The Laughing Dead (1989) Movie Script

Totally intense, Father O'Sullivan.
But I'm way out of shape, go on.
Dribble! Come on Father, pass!
Let's go.
All right.
All right.
Uh oh, Father, looks like
Laurie's on the run again.
Have a seat here, Laurie.
What am I gonna do, Father?
It's my dad.
The accident.
He had to have a blood transfusion.
Now, they think the
blood was contaminated.
He's gonna die, Father.
Laurie, your father is still alive.
He's had bad news from the hospital
and he probably needs you.
Why don't you let me drive you home?
I'm never going home.
Yes, yes, of course.
You can stay here for a
little while, if you want.
Don't worry about a thing.
I'll send someone down right away.
Hello? Look, we've got a battered woman
at the corner of First and Oracle.
Can you send someone down right away
to take her to the women's shelter?
You're very kind.
Do you mind if I
just camp out here tonight?
You can stay 'til morning.
But tomorrow, I'm going to Mexico.
I'm leading the annual archeology tour,
for the community college.
We're going to Todo Santos
and parts of Oaxaca.
Wilbur, I can just feel it,
the vibrations, the rhythm of the cosmos.
What inner peace.
I mean, here we are in
the middle of nowhere,
harnessing all this
incredible energy.
This isn't the middle
of nowhere.
This is downtown Tucson.
Well, compared to Encino.
Come on, Clarisse.
We can't go to a channeling
workshop every week,
and if we hadn't bought
the second Volvo...
And besides, Mexican
ruins are very spiritual.
Did you know that the Mayans invented
the Harmonic Convergence?
No shit?
Still, you didn't have to get
us here three hours early.
I miscalculated the freeways, okay?
You're just using the wrong Tarot deck.
I told you --
Yes, Harlan.
Laurie's here.
She's asleep.
You'll come pick her up
in the morning, then?
I'll see you then.
God bless.
Hey, you guys.
Is this the rendezvous for
the archeological tour?
New Agers.
I'm Father Ezekiel O'Sullivan.
Gee Father, I can't wait
to go on the Mexican tour
and see all those Mexican ruins,
and drink the Mexican beer.
Oh, you must be Mister Dozois?
Mister Frost?
Clarisse and Wilbur Lemming?
And saw the natives
butt-fucking for three days.
Exhausted, he crawls away.
Well, the chief turns to
the third guy and says,
"choose: death or Mongo."
Well, the guy knows with his hemorrhoids,
he can't take Mongo.
Some people are just so --
So he says, "I choose death."
The crowd loves it.
The chief smiles, turns to him and says,
"Fine, death by Mongo."
I love it.
Maybe we should have gone with that
Dalai Lama discovery cruise.
Channel me out the door.
So, you do have a secret obsession.
Bad looking, Father O'Sullivan.
I thought your father
came to pick you up?
My dad?
I threw one of my tantrums
and he told me to get the fuck out.
Foxy, for a nun.
She's the one you knocked up, isn't she?
You left the clippings on your desk.
It's ancient history.
I'd rather you didn't mention it.
Well, you're the priest.
No dark secrets for you.
You can dish it out, but
you just can't take it.
All right.
I'm sorry I stowed away.
I try to be good.
And then he attached
himself to the ceiling,
with his own mucus!
Excuse me, sir, my wife
is very sensitive to --
Come on, Wilbur.
He's got his own karma to follow.
It's not his fault he's been
reincarnated as a dweeb.
Now, honey, stop getting me all tense.
You know it's bad for my hormonal balance.
Fuck your hormonal balance.
The climax of our tour will
be a visit to Todo Santos,
the Festival of the Laughing Dead.
You're going to see strange things.
Peasants feasting beside the
graves of their ancestors.
Men dressed as skeletons,
climbing out of creaky, old coffins,
and everywhere, grinning skulls.
All Souls Day is a Christian celebration,
but there's a fascination with death
that seems to come from
an earlier culture,
a death-haunted culture,
obsessed with blood,
a culture of human sacrifice.
For God's sake, man,
show a little intellect.
I know some of you are here for credit,
and others are just
along for the adventure,
but tonight,
I want you all to think
of this as an adventure.
A journey into our common past.
To the dark part of the human psyche.
I don't know why we're going on some
bogus archeology tour, Mom.
Jesus, mom, I had Lakers season tickets,
and we're off fucking around!
Watch your language, Ivan or I'll --
Well, it's a bit too late
to ground me, isn't it?
I can't believe my eyes.
This is gonna be good.
Sweet Jesus.
For God's sake, a dude in a skirt.
What kind of fucking
tour is this, anyway?
You didn't get a remission again, did you?
Marie Therese.
Hey kid, give us a jelly bean?
I can't believe she got the hots
for a goddamn Bible bit.
You remember that
convent scandal years back?
Is that?
His name is Ivan.
The Terrible.
The boy, does he know?
I didn't know how to tell him.
I figured it was time,
that's why I got us tickets to this tour.
Dude in a fucking skirt.
It's haunted me all these years.
I had dreams,
a face,
something pushing us together.
Right, the devil made you do it.
Never blame thyself, Father O'Sullivan.
You've had those dreams, too.
I know it.
Now, they're getting stronger, scarier.
That's the real reason you came.
No dreams, no fantasies.
I live in the real world, now.
I'm haunted, Tessie.
Why? You didn't have to give
birth to the little monster.
Monster is right.
He really needs a father, Zeke.
But I guess you wouldn't understand.
You've got that father of yours in heaven
and he hears everything.
That's where you're wrong.
See, I've...
I've lost my faith.
There were the dreams of a face.
Sometimes, a --
A glass knife, slashing
down from a dark sky.
Jesus, I prayed.
I saw the face, a grinning skull,
headless torso spinning
in a starless void.
That's what I saw, and I knelt down
and said, "God, I want to see you."
While you were searching
for the meaning of life,
I had to find a job, take care of a baby.
I know it wasn't easy.
Screw easy.
You sure have changed, Marie Therese.
It's Tessie, now.
Just plain Tessie.
Are we there, yet?
I don't think so.
What's going on, Jarvis?
Don't rightly no, Padre.
I reckon we done run into something.
Deer, coyote...
Big 'ol armadillo.
This is nonsense.
Jesus, it's a corpse!
Fucking intense.
Wow, she's totally tied up.
Why did they tie her up like that?
She's not an animal.
Senores, una muchacha muerta.
favor llamar un medico?
Hi, I'm Wilbur Lemming.
Have you thought about
turning this area into condos?
You know, you guys could be
sitting on a goldmine, here.
Me want.
Honey, these people just don't
seem to understand English.
Holy shit, Laurie, look at 'em.
Oh, I get it.
It's all just part of the tour.
They're just getting us attuned
to the cosmic, spiritual vibrations.
In the name of Jesus,
there's a dead little girl
down there in the road!
Not any more.
Oh, come on, this is all
just a part of the show,
isn't it?
Hey, I'll tell you what.
Y'know you guys, you guys
are very good, really.
Thank you.
Well, you deserve it.
Please excuse.
Must go find child now.
Think I over-tipped him?
You can't die.
You're running out on me!
Got any theories about what we saw?
I mean, was it real?
You know the way the
body was all tied up?
Well, it's strange, but...
the ancient Mayans used to tie
up dead bodies before burial.
What for?
To stop the bodies from
getting up and walking away?
Yes, that's exactly it.
I'm afraid it will
have to be .
A very fine baby, Miss Smith.
Help me, mommy.
I'm scared.
It's okay, mom.
It's all your fucking
fault, preacher dude.
You reminded her of the bad old
days when she was a fucking nun.
You sure talk mean, son.
I'm nobody's son.
Ah, Father O'Sullivan.
How have you been?
It's good to see you.
You see, we have fallen
on hard times here.
Hard times are upon us.
Is it the old religion?
Ah, I see.
The usual eccentric assemblage.
Don't interrupt him.
Have the gods been fed yet?
Of course, Doctor Um-tzec.
The gods feasted but a few moments ago.
Look, mom! They're getting
ready for the festival.
Father O'Sullivan says they have candy
shaped like skeletons,
marzipan rotting corpses,
guts, gore.
I want to buy some.
Not now, honey.
I have to finish unpacking.
But mom, I'm bored shitless.
Tomorrow you're gonna spend all day
looking at fucking architecture.
I'll be bored, and you know
what I'm like when I'm bored,
and you didn't pack my Ritalin.
Maybe Father O'Sullivan will take you.
You really ought to get to
know each other, you know.
I won't be seen dead cruising
with a dude in a skirt, mom.
The skirt's not compulsory, son.
I'm off duty now.
Take your hands off me.
Ah, and who is this pretty senorita?
Come on, Wilbur.
We've got the archeology
lecture in less than an hour.
Come on, Clarisse.
We're supposed to be on
vacation, mellow out.
Oh, Wilbur, you're so immature.
The crystals!
Ow, ow. I think you're okay.
You're gonna disturb
the empathic vibrations.
What am I gonna do with you?
Not a moment too soon.
You'll puke.
Come on.
Put it back.
Father, Julio from the
hotel told me you were here.
Please, help me.
What is it, my dear?
My daughter.
She's possessed.
Saint Maria Purisima...
You are a padrecito,
you can perform exorcism.
Come with me, now.
My daughter, please.
Look, I don't perform exorcisms.
I mean, the church doesn't encourage them.
I don't really believe in it.
Oh, God, where's my faith?
I'll see her, but she probably
doesn't need an exorcism.
Oh, thank you, Father.
Thank you. God bless you.
Did you see
what I bought for us?
Mind if I join you?
I'm sorry.
That's all right.
I'm Laurie Shiganaka.
I'm Cal Hefner.
I'm with Professor Sargnagel's
dig, down at the ruins.
I'm his research assistant,
but most of the time he
just has me doing errands.
Thank God, someone who doesn't look like
he's from a Fellini movie.
Do you want some?
Sure, thanks.
Are you by yourself?
Well, sort of.
Am I boring you?
No, of course not.
My father is gonna die,
and I just walked out on him,
and I have a crush on this Catholic priest
and you might as well
leave me alone, I'm a jinx.
I'm a terrible person.
Do you want to talk about it?
It's my day off.
I know you.
I've seen you before.
Only in your dreams, Father.
You do not like the music.
Perhaps you do not recognize
this lovely melody.
Despite my daughter's affliction,
I'm still able to play
the music I once loved.
Chopin, Liszt, Mozart.
I have neglected the common courtesies.
My name is Um-tzec. Doctor Um-tzec.
This must be some kind of a joke.
Any archeologist knows
that Um-tzec isn't any sort of human name.
It's the name of the Mayan god of death.
The name has been in my
family for generations.
You'll excuse our hurry, but
when you see our daughter,
you will understand.
Tourette's Syndrome.
What was that?
A psychological condition,
kind of a short circuit of the brain.
The victim spews out a
string of obscenities.
You ever heard of Tourette's
Syndrome, Doctor Um-tzec?
I'm a Doctor of Divinity.
Oh, Jesus,
I don't even know if I believe in you,
but if you are listening,
if you care at all about this world,
then you've got to be stronger than evil.
Please, God, help me to drive away
whatever has taken hold of this girl.
You don't know how much
I need my faith back.
Please, in the name of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Well done, Goddess.
She who gives voice to the dark heart.
He who was once a priest,
is now possessed by the
spirit of the death god,
whose name I humbly bear.
I, his most obedient servant,
Wait a minute.
Are we sure it's organic?
Where's the disclosure label?
Come on, Clarisse,
let's resonate with our bodies.
Shut up, I have to meditate.
So, I really needed to
get away for a little while.
So you hop on an archeology tour?
Any port in a storm.
Mom, guess what?
I found a basketball court out in back.
Maybe you can shoot a
few with Father O'Sullivan.
There's something
fishy about you and him.
He was always good at basketball.
You knew him from the
bad old days, didn't you?
Hey, look!
Here comes our own fearless leader.
Are you okay?
Ivan tole me you ran into
some kind of Mexican bag lady.
It was nothing.
I blessed her and she went home.
Hey, preacher dude,
wanna shoot some baskets?
Sure, after supper.
Meet you at the court, sport.
I am...
the blood star...
And the day of death is here.
...the blood star rising?
What's happening to me?
Hey Frost, get a load of this.
Look at the headlights on these mamacitas.
It would be most
accommodating of you Dozois,
if you would let me
finish my bath in peace.
How'd you get in here?
Say what?
Don't bother me, Dozois.
I don't want to look at any more
of your ravishing Mexican maidens,
or listen to any more
of your prurient jokes.
What a racket, I'll bet they
started that festival without me.
Good God, a disembodied head.
It looks a bit like you, Dozois,
only not quite as fat, of course.
Oh, God.
He says to just
tell him what happened
after you were playing with the ball.
So, you see, this head
just came flying through the air, whoosh.
This may not be the right time to ask,
but do you think we
could get our money back?
I've got to have a new room.
You can't possibly expect me
to sleep there again tonight.
Si, si senor.
Well, at least you won't have to listen
to his jokes anymore, dear.
How can you say a thing like that?
A human soul has been cast adrift,
sailing down the karmic
maelstrom of death and rebirth,
and all you can talk
about is how I want --
Jesus Christ, Clarisse, I was
just trying to cheer you up!
Sometimes Wilbur,
I really have doubts about
your ability to resonate.
In view of all that's happened,
I guess some of you might want to go home.
I've asked Jarvis to drive the bus
back to Tucson in the morning.
He'll be back right after the
festival for the rest of us.
I guess I go home, Father.
We're going to stick it out.
No Lemming was ever a chicken.
Honey, you don't have to stick it out
because of the Lemming name.
I mean, you weren't born a Lemming.
But it looks like I'm gonna die one.
Doesn't it?
Oh, darling.
The police are sealing
up the Todos Santos Hotel,
in the most profitable week
of the year, Madre de Dios.
They will not let us leave.
Surely, they don't
think that one of us...
Alas, senora, that's
precisely what they suspect.
You can't do that to us.
My dad is very sick.
I have to get home.
Yo, what do you two
boys think you're doing?
No, you can't do this!
The old religion is dead!
Leave us, now!
Go back into the dark places!
You've got to let me out! Let me out!
It's the festival, it's evil!
I don't know what's going on,
but we're obviously in danger.
We're going to leave now.
All of us.
Come on, Father.
I don't think we can leave, yet.
What? Why not?
Tomorrow, I'll explain
everything to the chief of police.
I'll bribe our way out
of here if I have to.
What in the world?
Father O'Sullivan,
aren't those symbols
from the Sargnagel codex?
Why, yes.
My professor's been translating it.
I have his notes.
There's something weird about that Priest.
Help me!
The blood star.
Rising in Scorpio. A new age of death.
Something's happening to me.
I'm changing.
I'm scared.
It's about time you changed.
You mean, leave the priesthood?
Become normal?
Are you strong enough?
I think you are.
But the dreams.
The nightmares.
I saw the man again today.
A bad dream, Zeke.
No, I saw him.
Jesus, mom.
I've seen stockbrokers.
I've seen actors.
I've seen politicians, but a
priest is more than I can take.
This is your real father, Ivan.
Come on, mom, you told me
my father was an astronaut.
You're lying!
I'll go after him.
No Tessie, I will.
Ivan, come back!
I don't want you to be my father,
get the fuck out of my mom's life!
Ivan, I'm sorry.
Jesus, Ivan, I want to make it better.
I want to make it better, son.
An enchanting scene.
But you forget what you've become.
You forget that you are now the Death God.
Death, death, death,
death, death, death, death.
God indeed, Father O'Sullivan.
I couldn't find Ivan.
He ran off into the crowd.
Oh, God.
What's happened to Ivan?
But we have to get out of here.
We've already called the airline and --
I'm sorry, order of the police.
No one is to leave, okay?
Wilbur, do something.
Look, I have an American
Express Gold Card.
I'll bet you two did this.
You New Age types with your
crystals and your channeling.
Who the hell asked you?
You know, you were the last
one to see Dozois alive.
Maybe you killed him yourself.
I found this bloody
crystal under my bed.
Why would I do a thing like that?
I'm sure she didn't do it, Frost.
What makes you so sure?
They've been humming up a
storm since they got here.
You just leave us alone about the heart.
I just thought it would help.
This is part of the new codex
my professor's deciphering.
The missing pages of Popol Vuh,
the Mayan sacred texts.
"To reverse the beneficial effects
of the Harmonic Convergence,
the path of the blood star," that's Mars,
"must be redirected by the
appropriate sacrifice."
"The high priest will be one
who was turned from the light.
The victim shall be the son
who knew not his own father."
Oh, my God.
That's Father O'Sullivan.
What do you mean, Father O'Sullivan?
The priest who lost his faith, right?
The unknown son, that's Ivan.
Ivan's mother used to be a nun.
She got pregnant and they
kicked her out of the convent.
It's true.
Father O'Sullivan left all
the clippings on his desk.
I read them.
Do you think someone's using him
to bring about some catastrophe?
I don't know, I don't know.
We will have to work fast
to get all the preliminary
sacrifices out of the way.
Exhausting work,
but exhilarating.
Children are so damned expensive nowadays.
We must always be wary
of those milk cartons.
Good that our work here is almost done.
I really don't enjoy Killing...
that much.
Soon, the new Um-tzec will take my place,
and I will be able to
retire into private life
as an investment broker.
So, I did put them under the beds,
but they're to protect you from harm.
I mean, you're all
still alive, aren't you?
And I didn't get to Jarvis's room,
and I didn't know where
the innkeeper's room
was to help them.
I think she's telling the truth.
This crystal stuff's a fad,
but it couldn't actually harm anyone.
What do you think of
this, Father O'Sullivan?
A priest who has lost his faith?
A priest who has fathered an unknown son
must perform the sacrifice?
No, no, no, no!
It was you.
No, no!
Take this, you piece of shit!
Crystalled him.
It works.
Goddamn it, let me out of here!
Give me my real clothes!
Jesus Christ, I look like fucking Prince!
My son.
I know Father O'Sullivan
isn't really evil.
He'll be fine.
He'll be home, soon.
You really love him, don't you?
I always have.
Oh, Laurie, what's happened to him?
What's he done to Ivan?
He'll be fine.
I think this
is some kind of doorway
into another world.
The crystals.
"The ball court of the dead..."
Wasn't that some kind of ancient rite,
where they played basketball,
and where the losers get sacrificed?
Or is it the winners?
Um-tzec, the God of Death,
has possessed Father O'Sullivan.
There's only one way to save him.
We're going to have to
go through that doorway.
Find the key.
The crystals!
Might work.
After all, the ancients knew
of the powers of the crystals.
We don't know any mystic tricks.
We took a couple of courses
at the Shirley McClain
Channeling Center, but that's it.
We've got to try.
I'm coming, Ivan...and Zeke.
Help, Clarisse, Clarisse!
Don't believe in
the illusions, Laurie.
It preys on the things
you're most afraid of.
Why did you run from me, Laurie?
You didn't love me enough, Laurie.
When I die, it'll serve you right.
I knew it.
You're just punishing me by dying.
You've always wanted me dead, Laurie.
Instead of mom, instead of Billy.
I hate you.
It'll never work.
I'm going to torture you forever.
It's all right, mom.
I'm going to be gods.
But first...
You're going to have to die!
Oh, my God.
I've lost Laurie, but I
think she came down here.
Watch out!
Have to go that way.
Don't do this to me!
There's no choice, Ivan.
We're all only puppets.
I'm sorry for calling
you a dude in a skirt.
I didn't mean it.
Come on.
Don't you love me, dad?
I'm sorry for calling you all
those names, I didn't mean it!
Come on dad, stop.
No, dad. No!
They come through the labyrinth
of their own nightmares.
The nightmares are rehearsals
for the horror everlasting.
Eternal cycles.
Famine, flood,
bloodshed, disaster.
Cal! Oh, Cal!
It's horrible, it's too horrible.
No! I've closed my eyes for too long.
I never dreamed there was a dark side
to all this new age stuff,
but I chose it and I've got to face it.
Yeah, Clarisse, you're right.
Let's fight 'em!
It's not the monsters we have to fight.
The laughter of Um-tzec,
one of the myriad names
of the Mayan God of Death.
We can't fight him alone.
We need...
Kukulkan, Quetzalcoatl, the God of Light.
Let's go for it.
Oh, Jesus, he's gonna kill me.
Quite so, young man.
You're a very important fellow.
You're going to bring about the new age.
Let him go!
I see that our final
guests have arrived.
Not so fast, Um-tzec.
What about the ballgame of death?
Stickler for the fine print.
Cross the T's and dot the I's, shall we?
You know the sacrifice can't proceed
without the ball game.
That's why you lured us here.
Very well.
But you're only delaying
the inevitable, win or lose.
You're all going to get sacrificed anyway.
Perhaps, Father O'Sullivan,
you would care to...?
I understand you have some
experience in these matters.
I got it!
As an expert in our ancient
culture, Father O'Sullivan,
you should be pleased that you are about
to be the instrument of its restoration.
You've come here to the "new world."
Raped our culture.
Driven the ancient
people onto reservations.
We will return, more powerful than ever.
Blood sacrifices will restore the sun!
The world be reformed.
At last.
Time to fight back.
Time to summon Kukulkan.
Help me concentrate.
All of us together
have to become the plumed serpent.
All of us.
Kill the child.
The moment of our deliverance is at hand!
Don't kill me.
Please don't, I don't wanna die.
Please, daddy, don't.
You fool.
The fucking knife.
I still love you, Zeke.
Let me go, motherfucker.
I'm not a monster anymore, Ivan.
You gotta help me.
Through the hoop, dad!
Of course.
Complete the circle.
Show me your stuff, kid.
I... I can't.
Throw it, Ivan.
Throw it with all your heart.
I'm coming home, dad.
I'm coming home!
Quick, into the hotel.
Look, the gate's open.
Let's go.
The hotel, it's gone!
Maybe it was part of the nightmare.
He's the God of Death.
He's a trickster who deals in illusions.
When would we speak to ?
Maybe the illusions
were sucked away, too.
It's real.
What do we have to cling to?
Father, what did he say?
He said he deeply regrets the accident
that killed all our friends.
Oh, God, my heart.
Are you okay?
Yeah, I think so.
I saw something.
Cheer up, dad.
It all seems so macabre.
No, Tessie.
It isn't just a celebration of death.
Mom! Dad!
It's fucking intense.
One more bad word out of you young man,
and I'll ground you for
the rest of your life.
Sure, dad.
The blood star.