The TITLE appears in white letters -
JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO
MUSIC. Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances," Chicago Symphony
Orchestra, begins to play. The stormy part.
The CREDITS ROLL.
The credits have that depressing, shitty, this is going
to be one of those lousy black and white movies from the
1950s look. This is going to be one of those cheap teen
sci-fi movies about a creature
MUSIC. When the female star's name appears, Borodin's
theme, which will later become adapted into "Strangers In
Paradise," plays. Then we return to the stormy part,
which subsides as:
The CREDITS END.
The following LEGEND appears on the field of grey:
"You only live twice.
Once when you're born,
Once when you look death in the face."
-- James Bond
The LEGEND remains, but the field of grey turns to a rich
texture of solid gold.
MUSIC. "The Girl From Ipanema," sung by the likes of Tom
Waits, sung like it was the Downest blues song anybody
ever croaked out just before the final curtain. The
MUSIC starts as the field turns from grey to gold. The
MUSIC PLAYS ON.
1 EXT. AMERICAN PANASCOPE CORPORATION - DAY 1
We're in color now, but it's a grey world. It's an ugly
building about the size of a city block and a couple of
stories high. It's surrounded by hurricane fence topped
with barbed wire. Outside the fence is a muddy parking
lot. On the fence is a sign that reads:
AMERICAN PANASCOPE CORP.
a subsidiary of
JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO - Rev. 5/16/89 1A.
The sign also has an abstract logo; a sort've German
Expressionist's version of a lightning bolt. Another
HOME OF THE RECTAL PROBE
It's a grey winter's morning. It's raining or snowing or
it just has or it's about to. There's a guard at a gate
nodding workers inside the fence. They trail listlessly
past him and continue on their way to the building's
entrance. Most of them carry or are using grey or black
umbrellas. Since they are coming from the parking lot,
and since the entrance to the building is still almost a
city block away once inside the fence, this straggling
line of workers stretches hundreds of yards. Some of the
workers wear hats.
We see the line of workers FROM HIGH OVERHEAD
The line is in the same shape as the lightning bolt logo.
One of these workers is JOE BANKS. Joe is in his early
thirties. He's wearing a beat-up black trench coat;
under the trench coat he's got on a cheap and square
jacket and tie. This is a depressed man. You can see
where he could be cool, where he could have something on
the ball. But he's way too beaten down and depressed to
be cool. Joe steps in a puddle. He pulls his shoe out
of the water. He notices the sole is coming loose from
the shoe. This depresses him further. He walks on. The
sound of the WATER SQUISHING in his shoe can be heard.
JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO - Rev. 1/15/89 2.
2 INT. PANASCOPE BUILDING - DAY2
Joe is shuffling down the main walk in the building. On
his left are doors leading to offices. On his right is
the factory, which has the feel of an airplane hangar.
The factory is separated from the walk on which Joe
progresses by a heavy wire fence twelve feet high. Joe
passes by a sign on this fence that says "Shipping." This
area is filled with thousands of brown cardboard boxes; a
shipping clerk among these boxes pulls a lever on a
device; the device spews out several feet of wet brown
tape. Joe continues on. He passes a sign on the fence
that says "Canteen." This area contains a row of vending
machines and two long tables; a guy who looks like he's
going to die is sitting at one of the tables eating pink
Hostess snowballs; he eats them in a slow, dismal way, as
if they were giant sleeping pills. Joe continues on. He
passes a sign on the fence that says "Quality Control."
This is the biggest area; it's filled with workers in
shower caps and worn white jackets; they work a distance
apart from each other, at long tables; they are
inspecting terrifying medical instruments. One of these
workers, a middle-aged woman named Sally, attaches a
catheter to an air pump. The catheter inflates and
finally explodes. Sally seems satisfied. Joe continues
on, his shoe distantly SQUISHING. He stops at one of the
office doors on his left. The lettering on the door