKE is holding on to a man standing
next to him at the bar.  The room has returned to normality.
GONZO is sitting in his original position.

                         GONZO
                   (downs his drink --
                   gets up)
            That's the press table.  Where you
            have to sign in for our credentials.
            Shit, let's get it over with.  You
            handle that, and I'll check on the
            room.

                         DUKE
            No, no.  Don't leave me!

Black screen.

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - DUSK

A TELEVISION shows the NIGHTLY NEWS.  A BUDDHIST MONK,
protesting the war, sets himself on fire.  A very nervous
BELL BOY is laying out GONZO's order.  A marlin spike is on
the floor next to DUKE.

                         BELL BOY
            Four club sandwiches, four shrimp
            cocktails.

                         DUKE
            There's a big... machine in the
            sky... some kind of electric snake...

DUKE is curled by the window -- MESMERIZED by an unseen neon
sign outside the window.  His eyes fill with a million
colored lights.

                         BELL BOY
            ... a quart of rum...

                         DUKE
            ... coming straight at us.

                         GONZO
            Shoot it.

                         DUKE
            Not yet.  I want to study its habits.

                         BELL BOY
            ... and nine fresh grapefruit.

                                                           21.


                         GONZO
            Vitamin C.  We'll need all we can
            get.

GONZO sees the BELL BOY out the door -- turns and lays into
DUKE.

                         GONZO
            Look, you've got to stop this talk
            about snakes and leeches and
            lizards and that stuff.  It's
            making me sick!

DUKE stares -- hears the drone of B52 BOMBERS...

On TV: The LAOS INVASION -- A SERIES OF HORRIFYING
DISASTERS -- EXPLOSIONS AND TWISTED WRECKAGE.

Newsreel footage of MAI LAI MASSACRE and the LIEUTENANT
CALLEY court-martial.

                         DUKE
            What are you talking about?

                         GONZO
            You bastard!  They'll never let us
            back in that place.  I leave you
            alone for three minutes and you
            start waving that goddamn marlin
            spike around -- yelling about
            reptiles!  You scared the shit out
            of those people!  They were ready
            to call the cops.  Hell, the only
            reason they gave us press passes
            was to get you out of there...

A knock at the door.  DUKE and GONZO break out in a sweat.

                         DUKE
            Oh my God!  Who's that?!

GONZO STICKS HIS GUN IN HIS WAISTBAND -- opens the door to
LACERDA -- BOUNCING WITH PUPPY DOG ENTHUSIASM.  GONZO stares
at a man he instantly hates -- watches him with deep
suspicion.

                         LACERDA
            Duke?  I'm Lacerda your photographer.
            Got your press passes?  Good, good.
            Too bad you missed the bikes
            checking in.  My, what a sight!

DUKE watches the B-52S DROP THEIR BOMB LOADS.

                                                           22.


Looking down to the thick, patterned carpet, DUKE sees the
BOMBS EXPLODE like vicious flowers.

DUKE looks up: LACERDA is a war photographer -- bruised,
filthy and blood spattered.  LACERDA approaches him --
talking a foreign language.

                         LACERDA
            Husquavarnas.  Yamahas.  Kawaskis.
            Maicos.  Pursang.  Swedish Fireballs.
            Couple of Triumphs, here and there
            a CZ.  All very fast.  What a race
            it's gonna be.

DUKE screws up his eyes -- WILLS NORMALITY BACK.  LACERDA is
now just a keen photographer.L

                         LACERDA
            Well, we start at dawn.  Get a good
            night's sleep.  I know I will.

And with a cheerful wave, he's gone.  DUKE is in shock.

                         DUKE
                   (weakly)
            That's good...

                         GONZO
            I think he's lying to us.  I could
            see it in his eyes.

                         DUKE
                   (even weaker)
            They'll probably have a big net for
            us when we show up.

DUKE's attention returns to the devastation on the TV...

                         GONZO
            Turn that shit off!

GONZO kills the TV.

Black screen.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Never lose sight of the primary
            responsibility.  Cover the story.
            But what was the story?  Nobody had
            bothered to say.

                                                           23.


EXT. DESERT - DAWN

Against A BIG ORANGE SUN, on a concrete slab, MEN FIRE
SHOTGUNS into the dawn sky.  Clay pigeons shatter.  The Mint
Gun Club.

Next to them, MOTORCYCLES REV -- preparing for the MINT 400
RACE: A hundred BIKERS, MECHANICS and assorted MOTORSPORT
TYPES milling around in the pit area; taping headlights,
topping off oil in the forks, last minute bolt tightening.

DUKE wanders through.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The racers were ready at dawn.
            Very tense.  But the race didn't
            start until nine so we had three
            long hours to kill.

A sign by a long trestle table: "KOFFEE & DONUTS." DUKE
walks past -- ignoring the SMILING LADY behind the stall.

                         DUKE (V/O CONT'D)
            Those of us who had been up all
            night were in no mood for coffee
            and donuts.  We wanted strong drink.
            We were, after all, the Absolute
            Cream of the National Sporting
            Press and we were gathered here, in
            Las Vegas, for a very special
            assignment.  And when it comes to
            things like this you don't fool
            around.

INT. RACE BAR TENT - DAY

A real pit of iniquity.  Slot Machines.  Crap tables.  Smoke.
Drunken shouting.  The absolute cream of the NATIONAL
SPORTING PRESS.

DUKE is at the bar, engaged in drunken conversation with a
LIFE REPORTER...showing him his notebook.

                         DUKE
            See..."Kill the body and the head
            will die"... the Frazier/Ali fight...

                         MAGAZINE REPORTER
            A proper end to the 60's... Ali
            beaten by a human hamburger!

                         DUKE
            And both Kennedy's murdered by
            mutants.

                                                           24.


A SHOUT goes up from outside.  The sound of engines revving.

                         REPORTER
            That's it!  They're starting!

In a sudden rush the PRESS CROWD make for the door taking
DUKE with them.

EXT. DESERT - DAY

MOTORCYCLES REV -- tension builds...

A flag goes down.  The CROWD cheers.  The MOTORCYCLES ROAR
AWAY.  A great cloud of dust goes up -- obscuring the RACERS
as they disappear into the desert...

A moment...

                         REPORTER
            Well, that's that.  They'll be back
            in an hour or so.  Let's go back to
            the bar.

The CROWD turns and streams back into the tent.

INT. RACE BAR TENT - DAY

DUKE heads for the bar along with the REST.  It's packed.
Drinks are ordered.

A shout from outside the tent goes up:

                         VOICE OFF
            Group 2!

The CROWD rushes for the door.  DUKE gets swept along.

EXT. DESERT - DAY

MOTORCYCLES REV.  A flag goes down.  The CROWD cheers.  The
MOTORCYCLES ROAR AWAY.  Another great cloud of dust goes up...

The CROWD head back for the bar.

INT. RACE BAR TENT - DAY

The CROWD surge back to the bar.

                         VOICE OFF
            Group 3!

This time DUKE fights his way free of the CROWD.

                                                           25.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            There was something like 190 more
            bikes waiting to start.  They were
            due to go off 10 at a time every 2
            minutes.

DUKE hits the bar.

                         DUKE
            Beer!

A middle-aged HOODLUM in a T-shirt booms up to the bar.

                         HOODLUM
            God damn!  What day is this --
            Saturday?

                         DUKE
            More like Sunday.

                         HOODLUM
            Hah!  That's a bitch, ain't it?
            Last night I was home in Long Beach
            and somebody said they were runnin'
            the Mint 400 today, so I says to my
            old lady, "Man, I'm goin'." So she
            gives me a lot of crap about it, so
            I start slappin' her around, and
            the next thing you know two guys I
            never seen before are beating me
            stupid.

                         VOICE OFF
            Group 4!

Outside, another batch of motorcycles roar away -- kicking
up more clouds of dust.

                         HOODLUM
            Then they gave me ten bucks, put me
            on a bus, and when I woke up here I
            was in downtown Vegas, and for a
            minute all I could think was, "O
            Jesus, who's divorcing me this
            time?" But then I remembered, by
            God!  I was here for the Mint 400.
            And, man, I tell you, it's wonderful
            to be here.  Just wonderful to be
            here with you people.

A silence.  A MAGAZINE REPORTER lunges across the bar --
grabs the BARTENDER.

                                                           26.


                         MAGAZINE REPORTER
            Senzaman wassyneeds!

                         DUKE
                   (smacks the bar with
                   his palm)
            Hell yes!  Bring us ten!

                         VOICE OFF
            Group 5!

                         MAGAZINE REPORTER
                   (screams)
            I'll back it!
                   (slides off his stool
                   to the floor)


Outside, motorcycles roar away.  The dust cloud billows into
the tent -- getting denser.

                         MAGAZINE REPORTER (CONT'D)
                   (on the floor)
            This is a magic moment in sport!
            It may never come again!  I once
            did the Triple Crown, but it was
            nothing like this.

A FROG-EYED WOMAN claws at the MAGAZINE REPORTER, tries to
haul him up.

                         FROG-EYED WOMAN
            Please stand up!  You're a
            correspondent for a major national
            magazine who's name we can't get
            clearance for!  Please!  You'd be a
            very handsome man if you'd just
            stand up!

                         MAGAZINE REPORTER
            Listen, madam.  I'm damn near
            intolerably handsome down here
            where I am.  You'd go crazy if I
            stood up!

A feverishly eager LACERDA appears out of the dust cloud, 3
cameras slung round his neck.

                         LACERDA
            Club soda, please.

                         FROG-EYED WOMAN
                   (to MAGAZINE REPORTER)
            Please!  I love Life!

                                                           27.


                         LACERDA
                   (to DUKE)
            Man, it's great out there!

                         DUKE
            Lunatics.

LACERDA grins.

                         VOICE OFF
            Group 6!

                         LACERDA
            Meet you outside!

LACERDA downs his drink -- hurries out through the crowd and
out into the cloud of dust.

EXT. DESERT - DAY

Nothing.  Except for a THICK CLOUD OF DUST.

Barely visible, a motorcycle comes speeding into the pits.
The RIDER staggers off his bike.  The PIT CREW gas it up and
sends it back with a FRESH RIDER.

DUKE watches him disappear back into the dust cloud.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            By 10 they were spread out all over
            the course.  It was no longer a
            race, now it was an Endurance
            Contest.  The idea of trying to
            "cover this race" in any
            conventional press sense was absurd.

A HORN HONKS.  A shiny BLACK BRONCO with DRIVER.  LACERDA
hangs out of the window.

                         LACERDA
            It's great, isn't it?!  Jump in!

DUKE gets into the Bronco and they head into the DUST CLOUD.

EXT. DESERT - DAY

IN THE BRONCO.

DUKE hangs on with his beer.  Nothing all around but the
HUGE IMPENETRABLE CLOUD OF DUST.  LACERDA snaps madly away
at nothing at all!

                                                           28.


                         LACERDA
            I'll just keep trying different
            combos of film and lenses till I
            find one that works in this dust!

The SOUND OF MOTORCYCLES RACING...

We hear music and voices singing:

                         BATTLE HYMN
            "...As we go marching on
            When I reach my final campground,
            in
            that land beyond the sun,
            And the Great Commander asks me..."
            [What did he ask you, Rusty?]
            "Did you fight or did you run?"

A moment later, the Bronco races out of the dust.  DUKE
coughs, chokes, drinks beer.

                         BATTLE HYMN
                   (continuing)
            [And what did you tell them,
            Rusty?]
            "We responded to their rifle fire
            with everything we had..."

The sound of gun shots...

A DUNE BUGGY races toward them, loaded down with THREE
RETIRED PETTY OFFICERS, DRUNK AS HELL.  The radio blares:
"THE BATTLE HYMN OF LIEUTENANT CALLEY."

The dune buggy is COVERED WITH OMINOUS SYMBOLS: SCREAMING
EAGLES CARRYING AMERICAN FLAGS IN THEIR CLAWS.  A slant-eyed
Snake being chopped to bits by a buzz-saw made of stars and
stripes.  A MACHINE GUN MOUNT on the passenger side.  They
yell over the roaring engines.

                         DUNE BUGGY DRIVER
            Where's the damn race?

                         DUKE
            Beats me.  We're just good patriotic
            Americans like yourself.

DUKE gives DUNE BUGGY PASSENGER #2 A NICE BIG GRIN.  In
response, the PASSENGER #2 narrows his eyes -- tightens his
grip on an automatic weapon.

                         DUNE BUGGY DRIVER
                   (suspiciously)
            What outfit you fellas with?

                                                           29.


                         DUKE
            The sporting press.  We're
            friendlies.  Hired geeks.

The DRIVER and DUNE BUGGY PASSENGER #2 exchange looks.

                         DUKE
            If you want a good chase, you
            should get after that skunk from
            CBS News up ahead in the black jeep.
            He's the man responsible for that
            book, THE SELLING OF THE PENTAGON.

                         DUNE BUGGY PASSENGER #1
            HOT DAMN!

                         DUNE BUGGY PASSENGER #2
            A black jeep, you say?

And they ROAR away.

                         DUKE
            Take me back to the pits.

                         LACERDA
            No, no -- we have to go on.  We
            need total coverage.

DUKE gets out of the Bronco.

                         DUKE
            You're fired.

After a moment's hesitation, LACERDA and the BRONCO driver
roar away leaving DUKE alone in the cloud of dust.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            It was time.  I felt, for an
            Agonizing Reappraisal of the whole
            scene.  The race was definitely
            under way.  I had witnessed the
            start; I was sure of that much.
            But what now?

EXT. LAS VEGAS STREETS - NIGHT

MUSIC PUMPS OUT.  CRUISING IN THE RED SHARK IN VEGAS.  THE
SKY SWIRLS WITH MILLIONS OF NEON LIGHTS CHASING EACH OTHER
IN BAROQUE PATTERNS ACROSS GIGANTIC HOTEL SIGNS.  PSYCHEDELIC
LIGHT SHOWS TO LURE AND DERANGE THE INNOCENT.  CITY OF LOST
SOULS.

                                                           30.


                         DUKE
            Turn up the radio!  Turn up the
            tape machine!  Roll the windows
            down.  Let's taste this cool desert
            wind!  Aaah, yes!  This is what
            it's all about!

DUKE, beer in hand, drives -- a big smile for the world.
GONZO scans The Vegas Visitor.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Total control now.  Tooling along
            the main drag on a Saturday night
            in Vegas, two good old boys in a
            fire apple red convertible...
            stoned, ripped, twisted... Good
            people!

                         GONZO
            How about "Nickel Nick's Slot
            Arcade?" "Hot Slots," that sounds
            heavy.  Twenty-nine cent hotdogs...

                         DUKE
            Look, what are we doing here?  Are
            we here to entertain ourselves, or
            to do the job?

                         GONZO
            To do the job, of course.  Here we
            go... a Crab Louie and quart of
            muscatel for twenty dollars!

The Shark hits a bump.

                         GONZO
            As your attorney I advise you to
            drive over to the Tropicana and
            pick up on Guy Lombardo.  He's in
            the Blue Room with his Royal
            Canadians.

They hit another bump.

                         DUKE
            Why?

                         GONZO
            Why what?

CUT to wide shot.  They are DRIVING AROUND IN CIRCLES in a
large casino parking lot, bumping over the dividers.

                                                           31.


                         DUKE
            Why should I pay out my hard-earned
            dollars to watch a fucking corpse.
            I don't know about you, but in my
            line of business it's important to
            be Hep.

EXT. DESERT ROOM HOTEL - NIGHT

TWO BIG SCREAMING FACES.

                         DOORMAN #1
            What the hell are you doing?!

                         DOORMAN #2
            You can't park here!

                         DUKE
            Why not?  Is this not a reasonable
            place to park?

Reveal the RED SHARK parked on the sidewalk in front of the
Desert Inn.  TWO DOORMEN loom over the car hood.  The
MARQUEE says: TONIGHT.  DEBBIE REYNOLDS.

GONZO leaps from the car, waving a five-dollar bill at the
DOORMAN.

                         GONZO
            We want this car parked!  We drove
            all the way from L.A. for this show.
            We're friends of Debbie's.

A pause, then... the DOORMAN pockets the bill, hands them a
parking stub.  DUKE and GONZO hurry into the hotel.

INT. DESERT FROM HOTEL LOBBY - NIGHT

DUKE and GONZO walk through the lobby.  Black, mirrored,
sleek, classy.

                         DUKE
            Holy shit!  They almost had us
            there!  That was quick thinking.

                         GONZO
            What do you expect?  I'm your
            attorney.  You owe me five bucks.
            I want it now.

DUKE shrugs and hands over the $5.

                                                           32.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            This was Bob Hope's turf.  Frank
            Sinatra's.  Spiro Agnew's.  It
            seemed inappropriate to be haggling
            about nickel/dime bribes for the
            parking lot attendant.

A WINE-COLORED TUXEDO stops them at the entrance to the
ballroom.

                         WINE-COLORED TUXEDO
            Sorry, full house.

                         GONZO
            Goddamnit, we drove all the way
            from L.A.

                         WINE-COLORED TUXEDO
            I said there are no seats left...
            at any price.

                         GONZO
            Fuck seats!  We're old friends of
            Debbie's.  I used to romp with her.

GONZO and the WINE-COLORED TUXEDO get into an ugly arm-
waving negotiation.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            After a lot of bad noise, he let us
            in for nothing provided we would
            stand quietly at the back and not
            smoke.

As DUKE and GONZO disappear through the door we can hear the
orchestra blasting out a HIGHLY BLANDIZED "SGT. PEPPER'S
LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND."

A beat.

The door flies open and BOUNCERS manhandle DUKE and GONZO
out.  Despite the rough treatment they're both SCREECHING
WITH LAUGHTER.

                         GONZO
            Jesus creeping shit!

                         DUKE
                   (tears streaming)
            Did the mescaline just kick in?  Or
            was that Debbie Reynolds in a
            silver Afro wig?!

                                                           33.


                         GONZO
                   (in hysteria)
            We wandered into a fucking time
            capsule!

EXT. LAS VEGAS STREETS - NIGHT

DUKE DRIVES FAST into the night.  They're both LAUGHING
HYSTERICALLY.

                         DUKE
                   (in hysteria)
            We wandered into a fucking time
            capsule!

THEN... GONZO finds a TINY TEAR IN HIS JACKET...

                         GONZO
            What's this?...

GONZO is instantly MOROSE.

                         GONZO
            That scum...

GONZO twists round in the car -- SCREAMS back into the night.

                         GONZO
            SCUM!  I know where you live!  I'll
            find you and burn down your fucking
            house!

EXT. BAZOOKO CIRCUS - NIGHT

A hundred foot high neon clown: BAZOOKO CIRCUS.

The RED SHARK pulls up beneath the sign.

                         DUKE
            This is the place.  They'll never
            fuck with us here.

                         GONZO
            Where's the ether?  This mescaline
            isn't working.

EXT. BAZOOKO CIRCUS CASINO - NIGHT

Into the GLARING, CHASING LIGHTS of the entrance canopy
steps DUKE in EC/U holding a KLEENEX SOAKED IN ETHER TO HIS
NOSE.

                                                           34.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            Ah, devil ether.  It makes you
            behave like the village drunkard in
            some early Irish novel... total
            loss of all basic motor skills;
            blurred vision, no balance, numb
            tongue --
                   (throws away kleenex)
            The mind recoils in horror, unable
            to communicate with the spinal
            column.  Which is interesting,
            because you can actually watch
            yourself behaving in this terrible
            way, but you can't control it.

DUKE and GONZO approach the entrance with elaborate care-
taking one step at a time -- trying to keep ahead of the drug.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            You approach the turnstiles and
            know that when you get there, you
            have to give the man two dollars or
            he won't let you inside... but when
            you get there, everything goes wrong.

THE ETHER KICKS IN:

DUKE and GONZO BOUNCE off the walls, CRASH into OLD LADIES,
GIGGLE HELPLESSLY as they try to pay -- HANDS FLAPPING
CRAZILY, unable to get money out of their pockets.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Some angry Rotarian shoves you and
            you think: What's happening here?
            What's going on?  Then you hear
            yourself mumbling.

                         DUKE
                   (mumbling)
            Dogs fucked the Pope, no fault of
            mine.  Watch out!... Why money?  My
            name is Brinks; I was born... Born?

                         GONZO
            Get sheep over side... women and
            children to armored car... orders
            from Captain Zeep.

The ATTENDANTS indulgently escort them through the TURNSTILES.

                                                           35.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            Ether is the perfect drug for Las
            Vegas.  In this town they love a
            drunk.  Fresh meat.  So they put us
            through the turnstiles and turned
            us loose inside.

INT. BAZOOKO CIRCUS CASINO - NIGHT

Flames shoot up from below the casino.  Above, a HIGH WIRE
ACT with FOUR MUZZLED WOLVERINES, SIX NYMPHET SISTERS FROM
SAN DIEGO, TWO SILVER PAINTED POLACK BROTHERS, and THREE
KOREAN KITTENS.

The WOLVERINE chases a NYMPHET through the air.  TWO POLACKS
swing at it from opposite sides and they are instantly
locked in a death battle.

All plummet to the nets suspended over the GAMBLING TABLES
and SLOT MACHINES.  No one looks up.  The GAMBLERS REMAIN
INTENT ON THE SPINNING ROULETTE WHEEL, THE TURN OF THE CARD,
THE ROLL OF A DICE.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Bazooko Circus is what the whole
            hep world would be doing Saturday
            night if the Nazis had won the war.
            This was the Sixth Reich.

Something causes DUKE to look down.  A dwarf carrying drinks
on a tray is tugging DUKE's pants leg trying to get him to
move out of the way.

                         DUKE (V/O CONT'D)
            A drug person can learn to cope
            with things like seeing their dead
            grandmother crawling up their leg
            with a knife in her teeth but,
            nobody should be asked to handle
            this trip.

GONZO and DUKE go upstairs walking past funhouse booths.
One of them is manned by an orangutan in costume.  A
FAIRGROUND BARKER grabs DUKE.

                         FAIRGROUND BARKER
            Stand in front of this fantastic
            machine, my friend.  For just 99
            cents your likeness will appear 200
            hundred feet tall on a screen above
            downtown Las Vegas.

On a TV monitor a 200 FOOT HIGH DRUNKARD looms over the Las
Vegas skyline screaming OBSCENITIES.

                                                           36.


                         FAIRGROUND BARKER
            99 cents more for a voice message.
            Say whatever you want, fella.
            They'll hear you, don't worry about
            that.  Remember, you'll be 200 feet
            tall!

                         ANOTHER BARKER
            Step right up!  Shoot the pasties
            off the nipples of this ten-foot
            bull-dyke and win a cotton candy
            goat!

INT. BAZOOKO CIRCUS REVOLVING MERRY-GO-ROUND BAR - NIGHT

DUKE and GONZO sit on the revolving platform.  GONZO
stares -- glassy eyed -- coming apart.

                         GONZO
            I hate to say this, but this place
            is getting to me.  I think I'm
            getting The Fear.

                         DUKE
            Nonsense.  We came here to find the
            American Dream, and now we're right
            in the vortex you want to quit.
            You must realize that we've found
            the Main Nerve.

                         GONZO
            That's what gives me The Fear.

                         DUKE
            Look over there.  Two women fucking
            a Polar Bear.

                         GONZO
            Please, don't tell me those things...
            Not now.
                   (signals the waitress
                   for two Wild Turkeys)
            This is my last drink.  How much
            money can you lend me?

                         DUKE
            Not much.  Why?

                         GONZO
            I have to go.

                         DUKE
            GO?

                                                           37.


                         GONZO
            Yes.  Leave the country.  Tonight.

                         DUKE
            Calm down.  You'll be straight in a
            few hours.

                         GONZO
            No.  This is serious.  One more
            hour in this town and I'll kill
            somebody!

                         DUKE
            OK.  I'll lend you some money.
            Let's go outside and see how much
            we have left.

                         GONZO
            Can we make it?

                         DUKE
            That depends on how many people we
            fuck with between here and the door.

                         GONZO
            I want to leave fast.

                         DUKE
            OK.  Lets pay this bill and get up
            very slowly.  It's going to be a
            long walk.
                   (signals waitress who
                   comes over)


                         GONZO
                   (suddenly to waitress)
            Do they pay you to screw that bear?

                         WAITRESS
            What?

                         DUKE
            He's just kidding.
                   (to GONZO)
            Come on, Doc -- lets go downstairs
            and gamble.

GONZO trembles with fear -- walks to the edge of the
turntable.

                         GONZO
            When does this thing stop?

                                                           38.


                         DUKE
            It won't stop.  It's not ever going
            to stop.

DUKE carefully steps off the turntable.

GONZO, eyes staring blindly ahead, squiting in fear and
confusion, rooted to the spot, is carried away.

                         DUKE
            Don't move you'll come around.

DUKE reaches out to grab GONZO, who jumps back -- keeps
going around.

The BARTENDER narrows his eyes at them.

DUKE steps onto the merry-go-round -- hurries round the
bar -- approaching GONZO from the blind side and shoves
GONZO from behind.  GONZO goes down with a hellish scream.
DUKE approaches him with his hands in the air.  Smiling.

                         DUKE
            You fell.  Let's go.

GONZO refuses to move and stands tense, fists clenched,
looking for somebody to hit...an old woman perhaps?

                         DUKE (CONT'D)
            OK.  You stay here and go to jail.
            I'm leaving.

DUKE walks fast towards the stairs.  GONZO catches up with
him.

                         GONZO
            Did you see that?  Some sonofabitch
            kicked me in the back.

                         DUKE
            Probably the bartender.  He wanted
            to stomp you for what you said to
            the waitress.

                         GONZO
            Good God!  Let's get out of here!
            Where's the elevator?

                         DUKE
                   (turning him in the
                   opposite direction)
            Don't go near that elevator.
            That's just what they want us to
            do... trap us in a steel box and
            take us down to the basement.

                                                           39.


EXT. BAZOOKO CIRCUS CASINO - NIGHT

DUKE and GONZO stumble out of the entrance.

                         DUKE
            Don't run.  They'd like any excuse
            to shoot us.

                         GONZO
                   (in an extended fall)
            You drive!  I think there's
            something wrong with me.

INT. MINT HOTEL CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THEIR SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE AND GONZO RUN MADLY DOWN THE CORRIDOR... DUKE TAKING
CARE NOT TO STEP ON THE PATTERNED PART OF THE CARPET.

GONZO STRUGGLES with the key in the lock.

                         GONZO
            Those bastards have changed the
            lock on us.  They probably searched
            the room.  Jesus, we're finished!

The door SUDDENLY SWINGS OPEN.  DUKE AND GONZO fall inside.

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

                         GONZO
            Bolt everything!  Use all chains!

DUKE locks the door.  The suite is crowded with ROOM SERVICE
GOODIES.  DUKE turns to see GONZO staring at two hotel room
keys.  EVERYTHING STOPS.

                         GONZO
            Where did this one come from?

DUKE snatches a key.

                         DUKE
            That's Lacerda's room.

GONZO smiles a slow smile...

                         GONZO
            Yeah... I thought we might need it...

                         DUKE
            What for?

GONZO snatches the key back.

                                                           40.


                         GONZO
            Let's go up there and blast him out
            of bed with the fire hose.

                         DUKE
            No, we should leave the poor
            bastard alone.  I get the feeling
            that he's avoiding us for some
            reason.

                         GONZO
            Don't kid yourself.  That Portuguese
            son of a bitch is dangerous.  He's
            watching us like a hawk.

                         DUKE
            He told me he was turning in early...

GONZO utters an anguished cry -- slaps the wall with both
hands.

                         GONZO
            That dirty bastard!  I knew it!
            He's got hold of my woman!

                         DUKE
                   (laughing)
            That little blonde groupie with the
            film crew?  You think he sodomized
            her?

                         GONZO
            That's right, laugh about it!  You
            goddamn honkies are all the same!

GONZO SLASHES A GRAPEFRUIT with a HUGE RAZOR SHARP HUNTING
KNIFE.  DUKE blanches.

                         DUKE
            Where'd you get that knife?

GONZO SLICES THE GRAPEFRUIT -- MANIACAL.

                         GONZO
            Room service sent it up.  I wanted
            something to cut the limes.

GONZO SLICES THE GRAPEFRUIT -- INTO EIGHTHS!

                         DUKE
            What limes?

GONZO SLICES -- SIXTEENTHS!

                                                           41.


                         GONZO
            They didn't have any.  They don't
            grow in the desert.

SLICE!  SLICE!  SLICE!

                         GONZO
            That dirty toad bastard!  I knew I
            should have taken him out when I
            had the chance.  Now he has her.

SLICE!  SLICE!  SLICE!  GONZO SLASHES INSANELY!

DUKE watches -- straight-faced.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I remember the girl.  We'd had a
            problem with her in the elevator a
            few hours earlier: my attention had
            made a fool of himself.

INT. ELEVATOR - DAY (FLASHBACK)

An elevator door opens to reveal the SMILING FACES OF
LACERDA, THE BLONDE TV REPORTER AND HER CREW.

DUKE and GONZO stagger in.

LACERDA drops his smile.  He's standing beside the BLONDE TV
REPORTER.  A trembling GONZO moonily turns his eyes onto her.

                         BLONDE TV REPORTER
                   (to Gonzo)
            You must be a rider.  What class
            are you in?

                         GONZO
            Class?  What the fuck do you mean?

                         BLONDE TV REPORTER
            What do you ride?  We're filming
            the race for a TV series -- maybe
            we can use you.

                         GONZO
            Use me?

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Mother of God, I thought.  Here it
            comes.

GONZO is TREMBLING BADLY.  There's a moment of uncomfortable
silence.

                                                           42.


                         GONZO
                   (suddenly shouting)
            I ride the BIG ONES!  The really
            BIG fuckers!

GONZO shows his teeth to LACERDA.  DUKE laughs trying to
defuse the scene.

                         DUKE
            The Vincent Black Shadow.  We're
            with the Factory Team.

                         TV CAMERAMAN
            Bullshit.

GONZO stills -- becomes dangerous -- zeros in on the TV
CAMERAMAN -- groin to groin...

                         GONZO
            Wait a minute, pardon me lady, but
            I think there's some kind of
            ignorant chicken-sucker in this car
            who needs his face cut open.  You
            cheap honky faggots!  Which one of
            you wants to get cut?!

DEAD SILENCE.

Ding!  The elevator door opens, but nobody moves.  The door
closes.

Next floor.  Ding!  The door opens again.  A middle-aged
couple start to get in.  Change their minds.  The door closes.

INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

DUKE and GONZO run down the corridor.  GONZO LAUGHS WILDLY.

                         GONZO
            Spooked!  They were spooked!  Like
            rats in a death cage!

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - DAY

DUKE and GONZO CRASH into their hotel suite -- BOLT THE DOOR.
GONZO stops laughing.

                         GONZO
            Goddamn.  It's serious now.  That
            girl understood.  She fell in love
            with me.

END FLASHBACK.

                                                           43.


INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

SLICE!  SLICE!  SLICE!  GONZO with the BIG HUNTING KNIFE --
sliced grapefruit segments everywhere.

                         GONZO
            Let's go up there and castrate that
            fucker!

GONZO pauses -- A MAD THOUGHT -- turns to DUKE.

                         GONZO
                   (squinting suspiciously)
            Have you made a deal with him?  Did
            you put him on to her?

                         DUKE
                   (backing slowly
                   towards the door)
            Look you better put that blade away
            and get your head straight.  I have
            to put the car in the lot.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            One of the things you learn, after
            years of dealing with drug people,
            is that you can turn your back on a
            person, but never turn your back on
            a drug.  Especially when it's
            waving a razor-sharp hunting knife
            in your eyes.

INT. CASINO/LOBBY MINT HOTEL

The MAGAZINE REPORTER is on the telephone.

                         MAGAZINE REPORTER
            Las Vegas at dawn.  The racers are
            still asleep, the dust is still on
            the desert, fifty thousand dollars
            in prize money, slumbers darkly in
            the office safe at Del Webb's
            fabulous Mint Hotel...

DUKE walks past the REPORTER -- into THE CASINO, THE SAD,
MEAGRE CROWDS AROUND THE CRAP TABLES.  No joy.  DUKE watches.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Who are these people?  These faces!
            Where do they come from?  They look
            like caricatures of used car
            dealers from Dallas.
                         (MORE)

                                                           44.


                         DUKE (V/O; CONT'D)
            And, sweet Jesus, there are a hell
            of a lot of them at four-thirty on
            a Monday morning.  Still humping
            the American dream, that vision of
            the big winner somehow emerging
            from the last minute predawn chaos
            of a stale Vegas casino.

DUKE stops at the Money Wheel, puts down a two dollar bill
on a number, the wheel turns, he loses.

                         DUKE
            You bastards!

                         DUKE (V/O)
            No.  Calm down.  Learn to ENJOY
            losing.

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE walks back into the room.  We hear the LOUD STRAINS OF
THREE DOG NIGHT'S "JOY TO THE WORLD."

He walks to the bathroom and opens the door.

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE BATHROOM - NIGHT

Submerged in green water, GONZO WALLOWS in the steaming tub.
Soap labels and grapefruit rinds float on the surface.  A
large empty pack of Neutrogena soap lies on the floor.  The
shower is on -- the tub overflowing.  THE TAPE RECORDER
PLAYS, from where it's plugged into the razor socket over
the sink.

DUKE turns off the shower -- notices a HUGE HUNK OF CHEWED
UP WHITE BLOTTER.

                         DUKE
            You ate ALL THIS ACID?

No answer.

                         DUKE
                   (turning down the volume)
            You evil son of a bitch.  You
            better hope there's some Thorazine
            in that bag, because if there's
            not, you're in bad trouble.

                         GONZO
            Music!  Turn it up.  Put that tape
            on.

                                                           45.


                         DUKE
            What tape?

                         GONZO
            Jefferson Airplane. "White Rabbit."
            I want a rising sound.

                         DUKE
            You're doomed.  I'm leaving here in
            two hours and then they're going to
            come up here and beat the mortal
            shit out of you with big saps.
            Right there in that tub.

                         GONZO
            I dig my own graves.  Green water
            and the White Rabbit.  Put it on.

                         DUKE
            OK.  But do me one last favor, will
            you.  Can you give me two hours?
            That's all I ask -- just two hours
            to sleep before tomorrow.  I
            suspect it's going to be a very
            difficult day.

He switches on the tape. "WHITE RABBIT" begins to build.

                         GONZO
                   (coolly)
            Of course, I'm your attorney, I'll
            give you all the time you need, at
            my normal rates: $45 an hour -- but
            you'll be wanting a cushion, so,
            why don't you just lay one of those
            $100 bills down there beside the
            radio, and fuck off?

                         DUKE
            How about a check?

                         GONZO
            Whatever's right.

DUKE moves the radio as far from the tub as he can and
leaves, closing the door behind him.

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE goes across to the sofa and crashes -- exhausted.
Suddenly a great ripping and crashing noise in the bathroom.

                         GONZO (V/O)
            Help!  You bastard!  I need help!

                                                           46.


DUKE JUMPS up -- crosses to the bathroom door, muttering.

                         DUKE
            Shit, he's killing himself!

INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

DUKE RUSHES IN.  GONZO flails -- trying to reach the radio
with the shower curtain pole which he has ripped from its
mounts.

                         GONZO
                   (snarling)
            I want that fucking radio!

DUKE GRABS THE RADIO.

                         DUKE
            Don't touch it!  Get back in that
            tub!

                         GONZO
            Back the tape up.  I need it again!
            Let it roll!  Just as high as the
            fucker can go!  And when it comes
            to that fantastic note where the
            rabbit bites its own head off, I
            want you to THROW THAT FUCKING
            RADIO INTO THE TUB WITH ME!

DUKE stares down at GONZO.

                         DUKE
            Not me.  It would blast you through
            the wall -- stone dead in ten
            seconds and they'd make me explain
            it!

                         GONZO
            BULLSHIT!  Don't make me use this.

HIS ARM LASHES OUT OF THE WATER, HOLDING THE KNIFE.

                         DUKE
            Jesus.

                         GONZO
            Do it!  I want to get HIGHER!

DUKE considers this.  He's had enough.

                                                           47.


                         DUKE
            Okay.  You're right.  This is
            probably the only solution.
                   (holds the PLUGGED IN
                   TAPE/RADIO over the tub)
            Let me make sure I have it all
            lined up.  You want me to throw
            this thing into the tub when "WHITE
            RABBIT" peaks.  Is that it?

GONZO falls back into the water, smiling gratefully.

                         GONZO
            Fuck yes.  I was beginning to think
            I was going to have to go out and
            get one of the goddamn maids to do
            it.

                         DUKE
            Are you ready?

He switches "WHITE RABBIT" back on.  GONZO HOWLS AND MOANS
AND THRASHES TO THE MUSIC, straining to get over the top.

Meanwhile, DUKE picks up a grapefruit from the sink -- a
good two-pounder, he gets a grip on it... and when "WHITE
RABBIT" peaks... HE HURLS IT INTO THE TUB LIKE A CANNONBALL.

GONZO SCREAMS CRAZILY, THRASHING AND CHURNING -- CAUSING A
TIDAL WAVE.

DUKE JERKS THE RADIO CABLE OUT OF THE SOCKET -- SLAMS OUT OF
THE BATHROOM.

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE slumps onto the sofa.

SILENCE.

GONZO RIPS OPEN THE BATHROOM DOOR, his eyes unfocused.  HE
WAVES THE RAZOR SHARP BLADE out in front of him -- LUNGES at
DUKE.  DUKE WHIPS OUT A CAN OF MACE.

                         DUKE
            MACE!  YOU WANT THIS?

GONZO stops -- hisses.

                         GONZO
            You bastard!  You'd do that,
            wouldn't you?

                                                           48.


                         DUKE
                   (laughs)
            Why worry?  You'll like it.  Nothing
            in the world like a Mace high.
            Forty-five minutes on your knees
            with the dry heaves...

                         GONZO
            You cheap honky sonofabitch...

                         DUKE
            Why not?  Hell, just a minute ago,
            you were asking me to kill you!
            And now you want to kill me!  What
            I should do, goddamnit, is call the
            police!

                         GONZO
            The cops?

                         DUKE
            There's no choice.  I wouldn't dare
            go to sleep with you wandering
            around with a head full of acid and
            wanting to slice me up with that
            goddamn knife!

                         GONZO
                   (mumbles)
            Who said anything about slicing you
            up?  I just wanted to carve a
            little Z on your forehead.  Nothing
            serious.

GONZO shrugs and reaches for a cigarette on top of the TV set.

                         DUKE
                   (menaces him with the MACE)
            Get back in that tub.  Eat some
            reds and try to calm down.  Smoke
            some grass, shoot some smack --
            shit, do whatever you have to do,
            but let me get some rest.

GONZO turns toward the bathroom -- suddenly sad.

                         GONZO
            Hell, yes.  You really need some
            sleep.  You have to work.  Goddamn.
            What a bummer.  Try to rest.  Don't
            let me keep you up.

                                                           49.


GONZO shuffles back into the bathroom.  DUKE wedges a chair
up against the bathroom doorknob and puts the mace can next
to the clock.

DUKE turns on the TV.  WHITE NOISE FILLS THE ROOM.  He
collapses onto the sofa and lights up his lightbulb as pipe.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Ignore the nightmare in the bathroom.
            Just another ugly refugee from the
            Love Generation.

The WHITE NOISE snow storm on the TV is reflected in his
face.  The camera pulls back revealing THE ENTIRE WALL
BEHIND HIM TO BE SWIRLING WITH THE FIZZING SNOWSTORM PATTERN.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            My attorney had never been able to
            accept the notion -- often espoused
            by former drug abusers -- that you
            can get a lot higher without drugs
            than with them.  And neither have
            I, for that matter.

The pattern on the wall changes to A 60'S VISCOUS OIL
LIGHTSHOW PATTERN.  With DUKE still sitting in the
foreground, the projected image widens to reveal the interior
of A HAIGHT ASHBURY DANCE HALL full of DANCING PROTO-HIPPIES.

INT. MATRIX CLUB - NIGHT

A slightly YOUNGER DUKE moves through the throng.  All the
action is in a DREAMLIKE SLOW-MOTION.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I recall one night in the Matrix.
            There I was -- a victim of the Drug
            Explosion.  A natural street freak,
            just eating whatever came by.

A ROAD-PERSON with a big pack on his back is shouting.  The
sound of his voice, like his movements, is in slow-motion.

                         ROAD-PERSON
            Anybody want some L...S...D...?  I
            got all the makin's right here.
            All I need is a place to cook.

The camera pushes right into the ROAD-PERSON's mouth.

INT. MATRIX MEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Still in slow motion, the YOUNGER DUKE is trying to eat a
HUGE SPANSULE OF ACID.  With difficulty.

                                                           50.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            I decided to eat only half at first.
            Good thinking.  But I spilled the
            rest on the sleeve of my red
            Pendleton shirt.

DUKE stares at his sleeve, uncertain what to do.  C/U of the
door to the men's room as a MUSICIAN enters speaking in
slow-motion.

                         MUSICIAN
            What's the trouble?

                         DUKE
                   (also in slow-motion)
            Well, all this white stuff on my
            sleeve is LSD.

The MUSICIAN approaches and looks down at DUKE'S arm.  A
long pause.

Cut back to tight shot of door as it opens and a very clean-
cut, PREPPY, STOCKBROKER TYPE enters.  He freezes in horror.
We cut to his POV.  DUKE is standing in the middle of the
men's room with the MUSICIAN hunkered down at his side...
sucking on his sleeve.  A very gross tableau.  The
STOCKBROKER slowly eases out of the room.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            With a bit of luck his life was
            ruined -- forever thinking that
            just behind some narrow door in all
            his favorite bars, men in red
            Pendleton shirts are getting
            incredible kicks from things he'll
            never know.

INT. A BAR - YEARS LATER - NIGHT

The STOCKBROKER LOOKING CONSIDERABLY OLDER sits looking
lost, confused, a nervous wreck.  The image flares out in a
TV white noise snowstorm.

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE sits staring at the TV.

                                                           51.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            Strange memories on this nervous
            night in Las Vegas.
                   (he gets up, pours
                   himself a drink)
            Has it been five years?  Six?  It
            seems like a lifetime -- the kind
            of peak that never comes again.
            San Francisco in the middle sixties
            was a very special time and place
            to be a part of.  But no
            explanation, no mix of words or
            music or memories can touch that
            sense of knowing that you were
            there and alive in that corner of
            time and the world.  Whatever it
            meant.

DUKE throws open the curtains.  Light streams in.

EXT. 1965 STOCK FOOTAGE

We are in SAN FRANCISCO.  IMAGES OF THE TIME FLOOD IN.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            THERE WAS MADNESS IN ANY DIRECTION,
            AT ANY HOUR... YOU COULD STRIKE
            SPARKS ANYWHERE.  THERE WAS A
            FANTASTIC UNIVERSAL SENSE THAT
            WHATEVER WE WERE DOING WAS RIGHT,
            THAT WE WERE WINNING.  AND THAT, I
            THINK, WAS THE HANDLE -- THAT SENSE
            OF INEVITABLE VICTORY OVER THE
            FORCES OF OLD AND EVIL.  NOT IN ANY
            MEAN OR MILITARY SENSE; WE DIDN'T
            NEED THAT.  OUR ENERGY WOULD SIMPLY
            prevail.  We had all the momentum;
            we were riding the crest of a high
            and beautiful wave...

DUKE'S FACE IS SUFFUSED WITH A SADNESS AND SERENITY WE HAVE
NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            So now, less than five years later,
            you can go up on a steep hill in
            Las Vegas and look west, and with
            the right kind of eyes you can
            almost see the high water mark --
            that place where the wave finally
            broke and rolled back.

                                                           52.


The memories dissolve into the night skyline of Vegas.
Suddenly towering over the casinos is a 200 foot high Nazi
shouting "WOODSTOCK ÜBER ALLES!"

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE closes the curtain.  The room is in darkness again.

INT. MINT HOTEL SUITE - DAWN

A harsh door buzzer.  DUKE jerks awake.  Alone.  Looking
like shit.  Around him is the wreckage of their stay.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The decision to flee came suddenly.
            Or maybe not.

DUKE opens the door to a BELL BOY with a trolley load of
fruit, drinks and flowers... and a smile.

                         BELL BOY
            Room service!

The BELL BOY wheels the trolley across the room -- already
stacked with EVEN MORE BOXES OF GOODIES.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Maybe I'd planned it all along --
            subconsciously waiting for the
            right moment.  The bill was a
            factor, I think.  Because I had no
            money to pay for it.

DUKE slams the door -- starts FRANTICALLY PACKING.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Our room service tabs had been
            running somewhere between $29 and
            $36 per hour, for forty-eight
            consecutive hours.  Incredible.
            How could it happen?

DUKE sees the DISCARDED WRAPPINGS OF EXPENSIVE, HAND TOOLED
LUGGAGE.  A sudden thought.  He rushes to GONZO's room --
empty.  His plastic briefcase remains on the bed...

                         DUKE (V/O)
            But by the time I asked this
            question, there was no one around
            to answer.

DUKE opens the briefcase -- finds the .357 MAGNUM inside.

                                                           53.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            My attorney was gone.  He must have
            sensed trouble.

                                            QUICK CUT TO:

EXT. LAS VEGAS AIRPORT - DAY

GONZO WAVES GOODBYE as he boards an airplane with a set of
brand-new fine cowhide luggage.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Panic.

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE HOTEL SUITE - DAY

DUKE emerges with his bag and Gonzo's plastic briefcase --
leaves the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door -- checks both
ways, then hurries away down the corridor.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            It crept up my spine like first
            rising vibes of an acid frenzy.
            All these horrible realities began
            to dawn on me.

INT. MINT HOTEL ELEVATOR - DAY

An anxiety ridden DUKE watches the floor numbers as the
elevator descends.  He searches his pockets...

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Here I was, alone in Las Vegas,
            with this goddamned incredibly
            expensive car, completely twisted
            on drugs, no cash, no story for the
            magazine.  And on top of everything
            else I had a gigantic goddamn hotel
            bill to deal with.

DUKE finds a last crumpled $5 bill.

The door opens.  A SECURITY GUARD enters with an OLD LADY IN
HANDCUFFS.

DUKE hides the bill -- crams back into the corner.  Doors
close.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I didn't even know who had won the
            race.  Maybe nobody.

                                                           54.


INT. MINT HOTEL LOBBY - DAY

DUKE hurries out of the elevator -- eyes on a hovering
MANAGER.  Past the curious look of the reception CLERK.

                         DUKE
                   (muttering to himself)
            How would Horatio Alger have
            handled this situation?

EXT. MINT HOTEL - DAY

Motoring, DUKE gives his $5 bill to the HOTEL FRONT DOORMAN
with a smile.  The DOORMAN blows a frantic whistle and waves
at the CAR BOY.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Stay calm.  Stay calm.  I'm a
            relatively respectable citizen -- a
            multiple felon, perhaps, but
            certainly not dangerous.

The CAR BOY pulls up with a screech.  DUKE jumps in.  The
back seat is stacked with bars of Neutrogena, piles of Mint
400 t-shirts, boxes of grapefruit.

                         DUKE (V/O CONT'D)
            Luckily, I had taken the soap and
            grapefruit and other luggage out to
            the car a few hours earlier.  Now
            it was only a matter of slipping
            the noose...

DUKE shifts into drive.  Deliverance!

                         CLERK'S VOICE
            MR. DUKE!

DUKE freezes.

                         CLERK'S VOICE
            Mr. Duke!  We've been looking for
            you!

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The game was up!  They had me.

                         DUKE
                   (to himself)
            Well, why not?  Many fine books
            have been written in prison.

                                                           55.


Resigned, DUKE turns off the ignition.  A young CLERK
arrives breathlessly with a smile and a YELLOW LETTER IN HIS
HAND.

                         CLERK
            Sir?
                   (thrusts out a TELEGRAM)
            This telegram came for you.
            Actually, it isn't for you.  It's
            for somebody named Thompson, but it
            says 'care of Raoul Duke'.  does
            that make sense?

                         DUKE
                   (barely able to speak)
            Yes... It makes sense.

DUKE stuffs the telegram into his top pocket.

The CLERK peers into the car -- sees part of the enormous
stash inside.

                         CLERK
            I checked the register for this man
            Thompson.  We don't show him but I
            figured he might be part of your
            team.

                         DUKE
            He is.  Don't worry, I'll get it to
            him.

He fires up the engine -- eases the RED SHARK into low gear.

SECURITY GUARDS are looking across -- sharing a quiet word
or two.

                         CLERK
            What confused us was Dr. Gonzo's
            signature on the telegram from Los
            Angeles.  When we knew he was right
            here in the hotel.

                         DUKE
            You did the right thing.  Never try
            to understand a press message.
            About half the time we use codes --
            especially with Dr. Gonzo.

                         CLERK
            Tell me.  When will the doctor be
            awake?

                                                           56.


                         DUKE
                   (tenses)
            Awake?  What do you mean?

DUKE's eyes are on the SECURITY GUARDS -- moving closer.

                         CLERK
                   (uncomfortably)
            Well... the manager, Mr. Heem,
            would like to meet him.  Nothing
            unusual.  Mr. Heem likes to meet
            all our large accounts... put them
            on a personal basis... just a chat
            and a handshake, you understand.

                         DUKE
            Of course.  But if I were you, I'd
            leave the Doctor alone until after
            he's eaten breakfast.  He's a very
            crude man.

DUKE edges the car forward, but is stopped by the CLERK.

                         CLERK
            But he will be available?  Perhaps
            later this morning?

                         DUKE
            Look.  That telegram was all
            scrambled.  It was actually from
            Thompson, not to him.  Western
            Union must have gotten the names
            reversed.  I have to get going.  I
            have to get out to the track.

                         CLERK
            There's no hurry!  The race is over!

                         DUKE
                   (taking off)
            Not for me.

He waves the CLERK off the car -- roars away.

                         CLERK
            Let's have lunch!

                         DUKE
            Righto!

EXT. ROAD OUT OF VEGAS - DAY

DUKE drives the RED SHARK out of Vegas.

                                                           57.


A "YOU ARE LEAVING LAS VEGAS" sign flashes past.

Bob Dylan plays: "Memphis Blues Again -- "Aaww, Mama, can
this really by the end...?"

A sign: LOS ANGELES -- 400 miles.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Jesus, bad waves of paranoia,
            madness, fear and loathing --
            intolerable vibrations in this
            place.  Get out!  The weasels were
            closing in.  I could smell the ugly
            brutes.  Flee!

DUKE drives fast.

                         DUKE
            Do me one last favor Lord: just
            give me five more high-speed hours
            before you bring the hammer down;
            just let me get rid of this goddamn
            car and off of this horrible desert.

A sign flashes "YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE."

A patrol car pulls out behind him, lights flashing.

                         DUKE (CONT'D)
            You evil bastard!  This is your
            work!  You'd better take care of
            me, Lord... because if you don't
            you're going to have me on your
            hands.

The patrol car screams after the RED SHARK.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Few people understand the psychology
            of dealing with a Highway Traffic
            Cop.  Your normal speeder will
            panic and immediately pull over to
            the side.  This is wrong.

DUKE floors the gas pedal.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            It arouses contempt in the cop heart.

THE SPEEDOMETER CLIMBS STEADILY.

                                                           58.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            Make the bastard chase you.  He
            will follow.  But he won't know
            what to make of your blinker signal
            that says you're about to turn right.

DUKE signals right.  The RED SHARK screams at 120 mph.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            This is to let him know you're
            looking for a proper place to pull
            off and talk.

AN EXIT OFF RAMP: MAX SPEED 25.

DUKE hits the brakes.  The COP brakes.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            It will take him a moment to
            realize that he is about to make
            180 degree turn at speed... but you
            will be ready for it, braced for
            the G's and the fast heel toe work.

The patrol car spins and fishtails crazily out of control.

EXT. SCENIC PICNIC AREA - DAY

The patrol car comes skidding around the corner.  DUKE
stands beside the RED SHARK, completely relaxed and smiling.

The HIGHWAY PATROLMAN gets out of the car, screaming.

                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            Just what the FUCK did you think
            you were doing?!

DUKE smiles.

                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            May I see your license.

                         DUKE
            Of course, officer.

DUKE reaches for it.  And BOTH MEN look down at a beer
can -- which DUKE had, somehow, forgotten was in his hand.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I knew I was fucked.

The COP relaxes -- actually smiles... He reaches out for
DUKE's wallet, then holds out his other hand for the beer.

                                                           59.


                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            Could I have that, please?

                         DUKE
            Why not?  It was getting warm anyway.

The HIGHWAY PATROLMAN takes it, pours out the beer --
glances in the back seat of the RED SHARK.  Amongst the bars
of soap... A case of warm beer.  DUKE smiles back at him.

                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            You realize...

                         DUKE
            Yeah.  I know.  I'm guilty.  I
            understand that.  I knew it was a
            crime but I did it anyway.  Shit,
            why argue?  I'm a fucking criminal.

                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            That's a strange attitude.

He looks at DUKE thoughtfully.

                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            You know -- I get the feeling you
            could use a nap.  There's a rest
            area up ahead.  Why don't you pull
            over and sleep a few hours?

                         DUKE
            A nap won't help.  I've been awake
            for too long -- three or four
            nights.  I can't even remember.  If
            I go to sleep now, I'm dead for
            twenty hours.

The HIGHWAY PATROLMAN smiles.

                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            Okay.  Here's how it is.  What goes
            into my book, as of noon, is that I
            apprehended you... for driving too
            fast, and advised you to proceed no
            further than the next rest area...
            your stated destination, right?
            Where you plan to take a long nap.
            Do I make myself clear?

                         DUKE
            How far is Baker?  I was hoping to
            stop there for lunch.

                                                           60.


                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            Not my jurisdiction.  The city
            limits are two point two miles
            beyond the rest area.  Can you make
            it that far?

                         DUKE
            I'll try.  I've been wanting to go
            to Baker for a long time.  I've
            heard a lot about it.

The PATROLMAN holds the door for DUKE who gets in.

                         HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
            Excellent seafood.  With a mind
            like yours, you'll probably want to
            try the land-crab.  Try the Majestic
            Diner.

The PATROLMAN slams the door shut.

EXT. DESERT ROAD - DAY

DUKE drives away -- teeth gritted.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I felt raped.  The Pig had done me
            on all fronts, and now he was going
            off to chuckle about it -- on the
            west side of town, waiting for me
            to make a run for L.A.

DUKE drives past the rest area to an intersection where he
signals to turn right into Baker.  As he approaches the turn
he sees the HITCHHIKER!  As DUKE slows to make the turn
their eyes meet.  DUKE is about to wave -- but the HITCHHIKER
drops his thumb.

                         DUKE
            Great Jesus, it's him.

DUKE, spooked, SPINS THE RED SHARK round -- ROARS BACK THE
WAY HE CAME.

EXT. BAKER TRUCK STOP - DAY

DUKE on the public phone booth -- screaming.

                         DUKE
            They've nailed me!  I'm trapped in
            some stinking desert crossroads
            called Baker.  I don't have much
            time.  The fuckers are closing in.
            They'll hunt me down like a beast!

                                                           61.


INT. GONZO'S OFFICE - DAY

GONZO sits surrounded by legal papers and law books.  Mexican
Day of the Dead masks hang from the walls -- flame-red demons.

                         GONZO
            Who?  You sound a little paranoid.

EXT. BAKER TRUCK STOP - DAY

DUKE screams -- sweat pouring.

                         DUKE
            You bastard!  I need a lawyer
            immediately!

INT. GONZO'S OFFICE - DAY

                         GONZO
            What are you doing in Baker?
            Didn't you get my telegram?

EXT. BAKER TRUCK STOP - DAY

                         DUKE
            What?  Fuck telegrams.  I'm in
            trouble.  You worthless bastard.
            I'll cripple your ass for this!
            All that shit in the car is yours!
            You understand that?  When I finish
            testifying out here you'll be
            disbarred!

INT. GONZO'S OFFICE - DAY

                         GONZO
            You're supposed to be in Vegas.  We
            have a suite at the Flamingo.  I
            was just about to leave for the
            airport.

INT. BAKER TRUCK STOP - DAY

DUKE pulls out the telegram from his top pocket.

                         GONZO'S VOICE
            You brainless scumbag!  You're
            supposed to be covering the National
            District Attorney's conference!  I
            made all the reservations... rented
            a white Cadillac convertible... the
            whole thing is arranged!  What the
            hell are you doing out there in the
            middle of the fucking desert?

                                                           62.


DUKE stares at the telegram.

                         DUKE
            Never mind.  It's all a big joke.
            I'm actually sitting beside the
            pool at the Flamingo.  I'm talking
            from a portable phone.  Some dwarf
            brought it out from the casino.  I
            have total credit!  Can you grasp
            that?
                   (shouts)
            Don't come anywhere near this place!
            Foreigners aren't welcome here!

DUKE, breathing heavily, hangs up phone.

EXT. DESERT - DAY

C/U of .357 Magnum cylinder being spun.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Well.  This is how the world works.

C/U An IGUANA basks in the sun.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            All energy flows according to the
            whims of the Great Magnet.

C/U Barrel of the gun.  It fires.  An explosion of desert
dirt.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            What a fool I was to defy Him.

The IGUANA sits unfazed.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Never cross the Great Magnet.  I
            understood this now...
                   (another blast from
                   the gun)
            ... and with understanding came a
            sense of almost terminal relief.

DUKE stands alone in the vast desert firing at nothing, the
thuds of the explosions echo away.

EXT. ROAD INTO VEGAS - DAY

The RED SHARK driving back towards Las Vegas.

                                                           63.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            I had to get rid of The Shark.  Too
            many people might recognize it...
            ...especially the Vegas Police.
                   (tight C/U of DUKE)
            Luckily, my credit card was still
            technically valid.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL:

DUKE, now driving a white Cadillac Coupe de Ville -- THE
WHITE WHALE.

DUKE pushes buttons -- lowers the top.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            This was a superior machine -- ten
            grand worth of gimmicks and high
            price special effects.  The rear
            windows leapt up with a touch like
            frogs in a dynamited pond.  The
            dashboard was full of esoteric
            lights and dials and meters that I
            would never understand.

EXT. FLAMINGO HOTEL - AFTERNOON

A GIANT SIGN: THE FLAMINGO WELCOMES THE NATIONAL DA'S
CONFERENCE ON NARCOTICS & DANGEROUS DRUGS.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            If the Pigs were gathering in
            Vegas, I felt the Drug Culture
            should be represented as well...
            and there was a certain bent appeal
            in the notion of running a savage
            burn on one Las Vegas hotel and
            then just wheeling across town and
            checking into another.

The WHITE WHALE turns into a VIP parking slot, immediately
attended by impressed MINIONS.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Me and a thousand ranking cops from
            all over America.  Why not?  Move
            confidently into their midst.

INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL LOBBY - AFTERNOON

DUKE enters -- old Levis, grubby sneakers, 10 peso Acapulco
shirt coming apart at the seams, 3 day growth, eyes hidden
behind mirror shades.  He heads for the check-in line.

                                                           64.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            My arrival was badly timed.

THE PLACE IS FULL OF COPS.  200 of them, on vacation, all
dressed in cut price Vegas casuals: plaid Bermuda shorts,
Arnie Palmer golf shirts, and rubberized beach sandals.

Ahead of DUKE -- A POLICE CHIEF argues with the DESK CLERK.
The POLICE CHIEF'S AGNEW STYLE WIFE stands to the side,
weeping.  The POLICE CHIEF'S FRIENDS stand uneasily around.

                         POLICE CHIEF
            What do you mean I'm too late to
            register?  I'm a police chief.
            From Michigan.  Look, fella, I told
            you.
                   (waves a POSTCARD)
            I have a postcard here that says I
            have reservations in this hotel.

                         CLERK
                   (prissily)
            I'm sorry, sir.  You're on the
            "late list." Your reservations were
            transferred to the... ah...
            Moonlight Motel, which is out on
            Paradise Boulevard...

                         POLICE CHIEF
            I've already paid for my goddamn
            room!

                         CLERK
            It's actually a very fine place of
            lodging and only sixteen blocks
            from here, with its own pool and...

                         POLICE CHIEF
            You dirty little faggot!  Call the
            manager!  I'm tired of listening to
            this dogshit!

FRIENDS restrain the POLICE CHIEF.

                         CLERK
                   (solicitously)
            I'm so sorry, sir.  May I call you
            a cab?

The POLICE CHIEF's screamed insults fade away...

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Of course, I could hear what the
            Clerk was really saying...

                                                           65.


                         CLERK
                   (IN DUKE'S IMAGINATION)
            Listen, you fuzzy little shithead --
            I've been fucked around, in my
            time, by a fairly good cross-
            section of mean-tempered rule-crazy
            cops and now it's MY turn. "Fuck
            you, officer, I'm in charge here,
            and I'm telling you we don't have
            room for you."

DUKE steps to the desk, around the raging POLICE CHIEF.

                         DUKE
            Say.  I hate to interrupt, but I
            wonder if maybe I could just sort
            of slide through and get out of
            your way.  Name's Raoul Duke --
            Raoul Duke.  My attorney made the
            reservation.

DUKE snaps a credit card down onto the counter.  EVERYONE
goes silent.  The POLICE CHIEF GROUP stares at him like he
was some kid of water rat crawling up to the desk.  The
CLERK hits the bell for the BELLBOY.

                         CLERK
            Certainly, Mr. Duke!

                         DUKE
            My bags are out there in that white
            Cadillac convertible.  Can you have
            someone drive it around to the room?

ALL EYES turn to the gleaming WHITE WHALE.

                         DUKE
            Oh, and could I get a quart of Wild
            Turkey, two fifths of Baccardi, and
            a night's worth of ice delivered to
            my room, please?

                         CLERK
            Don't worry about a thing, sir.
            Just enjoy your stay.

                         DUKE
            Well, thank you.

DUKE gives the POLICE CHIEF a polite smile -- crosses to the
elevator -- turns to face the GAWPING COPS -- pops a can of
beer and toasts them.  The doors close.

                                                           66.


INT. HOTEL FLAMINGO - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE SUITE - DAY

DUKE rams the key home -- swings the door open.

                         DUKE
            Ah, home at last!

INT. HOTEL FLAMINGO SUITE - AFTERNOON

DUKE enters.  The door hits something with a thud.

A 16-year-old GIRL with the aura of an angry Pit Bull.

GONZO stands in the bathroom doorway -- stark naked with a
drug-addled grin on his face.

                         DUKE
            You degenerate pig!

                         GONZO
            It can't be helped.  This is Lucy.
                   (laughing distractedly)
            You know--like "Lucy In The Sky
            With Diamonds."

LUCY eyes DUKE venomously.

                         GONZO
            Lucy!  Lucy, be cool, goddamnit!
            Remember what happened at the
            airport!  No more of that, okay?

LUCY keeps her eyes on DUKE.  GONZO idles over and puts his
arm round her shoulder.

                         GONZO
            Lucy... this is my client.  This is
            Mr. Duke, the famous journalist.
            He's paying for this suite, Lucy.
            He's on our side.

DUKE flops onto the sofa.

                         GONZO
            Mr. Duke is my friend.  He loves
            artists.

DUKE notices for the first time that the room is full of
artwork.  Maybe 40 or 50 portraits, some in oil, some in
charcoal, all more or less the same size and same face.

                         GONZO
            Lucy paints portraits of Barbra
            Streisand.

                                                           67.


                         LUCY
            I drew these from TV.

                         GONZO
            Fantastic.  She came all the way
            down here from Montana just to give
            these portraits to Barbra.  We're
            going over to the Americana Hotel
            tonight to meet her backstage...

DUKE's voice rises above GONZO.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I desperately needed peace, rest,
            sanctuary.  I hadn't counted on
            this.  Finding my attorney on acid
            and locked into some kind of
            preternatural courtship.

                         DUKE
            Well, I guess they brought the car
            round by now.  LET'S GET THE STUFF
            OUT OF THE TRUNK.

DUKE fixes GONZO hard.

                         GONZO
            Absolutely, LET'S GET THE STUFF.
                   (to LUCY)
            Now, we'll be right back.  Don't
            answer the phone if it rings.

                         LUCY
                   (makes one-fingered
                   Jesus freak sign)
            God bless.

INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE SUITE - DAY

DUKE collars GONZO -- serious.

                         DUKE
            WELL?  What are your plans?

                         GONZO
            Plans?

                         DUKE
            Lucy.

                                                           68.


                         GONZO
                   (struggling to focus)
            Shit.  I met her on the plane and I
            had all that acid.
                   (he shrugs)
            You know, those little blue barrels.
            I gave her a cap before I realized...
            she's a religious freak... Jesus,
            she's never even had a drink.

                         DUKE
            Well... It'll probably work out.
            We can keep her loaded and peddle
            her ass at the drug convention.

GONZO stares uneasily at DUKE.

                         GONZO
            Listen, she's running away from
            home for something like the fifth
            time in six months.  It's terrible.

                         DUKE
            She's perfect for this gig.  These
            cops will go fifty bucks a head to
            beat her into submission and then
            gang fuck her.  We can set her up
            in one of these back street motels,
            hang pictures of Jesus all over the
            room, then turn these pigs loose on
            her... Hell she's strong; she'll
            hold her own.

GONZO's face twitches badly.

                         GONZO
            Jesus Christ.  I knew you were sick
            but I never expected to hear you
            actually say that kind of stuff.

                         DUKE
            It's straight economics.  This girl
            is a god-send.  Shit, she can make
            us a grand a day.

                         GONZO
            NO!  Stop talking like that.

                         DUKE
            I figure she can do about four at a
            time.  Christ, if we keep her full
            of acid that's more like two grand
            a day.  Maybe three.

                                                           69.


                         GONZO
            You filthy bastard.  I should cave
            your fucking head in.

                         DUKE
            In a few hours, she'll probably be
            sane enough to work herself into a
            towering Jesus-based rage at the
            hazy recollection of being seduced
            by some kind of cruel Samoan who
            fed her liquor and LSD, dragged her
            to a Vegas hotel room and savagely
            penetrated every orifice in her
            body with his throbbing,
            uncircumcised member.

GONZO starts crying.

                         GONZO
            NO!  I felt sorry for the girl, I
            wanted to help her!

                         DUKE
            You'll go straight to the gas
            chamber.  And even if you manage to
            beat that, they'll send you back to
            Nevada for Rape and Consensual
            Sodomy.  She's got to go.

Pause.

                         GONZO
            Shit, it doesn't pay to try to help
            somebody these days.

A silence.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The only alternative was to take
            her out to the desert and feed her
            remains to the lizards.  But, it
            seemed a bit heavy for the thing we
            were trying to protect: My attorney.

                         GONZO
            We have to cut her loose.  She's
            got two hundred dollars.  And we
            can always call the cops up there
            in Montana, where she lives, and
            turn her in.

                         DUKE
            What?... What kind of goddamn
            monster are you?

                                                           70.


                         GONZO
            It just occurred to me, that she
            has no witnesses.  Anything that
            she says about us is completely
            worthless.

                         DUKE
            Us?

INT. HOTEL FLAMINGO SUITE - SUNSET

DUKE is speaking into the phone in hushed tones.

                         DUKE
            Hotel Americana?  I need a
            reservation.  For my niece.  Listen,
            I need her treated very gently.
            She's an artist, and might seem a
            trifle highstrung...

In the background GONZO helps LUCY and her paintings out the
door.

                         GONZO
            Okay, Lucy, it's time to go meet
            Barbra...

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I felt like a Nazi, but it had to
            be done.

EXT. ON THE STREETS - A CAB STAND - DUSK

The WHITE WHALE pulls up -- DUKE at the wheel.  GONZO helps
LUCY and her paintings from the car.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Lucy was a potentially fatal
            millstone on both our necks.  There
            was absolutely no choice but to cut
            her adrift and hope her memory was
            fucked.

GONZO unrolls a couple of bills -- pays off a CAB DRIVER --
waves to LUCY in the back with her paintings.  She's starting
to come down...

GONZO gets back in the WHITE WHALE and slaps his hands
together as if washing his hands of the situation.

                         GONZO
            Well that's that.  Take off slowly.
            Don't attract attention.

                                                           71.


They pull out into traffic.

EXT. LAS VEGAS STREETS - DUSK

                         GONZO
            I gave the cabbie an extra ten
            bucks to make sure she gets there
            safe.  Also, I told him I'd be
            there myself in an hour, and if she
            wasn't, I'd come back out here and
            rip his lungs out.

                         DUKE
            That's good.  You can't be subtle
            in this town.

                         GONZO
            As your attorney, I advise you to
            tell me where you put the goddamn
            mescaline.

                         DUKE
            Maybe we should take it easy tonight.

                         GONZO
            Right.  Let's find a good seafood
            restaurant and eat some red salmon.
            I feel a powerful lust for red
            salmon...

The electric WHITE WHALE heads off down the Strip.  The
sun's going down behind the scrub hills, a good Kristofferson
tune croaks on the radio in the warm dusk.

INT. HOTEL FLAMINGO SUITE - BATHROOM - NEXT MORNING

GONZO throws up in the toilet bowl.

In the background, DUKE opens curtains.  Daylight blinds him.

                         DUKE
            Come on, we're going to be late.

GONZO looks up at his sick reflection -- wipes his mouth
with a towel.

                         GONZO
            This goddamn mescaline.  Why the
            fuck can't they make it a little
            less pure?  Maybe mix it up with
            Rolaids or something.

                                                           72.


INT. HOTEL BALLROOM - DAY

                         EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
                   (crackling and
                   booming over the
                   lousy sound system)
            On behalf of the prosecuting
            attorneys of this county, I welcome
            you to the Third National DA's
            Conference on Narcotics and
            Dangerous Drugs.

The EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- well groomed, GOP businessman
type -- speaks from the podium.  A banner behind him reads:
NATIONAL DA'S CONVENTION 1971. "If You Don't Know, Come To
Learn... If You Know, Come To Teach."

A BIG MIXED CROWD: TOP LEVEL STRAIGHT COPS, UNDERCOVER NARCS
AND OTHER TWILIGHT TYPES -- beards, mustaches and super-Mod
dress.  Just because you're a cop, doesn't mean you can't be
WITH IT!  However, for every URBAN-HIPSTER there are around
20 REDNECKS.

A dozen big, low-fidelity speakers mounted on steel poles
distort and feed back the EXECUTIVE's voice through the room.

At the back, under a loudspeaker, sits DUKE -- $40 FBI
wingtips, a Pat Boone madras sportcoat, and an official name
tag: RAOUL DUKE, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR, L.A.

GONZO sits beside him.  His name tag: DR. GONZO.  EXPERT,
CRIMINAL DRUG ANALYSIS.  He's nervous -- close to the edge.

                         GONZO
                   (lowers his voice)
            I saw these bastards in Easy Rider,
            but I didn't believe they were real.
            Not like this.  Not hundreds of them!

                         DUKE
            They're actually nice people when
            you get to know them.

                         GONZO
            Man, I know these people in my
            goddamn blood!

                         DUKE
            Don't mention that word around here.
            You'll get them excited.

                         GONZO
            This is a fucking nightmare.

                                                           73.


                         DUKE
            Right.  Sure as hell some dope-
            dealing bomb freak is going to
            recognize you and put the word out
            that you're partying with a thousand
            cops.

                         COP IN BACK
            SSSSHHH!

DR. BLUMQUIST -- a "drug expert" -- takes the stage.

                         DR. BLUMQUIST
            We must come to terms with the Drug
            Culture in the country... country...
            country...

The sound systems echoes.

                         DR. BLUMQUIST (CONT'D)
            The reefer butt is called a "roach,"
            because it resembles a cockroach...
            cockroach... cockroach...

                         GONZO
                   (whispers)
            What the fuck are these people
            talking about?  You'd have to be
            crazy on acid to think a joint
            looked like a goddamn cockroach!

                         DUKE (V/O)
            It was clear that we had stumbled
            into a prehistoric gathering.

                         DR. BLUMQUIST
            Now, there are four states of being
            in the cannabis, or marijuana,
            society: Cool, Groovy, Hip, and
            Square.  The square is seldom if
            ever cool.  He is not "with it,"
            that is, he doesn't know "what's
            happening." But if he manages to
            figure it out, he moves up a notch
            to "hip."

DUKE and GONZO listen in disbelief.

                         DR. BLUMQUIST (CONT'D)
            And if he can bring himself to
            approve of what is happening, he
            becomes "groovy." After that, with
            much luck and perseverance, he can
            rise to the rank of "cool." A cool
            guy... cool guy... cool guy...

                                                           74.


                         COP IN BACK
            Dr. Bloomquist, do you think the
            anthropologist, Margaret Mead's
            strange behavior of late might
            possibly be explained by a private
            marijuana addiction?

                         DR. BLUMQUIST
            I really don't know, but at her
            age, if she did smoke grass, she'd
            have one hell of a trip!

Roars of laughter.

                         GONZO
            I know a hell of a lot better ways
            to waste my time than listening to
            this bullshit.

He stands, knocking the ashtray off his chair arm, and
plunges down the aisle to the door.

                         COP IN BACK
            Down in front!

                         GONZO
            Fuck you!  I have to get out!  I
            don't belong here!

                         COP IN BACK
            Good riddance!

He stumbles from the room.  DUKE turns his attention back to
the stage.

The lights go down.  A black & white film -- REEFER
MADNESS! -- illustrates his now evangelical talk.

                         FILM NARRATOR
            KNOW YOUR DOPE FIEND!  YOUR LIFE
            MAY DEPEND ON IT!  You will not be
            able to see his eyes because of
            Tea-Shades, but his knuckles will
            be white from inner tension...

DUKE turns his attention to a 340 pound TEXAN POLICE CHIEF
who necks with his 290 pound WIFE beside him.

                         FILM NARRATOR
            ... and his pants will be crusted
            with semen from constantly jacking
            off when he can't find a rape
            victim...

                                                           75.


DUKE gazes at the TEXAN and his WIFE. -- Feigning sickness,
he gets up, hand over mouth.

                         DUKE
            Pardon me, I feel sick.

                         FILM NARRATOR
            He will stagger and babble when
            questioned.  He will not respect
            your badge.  The Dope Fiend fears
            nothing.  He will attack, for no
            reason, with every weapon at his
            command -- including yours...

DUKE heads for the exit.

                         DUKE
            Sorry, sick... Beg pardon!  Feeling
            sick...

                         FILM NARRATOR
            BEWARE.  Any officer apprehending a
            suspected marijuana addict should
            use all necessary force immediately.
            One stitch in time [on him] will
            usually save nine on you.

DUKE CRASHES OUT THROUGH THE DOOR.

INT. CASINO BAR - DAY

DUKE sees GONZO at the bar -- talking to a SPORTY LOOKING
COP about 40 whose name tag identifies him as a DISTRICT
ATTORNEY FROM GEORGIA.

                         DA
            I'm a whiskey man myself.  We don't
            have much trouble from drugs where
            I come from...

                         GONZO
            You will.  One of these nights
            you'll wake up and find a junkie
            tearing your bedroom apart.

                         DA
            Naw!

                         GONZO
            They'll climb right into your
            bedroom and sit on your chest with
            big Bowie knives.  They might even
            sit on your wife's chest.  Put the
            blade right down on her throat.

                                                           76.


                         DA
            Not down in my parts.

DUKE joins them.

                         DUKE
                   (to WAITRESS)
            Rum and ice, please.

                         DA
                   (looks at DUKE'S NAME TAG)
            You're another one of these
            California boys.  Your friend
            here's been tellin' us about dope
            fiends.

                         DUKE
            They're everywhere.  Nobody's safe.
            And sure as hell not in the South.
            They like warm weather... You'd
            never believe it.  In L.A. it's out
            of control.  First it was drugs,
            now it's witchcraft.

                         DA
            Witchcraft?  Shit, you can't mean it!

The BARTENDER cleans his glasses, one ear straining for the
conversation.

                         GONZO
            Read the newspapers.

                         DUKE
            Man, you don't know trouble until
            you have to face down a bunch of
            these addicts gone crazy for human
            sacrifice!

                         DA
            Naw!  That's science fiction stuff!

                         DUKE
            Not where we operate.

                         GONZO
            Hell, in Malibu alone, these
            goddamn Satan worshippers kill six
            or eight people every day.  All
            they want is the blood.  They'll
            take people right off the street if
            they have to.

                                                           77.


                         DUKE
            Just the other day we had a case
            where they grabbed a girl right out
            of a McDonald's hamburger stand.
            She was a waitress, about sixteen
            years old... with a lot of people
            watching, too!

The BARTENDER keeps cleaning the same glass -- more and more
furiously.

                         DA
            What happened?  What did they do to
            her?

                         GONZO
            Do?  Jesus Christ, man.  They
            chopped her goddamn head off right
            there in the parking lot!  Then
            they cut all kinds of holes in her
            head and sucked out the blood!

                         DA
                   (DA ad-libs a
                   summation of the crime)
            And nobody did anything?

                         DUKE
            What could they do?  The guy that
            took the head was about six-seven,
            and maybe three-hundred pounds.  He
            was packing two Lugers, and the
            others had M-16s.

                         GONZO
            They just ran back out into Death
            Valley -- you know, where Manson
            turned up...

                         DUKE
            Like big lizards.

                         GONZO
            ... and every one of them stacked
            naked...

                         DA
            Naked!?

                         DUKE
            Naked.

                                                           78.


                         GONZO
            Yeh, naked!... except for the
            weapons.

                         DUKE
            They were all veterans.

                         DA
            Veterans?!!!?

Agog with the horrors of the story, the BARTENDER polishes
the glass -- faster and faster...

                         GONZO
            Yeh.  The big guy used to be a
            major in the Marines.

                         DA
            A major!

                         GONZO
            We know where he lives, but we
            can't get near the house.

                         DA
            Naw!  Not a major.

                         GONZO
            He wanted the pineal gland.

                         DA
            Really?

                         GONZO
            That's how he got so big.  When he
            quit the Marines he was just a
            little guy.

                         DUKE
            Usually, it's whole families.
            During the night.  Most of them
            don't even wake up until they feel
            their heads going -- and then, of
            course, it's too late.

The glass smashes in the BARTENDER's hand.

                         DUKE (CONT'D)
            Happens every day.

DUKE turns to a WAITRESS with a warm smile.

                                                           79.


                         DUKE (CONT'D)
            Three more rums.  Plenty of ice.
            Maybe a handful of lime chunks.

                         WAITRESS
            Are you guys with the police
            convention upstairs?

                         DA
            We sure are, Miss.

                         WAITRESS
            I thought so.  I never heard that
            kind of talk around here before.
            Jesus Christ!  How do you guys
            stand that kind of work?

                         GONZO
                   (grinning)
            We like it.  It's groovy.

The WAITRESS stares -- sickened -- at GONZO.

                         DUKE
            What's wrong with you?  Hell,
            somebody has to do it.

                         GONZO
            Hurry up with those drinks.  We're
            thirsty.  Only two rums.  Make mine
            a Bloody Mary.

                         DA
                   (whacks his fist on
                   the bar)
            Hell, I really hate to hear this.
            Because everything that happens in
            California seems to get down our
            way, sooner or later.  Mostly
            Atlanta.  But that was back when
            the goddamn bastards were peaceful.
            All we had to do was to keep 'em
            under surveillance.  They didn't
            roam around much... But now Jesus,
            it seems nobody's safe.

                         GONZO
                   (with a conspiratorial
                   nod)
            You're going to need to take the
            bull by the horns -- go to the mat
            with this scum.

                                                           80.


                         DA
            What do you mean by that?

                         GONZO
            You know what I mean.  We've done
            it before and we can damn well do
            it again!

                         DUKE
            Cut their goddamn heads off.  Every
            one of them.  That's what we're
            doing in California.

                         DA
                   (stupefied)
            WHAT?

                         GONZO
            Sure.  It's all on the Q.T., but
            everybody who matters is with us
            all the way down the line.

                         DUKE
            We keep it quiet.  It's not the
            kind of thing you'd want to talk
            about upstairs.  Not with the press
            around.

                         DA
                   (recovering slightly)
            Hell, no.  We'd never hear the
            goddamn end of it.

                         DUKE
            Dobermans don't talk.

                         DA
            What?

                         GONZO
            Sometimes it's easier to just rip
            out the backstraps.

                         DUKE
            They'll fight like hell if you try
            to take the head without the dogs.

                         DA
            God almighty!
                   (muttering in a daze)
            I don't think I should tell my wife
            about this.  She'd never understand.
            You know how women are.

                                                           81.


DUKE gives the DA a brotherly slap on the back.

                         DUKE
            Just be thankful your heart is
            young and strong.

DUKE and GONZO leave the stunned DA -- staring into the
swirling ice in drink.

INT. HOTEL FLAMINGO SUITE - DAY

DUKE and GONZO fall into the suite in fits of laughter.

GONZO feels the nausea rise suddenly -- heads for the
bathroom.  Immediate sounds of retching.

The phone message light is blinking.  DUKE opens a beer,
picks up the phone.

                         DUKE
            What's the message?  My light is
            blinking.

                         CLERK (V/O)
            Ah, yes.  Mr. Duke?  You have one
            message: "Call Lucy at the Americana
            Hotel, room 1600."

                         DUKE
            Holy shit!

DUKE slams the phone down.  GONZO emerges from the
bathroom -- looking like death.

                         DUKE
            Lucy called.

GONZO sags visibly -- like an animal taking a bullet.

                         GONZO
            What?

The telephone rings.  DUKE answers.

INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL - RECEPTION - DAY

A worried CLERK speaks in to the phone.

                         CLERK
            Mr. Duke?  Hello, Mr. Duke, I'm
            sorry we were cut off a moment
            ago... I thought I should call
            again, because I was wondering...

                                                           82.


INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL SUITE - DAY

                         DUKE
            WHAT?
                   (hand over the PHONE)
            What was that crazy bitch said to
            him?
                   (screams)
            There's a war on, man!  People are
            being killed!

                         CLERK (V/O)
            Killed?

                         DUKE
            IN VIETNAM!  ON THE GODDAMN
            TELEVISION!

                         CLERK (V/O)
            Oh... yes... yes... This terrible
            war.  When will it end?

                         DUKE
            Tell me.  What do you want?

In the background GONZO is upturning a sofa to retrieve his
stash from the lining.

                         CLERK (V/O)
            The woman who left that message for
            you sounded very disturbed.  I
            think she was crying...

                         DUKE
            Crying?  Why was she crying?

                         CLERK (V/O)
            Well, uh.  She didn't say Mr. Duke.
            But since I know you're here with
            the Police Convention...

                         DUKE
            Look, you want to be gentle with
            that woman if she ever calls again.
            We're watching her very carefully...
            this woman has been into laudanum.
            It's a controlled experiment, but I
            suspect we'll need your cooperation
            before this thing is over.

                         CLERK (V/O)
                   (hesitantly)
            Well, certainly... We're always
            happy to cooperate with the police...

                                                           83.


                         DUKE
            Don't worry.  You're protected.
            Just treat this poor woman like
            you'd treat any other human being
            in trouble.

                         CLERK (V/O)
            What?  Ah... yes, yes, I see what
            you mean... Yes... so, you'll be
            responsible then?

                         DUKE
            Of course.  And now I have to get
            back to the news.  Send up some ice.

He hangs up.  GONZO zaps TV channels -- commercials.

                         GONZO
            Good work.  They'll treat us like
            goddamn lepers after that.

                         DUKE
                   (slowly, carefully)
            Lucy is looking for you.

                         GONZO
                   (laughing)
            No, she's looking for you.

                         DUKE
            Me?

                         GONZO
            She really flipped over you.  The
            only way I could get rid of her was
            by saying you were taking me out to
            the desert for a showdown -- that
            you wanted me out of the way so you
            could have her all to yourself.
                   (laughing again)
            I guess she figures you won.  That
            phone message wasn't for me, was it?

A look of stunned realization from DUKE...

INT. FANTASY COURT ROOM - DAY

LUCY is on the witness stand.

                         LUCY
            Yessir, those two men in the dock
            are the ones who gave me the LSD
            and took me to the hotel.

                                                           84.


A doomed DUKE and GONZO await their fate.

                         LUCY
            I don't know for sure what they
            done to me, but I remember it was
            horrible.

                         JUDGE
            Twenty years... and Double
            Castration!

The JUDGE bangs his gavel.

INT. HOTEL FLAMINGO SUITE - DAY

DUKE is madly stuffing his suitcase.

                         GONZO
            Wait!  You can't leave me alone in
            this snake pit.  This room is in my
            name.

DUKE KEEPS PACKING.  GONZO is looking worried.

                         GONZO
            OK, goddamnit!... Look... I'll call
            her.  I'll get her off our backs.
            You're right.  She's my problem.

                         DUKE
            It's gone too far.

                         GONZO
            Relax.  Let me handle this.
                   (dials the PHONE,
                   snaps angrily at DUKE)
            You'd make a piss-poor lawyer.
            ...Room 1600, please.
                   (to DUKE)
            As your attorney, I advise you not
            to worry.
                   (nods towards bathroom)
            Take a hit out of that little brown
            bottle in my shaving kit.

DUKE goes in the bathroom.  He finds a little bottle -- a
label: "DRINK ME."

                         DUKE
            What is this?

                                                           85.


                         GONZO
            You won't need much.  Just a little
            tiny taste, that stuff makes pure
            mescaline seem like ginger-beer.
            Adrenochrome.

DUKE stares wonderingly at the bottle.

                         DUKE
            Adrenochrome...

                         GONZO
                   (into PHONE)
            Hi, Lucy?  Yeah, it's me.  I got
            your message...what?  Hell, no, I
            taught the bastard a lesson he'll
            never forget... what?  No, not
            dead, but he won't be bothering
            anybody for a while.  Yeah.  I left
            him out there, I stomped him, then
            pulled all his teeth out...

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I remember thinking, "Jesus, what a
            terrible thing to lay on somebody
            with a head full of acid."

DUKE dips a match head into the brown bottle -- studies
it -- TASTES IT -- NOTHING -- TASTES SOME MORE...

                         GONZO
                   (to PHONE)
            But here's the problem.  That
            bastard cashed a bad check
            downstairs and gave you as a
            reference.  They'll be looking for
            both of you.  Yeah, I know, but you
            can't judge a book by its cover,
            Lucy.  Some people are just
            basically rotten... Anyway, the
            last thing you want to do is call
            this hotel again; they'll trace the
            call and put you straight behind
            bars... no, I'm moving to the
            Tropicana right away.  I have to
            go, they've got the phone tapped.
            Yeah, I know, it was horrible, but
            it's all over now... OH MY GOD!
            THEY'RE KICKING THE DOOR DOWN!
                   (throws the PHONE
                   down; shouts)
            No!  Get away from me!  I'm innocent!
            It was Duke!  I swear to God!
                         (MORE)

                                                           86.


                         GONZO (CONT'D)
                   (stomps the PHONE; moans)
            No, I don't know where she is.
            You'll never catch Lucy!  She's
            gone!  I swear, I don't know where
            she is!  DON'T PUT THAT THING ON ME!
                   (slams the PHONE down)


GONZO sits back in his chair... watching MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

                         GONZO
            Well.  That's that.  She's probably
            stuffing herself down the
            incinerator about now.  That's the
            last we should be hearing from Lucy.
                   (fumbling with the
                   hash pipe)
            Where's the opium?

DUKE stares at the back of GONZO's neck.  SOMETHING VERY
STRANGE IS HAPPENING TO HIM...

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I remember slumping on the bed, his
            performance had given me a bad jolt.
            For a moment I thought his mind had
            snapped -- that he actually believed
            he was being attacked by invisible
            enemies.  But the room was quiet
            again.

DUKE CLUTCHES THE BROWN BOTTLE.

                         DUKE
            Where'd you get this?

                         GONZO
            Never mind, it's absolutely pure.

                         DUKE
            Jesus... what kind of monster
            client have you picked up this time?
            There's only one source for this
            stuff -- the adrenaline gland from
            a living human body!

GONZO turns to smile at DUKE.

                                                           87.


                         GONZO
            I know, but the guy didn't have any
            cash to pay me.  He's one of these
            Satanism freaks.  He offered me
            human blood -- said it would take
            me higher than I've ever been in my
            life.
                   (laughs -- struts
                   round DUKE -- eyes
                   bright with expectation)
            I thought he was kidding, so I told
            him I'd just as soon have an ounce
            or so of pure adrenochrome -- or
            maybe just a fresh adrenaline gland
            to chew on.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I could already feel the stuff
            working on me -- the first wave
            felt like a combination of mescaline
            and methedrine -- maybe I should
            take a swim, I thought...

DUKE sees that GONZO is TOYING WITH HIS HUNTING KNIFE...

                         GONZO
            Yeah, they nailed this guy for
            child molesting.  He swore he
            didn't do it. "Why should I fuck
            with children?" he says. "They're
            too small." Christ, werewolf is
            entitled to legal counsel.  I
            didn't dare turn the creep down.
            He might have picked up a letter
            opener and gone after my pineal
            gland!

GONZO JABS WITH THE RAZOR BRIGHT KNIFE.  DUKE'S BODY IS
GOING RIGID -- HE SPEAKS THROUGH GRITTED TEETH.

                         DUKE
            Why not?  We should get some of
            that.  Just eat a big handful and
            see what happens.

                         GONZO
            Some of what?

                         DUKE
                   (spitting words)
            Extract of pineal!

                                                           88.


                         GONZO
                   (STARING AT DUKE WITH
                   A STRANGE SMILE)
            Sure.  That's a good idea.  One
            whiff of that shit would turn you
            into something out of a goddamn
            medical encyclopedia.

GONZO GROWS HORNS -- HIS FACE BECOMES A MEXICAN DEMON MASK.

                         GONZO
            Man, your head would swell up like
            a watermelon, you'd probably gain
            about a hundred pounds in two
            hours...

A CLOVEN HOOF BURSTS THROUGH GONZO'S SHOE.

                         DUKE
            Right!

                         GONZO
            ... grow claws... bleeding warts.

GONZO'S CHEST EXPANDS -- BONY RIBS BURSTING HIS SHIRT.

                         DUKE
            Yes!

                         GONZO
            ... then you'd notice about six
            huge hairy tits swelling up on your
            back...

A TAIL LASHES, HOOFS STRIKE THE FLOOR.  GONZO TOWERS -- A
FLAME RED DEMON!

                         DUKE
            Fantastic!

DUKE is now so wire that his hands are CLAWING UNCONTROLLABLY
at the bedspread, JERKING IT RIGHT OUT FROM UNDER HIM.  His
heels are dug into the mattress with both KNEES LOCKED,
EYEBALLS SWELLING.

GONZO-DEMON LOOMS AGAINST THE CEILING.

                         GONZO
            you'd go blind... your body would
            turn to wax... they'd have to put
            you in a wheelbarrow and...

GONZO'S VOICE FADES AWAY -- DUKE'S frenzied gaze reveals
GONZO REVERTED TO NORMAL HUMAN SHAPE AND SIZE.

                                                           89.


                         GONZO
            Man I'll try about anything; but
            I'd never touch a pineal gland.

                         DUKE
            FINISH THE FUCKING STORY!  What
            happened?!  What about the glands?

GONZO, a small smile on his lips, backs away warily...
towards the TV -- NOW A HUNDRED FEET AWAY IN THE DISTANCE...

                         GONZO
            Jesus, that stuff got right on top
            of you, didn't it.

VEINS stand out on DUKE's forehead.  He is purplish-red.
OVER THE TOP!  Too late, he realizes he is NEAR DEATH!

                         DUKE
            Maybe you could just... shove me
            into the pool, or something...

GONZO shakes his head disgustedly.

                         GONZO
            If I put you in the pool right now,
            you'd sink like a goddamn stone.
            You took too much.  Jesus, look at
            your face, you're about to explode.

GONZO sits back down... watching the TV.

                         GONZO
            Don't try and fight it, or you'll
            get brain bubbles.  Strokes,
            aneurysms.  You'll just wither up
            and die.

DUKE FALLS TO THE GROUND, WRITHING, CATATONIC, SINKING INTO
PARALYSIS.

AND THE SOUND, SUDDENLY AND STRANGELY, OF THE VOICE OF
RICHARD NIXON AND HIS DISTORTED FACE ON THE TV SCREEN.

                         NIXON
            Sacrifice... sacrifice...
            sacrifice...

DUKE PASSES OUT.

BLACK SCREEN

                                                           90.


INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

Darkness.  Insanely, somewhere NILSSON plays -- "Put the
lime in the coconut and mix em all up..."

                         DUKE (V/O)
            What kind of rat-bastard psychotic
            would play that song -- right now,
            at this moment?

DUKE opens his eyes and the hotel suite rushes in.  He lies,
awkwardly twisted -- unable to move.  He could have been
there days -- months.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            When I came to the general back
            alley ambiance of the suite was so
            rotten, so incredibly foul.  How
            long had I been lying there?  Hours?
            Days?  Months?  All these signs of
            violence.  What had happened?

DUKE moves his eyes -- taking in his surroundings: Like THE
SIGHT OF SOME DISASTROUS ZOOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT involving
whisky and gorillas.  Blue and red Christmas tree lights
replace lightbulbs, used towels hanging everywhere,
pornographic pictures ripped out of a magazine are plastered
on a shattered mirror.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            There was evidence in this room of
            excessive consumption of almost
            every type of drug known to
            civilized man since 1544 AD.

DUKE manages to move -- stiffly gets to his bare feet --
HOBBLES ROUND THE TRASHED ROOM like a newly risen ape.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            But what kind of addict would need
            all these coconut husks and crushed
            honeydew rinds?  Would the presence
            of junkies account for all these
            uneaten french fries?  These
            puddles of glazed ketchup on the
            bureau?  Maybe so, but then why all
            this booze?  And these crude
            pornographic photos smeared with
            mustard that had dried to a hard
            yellow crust...

DUKE peers into Gonzo's room -- HIS BED LIKE A BURNED OUT
RAT'S NEST -- blackened springs and wires.

                                                           91.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            These were not the hoof prints of
            your normal god-fearing junkie.  It
            was too savage, too aggressive.

QUICK FLASHBACK:

GONZO SMASHES THE TEN FOOT MIRROR WITH A HAMMER:

BACK IN THE ROOM:

DUKE stares at the smashed mirror.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Grim memories and bad flashbacks.

In the bathroom, DUKE'S unlaced boots CRUSH BROKEN GLASS IN
VOMIT AND GRAPEFRUIT RINDS.

DUKE unzips and pisses.  THERE IN THE TOILET BOWL IS THE
MAGNUM .357!

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Something ugly had happened.  I was
            sure of it...

DUKE stares at the golden stream SPLASHING ON THE GUN.

The SOUNDS OF VOMITING come from a closet near the front door.

DUKE looks into the room.  He sees GONZO's ass sticking out
of the closet.  He opens his mouth to speak when, IN THE
SMASHED MIRROR HE SEES THE FRAGMENTED REFLECTION OF HIMSELF...
sleeping on the sofa.

The ominous SOUND OF A KEY TURNING in the room lock.

A hellish scream wakes up the SLEEPING DUKE.  He sees GONZO
grappling naked with the maid -- gun to her head.  GONZO is
muffling her screams with an ice bag.

                         MAID
            Please... please... I'm only the
            maid.  I didn't mean nothin!...

                         DUKE
                   (jumps up from the
                   bed, flashing his
                   press badge)
            YOU'RE UNDER ARREST!

                                                           92.


                         GONZO
                   (to DUKE)
            She must have used a pass key.  I
            was polishing my shoes in the
            closet when I noticed her sneaking
            in-so I took her.

DUKE shakes his head.

                         DUKE
                   (barks at the MAID)
            What made you do it?  Who paid you
            off?

                         MAID
            Nobody.  I'm the maid!

                         GONZO
            You're lying!  You were after the
            evidence.  Who put you up to
            this -- the manager?

                         MAID
            I don't know what you're talking
            about!

                         GONZO
            Bullshit!  You're just as much a
            part of it as they are!

                         MAID
            Part of what?

                         DUKE
            The dope ring.  You must know
            what's going on in this hotel.  Why
            do you think we're here?

                         MAID
                   (blubbering)
            I know you're cops, but I thought
            you were just here for that
            convention.  I swear!  All I wanted
            to do was clean up the room.  I
            don't know anything about dope!

GONZO laughs.

                         GONZO
            Come on, baby don't try to tell us
            you never heard of the Grange Gorman.

                                                           93.


                         MAID
            No!  No!  I swear to Jesus I never
            heard of that stuff!

                         DUKE
            Maybe she's telling the truth.
            Maybe she's not part of it.

                         MAID
            No!  I swear I'm not!

                         GONZO
                   (long pause)
            In that case, maybe she can help.

                         MAID
            Yes!  I'll help you all you need!
            I hate dope!

                         DUKE
            So do we, lady.

                         GONZO
                   (helping her up)
            I think we should put her on the
            payroll.  See what she comes up with.

                         DUKE
            Do you think you can handle it?

                         MAID
            What?

                         GONZO
            One phone call every day.  Just
            tell us what you've seen.  Don't
            worry if it doesn't add up, that's
            our problem.

GONZO hustles the MAID to the door.

                         MAID
            You'd pay me for that?

                         DUKE
            You're damn right.  But the first
            time you say anything about this,
            to anybody -- you'll go straight to
            prison for the rest of your life.
            What's your name?

                         MAID
            Alice.  Just ring Linen Service and
            ask for Alice.

                                                           94.


                         GONZO
            Alright, Alice... you'll be
            contacted by Inspector Rock.
            Arthur Rock.  He'll be posing as a
            politician.

                         DUKE
            Inspector Rock will pay you.  In
            cash.  A thousand dollars on the
            ninth of every month.

                         MAID
            Oh Lord!  I'd do just about anything
            for that!

                         GONZO
            You and a lot of other people.

                         DUKE
            The password is: "One Hand Washes
            The Other." The minute you hear
            that, you say "I fear nothing."

                         MAID
            I fear nothing.

She repeats the password several times while they listen to
make sure she has it right.

                         GONZO
            Oh, and don't bother to make up the
            room.  That way we won't have to
            risk another of these little
            incidents, will we?

                         MAID
            Whatever you say, gentlemen.  I
            can't tell you how sorry I am about
            what happened...

                         GONZO
            Don't worry, it's all over now.
            Thank God for the decent people.

She smiles, repeating to herself "One Hand Washes The Other"
as GONZO hangs the DO NOT DISTURB sign and shuts the door.

CUT BACK TO THE PRESENT.

A grimy tape runs through a grunged-up portable tape recorder.

                         GONZO ON TAPE
            ... Thank God for the decent people.

                                                           95.


DUKE sits in the middle of the wrecked suite with his
mangled tape recorder in front of him.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Memories of that night are extremely
            hazy...

DUKE fast forwards through the tape -- SEARCHING: "Awwww,
mama... can this really...be the end...?"

EXT. SAFEWAY SUPERMARKET - DAY

The WHITE WHALE waits -- gleaming -- beautiful.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            There is a definite obligation,
            when you boom around Vegas in a
            white Coupe de Ville, to maintain a
            certain style.

DUKE and GONZO burst out of the supermarket riding a shopping
basket loaded with COCONUTS, GRAPEFRUIT and TEQUILA.  They
send DEFEATED SHOPPERS sprawling.

The trolley collides into the WHITE WHALE.  SHOPPERS gather
at the supermarket entrance to watch -- baskets loaded with
junk, SCREAMING KIDS and EMPTY WALLETS.

DUKE switches on the music: JUMPING JACK FLASH.  He selects
a coconut -- ceremonially balances it on the hood.  GONZO
pulls out a silver claw-hammer.  A sly look at the gathering
CROWD... then he smashes the hammer down on the coconut!

A GASP from the surly SHOPPERS.

DUKE places another coconut.  SMASH!  Milk and white meat
flies everywhere.

                         SHOPPER #1
            Hey!  Is that your car?

                         DUKE
            Sure is.

SMASH!  Coconut fragments fly.

                         DUKE
            Any of you folks want the milk?
            We're after the meat.  This is
            honest coconut essence.  Real meat.

SMASH!

                                                           96.


                         SHOPPER #2
            Meat, hell!  Look what you're doing
            to that car!

                         GONZO
            Fuck the car.  They should make
            these things with a goddamn FM radio.

SMASH!

                         DUKE
            Yeh... This foreign made crap -- is
            sucking our dollar balance dry!

                         SHOPPER #3
            Someone should stop them!

SMASH!

                         DUKE
            You poor fools don't understand, do
            you?  This car is the property of
            the World Bank!  That money goes to
            ITALY!

                         SHOPPER #3
            Somebody should call the police!

                         GONZO
            Police?  Are you people crazy?

GONZO confronts the CROWD, hammer in one hand, a coconut in
the other.

                         GONZO (CONT'D)
            You folks every heard of ole
            Patrick Henry?  Know what he said?!

Silence -- the CROWD uncomprehending of this STONE DEGENERATE.

                         GONZO (CONT'D)
                   (ROARS)
            GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!

GONZO brings the hammer down on the hood.  CLANG!

A gasp from the CROWD.  Getting ugly.

                         GONZO (CONT'D)
            In Samoa we LOVE THE CONSTITUTION!

                         SHOPPER #3
            Bullshit.

                                                           97.


The CROWD move in.

                         SHOPPER #1
            Call the goddamn police!

GONZO SWINGS THE HAMMER.  CLANG!

                         SHOPPER #4
            Look what they've done to that
            beautiful car!

DUKE jumps in behind the wheel.

                         DUKE
            This crowd is not rational.  They
            can't relate to us.  Let's go!

A final CLANG!  GONZO jumps in.

DUKE floors the accelerator -- screams at the CROWD.

                         DUKE
            You people voted for Hubert Humphrey!
            You killed Jesus!

They swerve round and through the CROWD.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The crowd broke ranks.  Nobody
            wants to be run over by a Coupe de
            Ville.

INT. HOTEL FLAMINGO SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE FAST-FORWARDS... PLAYS THE TAPE...

                         VOICE ON TAPE
            You found the American Dream?  In
            this town?

                         DUKE ON TAPE
            We're sitting on the main nerve
            right now...

INT. BAZOOKO CIRCUS REVOLVING MERRY-GO-ROUND BAR - NIGHT

DUKE and GONZO (wearing a single black glove) talk
conspiratorially to a 3RD MAN.  A PLACID ORANGUTAN in a bow
tie sits next to him.  THE BAR IS REVOLVING FASTER THAN
NORMAL.  DUKE IS INSANELY TALKATIVE -- WIRED!

                                                           98.


                         DUKE
            The manager told me a story about
            the owner of this place...about how
            he always wanted to run away and
            join the circus when he was a kid.
            Well, now the bastard has his own
            circus, and a license to steal, too.

                         3RD MAN
            You're right -- he's the model.

                         DUKE
            Absolutely!  Pure Horatio Alger...
            Say...

INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE playing the tape.

                         DUKE ON TAPE
            ... how much do you think he'd take
            for the ape?

DUKE fast-forwards again -- searching... TRAFFIC NOISES.
SCREECH OF BRAKES.

                         VOICE ON TAPE
            Holy God!...

A TERRIBLE GRINDING NOISE.

EXT. CAR RENTAL AGENCY - NIGHT

                         RENTAL AGENT
            Holy God!, how did this happen?

                         DUKE
            They beat the shit out of it.

                         RENTAL AGENT
            The top's completely jammed!

The CAR RENTAL AGENT wrestles with the trashed car.

                         DUKE
            Yeah, something's wrong with the
            motor...

INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

                         DUKE ON TAPE
            ... The generator light's been on
            red ever since I drove the thing
            into Lake Mead on a water test...

                                                           99.


A HUGE SPLASH...

The tape's gone too far.

                         DUKE
            No, no.  Shit...

DUKE races the tape BACKWARDS... Then, SIRENS HOWL.

                         DUKE ON TAPE
            Where's the ape?  I'm ready to
            write a check.

INT. BAZOOKO CIRCUS BAR - NIGHT

DUKE is standing in the middle of A SEMI-DESTROYED BAZOOKO
CIRCUS REVOLVING BAR.  Mirrors are broken.  People are
recovering from some kind of battle.  THE BAR SPINS MADLY.
DUKE IS INSANELY WIRED.

                         3RD MAN
            Forget it, he just attacked an old
            man... he took a bite out of the
            bartender's head!  The cops took
            the ape away.

                         DUKE
            Goddamnit!  What's the bail?  I
            want that ape!  I've already
            reserved two first-class seats on
            the plane.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            There was every reason to believe
            that we had been heading for
            trouble, that we'd pushed our luck
            a bit far...

INT. WHITE WHALE ON THE STREETS OF LAS VEGAS - NIGHT

GONZO SCREAMS ABUSE out of the window at a Ford alongside
the VOMIT STREAKED WHITE WHALE.  DUKE MAKES A SUPERHUMAN
EFFORT TO STAY ON THE ROAD.

                         GONZO
            Hey there!  You folks want to buy
            some heroin?

In the Ford: TWO COUPLES -- MIDDLE-AGED AMERICAN FACES
FROZEN IN SHOCK -- stare straight ahead.  GONZO leans out --
close to them.

                                                          100.


                         GONZO
            Hey, honkies!  Goddamnit, I'm
            serious.  I want to sell you some
            pure fucking smack!

No reaction.

                         GONZO
            Cheap heroin!  This is the real
            stuff!  You won't get hooked.  I
            just got back from Vietnam!  This
            is scag, folks.  Pure scag!

The lights change.  The Ford bolts.  DUKE keeps pace with
them.

                         GONZO
            Shoot!  Fuck!  Scag!  Blood!
            Heroin!  Rape!  Cheap!  Communist!
            Jab it right in your fucking
            eyeballs!

The MAN IN THE BACK SEAT suddenly loses control -- enraged,
lunges against the glass, trying to get at GONZO.

                         MAN IN CAR
            You dirty bastards!  Pull over and
            I'll kill you!  God damn you!  You
            bastards!

INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

BACK IN THE SUITE:

The tapes runs:

                         MAN IN CAR ON TAPE
            You dirty bastards!

An ugly squeal of brakes.

                         GONZO ON TAPE
            Shit, he was trying to bite me!  I
            shoulda maced the fucker!

DUKE fast forwards the tape.  The TAPE MANGLES -- the sounds
ski to a halt...

DUKE grabs the nearest tool -- uses it to hook out the tape,
then realizes... IT'S GONZO'S RAZOR-SHARP FOLDING KNIFE... A
CHILLING MOMENT...

DUKE turns the knife over... THERE'S A DRIED CRIMSON SPOT ON
THE BLADE... OR IS IT DRIED MASHED POTATOES?

                                                          101.


READ ON TO FIND OUT!

                         DUKE
                   (remembering)
            Back door beauty!

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The mentality of Las Vegas is so
            grossly atavistic that a really
            massive crime often slips by
            unrecognized.

DUKE SCRAPS A LITTLE OF THE CRUST -- TASTES IT...

                         DUKE (V/O CONT'D)
            The possibility of physical and
            mental collapse is very real... No
            sympathy for the devil; keep that
            in mind.  Buy the ticket, take the
            ride...

HE HEARS THE SOUNDS OF SOMEONE BEHIND BEATEN UP...

                         VOICE OFF
            Shit!  Faggot!  Bastard!

EXT. NORTH STAR COFFEE LOUNGE - NIGHT

WHACK!  SHADOWY FIGURES beat up a MAN -- give him A GOOD
KICKING.  BRUTAL AND UGLY.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            North Vegas is where you go when
            you've fucked up once too often on
            The Strip and when you're not even
            welcome in the cut-rate Downtown
            places.

PAN to reveal a seedy diner -- THE NORTH STAR CAFE in the
background.  Through the window -- DUKE and GONZO sit at the
counter.

INT. NORTH STAR COFFEE LOUNGE - NIGHT

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The North Star Coffee Lounge seemed
            like a fairly safe haven from our
            storms.  No hassles, no talk.  Just
            a place to rest and regroup.  I
            wasn't even hungry.

GONZO stuffs a hamburger down PAYING NO ATTENTION TO THE
BEATING going on outside the window.  Duke reads a newspaper.

                                                          102.


                         DUKE (V/O)
            There was nothing in the atmosphere
            of the North Star to put me on my
            guard...

                         GONZO
                   (to WAITRESS)
            Two glasses of ice water with ice.

The WAITRESS brings the ice water.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            She looked like a burnt out
            caricature of Jane Russell.  She
            was definitely in charge here...

GONZO gulps down his glass of water and hands her a napkin.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            He did it very casually, but I knew
            that our peace was about to be
            shattered.

                         DUKE
            What was that?

GONZO shrugs.

The WAITRESS stands at the end of the counter with her back
to them while she ponders the napkin... She turns.

                         WAITRESS
            What is this?

                         GONZO
            A napkin.

THE WAITRESS slams the napkin down on the counter.

                         WAITRESS
            Don't give me that bullshit!  I
            know what it means!  You goddamn
            fat pimp bastard.

                         GONZO
            That's the name of a horse I used
            to own.  What's wrong with you?

                         WAITRESS
            You sonofabitch!  I take a lot of
            shit in this place, but I sure as
            hell don't have to take it off a
            SPIC PIMP!

                                                          103.


GONZO GOES VERY VERY STILL AT THIS...

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Jesus.  I thought, what's happening?

DUKE picks up the napkin.  On it is printed in careful red
letters: "BACK DOOR BEAUTY?"

                         DUKE (V/O CONT'D)
            The question mark was emphasized.

                         WAITRESS
                   (screams)
            Pay your bill and get the hell out!
            You want me to call the cops?

                         GONZO
            Spic pimp?

GONZO's hand goes inside his shirt.  He PULLS OUT THE RAZOR-
SHARP HUNTING KNIFE.

GONZO KEEPS HIS EYES ON THE WAITRESS.  He walks about six
feet down the aisle and lifts the receiver of the pay phone.
He SLICES IT OFF, then brings the receiver back to his stool
and sits down.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            I was stupid with shock -- not
            knowing whether to run or start
            laughing.

                         GONZO
                   (casual)
            How much is the lemon meringue pie?

                         DUKE (V/O)
            Her eyes were turgid with fear, but
            her brain was functioning on some
            basic motor survival level.

                         WAITRESS
                   (blurting -- on automatic)
            Thirty-five cents!

                         GONZO
                   (laughing)
            I mean the whole pie.

The WAITRESS MOANS.  GONZO places a $5 BILL on the counter.

                         GONZO
            Let's say five dollars.  Okay?

                                                          104.


GONZO walks round the counter TAKING THE PIE OUT OF THE
DISPLAY CASE.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            The sight of the blade had triggered
            bad memories.  The glazed look in
            her eyes said her throat had been
            cut.  She was still in the grip of
            paralysis when we left.

DUKE IS ROOTED TO THE SPOT.

GONZO urges him out the door.  The camera retreats with them.

The WAITRESS STANDS THERE -- PETRIFIED.  Alone in a lousy
bar at night.

INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

DUKE's face as he stares at the knife -- remembering...

                         GONZO (V/O)
            Drive!  Drive!  Drive!  We have
            fifteen fucking minutes to get me
            on that plane!

EXT. ROAD ON OUTSKIRTS OF LAS VEGAS - DAY

The WHITE WHALE, looking like shit -- it's TOP HALF UP,
TORN, SLAPPING IN THE WIND -- ROARS THROUGH AN INTERSECTION
as the light turns red.

DR. GONZO FRANTICALLY PAWS OVER A MAP.

DUKE drives -- SILENT AND FURIOUS -- sick to his stomach
with the PSYCHOTIC GONZO.

                         GONZO
            What are you doing?  You were
            supposed to turn back there!

                         DUKE (V/O)
            We had abused every rule that Vegas
            lived by -- burning the locals,
            abusing the tourists, terrifying
            the help.  The only chance now, I
            felt, was the possibility that we'd
            gone to such excess that nobody in
            the position to bring the hammer
            down on us could possibility
            believe it.

DUKE suddenly SLAMS ON THE BRAKES.

                                                          105.


                         GONZO
            Jesus Christ!!!

There, crossing the road in front of them, is LUCY -- her
paintings under her arm -- looking lost.  SHE LOOKS UP WITH
A VAGUE SENSE OF RECOGNITION...

DUKE throws the car into a SKIDDING REVERSE TURN AND ROARS
OFF.

EXT. DESERT ROAD OUTSIDE LAS VEGAS - DAY

THE WHITE WHALE TEARS DOWN THE DESERTED FREEWAY.  GONZO
looks wildly around.

                         GONZO
            Goddamnit!  We're lost!  What are
            we doing out here on this
            godforsaken road?

GONZO sees that THEY'RE RUNNING PARALLEL WITH THE AIRPORT
RUNWAY.

                         GONZO
            The airport is over there!

                         DUKE
            Never missed a plane yet.

DUKE HITS THE BRAKES and wrenches the wheel -- takes the
WHALE down into the grassy freeway divider.  WHEELS CHURNING,
HE MAKES IT UP THE OPPOSITE BANK, nose of the car straight
up, then BOUNCES ONTO THE FREEWAY and keeps going right OVER
A FENCE, dragging it through a cactus field and onto the
RUNWAY.

GONZO is FROZEN WITH FEAR -- GRIPPING THE DASHBOARD.  He
throws a worried look at DUKE.

                         DUKE
            I'll drop you right next to the
            plane.

They SPEED UNDER A PARKED AIRPLANE, SHOUTING ABOVE THE JET
ENGINE SCREAM.

                         GONZO
            No!  I can't get out!  They'll
            crucify me.  I'll have to take the
            blame!

                                                          106.


                         DUKE
                   (irritatedly)
            Ridiculous!  Just say you were
            hitchhiking to the airport and I
            picked you up.  You never saw me
            before.  Shit, this town is full of
            white Cadillac convertibles.  I
            plan to go through there so fast
            that nobody will even glimpse the
            goddamn license plate.  You ready?

                         GONZO
            Why not?  But for Christ's sake,
            just do it fast!

EXT. AT THE AIRPLANE - DAY

DUKE SCREECHES UP in front of the DESERT AIR 727.  GONZO
JUMPS OUT -- HEADS FOR THE PLANE.

DUKE watches him go -- RELENTS.

                         DUKE
            Hey!

GONZO stops -- turns.

                         DUKE
            Don't take any guff from those
            swine.  Remember, if you have any
            trouble you can always send a
            telegram to the Right People.

                         GONZO
            Yeah... Explaining my Position.
            Some asshole wrote a poem about
            that once...

GONZO pauses.

                         GONZO
            Probably good advice, if you have
            shit for brains.

GONZO turns and RACES TOWARDS THE STEPS JUST AS HE IS ABOUT
TO ENTER THE PLANE HE PAUSES AND LOOKS BACK...SMILES...AND
LEANS FORWARD AND VOMITS.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            There he goes -- one of God's own
            prototypes -- a high powered mutant
            of some kind never even considered
            for mass production.  Too weird to
            live and too rare to die.

                                                          107.


DUKE watches for a second then ROARS AWAY.  PULL BACK WITH
THE WHITE SHARK -- LEAVING THE AIRPLANE FAR BEHIND.

INT. FLAMINGO HOTEL SUITE/APOCALYPSE - NIGHT

On the TV an airplane soars thru the sky.  Pull back to find
DUKE barricaded in GONZO'S BEDROOM.  He is typing on his
typewriter.

                         DUKE
            We are all wired into a survival
            trip now.  No more of the speed
            that fueled that 60's.  That was
            the fatal flaw in Tim Leary's trip.
            He crashed around America selling
            "consciousness expansion" without
            ever giving a thought to the grim
            meat-hook realities that were lying
            in wait for all the people who took
            him seriously...

DUKE records like A WAR CORRESPONDENT.  The CAMERA slowly
rises -- DUKE alone in the room with the TV SPEWING OUT
IMAGES OF WARS AND CIVIL UNREST OF THE 90'S.

                         DUKE
            All those pathetically eager acid
            freaks who thought they could buy
            Peace and Understanding for three
            bucks a hit.  But their loss and
            failure is ours too.  What Leary
            took down with him was the central
            illusion of a whole life-style that
            he helped create...

RISING HIGHER -- THE WALLS OF THE ROOM APPEAR TO BY 20 TO 30
FEET HIGH.  DUKE SEEMS TO BE AT THE BOTTOM OF A WELL... THE
CAMERA RISES UP THROUGH BROKEN TIMBERS...

                         DUKE
            ... a generation of permanent
            cripples, failed seekers, who never
            understood the essential old-mystic
            fallacy of the Acid Culture: the
            desperate assumption that somebody...
            or at least some force -- is
            tending the light at the end of the
            tunnel.

HIGHER STILL -- DUKE ALONE IN THE ROOM -- AN ISOLATED BOX
SURROUNDED BY THE TWISTED METAL AND RUBBLE AND SMASHED NEON
SIGNS OF THE DEAD CITY -- A BLASTED LANDSCAPE WITHOUT
LIGHT -- SHARDS OF A CIVILIZATION.

                                                          108.


EXT. DESERT HIGHWAY - DAY

A BURNING FLARED-OUT SUN.  The camera pans down to DUKE
DRIVING THE WRECKED WHALE.  A piece of the fence flies out
of the back seat as he takes a bump.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            There was only one road back to L.A.
            US Interstate 15, just a flat-out
            high speed burn through Baker and
            Barstow and Berdoo, then on to the
            Hollywood Freeway straight into
            frantic oblivion: safety, obscurity,
            just another freak in the Freak
            Kingdom.

DUKE sees THE HARDWARE BARN, A RUSTIC OLD FARM BUILDING
facing the road with a single gas pump outside and a neon
sign that flashes beer.

                         DUKE
            Ahhh.  Wonderful.

DUKE PULLS OFF THE ROAD and parks.  Gets out and walks in.

INT. HARDWARE BARN - BAKER, CALIFORNIA - DAY

DUKE enters the DARK, CLUTTERED INTERIOR.  Scattered all
about the store are BITS OF AMERICANA... OLD BARRELS, WAGON
WHEELS, WOODEN YOKES.  A STUFFED HORSE HANGS FROM THE
RAFTERS.  The sunlight shafts through high windows.  AN OLD
MAN is repairing an iron pot-bellied stove near the wooden
bar.  A NORMAN ROCKWELL PAINTING... ONLY REAL.

                         PROPRIETOR
            What'll you have?

DUKE can't quite believe this place -- too good to be true.

                         DUKE
                   (doubtfully)
            Ballantine Ale...?

THE PROPRIETOR serves the ale up ice cold.  DUKE SMILES AND
RELAXES.

                         DUKE
            Hard to find it served like this
            anymore.

As he drinks, DUKE toys with a rack of key chains -- LITTLE
AMERICAN ICONS... A REMINGTON COWBOY, A BUGS BUNNY, A TWEETY
PIE, BETTY BOOP, A BASEBALL PLAYER.  The logo on the rack
reads: AMERICAN DREAM KEY RINGS.

                                                          109.


                         PROPRIETOR
            Where ya comin' from, young man?

                         DUKE
            Las Vegas.

                         PROPRIETOR
            A great town, that Vegas.  I bet
            you had good luck there.  You're
            the type.

                         DUKE
            I know.  I'm a triple Scorpio.

                         PROPRIETOR
                   (trustingly)
            That's a fine combination.  You
            can't lose.

A LOVELY GIRL appears.  Seeing DUKE, she smiles.  CAN THIS
REALLY BE HIS LUCKY DAY?  She approaches him... and...
KISSES THE PROPRIETOR.

                         DUKE
                   (caught off guard... muttering)
            Oh, my God!...

                         PROPRIETOR
                   (not understanding)
            This is my granddaughter...

                         DUKE
                   (recovering)
            Don't worry...
                   (leans forward in confidence)
            ... and I'm actually the District
            Attorney from Ignoto County.
                   (winks)
            Just another good American like
            yourself.

A MOMENT.  THE PROPRIETOR'S SMILE DISAPPEARS.

Wordlessly the PROPRIETOR and his GRANDDAUGHTER go to the
back of the store -- GET ON WITH THEIR WORK -- IGNORING DUKE.

WHO FEELS ASHAMED.

DUKE puts some money down on the bar and SLOWLY LEAVES.

EXT. HARDWARE BARN - DAY

A CHASTENED DUKE approaches the vomit streaked WHITE WHALE.
Gets in -- sits there -- deflated -- miserable...

                                                          110.


A state bus draws up across from the Hardware Barn.

Somberly, DUKE watches as TWO YOUNG MARINES with duffel bags
step off -- chatting like TRUE BROTHERS...

DUKE switches on the ignition.  Something rolls off the
trembling dash... DUKE catches it...

ONE SINGLE BEAUTIFUL AMYL CAPSULE...

DUKE CRACKS THE AMYL -- INHALES.  THE RUSH MAKES HIM GASP --
TEETH BARED LIKE A MADMAN.

                         DUKE
            HOLY SHIT!!!

DUKE GUNS THE ENGINE with a laugh -- leans out -- YELLS AT
THE MARINES.

                         DUKE
            GOD'S MERCY ON YOU SWINE!

DUKE ROARS AWAY.  AN AMERICAN FLAG FLIES UP FROM THE DEBRIS
IN THE BACK SEAT, MADLY UNFURLING ITSELF AS IT SNAGS ON THE
CONVERTIBLE-TOP FRAME OF THE TRASHED WHITE WHALE!

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

The TWO MARINES look after him CONFUSED.

EXT. DESERT HIGHWAY

DUKE drives fast -- TEETH GRITTED IN FROZEN ECSTASY!!

DUKE CRANKS UP THE TAPE RECORDER.

                         DUKE (V/O)
            My heart was filled with joy.  I
            felt like a monster reincarnation
            of Horatio Alger... a man on the
            move... and just sick enough to be
            totally confident.

The WHITE WHALE WIPES THE SCREEN BLACK.

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

                             END
 


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas



Writers :   Terry Gilliam  Tony Grisoni
Genres :   Comedy  Drama  


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