Script treatment


Investigating Officer(s): Det. T. Armstrong, Det. S. Murphy
Incident No.: 001985-19D-2020
Case Description: Dalton Kimbrough homicide investigation

The following treatment (synopsis) of Dalton Kimbrough's movie, Death to the Revelers, (Evidence # 001985-11) was found among the papers taken into evidence from the film crew's lodge.


DARL is a young actor traveling with a theatre troupe across the Eastern United States. Their style of performance departs from the devoted school of the dramatic arts. These players seize their audience with violent, realistic images, staged so cunningly that drama and reality are indistinguishable. Only the mind is left to decipher.

The crew consists of BUD, the director and weapons expert; JERRY, the inveterate leading man; PAOLO, the auxiliary hatchet man; and Darl, who is forever lost in a world of conflicting characters who are always acting him out rather than the opposite.

When at first we meet these performers, it's at land's edge, on the Gulf in the lowest of Alabama. The routine of their trigger shows have soured the players toward one another, and the source of the trouble is Bud, who has become too lax in his planning, too complacent about their safety. When Jerry is nearly captured by local law enforcement for a mock shooting, the crew hides out in a Mississippi Gulf Coast casino.

There Darl meets and falls in love with SHANE, a scam artist and classic femme fatale whom he spots from afar. Before he is able to express his love, the law is on them again, so they retreat to a country lodge, further upstate, with Shane along as a hostage.

Sensing the group's restlessness, Bud plans an awful scene on their trip north; the scene is designed not to blur reality and drama, but to bring them into focus and show that they have swapped places. As a result, Darl unwittingly shoots Jerry, his friend and mentor.

The crew arrives at the lodge bitter and shaken. Unwilling to call a doctor, Bud puts Jerry to bed as Darl administers care. Drunk with power and madness, Bud abuses and violates Shane.

On his deathbed, Jerry tells Darl how the world is deceived by ornaments, how he had been guilty of it himself. Jerry tells him that life is like the stage, only the acts can be rewritten in an instant. His final words convince Darl to overthrow Bud in an elaborate finale that pits drama against reality, friend against friend, lover against lover.*

The players craft the drama of their own deaths, rehearse their own salvation. There is no one left for the curtain call, but the audience departs feeling the trembling threads of their own mortality as if they too were playing out their lives like some strange, harrowing play.

* The ending cannot be spelled out here as it will be determined by the actors' performances. The performances will be managed in such a way that allows the players to write the ending by their own actions, making the outcome more realistic while retaining the dramatic nature of the film.



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