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November 2000

In this issue:    Introduction    News    Contest!     Blair Witch 2 Review     Spookshow 2000    PLUS: So You Wanna Be a Millionaire?, From the Grave and Halloween Hell.

So ya wanna be a millionaire...

So ya wanna be a millionaire, huh? Well, lucky for you I happen to be in the business of making people's dreams come true, so I've got just the thing for all you greedy young folks out there: the slasher movie. That's right, kids, ever since Scream horror has been hot in Hollywood, and there's nothing hotter than the brain-dead teen slasher picture. As recent box-office has proved, such horror 'think pieces' as Lost Souls or The Cell appear to be too 'high-brow', 'sophisticated' or 'good' for your traditional teen audience, so all you budding young screenwriters and directors would do well to focus you attentions to something a little more 'popular', or 'stupid', to try to appeal to the most profitable demographic, i.e. those YM reading teens who need to go see movies like I Still Know What You Did Last Summer over and over again because the plot gets a little tricky. Anyway in the interests of further glutting the market with crappy movies, I've put together a simple 10 step program to write the perfect slasher movie. Enjoy, kids, 'cause you'll be laughing all the way to the bank.
  1. Buy at least $100 worth of screenplay-writing handbooks and software programs. Next, let them sit on your desk until at least one full inch of dust has collected on top of them. Your offering to the great gods of hack writing is now complete. If you're running short on time or live in a particularly dust-free house, just set some money on fire. This is how Jerry Bruckheimer makes movies.

  2. Create a villain, preferably one with some variety of creepy mask. Since all the good ones have already been taken (hockey mask, ghost face, William Shatner), try to come up with something so ludicrous you can't even think about it without giggling like a gassed-up schoolgirl, like a fencing mask or a burlap sack. Remember, no matter how stupid it seems, your target audience has so vastly reduced their IQ with drugs, insipid cell-phone conversations and intra-mural sports that they find car commercials frightening. Speaking of IQ...

  3. Reduce your own intelligence. Remember, you can't write to retards without being at least partially brain-dead yourself. I suggest either carbon monoxide poisoning or repeated blows to the head. Try to conserve enough brain cells to work your cell-phone so you can call your agent, but not enough that you can use phrases like "character motivation' and 'social relevance' without giving yourself a headache.

  4. Hire some actors from the wide and wonderful world of night-time teen soap operas. These people are only slightly brighter than their fans, so they won't be able to read the script or fully realize what a terrible career move they're making. Alternatively, just hire anybody who's been on the cover of Teen People in the last month. This is a gold mine for 'talent'.

  5. Make sure your props I mean actors have strong characters. Don't bother creating some of your own, just mix around the stock characters from their respective TV shows. For example, give Buffy some of Brenda's bitchiness, and a touch of Joey's vibrating eyeballs. Although variety is the spice of life, many people have sensitive tastebuds, so spare them anything that even smells like originality.

  6. Get a studio to throw some money at you. Do this by pitching the movie using the "____" meets "____" approach. It doesn't have to make sense as long as it uses movies that made a lot of money, like "Carrie meets Homeward Bound", or "The Exorcist meets Strictly Ballroom".

  7. Start shooting. If you don't feel like directing the movie yourself, hire someone with a background in music videos or commercials. Since they have absolutely no attention span, as evidenced by their one-word names like McG of Charlie's Angels or Tarsem from The Cell, they will better be able to spoon-feed your movie to the audience in bite-sized, easily digestible three second chunks.

  8. Write a script. Or better yet, just borrow someone else's. The current favourite nowadays is John Carpenter's Halloween, which has been remade 57 times in the past twenty years despite having only seven sequels.

  9. Edit the movie. Remember, long takes without edits bore the audience. So does dialogue. And plot. Just make sure there's lots of blood, flashing lights, and shiny things. They like shiny things.

  10. Sit back, relax, and start 'writing' the sequels. If you need help with that, just check out my handy "Guide to Teen Slasher Movie Sequels" located on the last page.

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