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RETRO FUTURE REVIEW: THE THROAT COLLECTOR

RETRO EDITORIAL: NICK ON THE FIRST PREQUEL TEASER
February 13, 1999
RETRO MOVIE MICROSCOPE: BLESS THE CHILD
August 11, 2000

RETRO FUTURE REVIEW: THE THROAT COLLECTOR

Classic CHUD!

The Throat Collector

Director: John Milius

Cast:
Henry Rollins as Cobra Jackson
Pam Dauber as Jackie Jackson
Lelee Sobieski as Lt. Angel Kindred
Brian Dennehy as Capt. Mitch Kindred
Jan Michael Vincent as Scar Tissue, the Flesh Forgetter
Alec Baldwin as The Collector
cameo appearance by Watto the Toydarian

1964. We see a quaint Midwestern house in Anytown USA. The cries of a young girl are heard. From inside the house we see the mother rush into the room only to find her daughter sitting with her back to her. The mother, frazzled, asks the daughter what’s the matter. The girl turns around in slow motion, clutched in her hands are the neck-less remains of two Barbie dolls. The girl icily utters these four haunting words, “The throats … they’re gone!” The same shot of the house as before, we hear shouted, “SAMMY, NOT AGAIN!”

Present Day, December. We see two police cars screech to a halt outside of a large Precinct. As the officers leap from their cars the scene changes to inside the building, as people are milling about. Some are being questioned by other officers, and some are being fought by each other. One of the officers shouts, “Captain Kindred! I must see Captain Kindred!” As if on cue, a large burly man steps forward, munching on a sandwich. “I’m Captain Mitch Kindred. State your business, officer.” The officer gulps, “Sir, there’s been another collection.” Kindred chuckles as he brushes some crumbs from his gut. “Son, it’s Christmas. There’s always collections. Always been that way, always will be.” The policeman shakes his head, “No sir, you don’t understand. I mean another throat collection!” As he speaks these words, the whole room goes silent and all attention is turned towards them. “Ah, that kind of collection,” says Kindred. “Well why the hell didn’t you say so in the first place, boy? Let’s go!” Discarding his sandwich in favor of a gun, Kindred rushes out with the two policemen, followed by three more officers. The scene moves outside as we see the cars take off in search of the crime scene.

Upon arrival at the scene the Captain steps from the car, only to be faced with 17 vomiting rookie officers. Lone among them, in non sickness, is his daughter who is barking out orders like a drill sergeant. He walks up to her and embraces her. “Well, darling, what’s it like?” “Well, Captain pop,” she answers, “it’s pretty bad. What we’ve got here is a throatless female, about 27.” Mitch nods, “Sounds pretty normal.” “Well, that’s what we thought too, but then we found this.”

She hands him a throat, still bloody. “It’s the throat of a male Greek Orthodox Jew, about 6’2″ 191 lbs. What we’re dealing with here pops, is a throat collector who isn’t very thorough. I’m mean, he’s not as good as the Flesh Forgetter, but then, who is, right?” The captain storms past his daughter onto the crime scene, still clutching the throat, to where the bodies are. He begins shouting orders to the inept and vomit stricken policemen. He takes his cap off of his head, rubbing his balding scalp, muttering to himself. “If I never see another bloody throat, it’ll be too soon.” The scene fades out.

The camera fades back into a dark room, where we see the back of a man as he is perusing his find of throats. This is a particularly bloody scene as we see dozens of throats scattered across a table. In the background, the song ‘I Like Spikes’ is gently playing. The man then sets a throatless body of a male Greek Orthodox Jew onto the table and curses bitterly. Realizing that he took the body and not the throat, he hurls the throatless body out of his window, thirteen stories down, landing onto a vagrant who had been peacefully crossing the street. We hear the throat collector shout as the scene ends.

Nightime. Exterior of a nice looking house. The sounds of Christmas carols can be heard coming from inside. The scene changes to the interior of the house. Many children are sitting around a piano singing as Jackie Jackson is playing songs. Her husband, Cobra Jackson, is walking around the room with milk and cookies for the kids, also singing. Amidst all this joy, the sound of the phone ringing can be heard. Cobra gives the treat tray to a kid and steps into the kitchen to answer it. Mitch Kindred is on the phone, trying to talk Jackson into coming back for one last mission. “C’mon, Cobra. You were the best we ever had. I mean, you were the one who trained my daughter. Without you, she never would have busted Scar Tissue.” “The Flesh Forgetter,” breathed Jackson. “How is Angel these days?” “She’d be doing better if her old partner was working with her again” answered Mitch. “We really need your help. This new case has us all stumped.” Cobra sighs, “Why don’t you tell me about it and I’ll see what I can do.” Mitch Kindred begins to tell him all about the numerous throatless bodies that have been turning up. Cobra is stunned, as he has never quite heard anything like it before. When Kindred is finished, Cobra takes his time before speaking, “That was an amazing story, Mitch. It’s no wonder you’re stumped. I’d love to help bring this freak in. It might take a little time to talk Jackie into letting me go back, but considered me signed on. Where is Angel now?” As Mitch speaks these lines, the scene shifts to the inside of a maximum security prison cell, where we see Angel walking alone down a long, dim hallway: “She has gone to see Scar Tissue. The way she sees it, he might be able to tell her something about the criminal mind of a serial collector!”

She walks up to a cell encased in plastic, it appears to be the inspiration for the fictional film ‘The Silence of the Lambs’. Sitting inside, sowing his 45th pair of pants, is the infamous Scar Tissue, smoking a joint. He looks up and grins at her devilishly, “Hello, Angel. Would you like a fatty?” She shakes her head, “You’re one twisted bastard, Scar Tissue. It’s no wonder Cobra wanted to kill you. I should have let him.” Scar Tissue laughs at her, “You stupid, ignorant girl. He wanted to kill me because I forgot his daughters flesh! HA HA!” She looks away in disgust. “Ugh, you detest me. I don’t know why I came here anyway!” “Ah, but I know why you came here, my darling. You came here seeking knowledge, didn’t you. Of things they wouldn’t teach you of in school? Well, forget you, I say! Yes, forget your flesh I will!” He drops his sowing project and leaps at the bars. Angel lets out a startled shout and steps back. He presses his bare chest against the glass, screaming at her, “Damn you, bitch, the suspense is killing me! What do you want from me?” “Have you heard about the throat collector?” she asks. “The throat collector, you say? Why, yes, he was my protégé.” He then points to the wall, where, displayed for all to see, are 17 throats nailed up. “I’m going to need those for evidence.” He puts his shirt back on, “You want me to help you catch this killer? I will and I only ask for one thing in return.” “And what would that be?” she cautiously asks. “That I can be free and kill you and all of your loved ones.” She muses over this. “I can’t do that, but I can promise to get you Chinese food once a month.” He smiles, “Agreed.”

The interior of Captain Kindred’s office as Cobra Jackson is getting his badge and gun reissued. “This is a good day for the police force to have you back, Cobra.” Jackson smiles, “Aw thanks, Mitch. It means a lot to be missed.” As he says this, the door opens and Angel walks in. “I had to see it for myself before I’d believe it. The great Cobra Jackson, back in action.” Cobra smiles, “Yeah, good to see you too, Angel. Only, now you’ve made Lieutenant. Good for you.” As they embrace, Mitch producs a steel neckbrace and hands it to Cobra. “Here, you’ll also need this, standard issue until we bring this nut in.” Jacskon looks the item over before throwing it onto the desk, “You forget, Mitch, that I have a powerful neck.”

Nightime. The Collector is now walking the streets. Every person he passes he stares longingly at their neckstalks, until one looks back. The Collector looks back at the man, who is actually a floating blue beastie. “Do I know you?” the blue beastie asks. The Collector shakes his head, “No. No you don’t” Not to be dettered, the floating beastie answers, “I would bet every that I know you!” “No, but you do now!” The camera zooms in on the Collector as he flashes an evil grin, and we fade to black.

Back at the police station, Mitch, Angel, and Cobra, are all hunched over a table going over maps. They’re trying to see if there is any connection between where the bodies have been found and the layout of the city. As of now, they’ve come up empty. Then, just as they’re about to take a break, several police officers burst into the room, carrying another, who is drenched in blood. “What happened?” asks Mitch. “His throat … it’s been collected!” As the officer says this, the camera pans up to show the hollow cave where the mans throat used to be. Gasps of horror ring throughout the room. Cobra turns to one of the other men, “Who did this? Did anyone see anything?” A young man steps forward, “I saw the collector sir, or a least, someone who could be the Throat Collector.” Mitch grabs the man by the shoulders and spins him around to face him. “Speak up, boy. What did you see?”

The young man takes a deep breath and begins, “I heard what sounded like two men shouting so I went to see what all the commotion was about. As I rounded the corner, I saw a dark haired man club the officer in the head and steal his throat. Then he turned, saw me, and fled, throat in hand.” Cobra put his hand on his chin, “Hmm … could you give a good description of this man if you had to?” The man nodded. Cobra turned and pointed to another older man. “Then go over there to old Harry and he’ll draw you a picture based on your description. Can you do that?” The young man looked confused, “But, sir, wouldn’t it be better to give a desription of the collector’s appearance, rather than of mine?” Cobra reared back his fists, ready to strike the young fellow square in the teeth for being such a smart-ass, when Angel put a cautioning hand on his shoulder and spoke to the young man, “Yes, that’s a good idea. Go over to old Harry and tell him what the collector looks like, and we’ll all be very grateful.” Turning to Jacskon, “Won’t we, Cobra.” Begrudgedly, Cobra quickly nods and follows the young man over to old Harry with his eyes. “Smart-ass kid. You should have let me punch him in the chop house.” Angel shook her head, “We need his description of this throat fool, first. I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it.” Shortly thereafter, old Harry trudges over to the tree and hands them a pencil sketch, and then walks off. Peering at the picture, Mitch smiles, “We have the bastard now! Come on people, let’s go find him!” They all race out into the streets and get into their cars, driving off in search of the Throat Collector. Only now, he isn’t anonymous. Now, he has a face…

As the description of the collector goes out from the dispatcher, all eyes are on the streets looking for a man that fits the bill. A man, six-foot one, 210 pounds with a stocky build and dark brown hair with clean shave is what the sketch artist drew (and keeping in conjunction with police guidelines, he gave the figure bat wings). There was one other rather peculiar thing about the witness description which the artist factored in.

He said the man had no skull.

The image of a fleshy headed vigilante was faxed to law enforcement offices in the city.

In his apartment, the Collector listens to his police scanner and smiles.

They fell for the oldest trick in the book. The “skull-less assassin” trick pioneered by Samurai hundreds of years previous, where they would leave their skulls in the woods as they attacked, thus rendering them unidentifiable and more sleekly aerodynamic.

The collector puts his skull on his nightstand and goes to bed.

Meanwhile…

Cobra gets a fresh start to his morning when Angel appears at his door with three cups of fresh coffee before the sun has even bothered to rise.

“You’re not going to believe this”, the ravishingly beautiful young lady tells him. “He’s attacked again…and we have a survivor”.

Cobra’s eyes perk at this, “How do you know they’re connected? What makes you think it’s him?”

The blue beastie then flies from behind the woman.

“Because of me!”, it shrieks.

Cobra is aghast that such a creature could exist, let alone speak English. “What manner of creature are you?”

“Insignificant! Do you want my story or should I go back and deal with my slaves?”, it utters.

As he recounts his story, we see a look of fear begin to grow on the faces of Cobra and Angel: “So there I was, flying around minding my own business, when this greasy looking fellow started to stare at me! Naturally, I asked him if there was a problem to which he replied yes. Then he smiled at me and grabbed me by the wings, dragging me into a nearby alley! I can tell you that I was rather upset by the entire event!”

The hovering ghoulie then tells them that the perpetrator proceeded to punch the back of his neck repeatedly while politely asking the throat to evacuate. When it wouldn’t cooperate, the man pulled out an antique Japanese sword and surely would have diced the floating traveller had a bum not intervened.

Instead of stealing the two throats, the dangerous man chose to flee.

“This sets a precedent”, Cobra intimated. “This means he’ll leave the scene if something goes wrong”.

“This bodes well for future victims”, Angel agreed.

“Do you have a little blue meanies room?”, said the ghoul “I must drop shits”.

Meanwhile, back at the station, Mitch Kindred is busy mulling over a very disturbing phone call he just received. The door to his office opens and an old officer peeks his head into the room,

“You call for me chief?”

Mitch nods to the man, “Come on in, Pete. Sit down, I’ve got some rather bad news to tell you. You’re wife’s dead.”

As Kindred watches the grief tear apart the old man, he hesitantly continues, “Sid called just now. He was on patrol over by your house when he found the body. Uh, the thing is, Pete, her throat was missing. She’s the latest victim of our collector friend. I’m sorry to have to break it to you like this.”

The blue terror sent home, Angel and Cobra sit in his car.

“I never stopped caring about you, Cobra”, the beautiful young woman almost whispers.

Their time spent together not too distant a memory for him as well, Cobra Jackson took a long time before speaking. “Me neither, in fact being alone with you in that house was too much. I nearly reverted back to my old habit of pleasuring myself into the vase in the dining room”.

They edge closer, nearing a kiss, when the police radio shrieks to life.

“Patty McGillis has been murdered”, the crackling, solemn voice uttered, “All available units report to the station for instructions on what to do. All off duty units, prepare to battle.”

As Cobra and Angel race to the McGillis residence, they are welcomed with the sight of thriy-two police cars parked in the street. Cobra parks the car next to the orphanage across from the house, and he and Angel trudge across the lawn and enter the house. A buzz of actvity, it takes them a few seconds to locate Mitch and Pete, the grieving old man.

“Good to see you two finally made it,” Mitch demands.

Cobra answers as Angel goes over to Pete, who is balling into a pillow, “Sorry, Mitch. Any new leads yet?”

“Not a goddamned one, and we need results!”, the older man retorted. “Cobra, this is too….”.

The captain falls over, dead.

“What the hell!”, Cobra screams, and turns over the older man who had fallen face down to see his mentor and friends’ lifeless body. Angels runs over, tears streaming. A gasp escapes her mouth as she sees the big shock.

His throat is gone.

A child plays outside the orphanage and looks up to see a bloody husk float past him in midair. He sits down, trying to figure out what just happened. As if a realization has dawned on him. He crushes the crack pipe he had been planning to smoke later.

Meanwhile, in the attic of the orphanage a figure shrouded in darkness opens the door to let the bloody husk float into his hands. The Throat Collector puts his latest invention, the remote controlled “throat collector jr.” down and laughs maniacally as the throat pulses in his hand.

To be continued?