The Mix - a Script by Matt Tuckey

 

EXT. CITY CENTRE STREET-NIGHT

 

CCTV FOOTAGE- B/W- NO DIEGETIC SOUND

WALTER, 18, steps up to the camera in a checked shirt and stonewashed jeans- smart but trend-less. The camera appears to be in a doorway of some kind. He wants to get in, gesturing inside, trying a little charm. He's not doing well. As he steps closer to the camera, a DOORMAN'S FIST slams into his face. He staggers off.

 

Over the scene, CHRIS gives a V/O.

 

CHRIS

That's Mark, the doorman. He told me this cocky little fraggle stepped up saying “I know Chris Hulston.” Mark was like, “Don't use that name around here.”

 

INT. POSH HOUSE- DAY

 

Chris sits with IAN, his right-hand man, strangely close on the small couch. Ian has a scratch on his nose. They're watching the footage on a big-screen TV. To the left of the TV, his video rack holds the films Batman Returns, Blue Velvet, Maitresse, A Taste of Honey, Salo, 8mm, Philadelphia, Deliverance, Midnight Cowboy, WWF Wrestling and Spartacus.

 

IAN

What's his name?

 

CHRIS

Walter. I can't go back in there now because of him. You beat the shit out of him and I guarantee he'll go to the press. The club's door staff will see the article. They'll know I sorted it out.

 

Ian leans back and notices something sticking out from between the cushion and the armrest of the couch- a small riding whip.

 

Chris pulls out an unmarked audio tape.

 

CHRIS

Just so I know it happened. I'll be at a business meeting, so post it through the box and I'll check it when I get back. How's it going with this Charlotte, then?

 

IAN

Well, y'know. Can't believe I got tied down to this shit. If she didn't argue with everyone she meets, and she didn't punch grown men in bars, and she didn't drink pints and belch in strangers faces, meaning you've gotta wade in and protect her, and if she didn't get so wasted that going out with her was like looking after a fucking infant... she'd be a nice girl.

 

CHRIS

You'll figure it out with her.

 

IAN

I will.

 

Ian looks at the tape.

 

IAN (CONT)

I have a plan.

 

INT. COUNCIL HOUSE-DAY

 

WALTER sits on a couch. Puffing the herb, he stares at the TV. We can't see what's on-screen, but we can hear it.

 

TV VOICE

Unless you want to die a slow, painful death... Stop smoking now.

 

TV VOICE 2

New McBain chips! They go with everything! These kids just can't get enough!

 

There's a KNOCK at the door.

 

Classical music fills the room. Walter stands and slumps to the door.

 

TV VOICE 3

Order now for Classical Vibes. Relax to this serene collection...

 

Walter opens the door. A large leather-gloved FIST slams into Walter's face. He flies back into the corridor.

 

WALTER

No- no-

 

IAN pushes Walter onto his arse and begins laying into him. Walter's protests are heard over the music. It's a totally unfair fight. By the time the advert finishes, the man has left and has closed the door behind him.

 

EXT. WALTER'S HOUSE

Walking briskly down the road, Ian pulls a tape recorder out of his back pocket. He rewinds. The device SQUEAKS, then Ian presses PLAY. For a couple of seconds we can hear Walter getting the shit beaten out of him.

 

INT. IAN'S FLAT- DAY

 

CU- TWO-TAPE STEREO PLAYER

 

A tape marked THE CORRS is inserted into PLAYER A. A blank tape is inserted into PLAYER B. Fingers hit the record buttons.

 

The Corrs song “What Can I Do to Make You Love Me” plays over the scene, and over the following FLASHBACK MONTAGE:

 

INT. PUB- NIGHT

Ian and a girl, CHARLOTTE, sit together. He goes to hold her hand. She pushes his hand away and sneezes into her own hand. Then she picks his hand up and smiles at him.

 

INT. IAN'S FLAT- NIGHT

Ian's asleep on the couch. Charlotte carefully places some sandpaper into his outstretched hand. She tickles his nose with a pen. He reacts, scratching his face. She finds it hilarious. He does not.

 

MONTAGE/MUSIC ENDS

 

Ian takes the two tapes, marked BEATING and SONG, and puts one in each coat pocket.

 

EXT. CHARLOTTE'S HOUSE- DAY

Ian pops the tape through the letterbox. He strokes a local cat on his way out.

 

EXT. CHRIS'S HOUSE

Ian pulls out the other tape. As he shoves it through the waist-height letterbox he sees the markings: SONG. He freezes. The tape has fallen inside. He starts to breathe heavily. He looks through the letterbox flap.

 

INT. CHRIS' HOUSE

The cassette is on the floor. Ian reaches through the letterbox, his arm no-where near.

 

EXT. CHRIS' HOUSE

Ian hesitates, and then backs away.

 

INT. IAN'S HOUSE- LATER

Ian's topless, doing press-ups on his knuckles.

 

The doorbell RINGS. Ian stands. He looks around the room.

 

IAN

Hang on…

 

He picks up a belt and stretches it out, like he might strangle someone with it. It's the only thin he can find to defend himself with.

 

Ian opens the door. Chris is in the hallway, smiling flirtatiously.

 

IAN

Chris. Listen. Fucking hell-

 

Chris brings a finger up to Ian's lips.

 

CHRIS

Shhh... Wow. I can't believe it took us so long.

 

Ian's face changes from controlled panic to blank confusion.

 

Chris holds up the tape marked SONG.

 

CHRIS

Ian... Ian... I would never have put you down as the romantic type. Well, Mr. Creative. You don't have to do anything to make me love you. Nothing at all.

 

Chris pushes Ian back into his corridor, just using the finger still pressed to Ian's lips.

 

Ian panics and pushes Chris' finger away.

 

IAN (FIRM)

Out.

 

CHRIS

Yes. Yes, I am out. I'm out at last. You noticed, and I'm free because of you. I owe this freedom to you.

 

Chris pops the buttons on his own shirt.

 

CHRIS

Now do what you want with me.

 

Ian's BIG RIGHT HAND lands in his boss' face. Chris stumbles out. Ian slams the door shut. Undeterred, Chris hammers on the door.

 

CHRIS

Don't fight it, Ian! Accept your feelings darling!

 

MONTAGE

Shower dial being turned to the coldest point.

Water bursting out of shower head

Ian reacting to the cold.

Ian drying off. The doorbell RINGS.

 

IAN

Oh, fuck, here we go again.

 

Ian opens the door wrapped in a towel. CHARLOTTE stands in the doorway holding the tape marked BEATING.

 

IAN

Charlotte. I can explain, don't-

 

She SHOVES him back into his corridor and closes the door behind her.

 

IAN

There's something I need to tell you. I, er-

 

Charlotte SLAPS Ian, hard.

 

IAN

Argh! What the fuck?

 

She grabs him, ready to slap him again.

 

CHARLOTTE

I know you like this, you little bitch!

 

Charlotte rips off her blouse to reveal a black PVC catsuit.

 

CHARLOTTE

I can't believe it took you so LONG!

 

She slaps him so hard it brings a tear to his eye.

 

IAN

You fucking psycho!

 

CHARLOTTE

Oh... keep talking baby. Keep talking.

 

She kisses him hard on the mouth. He pushes her away, HARD, mid-kiss. He slaps her face. She's laughing now.

 

CHARLOTTE

Come on, you wuss. Is that it?

 

Ian runs out, still in the towel.

 

IAN (Shouting back at her)

Don't speak to me again, you crazy bitch!

 

Charlotte is still stood in Ian's flat, breathing heavily, staring at the door.

 

CHARLOTTE

You know you liked it... come on... prove it.

 

She roots through his wardrobe- shirts, trousers, jeans- no PVC. No whips. No chains. No leather. No rubber.

 

She goes through his drawers: elastic bands, paper-clips, a pack of cards that have come loose at the bottom and have spread across the drawer. She plucks out a scrap of paper.

 

CHRIS

0798064

 

It's not just a scrap- it's an envelope. Charlotte opens the tucked-in flap. It's stuffed with £20 notes- a few hundred quid-deep. She checks the drawer for more. She pauses and pulls out what looks like- from the back- a white rectangular card. From Charlotte's side, it's a photograph. It's Chris and Ian. They're both drunken, shirts untucked, outside a bar at closing time. They're hugging, looking somewhat gay.

 

FLASH FRAME- CHARLOTTE'S THOUGHTS:

Chris and Ian locked in a kiss.

 

EXT. CHRIS' HOUSE

Chris opens the door in a dressing gown, eyes full of sleep.

 

CHRIS

Who are you?

 

Charlotte stands on the doorstep with the photograph in one hand and the envelope in the other.

 

CHARLOTTE

I'm your boyfriend's girlfriend. Soon to be ex-girlfriend.

 

CHRIS

Er, what?

 

He looks at her outfit.

 

CHRIS

Okay. I can roll with this.

 

Charlotte puts the photo in his face.

 

CHARLOTTE

You turned my boyfriend gay, you bastard.

 

CHRIS

I wish I had. I AM bisexual, but Chris just works for me.

 

CHARLOTTE

You're a pimp?!

 

CHRIS sighs.

 

CHRIS

No. There's something I want to show you.

 

INT. CHRIS' HOUSE

 

Chris and Charlotte sit on the small couch. Chris is showing Charlotte a scrapbook that he's assembled, stuffed full of newspaper clippings.

 

CHRIS

Look. This is all me and Ian. But you didn't see this here, okay?

 

CASH GUARDS ROBBED

SHOTGUN RAIDERS HUNTED

LANDLORDS WARNED AFTER PUB RAIDS

STREET RIOTS WERE “PLANNED”

PIRATE VIDEO DEALERS HUNTED

LOCAL COCAINE NOW CHEAPER THAN A CAPPUCCINO

EAR FOUND ON PAVEMENT

MAN GETS HEAD STUCK IN RAILINGS AFTER DRUNKEN NIGHT OUT

 

Chris shrugs.

 

CHRIS

Might need to blackmail him one day. You never know.

 

CHARLOTTE

Wow, I had the wrong end of the…

 

She finds the same riding crop that Ian found, down the sofa.

 

CHARLOTTE

Stick. Is this yours?

 

Charlotte and Chris smile at each other.

 

INT. IAN'S FLAT

Ian sits at his desk in his lounge, filling in an RSPCA job application form. He's on the phone. An answer machine beeps.

 

IAN

Chris, it's Ian. Being a gangster is gay. I'm out. Out of the game, I mean, not... Well. Enjoy your life.

 

On the form, under MARITAL STATUS, Ian ticks the box SINGLE.

 

INT. CHRIS' HOUSE

Chris' ANSWER MACHINE blurts out Ian's message, but there's no-one around.

 

INT. CHRIS' BASEMENT

Chris is gimped up and chained to the wall. Charlotte stands in her catsuit in front of him. She WHIPS Chris hard. He loves it.

 

CREDITS ROLL.

 

 

© Matt Tuckey