"The Relic", early draft, by Amy Holden Jones
a screenplay by Amy Holden Jones
based on the book by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
March 16, 1995
TITLE CARD... BELEM BRAZIL - JULY...
EXT. BELEM STREETS - NIGHT
A taxi careens down narrow roadways at breakneck speeds.
INT. TAXI - NIGHT
In the back seat is WHITTLESLEY. Early 40's, the wreck of a once
handsome man. Unshaven. Sweat stained. Rail thin. Scratches on his
arms, a fresh scar on one cheek. As the taxi roars downhill towards
the harbor, Whittlesley leans over the front seat. (Italics indicate
Portuguese to be subtitled)
Faster! We won't make it.
You want to die?
Whittlesley pulls out A KNIFE, puts it to the driver's jugular vein.
Sweat pouring down his brow, the driver re-doubles his speed.
EXT. BELEM STREETS - NIGHT
The taxi swerves around a corner, nearly crashing into a fruit cart,
flies out of sight.
EXT. HARBOR - BELEM - NIGHT
Light rain obscures the bulky outlines of tethered freighters. We hear
faint laughter leavened with Portuguese phrases, distant Calypso music
from waterfront bars. One of the smaller boats, the SANTA LUCIA, is
loading as the TAXI fishtails to a halt.
Whittlesley gets out, sees the boat still at dock. His face floods
He tosses a handful of bills into the driver's lap, sprints up the
pier as the driver shouts curses after him in Portuguese. Whittlesley
shoves past the dock hands as the last load goes onto the Santa Lucia.
The boat's engines churn to life.
I need to speak to the captain!
Where is he?
The sailors hold Whittlesley back.
Get your hands off me! I'm trying
to save your lives, you fools!
Several crew members murmur the word "loco". Hearing the commotion, a
squat man wearing a billed hat and smoking a cigar approaches. CAPTAIN
Yes. Thank Christ somebody speaks
English. I'm Dr. John Whittlesley.
You have some crates of mine on
board. They were shipped by mistake
to the Natural History Museum. We
have to get them off the boat.
You have I.D.?
Whittlesley runs a trembling hand through his hair, trying to keep
control and appear reasonable.
No. Let me explain. I was on an
expedition for the museum on the
Upper Xingu. Something horrible
happened. I'm the only one who got
out alive. I lost everything, my
I.D., everything. I have to make
sure no one else dies. The crates,
the crates were sent out before we
knew. There's something unspeakable
inside. If your boat leaves harbor
with those crates on board, I can't
be responsible. My God, if they
reach New York...
Whittlesley's fists clench spasmodically. Franco looks to his men.
No! I'm not crazy! As God is my
witness, I'm telling the truth.
Franco barks an order and several sailors grab Whittlesley by the
arms. They start to lead him back to shore.
Don't do this! You have to believe
me. Your lives are in danger.
The sailors laugh. But with an almost super-human strength born of
desperation, Whittlesley throws them off. He pulls out his wallet.
Cash. Cash, you see? American money.
Whittlesley throws the money down on the deck. The breeze scatters the
bills across the bow and all the men, including Captain Franco,
scramble for the money, chattering in Portuguese. While they are
occupied, Whittlesley slips by unnoticed and disappears below deck.
INT. HOLD - SANTA LUCIA - NIGHT
Whittlesley ducks between cages of goats, boxes of farm equipment, his
movements jerky with panic. As he continues searching, the camera
moves past him, into the darkness of the hold. We hear Whittlesley
mumbling between low, ragged breaths. At the back of the boat the
A STACK OF CRATES... clearly labeled NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM. Move in on
these as... The CRATES VIBRATE. The boat has started to move!
Whittlesley stands bolt upright, realizing what's going on.
Too late. He turns to run back on deck but then stops, sniffs the air.
A look of desperation fills his eyes. With one hand he pulls out THE
KNIFE, and unexpectedly puts it to HIS OWN NECK. Better to kill
himself than face what comes next. The knife touches...
A NECKLACE of TWO ARROWS, one gold, another silver.
Whittlesley stares wide-eyed into the blackness of the hold. The goats
start BLEATING in blind panic. A shaft of moonlight comes through a
porthole as the boat turns. The moonlight falls on
THE CRATES. Whittlesley's eyes lock onto them and he inches towards
them, drawn inexorably closer... closer...
He begins mumbling a prayer.
MOVE IN ON HIS EYES... filled with dread as he falls to his knees,
staring, always staring at THE CRATES...
EXT. DOCKS - NIGHT
The crew tends to business and the Santa Lucia points out of the
harbor, disappears into the night.
EXT. LOUISIANNA COAST - DAY... TITLE CARD... JUNE
Squad cars roar down the back roads, sirens flashing. In the center of
the column is an unmarked car.
INT. UNMARKED CAR - DAY
At the wheel is a strikingly dignified and imposing black man wearing
a simple, old-fashioned dark suit, narrow black tie, and white shirt.
This is SPECIAL AGENT PENDERGAST, FBI.
A BACH SONATA for violin and harpsichord plays on the tape deck.
Pendergast hums along as he drives. A SMALL TOWN COP rides shotgun.
The cop is intimidated both by Pendergast and the morning's events. He
sweats heavily as he brings Pendergast up to date.
SMALL TOWN COP
One of the locals found it at dawn.
Didn't believe him 'till I saw it
myself. Even then I didn't believe
it. Scared my men shitless. Me too.
I mean... hell... You could smell it a
half mile away, Mr. Pendergast.
Any of your men go on board?
SMALL TOWN COP
No sir. No way. None of us wanted
to, I'm the first to admit it. I
said, "Don't get within a mile of
this thing. It's way to big for us.
I'm calling the FBI."
Pendergast nods his approval, resumes humming along with a
particularly intricate harpsichord riff. As always, the man is
unflappable and totally calm as he drives.
EXT. LOUISIANA BEACH - DAY
The ocean is still, the air stifling and close. A hot sun beats down
on the deck of the SANTA LUCIA. The boat lists at a crazy angle where
it has been washed up on the shore. At first glance, it appears to be
deserted. A barrel rolls back and forth as the boat is rocked by each
successive wave. We hear sirens approaching and the phalanx of squad
cars pulls up. Joining them now are TWO AMBULANCES.
PENDERGAST gets out along with the others. All of the cops immediately
cover their faces, gagging violently at the smell. Pendergast sniffs
once and frowns. Apart from this, he doesn't react.
SMALL TOWN COP
Goin' up-wind if you don't mind.
Pendergast nods. The cops all fall back in revulsion. They watch from
a safe distance as Pendergast approaches the ghost ship. His shiny
laced wing-tips sink in the sand. He leans down, pulls them off one at
a time. He balls both socks, puts them carefully into his shoes and
proceeds barefoot towards the boat.
Using a piece of driftwood as a plank, Pendergast leans it against the
Santa Lucia. With surprising agility, he leaps up the plank to the
deck. At the top he touches a rail. It's covered in a DARK STICKY
BLOOD. Flies buzz loudly. A LARGE MACHETE lies abandoned in the stern.
Chairs are overturned. A DEAD GOAT, eviscerated, lies in the bow. A
lifeboat hangs half off the stern. Pendergast moves aft. The COPS
watch from the sand below, unwilling to get any closer. Pendergast
hears A DOOR slamming open and closed. He follows the noise and
THE DOOR TO THE HOLD. He approaches, pushes it open and looks down the
stairwell. Below deck are
BODIES... stacks of them. They've been TORN TO SHREDS.
THE CAMERA MOVES down to one particular man who is nearest the top of
the stairs. It's CAPTAIN FRANCO. His face is frozen in a howl of
terror. Flies congregate in the eye sockets. With his foot, Pendergast
nudges the body over. The skull has been torn open.
THERE IS NO BACK TO FRANCO'S HEAD.
FADE TO BLACK:
Silence then we begin hearing sounds of the city... horns, traffic,
SUPER TITLE... NEW YORK CITY, FOUR MONTHS LATER as we...
ON A NECKLACE of TWO ARROWS, one of gold, the other silver. The twin
to the one seen on Whittlesley. Widen to...
EXT. ROOFTOP GARDEN - MARGO'S NEW YORK APARTMENT - MORNING
And the woman wearing the necklace... MARGO GREEN. She sips her morning
coffee as she makes notes on several large FOSSILIZED TEETH. Her hair
is neatly combed. No make-up. She doesn't need it. She has a natural,
unselfconscious beauty and a mind like a steel trap.
At Margo's elbow is a small T.V. A CNN world news report plays.
Margo's New York Times is open to the crossword puzzle, which she's
been doing rapidly, in ink. Clearly this is a woman who likes order,
with a mind that can handle more than one thing at a time.
An alarm on her watch beeps and she fills in the last two lines of the
crossword puzzle, makes one final note on the fossil specimens, and
shuts off the T.V. She reaches for her back pack and looks out at
CENTRAL PARK with remarkably clear eyes.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - MORNING
HELICOPTER SHOT... Swooping over the fall foliage of the Park, a riot
of color and botanical life... The camera picks out MARGO'S BICYCLE
making its way along the winding roads, dodging taxi cabs. Margo wears
jeans, a work shirt, a fine blue gabardine jacket with a rhinestone
DOUBLE HELIX PIN. On her back is a LEATHER BACK PACK which holds her
lap top computer. She emerges from the park, catches the green light
and rolls up to...
EXT. MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - DAY
As Margo arrives, the camera moves up and over the building, comes to
rest on the imposing turrets, intersecting roof lines, and Gothic
arches of the MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. This is not an ordinary
building; it's a 19th century monument to science and mankind. The
structure fills an entire city block.
Happy visitors pour into the museum as Margo takes the imposing wide
stone steps two at a time. We hear SCREAMS of pleasure and release,
the normal raucous noises of a large group of THIRD GRADE CHILDREN.
Margo is amused to find herself surrounded by kids. Their teacher,
MRS. BEASLEY, a stern woman in glasses with a thick New York accent,
calls after them as they all head inside.
Don't run, children! Stay with your
partner and do not run! If anyone
runs they will be sent back to the
Ignoring Mrs. Beasley, TWO BOYS charge past Margo. HENRY and LARRY.
Henry has a buzz cut; Larry has rasta dread knots. Both are 8 years
old, wear high top sneakers and shorts so big they graze their ankles.
Henry! Larry! What did I just say!
You walk right this minute! Did you
Reluctantly, Henry and Larry slow to a rapid race-walk as they reach
the huge doorway flanked by two Northwest Coast Indian totem poles.
Above the doorway WORKMEN are hanging a LARGE BANNER. It reads:
"SUPERSTITION EXHIBIT... OPENING OCT. 29"
INT. MUSEUM ROTUNDA/STAIRWELL - DAY
The school children burst into a three story space dominated by a
life-sized statue of a HERD OF ELEPHANTS. The kids chatter with
excitement, look up in awe. Margo nods to a GUARD who smiles as she
pins on a plastic I.D.
Morning, Dr. Green.
Morning Joe. Beautiful day.
Henry watches Margo pass through the turnstiles without paying. He
You work here?
Yes, I do.
What do you do?
(leans down, amused)
I'm an Evolutionary Biologist. What
do you do?
Nothing. I'm in third grade. What's
a revolutionary what ch'a ma'
Evolutionary Biologist. I study how
life on earth evolved over millions
Way cool. Then you know where the
Fourth floor, West wing, but stay
with your class.
Mrs. Beasley heads into the museum and Larry and Henry merge with the
rest of the kids. Margo turns towards the stairwell, passing...
IAN CUTHBERT... Museum Director... a pudgy man in wire rim glasses who
dresses and thinks like a banker. Hired for his amazing ability to
raise money, Cuthbert is one of a new generation of Museum Directors
whose focus must always be on the bottom line.
Hello, Ian. Everything ready for the
opening of the Superstition Exhibit?
I'm on my way to get the last piece
out of storage right now.
I'd wish you luck but I'm not
You will be after tomorrow night.
Cuthbert waves merrily. A workman uses a LADDER in the stairwell.
Cuthbert is about to walk under the ladder, stops and carefully walks
around it instead. Margo smiles, goes on upstairs.
INT. MUSEUM BASEMENT - DAY
Cuthbert enters from the lower stairwell. He is now in one of the
hundreds of areas of the museum that are closed to the the general
public. He follows a labyrinthine route down a dim passageway lined
with rumbling steam pipes. There are storage areas on both sides
labeled ORNITHOLOGY, HERPITOLOGY, CENTRAL ASIA EXPEDITIONS, AKELEY
EXPEDITIONS, WHALE BONE FOSSILS and so on. Finally Cuthbert comes to a
"WHITTLESLEY EXPEDITIONS 1978-95". Cuthbert pauses and gets out a key,
but to his surprise the door pushes open. The lock and doorknob
mechanism are both broken off! Cuthbert frowns.
What the... ?
He goes inside.
INT. WHITTLESLEY COLLECTION BASEMENT - DAY
Cuthbert flips on a light to see a tall, narrow space. Stacks of metal
shelves reach up into the gloom. Everywhere we see spears, shields,
masks, various artifacts. Ancient tribal costumes lie shrouded in
plastic like corpses against the walls. And in the middle of the
gloom, sitting ominously in the light of a sole hanging bulb are...
THE WHITTLESLEY CRATES. The same ones last seen in the hold of the
ill-fated Santa Lucia. They are scattered about in disarray. One in
particular has been broken open, its contents spread on the floor.
Cuthbert mutters in surprise and dismay, kneels by the crate.
No, it can't be.
Cuthbert feels gently through the packing material, lets out a sigh of
relief as he pulls out a figurine. It is a small, beautifully carved
statue of A MONSTER crouched on all fours.
The room falls totally silent as Cuthbert studies THE RELIC. It's a
truly frightening piece... massive, razor sharp claws, large round
nostrils, enormous teeth and red rimmed eyes. Suddenly Cuthbert sees a
DROP OF BLOOD on his hand! He's been CUT!
Cuthbert rises, shakes his finger in pain. Blood drips on the floor.
He pulls out his pocket handkerchief and wraps the wound. The
handkerchief rapidly soaks through. Suddenly a HAND CLAMPS on
Cuthbert's shoulder! He's not alone! He lets out a YELP, almost
dropping the Relic and spins to see...
A MUSEUM GUARD standing behind him. His nameplate reads... BEAUREGARD.
He's a gentle young fellow with white blond hair and a rolling
Beauregard! You scared me half to
I'm sorry, sir. You okay?
Someone broke into this room.
Doesn't look like it. We're damned
lucky. This statue is priceless.
Cuthbert holds up the RELIC of THE MONSTER. Beauregard stares.
Mbwun. A South American warrior
deity. He carries a powerful curse.
Every member of the expedition that
found this statue, died.
Beauregard sees Cuthbert's cut finger.
Looks like the curse is still at
The claws are sharp... I must have
Better move these crates to the
secure storage area where they'll be
Beauregard studies the door as Cuthbert heads out with the figurine.
Don't know if it'll do any good, Mr.
No one broke into this room, sir.
Someone broke out. That lock was
torn off from the inside.
Cuthbert glances at the evil face of Mbwun, pales. As he exits, HOLD
ON BEAUREGARD, left alone with the crates.
INT. PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY LAB - DAY
Huge centrifuges, hissing autoclaves, electrophoresis apparati,
glowing monitors, elaborate blown-glass distillation columns and
titration set-ups. One of the most advanced technical facilities of
its kind. And mixed in with all the modern machinery are
SKELETONS OF ALL KINDS. Complete homo sapien specimens are scattered
around the room. Standing midst all this is GREGORY KAWAKITA, early
twenties. Kawakita makes sharp, jerky overhead movements with his left
hand, waving something about. He's practicing casting. We hear the
zing of a line and the whirring of the fly reel as MARGO ENTERS. A fly
whips out, passing right under her nose.
Third from the end! Right shoulder.
Aleut, provenance unknown.
The fly zooms across the room and lights on the shoulder of the third
skeleton from the end, labeled "Aleut, provenance unknown." Margo
rolls her eyes and Kawakita smiles with pride.
If I spent half the time on my
Fractal Evolution thesis that I
spend on this fly rod, I'd have my
But at what a price.
Kawakita reels in his line as Margo drops her backpack on her large
desk. An enormous MICROSCOPE stands by the equally imposing computer
topped by a tiger skull. A screen saver of an animated pterodactyl
plays. Margo unpacks boxes of fossil teeth, hits some keys revealing
columns of seemingly indecipherable chemical equations on the computer
I have the species identification on
these teeth. We can extract DNA and
start running tests on the
extrapolator program. Call Dr.
Frock. He wanted a demonstration.
Margo, you haven't heard?
Frock's been fired.
Margo straightens, stunned.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad
tidings, but you know me. Telegraph.
Telephone. Tell Kawakita. I got the
definitive word from Cuthbert's
secretary. This is Dr. Frock's last
Margo is already out the door.
INT. CORRIDORS/STAIRWELL - MUSEUM - DAY
Margo charges through double doors leading into the southwest tower.
She half runs down an elegant, Edwardian fifth-floor corridor, her
footsteps lost in the thick carpet. At the very end is a heavy oak
door bearing a plate entwined with bronze leaves that reads simply
INT. FROCK'S OFFICE - DAY
Margo bursts into the unique office, which is in startling contrast to
the modernity of her own. Two large bow windows look out over the
park. Upholstered Victorian chairs in a leaf motif sit on needlepoint
carpets featuring large red roses. Plant specimens and drawings of
flora and fauna line the walls. Cardboard boxes cover the floor.
Seated in a wheelchair is a white-haired man in a tweed jacket and a
loud floral tie. Glasses slip down his nose.
This is DR. FROCK, and he's in the middle of packing. He looks up,
Hello, Margo. Sorry about the mess.
Is it true? Greg said you'd been
Yes. Bit of a shock. But as Cuthbert
so tactfully put it, the museum
needs new blood. And since I've been
here since the Mesozoic Era --
I don't believe it.
Now Margo, don't overreact. Cuthbert
has to cut costs somehow. My leaving
makes perfect sense. This isn't
exactly early retirement. I've
overstayed the party a bit.
We can't do without you. You're one
of the foremost authorities on
primitive pharmacology. You're
practically an institution around
That, apparently, is the problem.
I'm yesterday's news. Who needs a
Curator of Plant Biology in a museum
with one exhibit on plants? Monsters
and dinosaurs, cannibals and shamans
are the new currency of the realm.
Frock goes back to his work packing to hide his emotion and Margo
moves to his side. She pulls Frock's books back out of the box,
returns them to his desk.
"Phyletic Transformation and the
Tertiary Fern Spike" is not going
anywhere. I'll talk to Cuthbert and
put a stop to this right now.
She starts for the door and Frock wheels into her path. Now for the
first time she sees what he's been carefully hiding... the deep pain in
Please. Don't humiliate me further.
Let me help. I can take care of
No, Margo. This is one problem you
can't solve. You have to stay out of
it. The fact is, I want to retire.
How can you say that? You know it's
Yes it is. I'm tired and I'm no
longer needed --
My work on fossil intermediates
would be crippled without you.
With all due respect, dear, that's
bull. You dance rings around me with
your new technology. You've left me
in the dust.
Your work is highly relevant. What
about your display on Primitive
Pharmacology? Cuthbert told me
himself he was going to feature it
prominently in the Superstition
Healing plant use among the Ki tribe
of Bechuanaland has been cancelled
to make room for Tibetan Erotic Art.
Frock reaches out and squeezes her hand gently with a look that says
the discussion is over.
Come on. I'll walk you back to the
I'm not giving up.
INT. MUSEUM HALLWAYS - DAY
Frock rolls back down the hall the way Margo just came. Margo is
beside him, downcast. She's not used to defeat.
This isn't a death sentence. Greg
has promised to teach me fly
fishing. I'll garden. I'll write.
You are this museum. It won't be the
same without you.
Everyone needs a change of scenery.
I've been rolling down these halls
for forty-odd years. That's quite
Margo gets in the elevator reluctantly. He smiles and meets her eye.
I'll see you at lunch.
He waves her off merrily. But once the doors close and Margo's out of
sight, Frock's smile fades and his shoulders sag. He ducks his
wheelchair quickly into the Hall of African Mammals.
INT. HALL OF AFRICAN MAMMALS - AFTERNOON
Two stories high, dark and dramatic. A very special display. Dioramas
of lions, hippos, wart hogs etc. In the middle is a large statue of a
GORILLA beating its chest. Frock takes refuge in the darkness of the
exhibit. His wheelchair sits in a quiet corner and we see him quickly
wipe the back of his hands across his eyes.
INT. MOLLUSKS EXHIBIT - DAY
Shells and sea life line the walls. A sign announces the exhibit
"Mollusks and Our World." The THIRD GRADE CLASS sweeps in. Larry and
Henry start to sing "Mollusks and Our World" to the tune of "Welcome
to Our World", the F.A.O. Schwartz theme song. Mrs. Beasley shoots
them the evil eye and Henry whines...
Mrs. Beasley, it's almost time to go
and we still haven't seen the
If you ask me about the dinosaurs
once more, I'II strangle you both!
She starts to lecture about horseshoe crabs in a droning monotone.
Henry and Larry hang back.
This room sucks.
She's never going to take us to see
the dinosaurs. That lady said they
were on the fourth floor.
Let's ditch and find them ourselves.
They dart off down a side corridor and up a wide stairs.
INT. REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS ROOM - DAY
Larry and Henry emerge and walk wide-eyed among the cases of lizards,
chameleons, tortoises. High windows light the room. Outside the sun is
going down. A woman pushing a child in a stroller exits and the boys
have the hall to themselves.
Look at this. A Komodo dragon.
As Larry checks out, the huge, dragon-like reptile, which has just
sunk its Jaws into a stuffed boar. Henry points to a stuffed Gecko
climbing vertically up the side of its case.
Check out this one. It can walk up
Larry already has his eyes on the far end of the hall where temporary
barricades have been put up to prevent access to the next room.
Painting is in progress. Scaffolding just begs to be climbed. Henry
runs over and starts up the scaffolding. Larry hesitates.
We're not supposed to go back there.
Chicken. This is a great short cut.
Henry drops on the other side of the scaffolding and Larry follows. In
a moment both disappear from sight.
INT. MUSEUM HALL OF BIRDS - DAY
Windowless and dark. A closed display under maintenance. Thousands of
little stuffed birds line the walls from floor to ceiling, white
cotton poking out of sightless eyes. Henry and Larry enter and slow
down. Larry's getting scared.
I don't want to go this way.
Don't be a wuss. Come on.
The boys continue onward more slowly, their footfalls echoing in the
INT. BACK HALLWAYS - DAY
The children are now far from the other tourists and their class.
Larry is frightened. The hall takes a sharp dog-leg, ending in a
darkened cul-de-sac full of display cases filled with hideous carved
masks. Against the side of the chamber is a barricade of wood which
looks much like a wall. Henry tugs at it and the barricade moves. He
Hey, there's a secret staircase back
Henry disappears behind the barricade leaving Larry completely alone
in the dark room with the Shaman masks.
Henry, come back!
Henry doesn't respond. The lights in the cases throw strange shadows.
Larry starts to sniffle, falls to hiccuping, sits down. He pulls on a
little flap of rubber that's coming off the toe of his sneaker, all
No answer. Larry rises and peeks behind the barricade. He sees the
circular stair. It descends into total darkness. From below comes a
strange smell that makes Larry's nose wrinkle.
No answer. Larry puts his first foot on the stair.
Henry! Come up! Please!
With no other option but staying alone in the dark, Larry follows
INT. SPIRAL STAIRCASE - DAY
Larry clutches the banister, whispers...
Henry? Where are you? Henry?
Larry takes another step. Another. And another. He stops. Below him he
hears SNUFFLING, rather like a large dog. Larry freezes, starts to
Henry! Henry! It smells awful.
Answer me! Are you all right?
Larry can barely see a dim hallway stretching out in two directions.
He pauses near the bottom of the stairs, eyes wide, holding his
breath. There appears to be a darker area of SHADOW at the end of the
hall. It's gliding TOWARDS THEM!
Suddenly something CLOSES on Larry's leg and he YELPS. It's HENRY.
Henry pulls Larry the rest of the way down the stairs. They stand
alone together in the darkness. Henry hisses.
What is it?
I don't know. But I think it's bad.
They keep their eyes locked on the shape at the end of the hall as
they back up, step by step. Move in as their faces suddenly TWIST WITH
FEAR. THE BOYS... SCREAM BLOODY MURDER... The sound echoes in the
darkness as we...
INT. MARGO'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Margo sits up in the darkness, gasping. Moonlight cuts across the bed.
It takes a moment for her to realize that she's had a nightmare. She
reaches for her light. As she switches it on, we see a photo on her
bedside table. It shows a group on a mountain in TIBET. There are
several people with their arms slung around each other. At the end is
a younger MARGO holding hands with JOHN WHITTLESLEY. They appear to be
more than friends.
ON MARGO... she looks at the photo a moment, then turns off the light
and lies back, alone in her bed.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST - DAY
Yellow crime tape encircles the museum. Dead leaves swirl in clusters
and the sky is overcast. Overnight, fall turned to winter. The front
of the museum is ringed with police cars. Margo rides up on her bike
and pauses, startled at the sight. We watch as she crosses, has a few
words with one of the officers who motions her to a side entrance. She
wheels her bike under a stone tunnel as we pick up...
A TAXI CAB arriving at the front entrance. Out steps SPECIAL AGENT
INT. LOWER ROTUNDA - DAY
Margo enters. The huge hall is taken up by an enormous boat carved
from the trunk of a single tree. Inside it are mannequins of Northwest
Coast Indians. Milling around are at least twenty COPS. One
Worried, Margo hands it over.
What's going on?
All employees are to go to the IMAX
room for a briefing, Dr. Green.
INT. SIDE HALL - MUSEUM - DAY
Several cops go by with tracking dogs. Margo looks back at the dogs,
increasingly uneasy, almost bumps into...
HENRY AND LARRY. Surprisingly, they are alive and well and seated with
MRS. BEASLEY outside an office. Margo exchanges a look with both boys,
remembering them from yesterday. A tentative smile starts but Henry
and Larry don't return it. Serious and chastened, they drop their
eyes. Margo continues on.
TWO COPS stand outside the door to the rest room, their backs turned
to Margo as she approaches.
What was that? Six?
Margo glances past them to see an OLDER MAN wearing the badge of a
NIGHT WATCHMAN, leaning over a sink. He wipes his mouth. Margo's eyes
move down to see... THE MAN'S SNEAKERS are soaked in blood.
INT. HALL OF ADVANCED FOSSIL MAMMALS - DAY
More cops gather, surrounded by skeletons of primates... humans,
monkeys, gorillas. It's an odd sight. They all look up with interest
as in walks the imposing figure of...
SPECIAL AGENT PENDERGAST. He turns to a young eager beaver, OFFICER
BAILEY, flashes his badge. Bailey straightens to attention.
Could you please take me to the
officer in charge?
INT. CIRCULAR STAIRWELL - DAY
Pendergast follows Bailey as they descend the rickety old metal
staircase that goes into the bowels of the museum. The hall below them
is narrowand lit by an occasional bare bulb. The stairway opens onto a
maze-like set of rooms in the basement. Everything around them is
STREAKED and SPATTERED in BLOOD. There are trails of it on the floor,
the walls, the overhead light.
Several COPS stand guard as DETECTIVE VINCE D'AGOSTA goes over the
area. He is a round, balding, man with an unmistakable air of
authority. A modern knight in shining armor in disguise... deep
disguise. He has on a cheap polyester short sleeved shirt. His t-shirt
is plainly visible underneath. On his worn plastic belt is a badge.
Don't touch anything until the
S.O.C. has finished with those
stairs. Keep everyone clear of the
perimeter. I don't want any
contamination. There's an incredible
amount of blood evidence down here.
We need more light. Where's the
photographer? Tell him to quit
eating donuts, I need him.
As Pendergast enters, D'Agosta looks up at this serious African-
American in simple black suit, white shirt and dark tie.
Who are you? The undertaker?
Special Agent Pendergast. FBI.
Vince D'Agosta. Am I out?
Not at all. I think we may be
working on the same case. If so, I
could use your help.
The two men shake hands. They couldn't be more different. Pendergast
is an elegant intellectual... D'Agosta a working class spark plug who
operates from the gut. Pendergast gestures to the form on the ground.
What's left of it.
Mind if I have a look?
D'Agosta calls to A POLICE PHOTOGRAPHER who comes down the staircase
carrying lights, a donut stuffed in his mouth.
We need light in here, stat.
Where's the head?
D'Agosta points to a lump the size of a bowling ball that's in the
Careful. That mess on the ground is
Night watchman who found the body.
Sweet old man. Been tossing his
cookies for over an hour. Not a
The photographer is finally ready and he floods the dark room with
light. And now everyone (but not us) gets a very clear look at the
THE PHOTOGRAPHER... spits out his donut. His eyes roll up and he drops
in a dead faint. Just like that. D'Agosta swallows hard.
Pendergast looks down, utterly impassive.
Yes, I'd say we're definitely
working on the same case.
INT. IMAX ROOM - DAY
An old 19th century theater. Balconies. Heavy curtains. It looks like
the theater where Lincoln was shot, with the exception of the most
recent addition, an IMAX SCREEN five stories high. The room is filling
with museum employees, all murmuring anxiously. Margo sits down next
to Frock's wheelchair. Her face is ashen.
Dr. Frock, I just saw a man back
there who'd been wading in blood.
As Greg Kawakita sits in the chair next to Margo...
For once I'm glad you're rumor
central. What in the world is going
Someone's been murdered. Not shot,
strangled or stabbed, either. Torn
limb from limb. There's talk of a
psychotic killer or even an animal.
For heaven's sake, Greg, someone's
been killed. Look, it's Cuthbert.
Let's hear what really happened.
At this everyone falls silent and IAN CUTHBERT steps forward to
address the crowd. He appears drawn and grey.
This has been a tragic and upsetting
morning. I have terrible news for us
all. A member of our security force
has been found murdered. The police
have just informed me it was Daniel
(murmuring fills the room)
Quiet. Please. With the help of our
head of security, Mr. Ippolito... the
museum has been secured.
IPPOLITO... rises in the back and nods to the crowd... He's an imperious
looking, pompous man with shifty eyes. Right now he's defensive.
Overnight, his job is on the line...
The police are satisfied we're in no
danger, that we're all perfectly
safe. We've been asked to remain in
the Gem Room and be available for
questioning for the rest of the day.
Obviously, we will all do everything
we can to cooperate. Are there any
Ippolito raises a hand.
The party for the opening of the
Superstition Exhibit... I imagine in
the light of what's happened it will
be pushed back.
No action has been taken yet. The
opening of the exhibit is crucial to
the financial health of this museum.
So for now, we expect that the
Superstition Exhibit will open on
schedule, tomorrow night.
Ippolito registers surprise. The audience buzzes again.
INT. GEM ROOM - DAY
Margo, Dr. Frock and Greg Kawakita enter. The room is full of
spectacular displays of gemstones of every type. Greg drapes himself
over a grey sofa. Margo leans on a giant geode.
That Cuthbert. What a piece of work.
Someone's dead and all he cares
about is his Superstition Exhibit.
Cuthbert's counting on the
exhibition's success. The museum is
in debt. Contributions and public
funding have dried up. Admissions no
longer cover overhead. The last big
infusion of cash we had was the King
Tut exhibit. Cuthbert was hired to
get us out of the red. If the
Superstition Exhibit isn't
lucrative, he'll have to start
auctioning off some of these gems.
With all this bad publicity, it's no
wonder he looks like that.
They glance over and see Cuthbert in the corner. He appears ill, is
compulsively fingering his watch chain from which hangs a RABBIT'S
FOOT. Frock goes over to speak to him, followed by Margo and Greg.
Ian. Are you okay?
(shakes his head)
Beauregard. I can't believe it. I
may have been the last one to see
him alive. He was with me just
yesterday, when I got out the statue
(sensing more gossip)
Margo frowns, suddenly uneasy. She and Dr. Frock exchange a look.
Warrior deity of the Kothoga, an
extinct South American tribe. Dr.
John Whittlesley led an expedition
that found the only known
representation of Mbwun. The statue
is said to carry a curse.
(she looks away, quiet)
Every member of Whittlesley's
I got the relic out yesterday to put
on display. Beauregard was there.
The crates had been broken into and
the contents were strewn about. But
nothing was missing. It was
downright weird. We joked that it
was the curse of Mbwun. I'm not
Come, Ian. We all know you're
superstitious. But you're among
scientists here. We deal in facts.
That statue had nothing to do with
what happened to Beauregard.
All I know is, everyone who has come
in contact with that relic, is dead.
INT. BUSINESS OFFICES - MUSEUM - DAY
D'Agosta has set up a temporary command post among the antique desks
and chairs. The room is on the ground floor with a view of the park.
Gawkers are outside looking in. D'Agosta pulls the blinds in their
Get a life.
Pendergast is looking closely at one of the large paintings of birds
that line the walls.
An original Roger Tory Peterson of a
Red-Breasted Merganser. Amazing. I
have a copy of this in my office at
Can't really focus on birds at the
moment, Pendergast. I'm tryin' to
keep my breakfast down.
In this violent world, I believe the
only way to stay sane is to take
time to notice beautiful things.
I drink. After hours of course. On
duty, I smoke.
(he pulls out a fat cigar)
Do you mind?
Not at all. I enjoy the smell of a
Then you won't like this one. It's a
piece of shit.
He bites off the end, spits it out on the floor.
Call me Vince.
Did you read about a boat that
washed up outside of New Orleans
about four months ago? Twelve bodies
Who didn't? Big news. Out of Brazil,
Yes. That's my case. Now it's yours.
All the corpses were badly mutilated
in a very particular way.
Decapitated. Brains extracted. Limbs
torn to shreds. It looked like the
work of a large animal, but there
was no sign of an animal on board.
So the method of death is the only
No. There's more. There were crates
from this museum in the hold of the
BAILEY enters, interrupts.
Uh, Vince. Sorry. This won't wait.
It better be good.
There are a couple of kids who were
lost yesterday near the site of the
murder. Claimed they saw a monster.
They're pretty determined to tell
you their story. You want to see
(rolls his eyes)
If you don't mind, this could be
INT. MUSEUM CLASSROOM - DAY
A modern classroom that has been taken over by the police for the
purpose of interrogation. Seated on small chairs at a plain table
HENRY and LARRY, looking like two little boys with a story they are
desperate to share. Standing behind them is MRS. BEASLEY, starchier
than ever. D'Agosta takes a chair across from the boys, at their eye
level. By this time of day he looks pretty rumpled and tired.
Pendergast stands upright and unruffled in a doorway behind. This
isn't hard duty for D'Agosta. He's surprisingly genial and at ease
with kids. Larry kicks his sneaker against the table leg in
excitement. Henry tugs his t-shirt.
Hi. I'm Lieutenant D'Agosta. You can
call me Vince. This is Special Agent
Pendergast. You can call him...
(he looks to Pendergast, so formal)
Special Agent Pendergast.
This is Henry Weiss and Larry
So... Tell us about this monster.
We were lost and trying to find a
short cut to the dino--
Henry elbows him hard. Larry shuts up.
We were just lost, okay? And we went
down this curvy staircase. At the
bottom was a big shadow.
Big as a house.
Not that big.
Well almost. Depends which house. It
smelled like old hamburger, and it
made this weird noise.
Henry makes a low GROWL in his throat. D'Agosta suppresses a smile,
shoots Pendergast a look. But Pendergast watches the kids intently.
And it snuffled the ground like a
He goes on hands and knees, sniffs the ground.
It had a long tongue, teeth this big
and yellow eyes.
They were green eyes and they were
slit like a lizard's.
They were yellow!
You're color blind.
These two get in a lot of mischief
and they tell some amazing whoppers.
I can see that.
This isn't a whopper! It's the
Pendergast now moves forward, pulls up a chair as if deeply
How did you get away?
We ran and screamed and stuff. And
we got through a little door just in
time. There was a guard there and he
went back to check.
A guard? Do you remember his name?
He was wearing one of those I.D.
badges. His name was Bo... something.
EXT. MUSEUM - DAY
An ambulance pulls away, lights flashing. Pendergast and D'Agosta walk
to a squad car.
I've got to admit, that was a damn
sight better than "the dog ate my
How do you explain the part about
They heard the victim's name and
wove him into their story. Nice
I believed them.
D'Agosta stops, stunned.
You think what we've got here is a
monster as big as a house that
smells... like hamburger?
No. I think what we've got here is a
psychotic killer wielding some kind
of unusual weapon... who wants us to
believe he's a monster.
INT. NEW YORK CITY MORGUE - EVENING
D'Agosta and Pendergast thread their way down a hall lined with bodies
on gurneys. It's dark and quiet. They go into the autopsy room.
INT. AUTOPSY ROOM - AFTERNOON
A large gurney, currently empty, sits like an uninvited guest under
the bright lights of the autopsy suite. Beside it is a tall, imposing
doctor in her late 50's, with intense eyes. This is DR. ZIEWZIC. With
her are the PHOTOGRAPHER seen passing out at the museum, and a young
intern, DOCTOR GROSS.
You're late, Vince.
Sorry Dr. Ziewzic. This is Special
Agent Pendergast. Pendergast, Dr.
Ziewzic. She runs the best chop shop
in New York.
We've met. The Hacksaw Murders. '89.
Oh yes! Who could forget. Afterwards
you sent me that amazing case of
I hope you liked it.
Lovely bouquet. After our last case,
Vince took me out for a draft beer.
As I recall we split the check.
It's been one of those days.
(she snaps her rubber glove)
Shall we get down to it, then?
Dr. Gross wheels the gurney over to the morgue bank and slides open a
drawer. The shape under the plastic seems too small to be human. To
the side of it is a large bump, presumably the head. The two pieces of
cadaver are slid onto the gurney and wheeled under the lights. A
stainless steel bucket is placed under the gurney's outlet pipe. Dr.
Ziewzic fiddles with a microphone hanging above the body, she taps it
and it gives off the proper static.
(for the microphone)
This is Dr. Matilda Ziewzic,
assisted by Dr. Frederick Gross.
It's Oct. 28, six fifteen p.m. We
are joined by Lieutenant Vincent
D'Agosta of the NYPD, Special Agent
Pendergast of the FBI and a police
photographer. Let's see what we've
They pull off the sheet and D'AGOSTA swallows hard, closes his eyes to
keep his stomach in check. The photographer goes green, but is
determined not to clutch this time. PENDERGAST leans closer, totally
impassive. He puts on a small pair of wire rim glasses, assumes an
expression much like a man reading a menu in a restaurant.
Caucasian male. Age about 27. Blond.
Height well I can't give a height
because Mr. Beauregard has been
decapitated. The state of the body
is such that other identifying marks
are out of the question. There are
numerous lacerations proceeding from
the left anterior pectoral downwards
through the sternum and terminating
in the abdomen. This is a massive
wound, two feet long and a foot
wide. The head has suffered severe
trauma and the occipital portion of
the calavarium has been crushed and
removed. It almost looks like...
Ziewzic turns to Pendergast.
What are we talking about here?
Someone who makes the Hacksaw
Murderer look like Mother Teresa.
(back to work)
The entire brain appears to have
been extracted. May I see it,
Gross passes over a grey, watery mass that sits in a stainless steel
pan. Ziewzic studies Beauregard's brain, or what's left of it...
Curious. There's something missing.
The thalamus and the hypothalamus,
(looks up, surprised)
Yes. Two organs the size of a walnut
have been removed with what looks
like surgical precision.
What happened to them?
If you don't mind a suggestion, you
might try a saliva test.
Ziewzic, Gross and D'Agosta look at Pendergast. The photographer is
staring at the wall, silently mouthing multiplication tables to keep
from woofing all over the place.
Saliva test? You mean, you think
someone ate part of the brain?
A long moment of silence, then... Zwiezic uses a swab for the saliva
test, puts the result in a petrie dish.
Okay. One saliva test. Now... let's
look at these lacerations. They
start wide and then converge.
Long fingernails? Scratches?
Too extreme. Perhaps some kind of
weapon. I'm now probing the wound
and... there's a piece of foreign
material deep in the muscle, lodged
on a rib. Photograph.
The photographer gathers his courage, steps forward with D'Agosta and
Pendergast. Zwiezic rinses the object off in a beaker of sterile
water. It turns brownish red. She holds it up. They all stare in
astonished silence. D'Agosta swallows.
It's a claw.
The photographer's flash goes off.
EXT. STREETS - NIGHT
A black and white heads uptown.
INT. COP CAR - NIGHT
Pendergast sits in silence. D'Agosta is visibly disturbed.
I don't like animals. Never have.
Dog bit me when I was little. After
that I gave up on pets. Animals are
irrational. Give me a psychotic
killer any day. If there's one thing
that makes me queasy it's being part
of a food chain. My first case as a
rookie, two brothers climbed a fence
at the zoo. It was late August. Over
ninety. The polar bear was inside
his cave. Kids didn't know he was in
there. All they saw was the pool.
They got to swimming and splashing.
The noise woke up the bear. By the
time I arrived, both little boys
were in pieces. The bear was
dragging one kid around by the foot.
I can still hear the mother
This isn't an animal, Vince. I've
been on this case four months,
remember? I've learned a few things.
You've been holding out on me
Pendergast. You have a suspect
capable of this?
Pendergast looks over, nods quietly.
Let me tell you about it, Vince.
EXT. NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM - DUSK
The yellow crime scene tape is torn and flapping in a light rain. Most
of the emergency vehicles have left. The police have released the
employees who are now headed home. We see Frock and Kawakita exit.
Cuthbert isn't far behind. Pendergast approaches them, headed back
Excuse me. Has Dr. Green left?
Before eight? You must be joking.
She's in the physical anthro lab
making up for lost time.
Pendergast nods his thanks.
INT. MUSEUM HALL OF THE GEMS - NIGHT
The gems glow in the darkness as Pendergast passes through the now
INT. METEORITE ROOM - NIGHT
Pendergast's footfalls are lost in the carpet as he goes down the far
INT. HALLWAY - MUSEUM - NIGHT
Pendergast goes down a long, dark hall alone. He arrives at a door
marked PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY LAB, enters.
INT. PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY LAB - NIGHT
The skeletons throw odd shadows on the ceiling. Margo's computer
screen glows at the end of the room, casting the only light. But her
chair is empty. The room is quiet. Pendergast approaches slowly, looks
No answer. Pendergast glances at the computer screen, sees graphs and
complicated notations. He scrolls down, leans closer. He can't figure
it out. He slides into Margo's chair, fascinated. Then...
You have a warrant to look at that?
Pendergast leaps up. Margo has appeared in the doorway behind him, a
cup of coffee in her hand.
Special Agent Pendergast. FBI.
Forgive me. I guess I was snooping.
What is this?
An invention of mine. It's a
computer program designed to
describe the characteristics of a
given species from a reading of its
DNA. I call it the Genetic Sequence
How does it work?
With a DNA analysis from a fossil
you can use this program to tell the
species and sex of the animal,
whether it was nocturnal, what it
ate, how it hunted, how big it
You aren't here for a lesson in DNA.
I came to talk about Dr. John
Margo turns to put down her coffee. She takes a moment to compose
herself. When she turns back, her voice is quiet.
Somehow, when all this happened... I
knew it would come back to John. Is
he really dead?
If he were alive he'd have contacted
You have time to talk?
INT. MUSEUM HALLS - NIGHT
Pendergast and Margo walk together though various exhibits and halls.
They pass dioramas of ferocious wild animals that have been tamed and
stuffed behind glass.
Dr. Whittlesley was last seen in
Belem, Venezuela a week after the
rest of his expedition disappeared.
A taxi driver drove him to the
harbor where he boarded a cargo
boat. That boat washed up in my
district. Everyone on board was
Disappeared. His body wasn't among
I don't understand.
The people killed were mauled and
their brains were eaten. Just like
Beauregard. One part of the brain
was extracted with surgical
precision. The hypothalamus and
thalamus to be exact.
John couldn't have anything to do
with a horrible thing like that. He
was a fine man despite his
You loved him.
(a moment, taken aback)
Yes. Once. We met at Columbia. John
held the Cadwalader Chair in
Statistical Paleontology when I was
a grad student there.
You were going to be married.
How did you know that?
I ran an internet search on Dr.
Whittlesley. Got a list of his
scholarly articles and the
engagement announcement in the
Times. I also found a record of your
That was two years ago. John was
still in love with me.
(she looks down)
He wouldn't leave me alone.
You were afraid of him, weren't you?
He was afraid of himself. He tried
suicide once. He was ill. Manic
depressive. He had wild emotional
highs and lows. Not a happy
affliction for a scientist. He'd
been revered in our community. By
the end he was a joke.
Tell me about the last expedition.
What was he looking for?
A legendary monster called Mbwun.
Yes. He developed his own theory
that he called the Calisto Effect.
It held that evolution wasn't always
gradual or driven by natural
selection. The environment would
sometimes cause sudden and grotesque
changes which could result in a
"monster species". It made no sense.
But he felt he had evidence that
Mbwun was such a monster, living in
isolation on the tepui for thousands
No one knows. The Kothoga who live
on the tepui are cannibals.
Margo's voice catches again. Pendergast reaches for his handkerchief
but she shakes her head, determined to keep control.
No. I'm all right. I won't let this
affect me anymore. John wouldn't get
help. His ego endangered the lives
of others. His theory came first.
What if Whittlesley arrived on the
tepui and no monster was there? Was
he desperate enough to create one?
I don't understand.
Something came up in autopsy
tonight. Imbedded in Beauregard's
body we found a claw.
My God. Then it was an animal.
I don't think so. I think we were
meant to think it was Mbwun. Did
Whittlesley's monster have claws?
I don't know. He sent back a statue
that's supposed to be an exact
representation. But I've never seen
it. It's in the exhibit.
Would you mind showing it to me?
INT. SUPERSTITION EXHIBIT - NIGHT
This exhibit is unlike anything we've seen in the museum. Horrifying
artifacts under single spots appear to float in a velvet blackness.
Patterns of light and shadow play over skeletons and voodoo dolls.
There are tombs, a torture chamber, and endlessly curving, maze-like,
Where would we find it?
I'm not sure. We should split up.
You take that hall and I'll take
All right. I'm as macho as you are.
Without further discussion, Margo takes the right fork leaving
As she finds herself alone. The silence is intense. She heads slowly
into another long, dark, tunnel passing a set of Maori tattooed heads.
The eyes are stuffed with fibers, the shriveled lips are drawn back
from rotting teeth. Margo passes without a look.
In another part of the exhibit, he nears a Mayan tomb. A skeleton in
the center wears a headdress and tribal robes. Gold rings encircle
bony fingers. Pendergast takes a moment to appreciate it, heads into
the next hall.
getting farther from pendergast, and ever deeper into the gloom. The
walls around her are lined with symbols of witchcraft. There are
shaman dancers, masks covered in grasses and shells. From the New
Guinea coast there is Kokpah, God of a secret male society, and Zoe-
ba, an awesome mannequin in black costume with an angry pointed mask.
Finally the walls open up into another gallery. Beyond it is more of
the shadowy hall. Margo stops and for the first time she wavers. This
gallery is the most frightening yet. It features images of THE DEVIL
from different cultures around the world.
In the dim light, Margo is dwarfed by abhorrent statues of SATAN,
TORNARSUK (the Eskimo evil spirit), INCUBI from India, Tibet, New
Guinea etc. And there in the center of the gallery sitting on an altar
and lit by a spot, is a small figurine. Margo is instantly drawn to
it. As she gets close enough she sees the label in Gothic letters.
Savage God of the Kothoga, also
known as "HE WHO WALKS ON ALL
The statue is terrifyingly life-like. Margo stares at The Beast. Mbwun
is covered in scales and stiff hair, with glittering green eyes and
crude, reptilian features. The figure is hunched over in a threatening
crouch. It's long forearms trail to the ground ending in THREE LARGE
ON MARGO... she starts, then remembers Pendergast.
Mr. Pendergast! I found it.
No answer. She turns, tries again, louder.
Pendergast! Over here --
Her voice catches as she stops and sniffs the air. A STENCH rolls over
her. She covers her face, backs up, holding her breath.
She steps directly into a nasty statue of the Tibetan lord of the
Dead. Margo starts, steadies the statue. The room is silent once more.
But then, unmistakably... she hears it. An odd rustling sound. Slow.
Deliberate. Maddeningly soft on the thick carpet. And another wave of
THE SMELL. Margo looks in the direction she came, down the long dark
hall. Her voice comes out a bit frightened as she calls...
But now she freezes. At last she's truly scared. A shadow, black
against black, is gliding stealthily towards her, moving over the
display cases and grinning artifacts!
Margo stands stock still, her eyes on the shadow. She lets out a small
gasp of shock. She can't believe her eyes. It defies reason. Slowly,
she backs up. She slips quietly through the exhibit and out the other
side. In the next room she pauses again, listens... now hearing a
distinctly animal, SNUFFLING SOUND!
Something large is TRACKING HER! There's no doubt.
Overcome by a blind panic, Margo turns and runs. She passes through a
display on mythical creatures, disappears down another winding dark
Behind her comes...
THE POUNDING OF SOMETHING IN A HEAVY, LOPING RUN! Whatever it is, it's
charging after her! She turns another corner. And another, tearing as
fast as she can! But now the walls up ahead are narrowing, leading to
... a DEAD END!
Margo slams up against a locked door with a window of glass. The hall
features displays of terrifying totem poles. All around the ghoulish
carved faces seem to leap out! She pounds on the door but it's
useless. She's trapped. And the thing is coming behind her! It's just
around the last bend when it stops! Silence again envelops her. She's
afraid to turn. She can hear HEAVY BREATHING, and something like a low
growl! Reflected in the glass of the door in front of her is the long
dark hall. Margo starts as a face appears IN THE REFLECTION...
The image is wavering and unclear. It's a large, hulking form behind
her! TWO GLOWING SLIT GREEN EYES in the dark! Margo SCREAMS as the
thing leaps forward, hitting one of the totem poles. Margo sinks to
the ground, unconscious. At last we hear Pendergast calling as
Dr. Green! Dr. Green!
INT. SUPERSTITION EXHIBIT - NIGHT
ON MARGO... lying on the carpet. There's a large, nasty bump on her
forehead. The totem pole is on the floor beside her. Leaning over her
is PENDERGAST. Margo starts to sit up. Pendergast gently restrains
I don't know.
I heard you calling and I ran after
you, but you kept disappearing and I
couldn't keep up.
(she touches her forehead)
You were behind me? Running after
Pendergast nods. As Margo rises he tries to help her but she waves him
off, collecting her thoughts.
It's okay, I'm all right. I remember
now... It was an animal. Something
large! I could smell it. It was
hunting me. I saw two green eyes in
Where did you see it?
Behind me. Over there.
Margo turns and points behind her to...
A large NORTHWEST COAST INDIAN MASK. It's carved out of wood in a
horrible grimace, inset with two glowing green eyes. Pendergast sees
it too, says nothing.
That's not what I saw.
All right. If you're positive.
She leans against the wall, touches her forehead, panic overcoming her
I can't think straight at the
moment. I know how crazy this seems.
Please, Mr. Pendergast, I need some
fresh air. Could you get me out of
EXT. ROTUNDA FRONT ENTRY - EXHIBIT - NIGHT
THREE COPS including MCNITT, RODRIGUEZ and ROGERS prepare to enter the
exhibit. All are armed. Margo watches as Pendergast gives them
instruction. She appears rattled and confused.
Stay in formation together. Take it
room by room. Check for footprints,
any signs of disturbance. If you see
or hear anything the least bit
suspicious, I want to know.
He points to DOYLE, an older red-haired cop who takes up a post
outside the exhibit. Pendergast hands Doyle his walkie talkie.
Bailey's going to be in the guard
house outside. Officer Van Dorn is
right down that hall. When McNitt's
done, he'll relieve you.
Doyle nods. Pendergast and Margo walk out.
EXT. MUSEUM - NIGHT
Margo and Pendergast exit. The cold air is like a slap in the face.
I didn't imagine it. I know what I
saw. Are you sure there are enough
men in there?
They're all heavily armed.
All right. This is hard for me. I'm
a scientist. I like order and logic.
Sometimes too much. There's got to
be an explanation. There can't be an
animal in there. But I saw
What was it?
I don't know.
(she has a thought)
Mr. Pendergast. Do me a favor. Get
me a DNA readout on that claw.
EXT. MUSEUM - NIGHT
All is quiet.
INT. MUSEUM FRONT - EXHIBIT FRONT DOOR - NIGHT
The doors to the exhibit are closed. Doyle looks at his watch,
impatient. It's almost eleven now. He pulls out his walkie talkie.
Bailey? Doyle here. I'm still
waiting outside the exhibit. Where
the hell is McNitt?
Should be there any minute. They
came out a side door a while ago.
Said the exhibit's clear. McNitt's
headed back to spell you.
I'm on double over-time, man.
I know. You can go home if you want
to. I'll come relieve you myself.
Doyle shuts off his walkie talkie, frowns. He fidgets, looks at his
watch once more.
What the hell.
He turns, takes off the walkie talkie and leaves it, but then he hears
something, stops. It's a low SCUFFLING from inside the exhibit, coming
from behind the closed doors. Doyle freezes, turns.
No answer. Doyle pauses. His hand goes to his gun for reassurance as
he hears a footstep and a muffled thump. He moves to the door of the
exhibit, opens it and takes a step inside.
McNitt? Cut the crap. I know it's
you. You're not scaring me. Come on.
Silence meets him. The shadows of the exhibit loom. Doyle takes one
more step inside, scanning the darkness with his gun. Does he hear
BREATHING? He freezes. Yes, he does. The hair on his neck rises and he
loses the spit in his mouth. He takes a step backwards, but he's half
a second too late. The door SLAMS BEHIND HIM and a HUGE DARK FORM
INT. EXHIBIT ENTRANCE - NIGHT
Officer MCNITT enters from a side corridor, zipping up his fly. The
hall is still. McNitt checks his watch, sees Doyle's walkie talkie and
turns it on.
McNitt here. I'm outside the
exhibit. All's quiet. But I don't
He called a minute ago looking for
you. He starts vacation tomorrow and
he wanted out. I said you were on
the way. He could split.
Well he's gone.
Any sign of a green-eyed monster?
McNitt shuts off the walkie talkie, settles at his post.
INT. SUPERSTITION EXHIBIT - NIGHT
In the blackness a large shape is MOVING QUIETLY, dragging it's prey
across the floor. We move in on the lifeless form of DOYLE. His face
is rigid with terror, his eyes frozen, open wide. The last thing we
hear as the hulking form heads back into the darkness, is the SNAPPING
of Doyle's skull.
EXT. MUSEUM - DAY
Signs announce that the Superstition Exhibit opens tonight. The museum
is back in business, but not many people are going in. A crowd lingers
at the margins, pointing at the building. Several hold a copy of the
POST with a graphic photo of the bloody floor by the circular stair.
INT. CUTHBERT'S OFFICE - DAY
Cuthbert stands by the window of his palatial office, looking out at
the scene below. His face is pinched with worry. Slumped in a chair is
Lieutenant D'Agosta. Pendergast surveys some paintings on the wall.
I had no idea the Museum had a
complete collection of Piranesi's
If you like them, they're for sale.
Another day like yesterday and half
the collection will be on the block.
I've read about the Museum's
We've been operating in the red for
years. That was the whole idea
behind the Superstition Exhibit. It
was designed to pull people in.
We've spent every penny we have on
advance publicity, betting
everything on the opening's success.
If we postpone at the last minute...
No. I don't want to think about
(chews on his toothpick, mild)
We all love the museum. I come here
myself with my kids. We're trying to
work with you.
I appreciate that.
If the party goes forward, and
that's a big if... I've arranged for
a large police presence.
Do they have to wear uniforms?
I don't want to scare people.
I understand. But Mr. Cuthbert,
we've got bigger problems. Depending
on what we find today, we may have
to shut you down.
Cuthbert looks grim.
INT. PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY LAB - DAY
D'Agosta examines the huge centrifuges, autoclaves, electrophoresis
apparati, monitors, computers etc. as Margo and Greg Kawakita look at
What do you make of it, Margo?
It's not mammalian, that's for sure.
I think it's reptilian.
That would jive with what we got
from the preliminary DNA read-out.
Here, have a look.
He hands them a computer read-out. Margo checks it quickly as Kawakita
According to this, twenty-five
percent of the claw DNA is
unidentifiable, about a third is
homo sapien, and the rest is
Margo pulls off her glasses.
Turkish Gecko, I believe. A lizard.
Lizard DNA and human DNA on the same
strand? Impossible. The sample must
There's another possibility. A lot
of repeated base pairs could suggest
a high level of genetic damage.
When DNA is defective, it often
uncontrollably replicates long
repeating sequences of the same base
pair. Viruses can damage DNA. So can
radiation, certain chemicals. Even
cancer. Let's let the G.S.E. sort it
out. I have to get started. This
will take several hours.
We need someone to take us to the
secure storage area.
Try Dr. Frock. He's the curator of
Plant Biology. All the curators
have keys. And he knows every inch
of this museum. The rest of us still
INT. MUSEUM HALLWAY AREA - DAY
Pendergast, D'Agosta and Dr. Frock get off are in an older, plain
corridor with a long row of locked heavy steel doors. The doors are
numbered up to eight, then the corridor turns.
As the three go forward, the creaking of the wheelchair echoes faintly
in the hall.
Thank you for taking the time to
help us with this, Dr. Frock.
Happy to be useful. It's rare enough
these days. According to security,
Beauregard put the Whittlesley
crates in storage area 1012.
How many storage areas are there?
They fill seven floors. We have the
largest collection of mammals and
dinosaurs in the world. Just to give
you an idea, there are more than
three million insects specimens. Not
to mention amphibians, reptiles,
birds, anthropological artifacts,
meteorites, minerals and gems. Only
about five percent of the museum
collection is actually on display.
This place is a maze.
I'm one of the few who know every
inch it, now that John is gone.
Do you mean Dr. Whittlesley?
Yes. John made quite a study of the
whole museum. He had a copy of my
Frock heads through a double door that leads to a FREIGHT ELEVATOR
that's as big as a small room. The operator, KARL has it decorated
with a table, chair, and PICTURES.
Osteo prep, Karl.
The doors creak closed. They are now inside...
INT. FREIGHT ELEVATOR - DAY
Headed down. D'Agosta chews on a toothpick, stares at Karl's home-made
picture show. The photos have all been cut from nature magazines. They
are of ANIMALS MATING in extreme positions and undreamed of ways.
D'Agosta turns to Pendergast, dead pan.
My kind of art.
Karl, who is sixty and wears a red toupee, leers.
They keep me company. Gets kinda
My favorite is the two camels.
Really? I'm partial to the skunks.
Finally the doors open and they exit to a hail, enter another set of
doors. Now they are in
INT. OSTEOLOGICAL PREPARATION AREA - DAY
It looks more like a bizarre industrial kitchen than anything else.
Deep stainless steel tanks line one wall. On the ceiling near the
tanks hang massive pulleys and grappling hooks for the larger
carcasses. In a far corner of the workshop is a stainless-steel gurney
bearing a DEAD GORILLA. A pink faced eighty year old man is working on
the carcass with sharp tools. This is DON OSTERBAAN.
Did you ever wonder where we get all
our skeletons? This is the
laboratory where animal carcasses
are reduced to bones.
What's cooking today, Don?
Frock looks into a large maceration tank with Pendergast and D'Agosta.
A zebra carcass can be seen under the muddy surface, its flesh and
soft tissues falling off.
Man, that's ripe.
Frock now opens the door on a humid closet adjacent to the main room.
Inside on a stainless steel table lies the corpse of a fox. It's
crawling with BLACK BEETLES which are devouring it. D'Agosta and
Pendergast watch the grizzly scene, properly impressed.
Dermestid beetles. The second method
of preparing a skeleton, used in
Natural History Museums world wide.
Bugs are clean and highly efficient.
They'll polish that fox off in no
As Don casually peels back the gorilla's whole face exposing the
Want to have a look at a gorilla
brain? Got one right here.
Thanks Don. We're in a hurry. Some
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
More rows of stainless steel doors under hissing steam pipes. The
light is dim here, and several bulbs are burned out. But the numbers
on the storage rooms are much higher now. The three men come out of
the darkness. Frock rounds a last corner and wheels to a stop.
This should be it. Can you read the
Pendergast reaches up above them and TAPS THE LIGHT BULB. It comes on
and they all see the heavy steel door of the storage area. D'Agosta's
jaw drops and his toothpick falls out. The door has been scored from
top to bottom by long, vicious, CLAWS!
Frock stares in amazement, shaken. He runs a finger down the deep
Something tried to get into this
And failed. These doors are solid
This means there must be an animal
loose in the museum!
I wouldn't be so sure.
Pendergast takes Frock's keys and opens the door. It swings wide on
oiled hinges. D'Agosta turns on a light.
INT. STORAGE ROOM - NIGHT
They all enter. Nothing has been disturbed. The crates sit in the
middle of the small room, untouched. Pendergast kneels by the only one
that's been opened.
This must be the one that held the
statue. Let's see what else is
Pendergast removes the lid and hands it to D'Agosta, pulls out a BLOW
DART GUN, SEED PODS, a CARVED STONE. D'Agosta takes the lid and turns
The lid of this crate is scratched
with claw marks, just like the door.
As D'Agosta studies the lid, a brittle, water damaged envelope slips
out. D'Agosta picks it up. The envelope bears an imprint of TWO
ARROWS, one silver overlaid with another of GOLD.
Look. It's some kind of letter.
May I see that?
D'Agosta hands the letter to Frock.
It's from John. Those two arrows
were his insignia. It's addressed to
Louis Moriarty, a patron who
financed his expeditions.
Read it out loud.
Tomorrow we go to the south
end of the tepui where we'll be in
the greatest danger, so I'm sending
Carlos back with the crates. You
always believed in me, Louis, even
in the darkest days. So it gives me
great pleasure to tell you your
faith has been rewarded. We've made
an incredible find. I enclose a
representation of Mbwun. Note the
exaggerated claws, the reptilian
attributes, the hints of bipedalia.
It's beyond belief, but this statue
is accurate. I know because I've
seen the beast."
Frock stops, looks up at D'Agosta and Pendergast. His face flushes
with the thrill.
Did you hear that? My God. He says
that Mbwun is real!
Pardon my French, but bull shit.
This on top of the scratches... isn't
I think the scratches were put there
to scare us. Perhaps even lead us to
Pendergast looks out to the dark corridors.
You said John Whittlesley made a
study of your blueprints of the
Are there any hidden rooms or
staircases? Places where someone
Not really. Just the sub-basement.
D'Agosta and Pendergast exchange a look.
Where is that?
I don't know. It was walled over. No
one's been down there in years.
You said you had plans of the
museum. Could we see them, please?
EXT. MUSEUM SIDE DOOR - DAY
A series of boxes labeled "PROFESSOR FROCK" sit on the loading dock. A
small moving van, partially loaded with the contents of Frock's
office, sits waiting. Frock delves through one of the boxes while
Pendergast and D'Agosta look on.
I know they're here somewhere. It's
a good thing we caught the movers in
time. They're nineteen century
blueprints from when the museum was
built. I remember the sub-basement
was below the regular basement,
linked to the city sewer. I only
know about it because it flooded all
the way up to the museum during the
hurricane of '49. I lost so many
Frock continues to unload boxes, scattering things right and left.
It's the most amazing assortment of paraphernalia. A collection of
wildflowers, soil samples, a stuffed owl. Finally he pulls out some
very old blueprints and flashes a triumphant smile.
Eureka. Who says it doesn't pay to
be a pack rat? Now please be careful
with these. When you're done, I'd
like them back.
INT. HALL OF THE AFRICAN MAMMALS - DAY
Visitors scatter as Pendergast enters with D'Agosta, TWO DEPUTIES, a
dog handler, JONATHAN HAMM and Jonathan's pair of HUGE BLOODHOUNDS.
The deputies are armed with large shotguns. Pendergast scans the
blueprints as they walk.
How big is the sub-basement?
Apparently it's huge.
I think I should come with you.
We haven't got time. You have to
meet with museum security so we can
make a decision about tonight.
INT. MUSEUM - STAIRCASE - DAY
Pendergast, Jonathan, his dogs and the deputies make their way down an
industrial set of stairs into the basement.
INT. BASEMENT CORRIDOR - DAY
In a moment they arrive at the site of Beauregard's murder. The area
at the bottom of the spiral stairway is still littered with chalk,
crime tape, spray paint and the remains of scores of people tramping
in and out.
These plans indicate there's a
walled over entrance to the sub-
basement right around here.
They move carefully down the dark corridor which we remember from the
time we last saw it with Henry and Larry. Unknown to Jonathan or
Pendergast, the dogs are walking directly towards the spot where the
boys faced the monster.
The dogs are picking up something,
The dogs start barking in animation, sniffing the wall. Pendergast
studies the blueprints with a flashlight, moves to the spot. There's
nothing to be seen. He shines his flashlight over the water-stained,
uneven stucco between two steel beams. The dogs sniff furiously at the
point where the wall meets the floor. Pendergast moves his fingers to
the joint between the stucco and the beam, shoves hard. The wall
pushes back. It's a door!
INT. STAIRWELL - SUB-BASEMENT - DAY
They enter a dank stairwell with brick stairs. Water drips on the
What is this? A dungeon?
Jonathan looks uneasy, double wraps the dogs' leashes around his
black-gloved hands. The two deputies remove their 12 gauges from their
shoulders. Then they all follow the animals, descend down the inky
INT. SECURITY COMMAND CENTER - MUSEUM - DAY
The place looks like the control room of a nuclear power plant. Two
SECURITY GUARDS monitor a battery of closed-circuit screens. D'Agosta
is now accompanied by the pompous head of security, IPPOLITO. Clearly
Ippolito feels D'Agosta is pissing on his territory and he's trying to
This huge police presence tonight
isn't necessary, Lieutenant. You'll
just scare people off. I can handle
the security behind scenes with this
system. It's state of the art.
The cops are non-negotiable,
Ippolito. Why don't you just tell me
how this space station works.
It's fool proof, basically. I
designed this whole thing myself.
Every valuable object in the Museum
carries a small electronic chip. If
anything's moved so much as an inch,
we get an alarm pinpointing the
exact location of the attempted
That's great if you're stopping a
burglar. Not our goal here. Are
there motion detectors?
In every exhibition room. The
museum's divided into five cells.
The reception and exhibit are in
cell five. We could arm the motion
detectors in cells one to four, then
seal the perimeter with our fire
That would leave one exit for
hundreds of people. You'd be
violating every fire regulation on
the books. We'll guard the perimeter
with my men and engage the motion
detectors in the other cells. One
more question. I see a big hole. If
this entire thing is run by
computer, what happens if the power
You don't know much about computers,
Lieutenant. There are safeguards
built in. We have back-up systems
with redundancies. There's no way
these computers can fail.
INT. PHYSICAL ANTHRO LAB - DAY
Margo, Kawakita and Frock are studying the contents of the crate.
I can't help thinking there's
something that Pendergast
overlooked. If the scratches were
made by whatever killed Beauregard,
it wants something that's in here.
A blow dart. Seed pods. A plant
press. Pretty unimpressive stuff.
Let me see the plant press.
Frock opens the plant press and sees a specimen inside.
What is it?
I'm not sure. As you know, the
Kothoga lived outside civilization
on the tepui for thousands of years.
Species flourished in isolation when
man and pollution rendered them
extinct. This could be one of the
last remaining samples of an unknown
Whatever it is, it must be common on
the tepui. John used it as packing
Kawakita lifts out a bit of the fibers, as does Frock.
They're curiously fleshy.
And they smell delicious.
Kawakita TAKES a NIBBLE.
I wouldn't put that in your mouth
until we do a chemical analysis,
I can handle that for you while
we're waiting on the G.S.E.
Kawakita rises and exits with some of the plant.
What about those seed pods? Are they
from the same plant?
Frock takes a moment to study them, looks up.
Margo, these aren't seed pods.
What are they?
INT. SUB-BASEMENT - DAY
Black as night. The only light comes from the men's flashlights.
They're at a crossroads. Crooked corridors, with arched ceilings
barely the height of a man stretch in several directions. Jonathan is
crouched down, resting with the panting dogs. The deputies are having
a smoke. They all look both uneasy and exhausted except for
Pendergast. He stares at the blueprints.
Hard to read in this light. The ink
is so faded.
The dogs have lost the scent, Mr.
Pendergast. Maybe we should head
Not yet. Let's try the fork to the
The men reluctantly shoulder their shotguns and push on. The hounds
walk ahead, carelessly nosing the ground. The flashlight beams
illuminate lime-encrusted, cave-like walls.
This place gives me the creeps.
At this the dogs begin to WHINE. The HAIR on their backs rises in a
ridge. Pendergast turns as a BREEZE stirs his clothes.
They've got something.
Keep the light up. I can't see.
The dogs strain and pull forward, sniffing the air ahead. The deputies
raise up their shotguns as they all move deeper into the darkness. The
flashlight beams streak crazily in all directions, barely penetrating
the gloom. Suddenly the dogs break into a terrifying BAYING which
bounces off the walls.
Shut them up!
Heel Argo! Hobbes! Heel!
The dogs drag Jonathan forward, paying no attention, foaming at the
mouth. Jonathan is now frightened.
They're going crazy! I need help!
Too late. As Jonathan tries to grab the collars, one of the dogs LEAPS
forward, and the leash slips through Jonathan's hands.
He's loose! Argo!
Argo BOLTS into the darkness. The men start after the dog, following
the frantic barking which echoes farther and farther in the distance.
Pendergast is in the lead. Suddenly he throws out his arms, halts.
Holy mother, what is that?
A goatish odor envelops them all.
Smells God-awful. Like rotten meat.
A SCUFFLING sound of claws dragging on brick is heard followed by a
ROAR. The men all freeze. The other dog leaps and twists with
excitement. In the confusion it also breaks free! It tears after the
first dog, disappearing into the darkness. Now Jonathan is wild-eyed.
The deputies are terrified, retreat. The darkness is stifling,
claustrophobic. The flashlights are small help. Pendergast alone
remains dead calm. His voice is cool and commanding.
Forget the dogs. You two, get back
here. Don't point that gun at me.
The deputies regain control and follow Pendergast's orders. They fall
into position, pump their shotguns and aim them down the hall. In the
echoing darkness ahead of them, the barking falters and stops.
There is a moment of silence, then a terrible, unearthly SHRIEK. The
deputies quail, frozen in their tracks. Jonathan leaps forward.
Get back! Now!
At that moment a SHAPE hurtles at them from the darkness! The men YELL
in terror. There are two stunning BLASTS from the shotguns, two
FLASHES of light accompanied by a deafening roar. The rumble echoes
and dies and there's an intense silence, followed by a sob.
You shot my dog!
Hobbes lies five feet from them, a black shadow of death. Jonathan
kneels by the dog, tears in his eyes. Down the animals side is a GASH.
He was coming right at me...
In the distance they can hear a terrified howl. It's the second dog,
hurt or frightened. It's a pitiful sound.
Let's get out of here!
I'm not going anywhere! Not without
Pendergast grabs at Jonathan who slips from his grasp. Jonathan inches
back down the hallway calling desperately.
Jonathan shakes his head no.
There's something out there! Let's
go get it now! That's why we came
down here, isn't it?
(to the deputies)
He's right. Follow me.
But the two deputies are terrified. They cling to the wall, inching
backwards, sheer horror in their eyes.
No way. I say we get help. A lot
I'm ordering you! Cover me!
We'll cover you from here!
Jonathan is disappearing in front of them. Pendergast has no choice.
Grim faced, he pulls his Colt .45 Anaconda from a shoulder harness.
It's a narrow and evil-looking gun. From a pocket comes a handful of
255 grain wadcutter and 147 grain FMJ flatnose ammunition. He loads
up, goes after Jonathan, who's no longer in sight. Pendergast passes
down a long, sloping hallway into cavernous blackness ahead. At the
bottom Pendergast stops. He has to stoop down as he goes through an
archway and into...
A VAST ARCHING ROOM...
A dark stream of water runs between concrete walls with tunnels going
off from all sides. It appears to be part of the sewer system. The dog
cowers in a corner. Jonathan moves to his side.
Look. It's Hobbes! He's all right.
Come on. Let's get back to the
others. We can't leave them alone.
It's alright. I can tell by the way
the dog's acting that whatever was
out there is gone. What is this
Not on the map. Looks like it
connects with the city sewer.
Pendergast calls back down the tunnel for the deputies.
We're coming back!
The words go unanswered. From the hall comes a loud REPORT. It's the
shotguns, blasting desperately. Something flies up all around them as
the sound echoes. BATS!
Pendergast and Jonathan shield themselves from the flurry of beating
wings. Finally the animals settle and Pendergast and Jonathan exchange
a look. The silence is filled by a soft RUMBLING SOUND. They stand
together, waiting. Pendergast points his gun at the hall leading back
to the deputies. A ridge of hair on the dog's back rises and it
Identify yourself! Who's there?
No answer. The rumbling continues, growing louder. Then a dark object
appears. It comes rolling out of the hallway, bounces in front of them
and stops. Pendergast shines his light on...
DEPUTY ONE'S HEAD! The mouth is open wide in terror. Across the cheek
is a vicious claw mark.
Oh... my... God!
And now they hear a GUT WRENCHING SHRIEK that's abruptly cut off,
followed by a second rumbling sound! Jonathan grabs Pendergast by the
They head quietly for the exit at the other end of room which seems to
slope up. After they're gone a few moments the head of DEPUTY TWO
rolls to a stop.
EXT. MUSEUM - NIGHT
Cabs and limousines tangle outside the west entrance. A huge rotating
SPOTLIGHT is now turned on. Elegantly dressed men in dinner jackets
and women in gowns rush to get out of the pelting rain, umbrellas
INT. CUTHBERT'S OFFICE - EVENING
Cuthbert's putting on his tux. He adjusts the cummerbund, humming
happily as D'Agosta looks on. D'Agosta paces, highly agitated and
I'm telling you, something's wrong.
I still haven't heard from
Pendergast. I think you should call
It's too late now. Guests are
arriving. The Mayor's car is pulling
I'll go down and speak to him.
You haven't got the authority. Only
Pendergast can pull the plug.
Pendergast may be in trouble. Don't
you understand? He still hasn't come
back. It's been over three hours --
He'll be back. Relax. We're in good
shape. Your security is air tight.
There've been no more incidents,
nothing suspicious. There's no
reason to call off the opening now.
INT. GREAT ROTUNDA - NIGHT
Resounding with the echoes of several hundred expensive shoes crossing
the marble expanse and heading down the rows of palm trees leading to
the Hall of Heavens. The palms themselves are festooned with orchids
and violet lights. Somewhere inside, an invisible band is playing "New
York, New York". An army of waiters in white tie thread their way
through the guests carrying large silver platters crowded with
champagne glasses. Cuthbert enters and crosses to meet The MAYOR and
THE MAYOR'S WIFE. Photographers step forward and flashbulbs pop.
INT. HALL OF THE HEAVENS - NIGHT
Food is out. Hundreds of tables are set with black linen table cloths.
Decorations have a dark, haunted house theme. A hum of activity floats
up past the vast Corinthian columns into the circular dome above.
INT. MARGO'S LABORATORIES - NIGHT
An explosive sneeze rattles the beakers and dislodges the plant
specimens. Margo interrupts her work at the computer to hand Greg a
tissue as Frock looks on.
What kind of egg is it?
Like the claw.
Let's not jump to conclusions. This
egg could belong to any number of
reptiles, Dr. Frock.
Come on, Margo. We're on the verge
of something huge. Let's consider
the possibility, just the three of
us, alone in this room. What if John
was right. I mean, what if? And he
sent back an egg of his monster in
the crates. When it got to the
museum, it hatched.
Several problems with that theory.
For one thing, this egg is intact.
For another, according to
Pendergast, the crates were shipped
here on a boat. Everyone on board
was killed like Beauregard. If the
thing hatched in mid-ocean, where
did it go?
Frock has no answer. Greg gestures to his computer screen.
I guess you're not interested in
this plant anymore, but the chemical
analysis is done. Frock reads the
computer over Greg's shoulder.
"Genus: Unknown. Family: Unknown.
Order: Unknown. Phylum: Unknown.
Cripes, Margo, what did you give me?
Is this an animal or one funky
I see you've been programming the
computer vocabulary again.
(points to a hexagonal symbol)
Look at this. An ambyloid reovirus
protein. That explains why the
computer's confused. The plant's
infected with a virus.
That's not so unusual. Many plants
carry viruses. Like the burls on
But a virus normally codes for other
viruses. This one's making human and
animal proteins. Listen to this.
Weinstein's tropic hormone. 4-
monoxytocin supressin hormone."
These plant fibers are loaded with
What kind of hormones?
Kawakita pulls a heavy book from the shelf. The Encyclopedia of
Biochemistry, thumbs to a page and reads.
4-monoxytocin is... "A hormone
secreted by the human hypothalamus
Try Weinstein's tropic hormone.
The tension is rising in the room. Frock takes the book, looks this
one up, reads silently and removes his glasses.
A hormone secreted by the human
Kawakita and Frock look puzzled. Margo rises in agitation.
This is it. This is what he, or
it... is after! The plant has high
concentrations of the same hormones
found in minute quantities in the
Pendergast told me the killer
extracts and eats the hypothalamus
and thalamus of the victim's brains!
Yes. Whatever killed Beauregard may
have lived on this plant. When the
crates were put in secure storage,
they were out of reach. The killer
couldn't get them, so it got the
next best thing.
There's a moment of stunned silence. Then a LOUD BUZZER makes them all
It's all right. That means the
G.S.E. has finished analyzing the
claw DNA. Greg, you go find
Pendergast and Lieutenant D'Agosta
INT. MUSEUM HALLWAYS - NIGHT
Kawakita tears up the dark stairs. He turns a corner and something
JUMPS OUT at him. He almost screams. It's a DRUNK.
Hey, where 'za little boys room?
Down that hallway. But don't stay
long. You don't want to be here
INT. MARGO'S LAB - NIGHT
Margo and Frock enter and huddle over a sheaf of papers that the
printer has spit out.
All right, assuming the program is
accurate, this is a description of
the animal with that claw.
"Species unidentified. Genus:
unidentified. Phylum unknown. Male,
weight in excess of 240 kg. Brain
capacity, 900 centimeters." That
means it's highly intelligent.
Quadrupedal! The other name for
Mbwun. "He Who Walks on All Fours."
Margo and Frock exchange a look. Holy shit. Margo swallows and keeps
"Nocturnal. External hair and bony
plates. Locomotor speed 60-70
kilometers. Reduced optic chiasm"...
poor eyesight. "External mucoid
nasal glands,"... very keen scent...
Highly robust. Aggressiveness:
So the claw came from a huge
creature with a preternatural sense
of smell and poor eyesight that
hunts at night.
With the intelligence of a human
being, the speed of a greyhound, and
the strength of a grizzly bear.
(a long moment)
Margo, what you've just described is
a killing machine.
And it's hungry. It's been two days
since it's eaten. There are five
hundred people arriving right now.
The animal hunts at night and it has
a keen sense of smell! All those
people in one enclosed space...
It's like ringing the dinner bell.
INT. ENTRANCE TO SUPERSTITION EXHIBIT - ROTUNDA - NIGHT
The crowd is now packed into the rotunda as the MAYOR cuts a red
ribbon across the entrance to the exhibit and everyone applauds.
Cuthbert is by the mayor's side. He steps forward and raises his hand
for quiet. The crowd falls silent.
Thank you everyone and welcome.
We're glad all of you were willing
to brave the inclement weather to be
with us tonight. Our special thanks
to his honor, the mayor and his
The Mayor takes a bow. More applause.
Some people have questioned whether
a superstition exhibit belongs in a
Museum of Science. Spells,
incantations, demons, magic... these
are forces that defy the natural
laws. Superstition provides answers
to the great questions based on
fear. Science provides answers to
the great questions based on truth.
Science and superstition, then, are
polar opposites. Mortal enemies, if
you will. And that is why we are
here tonight. We have come to learn
more about the enemy, and thus to
bring about its defeat. For every
good, there is an evil, for every
dark, a light. And so tonight... my
friends, I give you ignorance,
terror, unreasoning fear, pure evil.
(smiles, gestures to the exhibit)
Have a great time.
Everyone laughs, applauds again as Cuthbert and the Mayor lead the way
inside. Kawakita is making his way over to D'Agosta. The crush at the
entrance is incredible.
Lieutenant! It's me.
What is it?
Dr. Green has to see you!
Got my hands full here.
It's important. Please. You have to
come! Pendergast, too. She's found
D'Agosta pulls out his walkie talkie.
McNitt? D'Agosta here.
INT. SECURITY COMMAND CENTER - MUSEUM - NIGHT
Officer McNitt stands in the corner of the computer room, bathed in
neon light. Running the security system is GEORGE, your basic computer
nerd. Multiple screens all over show various rooms in the museum. Most
are empty with the exception of those showing the exhibition. On
these, the crowds can be seen entering the various rooms. McNitt holds
his walkie talkie.
Yeah Lieutenant? I'm here.
D'AGOSTA (ON RADIO)
I'm heading to the Evolutionary Bio
labs. Any sign of Pendergast?
At this moment a NOISE comes from the adjoining room. McNitt's head
SWIVELS. It's a LOUD THUMP.
Hold on Lieutenant.
What was that?
Probably just something wrong with
the air conditioning. There's a shit
load of electrical rooms back there.
George is playing an elaborate computer game and not paying attention.
McNitt returns to his walkie talkie as the THUMP comes again. Now he
looks distinctly nervous.
Lieutenant? There's something wrong
in the computer room.
D'AGOSTA (ON RADIO)
Goddamn it. I'll get Ippolito and
send him up.
You're over-reacting. Sounds like
the air conditioning to me.
McNitt watches uneasily as George opens the door, disappears into the
INT. ENTRANCE - SUPERSTITION EXIBIT - NIGHT
D'Agosta turns to Kawakita who waits, shifting from foot to foot.
Damn. There's some kind of problem
in the computer room. I have to go
get Ippolito. You wait here.
D'Agosta heads into the exhibit before Kawakita can protest.
INT. SUPERSTITION EXHIBIT - NIGHT
We see various cuts of people as they move into the different rooms. A
TEENAGE GIRL (LAUREN) and her FATHER (DAVID) examine a lidless,
rotting European style coffin, complete with corpse. A white haired
gentleman (DR. POUND), leans on his cane as he looks at a display on
primitive medicine practiced with implements that look like torture
Cuthbert and Ippolito are at the head of a press of people, giving the
MAYOR and HIS WIFE a guided tour.
Here we have a very rare sacrificial
table from Mesoamerica. The priests
would kill the victim on this slab,
cut out the heart and eat it while
it was still beating.
I could use one of these things in
Cuthbert laughs right on cue. They pass a Congo power figure with its
bulging eye sockets and torso riddled with sharp nails. Several people
recoil from it, looking repulsed. The MAYOR's WIFE sees it and looks
You're letting kids see this? I
should think they'd have nightmares.
Kid will love it. They're our target
audience. Nothing here is as violent
as what they see on T.V.
They pass a MUMMY dripping in BLOOD. The Mayor gestures to it.
I don't know. That could be a little
over the top. It's not even
scientific. Mummies don't bleed.
Cuthbert's smile fades as he sees the mummy.
CLOSE ON... the MAYOR'S WHITE CUFF as he extends his hand to point at
the mummy. The pristine white of his cuff is suddenly colored by a
falling RED DROP OF BLOOD.
Cuthbert sees it. So does the Mayor and Ippolito. They look up as
another DROP OF BLOOD falls right on Cuthbert's face. And yet another
droplet falls on THE MAYOR'S WIFE'S white bosom, exposed by her low
Oh... my... God...
THEIR POV... above the mummy's head, the top of the case is cut away,
exposing a ceiling crawling with steam pipes and ductwork. A hand, a
watch, and the cuff of a blue shirt protrude over the edge of the
case. A small icicle of blood hangs from the middle finger. And
another drop FALLS.
CUTHBERT SCREAMS AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS! Conscious of the panic
factor, Ippolito yells.
But it's too late. The room is packed with people. And D'Agosta
himself is just pushing through the door as another woman cries out...
There's a body up there!
A ripple of fear goes over the faces in the room, titters as people
wonder if it's a joke. At that moment from the darkness above, the
ceiling buckles and something FALLS!
It's OFFICER DOYLE'S HEADLESS TORSO, dripping blood!
UTTER PANDEMONIUM breaks loose! The close space ECHOES with screams
and shouts. People claw at each other, stumbling desperately trying to
get to the door. A YOUNG WOMAN falls and D'Agosta runs to her to keep
her from being trampled in the stampede.
INT. COMPUTER ROOM - NIGHT
McNitt is staring in horror at the remote camera images showing the
chaos in the exhibition, the faces registering blind fear. Alarms
start going off all over the place. McNitt calls out... panicked...
George! Get out here, now!
McNitt looks around, desperate. But George still isn't here. The door
to the electrical room is still open. The ceiling shudders from
thundering feet. McNitt can hear distant SCREAMS! It's raising the
hair on the back of his neck. He calls out.
George! Where are you?
No answer. He moves to the open door, a new fear in his eyes. He looks
INT. ELECTRICAL ROOM - NIGHT
BLACKNESS. McNitt can't find a light switch. He stays in the doorway,
silhouetted by light from the computer room. With shaking hands McNitt
pumps a slug into the chamber of his shotgun. There's a strange, low,
gurgling sound. It's McNitt's stomach. He silences it, swallows.
Hey you? George! Damn it. Where are
you? No response.
McNitt edges into the darkened rooms. The first one's empty. He tries
George! We've got an emergency! Are
Suddenly there's a HUGE THUMP and a scuttling to his left! It's a
terrifying sound! McNitt drops to his knees and pumps three rounds,
each with a light and a deafening blast! A SHOWER OF SPARKS and a gout
of flame licks upwards, illuminating the room with orange light. A
HUGE DARK SHAPE ducks out the door!
Oh God. Oh God!
Gunpowder hangs in the air like a blue fog. On the far wall, a mounted
metal box is smoking from three large, ragged holes! With a sudden
pop, an electrical arc slices across the ruined box, followed by a
crackling and a shower of sparks. McNitt ducks back into the computer
room, slams the door and locks it, breathing hard.
INT. COMPUTER ROOM - NIGHT
Every single screen flickers and dims. But to McNitt's relief, George
has returned. He is sitting with his back to the doorway in his chair.
George! I saw something in there! I
fired but I think I missed it!
George remains still, his back to McNitt, staring at the computer game
on the flickering screen.
George, for Chrissake answer me!
McNitt puts a hand on George's shoulder, swivels his chair around.
ON GEORGE... His face ripped off.
INT. ELECTRICAL ROOM - NIGHT
ON THE CENTRAL SWITCHING BOX... sparking and shorting as an ENORMOUS
CLAWED ARM SWIPES IT OFF THE WALL!
INT. HALL OF THE HEAVENS - NIGHT
Everyone pours out of the exhibit, running for the door leading to the
Rotunda. People are getting trampled. It's a terrible crush. Screams!
Tables over-turned everywhere. Food scatters to the floor. D'AGOSTA
pushes his way out of the exhibit, crosses to Kawakita, who is
appalled. Above, the chandeliers are flickering.
There's a dead body in the exhibit!
People are panicking, trampling each
other trying to get out.
Ippolito runs over to join them.
What the hell is going on?!
Above them THE LIGHTS dim again and come back on.
The whole system is shutting down!
We have to get out quickly before
the fire doors fall!
I told you! They seal off all the
cells. They were designed to fall
automatically in a system failure --
You said the system couldn't fail!
At this there's a low rumble from above. D'Agosta looks up and sees A
LARGE METAL DOOR IS DESCENDING from a slot in the ceiling, and not in
an orderly fashion. It's falling fast. Below are crowds of people, all
pushing to get out! Officer Bailey, near the door, sees it.
Above you! Look out!
His voice is lost in an ocean of screaming. Kawakita stands in total
horror a moment, then joins Bailey and D'Agosta.
All of them try to restrain people from trying to beat the door.
Ippolito, on the other hand, elbows his way to the front of the
Ippolito! Get back here!
Ignoring D'Agosta, Ippolito pushes past. He barrels over an OLD MAN
who stumbles and falls DIRECTLY BENEATH THE FALLING DOOR! Ippolito
jumps over him and is out!
The old man looks up at the descending wall of steel and SCREAMS!
D'AGOSTA runs forward, dives for the old man but he's not in time.
Kawakita covers his eyes, unable to watch as the lights flicker a
third and last time. The room is plunged into darkness. And over the
screams we hear the rumble and CRASH, the horrifying cries of the old
man, as the door comes down.
INT. MARGO'S LAB - NIGHT
Margo and Frock stand in the darkness. Through a high window we can
see lightning flash.
What's going on?
Some kind of power failure. Maybe
it's the storm. Do you have a
I think so.
She gets one from a cupboard.
Greg's been gone over a half hour.
We'd better get out of here. Get the
INT. HALLWAYS - NIGHT
Frock wheels his chair as fast as he can. Margo runs beside him
carrying the crate with the fibers inside. A peel of thunder ends and
distant screaming is heard. Margo stops, appalled.
Dr. Frock. Did you hear that?
Don't stop now.
Up ahead they hear METALLIC RUMBLING and a CRASH! They round a corner
and come up against a huge STEEL DOOR.
It's one of the fire doors. Good
Lord, Margo. We're trapped!
INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT
Pendergast stands at the end of a cul de sac, studying the blue prints
by a stone wall. Jonathan and the dog are with him, exhausted and
terrified. Jonathan keeps an eye on the corridor behind them as
I know where we are now. We're
getting out, Jonathan. This should
be another door.
Taking a pen knife from his pocket, Pendergast places it into the
plaster and gently twists the blade. A piece of plaster the size of a
dinner plate falls, revealing the tracings of another doorway.
Pendergast shoves the door open to reveal a dark, dusty room.
Hallelujah, Pendergast. Where the
hell are we now?
INT. "ALCOHOLIC" ROOM - NIGHT
Jonathan and Pendergast enter quickly from the hidden rear door.
Pendergast shines his beam on dusty shelves filled with specimens. All
are stored in jars of alcohol. There are fetuses of many different
species. We see a pig, a cow, a duck billed platypus as well as brain
sections, a disembodied monkey head. One rectangular glass container
holds a skinned human foot.
Jesus, what is this?
Another storage room.
Pendergast tries the light switch to no effect.
Something's happened. The power's
They cross the room to the main door and exit. Now they're in...
INT. OSTEO PREP - LAB - NIGHT
Pendergast shines his light on the maceration tanks. The humming of
the bugs can be heard in their cabinet.
All right. I know where we are. This
is the osteo prep lab. I was in here
earlier. We're safe now.
With these words, the dog GROWLS. Jonathan freezes and sniffs the air.
Oh no. I smell it.
Keep the animal quiet.
Jonathan kneels by Hobbes as Pendergast listens, every nerve on end. A
sound comes from the adjacent hallway that leads to the secure storage
area. It's unmistakable HEAVY BREATHING and the creeping movement of
claws. Pendergast lifts his gun.
Go out the other doorway. There's a
stair at the end of the hall. Up
five flights is a corridor that
leads to the Hall of the Heavens.
Find Lieutenant D'Agosta. Bring
Jonathan doesn't have to be told twice. He takes the dog and exits
from the other side of the lab leaving Pendergast alone. Pendergast
waits a moment until Jonathan's safely out of sight. He switches off
his flashlight, backs up slowly, step by step. He opens the door to
the alcoholics storage. As he slips inside a DARK SHAPE appears.
INT. "ALCOHOLICS" STORAGE - NIGHT
Slowly, making no sound, Pendergast lifts the .45 Anaconda, passes his
finger over the cylinder, checking the loaded chambers. Then he
steadies the revolver and levels it at the door. The hideous pickled
specimens seem to hover all around him. The smell is overwhelming and
the snuffling is louder now.
It's coming closer. After a long moment there is a faint bump at the
door. This is followed by a low scratching noise... Pendergast watches
frozen in horror, holding his breath.
THE DOORKNOB BEGINS TO TURN! Not knowing what else to do, Pendergast
simply grabs it from the inside and holds on!
OUTSIDE he hears an AMUSED SNORT, then a LOW GROWL. There's ONE HARD
HIT and the door shivers. THE DOORKNOB FALLS OFF! It's over now.
Pendergast kneels down, bracing the gun in both hands. From this
position he can see right through the hole where the doorknob fell.
His mouth literally drops in astonishment as he sees...
a HUGE, red-rimmed, GREEN EYE!
Involuntarily Pendergast LEAPS BACK, nearly falls and drops the gun!
Beakers crash around him. He scrambles in the darkness. The flashlight
falls and pops back on. The beam streaks up crazily. It's chaos.
Pendergast is an easy target now. He grabs for the light, the gun,
steadies himself, breathing fast and low. His heart pounds. But
nothing more happens. The silence is heavy. The eye is gone. And
suddenly Pendergast understands.
In the distance he can hear HUMAN VOICES and a rolling wheelchair!
Somewhere nearby are MARGO AND FROCK! The monster has left him to get
bigger game. Fear for Margo and Frock lights Pendergast's eyes. All
panic and disorganization are gone. He holds his revolver at 12
o'clock and KICKS the door open, leaps out as
A HUGE DARK SHAPE DARTS FROM THE ROOM. It's headed for the secure
storage areas again! Pendergast takes off. Not knowing how else to
address this thing he finds himself calling...
INT. SECURE STORAGE HALLWAY - BASEMENT - NIGHT
Pendergast runs into the hallway but he's already too late. The
hulking shape of the quadruped is moving at incredible speed.
ON PENDERGAST... as he levels his gun and shoots.
THE CREATURE... stops, rears back on its haunches, looks once at
Pendergast, pissed. As the VOICES around the far corner fall silent,
Pendergast FIRES. The shot blasts off a piece of the wall.
With astonishing speed and agility for its bulk, the beast turns and
leaps around the corner, passing out of Pendergast's sight.
Margo! Frock! It's coming! Run!
AROUND THE CORNER...
Are MARGO AND FROCK... Frock holds the keys to secure storage area 1012
in his hand. Margo has the flashlight and the crate with the fibers.
They can hear the sound of thundering movement.
Margo points her light in the distance and illuminates the beast! It's
descending like a freight train. One split second of sheer amazement,
Dr. Frock! Quick!
Frock, immobilized in his wheel chair, stares at the monster, like a
trapped rabbit looking at a descending hawk. Margo grabs his keys from
him, fumbles desperately to open the door. It swings wide at last. She
grabs the handles of the wheelchair, tugs with all her might. The
wheels bump into the door frame but somehow she wrestles the damn
INT. SECURE STORAGE AREA - NIGHT
Margo shoves Frock behind her, slams the door shut. Seconds later, the
beast throws itself against the storage door. They hear it outside,
growling in fury, claws lashing out. Margo and Frock press back in the
darkness, terror in their eyes.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
Pendergast runs forward in the echoing hallway, his gun drawn, his
flashlight on. A few more steps and he holds hard. His eyes go wide in
astonishment as his light illuminates the beast. It's tearing at the
steel door furiously with incredible force.
As the flashlight beam hits it, MBWUN roars and looks up. Now we see
it clearly for the first time. The monster is MASSIVE, putrid, rank.
Slit reptilian green eyes are rimmed in red. A ridge of stiff black
hair rises on the creature's buffalo-like humped back. The withers are
muscled and covered with plates. A forked TONGUE licks out as purple
lips draw back exposing razor sharp teeth. The claws raise up to fend
off the light.
PENDERGAST steadies himself with difficulty, takes a few seconds to
aim with the greatest care. Mbwun makes a move towards him and he
squeezes the trigger hard. The gun echoes in the hall. A split second
and a white streak moves right up the beast's cranium. A direct hit.
The shot echoes and Mbwun drops it's claws.
The flashlight continues to shine like a high beam right into the
beast's eyes. Angry and blinded, the creature turns and in a moment,
lopes off. Pendergast watches, unimaginably relieved. Realizing what
just happened, his knees start to buckle. He catches himself, wipes
one hand across his eyes. A voice comes from the storage room.
Pendergast? Are you all right?
No. I think I'm hallucinating.
The storage door opens slowly and Margo looks out.
You're not. Where is it?
(shakes his head)
No. A chromium alloy tipped .45
caliber bullet bounced off that
thing's skull like a spit ball. I
think it was bothered by my light.
That would fit. It's nocturnal.
Quick. Come inside.
EXT. MUSEUM - NIGHT
As hundreds of the guests emerge into the pounding rain... crying,
terrified, unclear what exactly happened. These are the lucky ones.
Among them we find IPPOLITO. His walkie talkie is squawking. The
windows of the museum behind him are black.
D'AGOSTA ON RADIO
Ippolito! Where the hell are you?
We're trapped in here! We need help!
Ippolito! Come in, dammit!
Ippolito sits down on the steps in the rain, knowing the extent of
what he's done. The wheels are working hard now, trying to figure out
damage control. The walkie talkie keeps calling. He doesn't respond.
INT. HALL OF THE HEAVENS - NIGHT
Tables are overturned, food lies on the ground, people cower in the
darkness. D'Agosta crouches in some broken glass with his walkie
talkie. He shuts it off, rises, looks around. Light comes from a few
Most of the guests still trapped inside are grouped around the lowered
steel door. Among them are KAWAKITA and CUTHBERT. From the BODY of the
man crushed underneath the door extends a large puddle of blood.
Bailey is working in desperation on a brass panel by the door.
Manual overrides aren't working. I'm
getting nothing, Lieutenant.
Frank, the father of the teenage girl, Lauren, steps forward.
There's no power. The whole system's
The crowd starts to murmur. One man yells.
We're trapped! And there's a killer
We'll get out safely if everyone
stays calm. Is anyone else hurt?
The MAYOR stands. His wife's forehead is bleeding.
Yes. My wife.
Is there a doctor?
The distinguished grey haired man with a cane comes forward. DR.
I'm Dr. Pound.
Check this woman and see if anyone
else needs you.
Pound moves off. Everyone spins now at the incongruous sound of a DOG
BARK. D'Agosta pulls his gun. The door to a stairwell at the far end
of the room opens and Hobbes bounds into the hall! He's followed by
Jonathan, who is filthy and wild-eyed.
Lieutenant D'Agosta! Don't shoot.
Five flights down. We were lost in
the sub-basement. Something's down
there. It killed our two deputies.
When I left Pendergast it was coming
back. He sent me for help. We have
D'Agosta makes a quick sweep of the room with his flashlight. The
remote corners of the hall are so black the light seems to disappear.
In the center, two men are bending over a still form. One of them is
Both of you. Get back here.
But he's still alive --
Get back now!
The urgency in D'Agosta's voice gets everyone's attention. The Mayor
brings his wife over. Cuthbert comes too. They huddle apart from the
others. Cuthbert's white with fear.
What's going on?
D'Agosta speaks low.
There's some kind of animal loose in
the museum. Pendergast's alone. He
needs help. I want volunteers to go
(voice rising in fear)
I'd do it gladly but someone needs
to stay with these people.
All right. You're elected. Bailey,
get all the guns and flashlights,
give the mayor your walkie talkie so
we can keep in touch. Cuthbert, keep
everyone together and make sure they
Frank steps forward.
I was in the Marines. Give me a gun.
I'd go with you, too, but I've got
What's your name?
All right. You guard these people
and your daughter.
D'Agosta gives Frank his service revolver.
Where are you going? Don't leave us
The remaining crowd begins to whimper. The Mayor rises.
Everyone quiet. The Lieutenant's in
Bailey and D'Agosta carry shot guns. They quietly move to the back
stairwell at the far end of the Hall of the Heavens. Everyone else
bunches together and watches.
Bailey, we'll go first and check the
stairwell. Jonathan, you and Greg
guard the door.
Jonathan gives Hobbes' leash to the Mayor. D'Agosta hands Greg
Kawakita a shotgun, tightens his grip on his own. Then he gives the
signal and Bailey yanks open the door to the stairwell.
INT. STAIRWELL - NIGHT
D'Agosta and Bailey go in slowly. Jonathan stays in the doorway,
sweeping the stairwell with his flashlight. Kawakita gingerly holds
his shotgun. He's scared out of his mind. He turns to Jonathan,
Excuse me. Could you tell me how
this thing works?
Oh Jesus. Don't point it at me. Just
aim and shoot.
D'Agosta heads down the stairs in the lead, with Bailey close behind.
The stairwell is windowless and dark. D'Agosta shines his light and it
cuts into the blackness. He moves quietly, makes the first landing and
stops. Bailey watches his back from several steps behind as D'Agosta
signals for him to wait. The flashlight flares into a glass door one
flight down. D'Agosta raises his hand.
Hold on. I thought I saw something.
Everyone stops. Bailey pumps his shotgun. So does Jonathan. Kawakita
fumbles to do like the others. They wait. D'Agosta moves alone down
several more steps. The silence is heavy. Suddenly D'Agosta wrinkles
Whoa... You smell that?
Lieutenant! Get back!
Too late. At this something DROPS FROM ABOVE! A huge dark shape LEAPS
INTO THE STAIRWELL, descending two floors! It lands, pounces on BAILEY
and the marble walls echo with a ROAR.
Bailey SCREAMS in terror as Mbwun pins him down!
CLOSE ON BAILEY... Three claws close on his neck and WRENCH HARD!
There's a horrifying snap as Bailey's HEAD COMES OFF! Blood SPURTS all
over and drips down the stairs.
D'AGOSTA levels his shotgun at the monster and fires, with no apparent
effect. When the shots stop echoing we hear SCREAMS and FRANTIC
BARKING from the hall.
MBWUN'S GREEN EYES look up and it's FORKED TONGUE LICKS OUT. The
monster LEAPS PAST Bailey's body and heads for the door! D'Agosta,
seeing what's happening, screams at the top of his lungs.
Jonathan! Don't let it get into the
ON JONATHAN... frozen in the doorway, Kawakita by his side. Both of
them are rigid with horror. Disbelief in their eyes. The BEAST leaps
up directly at them as they jump to try and close the door.
D'Agosta keeps firing until he's pumping an empty chamber. Plaster is
falling all around. SCREAMS resound in the Hall of the Heavens as
D'Agosta stumbles up the stairs.
INT. HALL OF THE HEAVENS - NIGHT
D'Agosta throws open the doors and charges into the Hall. Jonathan
lies on the ground, dazed. Kawakita stands to one side, teeth
chattering in shock. His hand shakes so badly that the barrel of the
gun swings in his hand.
Where is it?!
I don't know! It hit me hard.
D'Agosta pumps two shells in the shotgun. Screams can be heard from
the people crouched together at the edge of the room. Hobbes is
barking wildly, foaming at the mouth. It's too dark to see what's
Somebody tell me! Where is it now?
Lieutenant. In the south corner.
D'Agosta sweeps his light to the Mayor who stands rigid in front of
the others, points to his left. The light moves to the far end of the
room where THE DARK SHAPE OF MBWUN crouches over the body of a man.
It's lunging up and down with odd, jerking motions. The man is long
past making a sound. From the monster comes a faint crunching and
slobbering. Jonathan rises, comes to D'Agosta. So does Frank. They
stand shoulder to shoulder, raise their guns. D'Agosta motions for
Kawakita stumbles to join them, tries to join in. The barrel of his
shot gun still swings wildly. He steadies it by taking it in both
One, two... three.
All three fire. There's a loud report. The kickback knocks Kawakita
backwards. Screams erupt from the huddled group. Hobbes abruptly shuts
up. The men fire and fire until there's nothing left. D'Agosta reaches
for more shells, comes up empty.
Jonathan! Get everyone behind me!
Jonathan moves. D'Agosta sweeps his light across the room but already
the shape is gone. Cuthbert hides behind the Mayor, calls out in a
It went out the door to the rotunda!
D'Agosta runs across the room to a set of double industrial doors.
There's a noise in the darkness beyond and he just manages to slam
both doors. He picks up a metal chair and jams it through the handles.
Backs up. The doors shudder as something hits them hard.
Get everyone into the stairwell!
Jonathan, the Mayor, Cuthbert and Kawakita together herd everyone
towards the stairwell. They move inside.
INT. STAIRWELL - NIGHT
Dark and close. The smell of gunpowder and death. The Mayor's Wife
sees Bailey's body and clutches her mouth so as not to throw up.
Get his gun and his walkie talkie,
My office is on the third floor!
There's a walk-in safe and a
portable phone! We can lock
ourselves in the safe and call for
I have to help Pendergast. Kawakita
and Jonathan stay with me. The rest
of you can go with Cuthbert!
I think we should stick together!
(taking Bailey's shotgun)
I'm leaving. Whoever wants can come
No one follows.
Jonathan, go with him! He isn't
Jonathan grabs Hobbes' leash from the Mayor and bounds up the stairs.
Everyone else follows D'Agosta. Together, they head down.
EXT. MUSEUM - NIGHT
Police cars are pulling up outside the museum. Sirens wail. Torrents
of rain limit the number of onlookers. Crowds of people are scattered
about. There's disbelief on everyone's faces. Many people are in
shock. Ippolito sprints through the pelting rain to a GUARD STATION
near the gate. He yanks the door open and jumps inside.
INT. GUARD STATION - NIGHT
A number of museum security personnel are milling in confusion.
All right everyone. I'm in charge.
One of the security men, WATERS, rises.
Swat teams are on the way. Fire
trucks with them. Everything's
slowed down because of the rain.
We're bringing in portable
generators. They'll get the
emergency lights working but they
won't pump enough power to lift the
Ippolito pulls out his walkie talkie.
D'Agosta? Ippolito. Come in.
D'AGOSTA (ON RADIO)
(a string of curses followed by...)
Where the hell are you?
I made it outside. I'll co-ordinate
the rescue efforts from here. Help
is on the way. Just sit tight.
D'AGOSTA (ON RADIO)
It's a little late, you son of a
bitch. There's a friggin' monster
loose in here! Get the FBI, the fire
department. Find metal cutters, cut
through. And bring a cannon. The
damn thing is huge.
A long moment as the men look at each other.
Did he say monster?
INT. MUSEUM STAIRWELL - NIGHT
D'Agosta's group has reached a lower floor. Here this stairwell ends.
Ahead stretches the hall of the Asian peoples.
D'Agosta, put on the Mayor.
D'Agosta passes the walkie talkie to the Mayor.
Mayor Jordan here.
IPPOLITO (ON RADIO)
This is Ippolito, head of museum
security. Relieve D'Agosta and take
Don't tell me what to do you chicken
shit bastard. I saw you cut and run!
Lieutenant D'Agosta stayed with us.
He is in charge. There is a monster.
I saw it. Cut through those doors
and get us out of here, now!
The Mayor shuts off the walkie talkie and they round another corner
and disappear from sight.
INT. SECURITY ROOM - NIGHT
Ippolito finds Waters and the others staring at him. Humiliated, he
All right. The steel doors are
designed to retard cutting. We can
go through them, but it would take
The quickest way in would be to go
through the roof, sir. Cell two goes
up to the fifth floor. There are sky
lights up there.
Co-ordinate with the fire department
and SWAT teams. Move.
INT. HALL OF THE ASIAN PEOPLES - NIGHT
It's very dark. The huge shape of MBWUN can barely be seen sliding out
of the stairwell and into the Hall of the Asian Peoples. Then DIM RED
HALL LIGHTS come on in the corners of the ceiling. The monster utters
a low growl. The emergency generators are beginning to come on. The
animal lopes to the spot where we last saw D'Agosta and his group,
sniffs the ground. It looks up and, with a curiously human gesture,
cocks its massive head.
The silence is broken by VOICES! They're in the distance and muffled,
but definitely there. The monster crouches eagerly, lopes forward with
great stealth. The voices are getting louder. We follow as it goes
through the hall and down...
A STAIRWELL... At the bottom, Mbwun quickly turns a corner... The voices
have stopped. Mbwun creeps forward, enters...
INT. HALL OF MARINE ANIMALS - NIGHT
A huge room several stories high. A WHALE hangs suspended from the
ceiling. Dioramas of fish line all the walls. Mbwun pauses next to a
diorama of the gentle, vegetarian sea cow, THE MANATEE. The two make a
A pause and then the voices are heard again, much louder now. The
source is right around the edge of the Manatee display. Mbwun LEAPS
FORWARD, claws lashing out. He turns the corner and crashes through a
wall of GLASS as he grabs at the source of the voices...
A display of small, extraordinarily life-like TALKING HOLOGRAMS!
They've been re-activated with the emergency power system. Each little
talking figure is no more then five inches high. They move around a
small three dimensional display of marine animals, explaining the lung
systems of fish.
MBWUN... stands in the pile of broken glass, stares at the holograms,
mesmerized. He makes a noise that sounds astonishingly like a CHUCKLE!
Then he reaches out one long claw and tries unsuccessfully to touch
one of the holograms. But the shadowy creatures can't be caught. The
beast seems to realize this, SNORTS and moves off. As he goes he
passes behind a
LARGE GLASS ELEVATOR. It stands in middle the open room. The elevator
is designed to carry people upstairs and down in the two story
exhibit. In the dim light, with his poor vision, the monster doesn't
see D'Agosta, the Mayor, Kawakita, and their entire group SANDWICHED
INSIDE. The monster exits the exhibit and quietly D'Agosta slides the
doors open. Everyone, all thirty-five people in evening clothes,
quickly get out and run across the exhibit to another stairwell at the
far side of the hall.
INT. SECURE STORAGE AREA 1012 - NIGHT
Margo, Frock and Pendergast wait in the darkness. Pendergast, for the
first time, seems fazed.
I don't know how to deal with this.
It's hellish. Like nothing I ever
saw. I'm not trained to deal with a
monster, a supernatural creature
It's not supernatural. Mbwun is an
animal. Part lizard, part human, a
genetic freak of some kind, like the
half-goat, half-sheep they found
last year in the jungles of Vietnam.
But this isn't the jungle! This is
New York. How did it get here? A
thing like that crossed two
continents. It makes no sense!
We think it may have something to do
with the eggs we found in the crate.
I don't believe it.
None of that matters now. The people
upstairs need us. We have to help.
We can't. We've managed to get
inside the one place that's safe. I
think we should sit tight and wait
for reinforcements. If we go
outside, we're risking more lives.
You have to accept it, Margo,
there's nothing we can do. The
building must be swarming with
police by now. It won't take long
for them to get through the doors.
That thing could kill ten people in
a matter of minutes.
But what can we do? Our guns are
We have the fibers. Don't you see?
The creature is hungry. It wants the
hormones in these plants. It would
take hundreds of human brains to
supply what's in these fibers. We're
just a poor substitute. To make it
stop hunting, we have to give it
what it wants.
INT. CUTHBERT'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Cuthbert enters with Jonathan and the dog, Hobbes. Cuthbert locks the
door with shaking hands. He mutters to himself in terror.
Solid oak. Two inches thick. Tell me
Cuthbert scurries to his desk and pulls out a Ruger .38 Magnum.
I got it after I was mugged in the
subway last spring.
Where's the walk-in safe?
What's the combination?
I'll do it. Just let me find my
He rummages in the darkness, going through his desk.
Calm down. I found it!
Cuthbert flips the phone open and turns it on.
Battery's dead. Shit.
Cuthbert crosses to a huge wall safe, starts frantically turning the
tumblers. Jonathan follows with the dog.
That thing won't come after us,
right? It's going for bigger game.
The group blundering around in the
basement. Poor fools.
Just a minute. I'm shaking! Take the
Cuthbert fumbles to hand over the Ruger. As he does, something drops.
Oh God! I dropped my rabbit's foot!
Cuthbert drops to his knees, groping in the darkness.
For Chrissake, I'll do it. What's
To the left twice then five no...
sorry... I think it's fifteen... it's
been a while...
Jonathan starts again, sweating. The tumblers fall with agonizing
slowness. Cuthbert continues groping frantically for his good luck
charm. Meanwhile, unnoticed by Jonathan, the dog is staring at the oak
doors. We see the HAIR ON HIS BACK rise!
Fifteen... what's next?
Eight to the right! Look! I found
Clutching the rabbit's foot like a talisman, Cuthbert leaps up just as
the last tumbler falls.
At this the oak doors behind them CRASH OPEN, splintering like so many
Cuthbert SCREAMS in a high pitch whine at the sight of the beast. The
dog barks wildly at Mbwun! Jonathan lifts his shot gun. But the
monster barrels past him and zeros in on Cuthbert!
A HUGE RED TONGUE LICKS OUT and encircles Cuthbert's waist! It
squeezes him horribly, drags him towards the open jaws! Cuthbert
bellows like a lamb being led to the slaughter. He opens his hand and
the rabbit's foot drops! The last Jonathan sees of Cuthbert is his
head disappearing down Mbwun's throat.
Hobbes barks and whines in terror. Jonathan takes the leash and drags
the animal out.
INT. MUSEUM HALLWAYS - NIGHT
Jonathan and Hobbes tear down the hallway and disappear. Behind them
comes a roar so loud it rattles the walls.
INT. HALLWAYS - SECURE STORAGE AREA - NIGHT
The door opens slowly and Pendergast appears. He shines his beam in
Margo and Frock quickly come out. Margo holds the crate. Frock tries
to follow in his wheelchair.
I'm coming with you.
No, Dr. Frock. You can't.
You'd slow us down and put Margo in
Unlock one of the other storage
rooms. We're going upstairs. We'll
leave a trail back to 1012 and try
to trap the monster in here.
Margo, this is too dangerous. You
always think you can solve
everything. This time you don't have
enough information. The animal might
behave in unexpected ways.
Leave her here with me. Don't put
her in danger.
No. You'll need me --
At this a LOUD SOUND comes from upstairs!
No, not footsteps! People running
for their lives!
All three know this ends the discussion. Frock opens the door to room
1010. Inside are shelves of priceless ivory tusks. Margo takes
Pendergast's handkerchief and wraps her hand. She quickly sprinkles
some of the fibers inside the door to room 1012. Before Dr. Frock
disappears into room 1010, he looks back to Margo one last time.
Come back and get me.
Remember, it has poor eyesight. It
hunts with its sense of smell. So
for God's sake, Margo, don't get
those fibers on your clothes!
INT. OSTEO PREP - NIGHT
Margo and Pendergast emerge from the hall to the storage rooms and run
for the far stairs. From somewhere above the sound of running is
INT. PLANETARIUM - NIGHT
D'Agosta and his group enter the large domed space in disarray.
They're spread out and panicked, the young helping the old. Dr. Pound
is finding it hard to keep up. Frank and his daughter Lauren bring him
along. The Mayor quietly urges people forward. His wife's face is
streaked with tears. Kawakita runs with D'Agosta.
It's still back there!
Now a voice is heard in the distance.
Where are you? Who's there?
Everyone stops. D'Agosta shines his light into the large space. Above
them constellations glow. D'Agosta calls out...
INT. HALL OF NORTH AMERICAN MAMMALS - NIGHT
Margo and Pendergast run. Margo carries the crate carefully wrapped in
That was D'Agosta.
There's a double steel fire door at the end of the hallway. Pendergast
and Margo run for it. Pendergast shoves at the door. It won't budge.
There's a small glass window. In it, D'Agosta's face appears.
(through the window)
Pendergast! Help! It's right behind
This door's locked. Try shooting the
INT. PLANETARIUM - NIGHT
D'Agosta turns to his group.
D'Agosta, Frank and Kawakita aim their guns at the door and shoot
repeatedly. The shots echo wildly. The sound is terrifyingly loud. The
small glass window shatters. Then the men lean heavily on the door. It
still won't budge. D'Agosta looks through the window.
It's no use. We have to get out of
Give them your walkie talkie.
Kawakita hands his walkie talkie through the window. Margo takes it.
Is Dr. Frock safe!
Yes, he's fine. Greg... take care of
INT. HALL OF THE NORTH AMERICAN MAMMALS - NIGHT
Pendergast looks desperately at the blueprints.
Is there another way around?
No. The planetarium is in the next
cell. This is one of the fire
Pendergast returns to the window.
Vince? There's no way we can get to
you with the fire doors down.
There's an entrance to the sub-
basement in the hall off the north
I've been down there. It links up to
the old sewer system. I can guide
D'Agosta turns to the others.
How much ammo do we have to make a
You're asking me? I don't even know
how to load this thing.
There's a movement of air... and a ripe, fetid smell.
D'Agosta pumps his shot gun.
I smell it. It's here.
Go out the north exit! There's a
hallway and a false wall by the
Greek vases. Run!
Everybody. Get behind me.
The others move past. D'Agosta, Frank and Greg Kawakita hold the rear.
The group runs to the side exit to the planetarium and in a moment,
INT. HALL OF THE NORTH AMERICAN MAMMALS - NIGHT
Pendergast remains at the window watching anxiously. From the south
entrance to the planetarium, an ENORMOUS DARK SHAPE slinks into view!
Pendergast steps back from the doorway, turns to Margo.
What are you going to do?
Pendergast checks his gun, totally calm.
Buy them some time.
Margo turns and looks around at the looming dioramas. There's a plain
door at their end of the hall. Pendergast faces the broken window.
HIS POV... the beast is slinking away after D'Agosta and the others,
headed to the north exit from the Planetarium!
PENDERGAST calls out...
Hey you big tub of lard! Over here!
THE BEAST PAUSES, turns.
Pendergast puts his palms up at his ears, wiggles his fingers and
makes a face through the window.
Come on, you smelly pile of refuse.
Come get me. I dare you!
A LOW surprised GROWL comes from the beast. It crouches as if to
pounce. Pendergast makes more faces, sticks his tongue out. The beast
watches in silence, its evil eyes fixed.
ON MARGO... watching Pendergast. She can't leave him yet.
What is it doing?
It's scared of me.
Suddenly there's a CRASH and the door BENDS like cardboard. TWO HUGE
SETS OF CLAWS lash through! Margo screams as the claws pass inches
from Pendergast's face. He leaps back, lifts his gun which looks like
a pea shooter in the face of Mbwun.
Two sets of claws curve around the bent edges of the door, then Mbwun
simply LIFTS it out of the frame. This leaves Pendergast face to face
with the foul, enormous monster! It regards him evenly, blinks once.
Then the tongue slides out, licks its lips eagerly and...
Pendergast FLICKS on his high powered FLASHLIGHT, shining it at close
range right in the beast's eyes! Then carefully, with total calm he
FIRES ONCE, TWICE. The beast howls more in anger than pain, REARS UP
and swipes at Pendergast. Pendergast dives to one side and, the claws
miss again by inches as the beast is temporarily blinded by the light.
Now Pendergast spins and runs for all he's worth. Margo's been
waiting, holding the door.
Drop the fibers!
She leaves the crate behind as Pendergast dives inside with her. Margo
shoves the door shut hard as Mbwun, still blinded, leaps into the
hall. But now, suddenly, all is quiet. No sign of Margo and
Pendergast. The beast moves forward, snuffling slowly. It starts for
the door which hides Margo and Pendergast, but stops as it finds...
THE CRATE! The beast moves to it, clearly surprised. It pokes at the
crate carefully, inhales the fragrance and grunts. The monster seems
to be struggling with itself! It sniffs the fibers, lifts a few out
carefully, then SHOVES THE CRATE AWAY HARD. Then it rises on its
haunches and squints into the dark.
On all sides are glowing displays of stuffed buffalo, gazelle, wild
horses, wolves, giant elk, sabre tooth tigers. Mbwun moves close to
one after another. Suddenly we notice, in the back of one of the
Margo and Pendergast! They stand frozen, crouching behind mannequins
of native Americans riding horses across the plains. The beast sniffs
RIGHT AT THEIR WINDOW, then turns away. Confused, it heads back
towards the Planetarium and slinks from the room.
INSIDE THE DIORAMA... Pendergast and Margo exchange an astonished look.
Its eyesight is worse than I
thought. It couldn't see us. And it
couldn't smell us through the glass.
It didn't want the fibers. What does
I think... it means it's full.
Then it won't go after the others?
No. It's still hunting, but not for
I think... for the pleasure of the
INT. HALLWAY - MUSEUM - NIGHT
Greg, the Mayor, D'Agosta and the others are in a hallway lined with
at least a dozen vases. A GREEK VASE has been shoved aside revealing
the outlines of a door. Behind is a sloping dark corridor. The last of
the thirty-five people pack in. Greg and D'Agosta cover the corridor.
That's it, let's go!
Grim-faced, D'Agosta follows Kawakita as they duck through the
doorway, shutting it behind them. The impact rattles the wall and the
Greek vase falls.
INT. SUB-BASEMENT - NIGHT
Kawakita and D'Agosta reach the bottom and turn to see the Mayor, his
wife, Dr. Pound and their whole group standing in several feet of
rushing water. Lauren is shivering. Her father has his arm around her
tight. Behind them are two corridors, one forking left and the other
straight. D'Agosta gets out the walkie talkie, clicks it on.
(into walkie talkie)
Pendergast. We made it. You all
INT. DIORAMA - NIGHT
Pendergast has the plans open as he studies them. He speaks into the
walkie talkie. Margo paces behind him, thinking hard.
We're fine. Take the left fork
behind you. You'll be in a straight
passage. When the hall forks again
in fifty yards go right. Then radio
INT. SUB-BASEMENT - NIGHT
D'Agosta shuts off his walkie talkie. Everyone's staring at him.
All right. Kawakita, cover the rear.
No, Lieutenant. He's not a good
enough shot. I'll do it if you take
care of my daughter.
D'Agosta nods. Frank expertly reloads. D'Agosta holsters the walkie
talkie and they plunge down the left hand passage. Kawakita takes
charge of Lauren, who is confused and terrified. The tunnel has a
slight downhill grade, and the water begins to move faster, tugging at
everyone's legs. People slip and slide as they half make their way
down the hill. D'Agosta calls behind them.
Damn. It's getting deep. See
ON FRANK... back not far from the first fork. He looks towards the head
of the tunnel, calls out...
You'll be the first to know.
Frank turns and plunges after the others. But then suddenly, he stops.
ON D'AGOSTA... he reaches the second fork and takes a right. This
tunnel is narrower and consequently the water is even deeper. Slimy
plants hang down and slap at their faces as they push on. D'Agosta
pulls out his walkie talkie.
Pendergast? I made the right hand
fork. We're already in about three
feet of water. Where should we go?
But before Pendergast can answer, D'Agosta hears the loud report of
Frank's gun! Everyone freezes in the darkness. The walkie talkie
cackles and D'Agosta shouts!
Sweet Jesus, help!
They hear SPLASHING in the water. Lauren SCREAMS, tries to run back.
Kawakita grabs her. There's more thrashing water and then silence.
Frank! Are you all right!
D'Agosta starts for Frank but the Mayor catches his arm and holds him.
It's too late!
Everyone waits, staring into the darkness. Still no answer. Lauren
D'Agosta turns his flashlight on the water. It's running red! He spins
to the Mayor, points down the tunnel.
People start to cry and whimper as the Mayor urges them on. He takes
charge of Lauren. Only Greg Kawakita stays with D'Agosta. They stand
shoulder to shoulder and completely alone. Thrashing in the water can
be heard as the beast comes closer. There's a low, pleasurable growl!
Both men lift their guns.
Kawakita nods. Behind them in the tunnel is total blackness. Ahead is
equally dark. The noise of their friends gets ever fainter. The water
now rushes half way up their thighs. Kawakita's teeth start to
chatter. He bites them shut, steadies his gun.
Silence as the water murmurs. D'Agosta holds the count. A long,
agonizing moment. Kawakita takes his eyes away from the tunnel.
I think it's gone.
Suddenly a HUGE CLAW snakes out of the water right in front of them
and the beast roars up! It was beneath the surface, directly before
them! The claw closes on D'Agosta and his shot gun goes off. D'Agosta
screams as the beast lifts him towards its mouth!
For one horrible moment, Kawakita is frozen. Then he leaps forward,
shoves the barrel of his gun behind D'Agosta, right in the beast's
open jaws! He pulls the trigger and the shotgun explodes, the recoil
throwing him back, ass over tea cups in the water. With a roar of pain
the monster drops D'Agosta and retreats in the dark. D'Agosta grabs
I think you took its tonsils out!
They haul ass down the tunnel, firing behind them as they go. Ahead is
another fork. The group is waiting. When they see D'Agosta and
Kawakita, a cheer goes up.
As he runs up, D'Agosta grabs for his walkie talkie. The holster IS
EMPTY, the walkie talkie gone! Without missing a beat he registers
what's happened, then covers it up with the next breath. He points to
the right as if there's no doubt and says...
D'Agosta exchanges a look with Kawakita, who understands exactly what
happened. As they plunge into the right tunnel, Greg mutters...
INT. HALL OF THE AFRICAN MAMMALS - NIGHT
Pendergast and Margo come out of the door leading to the back entry to
the dioramas. Pendergast holds the walkie talkie, desperate.
Vince? Can you hear me? Vince!
Nothing but static comes in response. Margo paces in agitation.
We have to try and draw it off!
The answer's right in front of us.
She points to one of the dioramas. It shows a bird being stalked by a
That's a ptarmigan, feigning a
broken wing. The bird pretends to be
injured to draw the fox away from
It's deceptively simple. Like a
Bruckner Symphony or a Matisse.
Margo heads for the Planetarium, calling...
Help! Please someone! Help!
They disappear down the hall with the Greek vases, both calling with
all they've got.
EXT. MUSEUM ROOF - NIGHT
There are increasing numbers of SWAT vehicles around. A HELICOPTER
lands on the roof. The rescue effort continues to be slowed by rain
pouring down. Ippolito is in the thick of the action. The S.W.A.T.
commander, JENNINGS, comes over buckling an ammo belt over his
We're ready. We've got enough
firepower to turn a herd of lions
into a fine red mist.
Then do it.
Jennings nods, goes off. As Ippolito watches the S.W.A.T. team break
the glass skylights, gets ready to go in.
INT. HALL OF THE REPTILES - NIGHT
Jonathan crouches in the staircase at the end of the Hall of the
Reptiles. Hobbes is still by his side. He keeps the gun pointed out
into the room, his eyes scanning the dark. He whispers to Hobbes, as
if to comfort both of them.
It's okay, Hobbes. We'll be all
right. Help has got to come
eventually... We'll make it. We'll be
Suddenly he sees something. What appears to be a BODY lying on a glass
case! Jonathan pumps his gun, approaches slowly. The man wears a
tuxedo, is lying very still. As we get closer we see it's THE DRUNK
Kawakita ran into in the stairwell so long ago! He suddenly HICCUPS.
Jonathan starts. Now the man gently snores. Jonathan moves to him,
shakes the drunk's shoulder.
Hey! Wake up!
The man snorts, opens his eyes and frowns.
Who the hell are you?
Jonathan helps the drunk off the glass case. The man's a little
unsteady as he tugs at his tux.
I got lost tryin' to find the
bathroom. I was walkin' in circles.
I lay down for a nap. What's going
You wouldn't believe me if I told
Hobbes has started to wag his tail and tug at the leash to draw
What is it, boy?
From above comes the beating of a distant HELICOPTER and then the
sound of breaking glass. Hobbes pulls Jonathan back to the staircase.
Jonathan grins, follows behind with the drunk.
Where we going?
I think we're going home.
INT. HALL OF THE DINOSAURS - NIGHT
Huge skeletons of Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus loom in
the darkness. Rain is pouring in. Jonathan, Hobbes and the drunk
enter, looks up to the sky lights. A FLASH OF LIGHTING hits,
illuminating the dinosaurs and a S.W.A.T. team which is descending on
a series of ropes. It's a sixty foot drop. Jonathan steps forward.
Hello! We're over here!
They run across the long hall and wait as the the men descend. The
first one down is Jennings.
Are you hurt?
We're fine. I don't know about the
people downstairs. In the Hall of
the Heavens. The basement... you'll
need help. There's a monster down
A sling suspended on ropes is lowered down.
The rescue workers will lift you out
one at a time.
Jennings signals to a group of five men, heavily armed and in flack
jackets. They prepare to get the drunk out.
INT. HALL WITH GREEK VASES - NIGHT
Pendergast and Margo are at the top of the long, narrow shaft.
Pendergast's flashlight sends a circle of light onto a sheet of black,
oily water below. Both of them continue calling, trying to draw off
Oh God! Help!
They suddenly hear the sound of splashing. An updraft rustles their
clothes. Margo sniffs the air, turns to Pendergast.
You smell that?
It's coming. Run.
INT. SUB-BASEMENT - NIGHT
The group has reached another intersection of tunnels. The left fork
turns back uphill. D'Agosta indicates this tunnel.
At least we'll be dry.
They all press forward in the low vaulted darkness. As they move
steadily upwards the water recedes. Kawakita's flashlight flickers and
he bangs it. It comes on again.
I believe in you a hundred percent,
Vince, but that's the second time
we've been at that intersection.
Not so loud.
D'Agosta shines his light forward and they see that the shaft ends in
a large round PIPE.
All right everybody, hold up!
Kawakita and D'Agosta move past the shivering people who are strung
out along the sides of the tunnel. D'Agosta touches each person as he
We don't know what's in there. Let
me go first.
INT. PIPE - NIGHT
The Mayor follows behind with the group as Kawakita and D'Agosta lead
the way. The pipe is dry and rusted. They move forward with stealth.
In twenty feet the pipe ends abruptly in darkness. D'Agosta steps out
INT. CAVERN - NIGHT
The group huddles at the mouth of the pipe, confused, as D'Agosta pans
his flashlight around the huge space. The walls are carved out of dirt
and rounded like a cave. From the ceiling hang huge cobwebs. There's a
large pile of sticks in one corner fashioned rather like a bed. On a
mound of dirt beside this bed rests a battered duffel bag.
Greg moves to it, shines his light on the side. A name is written in
What does it say?
(looks up, shocked)
Dr. John Whittlesley.
What's that doing here?
I don't know. I thought Dr.
Whittlesley died in South America.
Look. There's a ladder at the end. I
think it goes up to the street!
They move forward into the darkness eagerly, towards the ladder which
leads up to a manhole. But as they pass the bed of twigs, something
loud CRUNCHES underfoot.
What is that?
D'Agosta shines his light down and everyone freezes. Then one woman
The wide dirt floor around them is carpeted in clean white BONES! The
HUMMING noise is louder and we see its source. Atop the bones is the
body of CUTHBERT! It's covered with BLACK DERMESTID BEETLES. They're
stripping the skeleton clean, devouring the flesh!
The group panics and breaks for the ladder. Kawakita and D'Agosta once
more guard the rear.
Dear God. Where are we, Lieutenant?
I'd say we're in its home.
INT. HALL OF THE NORTHWEST COAST INDIANS - NIGHT
Pendergast and Margo run down the long dark room, passing an enormous
hollowed-out canoe. As they exit the far end, the dark shape of Mbwun
emerges. It leaps forward, closing in fast.
INT. HALL OF THE ASIAN PEOPLES - NIGHT
Margo and Pendergast enter a series of maze-like room with hidden
corners, nooks and crannies with cases full of esoteric Buddhist and
Japanese Art. They're running through the twists and turns as fast as
We're not going to make the storage
Listen to me, Pendergast. Mbwun's
DNA is part homo sapien. In
primates, the eye is a direct path
to the brain! If you get a clean
shot, there's only one place you can
kill it. Shoot it in the eye!
AT THIS THEY ROUND A CORNER AND MBWUN LEAPS OUT! It circled ahead and
was waiting in front of them! The animal swipes at Margo and
Pendergast. The force of the monster's blow sends Margo reeling and
slams Pendergast into the wall. He falls, crumples and drops his gun!
The case beside him SHATTERS spewing relics, as Mbwun pushes past.
Pendergast groans and gets to his knees with difficulty.
MARGO is frantically crawling away in the dark! The beast makes a low
sound of pleasure and reaches out one claw, easily pins her down.
Pendergast looks frantically for any kind of weapon!
ON MARGO now PINNED BENEATH the heaving body of the monster!
Powerless, she looks up into the horrible face of death as Mbwun
raises an enormous claw! Pendergast, desperate, cries out --
Please, no! Don't hurt Margo!
Oddly enough, the beast pauses for once. Talking to the damn thing is
the one tactic no one has tried! The claw halts in mid-air. The beast
blinks once and looks from Pendergast to Margo. Margo sees a flash of
something unexpectedly HUMANin its eyes! In astonishment, she
My God. You understand.
As they stare, amazed, imperceptibly, the beast appears to narrow its
eyes in response! Margo controls her voice, keeps it even.
Please let me go. We won't hurt you.
A strange noise comes out of the monster. A low, confused growl. He
doesn't loosen his grip on Margo, but he leans down to look at her
closer with one green, unblinking eye.
She struggles not to turn away in revulsion. His enormous jaws are
right near her throat. Everything is very still. And then...
A BARRAGE OF FIRE breaks out! The S.W.A.T. team is in the doorway,
laying down everything they've got. The creature ROARS as if betrayed,
leaves Margo and LEAPS UP. It barrels down on the S.W.A.T. team, picks
up Jennings and SPIKES HIM TO THE GROUND. Jennings hits the floor with
his neck at a crazy angle. It snaps like a twig. The other men drop
back. Mbwun follows, tearing through the men, cutting a deathly swath!
Pendergast moves to help the S.W.A.T. team. Margo struggles to her
feet and her hand touches the wall. Beside her is a FIRE HOSE in a
cabinet! In a split second Margo hauls it out, throws a switch and
gets a BLAST OF WATER. She turns it on the beast as it grabs for
Pendergast. The force of the water is enormous. It pushes the monster
out the end of the hall.
Pendergast runs towards her, takes the hose and holds it.
She takes off blindly in the maze-like room. From somewhere behind her
she hears a horrible HOWL.
ON MARGO... as she twists and turns through the rows of display cases,
tearing blindly in the dark. Ahead is a door. She dives through it and
finds she's in...
INT. MEN'S ROOM - MUSEUM - NIGHT
A row of mirrors and urinals line the wall. It's a huge room, designed
to handle crowds of visitors. Margo ducks into one of the stalls as
MBWUN crashes in. Margo looks through a crack in the door to see...
THE ANIMAL AT FULL STOP. IT'S STARING AT ITSELF IN THE ROW OF MIRRORS!
The sight appalls it and the beast lets out a hideous sound! The claws
lash out, breaking every mirror in the place, littering the floor with
Then the beast turns and backs up, groaning, as if cornered. Margo
sees now that one limb is dragging, leaving a trail of blood. The
mouth, too, appears to be bleeding. The S.W.A.T. team's bullets had an
Margo presses back in the stall, bracing as the beast gets closer.
It's just outside. It sniffs the air once and suddenly turns, rears
up, furious and crashes through the bathroom door. Margo screams and
the thing grabs her! It holds Margo up before it and roars. It closes
its massive claws around her as if she is somehow responsible for
everything. The claws tighten! She struggles and fights to no purpose
... but then the beast pauses... it's seen something!
THE NECKLACE WITH TWO ARROWS AROUND HER NECK!
It stops and its grip loosens! A pained look flashes across its
And in that split moment Margo looks down...
A NECKLACE OF SILVER gleams around the beast's throat too! The
necklace is the twin to her own!
ON MARGO... Can it be possible? She stares at the thing...
John's necklace! You killed him!
Incredibly the beast shakes its head. A noise comes from it... a sad
noise, like a groan. And now Margo gets it! She can hardly believe it.
Her eyes widen in astonishment. She whispers...
Oh Jesus. John?
The name is a knife through the monster's heart!
No. It's not possible!
The last piece of the puzzle falls. The monster is John Whittlesley!
Margo, still desperately frightened, tries to keep control.
John? If it is you... I can help.
The monster shakes its head no and releases her. As she watches he
moves away, quickly limps out the door.
INT. HALL OF THE ASIAN PEOPLES - NIGHT
Mbwun now drags himself across the grey carpet, headed for the stairs.
In the darkness of the hall of Asian Peoples, Pendergast is waiting.
He lifts one of the S.W.A.T. team rifles which he holds in his hands.
He aims, is about to fire, but then Margo comes up behind him.
No! Don't kill him! Pendergast, you
were right. It's John!
That thing is John Whittlesley. I
should have seen it before! The
fibers are infected with a virus.
You eat them, and the virus alters
your DNA! He became addicted to them
in South America, followed the
plants back to the states. He
probably entered the country as a
man. It would have taken several
months for the change to take place.
That's how he got from the boat to
Pendergast looks over and sees the monster. His eyes show disbelief.
Mbwun looks back at both of them briefly, then it disappears up the
I don't believe it.
You have to! Listen! All viruses
pass on their own DNA. Instruct the
cells of the host to make more
viruses! This one was different. It
inserted a whole array of genes into
John. Reptile genes, sixty five
million years old. Those genes
remade him! It's not his fault!
Whatever that thing is, we have to
Margo tries to stop him, but he shrugs her off.
EXT. MUSEUM ROOF - NIGHT
A helicopter hovers outside pouring a circle of light down on the
roof. Ippolito watches as the drunk is pulled up through the hall in a
sling. Waters approaches, holding the walkie talkie.
We can't raise the S.W.A.T. team. No
one's answering! What do you want to
Ippolito eyes are fixed on the room below them.
Holy shit. Pull him up.
Lightning throws horrible shadows of the hulking dinosaur skeletons
all around as MBWUN LIMPS INTO THE HALL! The men on the roof stare
down astonished. Their mouths hang open at the sight!
Get more guns! Now!
The men get the drunk up and abandon the sling, leaving Jonathan
INT. HALL OF THE DINOSAURS - NIGHT
Jonathan and Hobbes take cover behind one of the dinosaurs and hide.
Mbwun sees Jonathan, lifts both claws, SWINGS at the skeleton, sending
it crashing down! Jonathan SCREAMS, Hobbes is caught and falls. He
scrambles into a corner, whimpering, as Pendergast and Margo appear in
the door. Fifteen more S.W.A.T. team members with rifles now line the
hole in the roof. They all point their guns at Mbwun.
Get back! We're going to shoot!
Now Margo runs forward.
No. Wait! Let me talk to him first!
Kill that thing! Kill it now!
MBWUN... turns and sees Margo. She speaks desperately.
John... you can give up now! Just lie
down where you are!
Mbwun seems to consider for a moment, but then its eyes gleam and it
ROARS. With renewed vigor it leaps to the wall and starts to WALK UP
IT like a GECKO, ON ALL FOURS! ON THE ROOF...
Some of the S.W.A.T. team fall back in terror! Now that the monster is
on the wall it's out of range of their fire!
Holy shit it's coming this way!
It's headed for the roof. Run!
Ippolito turns and takes off once more in sheer terror. Astonished,
Waters tries to regain control.
Get back here, you asshole! We can't
let it get out!
(to the S.W.A.T. team)
Surround the opening and kill it!
But the men are terrified, retreating like Ippolito. Waters shouts.
Back, everybody! That's an order!
But the team is in chaos and losing precious time.
INT. HALL OF THE DINOSAURS - NIGHT
The MONSTER is now half way up the wall. Margo is distraught, crying.
Her cool demeanor is cracked. Pendergast is with her. She shakes her
Just like John. He won't listen.
I have to shoot.
Do it, quickly. Please. Aim for the
Pendergast raises a HIGH POWERED RIFLE with a laser sight. He aims the
red laser beam directly at Mbwun's left eye.
He has to look here or I won't get a
clear shot. Call him, Margo.
You have to. Do it now!
Margo takes a moment, her eyes streaming. She has no choice, she calls
John! John, look at me!
The beast looks down, sees Pendergast's rifle. There's a long, awful,
moment. Suddenly it emits a sound like a wail.
ON JONATHAN... staring, stunned.
MARGO... She's crying as she raises her arm as if to say good-bye.
And the gun EXPLODES.
ON MBWUN... its head shoots back in pain, and it falls... sixty feet
straight down to the ground. Silence. Thunder rolls.
It's over. Pendergast turns to Margo and quietly folds her in his
EXT. MUSEUM - NIGHT
There are cops and journalists, ambulances, and medivacs all over the
place. Greg Kawakita, wet and bedraggled as a rat, runs up from
Columbus Ave. Behind him the Mayor and D'Agosta help the rest of the
company to the ambulances.
Waters is on the steps of the museum, helping to organize the rescue
efforts as Kawakita runs up to Pendergast.
Margo Green. Have you seen her?
She's over here.
Greg turns to see Margo come out of the Rotunda with Frock, Jonathan
and Hobbes. Her face is devastated. He moves to her side. She reacts
as she sees him, and teacher and pupil hug.
D'AGOSTA is lost in the swirl of people. And he likes it like that. He
rests against a large stone lion, pulls out a cheap cigar in
cellophane, unwraps it carefully and tries to light it with a wet
He's struggling hopelessly. Finally he tosses the useless pack of
matches, sighs. But then a flame lowers right before his face. He
looks up to see Pendergast holding a silver engraved lighter. D'Agosta
smiles, takes a nice long hit.
Nice to see you, Lieutenant.
The sub-basement, huh? Great idea.
We go to a wide shot of the museum as we slowly pull back...
EXT. NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM - DAY - SUPER TITLE: SEVERAL MONTHS LATER
Christmas decorations are up. A light snow is falling. There is a very
INT. NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM - GIFT SHOP - DAY
All the registers are doing a booming business. People are buying
Mbwun posters, t-shirts and hats.
INT. SUPERSTITION EXHIBIT - DAY
School tours, old ladies, parents and children, foreign tourists with
cameras snake through the displays. In the room with the Relic,
there's a tremendous crowd.
INT. MARGO'S LABORATORY - DAY
Margo closes her computer, looks out a window at the falling snow. She
turns and walks into the back office. Kawakita is working there alone.
His fly-fishing rod stands in the corner, untouched. Margo goes to it,
No time for fishing anymore?
Greg looks up from his work and smiles.
Got to finish this thesis sometime.
How about lunch?
Not today. Besides, I think the
director of the museum is expecting
Margo exits. Greg returns to his work.
INT. HALLWAYS - MUSEUM - DAY
Margo heads down the hall to the Director's office. She walks through
the new double oak doors to find DR. FROCK seated at Cuthbert's old
Look who's here, Margo.
PENDERGAST and D'AGOSTA rise out of two high-backed chairs. Margo
smiles for the first time, takes Pendergast's hands.
I'm so glad to see you. What's the
I'm in town on a case. Dropped by to
see Vince and we thought we'd see
the new display.
INT. HALL OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN MAMMALS - DAY
Margo, Pendergast, and D'Agosta follow Frock past the familiar
Dr. Frock, I was wondering. What
happened to the rest of
They were sent to the Center For
Disease Control in Atlanta.
Shouldn't a drug that powerful be
The virus itself might have positive
applications. They'll keep the
plants in secure lock up while the
studies are made.
Greg isn't joining us?
He's changed. He's always working on
his thesis. He comes in early, stays
late. I tried to get him to join us,
but he never takes a break.
They pause on a NEW DIORAMA. It's huge, filling one entire end of the
hall. In the center is a life-sized representation of MBWUN standing
on the tepui amid the plants. Behind is a painting of John Whittlesley
as he once was. He wears the necklace with the two arrows, of silver
and gold. As Margo looks, she touches her own. Pendergast turns to
her, sympathy in his eyes.
We did the right thing, Margo.
Margo smiles warmly.
Yes. I know.
INT. MARGO'S LABS - DAY
Greg Kawakita wears gloves, high powered glasses, works in solitude in
the lab. Suddenly he stands up, throws off the glasses, then he sits
down again. He seems to be struggling with himself. He glances over
his shoulder to make sure he's alone. Quickly he moves to a locked
drawer. He opens it with a key from his pocket and takes out a small
envelope, looks inside.
INSERT... the envelope is full of the PLANT FIBERS! Greg has managed to
keep his own cache!
Moving quickly, with jerky motions, he lays one fiber down on a slide
with a shaking hand. With an exacto knife, he cuts off a tiny sliver,
pops it into his mouth. He closes his eyes in ecstasy and savors the
taste. Then he cuts one more infinitesimal sliver, leaves it on the
slide. He takes a deep breath, returns the envelope to the drawer. He
turns the key carefully and we GO CLOSE ON HIS HAND...
On the back is A ROW OF SCALES...