Feb 06


screamplayGenre: Comedy / Horror
Year: 1985
Country: USA

Director: Rufus Butler Seder
Starring: Rufus Butler Seder, Eugene Seder, Cheryl Hirshman, James McCann, Clif Sears


… Writing a killer script can be grisly murder!


Edgar Allan is a young aspiring screenwriter who has just arrived in the city of angels – Los Angeles from his hometown New York. He has only brough his beloved typewriter with him and quickly gets inspired to write a murder story.

He gets a job as a janitor at a local apartment complex that are filled with weird characters that is mostly hoping to make it in Hollywood. When Allan starts go get the murder story going, the reality is blurred into his story and whatever he ends up writing seems to come true.

Screamplay is quite an original little film. It is an homage to the old black and white films of the 1920’s and 30’s and they captured the spirit of the era very well. It’s also easy to see that the filmmakers was fans of those types of films and there are plenty of references to the great films of that era to find here. At the same time they do blend it with the dirtiness of the 80’s instead of keeping the more glamorized Hollywood look that older films tried to achieve.

It’s a film that is easy to get affection for since it seems to have heart and effort put into it, but it sadly isn’t that entertaining and except the look of the film, the rest isn’t done very well which is probably due to lack of experience and budget. I’m gonna guess that Troma picked this up because they loved what they where trying to do since it doesn’t contain the usual gore, fart jokes or nudity that you would expect from Troma.

The acting is intentionally over the top, but it is also shoddy by a lot of the actors. Rufus Butler Seder wrote, directed and even starred as Edgar Allan and he is good. He transforms from being a likeable guy to being a creepy maniac without any problems. The minor characters though are not played very well and that does hurt the film.

The dialogue has some flaws and the same can be said about the pacing. Some of the characters doesn’t work, but these things are not easy to get right on such a small production either. Perhaps if Seder had a bigger crew to help with instead of having to fill several roles on his own, then it could have been a tighter film with some flaws eliminated. I was curious to see what this guy had done after this film and it seems like this was sadly his only film. However, he has created a career for himself as a writer of children’s books, so that’s cool.

Screamplay might not be a very good film per se and it is definitely not for everybody, but there is heart behind this original production and even if I give it a low rating, I do think that there is an audience out there for this film that will love it.




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