The Teenage Bodyguard or Slipping "The Enterprise" by JZ Murdock | Script Revolution

The Teenage Bodyguard or Slipping "The Enterprise"

Type:

Status:

Page Count: 
117pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Based On: 
True Crime story from author's past
Logline: 
Based on true events, a gutsy eighteen year old in 1974 protects a female murder witness from the Tacoma, WA mafia. Sex, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll meet Sex, Drugs and Mayhem.
Synopsis/Details: 

“TEENAGE BODYGUARD” is a true crime biopic set in Tacoma, Washington in 1974 among the devastation
of its last great crime family the Carbones (who called themselves The Enterprise), their hitman Richard
“Waco” Caliguri and, Gordie H. who protects Sara, a murder witness they are looking for. Requiring
no intensive special effects this is a story involving some nudity, sex, drugs, arson, murder, a couple
of car chases and some gun play.

“TEENAGE BODYGUARD” is the true story of an adventurous young man’s first experience as a bodyguard.
He is thrust into a world he knows nothing about when a woman named Sara, ten years his senior,
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. It is a story juxtaposed against that of the crime family
who searches for her, their only loose end to their murder no one but her knows they committed. In a
one sided war against those who oppose them, they threaten people (even children), burn taverns and
clubs, and murder enemies all while some local police and government officials are firmly in their pocket.

Intermingled with these crimes are several flashbacks to Gordie’s history as he acquires some of his skills.
He successfully lands a small plane for the first time at twelve years of age. With the plane’s pilot\ owner
next to him, his frightened lifelong friend reclines in back with the broken leg he acquired during a search
and rescue mission. An event that delays them in finding a crashed plane so they find two occupants frozen
to death. One a female passenger who looks like Sara. Later he SCUBA dives with Tacoma’s first
high school dive club on the second ever Earth Day cleaning up a piece of Tacoma’s Commencement Bay
on Puget Sound. Later, again with his friend they take their first sky dive hungover, after his friend’s birthday
party the night before. A jump that goes poorly for Gordie. Because he’s broke he refuses to use his
reserve emergency chute during a malfunction in order to save a $2.50 repack fee. Quick thinking saves
him but gets him severely reprimanded by the ground crew in thinking he’s a normal kid.

During the week in question the mob executes their attacks around Tacoma and search for the Sara. Gordie
and Sara spend their nights partying at their hideout going out only when needed. A few close calls
don’t stop him from keeping her safe until... she foolishly but necessarily borrows his Z28 Camaro street
racer against his best advice. She needs to ask a stripper friend from the club to sneak out her paycheck, a
photo of her two young kids a judge took her custody from and, the money she stole from the mob. Something
they believe stolen by their nice guy bouncer they murdered and Sara witness in the parking lot.

Even though Sara only visits her friend at home, it draws unwanted attention bringing Waco ever closer.
Her second visit with Gordie gets her money, but they get chased by Waco. Gordie evades them and takes
a hidden rifle shot, disabling the two chase cars. Though Waco has the police track them, they do not find
their hideout, or Gordie’s apartment where his friend is staying on leave from the army.

Gordie gets Sara safely on a plane after a car switch with his friend’s car misleading the mob. But they
never get her all clear call she had promised. A year later he now acts as bodyguard for his dying younger
brother. Thinking he sees Sara in New York, it’s not her. He never finds out the New York mafia got her
after she landed. In the end all the Carbone’s end up arrested by Feds, imprisoned and eventually, dead.
Except Waco, who gets out and still may live in Tacoma at the age of seventy.

Unconfirmed 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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