based on the comic book "Dark Town" by
Kaja Blackley and Vanessa Chong
3 FEBRUARY 1999
MAIN CREDITS ROLL
over BLACK SCREEN, with PORTENTOUS SPOOKY MUSIC underneath. Just as the
music reaches its crescendo, we hear a simian SCREECH.
A BUCK-TOOTHED CARTOON MONKEY swings past on a vine. TITLE WIPES IN with
TIGHT CLOSEUP - STANLEY (ANIMATED)
A POCKETWATCH swings back and forth in F.G. Gaping at it is a goofy,
bespectacled CARTOON CHARACTER, sucking his thumb as his EYES move back
and forth. After a moment, the LEFT EYE freezes in place - but the right
eye keeps going back and forth with the watch.
SHRINK'S VOICE (o.s.)
Back, Stanley...you're going back...back to when
it all began. Are you going back yet? Come on,
get back, ve haven't got all day.
Now BOTH EYES are locked in place. The patient is hypnotized.
INT. SCHOOLROOM - DAY (ANIMATED)
A squat, lumpy TEACHER, MISS HUDLAPP, is straining to erase the
Gettysburg Address, which is written along the very top of the
blackboard. There's an obtrusive, rhythmic BANGING noice in B.G.
It was third grade. The teacher was Miss
Hudlapp. She was kinda squat and lumpy - she
smelled funny - but she was kind.
(turning around suddenly)
How many times have I told you? In this class we
do not pound tenpenny nails into Stanley's head!
REVERSE ANGLE - ON STANLEY
Hapless ten-year-old STANLEY, still goofy and bespectacled, in his
front-row desk. NAILS stick out of his head. The FOUR MEAN KIDS poised
around him lower their hammers and return to their seats, grumbling.
A dreamy SMILE crosses STANLEY's face as he gazes at MISS HUDLAPP.
You know how some teachers have those, kind of,
flaps on their arms - those big sacks of limp
flab that like, dangle?
As MISS HUDLAPP pulls her sweater off, TWO MASSIVE ARM-FLAPS - fifty
gallons of flab apiece - SPILL OUT and SMACK INTO THE FLOOR.
MISS HUDDLAPP claps two erasers together, kicking up a cloud of dust.
Young STANLEY watches, transfixed by her massive ARM FLAPS. We TRACK IN
on the gigantic ARM FLAPS as they swing hypnotically back and forth,
with a loud SLAP each time they collide.
It sounds weird...but for some reason, as I
watched those big old flaps of hers, I began to
Now we TRACK IN on the mesmerized STANLEY. A SONG comes up underneath:
Donna Summer, "I FEEL LOVE."
And then the horror began.
DOINK! STANLEY looks down at his LAP in horror. The boys and girls
around him are pointing and tittering.
Grimacing in embarrassment, he discreetly places a heavy TEXTBOOK onto
his lap, suppressing the bulge in his pants. But SPROING!! - the BOOK
goes flying across the room. The BULGE is fighting back!
The kids DUCK AND COVER beneath their desks as STANLEY slams a STACK of
textbooks onto his lap. It's no use - the WHOLE STACK goes flying, and
BOOKS come raining down on the entire class! Now MISS HUDLAPP is staring
directly at him...
Young man. What's that in your lap?
She marches toward him. STANLEY pulls his BACKPACK over his lap.
It was useless. Like putting a baseball cap on
the Washington Monument. And then...all at once
...there he was.
The BACKPACK bucks and wriggles, as if something inside is trying to GET
OUT. And then - with a flourish of rousing disco strings - IT DOES!
The libidinous cartoon monkey BURSTS OUT of the backpack, POINTS at MISS
HUDLAPP - and announces, in his Barry White baritone:
Oooo-oo-ooh, baby. I love your way.
KC and the SUNSHINE BAND comes up underneath as MONKEYBONE DANCES to the
front of the class. He grabs MISS HUDLAPP by the hands and begins
dancing The Bump with her ARM FLAPS. Butt left, WHAP. Butt right, WHAP.
The KIDS are bug-eyed - agog. With each WHAP their little heads turn
back and forth as if they're watching a nude tennis match.
INT. SCREENING ROOM - ON AUDIENCE (LIVE-ACTION)
A roomful of LIVE HUMANS watching the cartoon, heads turning in sync
with the kids onscreen. TV-INDUSTRY HIPSTERS, AD EXECS, MANUFACTURER'S
REPS...they're all guests at this sneak preview of the Monkeybone show,
and they're LAUGHING UPROARIOUSLY.
In the midst of the crowd is a handsome young couple: JULIE McELROY and
STU MILEY. JULIE's a research scientist, brainy, professional,
abnormally well-adjusted - and pretty enough that she'd be intimidating
if it weren't for a prominent goofy streak.
STU is the one guy in the auditorium who isn't laughing at the cartoon
on the screen. In fact, he's solemn as a judge - peering nervously
around to see how the rest of the audience is responding.
Why? Because he's the cartoonist who created the characters on screen.
In his looks (gangly, disheveled) and manner (sardonic, self-
deprecating), he's the obvious model for the character of STANLEY.
INT. CLASSROOM (ANIMATED)
As the monkey dance continues, we ZOOM IN on the mortified face of
LITTLE STANLEY. His eyes begin doing the familiar HYPNO-SWIRL...
INT. SHRINK'S OFFICE (ANIMATED)
A CUCKOO pops out of a wall clock. ADULT STANLEY'S THUMB pops out of his
mouth. He awakens from his trance in a cold sweat.
How about it, Doc? Can you help me?
Not overnight. These imaginary monkey cases take
time. I vould estimate...roughly...
On the desk is a CATALOGUE, open to a two-page spread depicting a 40-
foot CABIN CRUISER. "NEW FOR SUMMER! ONLY $229,999.95!" With his free
hand, the SHRINK is working a CALCULATOR...
Twelve years and three months ought to do it.
The SHRINK hustles STANLEY to the door and shakes his hand.
One question, doc - what did you mean when you
All in good time, my boy. All in good time.
The SHRINK shoves STANLEY out and slams the door behind him. Two beats.
Then he doubles over, WEEPING with LAUGHTER.
Vot a crackpot! Monkey on ze back - HAH!! ROLL
OUT ZE WACKY WAGON!!
Now he notices a BACKPACK, which STANLEY has left on the couch. It
TWITCHES slightly - of its own free will.
VOICE IN BACKPACK
Imaginary, huh? You quack.
EXT. SHRINK'S BUILDING (ANIMATED)
A WINDOW shatters. The SHRINK comes hurtling out. MONKEYBONE STRADDLES
HIM like Slim Pickens riding an H-bomb, hootin' and hollerin' all the
way down to the street.
SPLAT! A gob of gore hits STANLEY in the face as he exits the building.
He kneels on the sidewalk - finding a PIPE and a GOATEE.
Aw, Monkeybone! At this rate I'll never find a
Those guys are a waste of money! I'll show you
how to stop sucking your thumb...
MONKEYBONE sticks his thumb in his butt as he and STANLEY toddle off
into the sunset.
INT. SCREENING ROOM - THAT MOMENT
STANDING O from the crowd as the cartoon ends and the lights come up.
HERB, an all-purpose sidekick type, appears at the podium:
Thank you...that's our pilot...the good news is,
Comedy Channel has just picked us up with an
order for six new episodes!
HERB leads a round of APPLAUSE. JULIE nudges STU - the only guy in the
room who's still in his seat.
Now, let's give it up for the guy who started it
all. Creator of America's most disturbed comic
strip...the man behind the monkey...Mister Stu
A SPOTLIGHT hits him, and he STANDS to tumultuous applause. He looks
genuinely stunned. He can't believe it's happening.
JULIE surreptitiously PINCHES him on the bottom, giving him a start. She
WINKS at him. He shoots her a small private smile - then turns to WAVE
at the adoring crowd.
INT. LOBBY - HALF-HOUR LATER - NIGHT
STU working his way through a crowd of well-wishers and FANS.
I don't actually draw all the animation, no. We
have sweatshop workers who couldn't get jobs at
Nike doing that.
A beautiful, heavily-pierced FEMALE FAN hands STU a marker.
Mr. Miley, would you draw Monkeybone on my
belly? As a guide?
For my tattoo artist?
She exposes her taut midriff. STU thinks for a moment, then goes to
work. When he's done, Monkeybone appears to be climbing out of the
girl's pants and WAVING to her. Nearby FANS APPLAUD.
Wait! You have to draw the rest of him -
She begins unbuckling her belt so STU will have enough room to draw
Monkeybone's bottom half. STU demurs...
I - I have to, uh, check in with my doctor. DO-
He wanders across the room, finds JULIE deep in conversation with a
bunch of other GUESTS, and pulls her aside.
Hey, Doc. Come here. There's something really
cool I want to show you.
He grabs her by the sleeve, pulls her across the floor to -
INT. ALCOVE - OFF LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
There's nothing "cool" about it - it's a stairway landing, with metal
fire doors that open onto the parking lot outside.
See these doors? The cool thing is, you go out
...they close...you can't get back in!
He opens one door and holds it for JULIE.
You want to leave? But Stu - you're a big hit!
Everyone loves you!
They don't love me. They love Monkeybone.
It was you who got the standing O. It was you
drawing on the belly over there...
That was especially Monkeybone. Come on, Doc, I
don't want to be stuck here with this bunch of
media creeps. I just want to be us. Home. Alone!
I have something I have to give you.
Can't you give it to me later?
Yeah, I could, but the thing is, if later got
here sooner, it would be...better.
He gives up trying to explain...pulls her close and kisses her. For a
moment they completely forget about the party in the next room.
Then HERB appears behind them, trying to catch STU's eye as he waits for
the clinch to break up. Finally he pries them apart:
Sorry, Julie - won't be a minute. Now Stu - I
know you don't like the idea, but you really
ought to talk to these guys -
Julie and I - we were just gonna go...
But before STU knows what's hit him, HERB is leading him back to -
INT. LOBBY - THAT MOMENT - CONTINUOUS
Go? There's a potload of money here, pal. You
got three major toy companies...you got the guys
from Burger God over here...
Burger God. The ones that found the pig hair in
the french fries?
Never proven. They're ready to pop for a pre-
emptive endorsement. Kids love Burger God -
The MERCHANDISERS shoot STU an expectant wave. STU waves back and turns
in the opposite direction. HERB grabs him by the sleeve.
Herb, it's too much. It's all out of hand.
Do you know what kind of opportunity you have
here? You gotta strike. I'm talking mansions.
Lamborghinis. Champagne for mouthwash when you
brush your teeth!
I don't want to be rich. It's just a trap!
Being rich is not a trap. That is a dirty lie
perpetuated by rich people to keep the failures
from killing them.
Herb. I have to go.
I got the ring.
Tonight's the night, Herb. Tonight's the night.
He nods toward JULIE, who's at the open bar grabbing two glasses of
punch. HERB realizes a proposal is in the works.
Oh my God...you're proposing?
My life was totally crappy, Herb, and she...
fixed it. She made me happy. Which I'd never
been. She loves me the way I am - right now.
I don't want everything to change. I don't want
her saying yes to some big success. I just want
her saying yes to me.
...In some weird way I respect that.
JULIE's over by the punchbowl. She sees the two boys staring at her
conspiratorially - MAKES A FACE at them as she waves back.
Okay then. If I get you out of here - you pop
the question - tonight. Or else. Get me?
STU nods gravely.
EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT
STU, JULIE, and HERB in the parking lot. A small safari of FLUNKIES is
loading enormous boxes full of MONKEYBONE JUNK into STU's beat-up car -
stuffed dolls, action figures, board games, lunchboxes, beach towels,
team jackets and more! STU groans at the sight of it...
They're just prototypes...take 'em home and look
at 'em before you say no...
(scanning the streets)
If you could just hold on a minute or two, we're
expecting a couple more trucks.
STU GLOWERS at HERB as he opens the car door for JULIE.
Okay, okay! You're a beautiful couple. Go.
INT. CAR - NIGHT - MOVING
STU backs out of his space. The small parking lot is full of DELIVERY
TRUCKS from would-be merchandisers - all too large for the spaces
they're parked in. STU has to keep backing up because the exit lanes are
blocked. It's like negotiating a labyrinth.
Look at this! He won't let us leave!
The monkey!! He's everywhere! He'll take over
both our lives if we let him.
Stu - stop it. That monkey is good luck. You
thought him up, and everybody loves him, and
he's probably going to make you rich. So relax!
I'm trying. It's weird, that's all. I never had
any good luck, until I met you...what if it's
all just another bad dream?
What's the "bad" part?
I might wake up.
(laughing; taking his hand)
If you do, I'll be right there beside you. So
face it. You're just going to have to be happy!
I am happy. It just so happens this is the
happiest night of my life.
He says it so solemnly that she cracks up. After a moment he joins in.
EXT. PARKING LOT - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
A PLASTIC BANNER stretches between two poles on either side of the entry
to the lot. It shows MONKEYBONE in a typical languorous pose:
It's His World. We Just Live in It!
Sunday Nights This Fall
TWO GUYS on EXTENSION LADDERS are taking the sign down as STU'S CAR
idles at the exit below. There's a strong wind tonight, and one guy
LOSES HOLD of his end of the banner just as he gets it detached...
INT. CAR - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
As STU pulls into the intersection he sees a DELIVERY TRUCK approaching
in the opposite lane, with a cardboard likeness of MONKEYBONE mounted
atop the cab. He chuckles...
That damn monkey is everywh--
Suddenly his view of the street DISAPPEARS. The MONKEYBONE BANNER has
fallen DIRECTLY ACROSS HIS WINDSHIELD, like a huge SHROUD. All he can
see is a great, grinning MONKEY FACE!!
JULIE SCREAMS. STU SCREAMS. Unable to see, he slams on the brakes and
JERKS THE WHEEL RIGHT.
Off screen: HORNS BLARING. TIRES SQUEALING. The horrible crunch of METAL
But Stu's car comes to a halt untouched. After a moment he opens his
eyes...and JULIE opens hers...
Did we just - hit something?
I don't think so.
Are you okay??
She thinks it over, nods. STU takes a moment to catch his breath, then
opens the door gingerly. A HORN BLARES as a car speeds past in the
opposite lane, nearly taking STU's door off. He jumps back inside,
waits, opens the door again...
EXT. INTERSECTION - THAT MOMENT
His eyes widen in horror as he steps out to survey the scene. The
asphalt is strewn with MONKEYBONE MERCHANDISE - stuffed dolls, games,
lunchboxes. SKID MARKS show where the TRUCK which was carrying all this
...and slammed into the rear of a BUICK REGAL, pinning it up against a
TELEPHONE POLE. STU races up to the Buick. Its front end is mashed up
like an accordion, but the occupants - a couple of TEENAGERS dressed for
the prom - seem to be okay.
Hey! Are you guys all right in there?
That stupid monkey banner! It fell on my
windshield - it practically killed us all!
God, Julie, if anything had happened to you -
I'm fine, baby. We're all okay. We were lucky.
I'd better go report this...
He spots a PHONE BOOTH and starts across the street. On the way there he
plucks a STUFFED MONKEYBONE DOLL off the pavement and CHOKES IT with
JULIE stays behind with the prom kids. The TEENAGE BOY in his tux is
glassy-eyed, miserable beyond description.
The BOY begins to SOB softly. JULIE nods in sympathy.
Then: EVERYONE WINCES. The air is full of a horrible CREAKING noise,
like nails on a blackboard...
What was that? Did you hear that?
The horrible CREAKING NOISE continues. JULIE turns. Behind her, the
TELEPHONE POLE that the car slammed into is beginning to TEETER. Then it
TOPPLES. Directly toward...
ON STU - IN PHONE BOOTH
He sees JULIE running toward him and holds up a single finger.
Operator? I want to report an accident.
Finally he glances up - just in time to see the TELEPHONE POLE coming
down toward the phone booth like a gigantic sledgehammer. His eyes
widen. The STUFFED MONKEYBONE slips from his grasp...
CLOSEUP - MONKEYBONE
A HORRIBLE CRASH. SCREAMS. CAMERA ZEROES IN on the MONKEYBONE DOLL which
STU was holding, surrounded by broken glass, its face twisted into an
insane, almost macabre grin.
The screen fades to PITCH BLACK for a few seconds...until we hear a
DISTANT SIREN, and an IMAGE comes swimming into focus...
STU'S POV: ON JULIE
He's in the back of an ambulance, with PARAMEDICS all around him,
working feverishly. JULIE hovers above him, holding his hand.
Stu? I'm here, baby. It's me. It's Julie. I love
you. You're gonna be okay, baby, I promise -
All at once he seems to be RECEDING from JULIE and the others - as if
SINKING THROUGH the bottom of the stretcher, and BEYOND - through the
floor of the ambulance! JULIE's voice grows weaker, more distant:
I'm here, baby. I won't leave you...
And then all trace of the ambulance is gone, and he's floating down
through some strange LIMBO, surrounded by the silhouettes of billowing
SHROUDS, with the sound of BIRDS CALLING all around him...
An AWFUL MECHANICAL RATCHETING NOISE fills the soundtrack. STU's eyes
close - and when they reopen, he finds himself in:
EXT. TROLLEY - MOVING
A tiny ROLLER-COASTER CAR descends from dense clouds down the length of
an impossibly long and rickety METAL TRACK. The track leads through a
vast black VOID...
...to a tiny ISLAND floating in the darkness...an island that looks not
unlike a disembodied FIST.
And, as the car draws closer, the fist begins to OPEN - tulip-like -
turning into a HAND, with a full-sized TOWN nestled in its palm! In the
town, CARNIVAL LIGHTS begin to glitter. MUSIC begins to tinkle...
EXT. PLATFORM - NIGHT
The car - a one-passenger job with a CARTOON ANIMAL FACE on its prow -
stops with a lurch. STU steps out onto a fog-shrouded TRAIN STATION
PLATFORM. Before he knows it, the little car DEPARTS behind him. He's
stranded - alone.
Hello? Anybody? - Am I dead?
PLEASE. I'D LIKE TO KNOW IF I'M DEAD.
Off in the fog is a big wheeled CART with the sign: "PSYCHOLOGICAL
BAGGAGE CLAIM." There STU finds two SUITCASES and a BACKPACK. He
examines the TAGS. They all belong to him!
He sits on the edge of the cart, opens a SUITCASE, and pulls out...
- A bagged copy of Marvel Comics' Conan the Barbarian #1;
- An 8mm reel of highlights from Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the
Argonauts, with swordfighting skeletons on the box cover;
- A SPIRAL NOTEBOOK, its cover labelled "STU M. - GEOGRAPHY," its
inside pages covered with drawings of dinosaurs and airplanes;
- Transparent plastic models of "THE VISIBLE MAN" and his mate, "THE
VISIBLE WOMAN," with a couple of spare organs that young STU never
quite found a place for;
- A vinyl LP of "BREAD'S GREATEST HITS," which STU quickly slips back
into the suitcase lest anyone see it.
As he gathers his bags, he hears odd SQUEAKS and CHITTERING...
Carry your bags, mister?
A STRANGE FURRY CREATURE pops out from beneath the platform and yanks on
STU's pants leg. It looks like a raccoon, but it's FLAT - an animated
pelt. Before STU has time to let out a yell, a FLAT SNAKESKIN comes
slithering out from beneath the baggage cart...
Cigars, mister? Genuine Coobans!
STU looks down and sees a SQUASHED RABBIT humping his leg.
Wanna meet my sister?
These bordertown types are known as ROADKILL, and they're sporting the
tire tracks to prove it. STU SCREAMS, shakes them off, and RUNS.
EXT. DARK TOWN GATES - NIGHT
A long stone STAIRWAY leads to decorative wrought-iron GATES. SHADOWY
CARVED SPHINXES sit on either side. As STU races up the steps, a
sputtering NEON SIGN comes to life overhead:
D RK TOWN
A FANFARE BLOWS as the creaky gates begin to part. A SPOTLIGHT hits the
SPHINXES - and they COME TO LIFE! They rise up on their hind legs, put
on boater hats. One of them blows a note on a kazoo...
Weeee...welcome you to Dark Town
And while you're in your coma
This odd amusement park-town
Will be your Home Sweet Homa -
STU bolts THROUGH THE GATES, with the ROADKILL TRIO right on his heels.
The indignant SPHINXES exchange a look of outrage.
EXT. DARK TOWN - MIDWAY - NIGHT
It's a carny town, a tourist trap, seedy and nightmarish. Despite the
festive trappings, there's something off about it - an air of neglect
and decrepitude - as if they'd tried to turn Alcatraz into Disneyland,
and given up halfway through.
STU looks back and sees the ROADKILL gaining on him. He spots a small
group of OTHER HUMANS...
Help me. Please. There's animals. They -
The humans just YAWN. They're COMA VICTIMS, just like STU. He ditches
one of his SUITCASES as the ROADKILL come after him.
Pony ride, Mister?
He turns and spots a helpful-looking fellow in a COWBOY OUTFIT. The
COWBOY is in fact a CENTAUR - rider and mount rolled into one!
The characters who run this place - the BARKERS, TICKET-TAKERS, and RIDE
OPERATORS - are all weird HYBRIDS, part human, part ANIMAL. They could
be the ancient Gods of some primitive culture - reduced to working as
street entertainers in this ramshackle resort town.
STU pinballs down the street, bouncing from one shock to another:
- JOE CAMEL, doing community service as a STREET SWEEPER -
Hey, Mister. Mister! Got a smoke?
- a YETI selling SNO-CONES from a cart outside the MORPHEUM THEATRE.
The marquee reads:
LIVE! NIGHTMARES! LIVE!
First-Run - Continuous Performances - Popular Prices
Rated NR-H - Not Recommended for Humans
- A CYCLOPS working as a barker at the Penny Arcade;
- A VIDEO RENTAL OUTLET - "BAD DREAMS VIDEO," offering your favorite
nightmares, cult and classic, three nights for $2.95. A THREE-HEADED
DEVIL emerges from the shop carrying a sackful of videos - and
recognizes STU, much to his horror.
Hey, aren't you Stu Miley?
We're big fans.
Could we have your autograph?
Reduced to babbling hysteria, STU ducks into the nearest building. Above
the door, an ANIMATED NEON SIGN shows a happy boozer lifting his martini
glass, then falling over flat on his back, at which point his eyes are
replaced by the traditional cartoon X's. This is the COMA BAR.
INT. COMA BAR - A MOMENT LATER - NIGHT
STU bursts in, flattens himself against the wall as the ROADKILL skitter
past outside. He's given them the slip. He looks around.
The bar's a weird melange of styles. COMA VICTIMS ride around in
wheelchairs refurbished as BUMPER CARS, drinking cocktails from IV
bottler. A four-armed ELEPHANT GOD is at the Mighty Wurlitzer while a
MERMAID VOCALIST in a half-shell belts out the wistful lyrics of Johnny
Mercer's "DREAM." And over at the BAR...
New in town, huh? What're you drinking?
Out of breath, STU edges toward the bar as the BARTENDER, BULL, turns
away to grab a fresh glass.
Chasing me - animals - horrible -
Animals? What kind of animals?
STU GAGS. BULL is a full-fledged MINOTAUR, body of a man, head of a
BULL. His features are CUBIST - weirdly squashed over to one side.
Yeah, I know - Picasso. Guernica, right? That's
what everybody says - although personally, I
don't see the resemblance. What are you
Uhh - martini?
Olive or eyeball?
Olive. - Where exactly am I?
Dark Town. Land of nightmares. I'm Bull.
Yeah, I've seen a few of your dreams. You're
quite a celebrity down here.
STU gives him a cockeyed look. BULL points to a MONITOR mounted over the
bar, on which a panicked man in pajamas is trying to run barefoot
through a great sticky SEA OF MOLASSES.
I told you, it's the land of nightmares. Same on
every channel...all the stuff people dream,
after they have the extra anchovies.
He changes channels with a remote. Now we see a guy falling through
midair, arms and legs flailing, falling, falling, falling...
Jeez, it all looks like bad late-night cable.
Sad commentary, huh?
Now a small muffled VOICE speaks from the area of STU'S BACKPACK:
DISEMBODIED VOICE (o.s.)
"Bull," huh? That's cute. What's your last name
(turning angrily to STU)
I beg your pardon?
I didn't say anything.
Nice face. Lemme guess. You were in a bullfight
...with a Mack Truck!!
STU claps both hands over his mouth to prove he's not the one talking.
BULL glowers at him, snorting STEAM out of both nostrils.
I was, uh, just getting ready to leave...
Yo, Jumbo. We got us some kind of ventriloquist
The ELEPHANT GOD from the Wurlitzer organ comes lumbering over.
Well, hello, sailor. Get a lot of dates with
that ding-dong on your face??
BULL and JUMBO rear back to PUNCH STU'S LIGHTS OUT. He's saying his
prayers when his BACKPACK begins to BULGE and QUIVER - and a SMALL FURRY
BEAST pops out, CACKLING HIS HEAD OFF!!
Just kiddin', folks! Drinks for everybody -
(pointing at STU)
On him!! HIYA, BOSS!!
BULL and JUMBO back off, STUNNED. The monkey grabs STU'S FACE and plants
a big wet SMOOCH right on his NOSE. STU SCREAMS.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
TIGHT ON an EEG monitor. There's a sudden BLIP on the readout.
Just a spike, ma'am. It happens. It's perfectly
natural with coma patients.
I'm a doctor too. I know this man's brain -
JULIE strokes STU's limp hand. He's COMATOSE, cocooned in a tangle of
wires and tubes. His head and shoulders are heavily bandaged. He's
hooked up to as much machinery as you can cram into one room.
Go home, Doctor. Rest. Come back when you can do
us some good.
INT. HOSPITAL - WAITING ROOM - NIGHT
Dead on her feet, JULIE stumbles toward the exit. As she's leaving she
passes the WAITING ROOM -
She turns and sees an older colleague from work - ALICE - waiting in the
doorway. Hovering right behind ALICE is HERB. And behind him -
It appears that almost everyone in the waiting room is a friend of JULIE
and STU's. Disheveled and groggy, they rouse themselves and make their
way over to JULIE's side. She's overcome with emotion.
INT. STU & JULIE'S HOUSE - ENTRY - NIGHT
The sound of the key in the lock is met by INSANE BARKING. JULIE and
ALICE enter and are met by BUSTER, the pet basset - jumping and yipping
like crazy after 24 hours without food or human company.
Now don't pick a fight. I'm staying over.
Oh, poor Buster. He hasn't been fed in a day and
a half. Let me get some food...
ALICE kneels to play with the dog. She hears a sudden GASP from the
kitchen. JULIE is standing by the open refrigerator, wearing an
absolutely stricken expression...
INT. KITCHEN - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
ALICE finds JULIE holding a bottle of champagne - Veuve Clicquot La
Grande Dame 1989 - all wrapped up in a bow and ribbon.
I don't know. I guess it was...
She bursts into tears. ALICE sits her down at the kitchen table and
takes the champagne from her.
Don't get all poignant. We're keeping this
bottle on ice. When he comes around you're going
to need it.
INT. BATHROOM - LATER - NIGHT
A limp JULIE soaking in a steamy tub, one arm dangling over the side. On
the vanity is a framed PHOTO STRIP, four poses for a dollar. In the
first three, STU and JULIE are making outrageously goony faces. In the
fourth, they imitate the stern-faced farm couple from American Gothic.
She gazes at it for a long, long time. Eventually she smiles.
INT. SECOND BEDROOM/STUDIO - NIGHT
OPEN on two PHOTOS, mounted in a single frame. On the left, BUSTER
KEATON, droopy-eyed, in his familiar porkpie hat and vest. On the right,
a Photoshopped image of BUSTER THE BASSETT HOUND, in the same pose, also
wearing Keaton's hat and vest.
These photos are on the wall of the cramped room which serves as STU's
studio and JULIE's office. MONKEYBONE STRIPS are scattered across the
drafting table. ALICE is making up the sofa as a guest bed.
As she's hanging her coat in the closet she comes across an ACRYLIC
CANVAS in the back, stashed behind a battered portfolio and a box full
of spiral-bound sketchbooks. She pulls it out. She's obviously disturbed
by it, but she can't tear her eyes away...
She's still gaping at the painting when JULIE enters in a terrycloth
Who did this?
Stu. That was right about the time we met.
When he first came in to the sleep lab?
Yeah...before your time.
The canvas depicts a group of SURGEONS with the faces of wolves. They're
standing over a HUMAN PATIENT, replacing his internal organs with
MACHINE PARTS. The style is at once cartoony and unsettling.
Jesus, honey...he always joked about you curing
him, but I never realized what you cured him
He hadn't gotten a good night's sleep in years.
The nightmares would wake him up, and he'd start
right in painting...
That boy looked like pluperfect hell.
ALICE's gaze goes from the nightmare paintings to the MONKEYBONE strips
tacked up over the drafting table.
How do you get from here - to there?
I'm serious. It was bicameral disjunction -
right brain and left brain out of balance. He
was a rightie, so I made him switch the pencil
to his left hand. Just to see what'd come out.
A smile comes to JULIE's face. She settles in on the floor beside ALICE
and digs through the various portfolios until she comes up with a
quickie CARTOON on the back of a napkin - the prototype for...
Left-handed, he was funny. He'd been doing all
this scary, intense work...then he found out he
could draw this stuff, and make me laugh, and he
And then the nightmares just...stopped.
Wow - two guys in the same brain. - Which one
did you fall in love with?
JULIE smiles at the cartoon. She isn't telling.
I've put a ton of work into that boy, Alice. I
am not going to let him get away from me.
INT. ICU - MORNING
JULIE, in her white lab coat, wanders through Intensive Care and finds a
WOMAN hunched over STU's bed, BAWLING HER EYES OUT.
KIMMY looks up. She's crying so much she can barely recognize JULIE.
Oh, Julie...my poor Stu...my poor baby
When'd you get in?
An hour ago.
I tried to prepare myself, but I didn't know he
would be like, like this. I can't even bear to
look at him... How about you? You're okay?
I'm fine, Kimmy. Fine.
I had so much I always wanted to say to him. At
least he had a chance to give you the ring.
Grandmama's ring. The engagement ring. He asked
me to send it to him -
JULIE turns to look at STU in the bed. The certain knowledge that he was
about to propose is like a knife in her heart. KIMMY feels bad as well,
having let the cat out of the bag, but before they can hash it out -
VOICE FROM BEHIND
Mrs. Brewster? Julie? I'm Dr. Edelstein.
Cheery DR. EDELSTEIN enters. He shakes hands with the women, then checks
STU's readouts, making notations on his clipboard.
Vital signs have stabilized. That's good.
Can you give us a realistic sense of my
He's held on this far. We can't do much but wait
But these...machines are what's keeping him
alive, is that right?
This remark sends a shiver down JULIE's spine, but she keeps silent.
At the moment, yes.
Can you give me a realistic idea...of how long
this is going to last?
Comas are unpredictable. He could wake up today,
tomorrow, a month from now...
Honey, I have to clarify this. The thing is, Dr.
Edelstein, my brother has an absolute horror of
doctors - hospitals - needles - all of it -
Kimmy, he doesn't know what's going on. He
doesn't even know he's in a -
Please, Julie. This is not easy for me. Our
father took a long time to die. A long time. It
just about killed us all. And Stu and I made a
pact that when our time came - we wouldn't let
it drag out.
It's too soon even to - talk about that!
Give me a date, Doctor.
There's always some brain damage. But at three
months...the chances of coming back shrink
dramatically with every day.
I want him to have every chance, Doctor. We can
certainly give it...three months.
No one says anything. But both women look at STU, and then at each
other, and everyone knows exactly where everyone else stands. JULIE has
a sinking feeling that STU is working on a 3-month deadline.
INSERT - TELEVISION SCREEN
A beauty pageant - shapely INGENUES in EVENING GOWNS being introduced by
an EMCEE with enormous teeth.
And now the last of our five finalists...Miss
Michigan...GEORGE T. WILLOUGHBY!
GEORGE is a pudgy shmoe with a small pencil mustache who's wearing
glasses, a necktie, and NOTHING ELSE. He steps forward, holding a
briefcase in front of his crotch, looking EXTREMELY MORTIFIED.
And now George will give us his analysis of
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle as it
pertains to third-world economics!!
CAMERA PULLS BACK - and we realize we're in:
INT. COMA BAR - NIGHT
where BULL the BARTENDER and a number of PATRONS are watching GEORGE's
nightmare on the TV mounted over the bar.
Onscreen, NUDE GEORGE is sweating bullets. He has no idea what to say,
and the audience is beginning to laugh at him. In a desperate, feeble
attempt to buy time...he begins to SING.
I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair!
In fact he goes into a little softshoe, keeping the briefcase poised
over his crotch. Unfortunately, THE CASE POPS OPEN, dumping frilly
LINGERIE all over the stage. The weeping GEORGE must crawl around on all
fours to retrieve it...
By now the onlookers at the bar are CRACKING UP. All except one - the
lonely, disconsolate fellow on the last stool, nursing a martini - STU.
Hey, Stu, why so glum? Everybody loves a good
Three months, Bull. Three months tonight. Three
months since the accident - and I'm no closer to
going home than I was then.
Aw, buck up. Have another 'tini.
I'm sick of martinis. I'm sick of the waiting,
and the carnival rides, and watching people's
nightmares. And of course, I need not add -
He GRIMACES at MONKEYBONE, who's stretched out atop the mighty Wurlitzer
at the other end of the room. The MERMAID CHANTEUSE is singing a
Dietrich number, "The Laziest Gal in Town" - or at least trying to,
because MONKEYBONE is caterwauling behind her. By the time she gets to
the grand finale, he's practically BAYING AT THE MOON.
Pissed off, she SHAKES her FIST at MONKEYBONE and pulls the lid of her
clamshell SHUT. This suits MONKEYBONE just fine, as it leaves him alone
in the spotlight to soak up what little applause there is.
Thank you, thank you for that very modest
response. I know you're all in comas, but still.
And now...it's dedication time!
He gestures to JUMBO, the elephant organist, who begins to vamp.
We've got a special dedication tonight. This
one's from my ever-lovin' boss, Mr. Stu Mopey -
I mean Miley - and we're sendin' it up to
a very special lady in the land of the living.
Yes, I do mean Julie - the beautiful Miss Julie
- who, if she has a brain in her head, is
shacked up right now with some good-lookin' doc
she met in the E.R.!
(pointing at STU)
JUST KIDDING, BUDDY! Because if we know anything
about Miss Julie, we know she is faithful,
loyal, and true. Even if her boyfriend is an
eggplant. Which is why we're dedicating...this
very special tune...to her. Jumbo?
JUMBO's tasteful vamping gives way to a RAUNCHY ROCK BEAT - and
MONKEYBONE begins STRUTTING across the top of the piano, bumping and
grinding and shaking his booty to the tune of -
MAH baby does the Hanky-Panky! UNHH!
MAH baby does the Hanky-Panky! UNHH!
MONKEYBONE sings the same poignant line over and over until STU comes
storming over from the bar and YANKS HIM off the Wurlitzer by the scruff
of his scrawny NECK.
A trouper to the end, MONKEYBONE WAVES at the crowd even as STU drags
him off to an empty table in the farthest corner of the room.
You have humiliated me in public for the last
I doubt that. Besides, I can't help myself. I'm
just a figment of your imagination.
Then you can learn to act normally. I had to!
Aw, come on. You know you love me. You're a
masochistic pain freak. You gotta love me.
I am not. And I don't gotta.
MONKEYBONE waves and winks at every female who passes by. STU whacks him
upside the head.
You are too! Mooning over Julie when we could
both be gettin' some o' this fine local action.
It's not like she's gonna know. Out of town,
under five minutes, and in a coma don't count.
Sorry. The women here aren't my type. Most of
them aren't even my species.
Cocktail waitress KITTY, a seven-foot cat-faced feline sex bomb, arrives
in her skimpy black dress and shows STU a Cheshire-cat grin. MONKEYBONE
reclines, Odalisque-style, on the table.
Hiya, Stu. Refill on that martini?
I'd like something with an umbrella in it and a
really smutty name. Like a...Sex Behind the Sofa
with Your Parents in the Same Room Watching "The
Nothing for him! He's being repressed.
Is something wrong, Stu? You seem so tense.
Aaah, it's the same as always...poor mope's just
wishin' he was me.
I've been trying to get through to the head guy
- the nightmare god - what's his name?
Yeah. To see if he could expedite my case. But I
wait, and I wait, and...I'm starting to think
I'll never see her again.
A softie at heart, KITTY sits across from STU and takes his hand.
I shoulda proposed, Kitty. That way at least
she'd know how I feel. That way she'd...wait for
She leans forward sympathetically. From this particular vantage,
MONKEYBONE has an unobstructed view of KITTY's cleavage. And so does STU
- although he's not quite as obvious about staring.
She is waiting for you, Stu. I know she is. Guys
like you don't come along that often. Believe
me, I know.
MONKEYBONE slinks over behind STU - up onto his shoulder - and whispers
into his ear:
My Fellow Americans. I have a dream. Let us
boldly go where no man has gone before.
(trying to ignore him)
I'm sorry, Kitty - what were you saying?
I mean it, Stu. You're one in a million.
KITTY is holding the cleavage pose for an unnaturally long time. Her
furry tail begins to swing back and forth playfully in the air. It's
hypnotic - like a windshield wiper.
STU stares at it. MONKEYBONE stares at it. And MONKEYBONE'S TAIL
responds by straightening...stiffening...bending upward slightly.
I'm not so special. I'm just - kind of -
STU is suddenly aware of something LONG, RED, and WET unrolling onto his
shoulder. It's a TONGUE...dangling out of MONKEYBONE'S OPEN MOUTH. STU
lets out a YOWL OF SHOCK.
Blushing bright red, he GRABS THE TONGUE and shoves it manually back
into the monkey mouth whence it came.
Come on, pal! It was a compliment! You'da done
the same if you had the equipment!
THAT DOES IT! BACK IN THE PACK!
FORGET IT! NO WAY! I'M NOT GETTING -
STU LUNGES at MONKEYBONE - who JUMPS OVER HIM, BOUNDS off the edge of
the table, and grabs hold of a CHANDELIER.
I'm reportin' this to my union!!
The sidekicks' union! Me, Tonto, and Robin the
Boy Wonder. You top bananas better watch your
STU grabs a CHAIR and swings it at the chandelier. MONKEYBONE makes a
series of SUBMARINE NOISES -
- and DIVES - directly between KITTY's breasts into her skimpy black
dress!! STU circles around KITTY, following the undulating monkey-sized
BLOB that's tunnelling around under her dress. Finally MONKEYBONE pops
out of the BACK of the dress and NUZZLES KITTY'S EAR:
I left my phone number in your undies. Try not
to lose it in traffic.
Sorry, Kitty! I'll be right back after I choke
MONKEYBONE runs under the pool table. STU is giving chase when -
suddenly - a DOOR blows open in the chill night wind.
EVERYONE IN THE BAR freezes in place.
For there, in the doorway, is a looming, ominous figure - the most
dreaded figure in all of Dark Town -
- a GRIM REAPER, nine feet tall and swinging a scythe, come to take some
hapless coma victim to the land of Death!
EERIE WINDS WHISTLE and the shroud FLUTTERS in the night breeze as the
REAPER looks from face to face. For a moment he focuses on STU. STU
backs away involuntarily, with a mounting sense of dread...and
MONKEYBONE jumps into his arms, clinging to him fearfully.
But the REAPER moves on - past each COMA VICTIM in turn - finally
STOPPING in front of a TINY, WIZENED, PRUNELIKE OLD GENT in a
wheelchair, who looks to be 110 years old at least.
Him. Whew. About time!
EARL BIEGLER. I'VE COME -
Can't hear you, young fellow. Speak up!
EARL BIEGLER, I'VE COME TO GIVE YOU - aw, hell.
GASPS OF ANTICIPATION all around the room as the REAPER hands EARL a
long white ENVELOPE. EARL opens it slowly and removes...
...an oversized rectangular TICKET...the size of a Hershey bar, made of
SOLID GOLD, with the letter "E" stamped upon it.
VARIOUS CHARACTERS around the barroom react, in hushed voices:
He got a reprieve.
Good for him! He's gonna wake up!
EARL throws his crutches aside, jumps out of his chair, and DANCES A
JIG, waving the ticket over his head. STU stares at him with naked envy.
No. No. Not him.
So long, suckers! See you in the funny papers!
EARL does an end-zone dance toward the door. One by one, OTHER PATRONS
get up from their seats to watch EARL's departure.
EXT. COMA BAR - STREETS - NIGHT
The COMA VICTIMS shuffle toward a BIG RIDE across the midway.
It's a "TEST YOUR STRENGTH" machine - the kind where you slam down a
mallet and try to ring the bell. It's surrounded by crocodile moats and
storm fences and electrified barbed wire, and a big sign reading PRIVATE
- NO ADMITTANCE.
EARL, still jubilant, inserts his E-ticket into a receptacle at the
entrance. A DRAWBRIDGE LOWERS, and CAROUSEL MUSIC cranks up, and
CARNIVAL LIGHTS blink on, and FIREWORKS rocket into the sky...
All around them, faces turn skyward. CLOUDS are parting. An EDDY of
swirling colors is forming DIRECTLY ABOVE the E-ticket ride - and a
PINPOINT HOLE opens up at its center.
The "TEST YOUR STRENGTH" machine has been outfitted with a SEAT where
the bell-ringer should be. Once EARL has settled in, a GIANT MECHANICAL
MAN lifts its enormous mallet...
...and SLAMS IT DOWN on the lever end of the machine, sending EARL
ROCKETING UPWARD toward the hole in the sky. DING!! The SEAT hits the
BELL, but EARL keeps going - up - up - UP...
Then, with a distinct POP, he's gone. Over the rainbow...home.
He's ninety. He's practically dead already. How
come he goes back and I stay here?
Maybe he wanted to pick out his own casket?
HEY!! HEY, YOU!!
STU marches across the street to the GRIM REAPER - who's climbing onto
his WINGED BICYCLE and seems shocked that anyone would want to chat with
him. MONKEYBONE scurries alongside, terrified.
He got an E-ticket. Where's mine? When do I get
to wake up??
Stu? Stu? Let's not disturb the nice Reaper.
I've been stuck down here for months. Somebody
had better start paying attention, or I'm gonna
- I'm gonna kick ass!
Let's not kick the nice Reaper's ass.
MONKEYBONE practically swoons. But the REAPER just stares at STU:
SORRY, BUD. OFF-DUTY.
The REAPER climbs onto his winged bike and PEDALS OFF down the midway.
STU lets out a HOWL OF FRUSTRATION.
Stu? Stu? Let's calm down, talk things over. How
about some comedy relief? Okay. Brontosaurus
walks into a gay bar...
STU BOOTS MONKEYBONE aside. They're at a GAME STALL manned by Elsie the
Cow - the one where you throw baseballs at milk bottles. STU picks up a
baseball and HURLS IT at the departing REAPER.
The ball hits the REAPER smack on the head, knocking him off his bike!
(in unison - impressed)
MONKEYBONE cowers in fear as the REAPER gets up, shaking a fist at them.
But STU isn't intimidated. He grabs another ball and winds up.
Stu? Stu? I think weve got this backwards. Your
behavior...is disturbing me.
The REAPER, scared shitless, jumps back on his bike and PEDALS OFF as
the ball whizzes past. STU starts chasing after him!
The REAPER turns down a side street and pedals up an incline - one of
the "fingers" of the hand that holds Dark Town. When the bike hits the
end of the finger, it TAKES OFF into the void and KEEPS ON GOING.
That's right. Run! And don't come back unless
you've got my e-ticket!!
The REAPER vanishes. STU sits dejectedly on the edge of the curb.
Who am I kidding? I'm never gonna get out of
here. I'll never see her again.
Just then, a multi-armed MESSENGER BOY in royal livery toodles past on a
CHILD'S SCOOTER. He stops...
Miley? Stu Miley?
STU looks up. Six arms reach into six pockets. Finally the MESSENGER
finds an ENVELOPE and hands it over. Inside is an ENGRAVED INVITATION:
YOU Are Invited to a
at HYPNOS' HIDEAWAY
Penthouse Suite - 10 PM Sharp
"If You Snooze, You Lose"
STU'S EYES widen with excitement as the MESSENGER scoots off.
Hypnos! The god of nightmares! Do you know what
this means, Monkeybone? He's finally going to
hear my case. I'm going home!
INT. STU'S PRIVATE ROOM - MORNING
As she's done every morning for the last three months, JULIE brushes
STU'S TEETH. Although she looks a bit more worn and haggard than when we
saw her last, she always affects a cheerful manner around STU - on the
off chance that he might be aware of her presence.
She packs the toothbrush away, runs a hand along his stubbly cheek.
I think we can go another day without shaving.
Long as you don't look like you're growing one
of those stupid little goatees.
She opens up the entertainment section of the daily newspaper.
Hey, there's an article about the Monkeybone
show. They've run that one episode about eight
times now. Herb says it gets higher ratings
every time...they're hoping you'll give 'em some
new material soon...
(long, bored pause)
Wanna hear another joke?
She refolds the paper and reaches into a bedside drawer for a paperback
entitled The Book of Raunch. She pages through it for a moment.
Okay...let me see...here we go. A plane full of
explorers crashlands in New Guinea; they are
captured by a cannibal tribe and taken to the
chief's hut, where...wait a minute. I know this
You stinker! You swiped this joke for a
She whacks him on the arm with the book. No response at all.
Okay. Let's try again. Why did the pervert cross
The sound of SOBBING interrupts her joke. She looks up and sees KIMMY
standing in the doorway, red-eyed and crying.
Kimmy! What's the matter?
This is hard for me, Julie...very hard...but
it's been three months now, and...
I gave the order.
JULIE just stares at her for a beat or two, refusing to understand. Then
it sinks in. Her hand goes to her mouth in horror and grief.
FADE THROUGH TO:
EXT. HYPNOSPIRE - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT
CAMERA TRACKS up the seemingly endless length of the HYPNOSPIRE - up,
up, THROUGH a heavy layer of clouds, to the ROTATING PENTHOUSE DOME of
...which is festooned with oodles of 18-INCH DSS SATELLITE DISHES.
INT. HYP'S HIDEAWAY - NIGHT
ELEVATOR DOORS open, and we glide into the swank, swingin', space-age
bachelor pad of HYPNOS, God of Sleep. A giant flying CUPID welcomes us,
tiny bumblebee wings somehow keeping his vast bulk aloft.
HYP'S HIDEAWAY occupies the entire penthouse floor, and there's always a
party in full effect. A rotating disco ball flashes colored light on
walls, floors, and ceilings covered with shockadelic OP-ART PATTERNS.
Now this...is livin'.
Of course, a party needs party animals - and the DARKTOWNERS on the
scene are in fine fettle, working up a sweat on the dance floor. DJ
SLEEPY ZZZ'S has three turntables spinning at once.
As STU wanders through, he gets a big surprise. Reproductions of his old
NIGHTMARE PAINTINGS are hanging on the walls! They've been turned into
ONE-SHEETS for the coming attractions at the Morpheum.
Y'call that art? Why, my three-year-old can
paint better than that.
Like you'd know. You started out on the back of
a napkin, you little...doodle.
Scowling at each other, the boys turn their backs and part ways. We
follow MONKEYBONE to the wet bar, where he almost immediately bumps into
a statuesque GORGON with a full head of writhing SNAKES.
Hey! Like the do. So tell me, are you a, uhh...
Only fifty dollars to find out.
Fifty dollars?! Bite me!
You got it, big boy.
He grins and shrugs: what the hell. As they head for a back room, the
BARTENDER hands him a SNAKEBITE KIT.
A look of apprehension crosses MONKEYBONE's face. But before he can
change his mind, the GORGON'S HAND yanks him out of frame.
STU, meanwhile, is crossing the dance floor, moving among glittering
animal-people who DANCE in their bizarre, uninhibited way. A FIVE-LEGGED
WOMAN - the bottom half of her body a big human HAND - SMILES at STU as
he passes. He tries to talk to her, but she's dancing, and with five
constantly moving legs it's difficult to get in close.
Say, have you seen Mr. Hypnos?
Hyp? He was here a while ago. Aren't you Stu
Miley? The nightmare guy?
STU grins meekly, nods yes. She pulls him over to dance.
I heard you were going to be here tonight. This
is so cool!
JUMBO the ELEPHANT GOD is dancing in ungainly fashion nearby. His trunk
swings out and hits one of the HAND WOMAN'S arms - which SNAPS OFF like
marble statuary. Before she can let out a squeal, he does it again. Now
she's armless - a regular Venus de Milo!
You fat slob! Watch what you're doing!
Why don't you slap me? Go on, slap me!
Come on, Stu. Let's go where the real fun is.
She leads him over to the sunken living room. Among the other guests, we
see a CYCLOPS, a YETI, a BBQ PIG. A number of sofas and lounge chairs
are arranged around a big crystal ORB in the center of the room.
The ORB is where nightmares happen. Although the perspective shifts and
the locales change abruptly, as in a movie, all the nightmares have a
3-D quality - as if they're taking place right here in the room with us!
Wow. Live feed, huh?
You bet. Hyp gets all the best stuff before it
goes out to the theatres.
STU grins in anticipation. He finds an empty chair and starts to sit
down - but there's a SLUG with a MAN'S HEAD already in it!
SLUG WITH A MAN'S HEAD
STU picks another seat. The HAND WOMAN sidles up alongside him.
Shh! There's a new one just starting.
EXT. FIELD OF FLOWERS (NIGHTMARE ORB)
In long shot we see a handsome young couple dressed in paisley prints.
Emerging from a sylvan glade, they kiss in golden sunlight. Then the MAN
breaks free - sprints through knee-high sunflowers to the middle of the
field, where a picnic blanket is waiting.
CLOSEUP - STU
HIS FACE GOES PALE as he recognizes the man in the paisley shirt.
That - that's me.
Nice shirt, dude!
EXT. FIELD OF FLOWERS (NIGHTMARE ORB) - DAY
Paisley-shirted STU pours champagne for two. Toasts his beloved - who
is, of course, JULIE, the dreamer of the dream.
He pulls out a little velvet RING BOX and offers it to her. But when she
tries to take it, he pulls it away, teasing her, and STEALS A KISS.
Suddenly the two of them are locked in a tight embrace, rolling together
through the flowers, LAUGHING, full of joy.
INT. HYP'S HIDEAWAY - THAT MOMENT
The DARKTOWNERS are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of
horrors to come. STU looks from one misshapen face to the next, his
heart pounding with dread.
What is this? Who's dreaming this??
Hey, keep it down!
EXT. FIELD OF FLOWERS (NIGHTMARE ORB) - DAY
JULIE rolls onto her back on the grass, FACE AGLOW. Only to realize...
that STU IS NO LONGER THERE BESIDE HER.
She looks around. Gets to her feet. Turns. And the BACKGROUND behind her
MORPHS suddenly into...
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM (NIGHTMARE ORB)
The room is decorated for a FAREWELL PARTY, complete with streamers and
confetti. KIMMY, DR. EDELSTEIN, various MEDICAL PERSONNEL and FRIENDS
are wearing party hats, lifting champagne glasses in a toast to the
guest of honor...the comatose Stu!
INT. HYP'S HIDEAWAY - THAT MOMENT
The DARKTOWNERS clustered around the orb can barely conceal their animal
excitement. It's obvious that the nightmares they're watching are more
than mere entertainment - they get some kind of addictive, visceral
charge from the spectacle of human terror.
He tries to push his way forward to the orb. An angry CYCLOPS elbows him
aside. A YETI grabs his coat and pushes him out of the way.
Stu!! What are you doing? Chill out!!
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM (NIGHTMARE ORB)
COMATOSE STU stands in the center of the room, UPRIGHT and IMMOBILE in a
party hat. A weird UMBILICAL CORD extends from his navel to a huge
groaning BELLOWS DEVICE - like an artificial lung, it's all that keeps
EDELSTEIN hands a pair of OVERSIZED CEREMONIAL SCISSORS to KIMMY, and
she CUTS THE CORD, as if opening a new mall. Applause all around. JULIE
races toward STU in slo-mo, SHRIEKING -
- as he DEFLATES into a LIMP PUDDLE OF FLESH before her eyes!!
No. No. STU!
INT. HYP'S HIDEAWAY - ON STU
JULIE's distress is killing him. Yet all around him, DARKTOWNERS are
cackling their heads off, growling, howling, punching their fists in the
air like rowdy drunks at a football game. He LOSES IT ALTOGETHER.
JULIE! I'M HERE, DOC! DON'T LET THEM PULL THE
PLUG! I'M HERE!!!
He won't be stopped this time. He makes for the orb - climbing over
sofas, pushing guests aside, knocking over their drinks -
HEY! Watch it, you stinkin' gringo -
JULIE! I'M HERE! I LOVE YOU!
Somehow, JULIE has heard him!! Down in the nightmare orb, her dream self
is looking UP, trying to locate the source of STU's disembodied voice!
He struggles to reach the orb, but the CYCLOPS is holding him back.
STU breaks free and FLINGS HIMSELF on the ORB - which SHORTS OUT in a
haze of smoke and sparks, abruptly ending the nightmare. JULIE's image
vanishes - and STU gropes at the air, DESPAIRING.
INT. STU'S PRIVATE ROOM - NIGHT
The real JULIE awakens suddenly and lets out a scream of her own.
Only now does she realize where she is. She's fallen asleep in the
visitor's chair next to STU's bed. The clock on the wall reads 1:15 AM.
STU'S READOUTS are spiking like crazy.
INT. HYP'S HIDEAWAY - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
STU is being dragged across the dance floor by the YETI and JUMBO THE
ELEPHANT GOD. HAND WOMAN brings up the rear.
Who invited this schmuck, anyway?
Oh, it's my fault. I thought he was cooler than
Listen. Please. It's my girlfriend. I've gotta
get a message to her...
But just then a hush falls over the room, and someone screams...
A WALL PANEL does a 180-degree turn, and a CIRCULAR BED rotates into the
room. Languishing atop it, garbed in a silk robe which exactly matches
the black & white checkerboard pattern of the bedspread...
...is a CHUBBY, GRINNING, SLEEPY-EYED SATYR, with horns and hooves. TWO
WASP WOMEN are with him on the bed, brushing his furry goat legs and
feeding him grapes.
As STU fights his way over, he sees an odd LUMP wriggling under the
bedcovers. Out pops MONKEYBONE, clutching a bottle of champagne!
I knew I left it in there somewhere.
He shakes the bottle, pops the cork, and SPRAYS SPURTING BUBBLY at
HYPNOS, the GIRLS, and everyone else within firing range!
Haw! I like a monkey with vision!
You said it, partner!
Hilarity all around. STU snatches MONKEYBONE off the bed -
How'd you get in there?
Stu... It's a party.
Mr. Hypnos - sir - I needed to talk to you -
Wait a minute. Stu Miley, right? Boys and girls
...Mr. Stu Miley, in the house!
(leading a round of applause)
This is an honor. We see a lot of nightmares
down here, but yours are like caviar, man. You
Mr. Hypnos, I saw a dream. My girlfriend was
having it. She dreamed they were pulling the
plug on me. She was watching me die.
Uh huh. And?
Well, I have to get a message to her. I have to
let her know I'm okay. Until I can get out of
A vaguely embarrassed look crosses HYPNOS's face. All the nearby
DARKTOWNERS stare at their shoes, clear their throats.
...which is actually what I wanted to talk to
you about. See, I've been here three months -
With a brusque gesture, HYPNOS sends the party girls packing. He slings
one arm around STU's shoulder and pulls him aside.
Kid - didn't they tell you about this party?
Tell me what?
It's a special kind of party. A farewell party.
Do you...get what I'm saying?
Farewell? You mean - you mean I'm -
STU EXPLODES WITH JOY. He practically dances a jig.
I'M GOING HOME! I'M WAKING UP! HEY, EVERYBODY!
I'M OUTTA HERE. I...
One by one, the celebrants turn their backs and slink discreetly away.
I think I...I'm about to... Am I mistaken, or
don't I get to... Is there some...
Y'see, Stu, as I understand it, you made this
pact with your sister...no life support?
MONKEYBONE's jaw drops. He slaps himself across the forehead.
Pact? Pact? NO LIFE SUPPORT??
Well - yeah - but that doesn't...apply. It was
different then. I was depressed. My life is
great now. I'm in love!
MONKEYBONE marches back and forth across the bed, wearing a dimwit's
expression as he MOCKS STU in a singsongy voice...
Pull the plug! Pull the plug! Take my organs! I
don't need 'em! I don't need no! Life support!
I'm an idiot! Pull the pl--
STU grabs the monkey and clamps a hand over his mouth.
Besides, Julie wouldn't...she'd never...
Actually, Stu, Julie doesn't get to decide.
That's why she was having the nightmare.
(an embarrassed shrug)
They're pulling the plug at nine AM.
Nine AM! But that's - twelve hours.
In checking his watch, STU removes his hand from MONKEYBONE's mouth. The
I'm so dumb! I deserve to die -
Mr. Hypnos, you run this place. I'm begging you.
There's gotta be something I can do.
Stu, I like you personally, I admire your work,
but I'm just the God of Sleep. This is Death's
Maybe you could talk to Death!
Me? Me, go crawling to Death? My friend, it will
be a cold, cold day in Las Vegas, Nevada, before
I go crawling to that piece of -
HYP shuts up. Looks around the room, as if he's afraid of being
overheard. Then he gestures to the boys to join him on the bed.
They climb aboard eagerly. HYPNOS hits his remote...
INT. HYPNOS'S BEDROOM - ON BED
...and they rotate AWAY from the party. Privacy at last.
Now Death is not what you would call a people
person, like me. Death is a putz - and I should
know. I'm his little brother.
You're Death's brother?
Oh yeah. Mr. By-the-book, Stick-Up-the-Ass, My-
Way-or-the-Highway Death. Believe me - over the
course of eternity, you get pretty damned tired
of that schtick.
(spreading his hands)
So I need a job. He sticks me in this broke-down
amusement park, with a buncha animals to run it.
I'm supposed to be grateful?
The penthouse is pretty swank, though.
Thank you. I decorated it myself.
Guys, I don't mean to be rude, but I only have
eleven hours and fifty-three minutes to...
Oh, right. Cheating Death. There's one thing you
might try. Only one guy in history ever pulled
it off. Well, actually two. Actually, no, there
was that other guy who...well, very few people
have done it.
Hyp, I'll do anything.
Me too. And I mean anything. Ask the chicks in
the back room.
You've seen those E-tickets, right? Well, what
you gotta do...is go into the Land of Death...
and steal an E-ticket right out from under
Land of Death. How do I get there?
Kid, listen: that's all I'm saying. And you
didn't hear it from me.
HYP hits the remote. The bed begins to ROTATE OUTWARD again.
You've heard of a fate worse than Death? That's
what's waiting for you if you screw up.
INT. HYP'S HIDEAWAY - A MOMENT LATER
HYP gives the boys a wink and a thumbs-up, then wanders off to shmooze
his other guests. MONKEYBONE shakes STU's hand.
Fate worse than death! Well, it's been real,
boss, but I gotta go buff up my resumé. ANYBODY
HERE NEED A FIGMENT?
Fine! Don't put yourself out. I'll go to the
land of Death alone.
Stu, you have my absolute confidence. - DEAD
MAN! DEAD MAN WALKING!!
(grabbing him by the throat)
I've got one chance to get back to Julie, and
I'm gonna take it - with or without you.
He turns and stalks off. MONKEYBONE stands there blinking.
Hey. Aren't you gonna talk me into it?
No. Goodbye. Thanks for nothing.
Stunned, MONKEYBONE scurries along behind him, PLEADING.
You gotta talk me into it. You'll screw up on
your own. I mean, a guy's gotta have a sidekick.
For moral support! Wisecracks - snappy banter -
(wrapping himself around STU's leg)
It's the land of Death, Stu, the Land of Death!
Don't go in there without your comedy relief!!
All right. You can come.
OH, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! TH--
Something went very, very wrong here.
Now we just gotta figure out how to get there.
As if in reply, a PALE, SPECTRAL PRESENCE comes drifting across the
dance floor - an eight-foot-tall GRIM REAPER.
The boys duck behind a POTTED PLANT to watch as he zeroes in on the WET
BAR - where a beautiful coma victim, LULU, is drunkenly making out with
another sloshed corpse-to-be, FRED.
LULU LA RUE. I HAVE COME FOR YOU.
LULU doesn't notice. She continues grappling with FRED. Muttering, the
REAPER dives in and tries to disentangle them.
LULU LA RUE, I HAVE COME FOR -
Shay, you're kinda cute.
She ditches FRED and throws her arms around the REAPER. Repulsed, he
pushes her away, props her against the nearest wall -
- and TOUCHES HER with one bony finger above the heart! It's like
throwing a switch. Her body stiffens. Her EYES cross. Her TONGUE droops
out of her mouth. She makes a noise like a DIAL TONE.
The true horror of death is that it makes you look like a total idiot.
The REAPER pulls a collapsible HAND TRUCK from beneath his shroud and
starts maneuvering LULU onto it.
Say there. How 'bout one for the road?
The REAPER ignores him. FRED holds up a cocktail glass.
Hold this for me, pally.
The REAPER heaves a sigh and takes the cocktail glass. FRED grabs a
pitcher filled with some luminescent tropical concoction...
...and POURS IT down the REAPER's front!
ON STU AND MONKEYBONE - BEHIND THE PLANT
WINCING at the REAPER in his sopping wet, pink-stained shroud.
Is that what they call "death with dignity"?
The REAPER wrings out his shroud and grabs the hand truck. As he wheels
LULU past the boys, MONKEYBONE pops up with a helpful hint:
Two words for you, my friend: club soda.
STU claps a hand over MB's mouth as the REAPER turns down a hall.
EXT. DARK TOWN GATES - NIGHT
The still-muttering REAPER wheels LULU toward the entrance to Dark Town.
The boys are skulking along behind him at a discreet distance.
He's taking her to the land of Death, right? So
all we've gotta do is...hitch a ride!
Stop shaking! I'll protect you.
Oh, sure. Mr. Action Hero! Why couldn't I be
Arnold Schwarzenegger's figment?
The REAPER approaches the GATES. He presses a remote-control BEEPER and
the meshing teeth of the gates slide back far enough to let him pass
STU realizes they've only got an instant to make their move. He DIVES
through the gates at top speed. As soon as he's on the other side, he
hears a nasty CLANG behind him...
MONKEYBONE is caught - his body contorted like a pretzel, woven in and
out among the meshing teeth! STU gives him a good hard YANK, and he
slips out like a strand of fettuccine.
They hear RUMBLING on the tracks outside. A CAR is arriving!
EXT. DARK TOWN GATES - OTHER SIDE - NIGHT
The REAPER loads LULU into the little roller-coaster and climbs aboard.
The car begins to move. STU and MONKEYBONE get there just in time to
jump onto the LUGGAGE RACK in the back!
ON ROLLER-COASTER - MOVING - THAT MOMENT
They peep over the back of the car at the REAPER and wonder what to do
next. MONKEYBONE spies a TOOL KIT mounted under the rack - opens it, and
pulls out a big, nasty MONKEYWRENCH.
The boys nod in agreement. MONKEYBONE clambers over the back of the car
and hoists the wrench. STU covers his eyes. WHANG!
STU looks up - sees a confused MONKEYBONE alone in the car with LULU.
Now he clambers into the car as well.
Where'd he go??
I don't know.
There's no trace of the REAPER - except for a rumpled shroud, a
wristwatch, and a St. Christopher's medal on the floor of the car. The
boys exchange a puzzled shrug. MONKEYBONE tries on the watch.
INT. SLEEP LAB - PRE-DAWN
The wall clock says it's not quite 3 AM, yet JULIE has managed to round
up all her co-workers: ALICE, HUTCH, CLARISSA, et al. They're groggy,
disheveled, un-made-up, unshaven. But they're there.
Six hours. That's when they pull the plug.
That's how long we've got to wake him up.
Now these are Stu's old charts from five years
ago, when he first came to the sleep lab...
She points to a series of EASELS where HUTCH and ALICE have been tacking
up EEG printouts, engram maps, etc.
...they show incredibly intense nightmare
activity. The chart below is his new chart...
The lower chart shows a JAGGED SPIKE virtually identical to the one on
the upper chart. JULIE pauses for effect - then pulls on the edge of the
lower chart, OPENING IT UP like a gatefold -
The onlookers GASP. Opened accordion-style, the lower chart shows the
SAME SPIKE recurring again and again, TEN TIMES OVER!
He's stuck in a loop - a nightmare loop.
Anybody here know what Oneirix is?
Sure - it's an enzyme. The brain secretes it
during violent dream activity...
It's nightmare juice. Julie and I were on the
team that learned to synthesize it. If those
charts are right, Stu's swimming in the stuff.
Are you thinking we can decrease the levels?
No. I want to give him more. I want to give him
a massive dose.
That's not going to stop his nightmare -
I don't want to stop the nightmare, Hutch. I
want to crank it up. I want to take it right off
the charts. I want to scare him awake.
The group exchanges nervous glances: it's risky. JULIE claps her hands:
All right! We have a plan. Let's move!
As the group swings into action, HUTCH pulls JULIE aside.
You know, Julie, even if this works - which it
probably won't - that stuff is tricky. You don't
know what it'll do to his brain.
What'll it do if they pull the plug?
INT. LAND OF DEATH - NIGHT
A PANORAMIC VIEW of an impossibly grand, Gilded-Age TRAIN STATION. A
central turntable is the hub for dozens of TUNNELS, which converge like
the spokes of a wheel, disgorging long trains full of DEAD PASSENGERS
from all over the world.
Far above, in the dizzying reaches of the vaulted DOME that crowns the
station, REAPERS on FLYING BICYCLES spiral about like mosquitos,
bringing dead souls to their final reward.
This is Thanatopolis - land of Death - truly the end of the line.
A WET SQUEEGEE scrapes across the frame - wielded by a GRIM REAPER in a
jumpsuit bearing the logo of "LAND OF DEATH WINDOW WASHERS, INC." The
noise is irritating, so a REAPER on the inside snaps the venetian blinds
shut, cutting off our view.
CAMERA PULLS BACK, and we realize we've been seeing all this through the
wall-to-wall windows of...
INT. DEATH'S OFFICE - NIGHT
It looks like the observation bridge in the nose of the Nautilus; the
decor is ornate, and the office equipment - vacuum tubes, pipe
intercoms, etc. - is on loan from the Jules Verne Museum of Defunct
REAPERS are bustling about everywhere. One of them pushing a HAND TRUCK
laden with oversized crates bearing the label "DEAD SOULS."
Batch of souls - just back from Processing.
Put them over there with the others.
He unloads the crates in a corner of the room, where SCORES of crated
souls are already piled up.
Your Grimness? We have a new shipment -
Yeah, yeah, yeah... I'll get to it...
We can't see DEATH himself - just the back of a tall swivel chair. With
much creaking, it rotates around - bringing us face-to-face with...
CLOSEUP - DEATH
He's not at all what you'd expect. He's a chubby-cheeked, bespectacled
ACCOUNTANT TYPE...a harried bureaucrat, just trying to do his job.
There's something sweet, almost avuncular about him.
There's an open crate of DEAD SOULS on his desk. Dead souls take the
form of PERFORATED PAPER DOLLS...two-dimensional, underwear-clad,
usually wearing expressions of shock. DEATH pulls a sheet from the box,
detaches the dead soul, and outfits it with a cut-out TOGA.
Now he places it in a big diorama - with OODLES of toga-clad souls
staring up at a scale model of an active volcano. He throws a switch and
BEAMS as the volcano spits BLOBS OF KETCHUP into the air.
Last Days of Pompeii...now there was a Great
Moment in Death.
If I may point out...it is 12:05...
DEATH, grumbling, digs into the box and pulls out another soul. His eyes
light up. He clutches the sheet with trembling hands.
I can't believe - oh, man, I - SINATRA!! Do you
know how long I've been waiting for this?
Sure enough, the doll on the sheet is Ol' Blue Eyes. DEATH digs in a
desk drawer and pulls out a SHOEBOX DIORAMA...DINO and SAMMY standing at
microphones, with a third, center mike conspicuously open.
Make that 12:07, your bleakness...the dispatch
team is waiting...
Grumpy, DEATH shoves FRANK, DEAN, and SAMMY back in the drawer.
Okay, okay, send 'em in. Jeez.
INT. DEATH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS - DAY
A FLUNKY opens the office door, and a long line of REAPERS glides in.
DEATH lugs an enormous musty leather-bound BOOK over to a long table. He
snaps his fingers and WHISTLES.
His pet HELLHOUND - a tiny plump weiner dog, with a HORNED DEATH'S HEAD
for a face, comes skittering across the office floor and jumps into his
lap. Meanwhile, the ASSISTANT turns on a chugging, card-shuffling UNIVAC
COMPUTER, which spits out a length of TICKERTAPE.
Chakasandra Singh, New Delhi. Snakebite.
DEATH checks the name against the master list in his big ledger. He
pulls out a document and puts his STAMP on it - the DEATH WARRANT. This
he gives to the REAPER at the head of the line.
Mulrooney, Lavinia P., Dearborn, Michigan. Head
crushed in a pants press.
As the line moves along, we notice an odd-looking REAPER nearing the
desk. His gait is wobbly. His head bobs independently of the rest of his
body. There's a big, luminescent STAIN on the front of his shroud.
EVERYONE FREEZES as DEATH points a bony finger DIRECTLY AT the wobbly
REAPER with the iridescent stain.
You're the customer, okay? You're about to die.
It's a big occasion. A formal occasion. And as
you shuffle off this mortal coil, the last thing
your eyes behold is a Grim Reaper covered
What the hell is that??
TWO VOICES come out from under the shroud at once:
Cranberry Margarita. Sex on the Beach.
Much COUGHING and THROAT-CLEARING from under the shroud. By now DEATH'S
LAPDOG is GROWLING at the STAINED REAPER, and DEATH can't hear what
anyone is saying. He shushes the dog.
Salty Dog. Sufferin' Bastard.
The little hellhound YIPS VICIOUSLY. DEATH whacks him on the rump.
Well - whatever it is - you get that shroud to
the dry cleaner ASAP! Now where were we?
Clarke P. Devereaux, San Francisco.
Complications resulting from coma...
Oh, wait. Says here he's supposed to recover.
A loud chorus of "A WWWWW's" from the disappointed REAPERS. DEATH stamps
the word "REPRIEVE" on Clarke's warrant.
His ASSISTANT crosses the room. In the far wall is a steel-reinforced
VAULT DOOR with a hydraulic wheel - the kind you see at banks. The
ASSISTANT dials in a combination, turns the wheel, laboriously pulls the
door open and STEPS INSIDE...
...returning, a moment later, with a priceless gold E-TICKET!!
The UPPER HALF of the STAINED REAPER begins to gyrate wildly.
CLOSEUP - ON STU - UNDER THE SHROUD
MONKEYBONE is doing an agitated TAP DANCE on his head. His TAIL whips
repeatedly across STU'S FACE.
INT. DEATH'S OFFICE - BACK TO SCENE
The REAPER in front of the boys stares at the E-ticket, crestfallen.
Take this to Dark Town. Sad to say, he's gonna
live another forty years.
(a consoling pat on the shoulder)
Sorry. Nobody said this job would be easy.
The ASSISTANT hands the REAPER a YELLOW MAILMAN'S POUCH containing the
E-ticket. But before he can depart, the STAINED REAPER - aka STU and
MONKEYBONE - jumps to the front of the line.
Say, Death, just out of curiosity, could we
maybe swap jobs with that other guy? See, we've
been meaning to drop in on Dark Town - I mean
I've been meaning to...
DEATH is stunned by this unprecedented breach of protocol. The other
REAPERS in the line are ABUZZ.
...I beg your pardon?
I got relatives there. I...EEP!!
CLOSEUP - ON STU - UNDER SHROUD
An ENRAGED STU is yanking on MONKEYBONE'S TAIL, signalling him to shut
up. MONKEYBONE, in pain, squeals repeatedly. Finally he reaches down and
PUNCHES STU IN THE NOSE.
INT. DEATH'S OFFICE - BACK TO SCENE
The blow sends STU staggering. DEATH and the other REAPERS look on in
astonishment as the STAINED REAPER does a bizarre DANCE across the
floor, top half and bottom half moving independently. Miraculously, he
manages to right himself and regain his balance.
Now what were you saying?
I'd like to have a word with you in private.
He stands and gestures toward a side room. The boys follow. The little
HELLHOUND scampers out from behind the desk...
...and GRABS THE HEM OF THEIR SHROUD in its teeth! The boys keep on
walking, but the shroud stays behind. Somehow they go three or four
steps before they realize they've been exposed.
DEATH jumps a foot in the air and SHRIEKS. PANDEMONIUM ERUPTS.
IMPOSTORS!! GET 'EM!!
The boys back toward the big WINDOW overlooking the trainyard. The
REAPERS close in on them, BRANDISHING THEIR SCYTHES.
HYPNOS! That little twerp! He's the one who put
you up to this!
With a SCREECH, MONKEYBONE LEAPS into the air, BOUNDS OVER the heads and
shoulders of the advancing REAPERS, and SNATCHES the yellow E-ticket
pouch from the guy Death gave it to.
He bounds over a table and into STU's arms, with the precious pouch in
hand! DEATH lets out a great rattling BELLOW OF RAGE.
His features begin to JITTER VIOLENTLY. HIS HEAD EXPLODES!!!
Nothing to lose at this point. With a CRASH, the boys DIVE THROUGH THE
BIG WINDOW overlooking the trainyard!
The headless DEATH gropes around blindly, waving to his ASSISTANT.
The ASSISTANT opens a cabinet containing a half-dozen identical HEADS.
He pulls out a spare and screws it onto DEATH's neck.
EXT. TRAINYARD - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
The boys land hard at the edge of the trainyard. Behind them, REAPERS
are shepherding a line of newly arrived DEAD PEOPLE past a sign which
reads: "PROCESSING - THIS WAY."
By the time they can dust themselves off, an ALARM starts blaring.
REAPERS drop what they're doing, point at the boys. Panic time!
Nearby, a FLYING BICYCLE is propped up against a SIGN. Side-by-side they
race toward the bike, each of them clutching the strap of the pouch,
YANKING each other back and forth in a tug-of-war.
STU's bigger. He pulls the pouch onto his shoulder, and MONKEYBONE with
it. They grab the bike, climb aboard, and pedal off -
- revealing the SIGN it was leaning against: "CYCLE REPAIR."
EXT. TRAINYARD - ON BICYCLE - THAT MOMENT
STU pedals onto the central turntable area. The BATWINGS on the rear of
the bike flap feebly, but the flying bike just won't fly.
MONKEYBONE looks over his shoulder. A small ARMY of REAPERS, anned with
scythes, is pouring into the trainyard behind them.
IT'S NOT WORKING.
There's a thing here! There's a switch!
MONKEYBONE fiddles with the ignition switch. A BLACK CLOUD OF EXHAUST
belches violently from the rear of the bike, almost pitching them off
their seat. The batwings start to flap faster...
SPUT. BLAP. The engine BACKFIRES and DIES. STU fiddles with the switch,
but it's no go.
Isn't that Lulu?
LULU is still sitting in her little car at the edge of the tracks, eyes
crossed, mouth agape. MONKEYBONE waves brightly. Then a mob of REAPERS
appears on either side of LULU's car, swarming out onto the tracks! STU
starts pedaling for his life.
He makes for the TRAIN TUNNELS in the far wall of the station.
ILLUMINATED SIGNS over the tunnels read: Calcutta...Hong Kong...Waco, TX
...and directly ahead...
Dark Town!! By now they're well out onto the turnaround. STU pedals
frantically, BOUNCING over tracks and ties. MONKEYBONE bites his
fingernails down to the quick as he watches the column of REAPERS
pursuing them onto the tracks.
INT. OFFICE - ON DEATH
watching through a crooked spyglass as the boys pedal down the tracks.
Now we've got 'em.
Petting his hellhound, he reaches for a WALL SWITCH.
EXT. TRAINYARD - HIGH ANGLE
The boys are almost at the Dark Town tunnel. The REAPERS, on foot, will
never be able to catch them. But as they pick up speed for the stretch
run, the GROUND begins to move beneath them!
DEATH has activated the TRAIN TURNAROUND - the rotating platform at the
end of the line which allows an engine to reverse direction. Before they
know it, they're doing a full 180!
EXT. TRAINYARD - ON BICYCLE
The boys continue to bounce down the tracks - but the tunnel entrances
seem to be SPINNING before their eyes. Before they know it, they're
pedaling directly TOWARD the mob of ANGRY REAPERS!!
Weren't we just here?
STU jerks the handlebars HARD RIGHT and JUMPS THE TRACK he's on. He
WINCES IN PAIN as the bike BOUNCES over a series of rails...
What'd I tell you? You go to the Land of Death,
wear a jockstrap!
EXT. TRAINYARD - HIGH ANGLE
The REAPERS are SPREADING OUT around the turntable - encircling it! STU
rides around the periphery of the great turning platter, but there's no
getting off. They're completely surrounded!
EXT. TRAINYARD - ON BICYCLE
MONKEYBONE covers both eyes and wails in fear. But STU is rattling the
ignition switch, making ONE LAST EFFORT to get the bike aloft...
THE ENGINE CATCHES. Trailing black fumes, the BICYCLE RISES! The REAPERS
converge in its path, and RAISE THEIR SCYTHES...
But the bike JUST MANAGES TO CLEAR the tangle of scythes - leaving the
REAPERS slicing at empty air!
INT. OFFICE - ON DEATH
Through the big window, he sees the boys leveling off, flying toward the
DARK TOWN TUNNEL. They're moments away from a clean escape.
INT. STU'S ROOM - NIGHT
STU's readout monitors are registering frantic nightmare activity when
JULIE and ALICE enter. JULIE sets her purse on STU's bedside table -
removes a SYRINGE and a test tube filled with PURPLISH FLUID.
What's the maximum safe dose?
Most we've ever used is half a CC.
CLOSEUP - DEATH
He unlocks a RED SECURITY BOX on his wall. Inside is a TOGGLE SWITCH
labelled "FATE WORSE THAN DEATH." He flips it...
CLOSEUP - THE SYRINGE
The plunger goes down, injecting fluid into STU...
EXT. TRAINYARD - ON FLYING BIKE
MONKEYBONE is sitting on STU's shoulder, facing backward, thumbing his
nose at the REAPERS. STU glances back as well, laughing, unable to
believe his own good luck.
Since they're both looking the wrong way, neither of them sees the
sheer, monolithic WALL rising up DIRECTLY IN THEIR PATH.
It's no ordinary wall. It's STU'S PAINTING - the one ALICE found in the
closet, the wolf-surgeon canvas from his scary period -
- and as the bicycle SLAMS INTO IT, it begins to TOPPLE OVER - PINNING
STU against the ground underneath!
No bike. No monkey. Just STU - who finds himself on an operating table,
with the world of the painting coming to 3-D life around him. The WOLF-
FACED SURGEONS are closing in on him, baring their fangs, brandishing
their scalpels and their metallic REPLACEMENT PARTS...
Suddenly the fabric of this weird reality TEARS - just like a rip in a
canvas. A FURRY PAW reaches through - GRABS STU by the hand...
This ain't my nightmare!
EXT. TRAINYARD - JUST OUTSIDE TUNNEL
MONKEYBONE PULLS STU through the rip in the back of the giant toppled
canvas. The bike's there waiting. They hop aboard and pedal off INTO THE
DARK TOWN TUNNEL a split-second before the REAPERS arrive to slice them
INT. DARK TOWN TUNNEL - ON BICYCLE
STU pedals so hard his heart is about to burst. He feels down at his
side - the yellow pouch containing the E-ticket is still there. The
REAPERS are clustered at the mouth of the tunnel, but they aren't
The boys WEEP WITH GLEE. It's a miracle - they've cheated Death!
EXT. DARK TOWN GATES - NIGHT
An exhausted STU huffs and puffs as he pedals the bike up the last
stretch of track to the platform outside the gates. He climbs off the
bike and stares back - it looks like the last thousand miles or so have
all been uphill. He slings the YELLOW POUCH over his shoulder...
You saved my life, Monkeybone. I never would've
made it without you.
Move it. We got exactly five minutes left.
It's just...now that I'm leaving, I feel like
there's lots of things I haven't said. Who's
gonna look out for you? Are you gonna be okay
when I'm gone?
Oh, don't you worry. I'll be fine.
You've been a hell of a figment, pal. I sure
wish I could take you home with me.
The gates slide open. STU passes through. But MONKEYBONE lingers behind
a moment - just long enough for one of the SINGING SPHINXES to slip him
a big, nasty BASEBALL BAT.
Awwww. Worried about my feelings, are you? Well,
there's a new twist.
Don't joke around, little buddy. I mean it. I
really do love y--
He turns - and MONKEYBONE MARK McGWIRES HIM upside the head! STU
crumples in a heap...
Love you too. Boss.
Laughing maniacally, MONKEYBONE STEALS the E-TICKET and goes RACING OFF
DOWN THE MIDWAY!!
STU'S HEAD is swimming. It takes him a few seconds, but he gets to his
feet. By now, MONKEYBONE is halfway to the E-ticket ride. Worse yet,
STU'S WATCH reads 8:59 AM!!!
Stop! Monkeybone! Please!!
EXT. DARK TOWN PLAZA - NIGHT
The STREETS ARE LINED with Darktowners ROOTING MONKEYBONE ON as if he's
the hometown favorite in a big footrace. Which he is.
MONKEYBONE reaches the E-TICKET RIDE - drops his E-TICKET into the
receptacle at the gate. The drawbridge lowers...
As STU sprints down the street, the SNAIL MAN oozes into his path - and
TRIPS HIM! Before he can get up, cackling DARKTOWNERS converge on him -
forcing him back to the ground and HOLDING HIM THERE.
NO! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?? HE'S GOT MY E-TICKET!
HE'S GOT MY -
Sorry, Stu. It's all part of the deal. We've got
big plans for that body of yours!
EXT. E-TICKET RIDE - ON MONKEYBONE
The familiar miasma of COLORS is beginning to swirl in the night sky
overhead. MONKEYBONE straps on a NEEDLE-TIPPED HELMET which makes him
look like a simian DART. Then he climbs into the seat of the TEST-YOUR-
STRENGTH machine and braces himself for the big ride!
EXT. DARK TOWN PLAZA - THAT MOMENT - RIGHT
ONLOOKERS APPLAUD as the robot lifts its mallet and LETS FLY. DING!! The
tiny figure of MONKEYBONE soars toward the swirling colors. His DART-
HELMET strikes the black hole dead center.
STU WATCHES HELPLESSLY as MONKEYBONE penetrates the veil of the sky and
VANISHES. He's still SCREAMING when the cackling DARKTOWNERS drag him
out of the plaza by the heels...
NO! JULIE! NO-O-O-O!
AERIAL SHOT - ON MONKEYBONE
ROCKETING UPWARD through the clouds in his dart-helmet, a look of SHEER
EXHILARATION on his simian face. Somewhere a CLOCK begins to chime the
INT. STU'S PRIVATE ROOM - 8:59 AM - DAY
MOST OF OUR CAST is either in STU's room or in the hallway outside.
PLUS we've got a man of the cloth; two LEGAL TYPES, with briefcases; and
several of the NURSES from the facility.
ALICE squeezes JULIE's hand, and JULIE squeezes STU's. The minute hand
on the clock hits twelve. KIMMY, sobbing into a handkerchief, gives DR.
EDELSTEIN the nod. As he reaches for the power switch...
JULIE DROPS the hand with a gasp. The DOCTOR jumps half a foot.
All at once STU is sitting BOLT UPRIGHT IN BED...shaking his head and
feeling around gingerly under the bedclothes, as if something VERY SHARP
has just poked him in the ass.
Oooie! That smarts!!!
KIMMY sighs and FAINTS DEAD AWAY.
STU blinks and looks about the room, disoriented. It could be because
he's just come out of a coma after seven months. Or it could be because
he's a MONKEY unaccustomed to hanging out in a human body.
Julie?... Hey, you are a looker.
A BURST OF LAUGHTER from the others in the room. Weeping TEARS OF JOY,
JULIE flings herself across the bed and hugs him tight.
While JULIE is hugging him, STU is checking out his new fingers and
toes, RUBBING his sparse patch of CHEST FUR. DOCTORS and NURSES look on
in amazement from the doorway.
It's a miracle. It's a miracle.
Two more ticks of the clock...
STU is almost oblivious to JULIE. He lifts up the sheet, sneaks a quick
peek at his CROTCH, and grins delightedly.
JULIE gives him another kiss, WHISPERS in his ear:
Thank you. Thank you for coming back to me.
What she doesn't know is that, although he still looks like STU, his
body is now occupied by MONKEYBONE. Since he's now a hybrid character,
man on the outside and monkey within, let's call him...
Boy, I don't know about you guys, but I'm
INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT
A damp, stonewalled VAULT with a barred door. STU is sprawled on the
floor, OUT COLD, when a VOICE awakes him...
RAT GUARD (o.s.)
Heads up! Feeding time!
STU comes around just in time to see a PANEL sliding open in the ceiling
far overhead. A torrent of JUNK - stale popcorn, half-eaten candy bars,
molten ice cream pops, and sticky soda - rains down ON HIS FACE.
A horde of DARK FIGURES emerge from the shadowy catacombs around him.
All at once, HANDS are grabbing at him from all directions. STU lets out
a SCREAM - backs up against a wall -
Who are y-- WHAT DO YOU WANT??
A MONGOL WARRIOR with a droopy mustache looks up at him.
After a moment STU realizes that the DARK FIGURES have almost no
interest in him - instead, they've been grabbing at the half-eaten
SNACKS that cascaded down onto his head. A long-haired SLAV - RASPUTIN -
dives on a Hershey bar with only one bite out of it, but an oddly
familiar FAT MAN gets there first. STU gapes at him...
EDGAR ALLAN POE
A fat bastard, but damn quick on his feet.
That's how he keeps his girlish figure.
Gotta move fast in this crowd, or you'll starve.
Here you go, pal. Have some popcorn.
He offers STU a box of popcorn soaked in Dr. Pepper.
What is this stuff?
They feed us the slops from the Morpheum
Theatre. You hope for Jujubes, settle for
goobers. - I'm Steve. Steve King.
Stephen King? What are you doing in here?
Various OTHERS emerge from the shadows to shake STU's hand.
JACK THE RIPPER
I'm Jack the Ripper.
ATILLA THE HUN
Atilla the Hun. Trade you a Twizzler for a box
Atilla the - ! What in hell is this place?
As if in reply, a FANFARE sounds in the distance...
INT. DUNGEON - ENTRANCE
A RAT GUARD stands at attention by the door, TOOTING HIS KAZOO to
announce the arrival of an honored guest.
All hail the most glorious! Most eminent! Most
esteemed all-powerful God of Sleep...his Royal
Enough, enough, I'm hung over.
As HYPNOS passes, the DUNGEON DWELLERS race up to the WALL OF BARS that
separates the entry area from the dungeon proper.
Hyp! Did you bring me the cough medicine?
Did you remember the night light I asked for?
EDGAR ALLAN POE
King, you pussy.
Bite me, Poe! I hate waking up in the dark.
Sorry, Steve, maybe next time. And how's our new
guest settling in - ?
YOU SET ME UP!!
STU LUNGES at HYPNOS - who backs up just out of reach.
Easy, pal! I was coming to congratulate you. It
ain't easy snatching one of those E-tickets.
Steve here was the last guy to pull it off, and
that musta been, what, 25 years ago...?
Why'd you do it? What'd I ever do to you?!?
It's simple, Stu. We need nightmares - lots of
'em. So whenever we can swing it, we send a guy
up to stimulate the flow...a nightmare maker!
Like Steve here. Poe. Rasputin...we've been
doing this all the way back to Atilla and
But why me? Why'd you pick on me??
The monkey, of course. It was his idea.
Nobody wants to be a sidekick, Stu. So one day
he comes to us - he's got a proposition. We help
him get your body...in return he gives us all
the nightmares we want.
You're nuts! I'm a comic strip artist! What's he
gonna do - draw really scary cartoons??
Oh, no, no, no. Y'see, Stu, as it happens, that
girlfriend of yours figured out the chemical
basis of bad dreams. And she just whipped up a
big old batch of nightmare juice!
STU's face goes white as he realizes the point of the master plan.
Oh, we're predicting a record box-office. It's
like I always say...nightmares are your best
HYPNOS marches off, chuckling. STU's head sinks into his hands.
EXT. STU AND JULIE'S HOUSE - DAY
STU's back from the hospital. JULIE is removing his bags from the trunk
of KIMMY's car while STU and KIMMY chat in the front seat.
I just couldn't stand the thought of you
suffering. I love you so, I would never have...
forgive me, Stu. Please forgive me.
Kimmy. Chill. We've still got a pact. If
anything ever happens to you, I'll be right
there to return the favor.
(baring his teeth)
So drive carefully! From now on.
He climbs out. KIMMY is so rattled that she smacks bumpers with the car
parked in front of her. She PEELS OUT with the hand brake still on.
INT. STU & JULIE'S HOUSE - DAY
STU-BONE and JULIE enter with luggage. He stands there for a moment
scoping out the unfamiliar surroundings. She sets the bags down, taps
him on the shoulder.
STU-BONE grins insipidly. She kisses him, pulls him into a tight embrace
- and then, overwhelmed by emotion, begins to SOB.
Oh, baby, I can't believe you're back.
Home sweet home, huh? Actually, I was expecting
something a little swankier. How much loot does
old Stu rake in, anyway?
She gives him an extremely puzzled look.
Meaning me, of course. I'm referring to myself.
You have to assume Monkeybone would be a pretty
Baby? Why don't you just...rest on the sofa for
a minute. I'll be right back.
She goes into the kitchen as STU-BONE plops onto the sofa. He spies a
bowl of FRESH FRUIT on the coffee table and immediately tries to pick up
a banana with his FOOT.
But he can't. He's got shoes on. Frowning, he unties his shoe, peels off
his sock. His bare foot is in the fruit bowl when JULIE returns from the
kitchen with a TRAY holding a chocolate cake and the bottle of CHAMPAGNE
Stu bought three months ago. The cake bears the message "WELCOME HOME -
I LOVE YOU" in pink icing.
She sits beside him with the goodies. He removes his foot from the bowl,
crosses his legs, WIGGLES HIS TOES at her. She smiles uncertainly. Then
she opens the bottle of champagne and pours two flutes full.
Here's to a bottle...we should have opened...
three months ago.
She finishes pouring, hands a flute to STU-BONE. His face is smeared
with CAKE and ICING. He's scooped out a big fistful and crammed it right
into his pie hole. He GRINS at her.
Bitchin' good cake.
Stu, are you...feeling okay?
You're acting kind of...odd.
(grabbing another fistful)
In what way?
Then: we hear TINY NAILS skittering across the hardwood floors at high
speed. And BUSTER THE DOG races into the living room!
Buster! Look who's here!
STU-BONE tenses instinctively. The dog is yipping, wagging his tail
insanely at the sight of his long-lost master - until he gets just a
little bit closer, and senses that something is very, very wrong.
BUSTER sizes STU-BONE up and GROWLS. STU-BONE bares his teeth and
HISSES. The dog LUNGES - and STU-BONE jumps up on the sofa!
Oh shit, the cake!
He bends down, snatches up the cake, and CRADLES IT under one arm as he
KICKS AT BUSTER from the sofa.
Mine. Get back! MINE!!
The frazzled JULIE pours herself another jolt of champagne - a stiff
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
SOUNDS of JULIE taking a shower in the adjacent bathroom o.s.
STU-BONE is sprawled in bed, pillows propped up behind him, flipping
channels on the bedroom TV with his trusty remote. The Discovery Channel
happens to be showing a Jane Goodall special...
NARRATOR (on TV)
The mating rituals of the African silverback are
as rigidly formalized as those of any animal we
know - with the possible exception of man.
Onscreen a FEMALE GORILLA is presenting her furry haunches to an ALPHA
STU-BONE watches this erotic spectacle with a connoisseur's eye. He
glances over at the open bathroom door and catches a teasing glimpse of
JULIE'S SHADOW as she steps out of the shower and pulls on a robe. He
SCRATCHES and SNIFFS, just to put himself in the mood.
On TV: MONKEY FOREPLAY, which consists of a pounce from behind.
NARRATOR (on TV)
In the wild, a dominant chimpanzee male is
likely to engage in sex numerous times
throughout the day, with a shockingly wide
variety of -
STU-BONE mutes the nature special and sneaks up behind JULIE just as she
emerges from the bathroom in her robe and towel-turban.
What are you watching?
She tries to pass, but he grabs the belt of her robe and spins her
around. He delicately unwraps the turban, then opens her robe and pulls
it closed around the two of them. They kiss...
You sure this is...medically advisable?
Got a doctor on duty.
Well. As long as it's okay with Monkeybone -
STU-BONE almost lets out a gasp of shock. What does she mean???
- which it seems to be.
STU-BONE does a take. The good news is, she doesn't suspect. The bad
news is, he's apparently named after his creator's penis.
INT. HALLWAY - A MOMENT LATER
All at once the air is full of Barry White's lush baritone on the
bedroom CD player. Through the bedroom doorway we see STU-BONE and JULIE
waltzing romantically, belly to belly, still wrapped up in the single
The only jarring note is BUSTER'S FRANTIC BARKING. The poor dog is stuck
behind an accordion gate in the hall, going crazy, trying to warn his
mistress about the imposter in STU's body. The dog is almost drowning
out Barry White -
- so STU-BONE stops kissing JULIE long enough to reach over with one
foot and KICK THE DOOR SHUT.
INT. BEDROOM - A MOMENT LATER
JULIE watches from the bed as STU-BONE begins peeling off his PJ's,
going into a bizarrely formalized MONKEY MATING DANCE. He circles back
and forth from one side of the bed to the other, making faces, grunting,
FEINTING at her occasionally.
JULIE has some dim sense that this ritual is supposed to be erotic, but
in fact, it's making her damned nervous. She finds herself scrunching up
on the bed, trying to keep out of STU-BONE's way.
Now he LEAPS UP onto the foot of the bed. REARS BACK. And with an animal
howl of triumph, POUNCES AT JULIE!
Terrified, she rolls out of the way. STU-BONE'S SKULL slams into the
Oh, God!! Baby! Are you -
Dazed, he sits up. He tries to stand, but his rubbery legs give way, and
he pitches over - CRACKING HIS SKULL AGAIN on the nightstand.
EXT. HALLWAY - A MOMENT LATER
JULIE helps a punchdrunk, staggering STU to the stairway.
How was it? I don't recall.
It was great, baby. Let's get you to the ER.
As they pass, BUSTER lets out a little growl of satisfaction from behind
his gate. HOLD ON THE DOG's satisfied expression as STU-BONE loses his
balance and topples down the stairs O.S.
INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT
RASPUTIN, ATILLA, JACK THE RIPPER and STEPHEN KING are engrossed in
their weekly Parcheesi game. STU is clinging to the bars, bemoaning his
I'm not like the rest of you. I'm just a regular
guy! I'm not a "nightmare maker."
Neither are we. We got our bodies hijacked just
like you. The guys who replaced us are the
Like me. I was a mess sergeant in the Mongol
Horde. I never wanted to be the Scourge of Asia.
I just wanted a new recipe for yak!
JACK THE RIPPER
I was Jack the Haberdasher.
But how? Did you all have sidekicks? Figments?
Hey, I got screwed over by my own dog. Go
through hell to get that E-ticket, and who winds
up in my body? That darn Cujo.
TYPHOID MARY runs past, GIGGLING, pursued by a huffing HITCHCOCK.
He's sure got a thing for those icy blondes.
KAZOOS SOUND. The RAT GUARD appears to announce:
Miley. You got a visitor.
At the sight of STU behind bars, she breaks down CRYING.
I'm so sorry, Stu. I wanted to tell you what was
going on. I really, really liked you.
Kitty...my situation is really not important.
The thing is, my girlfriend is now living with,
and possibly engaged to, a demented monkey.
You're such a beautiful man. Look at you - stuck
in this place, and only thinking of her.
Listen to me! Is there any way I can warn her
what Monkeybone is up to??
Time's up! Break it up, you two.
The RAT GUARD pushes STU back with a prod. KITTY reaches out...
No! Give me a moment. Just to look at him. Oh,
Stu. Oh, my sweet, sweet Stu.
As she gazes at him, love struck, the overhead PANEL opens and a deluge
of CRUD from the Morpheum lands directly on STU.
KITTY BAWLS inconsolably as the RAT GUARD leads her away.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
STU-BONE in pajamas and a head bandage, reading the morning funnies. He
pounds the table, practically WEEPING with hilarity at the MONKEYBONE
Priceless! Priceless! This stuff just kills me!
I'm heading in to work, baby. Are you sure
you'll be okay?
Oh yeah. There's just one thing I don't get.
"Monkeybone Creator Awakens from Coma" that's a
big story! That's front page news! But I can't
find a word of coverage in this stinkin' rag!
(shuffling through the paper)
Hey. Don't I have a TV show?
They only made the one episode. They've shown it
about nineteen times.
I need a new PR guy.
JULIE grins, plants a goodbye smooch on his forehead, and exits. He
waits a minute, then reaches for the PHONE.
INT. LIVING ROOM - EVENING
The house is crawling with PRESS. There must be three dozen REPORTERS
and PHOTOGRAPHERS and TV CREWS hanging on STUBONE's every pronouncement.
Yes, being in a coma taught Stu Miley a thing or
two about life. Buckle your seat belts, for one.
But seriously, Stu Miley is a different man
today. I'm much homier.
The front door opens. A stunned JULIE pushes her way inside...
And speaking of which, here's the light of my
life, the pert and saucy Miss Julie McElroy.
I had to park two blocks away. Is something -
He pulls her to his side for a photo op. FLASHBULBS go off.
I took the liberty of calling a little press
conference. We're on TV, so don't say "shit."
(covering his mouth)
Shit! I said it. Shit! I said it again!
Stu, what is it about Monkeybone that makes him
Well, it's partly that he punctures all the
phony pretensions of our modern society...and
it's partly that he's a breathtakin',
heartbreakin', rump-shakin' sex machine!
Ask these gentlemen here. They're an important
cog in my media machine. They'll be doing six
new episodes of the Monkeybone show under my
He pauses for a photo op with MIKE CACHUELA and MIKE MITCHELL.
It's all synergy. The show synergizes the strip,
which synergizes the merchandising, which
synergizes the religion, which synergizes the
Barbara Walters special; and then, baby, we are
all in the United Empire of Monkeybonia.
INT. KITCHEN - THAT MOMENT - LATE AFTERNOON
JULIE squeezes through the crowd, finds HERB working the phone.
I tell you, he's ready to merchandise. We've
gotta move quickly. Get the toy guys, the burger
guys, the lunchbox guys -
Herb...what in God's name -
HERB holds up a finger. He's too busy talking. STU-BONE enters with the
video crew in tow. JULIE somehow manages to sideline him.
What's this about merchandising? You always
Well, baby, I do, but to look at it from another
angle...there's a potload of money here.
EXT. STREET - DAY
SUPERCHARGED POP MUSIC underneath as STU-BONE comes running around a
corner - followed, a moment later, by a SCREAMING HORDE of BEAUTIFUL
GROUPIES in black miniskirts and high heels. It's like something out of
A Hard Day's Night, only more so.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
TIGHT on STU-BONE, head still bandaged, eyes closed, SNORING slightly.
He wears a big monkey grin as he DREAMS the above.
EXT. STREET - DAY
A CARLOAD OF SUPERMODELS. They kill their engine in the middle of a busy
intersection and climb out to join the mob chasing STU-BONE.
He cuts around a corner, ducks into an alley, and FLATTENS HIMSELF
behind a dumpster. As the girls run past, he pulls out a handkerchief
and MOPS SWEAT from his brow.
Then, with a what-the-hell twinkle, he steps out and FLINGS HIS SWEATY
HANKIE into the midst of the GROUPIES. A CATFIGHT ensues as they
scramble after this precious memento. The chase resumes.
Suddenly he realizes he's SLOWING DOWN...running in SLO-MO. Same deal
with the girls on his trail. After a moment, he FREEZES. He can't move
anything except his EYES; he looks right, left, up, down...
...and suddenly he sees HYPNOS winking into view directly in front of
him! HYPNOS is perfectly capable of moving. He strolls right up to the
frozen STU-BONE and SLAPS HIM REPEATEDLY, Moe Howard-style.
You two-bit simian stooge. WHAT THE HELL IS
THIS? We didn't send you up here to shake your
booty and chase broads. We sent you up to make
STU-BONE tries to speak. All that comes out is a slo-mo DRAWL.
Now find that nightmare juice and get to work.
'Cause you may be a free man during the day...
but when you dream, your monkey ass is mine!
He winds up - throws a ROUNDHOUSE PUNCH at STU-BONE'S FACE.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
STU-BONE sits up suddenly in bed. For a moment he's relieved - it was
all a dream. Then he realizes his FACE is swelling like a
prizefighter's. His front tooth is loose. BLOOD is streaming from his
INT. DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT
He's awake, fully dressed, and fishing around in the pocket of JULIE's
topcoat. He finds her KEY RING and tiptoes furtively to the front door.
Friggin' Hypnos. I'll show him...
INT. SLEEP LAB - NIGHT
He unlocks the door and enters the darkened lab. Finds the dispensary
area and kneels beside a LOCKED REFRIGERATOR. Then he shuffles through
the keys on the ring until he finds one labelled "FRIDGE."
On the top shelf is a corked beaker of purple fluid bearing the label
"ONEIRIX" with red DANGER stickers all over it. STU-BONE takes it out,
flashes a sinister grin, and EMPTIES ITS CONTENTS into a similar beaker.
Then he refills the original from a hip flask and replaces it.
He's just about to leave when he's startled by a series of SIMIAN GRUNTS
and SQUEAKS - which are TRANSLATED in SUBTITLE:
He turns and spots a SEDUCTIVE FEMALE BABOON who's confmed to a CAGE in
the corner. The conversation continues in MONKEY TALK.
Yeah, you. Come here, good-looking.
Why don't you let me out of this cage?
Hey, I'd love to, baby, but...it'd put me in hot
(caressing his chin)
I know how to be very, very grateful.
He pulls out a MATCHBOOK and scribbles a number on it.
Tell you what, angel. When you get out, give me
A LIGHT goes on suddenly in the outside hallway! STU-BONE tries to dive
for cover, but the FEMALE BABOON grabs him by the belt and pulls him
against the cage.
Startled, he drops the ONEIRIX BEAKER - which rolls out into the hall!
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
The beaker CLATTERS LOUDLY as it rolls through the lab door. STU-BONE'S
HANDS grope through the doorway - but the FEMALE BABOON has got him by
the pants leg and won't let go, no matter how much he rattles the cage.
He can't quite pull himself through the door...
He unbuckles the belt. UNZIPS HIS PANTS. Keeps clawing toward the
beaker. But he still can't quite make it, and the BABOON won't let go.
Now his pants are down around his knees. He keeps wriggling until his
pants legs are entirely INSIDE OUT - and still he can't quite reach the
beaker! His shoes are caught in his pants cuffs! RRRRRIPPPPP...
Freedom! Minus his pants, he GRABS THE BEAKER.
In FG through all this is a dim teenage JANITOR pushing his electric
floor polisher. He has his Walkman on and he can't hear any of the
mayhem behind him. He sings along atonally with the music:
Gettin' jiggy wit' it - gettin' jiggy wit' it...
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
A disheveled STU-BONE, back from his secret mission, is trying to take
his clothes off so he won't wake JULIE. But she starts to rouse, so he
jumps into bed fully dressed and pulls up the covers.
Stu? Is that you? Where did you go?
Me? Nowhere. I was asleep.
Baby, don't lie. I know you went out.
Not me. Nope. You must've been dreaming.
She pulls the covers back. He's still wearing his topcoat, shoes, socks,
and shorts...but NO PANTS.
You're wearing a topcoat, Stu. - Where are your
Well, Miss Smarty, if I didn't go out, I
wouldn't need any pants. Now would I?
He pulls the covers up to his chin. The two of them lie there in the
dark staring up at the ceiling.
INT. STU'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
The entire Monkeybone brain trust has come to visit: HERB, syndicate
head MR. BOWERS, and several CORPORATE REPS hoping to arrange tie-in
deals. Host STU-BONE has started to take on a simian look: more
prominent ears, flared nostrils, heavy beard stubble, etc.
The BURGER GOD REP sets a tray of FAST FOOD in front of STU-BONE - the
packaging all covered with angelic haloed Monkeybones.
BURGER GOD REP
As you know, Burger God has 1700 outlets
nationwide...we're prepared to back a major TV
buy to launch our Mega Monkey Meal.
Go ahead. Try a bite.
STU-BONE takes a bite out of his Monkeyburger - looks pleased at first -
then begins PICKING something out of his teeth.
What's the matter?
I think it's a pig hair.
(examining a contract)
How much is McDonald's offering?
STU-BONE immediately signs the contract and shakes hands with the BURGER
GOD REP. HERB consults his agenda.
Oh, here's something. The city zoo is kicking
off a fund-raising campaign. They wonder if
you'd be willing to appear at a benefit.
Well, nothing. It's a benefit. But we could
probably get People and Entertainment Tonight to
I get it. We could give the public the
impression that we were doing something...
And last...you remember Bill here, from the
Bazoom Toy Company? He's got a little something
I think you'll like.
The TOY REP sets a LOCKBOX on the table. A stencil on the box reads "TOP
SECRET." He pulls out a key and opens it to reveal...
...a tuxedoed, collector's-edition MONKEYBONE DOLL lying on a bed of
CRUSHED PURPLE VELVET. He carefully removes the treasure from its chest.
Its right hand is hinged. The doll's thumb is UP ITS REAR.
BAZOOM TOY REP
It's a prototype. Code name "Little Jack
Horner." Go on - pull out his thumb.
STU-BONE stares at the doll - cautiously yanks its thumb out. We go to
SLO-MO as the rising arm causes a NOXIOUS AEROSOL SPRAY to shoot out of
And we STAY in slo-mo as STU-BONE stares at the doll in wonderment and
awe...a man in looooove.
Still in slo-mo, the EXECS crack up, gag, hold their noses at the awful
stank of it. STU-BONE is the only one not laughing. He reaches out to
touch the doll - to fondle it adoringly -
- and suddenly we're back to REAL-TIME.
BAZOOM TOY REP
You know kids - they love anything gross...
Kids? Kids?! This is a work of genius. This is
art. This is the answer to all my prayers!
Say - just a technical question - could you fill
these babies up with a particulate solution of
one part chemical enzyme to ten parts water?
Well - I guess...
He breaks into RIOTOUS LAUGHTER and begins blasting monkeyfarts at HERB
and the EXECS, who dive for cover under the conference table.
EXT. STU AND JULIE'S HOUSE - DAY
Laughter and back-slapping as STU-BONE walks his guests to their cars.
So here's my idea. We do a giveaway at the zoo
benefit. We get a big piñata. We fill it with
Monkeybone dolls - hundreds of 'em.
A piñata. That's a great idea!
You guys don't know it, but you just saved my
With a big grin, he pantomimes sticking a thumb up his ass, in obvious
imitation of the doll, and then gives the thumbs-up sign. The unnerved
EXECS gape at him as he goes back inside - he's developed an odd, loping
gait, and his arms swing outward in wide arcs as he walks.
BURGER GOD EXEC
INT. STU'S KITCHEN - THAT MOMENT
He digs around under the sink, finds the purple beaker of ONEIRIX. Looks
at the FARTING DOLL...and GRINS.
This'll get him off my back!
INSERT - TV SCREEN
A PROMO for the MONKEYBONE cartoon show. MONKEYBONE swings across the
screen on a vine, followed by a string of grinning, live-action FANS
doing a scratch 'n' sniff, pull-out-a-plum LINE DANCE.
It's his world - we just live in it. Monkeybone!
Back with six all-new episodes, starting -
INT. LIVING ROOM - REVERSE ANGLE - NIGHT
A distraught JULIE mutes the TV. Her friend ALICE is on the sofa beside
her, having coffee and dessert.
The thing is, I'm responsible for the way he's
acting. It's the nightmare juice. It's got to
Julie, that stuff probably saved his life.
I can't explain this, Alice, but I'm not so sure
it did. It's as if...he's not Stu any more. The
Stu I love is gone!
He spends all his time in the garage. He says
INT. GARAGE - NIGHT
TIGHT ON the flask of ONEIRIX as STU-BONE picks it up.
He's wearing a GAS MASK. He's rigged a CLOTHESLINE in the garage.
MONKEYBONE DOLLS are clipped to it, ass-end up - forming a makeshift
ASSEMBLY LINE. He dips a TURKEY BASTER into the flask...withdraws a
quantity of purple fluid...plucks the FINGER out of the first doll's
- and plunges the TURKEY BASTER into the doll's hindquarters, filling it
with ONEIRIX!! The doll's buttocks take on the purple hue characteristic
of Orangutans in heat. STU-BONE holds the doll at arm's length and pulls
its finger - launching a purple puff of SPIKED NIGHTMARE GAS.
Yeah, baby! Nightmare-in-a-butt!
Okay...guinea pig, guinea pig...
EXT. GARAGE/BACK YARD - NIGHT
STU-BONE steps out into the driveway and hears a low growl - BUSTER is
giving him the stinkeye from behind the picket fence. STU-BONE's eyes
light up with inspiration.
C'mere, boy...c'mere, ole buddy...
INT. LIVING ROOM - A MOMENT LATER - NIGHT
LOUD BARKING outside. JULIE wanders over toward the window.
Listen. Let's bring him in for some tests. I
guarantee you're overreacting.
JULIE lifts the curtain - and sees STU-BONE in his gas mask, bent over
in a weird crab like stance, chasing BUSTER around the yard with the
JULIE doesn't seem especially surprised - but ALICE's mouth falls open.
Actually, no, I don't think I'm overreacting.
EXT. BACK YARD - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
BUSTER is apparently ALONE now - he's pacing in circles under a HIGH
TREE BRANCH, staring up and GROWLING. Someone throws a PINE CONE at the
picket fence. BUSTER'S HEAD TURNS, just for an instant -
- and STU-BONE plunges out of the tree, DIRECTLY ON TOP OF THE DOG! The
two of them GRAPPLE, rolling around on the grass.
For a moment it looks like this battle royale could go either way. Then
STU-BONE gets on top of BUSTER, STRADDLES HIM, shoves the ASS of the
Monkeybone doll up against his muzzle...
FOONT! A purple cloud of NIGHTMARE GAS hits BUSTER in the face. The dog
goes limp. His eyes roll back in his head. He starts to TWITCH.
Sweet dreams, you little bastard!
Disheveled but triumphant, STU-BONE stands up, pounds his chest with
both fists, and lets out a Tarzanian ROAR. Lights go on all over the
neighborhood. ANGRY NEIGHBORS poke their heads out the windows.
INT. GARAGE - NIGHT
STU-BONE skulks back into the garage. He throws back a tarp, revealing
HUNDREDS of boxed Monkeybone dolls, stacked so high they fill an entire
wall of the garage. He pulls out his turkey baster, cranks up the
clothesline, and goes to work.
EXT. BACK YARD - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
CAMERA TRACKS IN on the twitching face of BUSTER, and we see
BUSTER'S DREAM (BLACK & WHITE)
A German-expressionist nightmare, all low angles and heavy shadows.
We're in some kind of OPERATING ROOM, where a struggling PATIENT is
being wheeled in on a tall, creaking GURNEY. Four ORDERLIES in surgical
masks are holding him down.
The PATIENT is BUSTER. And the ORDERLIES...are CATS.
A CAT SURGEON draws the sheet back. Looks at the spreadeagled BUSTER.
And brandishes a big nasty pair of GARDEN SHEARS.
INT. HYP'S HIDEAWAY - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
The Dark Town audience is scratching its collective head at Buster's
dream, which is showing in one of HYP'S NIGHTMARE ORBS. An angry HYPNOS
slams down the phone and storms across the dance floor to his big
Dog dreams!! That stinkin' monkey. I can't
believe it. We give him a body, and he sends us
A FELINE BEAUTY embraces him from behind, pulls him onto the bed.
Let's not think about dogs. Let's think about
She draws ONE SHARP CLAW lightly down his chest. He gives her a now-
you're-talkin' grin and hits a switch - causing the big circular bed to
ROTATE off the dance floor and into the boudoir.
As it turns, we see KITTY'S PAW closing discreetly around a KEY CHAIN on
INT. DUNGEON - RIGHT
STU's curled up on the dank floor when he's awakened by the sound of a
VISITOR in the corridor outside - KITTY. She passes a sack containing
FOOD and BOTTLED WATER through the bars - and SHUSHES the astonished STU
before he can speak.
Shh! You'll need it when you're traveling.
Glancing back at the GUARDS, she pulls a KEY from her cleavage.
Don't ask where I got it.
You can't do this! You'll get in trouble!
You're the only true-hearted man I ever met. You
find a way back to that girl of yours and make
How am I gonna get past the guards?
I'll worry about the guards.
OKAY, STU. SEE YOU IN A DAY OR TWO.
She turns down the corridor. STU stands there for a beat, GAPING at the
key in his hand.
Then he hears the sound of CARNAGE outside. A FEROCIOUS, BLOODY BATTLE
seems to be underway. Realizing that KITTY must be in trouble, he uses
the key to unlock the dungeon door.
INT. DUNGEON - THAT MOMENT - NIGHT
He finds KITTY hunched in the corner on all fours, surrounded by blood
and tufts of fur and an abandoned GUARD'S HAT.
Go. Just go.
Thanks, Kitty, I'll never forget you for th--
She looks up at him, feline eyes aglow. There's a three-foot-long
RODENT'S TAIL dangling out of her mouth.
I'll really...never...forget you.
He races off as KITTY resumes her feast. The sound of fighting has
roused the other DUNGEON DWELLERS, and when they realize the dungeon
door is open they come rushing out en masse.
Then the PANEL opens. They hear FOOD raining down behind them. HITCHCOCK
is the first to turn back - then STEPHEN KING - then ATILLA. A moment
later they're back to their old habits, climbing over one another to get
at a half-empty box of Raisinets.
INT. SLEEP LAB - DAY
The usual gang sitting around at their computer terminals, etc. JULIE is
coolly reading NOTEBOOK ENTRIES into a TAPE RECORDER.
"4/17: Subject, when unaware of observation,
prefers to hold eating utensils...with feet.
Successfully carves turkey roll holding eating
They had a case like that at Johns Hopkins.
Wires got crossed between hands and feet.
Great lead. I'll try and find it on the net.
"4/18: Subject climbs backyard tree...to perform
elimination. When confronted with product...
blames it on family dog."
DEAD SILENCE from the mortified group. They never had a case like that
at Johns Hopkins. JULIE somehow keeps a stiff upper lip - deeply
embarrassed for STU, but a scientist nonetheless.
Seems perfectly obvious. He's been possessed by
The others all GLOWER at HUTCH for this egregious display of bad taste.
EXT. GARAGE - AFTERNOON
STU-BONE and HERB are standing outside the garage in formal attire as a
crew of ZOO WORKERS load MONKEYBONE DOLLS into a pickup.
You're really gonna pop the question?
Got the ring. Got the airline tickets. Soon as
they break that piñata, we'll grab a cab - and
it's off to the land of palm trees and coconuts.
I can't believe you. You used to hate being the
center of attention. Now you're proposing, in
public, at a benefit.
Yeah, I was thinking...I mean, I'm a celebrity
now, do I really want to get married? But on the
other hand, if you're married, they can't
testify against you.
HERB wonders if this is a joke, decides it is, and forces a chuckle.
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
JULIE is getting dressed for the benefit when the PHONE RINGS.
Hello? Oh, Hutch - what?
INTERCUT - JULIE AND HUTCH
HUTCH is at the sleep lab, standing over the open refrigerator.
The Nightmare Juice! It's gone! Somebody
switched it for a beaker of grape Kool-Aid!!
Kool-Aid!? But who'd would want to -
Her eyes move to the WINDOW - to STU-BONE out by the garage.
Okay. Call the police. I'll be right over.
INT. SLEEP LAB - LATE AFTERNOON
Two DETECTIVES examining the scene of the crime.
The technical name is Oneirix. It's an enzyme.
It's present in the brains of -
(cutting her off; writing)
Yeah, yeah...Nightmare juice.
And there's been no sign of a break-in?
Holy shit...the pants.
The janitor found a pair of torn-up pants. It
was the same night the monkey tipped her cage
over. Remember that, Julie?
Yeah...I remember it vividly.
EXT. ZOO - DAY
LIVERIED WAITERS scurrying all about in preparation for the benefit. ZOO
WORKERS set up tables and chairs underneath a giant CANOPY.
STU-BONE watches with satisfaction as the last of the DOLLS is loaded
into a giant piñata in the shape of STANLEY.
INT. DEATH'S OFFICE - NIGHT
The big creaky swivel chair swings around, revealing DEATH.
Now, if I may ask - what kind of idiot sneaks
into the Land of Death twice?
The party he's addressing is STU - who's stretched out horizontally,
strapped to a medieval TORTURE RACK, with a whole posse of GRIM REAPERS
standing guard around him.
You're mad at me. Great. You have every right to
be. But we're both mad at Dark Town. We're both
mad at Hypnos.
Oh, sure. Now you're gonna tell me it was all
his idea. You were completely innocent -
I'm not going to tell you that. I wanted that E-
ticket. I wanted it so bad I'd stare you right
in the face to get it - and I'd do the same
I have a girl up there. And I never - I
should've - I just want to tell her I love her.
I'm a simple man. I'm just doing my job. I enjoy
my job. Why does everyone want to make it
difficult for me? Stealing tickets, switching
bodies...it is so irresponsible.
Death, I'm trying to make things right. Take my
soul. Turn me into a paper doll. But give me
just one lousy hour.
Well - you'd need a body.
DEATH gestures for the REAPERS to unshackle STU.
If it wasn't for that comic strip of yours, I
wouldn't be doing this. But a good chuckle is
darned hard to come by.
That one where Monkeybone stole the soap cake
out of the urinal - I thought I would die.
Coming from you, that's quite a compliment.
De nada. Now, come here...bend over...before I
change my mind.
DEATH rears back and KICKS HIM, full-force, SMACK IN THE ASS. The
supernatural might of the blow sends STU ROCKETING UPWARD THROUGH THE
INT. HOSPITAL - OPERATING ROOM - DAY
A TEAM OF SURGEONS. The lead SURGEON has his arm buried up to the elbow
in the open torso of an ORGAN DONOR.
Okay...detaching the left kidney...
SCREAMS ALL AROUND as the ORGAN DONOR sits BOLT UPRIGHT! The startled
SURGEON drops the kidney back into place.
What the - who the hell am I??
You're an organ donor!
Am I dead?!?
The chute didn't open. We kind of assumed -
I need this body. Just for a few minutes. I'll
bring it back, okay?
The ORGAN DONOR grabs a lab coat from a nearby rack and races out. (And
since STU is temporarily occupying the DONOR's body, we will henceforth
refer to him as O.D. STU.)
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - A MOMENT LATER
O.D. STU comes racing around a corridor. His LAB COAT is already covered
with gore, and he's having trouble holding his GUTS in. His PANCREAS
spills out onto the floor just as two DOCTORS stroll past.
(eyeing the pancreas)
Might have someone take a look at that.
Oh. Yeah. Thanks.
The DOCTORS move on. O.D. STU spots a JANITOR'S CART with a roll of DUCT
TAPE on one shelf. He WRAPS IT TIGHTLY around his midsection to keep his
innards from falling out. Then he runs for it.
Now the TEAM OF SURGEONS rounds the corner in hot pursuit. The lead
SURGEON spots O.D. STU at the end of the corridor and takes off after
him. But he SLIPS on the PANCREAS and goes sprawling!
The pancreas goes flying down the hall, where it gets SQUASHED in rapid
succession by a GURNEY and by a little old lady's MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR.
When the SURGEONS retrieve it, it's a hunk of pulp.
I think it can still be saved. Put it on ice.
EXT. ZOO - DAY
GUESTS are beginning to arrive for the benefit. In the cages and
habitats, animals stare up at a gigantic MONKEYBONE BALLOON.
EXT. ZOO - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY
The BAZOOM TOY REP is rounding a corner when HERB pops out from behind a
tree and BLASTS HIM with a jolt of purple gas from a Monkeybone doll! He
sputters and coughs...
Then he grabs the doll away and blasts HERB right back! The two of them
chase each other around the tree, giggling. The BAZOOM REP'S WIFE, in
her formal gown, affects a look of supreme mortification.
EXT. STU'S HOUSE - BACK YARD - DAY
O.D. STU climbs over the fence, finds a hidden key, and lets himself in.
INT. HOUSE - STUDIO - DAY
O.D. STU rushes frantically from room to room.
O.D. STU (o.s.)
DOC? DOC?? - JULIE?
No reply - the joint's empty. O.D. STU enters the studio and spots a
NEWSPAPER on his drafting table. The paper is folded back to a big
DISPLAY AD for the benefit: "MEET STU MILEY AND MONKEYBONE - 8 PM
TONIGHT!" He checks the wall clock: time is short.
Reaching into the drawer of the drafting table, he pulls out a TACKLE
BOX which contains old brushes...and a small VELVET BOX. O.D. STU opens
the velvet box to reveal Grandma's ANTIQUE RING.
He hears GROWLING behind him - it's BUSTER. The dog looks up, cocks his
head - and begins WAGGING HIS TAIL. Somehow, even though STU's in a
different body, BUSTER recognizes him.
EXT. STU AND JULIE'S HOUSE - DAY
O.D. STU exits, ring in hand. Behind him, BUSTER is throwing a fit -
barking, FLINGING himself at the screen door. He wants to come along!
A BUS pulls up at the corner, and O.D. STU boards it. BUSTER throws
everything he's got at the door - and it gives! He takes off after STU.
EXT. ZOO - GROUNDS - DAY
As HERB is walking toward the refreshment table, an ODD LOOK crosses his
face. All at once he begins to TUG at his collar. He yanks his TIE off
...doffs his JACKET onto the pavement...
POV HERB - PSYCHO-VISION
The nightmare drug is kicking in! The whole zoo SWIMS around him. All at
once he's being ATTACKED...by a HORDE of EMPTY CLOTHES!!
EXT. ZOO - GROUNDS - DAY
JULIE has arrived at the zoo. She's wandering zombie-like through the
food court, flanked by her friends ALICE and CLARISSA.
Whatever he's done, I'm responsible for it.
That's not true, Julie. It's not true.
This is not about your guilt, Julie. There could
be innocent people in danger.
He's not the same guy. He's not your Stu.
I didn't want to tell you this, but the other
day he pinched me on the butt.
I didn't want to tell you this, but the other
day he tried to mount me from behind! Look, you
have to tell the police.
Tell them what? I don't know anything concrete.
All I have is a feeling.
All of a sudden, they hear SHOUTS and LAUGHTER from the area of the
reptile house. In the distance, ZOO SECURITY GUARDS are chasing a NAKED
MAN through the crowds of formally-dressed partygoers.
Oh my God, we've got a flasher.
The GUARDS catch hold of HERB and drag him away past JULIE, ALICE, and
CLARISSA. He doesn't recognize any of them. He's PSYCHOTIC:
CLOTHES! Beware of clothes. They're working
together. All of them. Shirts...pants...
The three women exchange looks of stupefied HORROR.
INT. MUNI BUS - LATE AFTERNOON
PASSENGERS are holding their noses, frantically pulling on the BELL ROPE
to alert the driver that they want off. As we move toward the back we
see O.D. STU sitting alone, with rows of empty seats on either side.
He looks rough. He's bone-white, his taped-up lab coat is crusted with
blood, and he never did find any shoes. Also, it's a hot night and he's
starting to get a little ripe. FLIES are buzzing all around him.
EXT. STREETS - THAT MOMENT
BUSTER runs down the sidewalk as fast as his stumpy little legs will
carry him, in pursuit of the BUS.
INT. CAR - MOVING - LATE AFTERNOON
The team of SURGEONS has been tracking O.D. STU across the city! Through
the windshield they see the BUS pulling up outside the zoo. O.D. STU
hops out and sprints across the parking lot.
IT'S HIM! HE'S GETTING OFF!
INT. ZOO - ENTRANCE - LATE AFTERNOON
O.D. STU doesn't even stop at the ticket window. He VAULTS over the
turnstile, knocking benefit guests aside. The SURGEONS aren't far
behind. They race up to the ticket window -
Did you see a corpse running this way?
The TICKET-TAKER shrugs and points off in O.D. STU's direction.
INT. BANQUET TENT - THAT MOMENT - LATE AFTERNOON
The last stages of dinner. WAITERS are already clearing plates, and
although JULIE has barely touched her food she sends her plate away.
Onstage a BAND is playing tasteful zoo jazz. When the number ends, STU-
BONE approaches the dais and leans into the mike.
As emcee I want to thank you all for joining us
at this swingin' bash...it's a special night for
the birds, and the lions, and the monkeys, but
it's also a special night for -
(tapping his chest)
- this monkey. And it's special because of a
very special lady. Her name is -
(checking a note in his pocket)
Julie McElroy. Just kiddin', Julie. Stand up.
JULIE stands reluctantly. The CROWD APPLAUDS.
And to make this special night extra-special,
I'd like to do a special number...especially for
A DISCO BALL lowers. STU-BONE turns to welcome a group of BACKUP SOUL
SINGERS who are just joining the band on stage.
The TENT begins to ROCK with a throbbing beat. And STU-BONE launches
into a wild-eyed, hip-shaking parody of Mick Jagger singing the Rolling
Stones' "MONKEY MAN"!
As he sings, STU-BONE gyrates over toward JULIE, bumping and grinding
like the cartoon-monkey sex machine he is. He waves his mike to the
crowd, urging everyone to join in. JULIE gasps in disbelief, but the
crowd is eating it up - clapping and singing along with STU-BONE.
He gestures for pretty women to join him out on the floor. He opens his
shirt at the neck, exposing a hitherto unseen plenitude of chest hair.
He pulls out a hanky to mop his brow and tosses it to the crowd. He
wipes his armpits with a second hanky and tosses it to the crowd. He
blows his nose into a third and tosses it to the crowd.
Then he JUMPS UP ON THE TABLES and shakes his booty wildly, strutting in
and out among the dessert plates. If the real Jagger could see him, he
would creep home a sad and broken man.
For the big finale, he jumps off the table and SLIDES ACROSS THE FLOOR
to JULIE'S table - arriving ON HIS KNEES.
I am just a Monkey Man! I'm glad you are a
How about it, Julie?
He pulls out a RING BOX and hands it to the beet-red JULIE. The crowd
lets out a collective GASP - followed by WILD APPLAUSE.
She stares down at the ring - a big vulgar sparkler. She can't speak.
We'll hop a plane tonight. An island ceremony.
An Abba Dabba honeymoon!
It looks so...new.
It is new. Why wouldn't it be new?
But the heirloom ring. Your grandmother's
Heirloom? Huh? You want a used ring - ?
No reply. She's taking a long time to say yes. The audience is
Ju-leeee... Operators are standing by... Offer
expires at midnight, December 31...
Suddenly a GORE-STAINED FIGURE bursts into the tent.
DOC! DOC! DON'T DO IT! HE ISN'T STU! HE'S
JULIE's jaw drops. She barely gets a glimpse of O.D. STU before the ZOO
GUARDS arrive to haul him away.
Boy, the nuts are out tonight. What'd that creep
call you - ?
He called me "Doc."
- which STU-BONE never does. Someone in the crowd yells...
STU-BONE turns and does a simian COMEDY SHTICK for the crowd.
That's me, folks! Monkeybone! Let's party!
By the time he's done scratching his ribs, JULIE has vanished!
EXT. ZOO GROUNDS - LATE AFTERNOON
She races out of the tent - grabs a passing ZOO GUARD.
Please. Where did you take that man...?
The GUARD points to an ANIMAL CONTROL VAN. JULIE sees O.D. STU peering
out through a small barred panel. Their eyes meet...
Who are you? Why did you say those things?
Oh, Doc, it's all a mixup. We were in the land
of death. He stole my e-ticket. That's how he
got my body, see? All they had left for me was
JULIE digests this, nods professionally, and turns to walk away.
Don't walk away, Doc! He's only here to give
Doc! Please! Don't you remember the dream? They
were pulling the plug - I called out to you -
and you heard me. Remember?
This stops JULIE cold. Her spine is tingling. She turns slowly, a single
tear rolling down her cheek. And then...
The dog runs right past JULIE and bounds up to the animal control van,
barking his head off. Now JULIE is starting to believe. She turns -
I had to come back, Julie. I had to give you
THROUGH THE BARS he hands her the little box containing Grandma's
I meant to give it to you before. The night we
crashed. I was so happy, Julie, I...try to
remember me like that, okay? Not like this.
She slips the ring on her finger - looks up at O.D. STU with TEARS
WELLING in her eyes. He makes an odd SNORKELING kind of noise.
I'm crying too. I just don't have any tears. I'm
all dried up.
JULIE TURNS. The two DETECTIVES we saw in the sleep lab have just
arrived at the gate, and ALICE and CLARISSA are leading them over.
Detective, please let this man out of the van.
EXT. ZOO GROUNDS - PIÑATA AREA - THAT MOMENT
The PARTYGOERS are lined up under the gigantic Stanley-shaped PIÑATA,
which is hanging from a tree. A TUBBY BANKER in a blindfold takes a good
hard whack. CRACKS are beginning to appear...
Okay, folks, it's piñata time - you know the
rules - five bucks a pop - and remember, it's
all for the benefit of our friends the animals!
Oooooh! This one's on me!
The next contestant is a GORGEOUS WOMAN. He blindfolds her and embraces
her from behind to help her with her grip on the bat.
Choke up, baby. That's right. Choke up!
Suddenly he notices the COPS marching up with JULIE, O.D. STU and co. in
tow. He freezes, terrified - BACKS AWAY from the BABE -
- and catches a BAT IN THE FACE. Several people rush up to help him as
the COPS consult with the BENEFIT ORGANIZERS...
I don't understand, officer. This is a benefit.
Surely this can wait until -
Sorry, ma'am...we need to question Mr. Miley on
a most urgent matter.
Stop this. Now. Those dolls have been tampered
with. They're toxic!
O.D. STU comes marching through the crowd. He passes a LIFE-SIZED
DISPLAY of Stanley and Monkeybone...GRABS THE BACKPACK off the Stanley
figure...and proceeds deliberately toward STU-BONE.
MONKEYBONE...BACK IN THE PACK.
The old command seems to retain its magical power, because STU-BONE
clutches his gut as if stricken at the sound of it.
I mean it this time. Back in the pack.
STU-BONE bends over - jerks and twitches - becoming more SIMIAN by the
moment as O.D. STU approaches.
Stu...I can explain...I was sick of being a
figment, see? It's awful being a figment. It's
degrading! And I never really wanted to give
people nightmares. I just told 'em that so
they'd help me get a body.
Yeah - my body. Back in the pack, you simian
The COPS are tres confused by all this -
Ma'am, can you give me some idea of what's going
- but JULIE holds them back so the scene can play itself out. Now STU-
BONE is doing a weird little monkey dance - PLAYING UP to the puzzled
crowd, who laugh and snicker, wondering what to make of all this.
Laugh, damn you...laugh at the sidekick...the
happy little monkey. He doesn't have any
feelings. He's just a figment of your
He turns suddenly - GRABS THE BAT from the puzzled BABE -
GIMME THAT GODDAM BAT!
He wails on the piñata like Ken Griffey Jr. O.D. STU tries to stop him,
but it's too late - the piñata BURSTS, and hundreds of PURPLE-ASSED
MONKEYBONE DOLLS spill out onto the ground!
An equal number of RABID PARTYGOERS surge forward to scoop them up. The
COPS swing into action, trying to hold the crowd back...
HE'S GETTING AWAY!
STU-BONE climbs a tree and JUMPS from a branch onto one of the TWIN
JUNGLE TOWERS at the pavilion - begins CLIMBING toward the giant
MONKEYBONE BALLOON moored up above!
O.D. STU sees him - pulls away from JULIE -
I LOVE YOU!
STU-BONE unties the mooring rope and wraps it around his midsection. Now
freed, the balloon LIFTS INTO THE AIR, CARRYING HIM ALOFT!
O.D. STU climbs up the opposite tower as the balloon starts to drift
away. He GRABS HOLD of the MOORING ROPE as it whips past.
And the TEAM OF SURGEONS - who have been combing the grounds in search
of O.D. STU - catch sight of him just as he FLOATS OFF INTO THE AIR, ON
THE END OF THE ROPE!
LOOK! IT'S HIM!
EXT. ZOO GROUNDS - ON BALLOON - MOVING
They rise to an altitude of ten or twelve feet. But O.D. STU's
additional weight pulls the balloon back DOWN - and both of them hit the
ground! They have to RUN at top speed just to keep pace with the
As he's trying to KICK O.D. STU off the rope, a GUST OF WIND catches the
balloon and LIFTS IT HIGH INTO THE AIR.
For about three seconds. The boys tumble to earth, off-balance, in a
heap, BOUNCING along the pavement. The balloon pulls them over a
WROUGHT-IRON FENCE and drags them through the ALLIGATOR PIT. Giant jaws
snap as the boys glide overhead like bait on a hook.
As the balloon LIFTS UP AGAIN, O.D. STU hauls himself along the length
of the rope.
He gets close enough to GRAB STU-BONE's LEG. STU-BONE reaches down to
push him away...grabs a fistful of DUCT TAPE...
...and RIP! The tape TEARS - exposing the great big GASH in O.D. STU's
midsection! He tries to pull himself together...
EXT. FOOD COURT - THAT MOMENT - LATE AFTERNOON
A SERVER ladles out a cup of PUNCH from a big silver PUNCHBOWL.
Something PINK comes plummeting out of the sky - and the next thing he
knows, the SERVER is DRENCHED!
The SURGEONS come rushing up. They all stick their hands in the
punchbowl at once...fishing out O.D. STU'S KIDNEY!
Put it on ice. I think it can still be saved!
One of the TEAM finds an ice cooler full of soft drinks. In it goes.
EXT. TIGER HABITAT - LATE AFTERNOON
BOTH BOYS SCREAM as the balloon drags them perilously close to the RAZOR
WIRE atop a tall storm fence.
They clear it by inches - but they don't have much time to celebrate.
They're dangling over the Bengal Tiger exhibit, and the great cats are
LEAPING INTO THE AIR trying to snag them!
As O.D. STU squirms out of reach, his LIVER drops out...
EXT. GROUNDS - TIGER HABITAT - LATE AFTERNOON
It lands close enough to the FENCE that one of the SURGEONS thinks he
can reach it. He reaches through the bars and sees a pack of BENGAL
TIGERS racing toward him! He manages to grab ONE END of the liver - but
a TIGER gets the other end -
- and it's a TUG-OF-WAR until the tiger BITES the liver in half, sending
the terrified SURGEON sprawling on the pavement outside the bars! The
HEAD SURGEON examines the remaining half-liver...
Put it on ice. I think it can still be saved.
ANGLE ON BALLOON
STU-BONE socks O.D. STU hard across the face! He lets go of his incision
...and his SMALL INTESTINE falls out! Since it's still connected at both
ends, the intestine forms a great big LOOP...
EXT. FOOD COURT - SERVING TABLE - LATE AFTERNOON
The SERVER has just brought out a new PUNCHBOWL full of nice clean
punch. He sets it down on the table and is about to ladle out a cupful
when STU flies past overhead. His intestinal LOOP slides across the
table, knocking over glasses, snagging the PUNCHBOWL at its base...
...and YANKING IT right off the table! Bystanding GUESTS are DRENCHED in
punch as the punch bowl FLIES END OVER END...
...and, with the sound of a GONG being struck, BEANS a member of the
SURGICAL TEAM from behind!! Naturally it's the guy who's lugging the ICE
CHEST full of O.D. STU's organs. When the punchbowl strikes, he GOES
DOWN HARD, PITCHING the ice chest...
... at a pair of COPS who are over by the piñata, loading CONFISCATED
MONKEYBONE DOLLS into a SHOPPING CART. The ICE CHEST knocks them off
their feet - and sends the SHOPPING CART rolling downhill!
The COPS try to get up, but they skid every which way on the SPILLED ICE
underneath. On top of which, the SURGICAL TEAM is all over them, playing
GRAB-ASS with the COPS as they try to retrieve precious organs.
The HEAD SURGEON kneels beside his fallen comrade, the guy who got
BEANED by the punchbowl, and feels for a pulse.
Put him on ice. I think he can still be saved!
EXT. ZOO GROUNDS - LATE AFTERNOON
COPS sprint downhill, trying to intercept the runaway SHOPPING CART full
of confiscated dolls. Too late. The CART slams into a fence and goes
ass-over-teakettle, dumping its contents into the PENGUIN HABITAT...
INT. HYP'S HIDEAWAY - THAT MOMENT
HYPNOS and an audience of DARKTOWNERS peer into the nightmare orb. They
see a Keystone-Cops vision of fur-clad ESKIMOS, with clubs and
spearguns, amid a colony of terrified PENGUINS.
Not again. THAT STINKING MONKEY!!!
AERIAL SHOT - STU'S POV - MOVING
STU gets an idea as he looks down at his dangling INTESTINE. He begins
FEEDING IT OUT - giving himself more rope to work with - and when it's
long enough, begins SWINGING IT like a LASSO!
EXT. WATER BUFFALO HABITAT - LATE AFTERNOON
WATER BUFFALO graze Buddha-like as STU'S INTESTINE snags one of them
around the HORNS. The lasso draws taut - and holds!
ANGLE ON BALLOON - O.D. STU AND STU-BONE
The balloon is moored in place again! O.D. STU pulls himself upward,
toward STU-BONE, who KICKS AT him frantically!
EXT. ZOO GROUNDS - LATE AFTERNOON
A COP pulls his sidearm and TAKES AIM at the now-stabilized balloon.
I think I can bring 'em down.
ANGLE ON BALLOON - MOVING - LATE AFTERNOON
BLAM! The cop's shot hits the giant MONKEYBONE BALLOON smack in the ass.
With a gale-force helium FART, the balloon ZOOMS UPWARD. The INTESTINE
snaps. STU-BONE and O.D. STU shoot off into the air!
ON STU-BONE & O.D. STU - AERIAL
AT APOGEE. They exchange a LOOK as the last gasp of helium hisses out of
the gigantic balloon. Then it occurs to them to look DOWN...
THEIR POV - PARKING LOT - OVERHEAD ANGLE
...at the tiny CARS parked far, far below. They must be close to a
hundred feet up in the air - and all at once the ground is coming up
EXT. ZOO - ON JULIE & CROWD - LATE AFTERNOON
JULIE et al SCREAM IN HORROR as the two bodies plunge earthward.
ON STU-BONE & O.D. STU - FALLING
...and falling and falling until they SMACK INTO the hot asphalt of the
parking lot, the deflated balloon settling over them like a shroud.
Their BODIES have stopped - but their SPIRITS keep on falling...
AERIAL SHOT - SKIES OVER DARK TOWN - NIGHT
...and the fight continues - even into the afterlife! As they plummet
down through the heavens, they REVERT to their true personae. It's STU
vs. MONKEYBONE, creator vs. sidekick, still duking it out - like a
couple of skydivers fighting over a single parachute!
EXT. STREETS - DARK TOWN - RIGHT
DARKTOWNERS pour into the streets to watch the epic struggle overhead.
They're placing bets, rooting their favorites on. Then...
THE GROUND SHAKES AND THUNDERS - and the DARKTOWNERS scatter in all
directions, DIVING for the nearest hiding place. They seem to know what
this mighty rumbing signifies.
The E-TICKET RIDE pops out of the ground - begins to RISE into the air -
and a COLOSSUS appears beneath it! A FIFTY-FOOT WARRIOR clad in JAPANESE
CEREMONIAL ARMOR, he TOWERS over Dark Town, so mighty and enormous that
he can wear the E-TICKET RIDE as a hat!!
ON STU AND MONKEYBONE - FALLING
STU lands a HAYMAKER, and the two of them break loose of each other -
ON ARMORED COLOSSUS - THAT MOMENT
- LANDING in the upturned palms of the COLOSSUS! STU watches in
disbelief as a PANEL pops open in the giant's CHEST, revealing...
I dress up when I want to make an impression. -
So how'd it go?
Fine, thanks. Saw my girl, said goodbye,
everything's gonna be okay.
I guess I'm yours now.
Death, I'd like to point out that none of this
was my fault. The roots of this tragedy go back
to a callous, uncaring society that -
DEATH lets out a MIGHTY ROAR and CLAPS HIS GREAT METAL HANDS together.
Man and monkey are surely squished. But when DEATH opens his hands, STU
is still there, cupped safely in his palms.
Hey. Where's Monkeybone?
Back in your head, where he belongs.
No offense, Stu, but on your own you're kinda
vanilla. I didn't want to send you back without
Back? You're sending me back?
It's irregular, but...I just love that strip of
yours. I figure I'll take the "Family Circus"
Death! Thank you!
Thank me next time you see me.
He sends STU ROCKETING UPWARD INTO THE STRATOSPHERE with a single flick
of his finger. Then he turns...
A BUNCH OF FRIGHTENED DARKTOWNERS pitch the quivering satyr out into the
middle of the town square.
Death! So nice to see you. I can explain -
He looks up tremulously. A GIANT SHADOW falls across him...followed by a
GIANT ARMORED FOOT.
EXT. ZOO - DUSK
JULIE SOBS in a POLICEMAN's arms at the exit to the zoo.
I don't know what happened. All I know is...he
was in a coma...and then he came back...and now
he's gone again.
They wander out. Behind them, a squad of COPS are confiscating
MONKEYBONE DOLLS from squawling children as they file out.
EXT. ZOO - PARKING LOT - DUSK
The TWO CORPSES, on gurneys, are being loaded into the back of the
police ambulance. The SURGEON and his team come wandering up.
Excuse me. We lost a corpse - we saw him heading
I got a couple of fresh ones in the back. Help
The SURGEON pulls the sheet off CORPSE #1 - aka O.D. STU.
I'll be. It's him all right. Still dead...
The SECOND CORPSE sits up abruptly. His sheet falls away, revealing STU
...the real STU...now back in his own body! The SURGEON and his TEAM run
away from the ambulance SHRIEKING.
EXT. ZOO - ANOTHER ANGLE - DUSK
BUSTER barks like a maniac. JULIE turns and sees an IMPOSSIBLE VISION
ambling toward her...STU, alive and kicking. She can't believe it's him
until he grabs her and pulls her close.
Is it you? Is it really you this time?
He pulls her close and kisses her long and hard, quelling all doubts.
Oh, Stu. Tell me I'm not dreaming.
Baby...you're asking the wrong guy.
They wander off, arm in arm. STU TUGS at the seat of his pants.
What's the matter?
My tail itches.
He DOES A TAKE as he realizes what he's just said - but JULIE smiles,
and he shrugs it off. Johnny Mercer's "DREAM" comes up underneath as the
reunited lovers walk off into the moonlight, and we