I’ve been on a slasher kick for the last two weeks and wanted to continue on that theme. To mix it up a bit I wrote a protoslasher, a Giallo. They have amazing titles and I came up with one of my favorites. Adam’s poster from a few weeks back was great and I knew I wanted to make my own at some point and this was the perfect opportunity. Listen to Seven Notes in Black as you read this to get the full experience.
Five Scorpions in Amber Starlight
We open on a close up on a face. The man is in his fifties and looks like he has lived a hard life. The composition and lighting are perfect. The man doesn’t move. There is a click and we cut to a woman photographer. We cut back to a wider shot where the various lights and equipment are now visible.
“So we are just going to just start this interview now if that’s ok with you,” says a journalist over the female photographer’s shoulder. The man nods. “Let’s just get right to it. Why should people vote for you, your past is, shall we say troubling. You have been charged with a number of violent crimes and have close ties with criminal organizations?” The photographer adds “don’t forget about the sexual assault charges.” The man was calm until she spoke “I have never been convicted of any crimes. Woman see a successful man like me and do whatever they can to destroy me.” The journalist is clearly annoyed but continues with the interview.
“What was that back there Annabella!?” the journalist (Franco) says. “That’s not your job. You take pictures. I talk to people, got it. You know how powerful Ninetto is!? He could destroy your life like that.” He snaps his fingers. She begins to defend herself but he interrupts “Know your place,” and walks off.
Annabella returns to her home late. The house is 70s chic, very colorful and has enormous artistic photographs covering the walls from floor the ceiling. Her boyfriend (Gianni) greets her and asks what’s wrong. After she explains he is kinda shitty and takes Franco’s side saying she does have to respect her job’s boundaries. She storms out.
She gets a martini at a bar and has to shut down a bunch of gross old men who try to talk to her. She goes out into the night and wonders aimlessly through the streets. She brought her camera and is taking arty pictures along the way. She hears a woman’s scream and rush toward it. There is a figure wearing a trench coat and a hat with black gloves holding a syringe standing over an unconscious woman. The killer runs off as Annabella goes to help the woman.
We cut to the police investigating the scene. Pier the chief of police and the homicide detective Isabel ask Annabella what she remembers. She says what she saw but they push her for more. She says she really can’t remember and asks them about what killed the woman. They tell her that the killer injects their victims with concentrated scorpion venom.
There are long scenes of the police investigation, but they don’t have much to go on.
We follow a woman we haven’t seen before go home after her job at a bank. She undresses and takes a shower. The perspective switches to first person. We see gloved hands holding a syringe. The woman sees the stalker through the glass shower door and begins to open the door and run away but the killer forces the door closes and taunts her with the syringe. The woman does everything she can to get away finally breaking through the glass. She is horribly cut up and crawls through the broken glass a bloody mess. The killer calmly stabs the syringe into her neck and squeezes.
There is a subplot about the boyfriend Gianni having an affair with the police woman Isabel. As a result Gianni tells Annabella a lot of lies and gaslights her. She is already distraught and the lies pushes her over the edge. She has the feeling that there is something in her memory that’s important to solve the mystery. As such, she had been continually enlarging and examining all the photos she took at night looking for any clues. She has hallucinations.
In the hallucinations she is being followed by mysterious men, seemingly the mod friends of Ninetto. She sees flashes of the pictures from that night and scorpions. She hears creepy duck sounds.
In another grisly scene the killer stalks and kills the police woman Isabel. When reading about the killing in the paper, Annabella sees something odd in the picture from the crime scene. She tracks down the original picture at her work and blows it up. In the corner of the photo there is a monogrammed handkerchief belonging to Gianni.
“I was afraid you would find out.” Annabella spins around to reveal Gianni. “Let me explain.” She tries to leave but he grabs her. She scratches his face hard and runs away followed close behind be a cursing Gianni.
She escapes to the roof. She locks the door behind her. The roof is illuminated by single light. The reporter is finishing a cigarette. She hugs him and tells him about Gianni. He listens intently and lights up another cigarette. The flame reveals Franco’s Donald Duck watch.
In a flash it comes to her. In one of the pictures there was a reflection in a side mirror of a car, it was of the watch. “It’s not Gianni was it, it was you the entire time!”
Franco starts to tell a story about his childhood. His mother was a lawyer and spent little time at home. His father would abuse him and his mother never found out. He blames her and all career women like her for what happened. A woman’s place is in the home. Woman like Annabella. He pulls out a syringe.
Annabella breaks the light. Everything goes dark. She pulls her camera out of her bag and starts taking pictures with the flash. Franco is temporarily blinded but shakes it off. With every flash he gets closer and closer. Finally he is right next to the camera and tries to tackles Annabella. She had put the camera on the ledge of the roof on a time delay, so when he jumps forwards, he continues off the roof. The soundtrack kicks in and we watch in slow motion as Franco’s body smashes into the side of the building and finally into the ground.