A nameless wild west outpost features a statue of a famous outlaw, a drifter tells the tale of why the town would erect a statue of a criminal; The nameless criminal was known for robbing trains and travellers alike, but life on the run for so long had left him bitter and lonely. He passes through the outpost to find it is plagued by a Gorgon Medusa. Every night after dark, she comes out and terrorizes any dwellers that haven’t barricaded themselves in their homes. The criminal has a duel with her, but without a mirror to avert his gaze from her, he is turned to stone as he guns her down. [Need to flesh out some motivations, the how and the why of certain aspects as well.] Opening shot, night time in the nameless outpost. An old dweller laments on the things he’s seen, lighting his pipe up by striking a match on the Outlaw Statue. He then spins the tale of the Outlaw’s heroic demise, using the smoke from his pipe to stylistically fade in various shots, featuring the outlaw robbing travellers at gun point, identifying him as a criminal… but also high-lighting his motivations for why he does this. [Phantasy Star II trope, a highwayman robs travellers so that he can get enough money together to pay for his daughter’s ransom from bandits. He mercilessly kills his daughter whom is disguised and then kills himself in agony.] I need to highlight that the outlaw is a pained and sorrowful individual despite his nature, hopefully getting the audience to second guess their initial thoughts of him.
The anti-hero in this case is known as “Grinning Jack” called that because of the crude toothy grin drawn onto his bandanna. The Medusa drove him out of the outpost at a young age, forcing him to get by as robber, stealing enough to survive. His motivation for returning is more to face his own demons than to free the outpost of the Gorgon’s grasp. The reason no one else has tried to face the Medusa is the fact that even attempting to kill her will most likely result in being turned to stone. Grinning Jack forsakes his own life to end hers.
I’ve decided to do this in a punchy black and white noir style as an ode to spaghetti westerns before colour TV became a thing. Not only that, but I feel it suits the style of story. It’s not a happy tale, but one of tragic redemption.
Shots: Establishing the outpost, Grinning Jack statue, pipe-smoker (narrator) telling the story, Grinning Jack holding up a general store, evading law men, spending his nights alone and bitter, returning to the outpost afterdark, shooting the Medusa, puling off his own mask in his final moments to reveal a sad smile.
Narrator “Many knew Grinning Jack as an outlaw, a cold-blooded gunman, known to be as cunning as he was deadly. Utimately, it was Grinning Jack’s callous disregard for his own life that caused his heroic demise at the hands of the Medusa.”