Monday, August 29, 2011
The Cheap Seats
Hey there, crime kids. Happy Monday. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.
In Chapter 11 of WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, private eye Carrie Love has some time to kill before she questions murdered producer Harvey Flender's employees, so she heads over to a local dive bar ... and runs right into Harvey's violent business partner, Roland Yavo ...
EXT. WILSHIRE BOULEVARD - BANK - DAY
Carrie wheels her monster Olds down Wilshire going East.
Henry Mancini’s THE BIG BLOWOUT rocks the sub-woofers.
I had time to kill.
But I was on that stretch of
Wilshire just west of Bundy,
a real no-man’s land.
The cheap seats,
where the streets have no name.
I had an itch that needed scratching,
but I was lost in a canyon of fast food joints,
shitty storefronts and low-end office towers.
But no bars.
WAIT a minute.
She suddenly WHEELS the car in a U-turn.
Heads back west.
EXT. BAR - DAY
Carrie pulls up to a small, old-school dive. Sign reads:
THE OFFICE. OPEN 6 AM. GET YOUR DAY STARTED RIGHT.
INT. THE OFFICE - DAY
Tequila-soaked Tex-Mex on the juke.
The Iguana’s OYE ISABEL.
Very dark. A bit dank. And dead.
Two OLD REGULARS sit at end of the long bar
glued to some Mexican soap opera on the TV.
Carrie takes a stool at the other end, near the door.
Beside a big, red leather booth.
A large PONYTAILED BIKER-LOOKING BARTENDER ambles over.
Draft and a double shot of Kessler’s.
PONYTAILED BIKER BARTENDER
Comin’ right up.
(goes to get it)
I remember you.
You’re the one that talks like Bogart.
You sang that song about fucking on karaoke night.
He slides over a cold one and a large shot glass.
She DOWNS it. Take a long pull from the bottle.
‘I Might Like You Better If We Slept Together.’
Uh-huh. And I’ve got a girlfriend.
Those are the lyrics from the song.
‘Never Say Never.’ Romeo Void. 1982.
I knew that.
The front door OPENS.
In walks Roland Yavo, and --
A SKINNY CREOLE MAN (40’s), stick-thin,
dapper in that decayed New Orleans
underworld kinda way.
Pencil moustache frames a
smug whisper of a smile.
Meet HUB FLOWER.
They take seats in the booth right behind Carrie.
Yavo squints in the darkness. Checks out the joint.
Axel shuffles over to the table.
What’ll it be, gents?
Hub raises his hand.
A pinky ring glistens.
Mint Julep, my good man.
Sorry. How about a Long Island Ice Tea?
Hub nods. Smiles.
You got single-malt scotch?
We got Johnny Walker. Red.
Axel leaves. Yavo glowers.
Carrie strains to listen.
It’s one thing to add a million, two maybe --
but you’ve got the budget at eighteen.
On a four-million dollar picture.
My boys are running for reelection.
And I have to make sure the tax incentive --
Axel returns with their drinks.
Hub pulls out a big bankroll.
I’ve got it.
(hands Axel a twenty)
Keep the change.
Listen, Flower -- the FBI has been up my ass
so far we’ve been picking out CHINA PATTERNS.
And since that stupid fuck Flender
got himself killed,
the place has been crawling with cops --
Relax, Roland. It’s just a grand jury.
No charges have been pressed.
We just need you to testify --
(drains his drink)
TESTIFY? Like HELL.
You’re destroying my REPUTATION.
I’ve produced over A HUNDRED movies.
I’m a GOD in this town!
I know, Roland.
You and Harvey, over a hundred credits --
(strange, big smile)
Such a shame about Harvey --
Don’t you DARE fucking THREATEN me!
He FLINGS the glass across the room -- CRASH.
Hey! What THE FUCK do you think YOU’RE DOING?!
Axel appears. Livid. Beet-red.
Keep your shirt on. I’ll pay for it.
We’re discussing something private.
Get the fuck out of my face.
WHAT did you say?
I said, GET -- THE FUCK -- OUT -- of MY FACE!
No, YOU get out -- NOW.
You gonna try and make me?
He stands. All five-foot-four inches.
Oh. So you’re a tough guy.
Yavo pulls out a long-barrelled COLT-45 REVOLVER.
Do you know who I AM?
Fucking trailer park piece of SHIT?
The barrel of a large, gleaming GLOCK
rests against Yavo’s temple.
The safety CLICKS.
comes into frame.
Holding the weapon with both hands.
Dust it, Yavo. Drop the heater.
(drops his gun)
Fucking cunt. What are YOU doing here?
(picks it up, empties the bullets, hands it back)
One of life’s little mysteries, short-stuff.
Call it karma. Kismet. Candid Camera.
I really don’t give a fuck.
He’s all yours, sport
Axel GRABS Yavo by the arms.
Drags him toward the door --
Get your fucking hands OFF ME.
And THROWS him into the street. Flower does a take.
Bows slightly, and high-tails it out of there.
Nice piece. You a cop or something?
Something like that --