Sunday, June 03, 2007

FMARS, the movie

Several of you have pointed out that a group of seven people in enforced isolation is the standard set-up for a thriller - the kind in which the cast members get picked off, one by one, by a mysterious and terrifying menace. So, my challenge to you, friends, is to determine the order in which we will be killed, how, and why. To help you, a cast list and rough character descriptions are given below. Bonus question: who or what is the sympathy animal (i.e. the innocent creature that is threatened about a third of the way through the film to show that the danger is serious), and does he/she/it survive?

The Cast, in alphabetical order
Simon Auclair, Geologist. Unofficial titles: Water Boy, Junior. Strengths: Can handle a permafrost coring drill with aplomb, speaks French (albeit Quebecois) fluently. Weaknesses: Puppies, peanut butter, sleeping in.

Melissa Battler, Commander. Unofficial title: Skipper. Strengths: Steely gaze, looks cute in hats, can climb anything. Weaknesses: Technology tends to crash in her presence.

Matt Bamsey, Executive Officer (2nd in command). Unofficial titles: Captain Safety, Bam-Bam, Clark Kent. Strengths: Strength. Weaknesses: Too polite by half, has to burn the poo.

Kim Binsted, Chief Scientist. Unofficial titles: Chef, Simmy Kimmy. Strengths: Can make wine, cheese, bread, wireless environmental sensors. Weaknesses: LOST spoilers, Humboldt Fog (a lovely Californian ashed chevre - you should try it).

Kathryn Bywaters, Biologist. Unofficial title: Nunavut's Sweetheart. Strengths: Is actually a machine. Weaknesses: Inability to tell any of her suitors to get lost.

Ryan Kobrick, Engineer and Human Factors Researcher. Unofficial title: Comic Relief. Strengths: MacGuyver skills. Weaknesses: Never has any chewing gum.

James Harris, Chief Engineer. Unofficial title: Space Janitor. Strengths: Computers like him. Can make beer. Enjoys blowing things up. Weaknesses: Computers, beer and blowing things up don't always mix well.


Lora said...

You're looking faboo, Kim, if I may say so myself! I wish I could conjure up a plot, but I've barely sipped my coffee today.

Maybe others will provide the inspiration I can piggyback on??

Jen said...

I'll start us off.

1. Matt is clearly the first to go, because he is adorable and killing him will get the audience horrified and invested. I like the idea of him burning poo with his faithful pet, Scarlett O'Hare, the Arctic Hare (aka Sympathy Animal), when he gets bludgeoned to death with a batch of TVP curry, frozen solid in a manageable block. The six remaining survivors would be clued in to the danger when Scarlett is discovered at the door of the silo, blood spattered and telling no tales.

Next, up Ryan and Kathryn buy it in a compromising position: re: speared through the back while humping on the upper bunk as in "Friday the 13th." Something like that. I need some wine to really paint the picture.

Lora said...

Um, Jen, I'm happy to provide the wine if you'll keep up the plot...

PauloutWest said...

Before we get to far, Lets decide if we want to go Sci-Fi, (Scarlett is actually an alien shape shifter and is eating everyone, or some ancient alien ooze killing everyone.) Bizarro, (The Scarlett is a fox and is eating everyone) Comedy (There are many examples. I couldn't think how to work this one.) or Straight horror. (Ultra nice Simon actually snapped and is killing everyone.)

I like Sci-Fi, with the black ooze that is killing every one, and I'd either kill or disable James right away, He's the tech, the medic, and the man with the gun. Maybe have the ooze turn people to zombies before they get killed because of the cold? and kill Matt next, might even have James kill Matt before James goes down? That or have James destroy all of the radios. (There are like four different ways to communicate out of there. We'd need to get rid of those. As a point, If Polar Shelf doesn't receive any communications for 24 hours, they'll come in and get you, but if you make the weather bad enough they can't.)

THAT OR have Simon and James get into it with each other over Mel or Kim's affections. James is accidentally killed, and while Simon is trying to hide the body, the body is discovered by Matt. Simon sneaks up on him and kills him. Staring at the core bit sicking out of his chest, "Why buddy, why..."
Then it's just a game of trying to cover it up, and Simon has completely lost it, and can only relate to the hare/puppy/fox whatever that they have, until at the end, with just him and the object of his affections left, he expresses his undying Love, is completely rebuked, and in an insane rage, he kills her, himself, and next day, it's bright and clear, and Polar Shelf arrives, but there is nothing but the bodies and the animal to tell the tale...

And if I sound serious I am, Heck, I'd send my camera up for that...

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

Hey Jen... thanks for the happy ending!

Kathy and I decided that I die 2nd and she dies 3rd in your story meaning that I am on top... you can figure out the compramising position based on that intel.


See the pre-movie teaser trailer:

Jen said...

Pauloutwest, I vote for Classic with the segue into SciFi. It looks like Melissa has snapped and is killing people off (reason TBD - I like the freaky love triangle thing) but she is actually under the mind control spell of Scarlett the Rabbit Borg Queen.

I vote for no hero, but James as last man standing, staggering through the tundra, sole survivor of Melissa's evil insanity. His only companion is Scarlett, and just as he sees the rescue plane in the distance, she reveals herself and decapitates him. (Sorry James.)

That sets up Scarlett for her sequel! Possibly set on Everest!

P.S. Kim as the weaselly person whose reckless actions threaten the four remaining people? We'd have to brainstorm that death to bits, as that person always gets it the worst.

P.S.S. No sweat Ryan. It was almost Simon, but you got the call in the end :)

Kristin Van Bodegraven said...

Ok pauloutwest that's enough TVP based gin for you.

I say we follow classic horror format: Kim! Are there any virgins in sim? Are there any sim virgins in sim? Whoever you are, you know who you are. Put on the white tap panties, get your hair in ponytails, refuse advances by the quarterback and you will be saved.

Is there a boy who plays a fake instrument like the kazoo, triangle, or recorder? Do the rest of you mock him but allow him to tag along because he actually knows how to drive? Identify yourself and start playing with your geeky techno-gadgets now oh, wait, that's all of you...ok, you may or may not be saved depending on your last minute ability to realize that the virgin loves you.

I like the general idea behind killing Matt, but have a little problem getting rid of the poo burner so soon. People might be scared s******s, if you know what I mean, and it's gonna have to go somewhere.

Scarlett O'Hare is a Hare with a something to hide...

I think it's important to point out that without chewing gum it's darn near impossible to get a cast of Ryans teeth, making him instantly suspicious. What have you been doing, Ryan?

Kristin Van Bodegraven said...

Lastly, I think it's fairly easy to determine how Kim will *accidentally* endanger the remaining players. In a classic "let's make a trout mozzarella ball using dehydrated milk and this dead fish the neighbor's 8 year old gave me" blunder, she exposes her fellow fake Martians to the deadly fromagiapescilia virus, putting the audience on the edge of their seats as semi-conscious crew members express their half fish-half cheese selves through interpretive dance. Kim, of course, was not exposed to the virus, having for the first time in her life claimed lactose intolerance “from Yoda-granny’s side of the family.”

Rocky Persaud said...

There has to be a scene where the half of you that is still alive lock yourselves in a room, possibly the airlock, and try to figure out which one of you is the shape-shifting monster. Either you use drugs (dehydrates alien blood like in the Faculty, where the alien just says no) or you use a hot wire to heat blood samples like in The Thing.

First, you're all convinced that Mel is the creature, and freaking out, demanding she keep the hell away for you, as she's the last to get tested. Then you hear a knock on the door -- it's Matt! He's still alive! Or is he? He says "If it wouldn't be a bother, would you be so kind as to let me in? It's kinda cold out here. I think my nose has broken off due to the frostbite. Guys? Guys??"

Mel says, "no f!ing way!" But Kim is afraid of Mel, and knows that Matt's the only one strong enough to defeat her, if Mel is the alien, so Kim lets Matt in.

Half of Matt's face is gone, and he bites Kim in the neck! Mel uses her rock climbing skills to spider her way up the wall, and over to get into the rest of the hab. Except for Mel, whoever is left in the airlock dies here, leaving Mel to fight on alone, while everyone else in the crew have been converted into flesh-eating monsters.

Rocky Persaud said...

Hey crew, next you have to do a Star Trek movie. It's the 25th Anniversary of the release of Wrath of Khan yesterday. Wrath of Pascal? With Zubrin as a vengeful Klingon? And the crew caught in the middle.

PauloutWest said...

I was "ordered" to finish up a story for this, so, here it is all laid out.
Simon and James get into it with each other over Mel or Kim's affections. James is accidentally killed, and while Simon is trying to hide the body, the body is discovered by Matt. Simon sneaks up on him and kills him. Staring at the core bit sicking out of his chest, "Why buddy, why..."
Kathy is killed in a drilling "Accident" She finds where Simon was stashing the bodies. Perhaps animals or wind exposed them, I like the idea of a polar bear eating one of them. Simon thinks she knows, and when she turns around he jams a bit in her throat. She dies horribly, blood everywhere. Claims she fell on the bit.
Ryan starts to get suspicious, and is concerned that the two safety
guys are gone.
Simon is very paranoid at this point. Weather is VERY bad, No rescue for a few days,
Ryan starts watching everyone, thinking that one of them might be a killer, Girls think it might be him as his watchfulnesses is
misinterpreted. Kim starts to talk to Simon thinking it's Ryan, Simon
thinks Kim knows and gets ready to kill her, Ryan sees this, and while
defending Kim, she thinks Ryan is attacking Simon, (as a bad guy.)
Kim hurts Ryan, Simon kills Kim, then turns to the now injured Ryan.
Simon kills the now injured Ryan, Oh, say with the Sawzall,
Mel walks in on this, WTF, Simon speech, "but I did it all for you, so we could be alone with the puppy." Expresses his eternal love, Mel freaks out, says hell no you freak, you killed all of our friends, our crew, Simon flips even further, Kills her, looks around, What have I done, Kills self.
Day after next, Bright and clear and sunny, Polar Shelf shows up,
finds all of the frozen bodies,
(hurling will ensue What the fuck happened here. Looks like another
case of cabin fever.) the puppy standing guard over Simon or Mel...

roll credits

I was also told there needed to be penguins, so, You could make the innocent creature a misguided Penguin that one of them brought up.

PauloutWest said...

And for the rest of you that don't know, I am the Paul Graham that was there for the first couple weeks helping out around the station...

Lora said...

Thanks for the great read, everyone.I appreciate the reassurance that my friends are seriously and amusingly warped.

Sarah said...

Jen, you should really be a writer.

Greg said...

On July 7th, 2007, Kathy, Melissa and Matt fail to return from an EVA to Trinity Lake. For unknown reasons, all communications go down, so an emergency is declared back at FMARS Operations.

Kim, Ryan and James launch a rescue EVA, leaving Simon alone to mind the store. He falls asleep across a table in the Ops room, snoring lightly. It's always nice and warm and muggy and sleepy in the upper atmosphere of the FMARS Hab.

The rescue team arrives at Trinity Lake and begins following three sets of footprints over a small hill when suddenly, a US Army Blackhawk helicopter rises into view in front of the trio, shocking them aback in a frosty rotor-wash of snow and icy wind.


Scared out of their wits, and with no other option, the crew turns to make a hasty retreat back to the Hab, every mind churning with urgent questions. Where are our comrades, what the hell is going on, are we in any danger? We don't have a damn protocol on file for this!

As the trio trudges through the snow, the chopper overflies them and they observe 3 yellow, body-size bags strapped underneath the helicopter body. Kim says they look like the biohazard body bags she's seen before. This does not reassure Mel. Matt responds by chambering a round into his shotgun with a classic Hollywood "chick-chook" sound effect and accompanying stern facial expression.

Back at FMARS, after frantically cycling through airlock, the team enters the Hab to find Simon on the floor unconscious, an Epi-Pen dangling from the thigh of his jeans.

Ryan, first to step out of the airlock, crouches down beside Simon and checks his pulse. "I have a very weak carotid pulse," he says to Kim, who is by now also hovering over the supine body of their teammate. "Looks like he tried to inject himself with the Epi-Pen," Kim responds, "did he get it into the muscle?" Plucking the injector tube from Simon's denimed thigh and examining the business end of the auto-needle she suddenly exclaimed "It didn't trigger, it didn't go in! I'm stabbing him with it now."


Simon suddenly jumps alive vis-a-vis the Pulp Fiction scene where Mia convulses into startling wakefulness after getting the heart-stab needle from Vincent Vega.

...Another instalment of FMARS MOVIE 2007 coming soon! Next time:

What really happened to Kathy, Melissa, and Matt - the lost EVA team? Are they OK; were those really their body bags on the army chopper? And what about Simon back in the Hab - what caused his anaphylactic shock? And most vexing of all, what the hell is the US Military doing here on Devon Island, enforcing a quarantine?



Greg said...

correction, oops - In paragraph 6, the names Mel and Matt should actually be Ryan and James.

Kristin Van Bodegraven said...

It's ok, Greg. That's why god (as you do or do not believe him or her to exist) (or not) made editors.

Kim Binsted said...

My friend Karen wrote on Facebook:

Didn't want to join blogger/google, but I liked the idea.
Being traditional the Red Shirt Wearers must die first. However, I'm partial to one of them so she gets to survive at least a while.
Ryan, infected by a native virus begins mutating into something fearful. The indications are already there: a strange gleam in the eye, matched by antics with knives.
He violenty kills Matt in a confrontation over who gets to cut the pizza. Melissa is seriously injured trying to prevent Ryan from killing Matt. (As they are the de facto leaders, they must be removed from the plot quickly, so that the intrepid yet now leaderless crew can face mayhem on their own) However, we leave Melissa alive, yet grievously injured, as the remaining crew tries to contain Matt. The crew is caught in the predicament of trying to keep her alive and yet, not get offed themselves in nasty and disgusting ways.
Simon and Catherine are the "couple" - one may die in the mudpits as they try to outrun Matt.
James saves the day, but dies heroically in doing so by having a beer drinking contest with the mutated Matt who is now deeply allergic to alcohol - but Matt succumbs himself to alcohol poisoning.... Kim manages to keep the station going, Melissa alive, and herself and the "couple" (if both do survive) by feeding them TVP till reinforcements arrive. Unfortunately, they've all been contaminated by then, so the future is very, very uncertain.
(sorry, I'm biased - I like food!)

Kim Binsted said...

I think Matt <--> Ryan in the second half...