Cumberlain Rattlesnake | Script Revolution
Cumberlain Rattlesnake's picture
Cumberlain Rattlesnake
Los Angeles, United States

(Partial interview, G. Shuey, newspaperwoman, Wash. State, Dec 2020; Full interview on soon, unless Podcast picked-up by xxx.)

You have a very odd name…

Well, Grampa got off the boat, and in those days, you were literally force-fed into Ellis Island’s de-lousing station and then sorting, where Commies were shipped back to where they came from, after they were mostly de-loused. Well, it was Sonnier, but the Immigration Agent had a magical understanding of the  French language, and this agent decided that the correct translation was to be Rattlesnake, when it should have been more like Bell-ringer, … or maybe Doorbell, but NOT Rattlesnake.


Well, my French is not so good. I was raised Canadian-American. So Grampa exits the Ellis Island complex, gets onto another boat, and next stop is New York City. He waits his turn and then exits the boat with a crowd of people. He noticed at once that people were physically plucked from the crowd, and either put immediately to work, or …. My Grampa thought that many were just up-and-up kidnapped.

Kidnapped? In broad daylight?

Well, he was just off the boat, spoke maybe two English words, and people would look at your name tag given to you by an agent on Ellis Island, and then ignore you, or they would grab you off the street. Men and women, not too many children. But my Grampa noticed that people would look at his nametag and grimace or move back, often in fear, as if Grampa were some sort of fiend or a carrier of the plague. My Grampa thought that maybe the Immigration Officer had written a bad word or phrase, but it turned out, that he wrote out “RATTLESNAKE” thus, Grampa, formerly Mr. Jean Sonnier, became Mr. Johnny Rattlesnake. And people feared to tread on him, so to speak, for the rest of his life. In some ways, he had to live up to the name.

Live up to the Rattlesnake surname?

Yes, many times, he would explosively lash out at a rival or an out-of-line colleague, and grab their collar and smack them around, just like Jimmy Cagney, so that his persona, the Johnny Rattlesnake persona, was preserved; kept him out of a lot of fights.

I see, and your screenplay Gat Finger resulted from this pain?

No, not at all. One day I read that writers should be able to write about their most significant tragedy of their life, because no one else could live in their shoes, yada yada, yada. At first, I thought the exercise was half-witted, but I trudged on, and I really looked at myself, very deep. I realized that I never really dealt with the hand-pain. I mean, I’ve experienced it for 50 years, but I never really dealt with it, as if it were real. So, I revisited the pain and imagined what might have been, if I was injured in the 1880’s, where there would be no modern medical care. No plastic surgery. No possibility to heal normally.

And then your struggles became the Gat Finger story?

Yes. I added family lore and a boatload of gore and some of the surgical details I remember. And, thus I bore the GAT FINGER.

The protagonist’s name is Gat Finger?

All superheroes have a pseudonym. Bruce Wayne is Batman; Tony Stark is Iron Man; Banksy is … … Banksy. Gat Finger, the superhero, is the name given to him by the man who saved his life.

And Gat Finger story has a heroine?

Yes, Becky, she too, was hideously maimed as a child, and they have a very deep attraction and they develop a fierce bond and loyalty to each other. As if they were made for each other, which of course, they were, because I made them.

(Gen Shuey is a well known writer from the Pacific Northwest. Her writings have appeared in lofty journals, such as the Goldendale Sentinal,  and a few of her pieces have been picked up by international wire services.)


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Scripts By Cumberlain

Gat Finger
A grievously mutilated young man falls for a burn-scared young woman. Before they can settle down, the ruthless gang, who shot his eye out, murdered his family, must be brought to justice.
Feature Action, Adventure, Western For sale 109pp
13 readers love this script
The Devil Inside
Sanitation worker fights the devil in a port-a-potty.
Short Comedy, Drama For sale 10pp
5 readers love this script
Last Chance 1863
Modern Boyhood friends time-travel to the U.S. Civil War and accidently allow a murderous Confederate spy to re-arm the South with modern munitions.
Feature Action, Adventure, History, War For sale 112pp
2 readers love this script
Magic Stash
Facial-hair challenged young man trades tip monies for hair-raising elixir.
Short Drama For sale 13pp
1 reader loves this script
The Disfigurement
Woman meets up with her long-lost Step-father, to pay some bills, right some wrongs. Meet their maker.
Short Film-Noir For sale 17pp
1 reader loves this script
Busted-Hand Broken-Nose
Blonde bombshell MMA fighter must work through a busted nose, while her skilled opponent must deal with a broken hand.
Short Action For sale 10pp
1 reader loves this script
Better Not Mess With Santa
What might happen if Santa were delayed by Class-B Superheroes on Christmas Eve?
Short Adventure, Animation For sale 36pp
1 reader loves this script
Butch vs. The General
Union Canine disregards orders, attacks a cowardly mounted Confederate General and in the process wins the affection of battle-hardened Union troopers.
Short Action For sale 4pp
Persian Cowboy
Two cowboys enter a bar. One orders whiskey, the other hot tea. One takes offense. Do the cowboys shoot or find a way to coexist? Comedy short contained
Short Action, Comedy For sale 7pp
Flesh Cops Of Bel Aire
The revolution is done now. A year has past. Meat in Los Angeles is outlawed. Vegan is the law.
Short Comedy, Drama For sale 17pp