Er’ybody In Da Country Gettin’ Shooty

Killer News

There sure has been a lot of needless life-taking this week. First that gentleman in Ohio, then the two shootings in Orlando and Ft. Hood. It seems like everybody wants to express their angst through murder. And while I don’t condone this kind of behavior, it got me wondering what kind of a serial killer I would be if I decided to go buck-nutty and wear the mark. Half of the serial killer mystique is pathology: why they did it and how.

I feel like I’ve read a lot of short scripts this year in which the authors set their serial killer thrillers in offices, living vicariously through voiceover narratives where their main character wanders about mumbling off grievances like Rorschach. Or they just watched American Psycho and traced an outline around Patrick Bateman. And I don’t want to nitpick, but I think you can do better. Your serial killer is a reflection of you. So take the time to explore your sick and twisted imagination and think about how you could end a life in a way that hasn’t been tried before. A killer who pops around a corner wielding a chainsaw isn’t just lazy, it’s impractical. Chainsaws are heavy and loud. Your victim can easily escape with only minor lacerations while anybody within 100 yards would call the cops.

Here’s how I would do it. You would be walking out to your car, or maybe standing on a subway platform late at night. Suddenly you would get bonked over the head with what would feel like a sock full of lug nuts. You would wake, hours later, your body half-buried in the dirt floor of a basement. Sticking out of the ground, you cannot move your arms as the dirt has crowded everything up to your shoulders. You look around the room. It has been painted to look like a meadow. The walls covered in fake leaves of grass. A happy sun of orange and yellow smiling down from the ceiling.

A door would creek at the top of the stairs. And you hear slow steps — not normal footsteps mind you, these would be a THUNK followed by a pause. Then another THUNK. You would see two pink paws hopping down each of the steps. And then a 6′ 3″ man wearing buck teeth and a rabbit’s costume with whiskers painted on his cheeks. He would be hippity-hopping down each step, his hands curled to his chest like two front paws. He would frolic about the basement while you watched in terror, pretending to sniff the painted meadow leaves with playful curiosity.

And then his eyes would light up with joy when he spots you. He would hop toward you with haste, pawing his cheek and sniffing your head while his two buck teeth smack against your forehead. He looks hungry, this fluffy bunny-looking man. He looks very, very hungry as he holds up a mirror.

Your face is painted orange. And your hair has been dyed green. And that’s when you’d remember the headlines from the day before: “PELLET-SIZED WASTE BELIEVED TO BE MISSING HOUSEWIFE”.

Death Bunny

So let’s open this up to discussion. What kind of killer would you be? It can be anything you want, you sicko. Maybe your victims are found posed like actors in famous movie scenes. Maybe you kill only on Arbor Day. Let your mind go wild.

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3 thoughts on “Er’ybody In Da Country Gettin’ Shooty

  1. In what I’ve written of The Killer’s Killer so far, which I’ve put on hold, the loon in question looks to pick fights with people who seemingly could easily trash him, and then he takes them out one, two, three with amazing simplicity and tortures them a while for amusement. Those heavy hand-held pruning shears are his favorite for removing fingers to disable.

    The reason I put it on hold was I reached a dead-end with trying to illustrate the true evil of his masters who act through him, by way of the other murders they order him to commit. In one, he slaughters a family and while doing it in the nude was trippy, I pushed it further and made one of the victims the daughter. In modern horror and thriller cinema, we just don’t cross that line. We leave the bloody murder to adults and always infer or suggest that kids were killed by having it related far removed from the actual events. For instance, a lead investigator will dryly state that so and so killed two teens in Fargo, and a drifter in Texarkana and then we move on as if it was nothing.

    Thing is, once you cross that line and show the act, you have to be doing something with it. It has to strongly revolt us against the killer as a final cementing of our hatred against him, or illustrate a reluctant act committed with great anguish. Almost making an anti-hero, but not quite. You instead hope the killer turns on those ultimately pushing his buttons and then is mercifully put down quickly as soon as he serves his part.

    It’s very hard to do it right and I am reworking the whole thing.

    • I think the folly that most writers run into with serial killer stories is where they focus the narrative. In American Psycho you had a killer whose pathology wasn’t so much about murder as it was a larger indictment on the excesses of Wall Street prior to the S & L scandals, and in that regard it really wasn’t a serial killer movie at all. It didn’t delve into the nature of true crime, for the most part it was a black comedy that involved murder.

      And with the exception of that one film most serial killer movies aren’t about the killers. Silence of the Lambs, Zodiac, Seven, etc. are all stories about the people obsessed with the killer, and by extension the affect that the killer has had on people’s lives, whether in one person or an entire city (Son of Sam comes to mind). I think in so many of these first-person serial killer tales it removes everything that makes the killer fascinating, which is their mystique. It would be like having a Friday the 13th movie that follows Jason around. The act of murder itself only has any dramatic weight as it relates to the emotional consequences of the act; the victim’s fear, the family who has lost, those trying to stop him. I can’t imagine there being much of a character conflict involved with a serial killer because they’ve already changed into this thing that they are now. Unless they’re trying to stop themselves all of the interesting stuff happened prior to them making their first kill.

      Plus, some things are better left to the imagination of the audience.

      • In TKK, the killer is being tracked by an FBI agent from a nowhere posting, an office in a small Midwest city. There’s a twist of course, which goes to the heart of why he selected her to entice, and why he’s exposing her to his horrors, but it comes down to showing how when bad things need to be done, having someone else do them eventually can lead to abusing that for the sake of the power and your pawns might find a way to exact vengeance on you.

        As far as interesting goes, I feel that a serial killer can be very interesting. The phenomenon of a killer who wants to be caught is not the only theme of behavior. They can also be trying to make a point in their minds. Just because they are completely off the map of normal, doesn’t mean they are entirely wrong even if their methods are.

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