Monday, April 25, 2005


A Horror Western by Chaco Daniel of Novato, CA

In the old west, the new sheriff of an Arizona mining town investigates a string of brutal deaths that could be the work of a werewolf.

Now, this is not a great logline, but it is a great concept that could just use some polishing. Combining separate genres can be very successful (Alien, Tremors) or very bad (Sundown, Ghost Town). Here’s one concept that has great potential, and that’s not just my love of lycanthrope movies talking. This concept makes you want to ask questions, and makes you associate all the conventions of the old west AND horror movies together.

Where you go wrong with this logline is that you only go half way. It’s not COULD be a werewolf – it IS a werewolf.

Chaco, you’re an advertising copywriter so think about what you’re selling here. In this case, the logline conjures up an image in the reader’s mind of a cowboy in the Arizona Mountains fighting off a werewolf under the light of a full moon – gunslinger v. werewolf. That’s what we want to see. We don’t want to find out it isn’t a werewolf. We want to find out the werewolf’s identity (the most unlikely of the suspects)! We want to see the sheriff waiting for the moon to rise, hearing the howl, scrambling for his gun, fighting for the silver bullet – all the things you would expect from both a western and a horror movie.

Here’s my quick take on your logline:

When a series of brutal murders plague an 1800’s Arizona mining town, the new Sheriff uncovers a werewolf living among them, and must destroy the creature before it slaughters them all at the next full moon.

This isn’t a great logline either, but you can see the difference – more tension, conflict, mystery and consequences. Make sure that your script reflects these elements. If you can do that – you’ll have a great D2DVD movie.

Congratulations and good luck!


Gary P said...

What's wrong with Sundown (I assume you mean Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat)?
I don't know about loglines but the tag line was great: "There's two kinds of folks in Purgatory. Vampires and lunch."

Anyway, Claw, this looks good. There's a lot of thing that junp to mind just from the logline; Werewolves chasing a rider on horse back, (hey what what happens if a horse gets bit, a super cool wolf/horse monster), moonlit gunfights, is it a silver mine? That means plenty of silver for bullets and plent of dynamite.
Instead of Showdown at High Noon it would be Showdown at Full Moon.
Now I'm rambling.
Love the idea. Good luck with the screenplay.

Gary P said...

I posted that las comment aroun midnight last night, then went to bed. Around 3 o'clock in the morning I woke up and had been dreaming about werewolves in the old west.
Now, if you could do that to a studio exec then you would be well on your way.

Bill Cunningham said...

That's what a good logline does - it nests in your brain, and you can't shake the idea...

Kind of like that Katherine Heigl pic as Wonder Woman...