Saturday, October 20, 2007

Director's statement, logline, synopsis

The producer wrote this. But remember, it's the director's statement. (I hate director's statements.)

Solar Vengeance explores themes of love and hate, redemption and betrayal, through a classic story of revenge set in an alien world. We see caring, guilt, and loyalty in unexpected places -- in our criminals, in our androids, and in our victims.

When we approached the script for Solar Vengeance, we were excited about combining an alien sci-fi world with the look and feel of a classic spaghetti Western. We worked with the actors, costumes, and locations to create a post-apocalyptic world ruled by guns and technology. The alien technology has given the society a technique for creating a false sense of security, by simultaneously inventing outside enemies and creating artificial barriers against them. This precarious balance is inevitably upset and swept away.

On the prison planet Necrosis 6, the inhabitants are fitted with alien implants that control their feelings, cause hallucinations, and force them to obey Galloway, the warden. Then a mysterious man arrives, our take on the Man with No Name, and right away things begin to change. He and a dangerous combat android set out to avenge the wrong that ruined his life many years before. But while the crime of years past has turned him into a heartless avenger, he discovers that the criminals have spent the intervening years atoning for their acts in different ways. Out of love and loyalty, his android companion joins his revenge plot, even though her impartial analysis tells her that no good outcome will result. She lifts the illusions the civilians have been living under, but the acts of revenge have killed off something inside her as well.

Here's an alternate last paragraph:

On the prison planet Necrosis 6, the inhabitants are controlled by alien technology. We needed to conjure a unique, post-apocalyptic "wild west" world. Our locations, costumes, and art direction started us on the path to that world. The sun never sets on this planet, so everything from battles to love scenes happens in bright natural light. To that we added a hint of sepia throughout, which gives the whole world a parched, gritty look. In this world it's easy to feel the unrelenting eye of the alien controllers, which leaves the characters' emotions as dry and empty as the desert planet.


A criminal serving a life sentence on a prison planet reveals his true purpose to wreak revenge on the people who murdered his wife and daughter.

Angry Planet


On Necrosis 6, the distant planet serving as the galaxy’s prison, a space pod lands unannounced.

Inside the pod, Athena, a fierce combat android, serves as guard over the transfer of Elias West, a prisoner with a life sentence.

The wardens and the prisoners are all controlled by "pharmas", devices which control the mind's response, delivered through a spinal implant. The dosages are set by Babish, the prison’s official Dispenser. Galloway, the prison’s unscrupulous administrator, employs Babish in a sadistic sideline: Galloway wants the young, beautiful Maleyna to fall in love with him. Since Maleyna loves someone else, Galloway and Babish resort to pharmas to force her into a synthetic love for him. It's crude and only partly effective; the best Babish can do is make her lover Kyle appear as a revolting mutant.

After West arrives, things start to change. Mysteriously, the pharma doses start to go wrong, and Babish is unable to control the hallucinations. West turns out to be a trained Dispenser, and he steps in to replace Babish. Under Galloway’s orders, West must now take over the efforts to dose Maleyna into falling in love with Galloway. The process is brutal, invasive, and dehumanizing to Maleyna, but West steels himself to inflict this damage on her.

West gets the prisoners to tell him their crimes. They explain that many years ago, they conspired with Galloway on a ruthless spree of rape and murder.

Years ago, cruelly, violently, the men immobilized Jonas Case and violated his wife, Charlotte, right in front of him. Under the power of an early version of the pharmas, Jonas was helpless and unable to save her. Charlotte committed suicide when she saw her husband as a terribly deformed mutant. After that, the men took their young daughter to the river to be drowned.

When Galloway and the other prisoners finally realize that the new prisoner, West, is really Jonas Case, it’s too late to save themselves from his revenge. But is it too late for West to realize what’s become of his daughter?

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