Saturday, April 8, 2017

Manananggal, or Hunting a Filipino Vampire in America

I decided to adapt my manananggal story into a screenplay to be my experiment/dialogue thing for class. Pardon the mistakes with the screenplay formatting. It's been a while since I wrote a screenplay and I'm forgetting a lot of the rules.

          EXT. AMELIA'S NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT

          The suburban city is quiet. The houses pristine carbon copies
          of each other. The streetlights shine with the exception of
          one flickering on and off. Hedges and bushes line the yards
          in front of the houses. The crickets chirp once in a while. A
          faint scream is heard from offscreen.

          AMELIA CRUZ (early 20s), Filipina wannabe vampire hunter
          stalks down the sidewalk. She wears heavy boots, gloves,
          elbow and kneepads, and has a large backpack on her back. Her
          face shows that she is focused and concentrating.

          She crouches low and somersaults into a nearby bush. Her hair
          gets snagged and she struggles with untangling it from the
          bush.

                              AMELIA
                         (to herself)
                    Good going, Amelia. Your first night
                    out hunting, and you forgot the first
                    rule.

          She pulls at her hair and succeeds at freeing it.

                              AMELIA
                         (tying back her hair)
                    Rule number one: keep your hair in a
                    bun.

          A loud stream of clicking and ticking noises pierces through
          the air. Amelia flinches in response.

                              AMELIA
                         (nervous)
                    Okay, you got this Amelia. Remember
                    everything you learned. Your parents
                    were the best hunters in their day.
                    You can do this. You are born for
                    greatness!

          She pulls out a wooden stake out of her backpack and gives it
          a quick kiss before brandishing it with the point away from
          her face like a dagger.

          Amelia leaps out of the bush with a weak war cry. She stops.
          She looks around, confused.

                              AMELIA
                    I swear it sounded like it was right
                    here.

          The ticking noises grow softer. Amelia's shoulders sag in
          disappointment.

                              AMELIA
                         (sighing)
                    Man, now that sucks.

          Amelia puts the stake back in her backpack. She walks back to
          where she came from, her feet dragging on the floor.

          A human-like FIGURE approaches behind Amelia without her
          noticing. The figure begins to make soft clicking and ticking
          sounds.

          Amelia throws up her hands into the air and grunts in
          frustration.

                              AMELIA
                    Great, now it sound like it's even
                    further away. There's no way I'm
                    going to catch it now.

          Amelia and the figure walk under the light of a streetlight.
          Amelia notices the extra shadow of the figure behind her. The
          figure is revealed to have a long tongue that touches the
          floor and unkempt hair.

          Amelia turns around and stares at the figure in shock.

                              AMELIA
                         (scared and confused)
                    You're not a vampire. I was told you
                    were a vampire.

          The figure screeches and grabs for Amelia. Amelia trips over
          her own feet and falls to the floor out of reach.

          Amelia opens her backpack and grabs the first thing she
          touches without looking and throws it at the figure. The
          figure screeches and leaps away from Amelia.

          Amelia looks at the object she threw and sees that it was
          garlic.

                              AMELIA
                    Huh. So you ARE a vampire.

          The figure continues to screech. It separates its torso from
          its legs. Its top half flies away into the sky on bat wings
          while the bottom half runs off in an opposite direction.

          Amelia's face scrunches in disgust.

                              AMELIA
                    Ew.

          INT. AMELIA'S HOUSE - DAY

          Amelia, in pajamas, sits at the dining room table staring at
          her mug of coffee. Her eyes are baggy from lack of sleep.

          AMELIA'S MOM (late 40s) enters the dining room with a plate
          of pancakes and a bottle of syrup. She sits across from
          Amelia. Amelia grabs for the pancakes, but her mom slaps her
          hand out of the way.

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    Mine.

                              AMELIA
                         (begging)
                    Can I have one? Please?

          Her mom rolls her eyes and hands Amelia one. Amelia takes it
          and nibbles on it like a cookie.

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    It's better with syrup.

                              AMELIA
                    Not when I'm eating it like this. Too
                    sticky.

          Amelia's mom shakes her head. She drizzles syrup on her own
          pancakes and cuts into them with a fork and knife.

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    You came home very late yesterday.

                              AMELIA
                    You know I was out on my first night
                    of hunting.

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    So did you kill it?

                              AMELIA
                    No.

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    Why not?

                              AMELIA
                    You should have seen it, Mommy! It
                    was ugly, and it didn't have any
                    fangs, and it cut itself in half
                    before escaping! That was nasty! I'm
                    not even entirely sure it was a
                    vampire!

          Her mom stops cutting into her pancakes and looks at Amelia.
          Amelia huffs out a hard breath and returns to nibbling on her
          own pancake.

                              AMELIA
                         (quickly with mouth full)
                    But it hated garlic. And it also flew
                    away on bat wings. Maybe it's a
                    demon? Should I call Erik? He sucks
                    less at hunting than I do, but then
                    again demons don't really need as
                    many tools to deal with them as
                    vampires --

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    Stop that. I barely understand you.

          Amelia swallows the pancake morsel in her mouth.

                              AMELIA
                    Sorry. What do you think it was?

          Amelia's mom smiles and leans in even closer.

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    Manananggal.

                              AMELIA
                    What? Manananggal means mung beans,
                    right?

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                         (shaking her head)
                    That's monggo, Amelia. A manananggal
                    is a vampire.

          Amelia stares at her mom silent with a brow raised. Her mouth
          gapes slightly.

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    From the Philippines.

          Amelia ahs and nods.

          She scrunches her eyebrows together. She stares at her mug of
          coffee before her.

          Her face lights up.

                              AMELIA
                         (finally understanding)
                    Oh!
                         (confused)
                    Wait, from the Philippines? Why is it
                    here in America then? Shouldn't a
                    Filipino vampire hunter deal with it
                    then? They'd probably know more that
                    I do.

          Amelia's mom looks at her pointedly.

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    Drink your coffee. Your brain isn't
                    quite awake yet, darling.

          Amelia takes a sip of her coffee.

                              AMELIA
                    What did I say?

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    As far as I know, our family is the
                    only one that are both of Philippine
                    descent and hunt vampires.

                              AMELIA
                    Oh.
                         (beat)
                    Well, crap. I'm guessing you're not
                    going to kill it?

                              AMELIA'S MOM
                    I'm too old for that now.

                              AMELIA
                    Then do you have any advice?

          EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - DAY

          Amelia sits on a bench alone reading a book with the picture
          of the mananangaal on the cover. She wears her hunting outfit
          from the night before. Light foot traffic around the college
          campus passes by Amelia. Some give her strange looks, eyes
          lingering on her elbow and kneepads.

          ERIK SANTOS, (early 20s) drags his feet toward the bench and
          tosses his backpack on the ground at his feet. He takes a
          seat beside Amelia. He looks at what Amelia is reading. He
          groans in disgust.

                              ERIK
                         (annoyed and disappointed)
                    Not again. Don't tell me you want me
                    to help you with another one.

                              AMELIA
                    Quit complaining.

                              ERIK
                    I thought you called me to help you
                    with homework.

                              AMELIA
                    It IS homework. It's work that I do
                    for home.

                              ERIK
                    But every time you ask for my help,
                    you use me as bait.

                              AMELIA
                    That's because you do the same with
                    me. I mean, you owe me big time for
                    the last one.

                              ERIK
                    Being possessed isn't as bad as
                    having your neck bitten into.

                              AMELIA
                    Of course not. It's worse.

                              ERIK
                    But it wasn't forever! I still
                    haven't found a good ointment for the
                    neck scars for that near-miss the
                    other time.

          Erik pulls down the neck of his shirt to show Amelia the two
          raised lumps of scar tissue hiding underneath.

                              AMELIA
                    Hey, hey. Don't get riled up before I
                    even tell you my plan! I promise
                    there isn't any neck-biting involved
                    this time.

          Erik sighs.

                              ERIK
                    Fine. So tell me the plan.

                              AMELIA
                    It involves a lot of salt and a very
                    clever disguise.

          EXT. AMELIA'S NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT

          Erik wears a wig and a long, loose dress complete with a
          busty, stuffed bra underneath. Amelia inspects the contents
          of her backpack one by one.

                              ERIK
                         (straightening wig)
                    If this is your idea of a clever
                    disguise --

                              AMELIA
                    Do I hear complaining? Or is that the
                    sound of your sociology project grade
                    going up in flames?

                              ERIK
                    You wouldn't... It's your project
                    too, you know.

                              AMELIA
                    I'm not the one with the failing
                    grade in that class, Erik. I can
                    afford to lose a few points.

          Erik stares at her silently.

                              ERIK
                    You suck.

          Loud sounds of ticking and clicking start up.

                              ERIK
                    Is that...

                              AMELIA
                    Yup.

                              ERIK
                    It sounds like it's right on top of
                    us.

                              AMELIA
                    It tricked me there, too. Apparently,
                    it does that to confuse its prey.
                    When the sound grows softer, that's
                    when you should start worrying.

          Amelia pulls out a round pillow out of her backpack.

                              AMELIA
                    Here.

          She hands the pillow to Erik. Erik stuffs the pillow under
          his dress over his stomach and fluffs it.

                              ERIK
                    Why does it like pregnant women
                    again?

                              AMELIA
                    Why do vampires like blood? Look, I
                    don't know all the answers. I just
                    kill them.

                              ERIK
                    But really, why pregnant women?

                              AMELIA
                    I heard its favorite meal is a baby
                    fetus.

          Erik gapes his mouth and looks at Amelia with a start.

                              ERIK
                         (in disbelief)
                    Really?

          The ticking sounds grow softer.

                              AMELIA
                    Hey, looks like the disguise is
                    working. I'll be in this bush.

          Amelia packs up her supplies and crouches into the bush.

                              ERIK
                    This Mongol is an idiot if this
                    disguise works.

                              AMELIA (O.S.)
                    Manananggal, Erik.

                              ERIK
                    Whatever.

          The sounds of the monster grow fainter.

                              ERIK
                    That's really creepy. You sure that
                    means it's getting closer?

                              AMELIA (O.S.)
                         (hushed tones)
                    Shh. It can hear you.

          The sounds cease. Erik's knees shake underneath his dress.

                              ERIK
                         (whispering)
                    Please don't bite me. Please don't
                    bite me. If you bite me I'm going to
                    scream and pee in my pants and we're
                    all going to have a bad day.

                              AMELIA (O.S.)
                         (whispering)
                    Were you saying something to me? I
                    can't hear you.

                              ERIK
                         (still whispering)
                    I hate you.

                              AMELIA (O.S.)
                         (laughing)
                    Good, let the hate consume you as you
                    help me send that creature back to
                    hell.

          A loud screech pierces the air. A figure descends into the
          bush that Amelia hid herself in.

                              ERIK
                    Amelia!

          Sounds of scuffling emanate form the bush as it shakes from
          Amelia wrestling against the manananggal

                              AMELIA (O.S.)
                         (strained)
                    Crap! You were supposed to get Erik,
                    not me!

          Erik grabs into the bush and pulls both Amelia and the
          monster out. Amelia's foot digs into the chin of the
          manananggal, keeping its gaping mouth from getting any
          closer.

                              AMELIA
                    Stop! I don't bend that way!

          The monster's long tongue licks Amelia's face as it hisses.
          Amelia gags in response.

                              AMELIA
                    Erik! Do something!

          Erik holds the monster by the waist and attempts to wrench it
          away from Amelia. The monster separates its body into two,
          leaving Erik with only a pair of legs as Amelia continues to
          deal with the upper half.

          Erik drops the legs to the floor. He wipes his hands on his
          dress.

                              ERIK
                         (shaking his head)
                    Nope. Nope. Nope. Not gonna deal with
                    that nonsense. Nope.

          He begins to walk away.

                              AMELIA
                    Erik!

          Erik waves goodbye to Amelia.

                              ERIK
                    It was nice knowing you for all these
                    years. It's been fun.

                              AMELIA
                    Erik! The salt!

          Erik scrunches his face in confusion. He pulls out a shaker
          of salt from his stuffed bra.

                              ERIK
                         (in realization)
                    Oh. Right.

          He unscrews the cap of the shaker and pours it generously on
          the severed waist of the monster's legs.

          Amelia grunts in exertion as her hand reaches out to her
          backpack nearby and pulls out a sack of garlic. She stuffs it
          in the monster's face.

          The monster lets out a shriek and flies away, leaving its
          legs behind.

          Amelia relaxes on the ground as she catches her breath.

                              AMELIA
                         (panting)
                    Yeah, you better leave!

                              ERIK
                    So it's supposed to shrivel and die
                    when the sun comes out?

                              AMELIA
                    That's what my mom and the book said.
                    It can't join back together because
                    of the salt.

                              ERIK
                         (shaking his head)
                    Vampires are weird. I'll stick with
                    demons and devils, thanks.

          Erik plays with a strand hair of his wig and picks at the
          seam at the side of his dress. He looks up, contemplative.

                              ERIK
                    Now that I think of it --

                              AMELIA
                         (breathless)
                    Don't.
                         (beat)
                    Don't think of it.

                              ERIK
                    Mr. Curtis said his cat's been acting
                    weird lately.

          Amelia groans and covers her face with her hands.

                              AMELIA
                         (dejectedly)
                    I'll bring the mop.

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