American Horror Stories (2021) s01e03 Episode Script

Drive In

You are the master.
You have unlimited power on this canvas.
This is probably the only
place I do have any power.
But on this canvas,
why, I can do anything.
Anything. And you can, too.
You can, too.
And maybe there's
something back in here.
I want to put leaves
on this tree, so we're gonna lose
a great deal of detail.
Ooh, see, that one there,
he-he had a rough life.
Got bent and hurt.
There we go.
What? What is it? What's wrong?
Nothing's wrong.
Is it the painting guy?
'Cause we don't have
to watch it anymore.
Let's start here. Decide
which tree is farthest away.
- No, he's fine.
- Okay.
Well, why do you keep
like, you know?
Your parents are downstairs.
They're watching NCIS.
They won't hear anything. Come on.
Okay. Chad.
Jesus, Kelley, what the hell?
I'm not comfortable.
How many times do I have to say that?
It's just that it's always something.
You don't feel comfortable.
My parents. This isn't special enough.
I mean, we've been together
for what, six months?
- All right, what's your point?
- My point is
is that it's not normal.
Okay, wait, it's not a race.
I-I don't see why we have to rush it
and we can't just, like, let it happen.
It was happening.
It was so happening it's not even funny.
I mean, just talk to
me. Tell me, is it
is it me or-or what?
It's not you. I just
I like to take my time.
- Since when?
- What does that mean?
Nothing. I didn't mean it.
No, you can't just throw that out there
with that tone and
then say it's nothing.
What did you mean?
I mean, you didn't wait six months
when you were with Tom Jarecki.
And who told you that?
Tom Jarecki?
All right, look, I shouldn't have
- said anything. I'm sorry. I just No, no, no.
- Yeah, no shit.
Kelley, what are you
doing? Where are you going?
You're being an asshole. I'm going home.
What about the history test?
One of us is gonna fail it.
I'll let you guess who.
Beat the devil out of it.
Go back to
I'm gonna die a virgin.
I still can't believe you thought
that Happy Painter shit was gonna work.
Four words: auto sensory
meridian response.
What's that?
It's this hyper-relaxed mental state,
and people who watch Bob Ross
are supposed to get it big-time.
Guy on reddit said
it's like a head orgasm.
Female Viagra.
How'd you even get her to watch it?
Told her it was a game.
Every time he says
"happy trees," we kiss.
And it was going amazing.
Till it wasn't.
Do you want to know what makes
girls get on the crazy train?
It's not about relaxation.
It's fear.
Why do you think horror
films were invented?
Back in the 1930s, do you
think guys were bringing
their sweethearts to watch Dracula
because they liked Tod
Browning's mise-en-scène?
No, dude. They wanted Lugosi
to give them a chance at some skirt.
Fear is the ticket.
You tickle that fight-or-flight response,
she's an oyster ready for shucking.
Or I could just stop
trying to coerce her
and let her do it when she's ready.
Bro, this is not the time to bring
a knife to a gunfight.
Your reputation's at stake.
All right, unpopular opinion:
horror films suck now.
They're either low-rent shit
to fill up a streaming menu
or pretentious crap
that puts you to sleep.
- What's left?
- Didn't you hear
about how drive-in movie
theaters are coming back?
Well, those film nuts
who restored Starlite
are having a screening.
They got a print of Rabbit Rabbit.
Rabbit Rabbit? What is that?
Just the most infamous cursed film
in cinema history.
It was only ever shown once back in '86.
Maybe it's not cursed.
Maybe it just sucks.
Or maybe when the screening was over,
six people were dead.
At first, they thought it was,
like, a shooting or a gang fight
that got real.
But survivors say that the audience
just started attacking each other.
They just went crazy.
There were all these
theories that someone spiked
the soda machine with
shrooms or a gas leak
or even hallucinogenic mold.
But if you read Bloody Disgusting
or Dread Central, you
know the other story.
That the film made those people crazy.
- The film?
- Yeah. The picture and the sound.
Somehow, they fuck with the brain.
Tell me why they hauled the
director in front of Congress,
why he ended up doing time,
and why they destroyed
all of the prints.
Or, at least, they thought.
Word is
the print came from
the director himself.
Could be the only one in existence.
I got up at 3:00 a.m.
to snag the tickets.
There's only room for 60 cars.
I got one extra ticket if you want it.
- Not cheap.
- What's it even about?
I don't know. I don't even
know what the title means.
I guess we'll find out.
If we live through it.
All right, hold on.
Tell me that you guys
aren't actually believing
that this film's gonna
turn people into killers.
Well, I mean, no.
I-It's an urban legend, but who cares?
All that matters is
that it might be true.
I mean, you and Kelley
alone in your car
watching the most
dangerous film ever made.
Trust me. The Happy Painter?
Think about how happy you're gonna be
when she's painting
your dick with her lips.
Six people are dead,
killed watching your movie.
This committee is absurd.
We're Americans
concerned about the
effect of violent content
on our society.
In an interview with Fangoria magazine,
you said that your film, and I quote,
"would break people's souls"
and that anyone who saw it
would be damaged forever.
Well, I was, uh, promoting my movie.
Like you're helping me do right now.
So, you think all of this attention
will just increase your audience?
I think if you're not getting
a check from studio publicity,
you're getting ripped off.
Funny you should say that,
Mr. Bitterman.
I did get something from the studio,
but it wasn't a check.
It was a letter
stating they've agreed to
pull your movie immediately.
Not only that. They're going to destroy
every print in existence.
What do you have to say
about that, Mr. Bitterman?
Well? No pithy comment?
You bitch!
I'm gonna kill you.
- I'm gonna kill you!
- This guy is crazy.
I won't stop until the
whole world sees my movie!
I honestly just think
he's scared, you know?
It's a guy thing. If you don't score
by a certain time,
you're, like, a loser.
You know what I think?
- What?
- I think you're scared.
- Of what?
- The dick.
Look, you tell yourself
that you want to take
it slow 'cause he's sweet
and you don't want to scare him off,
but really, you're
just scared of the dick.
That's stupid.
Yeah, that's what I'm
saying. Look, as an owner
and a proud connoisseur of the dick,
there is no reason to fear the dick.
No, I mean that that is stupid
like I'm not scared of the dick.
You wouldn't even go
there with Tom Jarecki.
Jesus Christ. Did Tom Jarecki
open a website? Because
half the school thinks that
I screwed him, and I didn't.
And why? Because he was a jerk.
And his pits smell weird.
Thank God there's always an excuse.
"He's a jerk. He's smelly." Mm.
- Ew. Why?
- That right there.
Your reaction. It says a lot.
Yeah, it says I don't like
people sticking their fingers in my ear.
Girl, it's just another orifice.
If you can't handle
a finger in your ear,
how are you gonna
handle a dick in your
There he is.
My fanboy.
He's obsessed with me.
Me. As I am.
It's everything.
As he should be. You're lucky.
Not as lucky as he's
gonna be tomorrow night.
Oh, and you need to go
talk to your mans while
he's still your mans.
Prohibition wasn't about
the women's vote, was it?
- No.
- No.
That was suffrage.
Yeah, I don't think the rest
of that test went any better.
Don't what?
You're about to say you're sorry.
Yeah, and that I shouldn't
have pressured you
and that I should probably be canceled
for life.
I hate apologies.
Making them. Getting them.
Just Just a thing with me, so
Let's just pretend last
night didn't happen.
Wish I could do that
with the history test,
Well, since we're still going out
At least, I think we're
still going out, right?
- Right.
- And you won't let me say I'm sorry,
I got these tickets for this
really cool event tomorrow night
if you wanted to come.
It's once-in-a-lifetime.
Oh, well, I never say
no to once-in-a-lifetime.
Listen to me!
This movie is cursed!
It's real!
It's not an urban legend.
I was there.
I was there in '86!
Don't you see what happened to me?
It's real!
I'm telling you! Listen to me!
This movie is cursed!
Want me to run her off?
- I was there!
- Technically, she's on our property.
I saw the blood.
Leave her where she is.
She adds mystique.
I am worried about this
asshat delivery guy.
He was supposed to be here
with the print a half hour ago.
Shit, Verna, we don't have the movie?
"Shit" is right.
This one screening is supposed
to put us in the black.
If we have to hand out refunds
- You're going to die!
- There'll be people dying, all right.
- Us.
- I saw people tear each other apart!
This movie is cursed!
Nice touch. The protester. It's very
Who's that one movie guy who puts,
- like, the electric shocks on the theater seats?
- Oh, uh
- The Tingler. William Castle.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Very much that guy.
This movie's cursed!
It's not an urban legend. It's real!
If you don't listen,
you're going to die!
You have one life to live.
- It's not worth it!
- Ticket?
- Yeah.
- This movie's cursed!
It's not an urban legend.
- It's real!
- Aisle three, number six. Enjoy the show.
If you don't listen,
you're going to die!
It's bigger than I thought.
Looks fun.
- What's up, boys?
- What's happening?
That's not a restrike.
That's an original one sheet.
- What does the title even mean?
- I googled it.
It's, uh, an old British superstition.
On the first day of the month,
you say "rabbit, rabbit."
It's supposed to buy
you 30 days of good luck.
Weird title for a movie that's cursed.
How bummed are you guys
gonna be when the movie ends
and everyone's still alive?
There's always tomorrow.
4chan says there's an encore
screening happening somewhere,
but I can't find where.
Oh, there's Dee.
And I don't want to die
on an empty stomach, so
You want anything?
I'll have popcorn and
a Mountain Dew, please.
- As you wish.
- Thank you.
Hey, I'm sensing a vibe.
You a happy little tree? You
gonna get your brush clean?
Uh Think I'm just gonna have
a good time tonight, you know?
It'll happen when it happens.
Your boy's looking tasty.
- Huh?
- Don't start on me.
Girl, I'm trying to
get you to start on him.
Don't fear the dick. Right.
All I can say is
I don't need this movie
to turn me into a killer,
'cause I'm eating that boy alive
the second the credits start rolling.
As long as I don't scare him off.
Or chicken out.
You won't. You got this. You got this.
Oh, shit, that's the print.
Holy shit.
Crazy bitch.
- What's your name?
- Uh, my name's Chad.
Chad, find the fuse box
and kill the power.
Don't let this happen!
Don't let what happen?
It's just a movie.
I was there in '86.
Me and my boyfriend,
we were Chain Saw fans,
and this was supposed to be scarier.
It wasn't even halfway over
before he was dead and I'd lost this.
My boyfriend ripped
it out with his teeth
and swallowed it.
Hey! Little help?
If you care about her,
you'll do something.
At least get out of here!
Yeah, I'm sorry, I got to go.
Listen to me!
It starts right away!
Don't look!
- Don't let her look!
- Thanks.
Let's go. Come on.
You want to give me some space, buddy?
You run these at full juice, right?
The sender wants to know.
He says the movie
requires 16 footlamberts
for the proper experience.
You tell your sender I ran the Kinotons
at the Osiris on Broadway for 40 years.
I threaded Tatum O'Neal's first
and Joan Crawford's last.
When Kubrick tried to lecture me
on aspect ratios for Clockwork,
I told him to go fuck himself.
You know why you raise the
volume in a New York theater
during the winter?
Because all the winter
coats suck up the sound
and everything goes dead.
I know what I'm doing.
"Proper experience."
What was that protester
woman saying to you?
She said that she was
at the screening in '86.
That's how she lost her eye.
You sound like you believe her.
Just, I'm not sure she's a plant.
You know, she was really upset.
Okay, well, if you're
trying to scare me,
it's not gonna work.
Okay, maybe a little.
You know the other night
when we had that fight?
You were wrong.
It wasn't six months.
Tonight is six months.
And I want to make it special.
- Sparkling ice-cold
- I can't believe it.
These are restored CBX Mark IIs.
I so love drive-in speaker porn,
but you better look at me right now.
This is a big deal.
I never thought I'd be
doing this with a guy.
Doing what?
You know how some people
need a lot of dates
- before they put out?
- Yeah.
I'm not one of those people.
fresh, tasty popcorn
where that came from.
Try some. You'll enjoy it.
And now,
our feature presentation.
Story of my life.
- Forget the movie.
- Mm.
What was that?
Did you hear that?
What are you doing in here?
Holy shit!
I can't see anything.
No, no. Wait, wait, hold on.
We don't know what's
happening out there.
It's got to be a joke.
Like the protester, part of the show.
Go! Go! Get us out of here!
- Go! Go! Start the car!
- I'm going!
What the fuck?!
- Go! Watch out!
- Okay, I don't know where I'm going.
Keep driving.
- Dee?
- Don't stop! Drive the car!
I can see the entrance. There it is!
Go! Fast!
I can't see.
You okay?
Oh, shit.
We got to go.
Come on.
Come on, we got to go.
Come on.
Go. Go.
- Chad!
- Go!
Go! Go!
Oh, my God.
Their faces are chewed off.
This can't be happening.
- This can't be happening.
- Shit. Kelley.
- What?
- I don't have my phone.
I don't have mine, either.
Hold on, maybe there's
a landline in here.
Fuck! It's fucking dead.
Die! Die!
Fucking die! Die! Die!
- Bitch, die!
- Chad!
Chad, stop! Chad!
Chad, she's dead! She-She's dead!
Fuck. Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck.
How long?
A few hours.
I let you sleep.
A lot of them ran off.
God knows what they're doing.
There's got to be a phone
out there we can use.
We got to call the police.
And tell them what?
That a movie turned
everyone into killers?
- It's what happened.
- The cops are gonna
lock us in a room and
ask us questions all day,
and more people are
gonna get ripped apart.
- More people?
- Milo said
there's another screening
tonight, remember?
Holy shit.
Which means there's another print.
Well, this one came from the director.
So then we find him
and we cancel night two.
It was behind the desk.
The delivery service that
dropped off the print.
They can tell us where
they picked it up from.
Let's go.
Hold on, wait.
Look, I know what you
said about the police,
but we can't do this by ourselves.
They stand a much better chance
of finding this guy than we do.
- We just got to convince them
- No, Chad.
Wait, Kelley.
Are you good with that?
My dad's a Marine.
Point, pump and pull.
Come on.
Hey, man, it's me.
It's Chad.
Your friend.
We've been friends since
the eighth grade, man.
Just think.
Remember when we made hash in
Mr. Thanski's chemistry class
and the school almost
called the DEA on us?
- Chad.
- Hold on.
Okay? Think.
Or when, uh, when Milo was watching porn
and he accidentally Bluetoothed it
to the school intercom.
Do you remember that?
Look at me, man.
Just think.
It's me.
You're right.
Let's find a car,
and let's hunt this
fucking director down.
Yeah, that's the van.
Who lives in a trailer
and drives a Rolls-Royce?
Let's find out.
One officer was quoted as saying
the carnage is unlike
anything he's ever seen.
Now, there are unconfirmed reports
of attacks spreading into
the surrounding neighborhoods,
but so far, no one will go on record
as to exactly what has happened here.
I kicked ass is what happened.
Cinema fucking history is what happened!
at least 100 people
The chickens didn't just
come home to roost
Who the hell are you?
The chickens, I guess.
You must be Larry Bitterman.
- What is this?
- We were there last night.
At the Starlite Drive-In.
To see your movie.
I don't I don't know
what you're talking about.
Trust us, that is not the
road that you want to take.
We've had a long night.
Okay, take it easy.
What is it? Just tell me what you want.
We want the other print.
The other print?
For the screening tonight.
Oh, I'm sorry to say
you've been misinformed.
That was a one-time-only event.
That was the last and final print.
I promise.
It was on 4chan.
Which means that you're
the last people on earth
who believe what's on the Internet.
Wait, wait, wait, wait.
If you were at the
drive-in watching the movie,
why weren't I mean,
why aren't you?
You weren't even
paying attention, were
you? You were too busy
laying pipe.
See, this is why I hated the idea
of premiering at a drive-in.
Half the people are raw
dogging it at any given time.
But you must've seen
what happened, right?
Paint me a word picture.
It was my finest hour,
and I couldn't be there.
Your finest hour?
Everyone went crazy.
They were tearing each other apart.
Every person who watched was affected?
The response was 100%?
- Unbelievable.
- Our friends are dead, and you're talking
like it's an experiment or a game score.
It's neither. It's a
It's an experience. It's
a cinematic happening.
A horror movie
where the horror isn't on-screen.
It's in the audience.
Try to appreciate what
I'm talking about. Come on!
I mean, you two must be
film buffs or you wouldn't
have been there last night,
so you must know about the,
uh, subliminals in The Exorcist?
William Friedkin
cut two frames of a
demon's face into reel six.
People were throwing up in the aisles.
There were cases of
women going into labor.
One gave birth right in the theater.
People thought they were possessed,
and all because of two frames,
two little frames,
and some creative sound.
In certain spots,
we mixed in the sound
of an angry beehive.
Oh, really got on people's nerves.
Guess whose idea it
was, the subliminals.
Second assistant cutter.
We changed film forever.
We should've won Best Picture that year.
You know what did? The Sting.
It was a travesty!
I couldn't let that stand.
I had to take it to the next level.
So I raised money for my own movie.
I was after the recipe, you see.
The-the universal
combination of image and sound
that would trigger
the fear center of every human brain.
I studied intrusive memory formation,
the CIA hijinks with MK-Ultra.
Did you know flashes of 330 hertz
can trigger seizures even
in people without epilepsy?
I applied everything I learned
like Edison creating the light bulb.
I used thousands of combinations
until one day, it happened.
I gave my editor some notes,
and I came by to see what she'd done.
Lanie, what are you
They put her away.
Combination of overwork
and drugs.
I knew the real score.
I knew the film was ready.
I found a distributor.
Opened in one regional venue.
Just a special engagement
to build word of mouth.
And the response
was beyond my expectations.
Even after what happened,
people wanted to see it.
a certain senator's spouse
turned her attention to me.
It's a letter
stating they've agreed to
pull your movie immediately.
Not only that.
They're going to destroy
every print in existence.
You bitch!
Somebody stop him!
I'm gonna kill you.
I'm gonna kill you!
I won't stop until the
whole world sees my movie!
They charged me with assault.
They put me away for 15 years.
A society that locks up its artists
doesn't deserve to survive.
It deserves to burn. So,
like a monk, I spent
every minute of my time
gathering every piece
of information I could
to fix and to refine the recipe.
And when I got out, I applied it
to a workprint that I'd squirreled away.
And the rest
is history.
Okay. I know you're angry right now,
but try to appreciate the big picture.
You were a witness to history.
You can retire to the lecture circuit.
You'll never have to work another day.
Take the win and get on with your lives.
You two look like nice kids.
We saw some of your movie.
The both of us.
Wasn't enough to make us crazy.
But enough to make us do this.
How's that fear center doing?
- You bitch.
- Where's the print?
There is no other print, I told you!
Bullshit! We were in
the projection booth.
I got a look at the print,
and you know what I didn't see?
Splices. Tape splices.
Unless what I had was
a copy and the original
is still here, so fucking talk.
Where is it?
Fuck you.
All right, all right, all right.
It's in the box. That box there.
Take it and go. Wait, wait, wait,
wait, wait, wait, wait,
wait, what are you doing?
Don't! Don't. That's my life's work.
It's all that I have.
Please, please, please.
I'm sorry. All right?
I'm sorry for everything!
Just please, make him stop.
I hate apologies.
It's a thing.
No. Wait, you can't
leave me here. Please.
- Please.
- You put us in a horror movie.
Now we're just returning the favor.
You think this is the end of the movie?
It's only act one!
And the rest
is gonna be fucking epic!
My name will go down in cinema history.
Kubrick! Coppola!
And Larry fucking Bitterman!
I got a fucking Rolls!
You want to know why?
Ask yourself why!
You won't like the fucking answer!
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