I'm cheating a bit here, but there was a comment that came up in the discussion of the rape scene in The Last House on the Left. I responded there, but realized that given the age of the post, it's likely to go unnoticed.
Mr. Main Event asks:
I wonder if you, Bitter, have ever encountered a script where you seriously questioned the mental capacity of the writer? Have you ever read a script and thought, "this could be the next Eric Red" (http://www.hollywoodinterrupted.com/archives/seeing_red.phtml). I recently had an experience like that reading a script about (I'm not sure what the rules are on here, so I won't say the name) a hospital for the criminally insane where the power goes out and the inmates brutalize the staff in the most grotesque ways possible. I checked the address on the cover page and was relieved to see that the writer didn't live anywhere near me . . .
Oh yes, there have been several scripts where I seriously questioned the mental capacity of the writer. One in particular sticks in my mind and it was one of the most vile, reprehensible pieces of writing I had ever been subjected to. There are plenty of times I'm reading a disturbing scene and think "This guy has issues," but this is one of the few times I legitimately felt like I was getting a glimpse into the psyche of a truly sick individual.
And when we readers get something that loathsome, do you think we Google the writer and the script? You bet your ass we do!
Imagine my shock when this script - which makes the collective works of Eli Roth look like Care Bears: The Movie and was full of so much misogyny that it made female circumcision look like a bikini wax by comparison - was a Nicholl Fellowship Quarterfinalist!
This why when someone counters a bad review of mine by saying their script was a finalist in a contest, I don't give a shit. There's a reason that few Nicholls-winning scripts have actually been produced.Now maybe the year in question happened to be a pretty weak year for Nicholls submissions... but still, this was such utter sleaze that the script deserved to be burned after the first read and the ashes returned to the writer as a warning not to put pen to paper ever again.
Am I being too harsh?
(Yeah, it might be bad form to recycle comments as a new post, but I'm sure most of you have a half day, so consider this a half-post.)