Lipstick Lesbians vs. Lesbian Vampires
I finished another screenplay. I didn't mean to, it was kind of an accident. Here's what happened: A few months ago, rediscovered a movie I had heard about but hadn't seen (still haven't) called Lesbian Vampire Killers. As TVTropes tells us, it occurred to me that the title could have referred to several different stories- Lesbians who kill vampires, killers of lesbian vampires, etc.
It then dawned on me that the best iteration would be a combination of lesbians killing lesbian vampires. The whole thing would be campy, funny, sexy and scary. The title should be completely unambiguous, hence Lipstick Lesbians vs. Lesbian Vampires.
And I thought, "I kinda want to write that."
It all came together very quickly. Almost immediately the theme of anti-gay discrimination suggested itself: We have a small-town Preacher who doesn't want the help of The Lipstick Lesbians in fighting off the vampires. He interprets the lesbian vampires as harbingers of sin, and must reconcile his beliefs with The Lipstick Lesbians, who seem... especially skilled at staking them. [ref] Lesbian Vampire Killers appears to have a Vicar, who may or may not play a similar role (I suspect not), but I swear I haven't seen the film, in order to keep my interpretation of the concept undiluted. [/ref] For me, this conflict harks back to the idea that slasher films, like Friday the 13th, are somehow morality tales where various vices are "punished" with graphic violence.[ref] Even if you are pro-death penalty, you've got to admit that for fornication and drug use, that's a little harsh. [/ref]
This, of course, is bunk. As I discussed in my series on Friday the 13th, the creators of these films have no desire to send such a message, and even if they did, the audience enjoying the sex and violence is not paying attention to it. I owe a tip of my hat to The Cabin in the Woods, which I'd seen a few weeks prior, and which plays with similar themes.
A few people I've discussed this with expressed some concern that the movie could wind up perpetuating stereotypes of lesbians, women, and female sexuality. Namely, that alternative sexualities are abnormal and potentially dangerous, women must adhere to certain restrictive standards of beauty, and female sexuality exists only for (heterosexual) male consumption. I think there is a fascinating discussion[ref] Really! Leave a comment![/ref] to be had about all of this, and in revising the script, I hope to addresssome of these issues.[ref] I think a lot of it is because Most Writers are Male, and well... it doesn't mean we're all bad, does it? [/ref] Even while writing, I made it quite clear that the villains are despicable because they're vampires and they kill people, not because they're lesbians. Some of these things I can't do much about- subverting the traditional standards of beauty is more a job for casting and costume design.
In my defense, I was only trying to offend the prudes and squares, so if you aren't one of them, and you took umbrage, I apologize. So much for writing something completely commercial...
Given how fresh everything felt when it appeared in my head, I decided to strike while the iron was hot. The tone of the story lent itself to being loosely constructed, which meant I could let myself improvise more than usual. I did almost no research, except for a few minor details about The American Civil War[ref] It makes sense in context, trust me.[/ref] and a couple of mythology references from Godchecker.com. I did watch the old
silent film Nosferatu, which gave our Big Bad her name, and provided the wonderful image of rat swarms accompanying the arrival of the vampires- They've been associated with forbidden sexuality so much, we've forgotten the death and disease side somewhat (hence the plague rats.)
When I say it came together fast, I mean a matter of months- According to my notebook, inspiration struck on 6/1/12. By 6/28/12, I had an outline ready. Actual writing went from 7/16 to 8/29/12. I don't think I've ever gone from idea to a full draft that quickly. I tried to take a taste of my own medicine and stage the vampire attacks with as much suspense as possible- I'll tell you something bad is going to happen, and then make you squirm while you wait for it.
I'm still editing the script, so I can't share it quite yet, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. Further bulletins as events warrant.