Copycat script
Copycat (1995)
Synopsis: Copycat is a 1995 American psychological thriller directed by Jon Amiel and starring Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney. The score was composed by Christopher Young.

INT. LECTURE HALL BERKELEY - DAY

The hall is full. On the stage, DR. HELEN HUDSON is

speaking. HELEN is a forensic psychologist. Behind her is

a projected diagram: PREDISPOSITION, DISSOCIATION, TRAUMA,

FANTASY, VIOLENT FANTASY, FACILITATORS, MURDER, and

TRAUMA-REINFORCEMENT which she can point to with a laser

pointing device. We see her from a considerable

distance... the back of the balcony. Her voice is crisp and

assured.

HELEN:

Our society creates these socially

and psychically disenfranchised

men, and their revenge on society

is terrible. They are hard to

catch. They are "the nice guy next

door," their employers -- if they

work at all -- find them quiet and

uncomplaining. Early abuse and

rejection have taught them

passivity. Only in their violent

fantasies do they feel alive. What

they seek in their frenzied

assaults on their victims is relief

from passivity. For these men, ten

minutes relief is worth far more

than the life of another human

being. Torture, the pain they

inflict, the screams of the victim,

are all part of the ritual that

gives them a brief respite from

their own psychic pain. And then

the depression, the forgetting, the

feeling of sadness and despair

begins the cycle all over again.

Like addicts seeking their drug,

Albert DeSalvo, Bianchi and Buono,

Berkowitz, Dahmer, Bundy -- they

seek out their next victim.

During the second half of this speech, the eye of the camera

has moved slowly forward until it settles just behind the

balcony railing.

CLOSEUP:
HELEN

HELEN:

The cycle is endless until they are

caught. And they are caught by

chance -- they run a red light, and

a body is in the trunk. A leaking

pipe brings a plumber to a basement

where they is the smell of death.

Her eyes have come to rest on the spot of the camera eye in

the balcony... Her voice chokes off. She stares.

HELEN'S POV:

Sitting in the front row of the balcony, a YOUNG RED-HEADED

MAN (DARYLL LEE CULLUM) leans forward, resting his tattooed

arms on the railing. He smiles intimately at HELEN.

HELEN cuts her eyes to the left. She sees:

Backstage, an overweight COP in plain clothes. Instantly

alert to HELEN'S alarm, he jumps up, comes within an inch of

exposing his presence to the audience. A SECOND COP, in the

wings on the other side of the stage, also springs to

attention. FIRST COP'S eyes follow HELEN'S...

Their POV:
THE BALCONY - YOUNG RED-HEADED MAN is no longer

there.

HELEN Can she believe her eyes? Resumes:

HELEN:

At any time, right now, as you

listen, the FBI estimates there are

30 to 35 serial killers stalking

their victims. The serial killer is

a plaque that must be addressed not

only by the law, but by science.

Florida spent eight million dollars

to execute Ted Bundy. It would

have been better spent building a

forensic penal facility devoted to

research.

Once again her eyes fix on the balcony to reassure herself

that the smiling man is not there...

HELEN:

Confined for life, without parole,

and subjected to scientific study,

these men's lives might finally, in

some small measure, educate and

thereby protect society. Thank

you.

Applause as Helen warily checks for the TWO COPS. They are

carefully casing the crowd.

CUT TO:

LATER:

The crowd is breaking up. FIRST COP walks HELEN to the

ladies' room. People reach to shake Helen's hand; she copes

as well as she can with her fear. THEY LEAVE THE STAGE

THROUGH A DOOR OPENING TO A CORRIDOR LEADING BACK TO

DRESSING ROOMS AND A LADIES' ROOM...

CUT TO:

INT. LADIES' ROOM - DAY

THE COP, clearly embarrassed, pokes his head in and looks

around. Under one stall he sees a woman's HIGH HEELS. He

hastily ducks back into HALL and signals an okay to Helen.

Before the door behind her closes, we see the COP prepare to

stand guard outside. HELEN walks past the stall with the

high heels to a stall several doors down.

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Ann Biderman

Ann Biderman is an American film and television writer. She is the creator and executive producer of the NBC/TNT series Southland, and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Drama Series for an episode of NYPD Blue. more…

All Ann Biderman scripts | Ann Biderman Books

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