Poachers by Todd Bronson | Script Revolution


A Mark Twain horror where teen rivals join forces to confront monstrous Cheroots who only hunt humans and struggle to rescue family even as the military searches for the monsters for their own mysterious reasons.



Page Count: 



Age Rating:


DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is secretly
transporting Cheroots down river in a barge to a secure sanctuary to
research them in a natural setting. However a tornado breaks it loose from
the tow. The barge crashes and sinks while releasing the creatures in the

DARREN, an inner city teen, is rivaled in school with FIDDLER, a redneck
river rat teen. After the tornado strange things begin to happen. Fiddler,
who poaches sturgeon for caviar eggs with his father, raises up a fish trap
containing something alien. Fiddler’s father gets too close to the trapped
beast and gets stung by its poisonous pinchers. Immediately he is
paralyzed. Fiddler harpoons the beast and discovers through a wound it is
carrying large eggs similar to a sturgeon. At the same time, Darren is
coerced by his cousin to take part in a weapon and drug deal on a river
houseboat. The deal goes sour as the same beasts attack the houseboat.
Fiddler hearing gunshots drives to the rescue and is surprised to save his

The Cheroot is a monstrous man-sized five-foot long segmented
centipede covered in moldy wired fur like a sloth. Spear-like pinchers
ooze with venom that extract and contract from the furry head.
Antenna or feelers whip the air and ground for hunting. Underneath is
the slimy underbelly of a reptile. It has the ability to change circulatory
systems (warm and cold blooded) to thrive in multiple environments.
They can swim in water and slither quickly on land.

We discover the beasts were captured from an intercepted alien ship a
year ago by the military and have been imprisoned for research. An alien
race sent the genetically engineered beasts to consume, clean and filter
impurities in the water and air to make the earth habitable for the aliens in
the future. The Cheroots would be an ecological boon for the planet, but
the only problem is that they are genetically engineered to poach humans
and use mucus cocoons as a RDS (Rapidly Decomposing Chamber). Thus
cleaning and ridding the earth of humans too.

Fiddler and Darren try to fight the beasts off at the river cabin, but the
Cheroot takes Fiddler’s father away in a mucus cocoon. The teens
humorously and accidentally discover the only defense against the
monster is Fiddler’s late mother’s special “Burnin’ Love” hot sauce. The
Cheroots ransack a small river town and collect their human victims/
cocoons in a limestone cave just off the river. The teens discover their
location and drive the houseboat of weapons. Fiddler saves his father and
try to escape on the houseboat from the charging Cheroots. However, the
beasts have tangled the propeller in mucus and the houseboat becomes a
floating death trap. The Cheroots circle the boat like hungry sharks and the
final battle begins.

As our hero’s demise is almost certain in the sinking houseboat, Fiddler is
ready to pull a grenade pin. However, Darren stops him and negotiates a
perilous trade with the beasts. The Cheroot eggs for their lives.

“Poachers” is a modern, more racially inclusive Mark Twain teen family
adventure/horror with a novel ecological creature feature and theme. The
film speaks to multi generations and would have international appeal.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Won the Missouri Film Office Stories Fellowship (Missouri just passed film incentives for films by Missouri writers) and Screenplay Readers coverage determined the script a “Consider” (top 4% of scripts).

Submitted: May 18, 2023
Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Want to read this script? You must join the revolution first. Don't worry, it's free, easy, everyone's welcome, and you can start reading right away.

Todd Bronson's picture

The Writer: Todd Bronson

A retired family caseworker who loves to write sexy film noir and entertaining creature features with an underbelly of humor. Written over ten features which have won and placed in numerous contests. Currently won The Missouri Film Office Story Fellowship for a creature feature. A film noir featured on The Black List and a horror/comedy pilot pitched to a major cable company. Collaborated with two produced directors on separate horror features. Go to bio