Final Haunted Girl

This week, we played The Final Girl by Bret Gillan in which we played a group staying overnight at a haunted house to win a radio contest. Whoever is still in the house come 7am will win $10,000, with questions about the house used as tiebreakers if more than one lasts. Our cast includes Mavis, the naive mystery lover; Lind, a barber who acts spontaneously; Fiona, a pushy real estate agent; Toolman Todd, an upbeat handyman; Dyna, video gamer and cynic; Bob, a true believer in the paranormal; Mara, a stereotypically timid librarian; Veronica, sceptic and realist; Heidi, a bodybuilder; Powell, a fastidious cashier; Jim, an upstanding local college athlete; and representing the station, snarky radio DJ, Ragin Rick.

Our story begins with Rick welcoming the contestants in the house’s ballroom for a quick cocktail hour at which Rick messes with Mavis, Heidi, and Bob and Bob & Mavis make a connection through their shared belief. In the foyer, near a pair of massive staircases and a large fireplace, Dyna and Mara almost connect through their shared Mario Bros. ringtone. Mara apologizes to everyone, but Lind spends his time antagonizes Veronica and Dyna. In the backyard garden, Fiona and Todd discuss what it would take to restore this house if she were going to sell it. Powell joins them outside to escape her dust allergies, and Jim impresses Fiona with his forthrightness. Later, Mara and Powell go upstairs and find a library. As they try to open the window to let in some air, the dust begins to swirl into a small dervish that surrounds the two until their lungs fill with dust. At last, they collapse dead on the floor.

Jim, Todd, and Heidi are exploring the conservatory when a garden hose snakes around Jim’s leg, but he wrestles himself free. A large piece of the roof falls in, smashing Todd as glass shards impale him. A rake flies off the wall at Heidi, who sidesteps just in time. A pair of garden gloves crawl up Jim’s back and begin choking him; as he tries to rip them off, they snap his neck. Heidi manages to escape and goes to warn everyone else. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Veronica is interrogating Rick about what tricks the station has planned for them, but he insists the house is haunted, pointing out its history of death and fear. As they talk, old rusted kitchen knives come flying off the wall at each of them but embed in the wall, and cast iron pots come crashing down but miss Rick. As Veronica heads for the door, a pipe bursts through the floor, causing her to slip and smash her head on the tile floor. Rick also slips on the floor but luckily falls forward and slides out of the kitchen. Another group in the foyer hear a scream and wonder if it’s a special effect. Dyna and Mavis head out of the room to check it out, leaving Fiona and Lind near the fireplace. A massive flame comes flying out of the fireplace, singeing Fiona and Lind as they step away. As Dyna and Mavis cross the room, they begin to sink into the carpet, which is slowly sucking them inside until they’re gone and the carpet returns to normal.

Lind, Rick, Heidi, and Bob gather upstairs in the children’s room. Bob is fascinated by all the happenings, closely watches a crayon writing on the wall, and is almost killed when a rocket ship falls from the ceiling. Scissors come flying at Lind’s neck but misses him. Sweaters come flying out the closet, wrapping around Rick, but he balls them up and throws them onto the floor. The sweaters form up into an animated scarecrow and go after Heidi, who grabs a hobbyhorse to smash them before they get to her. The broken horse gallops after Bob, using its teeth to rip his throat out. As Lind watches what is happening to Bob, the horse’s rockers fly up and stab him.

Rick, Heidi, and Fiona gather in a poolroom, trying to find an exit. As they cross the room, a huge water spout flies up from the floor. It sucks up Fiona and flings her across the room, but she rises, coughing out the water. It goes after Rick too but collapses as it gets too far from the pool. A tarp attacks Heidi, but she catches and balls it up before it can get her. It grabs at Fiona and pulls her into the water. She swims to the edge and slips away as the water turns its attention to Rick; a wave grabs him, pulls him to the bottom and crushes him. The pool’s lane divider wraps around Heidi, tightening as she struggles until she can’t breathe. As another wave comes for her one last time, Fiona holds up her cross while reciting the Lord’s Prayer, louder and louder, and the wave collapses and the room turning silent. Fiona runs out of the house into the street, where she gets in her car and drives away.

The Final Girl Makes a Call

Tonight we played The Final Girl by Bret Gillan in a secluded research facility that receives a genetically perfected humanoid subject for testing. Our story begins with Walden the lazy office administrator, Tracey the focused project lead, Edgar the traitorous supervisor, and Carson the talkative assistant receiving the experiment on the loading dock, which they transfer to the observation room. In the observation room, Krysten the unscrupulous researcher, Tilda the aggressive researcher, Troy the nervous biologist, and Leopold the naive intern discover the creature is genderless and extremely powerful when it destroys a box to get a food. Leopold suggests talking to it more, but the group decides to replace the simple box with an indestructible puzzle box for the next experiment to test its thinking ability. At the pool, Marie the athletics researcher runs the experiment through a battery of swimming tests against a couple of human volunteers: always-angry Stacy and always-jovial Verona while Neil the buff janitor cleans some vomit in the corner from an earlier test run. The volunteers get freaked out when the experiment swims at them aggressively and at tremendous speed. Later, Neil and Richard are killed at the water cooler when the experiment breaks loose and attacks.

In the offices, Walden, Edgar and Krysten are discussing a possible food shortage for the test subjects, but Krysten suggests lowering their expected intake to match the food stores. The experiment arrives in all its shining glory, a perfect human specimen, grabs Walden and snaps their neck. In one of the labs, Tracey and Carson are interviewing Verona about her experiences in the tests when the experiment bursts in and throws the lab door at Tracey but it flies over her head. It then picks up an entire lab bench to throw at them all, which again misses, then it grabs Carson and throws him into the ceiling, snapping his spine. Tilda, Stacy, and Leopold are arguing about whether to continue the tests in light of the attacks when the experiment leaps in baring its fangs at Leopold before grabbing Stacy, this time anticipating the dodges that she would make. Back on the loading dock, Edgar is preparing to leave but being confronted by Marie about why he’s bugging out early when Leopold runs in hysterical from the last attack. The experiment arrives and simply grabs Edgar and crushes his skull, the rips the fork off a nearby lift and impales Marie upon its tines.

Watching from above, Krysten, Tilda, and Tracey are very excitedly taking notes and discussing the next steps they should take with the experiment until it comes crashing through the windows of their observation deck and tosses both Krysten and Tilda behind it to their deaths. Tracey runs for the exit, joined by Leopold and Verona at the front door. But the experiment is too fast by this point and before they can unlock the facility to escape, it arrives and smashes the electronic keypad. It grabs the exposed wires and Tracey at the same time, shocking her to death, then brings the ceiling down on Leopold and Verona. It walks out into the woods that surround the secluded facility. Moments later, Leopold manages to pull himself from the rubble, pulls out a phone, dials, and reports: “It’s done.”

Final Vampiric Filly

Tonight we played The Final Girl by Bret Gillan as an enclave of vampires hiding in the Old West, preying on travelers, a force of nature in the high sierra. In introductions, we meet Pamela the quiet predator, Josephus the cranky old prospector, and Chip the seductive chicken thief planning their next hunt. Chip advocates for hitting the chicken coops, but Pamela is looking for bigger game. In the next scene we see Wick the vain sheep herder, Wallace the kindly cattle hand, and Viola the teenage sharpshooter arguing about whose animals get to graze which hill, and whether among the livestock is the right place for target practice. And in the final preliminary, Van Duck the limber lumberjack visits Lilith the whip-smart brothel madam at Bessy the grizzled barkeep’s saloon. After several drinks of alcohol and being certified clean of STDs, Van Duck finally orders a mug of blood and downs the aperitif before going in to see Lilith’s vampiric girls.

In first blood, a mysterious man in a duster and wide-brimmed black hat leads a mob to trap Thomas the noble gunfighter between a bevy of crosses so he can easily stake him and haul his carcass away; then, they surround and burn down the building that Eliza the powerful vampire matriarch has entered. Next, Señor Duster visits Wallace the cowhand and Wick the shepherd in the hills tending their animals and stakes Wallace through the heart before he even realizes what is happening. Viola takes her guns further into the hills and encounters Josephus in the process of foreswearing prospecting forever after a lifetime of failure. He gleefully tosses his tools in the air for the girl to shoot when a pair of lawmen arrive and begin asking questions that lead one to fire a stake from a crossbow into Josephus. When Pamela visits Bessy at the saloon and pays retail for the O-negative blood she supplies the saloon with, the pair get to talking about Bessy’s need for a creative outlet when the same lawmen arrive. Pamela tries misdirection as prelude to feasting on one, but the other stakes her from behind as she moves on his partner. The coward!

Elsewhere, Chip has led Van Duck into a chicken coop outside a human farmhouse. Señor Duster makes a witty remark before dropping holy water from holes in the coop’s ceiling, but in a flurry of feathers, Chip slips away from the carnage. Duster drops into the coop and tries to stake Von Duck, but he limbers away with a twist and a backwards somersault. Finally, Duster takes an atomizer of holy water to Chip’s beautiful face and brings the vampire down. Meanwhile, one of the posse of lawmen brings a sick sheep to see Nick, the gentle horse & cattle doctor, who is busy tending the sick turtle of Lilith, the brothel keeper. Although both are humans who happen to live among us vampires, the lawman is flustered and appalled at our permissive attitude toward the undead, and empties his revolver in the small vet’s shed. Although the first five bullets are wasted, he eventually manages to hit Nick and bring another of us down. At the saloon, Van Duck is arguing with Bessy about whether he should get free services when a hail of crossbow bolts come flying in and brings down the lumberjack.

After their harrowing escapes, Viola meets Wick at his ranch to begin discussing how they can counter-attack against the forces hunting them when Señor Duster pulls himself up from their well and begins a series of outlandish flailing and failing attacks—throwing a wooden shuriken at Viola, firing a crossbow at Wick, trying to squeeze holy water from a dry waterskin on Viola, tripping as he charges toward Wick—until finally he rushes Viola with his duster removed and wraps her up, surrounding her with the pattern of crosses in the coat’s liner, burning her to crisp. Bessy and Lilith have abandoned the saloon and hidden themselves in the loft of a barn, thinking they’re safe when crossbow bolts strike above their heads, missing them. The posse down below try throwing a lit stick of dynamite into the loft, but Bessie bats it away with the first draft of the play she’s written. But the same lawman tosses the candle he lit the dynamite with through the loft window and the hay immediately catches fire and engulfs Lilith.

Bessy and Wick are running away, taking off through the wilderness to escape their tormentors, but arguing about how best to get away: should they separate? Señor Duster arrives on a wagon promising this will be the end for them. He comes after Wick with a stake, but can’t get close enough to use it because of all the sheep. When he tries his atomizer on Bessy, she knocks it from his hand with her play manuscript. He tries for Wick again, this time running across the sheets backs, but they’re too unreliable a platform and he falls. He throws another wooden shuriken at Bessy but it embeds in her manuscript. He picks himself up and grabs the lantern from his wagon, tossing it in the air at Wick, shooting it so the oil and flame fall on the vamp and set him alight. As he turns to face Bessy, she leaps the full distance between them and buries her fangs in his throat, ending his life and the threat, for now.

Now the scene shifts forward to the present day when two playwright students discuss the legend of a Bessy who haunts their MFA program, supposedly stalking and killing any student who becomes too pretentious. One laughs off the whole legend but when he returns home, Bessy visits him that night and teaches him how wrong he is.

The Final Communard Girl

Tonight we brought out Final Girl by Bret Gillan and found ourselves a group of hapless communists trying to create a utopia in a gated Florida neighborhood, but ended up being hunted down by that avatar of capitalism, the Monopoly Man.

Monopoly man wielding an axe and leaping from a pile of moneybags.
Photo courtesy torbakhopper at Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

In the introductions, we learn that Boris shot a deer, or someone dressed as a deer, the night before our story begins, and Janusz is digging into the details, while Josephus goes on about God. At the dining hall, Bigalou, a retired shrimp-boat captain, makes friends with Emma, the idealistic orator, who in turn develops quite the rivalry with Jane the teen who rebels by insisting on capitalist commerce. Elsewhere, Martine the enterprising beekeeper agrees to set up shop with Chad the alligator wrestler in a house shown to them by Belinda where a couple recently passed away. In the next scene, Leo the groundskeeper, Marko, Nic Caj, and Sol, keeper of the chore wheel, mysteriously die in our community graveyard when the Monopoly Man draws first blood.

Later at the abandoned railway station, a ghostly train tries to run down Bigalou, Josphus, Janusz, and Chad, but it is the giant metallic dog that gets it’s teeth into Chad and rips him to shreds. At a party in the basement of Chad & Martine’s house, the Monopoly Man appears out of nowhere and after several near misses, lands the head of his military flail in Belinda’s face. At the meeting house, Emma tries to rally the group but MM knocks on the door to foreclose on us. He stumbles miserably, failing to connect with his briefcase or his Monopoly money, but eventually manages to run down Martine. At the community pool, a race car and bevy of dogs try to attack us, but it is MM himself who finally reunites Josephus with his Lord. On a rooftop where we hope we’ll be safe, green houses begin to fall from the sky, just missing us, but Bigalou is felled by the Triforce piece from the Legend of Zelda edition.

Finally, in the stand-off on the Boardwalk at the beach, where we arm ourselves and use the sand to build fortifications, Mr. Monopoly arrives and proceeds to hack his way through the remaining communists. When Jane trips Emma, she ends up with an axe in her back, but that leaves Jane vulnerable too, so she gets ironed flat. Monopoly Man crushes Boris by dropping a hotel on him, and turns to face Janusz. But the mild-mannered reporter exhibits heretofore unknown talents and releases a samurai fury upon the arch-capitalist and cuts him down.

The Final Disney Girl

This week we entered the horrific landscape of Disney World just when the masked characters began a murder spree, courtesy of The Final Girl by Bret Gillan. The story started at the Main Street USA Parade as the teenagers, employees, and other visitors milled around and met each other, but that night the plush characters attacked several people as they left the park, magically carrying them off or disintegrating their bodies. Each day, each encounter the results were bloodier and more gruesome, but each time a few survived: Kassandra a naive teenager and her younger sister Tabitha, Instagram queen TabbycatSupreme14, and her dedicated fan Charlie the intolerable dork; and among the adults Jacki the upbeat in-park Tiki Bar tender kept the peace with Carlo who had entered the park to recapture his youth and work through the crisis of his divorce. So, in the final encounters the plush characters focused on these five, a giant Maleficent dragon eating Kassandra, then Charlie and Carlo died at the Tiki Bar until Mickey returned to spirit away TabbycatSupreme14, leaving only Jacki as the “Final Girl” to face the horde. But then the scene changes to a panel of Disney executives setting aside the script shaking their heads at how horrible the idea would be for a movie. Alternative endings on the DVD included: Jacki secretly having masterminded the entire killing spree, and Jacki fleeing the park at sunrise but no one believing their story.