PRIEST Script Review
Category: Priest News (Archived) | Posted by: admin
Article Date: October 30, 2006 | Publication: LatinoReview.Com | Author: El Mayimbe
Script by Cory Goodman
Based on the graphic novel by Min-Woo Hyung
Yo El Mayimbe here. Happy Halloween! Feliz Dia de los Muertos. Anybody trick or treating? I’m going to a cemetery in Hollywood later for some scary festive fun.
Anyway, earlier last week in the news, a researcher has come up with some simple math that sucks the life out of the vampire myth, proving that these highly popular creatures can't exist. His logic? On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was 536,870,911. If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by Feb. 1, 1600. A month later there would have been four, and so on. In just two-and-a-half years the original human population would all have become vampires with nobody left to feed on.
Bummer, huh? Well, at least vampires are alive and well in the movies. Case in point? One of the hottest specs and writing samples from last year – Cory Goodman’s PRIEST that starts shooting this month actually and is being directed by Andrew Douglas (The Amityville Horror) with Gerard Butler starring.
So what is the verdict? The script is hot! Screen Gems definitely has a winner on their hands! After reading the garbage that was The Warriors, it was cool to get bloody entertained with a good read. When you read so many bad scripts, it is always the great ones that come along every now and then and lift your spirits and get you excited all over again as a reader.
Now the vampire thing isn’t really my thing, I enjoyed the Blade films, especially the first one, but vampires kind of got played out for me at least. My colleagues ranted about how good this script was so of course I had to take a peek. What Goodman did was put a different spin and an interesting take on the whole vampire movie genre.
So what is the setup in Priest?
This is what is known: There has always been man and there have always been vampires. Since the beginning, the two have been locked forever in combat. The vampires were quicker, stronger and had the gift of flight. But man had the sun. And so it went like this over many years. As man and vampire both evolved, the wars became bloodier.
Then came THE PRIESTS.
Specially trained warriors in the art of vampire combat. They single-handedly turned the tide for the humans. Over time the vampire threat faded. The once fierce race now fatally diminished. A shadow of what they once were. The remaining vampires were put into camps and by the decree of the High Clergy, the Priests disbanded. The former warriors to be integrated as members of regular society. The human race thrived in relative quiet. The vampire menace quickly forgotten for other more modern threats and the few remaining Priests faded into quiet obscurity.
So think of Priests as God’s shitkickers! They have large cross tattoos across their faces – cutting across the eyes and down the center. Their technique is otherworldly, combing the brutality of a Maori Warrior with the grace of a Samurai.
Think of Mad Max as a vampire killer!
What is cool is that in the story is that, the vampire population is on the endangered species list and protected by the federal government. The Priests did too good a job. All occurrences of vampire disobedience and felonies are strictly a Federal matter. There is the Vampire Protection Act, which states it is forbidden for anyone to hunt vampires anymore! That alone is original.
In the opening, we meet AARON PACE and his wife SHANNON and their daughter LUCY as they prepare to eat supper. A gang of vampire bikers kills Sharon and kidnap Lucy. What is the significance? Lucy is the niece of our hero PRIEST that we meet in the next scene as he roughs up a couple of factory workers who try and take advantage of a girl. The Priest folds his hands into a prayer position and says a prayer before he disables the gang. It’s what I call; let’s show how badass our hero is in his first scene, in Joseph Campbell terms, I guess the ordinary world scene. You seen the scene countless times, especially in cop movies, but you know what? They’re effective and in Priest it works quite well.
Our bad ass Priest goes visits his bosses – The Clergy who are a group of monsignors all in there 70s. Priest wants his authority reinstated because of what happened to his niece. The head monsignor ORELAS refuses because the vampires are federally protected like I said earlier. Priest leaves. Later, in a Soup Kitchen, FATHER KOEPPEN and a group of troopers in riot gear try to detain our badass to stop him from going after his niece but he manages to escape. He goes to storage, gets his badass bike, prays for forgiveness and for what he is about to do and leaves for the wasteland.
Along the way, a 22-year-old SHERIFF HICKS and the last of the Priests - A PRIESTESS, join our Priest in his journey to rescue Lucy and uncover the truth behind the kidnapping.
It’s pretty simple, some vampire wants to upset the status quo and make the vampire race the dominant species on the planet again but before they do, they have to face off with PRIEST! The Priests have this ungodly speed in combat and they can pretty much disarm you before you even know it. Take the gun out of your hands kind of thing as you raise the gun to fire.
Like I said, a very effective kick ass vampire action movie that was well written and well paced. I wasn’t surprised whatsoever when this was one of last year’s biggest specs sales and now on the fast track to becoming a real movie soon. A really short development history because of how well executed the writing and storytelling was. Me personally, I dug Gerard Butler in The Phantom of The Opera and can totally see him easing into what will be his biggest profile role to date. Check this out for sure when it rolls sometime in 2008 and look for further developments from us on this as the movie gets made.
Happy Halloween everyone!
HASTA EL PROXIMO CAPITULO…
…YO SOY EL MAYIMBE!