Henry Porter by Lee Krempel | Script Revolution

Henry Porter



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inspired by Bob Dylan's song "Brownsville Girl"
An enigmatic Nietzschean contract killer dominates everyone who comes in contact with him. But after a seemingly "normal kill," things begin to spiral out of control for him as his very life and sanity are threatened by encroaching forces both human...and supernatural.

"Henry Porter" plays with the traditional three act structure just a little bit. It is divided roughly into two halves:

HALF ONE: We follow Henry Porter, a mysterious yet magnetic contract killer, as he embarks on what seems to him an "easy job." We see his routines, his limited relationships (with his fascinating boss James and a smart ass priest Father Gregory), and his method. Along the way, Henry is revealed to be more than a contract killer, but perhaps a truly psychotic menace whose obsession with Ahab from "Moby-Dick" belies darker, more sinister philosophies about life and death.

As Henry travels from big city Baltimore to a small rural town to assassinate an unaware Everyman (Tom), he begins to take on an almost mythic quality, as if he's the Nietzschean Übermensch stalking among mere mortals. The first half culminates in what feels like a quiet climax as Henry and Tom meet at a pub. Their dialogue is multilayered as Henry subtly reveals himself over the course of the conversation. By the end of the first half, Henry kills poor Tom by poisoning him. However, something about the way Tom dies - praying, even dignified - will pave the way for a truly unexpected second half.

***Notes of interest: Terrifying dream sequences, James (the boss) is an African American and former Captain in the Marines, Henry is a former Marine, the body count in Half One is between 2-4 depending on your interpretation of two scenes.

HALF TWO: Soon after settling back into his routines, Henry begins "seeing" Tom pop up in various places. Before long, he begins seeing a dozen more Spirits...those of previous kills. A stubborn and intellectual person, Henry tries in vain to force them out of his mind. This struggle leads up to a very emotional and raw moment where, frustrated and fearful at his inability to rationalize away the Spirits, Henry literally decimates one of the walls in his apartment with his fists and head.

After some time, Henry reluctantly begins to talk to Father Gregory, a priest from a local parish.

Meanwhile, James grows increasingly concerned at Henry's erratic behavior and lack of communication. James has Henry tailed by another one of his contractors, Grungy Joe.

Over the course of Half Two, all of these forces converge. On one side Henry, Father Gregory, and the Spirits try to sort out how to move forward; on the other, a concerned James and Grungy Joe plot to eliminate Henry before his increasingly unhinged behavior takes them down too.

Half Two culminates in 2 fast moving, quiet action scenes: One in which Henry maims Grungy Joe in a cat-and-mouse chase that's as suspenseful as it is smart, and another an emotionally satisfying rooftop standoff between Henry and his boss and former mentor James.

In the end, we leave Henry 2 years later (and looking haggard) somewhere in the desert west running a vehicle wrecking lot, still living with (and talking to) the dozens of Spirits that cling to him.

Cast #: 12-20
Locations #: 20+ (could be modified for budget)
Budget #: Medium
Rating Estimate: R for violence and language
Tonal Influences: Cormac McCarthy & Coen Bros (No Country for Old Men), Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment), Laughton (The Night of the Hunter)

Submitted: September 4, 2016
Last Updated: June 4, 2018

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Lee Krempel's picture

The Writer: Lee Krempel

35 years old. English Department Head and teacher at a public high school. Former stage actor. Lucky husband. Writer. Lee's engagement with great literature, philosophy, and theology, at the teaching level (from university to secondary) greatly informs his writing. He believes that a rousing, edge of your seat story should also penetrate below the surface and touch on something deeply human. As a result, his work strives to be great entertainment that also provokes. Think: No Country for Old Men, Minority Report, Silence of the Lambs, and Do The Right Thing, among many more! Available on Script Revolution are two scripts of the same name. 1) The short film "Henry Porter" (a semi-finalist,... Go to bio

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