Running Time

6 - 12 - 96

"BLOOD MONEY"

An Original Screenplay
Conceived and Written by: Josh Becker
Story by: Peter Choi

ACT ONE:

1 INT. PRISON HALLWAY -- DAY 1

Two sets of feet clomp up a drab, linoleum hallway, the footsteps echoing off the cinderblock walls.  The sound of machinery chugging, hissing, and clanging can be heard in the background.  CARL MATUSHKA, six-foot-one, one hundred and eighty pounds of hardened, sinewy muscle, dark, short hair, sharp features, with an L-shaped scar on his chin, walks up the hallway in an ill-fitting suit, holding a small gym bag, accompanied by a uniformed prison GUARD.  Carl wears a look of disinterested contempt.  The two men stop outside a door marked "E.E. Walton, Warden."  The Guard knocks.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Come in.

The Guard opens the door and Carl enters.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                                           (to Guard)
                                Leave it open.

The Guard stays outside.


2 INT. WARDEN'S OFFICE -- DAY 2

WARDEN EMMETT E. WALTON is a big, smiling, fifty year old man who always gets his way and likes it like that.  He holds a fishing rod in his hand, practicing his fly casting.  There are several other fishing rods in the corner, as well as a stuffed swordfish on the wall.  The Warden indicates with the fly rod that Carl should sit on the chair in front of the desk.  Carl sits down.  The machinery can still be heard chugging and hissing somewhere further in the background.  The Warden sets down his fishing rod, sits at his desk, opens a wooden humidor, removes a cigar, then offers them to Carl.


                                                                 WARDEN
                                Would you like a cigar, Carl? Cuban.

Carl's eyes widen as he reaches for a cigar.

                                                                 CARL
                                Thank you, Warden.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                Take the whole box.  It's a gift.  And they're darn
                                hard to get these days, too.

Carl takes the whole box, removing one to smoke.  He puts the box in his gym bag.

                                                                 CARL
                                Why, thank you again, Warden.  That's darned nice
                                of you.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                Hell, you deserve it.  You pulled five of your ten
                                years, now you're out on good behavior.  Free at
                                last.

                                                                 CARL
                                Yes, sir. .

The Warden snips off the end of his cigar, then hands Carl the clipper.  Carl takes it and clips off the end of his cigar.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                Y'know, Carl, I'll be darned sorry to see you go.  I
                                can't say that about most of the inmates.  But I trust
                                you.  You make everything here run smoothly, Carl.

                                                                 CARL
                                Shorty'll run things fine, sir, I trained him myself.

The Warden lights Carl's cigar, then his own.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                I'm sure he will, if you say so, Carl.  But not as good
                                as you.


                                                                 CARL
                                                           (shrugs humbly)
                                Thank you, sir.

Carl blows a smoke ring.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                No need to thank me, Carl, you deserve it.  When
                                you first got here you were as worthless a punk as
                                I've ever seen, and let me tell you, I've had some
                                downright worthless punks in here.  But you were
                                different.  I could sense it in you right away, and I
                                always trust my instincts, Carl.  I'm never wrong.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (nods)
                                Yes, sir.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                Take that as a little lesson, son.  Trust your instincts
                                and you'll never go wrong.

                                                                 CARL
                                Yes, sir.  I will.

The Warden takes a serious puff of his cigar, blowing smoke toward the ceiling.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                So, what are your plans?

Carl puffs on his cigar.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (seriously)
                                Well, actually, Warden, it's the laundry business.
                                It's what I know best.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                                           (impressed)
                                That's true.  You do know the laundry business.
                                You're the best foreman I've ever had.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (relaxes)
                                Thank you, Warden.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                Laundry's a good business, Carl.  A staple business,
                                like food and funeral homes.
                                                           (he rolls the cigar
                                                           between his fingers)
                                People will always want clean clothes.  When I changed
                                this facility over from license plates to laundry, they
                                thought I was crazy.  Well, I showed them.  I made it
                                pay.  For everybody.
                                                           (he straightens his
                                                           diamond cuff links)
                                So, laundry, huh?  You have been paying attention,
                                Carl. I'm glad my instincts, once again, prove true.
                                You take the knowledge you've gained here and put
                                it to use and you'll be okay.

                                                                 CARL
                                I think I will, too.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                                           (smiles)
                                Well, good for you, Carl.  The best of luck.
                                                           (the Warden stands and
                                                           puts out his hand)
                                Goodbye, Carl.

Carl stands, plugs the cigar in his mouth, and shakes the Warden's hand.

                                                                 CARL
                                Goodbye, Warden.  And thank you.

The Warden's attention returns to his fly rod.

                                                                 WARDEN
                                Shut the door.

Carl turns and leaves.  The Warden nods his head, looking impressed.  The insolent smirk returns to Carl's face.  He throws a glance back at the Warden, then leaves his office, shutting the door, the cigar firmly clamped in his teeth.

3 INT. PRISON HALLWAY -- DAY 3

Carl steps back into the hall.  The Guard steps up beside him, accompanying him out of the building.

                                                                 GUARD
                                So, Matushka, you finally made it, eh?

                                                                 CARL
                                Yeah, I did.


4 EXT. PRISON -- DAY 4

Carl and the Guard step out of the building into the yard, the clanging, hissing machinery is still clearly audible.  A basketball game is going on directly outside, guards wander the sidelines.  Several cons pump weights.

                                                                 GUARD
                                                           (chuckles)
                                You think you're a tough-guy, but I heard you in
                                there with the Warden.  You're just a brown-nosed,
                                ass-kisser.  You been kissin' his ass since the day
                                you got here.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (smiles)
                                I got news for you, shit-for-brains, he runs this
                                place.

                                                                 GUARD
                                                           (honestly)
                                Ya know something, Matushka, I never liked you.
                                I always thought you was up to something and I
                                never trusted you.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (sarcastically)
                                Really?  I'm sorry to hear that.  I always thought a
                                lot of you.

                                                                 GUARD
                                Funny man.  You'll be back.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (seriously)
                                Oh no I won't!  You can trust that.

They pass other guards patrolling and other cons playing catch, working out, and killing time.  One CON in a group of three raises his fist in salute to Carl.

                                                                 CON #1
                                Carl!  My man!

Carl plugs the cigar in his mouth and raises his fist back.

                                                                 CARL
                                Keep the faith, brothers.
                                                           (there is a general
                                                           grunt of assent)
                                I'll look up all your wives and girlfriends and
                                let 'em know you miss 'em.

                                                                 CON #2
                                Fuck you!

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (grins)
                                Not anymore.

Carl and the Guard step up to a fence topped with a spiral of barbed concertina wire, pass another guard in a shack who opens the gate with an electronic buzz.  Carl steps outside the prison grounds.


5 EXT. PRISON/ OUTSIDE GATE -- DAY 5

The Guard shuts the gate and the sound of the hissing, clanging, humming machinery finally ceases.  It's now just the gentle sound of wind and birds.  Carl inhales deeply, grinning.  He flicks the foul cigar away from him.

                                                                 VOICE
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Carl!
Carl turns and sees . . .


6 EXT. PRISON PARKING LOT -- DAY 6

. . . A truck parked beside the fence, "Mobile Knife Sharpening" written on the side.  Out of the truck steps a big guy: six-foot-three, two hundred and ten pounds, bleached blonde hair in a buzz cut, a bald spot, and a missing tooth in front.  He's PATRICK.  He raises a football above his head.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Go out for it.

Patrick tosses the football to Carl who catches it.  Carl inspects the ball.

                                                                 CARL
                                Hey!  This is the Redford/Dondero game ball.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Yeah!  The big game.

Patrick and Carl hug, slapping each other on the back heartily.

                                                                 CARL
                                Patrick, my main man!

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Carl! Buddy!  Good t' see ya!

                                                                 CARL
                                You, too, man!  You, too!

Patrick and Carl look at each other.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Shit, man, the "dynamic'-duo" reunited.  I've
                                really looked forward to this day, man.  I didn't
                                think it was ever gonna happen.

                                                                 CARL
                                Why not?

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Hey, you did the time and I walked.  Five long
                                years.



                                                                 CARL
                                                           (nods)
                                Yeah, well, that's just how it goes, right?  I got
                                caught, you didn't.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                And you kept quiet.
                                                           (Carl nods)
                                I owe ya big time.

Carl reaches out and punches Patrick's arm.

                                                                 CARL
                                Hey!  We were best friends once.  We could be
                                again, right?

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Damn straight!  Nothin' can stop us now that were
                                back together.  They couldn't stop us on the foot-
                                ball field, on the basketball court, not even in the
                                water!  We are un-fucking-stoppable!

                                                                 CARL
                                Goddamn right!

They shake hands grabbing each other's forearms, then get into the truck.

7 INT. FRONT OF TRUCK -- DAY 7

Carl and Patrick get into the front of the truck.  Curtains block off the view to the back of the truck.  Carl turns to Patrick.

                                                                 CARL
                                So, everything's all set?

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Hey!  Paisan.  Trust me.
                                                           (Carl nods and Patrick
                                                           reaches under the seat)
                                Here.

He hands Carl a .38 caliber, snub-nose pistol.  Carl checks to see that it's loaded, then spins the cylinder.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                By the way, Tom backed out, but I got another
                                driver.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (alarmed)
                                What'dya mean?  Tom was all set.  Why?

                                                                 PATRICK
                                I don't know why, he didn't tell me.  He just called
                                and crapped out.  But I got someone else, so it's all
                                set.

                                                                 CARL
                                And he's cool?

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Sure he's cool.  No prob.  He'll be okay.  Every-
                                thing'll be okay now.  I'm so excited I'm giddy.
                                I haven't felt this way in years.

                                                                 CARL
                                Well calm down.  And the rest?

Patrick points toward the curtains leading into the back of the truck.  Carl nods, looks at his watch.

                                                                 CARL
                                All right.  We've got twenty-three minutes,
                                let's get goin'.

Patrick puts the truck in gear driving away from the prison.  Carl heads through the curtains . . .

8 INT. BACK OF TRUCK -- DAY 8

Carl goes to the back of the truck and finds a hooker, RANDI, with long blonde hair and a tight mini skirt, sitting on a cot.  Carl glances back at Patrick.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Bon appetit.

Carl grins, shutting the curtains.  Carl crosses the back of the truck and sits beside Randi on the cot.


                                                                 CARL
                                Hi.

                                                                 RANDI
                                Hi.

                                                                 CARL
                                What's your name?

                                                                 RANDI
                                Randi.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (nods approvingly)
                                Hmmm.  Look, I don't have a lot of time, so . . .

                                                                 RANDI
                                You've got an hour as far as I'm concerned.
                                                           (looks at her watch)
                                Starting from ten minutes ago.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (smiles)
                                Honestly, I don't think I'll need anywhere near
                                that long.

Randi narrows her eyes and points at Carl.

                                                                 RANDI
                                Do I know you?

                                                                 CARL
                                Not yet.

Carl reaches over and begins to unbutton Randi's blouse.  Carl's hands are shaking and he stops.

                                                                 CARL
                                It's been a long time.

Randi takes Carl's hand and sets it on her thigh.

                                                                 RANDI
                                Here, let me.

Randi unbuttons her blouse, revealing her bra.  Carl watches raptly.  Randi then unclasps her bra from in front and opens it revealing her breasts.  Carl's breathing speeds up.  Carl's hands reach for and envelope Randi's breasts, then he eases her back on the cot.  As Carl goes to kiss her, Randi turns away only letting him kiss her neck.

                                                                 RANDI
                                You'll smudge my lipstick.

They undo just enough clothing to accomplish the deed.  Randi reaches into her bag and removes a condom.  Without much further ado, Carl and Randi get down to screwing.  Carl humps away, attempting to release ten years worth of pent up aggression and angst.  This brutal bump and grind doesn't last very long.  However, when Carl climaxes he mistakenly pulls off Randi's wig -- she actually has short, dark hair.  Carl looks at her with recognition in his eyes.

                                                                 CARL
                                Janie Kochanski?
                                                           (Randi looks confused)
                                I'm Carl Matushka!

JANIE looks shocked.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Oh my God!  Carl?

They hear Patrick chuckle up front.  They both sit up, fastening their clothes.

                                                                 CARL
                                How have you been?

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (automatic)
                                Great.  You?

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (also on auto)
                                Great.
                                                           (they both stop themselves)
                                Well . . . actually, I just got outta jail.  Ten
                                years.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (shrugs)
                                Yeah, well . . . You see what I'm doin' for a
                                living.
                                                           (she reaches into her purse)
                                I'm working outcall.

Janie hands Carl a business card that says, "Femme Fatale Outcall Massage."  Carl looks at it, then up at Janie.

                                                                 CARL
                                You never gave me back my letter jacket.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (flatly)
                                No, I didn't.

                                                                 CARL
                                Huh!  Ya know, we didn't go out for very long
                                or anything, but somewhere in the back of my
                                mind I've always remembered you fondly, Janie.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (smiles)
                                As the girl who stole your letter jacket?

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (nods; smiling)
                                Right, among other things.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Well, I really had a thing for you, Carl, and you
                                dumped me really hard.

Carl looks blank.

                                                                 CARL
                                Huh?  I did?

                                                                 JANIE
                                And you don't even remember, do you?

                                                                 CARL
                                Hey!  I'm the one that recognized you.

                                                                 JANIE
                                But you don't remember what happened, right?

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (frowns)
                                Uh, no.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (shakes her head)
                                Figures.  You always were the most conceited
                                prick in the whole school.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (smiles nostalgically)
                                And the best looking.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (smiles)
                                That, too.  You haven't changed.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (sighs)
                                Oh, I have.  Ten years in the joint knocked some
                                of it outta me, but not all.
                                                           (Carl grins a wicked grin.
                                                           Janie falls for him again)
                                You still look good, Janie.  Real good.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Yeah, well, thanks.  It's all I got; what's left.

                                                                 CARL
                                So, what've you been up to?

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (chuckles)
                                Oh, ya know, this and that.  A life.
                                                           (shrugs)
                                It's a sad story that no one wants to hear.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (looks her in the eyes)
                                I'd listen to your sad story, if you'd listen to mine.

Janie looks straight at Carl.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Yeah?

                                                                 CARL
                                Yeah.

Janie looks at Carl long and hard, then points at him.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice,
                                shame on me.

                                                                 CARL
                                I'm not tryin' to fool you, Janie.  Honestly.

They have another long moment of simply looking at each other, then Janie puts out her hand.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Gimme that card back.

Carl is confused as hands the card over.

                                                                 CARL
                                What?

Janie takes the card, takes a pen from her purse and writes on the back of the card.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Here's my home address and phone number.
                                Stop by and see me sometime.

She hands him back the card.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (coughs)
                                You mean professionally or unprofessionally?

                                                                 JANIE
                                Which would you prefer?

Carl looks her up and down.

                                                                 CARL
                                Unprofessionally.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (defensively)
                                Don't think that means for free.  That's not what
                                I'm talkin' about.

                                                                 CARL
                                Me, either.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Okay.  But only if you want to, that is?

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (nods)
                                Right.  I do.  We'll go out.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (looks at him)
                                Really?

                                                                 CARL
                                Yeah, really.

                                                                 JANIE
                                You're not just sayin' it?

                                                                 CARL
                                No, I mean it.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (smiles)
                                Okay.

Janie stands, crosses the truck, pulls the curtain back and speaks to Patrick, who is grinning.

                                                                 JANIE
                                I hope you're amused, Patrick.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                I am.  I love reunions.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (points)
                                You can drop me off over there.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                You got it.

Janie shuts the curtains and turns back to Carl.

                                                                 JANIE
                                It was good to see you again, Carl.

                                                                 CARL
                                You, too, Janie.  Real good.
                                                           (waves the card)
                                I'll call you.

                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (sincerely)
                                Do.
                                                           (leans toward Carl)
                                What're you two up to?

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (acts innocent)
                                What?  Nothin'.

                                                                 JANIE
                                Sounds like you're about to pull a job.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (looks innocent)
                                No shit?

The truck stops.
                                                                 JANIE
                                                           (sincerely)
                                Be careful, okay?

                                                                 CARL
                                Sure.  Well . . .

                                                                 JANIE
                                And call me.

                                                                 CARL
                                I will.

                                                                 JANIE
                                'Bye.

                                                                 CARL
                                See ya.

They look at each other for a long moment . . .

                                                                 PATRICK
                                                           (interjecting)
                                I hate to intrude, but aren't we in kind of a
                                hurry?

Janie opens the curtains and exits the passenger door.  She jumps out of the truck holding her wig.  Carl waves at her as he climbs into the passenger seat.  Janie waves back, then walks away slinging the blonde wig over her shoulder.  Carl watches her mini-skirted derriere go sashaying off.  He sighs and shuts the door.

9 INT. FRONT OF TRUCK -- DAY 9

Patrick is grinning.  Carl punches him in the arm.  They continue driving.

                                                                 CARL
                                Son of a bitch!  You knew that was Janie
                                Kochanski.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                                           (nods)
                                Sure.  It was good to see her, right?

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (sighs)
                                Yeah, it was.  Real good.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Good.  Now, on with the show.

Carl looks at his watch.


                                                                 CARL
                                We've got fifteen minutes.

Patrick nods, then shakes his head.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                It's been a long damn time, hasn't it?

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (nods; thinks)
                                Yeah, well, ten years.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Shit, Carl, we were somethin' way back when.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (nods)
                                Yeah.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                We're gonna be again.

Carl looks out the window.

                                                                 CARL
                                It's so weird to be out, man.  Everything looks
                                so big.
                                                           (Carl smile fades)
                                I'm never goin' back, I can tell ya that!

                                                                 PATRICK
                                                           (changes subjects)
                                'Member the Brother Rice game when me and
                                you scored forty points?
                                                           (Carl nods)
                                Shit, man, they never saw nothin' like us.

                                                                 CARL
                                                           (nods)
                                Nope.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                And they never will again.

Carl smiles, but is obviously growing weary of the nostalgia.  Patrick turns the steering wheel, pulling the truck over to where a thin, long-haired freak waits at the corner.

                                                                 PATRICK
                                This is Donny, he's an old friend of mine.  He's
                                really smart.  He's like a genius.

DONNY comes walking up and he doesn't look very good: pale, nervous, shaky.

Carl turns to Patrick, concerned.

                                                                 CARL
                                What's his deal?  He looks like shit.  Is he a
                                junkie?

                                                                 PATRICK
                                Yeah, kind of, but he's got it under control.  It's
                                cool, really.

Carl looks skeptical.

                                                                 CARL
                                Oh yeah, real cool.  How smart can you be and be
                                a junkie?

                                                                 PATRICK
                                You'd be surprised.

Patrick puts his finger to his lips for quiet.  Donny gets in through the passenger door of the truck.  He actually looks worse close up.

                                                                 DONNY
                                                           (false gaiety)
                                Eh, guys, how's it goin'?

 

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