Special, The (Script)

The Special reviewWritten by Rick Hautala and Mark Steensland

Undated Draft

Though the name Rick Hautala may not jump out at you right away, the man’s been working in our beloved genre for as long as I can remember. For over twenty years he’s been contributing to those who want to sicken their minds with books like Nightstone and The Mountain King, and though his output isn’t what it used to be, he’s not gone from the scene by any stretch of the imagination.

So when he told me he wanted me to read over a script he and Mark Streensland (director of the short film Lovecraft’s Pillow, which Hautala wrote) penned for possible consideration in the next season of Masters of Horror, assuming there is one, of course I couldn’t say no. In short, this script has everything you want from an MoH episode and surprisingly doesn’t overstay its welcome like too much of last season did.

In the beginning we meet Mike and Jerry, two work acquaintances (it’s never established how long they’ve known one another but they don’t seem that close), while Jerry is in the process of drowning his sorrows over an assumed affair his wife is having. This element is the part of the script that needed the most work, as the explanation for what she was doing that somehow made Jerry think she was cheating on him is vague at best, and to make his desperation and sadness a bit more believable, I think a more realistic scenario would be helpful.

Anyway, Mike convinces Jerry that the only way he’s going to feel better about his wife cheating on him is if he cheats on her. Guy logic, what can I say? He whisks his friend away to a secluded fortune teller’s home, blindfolded the whole time so he couldn’t find the place again if he wanted to, and convinces him he’s in for the best lay of his life.

Instead of finding a hot and kinky gypsy daughter like he was likely hoping for when he paid his money and stepped into the room, he finds a box. With a hole in it. Immediately suspicious (and who wouldn’t be?), it takes him a while to be convinced to put his dick in it, but when he does… well, let’s just say I’ve never screamed loud enough to be heard on the other side of the house during sex, and I’ve had some really good sexy in my day.

Needless to say Mike didn’t oversell it, but he also didn’t mention how addictive this secret box can be. Don’t worry, eventually you do find out what’s inside it, and it is not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination. Jerry thinks about being with it again one more time to the point of distraction and eventually goes more or less insane trying to keep his special sex treat a secret from everyone. It’s sick, twisted, perverse and gory; all the things that make for a damn memorable Masters of Horror episode, don’t you think?

There’s not too much time spent trying to make Mike sympathetic either, which is another drawback some of these episodes have. If you’re going to feel sorry for him, it’s because it’s obvious there’s a huge part of him that’s so unsatisfied with how his life turned out that he takes the first opportunity to cause it all to blow up around him. It’s hard to feel bad for someone going through a midlife crisis because that’s essentially what the story is with a nasty horror angle to it, but something tells me there will be a contingent of viewership that almost understands why Mike does what he does. Now that’s scary.

Like I said, there’s no word at all if this is going to actually see the light of day or not, since nothing’s been said about a new Masters of Horror series in any official capacity. I hope if it does happen this one will get some serious consideration, though, because with its mix of perverse sexuality and splatterific horror, it could easily be a fan favorite if given to the right director.

4 out of 5

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