The Teenage Bodyguard by JZ Murdock | Script Revolution

The Teenage Bodyguard

Type:

Status:

Page Count: 
117pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Based On: 
True Crime story from author's past
Logline: 
Gutsy 18 year old in 1974 protects female murder witness from Tacoma mafia for a week at a sex\drug commune until she can leave town. Sex, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll meet Sex, Drugs and Mayhem.
Synopsis/Details: 

From the history, memories and meticulous research of screenwriter JZ Murdock comes, “The Teenage Bodyguard”, a true crime story set in 1974's Tacoma, Washington. A biopic about the author and true crime about the mafia, he was 18 and living among the devastation of Tacoma's last great crime family, the Carbones.

Gordon "Gordie" H. (named for his father but not a junior), went up against this Mafia wannabe crime family who called themselves "The Enterprise." The main character next to Gordie was their muscle, Richard “Waco” Caliguri is tasked to find Sara at all costs and who "Gordie H" protects. She is a murder witness and waitress at the Carbone's topless club and Tacoma's first.

This story involves some nudity, sex, drugs, arson, murder, a couple of car chases and some gunplay.

Thrust into a world he knows nothing about, Gordie agrees to protect Sara, ten years his senior, when she hopelessly asks him to protect her from the mob until she can get out of town by end of week. She takes him by hand into a world of “free love”, drugs, crime and murder. Juxtaposed against the activities of the crime family searching for her, she is their only loose end to their murder that no one but she knows they committed. In a one sided war against any who oppose them, including government officials, the Carbones threaten even children as they burn taverns, clubs, and murder their enemies, all with local police and government officials firmly in their pockets. This was all well documented in the media throughout the 1970s.

Through glimpses into Gordie’s history it is discovered that before he is even eighteen he has been into skydiving, car racing, SCUBA diving, firearms and has received military style training in search and rescue, and flying. A history that means he couldn't be better prepared to go up again someone like the Carbones. They are seen doing the crimes they commited in murder, kidnapping, arson and various other crimes all while looking for Sara until things come to a final climax.

Does Sara survive the week? Does Caliguri? Either way in the end Gordie goes on once again to be, The Teenage Bodyguard.
In the end the Feds are called in, the Carbones brought down and because of them even the county government has to be restructured.

Historical photos https://www.facebook.com/pg/TeenageBodyguard/photos/

All Accolades & Coverage: 

From BlueCat Screenplay Contest:

The story picks up relatively quickly after the explosion in the Carbone party—leaving Lena a few permanent scars. After witnessing the scenes involving Gordie’s Air Force background, we realize just what kind of a character he’s raised to be: someone who couldn’t really care about his own safety, but as witnessed with his reaction with Lena’s injury (as well as his eagerness to help Sara much later on), someone that has the capacity to care for others. But it didn’t just stop there. Even with a dive malfunction, it seemed like Gordie’s own life doesn’t even seem to be worth two dollars and fifty cents, as the repack itself was a bit out of his budget. But all this makes Gordie quite the exciting character to follow given his astounding complexity. His nonchalant approach to life is intoxicating mainly because it’s like watching fire: although dangerous, it’s still alluring. Given the Carbone family’s involvement in the story, we want to see Gordie tossed in their plot line—and soon. The initial hook of witnessing Gordie potentially murder someone, as well as echoing his words “do it” as he did with his first jump, is very well played out—as it shows parallels between one world and another.

The writer also seems to have done quite the research, and although (as explained below) the time-stamps and locations do, at times, get out of hand, it’s impressive to know that the events are chronologically accurate. I was pleased to find out Gordie actually made it out of everything and even had a family of his own. Given that it was a real story based off real events, I could’ve never predicted that he’d make it to that kind of life.

Overall, Teenage Bodyguard is one heck of a life-story that I’m surprised isn’t on the big screens already—a well done thriller that knows how to lure you into a story about two unlikely people, Gordie and Sara, and how they took a turn for the unexpected.

From The Blacklist Coverage:

The premise of a coming of age crime drama, where an eighteen year old protects a witness fleeing the mafia, could have solid commercial appeal, particularly as it is based on a true story. The narrative's period setting is rendered with a strong degree of authenticity and a specificity, through details like that of the commune, that makes the film's backdrop of the Pacific Northwest feel grittily alive and real. Gordie is an intriguing teenage protagonist, who is well-characterized, particularly on a physical level. His courage in protecting Sara from the Tacoma mafia is credibly rendered. The dialogue is well characterized as each member of the core cast possesses a clear, identifiable voice. The down ending, featuring the harrowing final scene of Sara in the mafia car, where she "closes her eyes, puts head back and hears sounds of children happily playing baseball.", right as the hitman next to her takes out a garrote, is chilling, surprising (in a good way), and sure to have a powerful effect on audiences.

Prospects
TEENAGE BODYGUARD has a viable premise and core concept that could have commercial potential, likely in the indie and low budget space, and is overall, a solidly written script, which makes it a project worth developing further. Addressing the aforementioned issues in the Weaknesses section ought to help get the script closer to its full potential.

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JZ Murdock's picture

The Writer: JZ Murdock

JZ Murdock is a writer, author and screenwriter living in Bremerton, WA. His books include Death of Heaven, a collection of her older short horror and sci fi stories in Anthology of Evil and, his upcoming Anthology of Evil Volume II with his newer works including stories included in other anthologies, a sci fi magazine and a novella.

Murdock received his B.A. in Psychology from WWU with a minor in creative writing. He was a Sr. Technical Writer for years and retired on 9/11/16 to devote his full time to writing ficiton and screenplays. He is also involved in local independent films. Of late he has been involved in the Studio 724 artist, writer and creatives community in Port... Go to bio

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