Condenser by Rob Dunphy | Script Revolution


This Halloween a TED-Talks addicted drug lord must contend with a distributor turned informant, double-crossing henchmen, and an overdosed girl’s specter, whom all want him dead. In the vein of The Hateful Eight.



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A contained thriller/horror with supernatural elements, mild drug use and moderate violence, guns and some torture. The story is contained to a single house and largely unfolds in a home office/family room. The cast consists of a main character and an ensemble of supporting actors which can be of any race. There are limited special effects specific to carnage and gunfire.
Rowdy was a high school derelict and loner. His only friend Wes hoped that Rowdy would someday grasp the importance a higher education instead of the simple pleasure of getting high. Sadly, Rowdy became the exact person his dad warned him about. Abandoned by his parents, he’s an unwelcome guest in his grandmother’s home. Jobless and broke, he gets by on the few dollars he earns as a small-time dope dealer.
Wes encourages Rowdy to place emphasis on his education and begin with free online self-help videos called TedTalks. Driven by an airplane glue high and a miserable SAT score, Rowdy brutally murders his grandmother.
Things fall into place as Rowdy embraces the power of TedTalks. He uses the life lesson to deal with difficult people and sales gimmicks to expand his drug dealings.
Scutter, a local kingpin, takes a liking to Rowdy and bestowed the virtues of leadership. As an onboarding gift, Scutter gives Rowdy an autographed photograph of motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Scutter emphasizes the importance of your personal appearance and Rowdy begins to change how he carries himself.
Rowdy leverages the power of Ted Talks and Tony Robbins to wean himself off airplane glue. As he builds a respectable crew, his home décor and wardrobe gaudily improve. His home-office makeover which includes an elaborate throne, the antique rotary phone which he killed his grandmother, and a TV to watch his Ted Talks.

Rowdy exchanges intelligence on other gangs and even on his own people for police protection. To conceal his double-crossing, Rowdy cuts a finger off one of his own people.
Unfortunately, in narco-trafficking, everyone’s dreams are short lived. Everyone knows Rowdy’s days are numbered. His disenfranchised supplier has flipped and works for dirty cops. His devious girlfriend wants to run off with his burnt-out distributor. His security team wants to rob him.
Hayden joined the police with hopes to make the streets safe for Ansley, his teenage daughter. He’s troubled by the dirty antics of his supervisor Detective Box.
In spite of his efforts, Ansley dies by overdose. Torn by his loss, Hayden becomes a loose cannon. On this miserable Halloween night, Ansley has returned and she compels Hayden to avenge her death.
Rowdy offers career counseling to a poor performer which translates to his henchmen using a lopper to remove a finger. Rowdy discusses sales incentives which is when a henchman strangles a poor performer.
Rowdy detects something amiss as a door slams and the lights flicker and dim. He alerts at subtle hints of a presence as a drink inexplicable spills, a chair topples, gravity changes and time distorts.
Hayden forces entry and tapes a shotgun to Rowdy’s head. He demands that Rowdy summon Scutter. Rowdy hears Tony Robbins words of wisdom in his head. Tony cautions Rowdy and helps him negotiate this delicate scene.
When Scutter arrives, Hayden blasts him with the shotgun. Scutter’s death effectively ends Ansley’s control over Hayden. Hayden realizes he killed someone and panics.
A henchmen recognizes Hayden as a cop and believes Rowdy double-crossed him.
Rowdy realizes how his fragile empire was about to collapse. He offers to walk away and cites a Ted Talks life lesson. The pivotal moment takes everyone by surprise and is met with disbelief.
A Stand Off.
A small fridge condenser fails and its compressor clicks. Hayden’s finger jerks and initiates a full ensemble shoot-out.
Hayden is shot. As he dies, he sees Ansley and they exchange ominous words.
The seemingly last man standing is shot by a responding police officer.
Box stands over a seemingly dead Rowdy. Box kicks him and Rowdy jumps. Acting on Tony’s advice, Rowdy played possum to survive. Rowdy announces intent to follow Wes’ advice and make his dad proud by pursue a doctoral degree. He reveals his reason for being a cold-blooded drug dealer was to save money for tuition and avoid student loans.
The story is contained to Rowdy’s home office with rare cuts to the driveway, the street and sidewalk, and the entryway. This can work well with no FX

Submitted: May 21, 2019
Last Updated: September 19, 2021

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The Writer: Rob Dunphy

Rob is an emerging independent screenwriter specializing in the feature thrillers. Rob lives in Los Angeles you may find him at work with a cup of coffee at Urth Cafe. Rob is interested in collaborating, OWA and getting your idea to draft. Go to bio

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