EXT. SOMEWHERE IN THE DESERT SOUTHWEST - DAY
BEGIN TITLES OVER:
It is early morning and already hot. INSECTS drone, crackle,
and scurry for shade. PRAIRIE DOGS burrow to escape the sun.
We can see the heat shimmering off the surface of the Earth.
On a dusty highway, a pair of VULTURES dine on a dead coyote.
One of them snags an intestine and tugs a few feet of it out of
In the distance, where a long, dusty road meets the horizon, a
small shape appears -- a Sixty-four-and-a-half Mustang
convertible, its top down. Its candy-apple red burns like a
brilliant fireball under the sun. As the car drifts closer, we
see steam escaping from under the hood. Sammi Smith's "Please
Help Me Get Through The Night" plays on the car's radio.
INT. BOBBY COOPER'S MUSTANG - DAY
At the wheel, ignoring impending disaster, BOBBY COOPER, young,
good-looking, fiddles with the RADIO dial, annoyed only to find
country stations. He's been driving since noon yesterday and it
shows -- along with a heavily-bandaged left hand resting on the
steering wheel. He finds something by Pearl Jam or Smashing
Pumpkins and he cranks it. He pops a Percodan with his good hand
as, in the shimmering distance ahead, he sees black shapes in
the road and lays on the horn.
Get off the goddamn road!
EXT. DESERT ROAD - DAY
As the MUSTANG powers by, the VULTURES move off the shoulder,
INT. MUSTANG - DAY
The RADIO blares as BOBBY fights to stay awake. His attention is
caught by blue and red lights flashing in the oncoming lane. He
sits up as the POLICE CAR (SHERIFF POTTER inside) closes
quickly. The SIREN starts faintly, then SCREAMS as the cruiser
roars past at speed.
There is a loud pop from the front of the Mustang and a thick
cloud of steam now pours from the hood. The temperature gauge
now starts rising.
A couple of SEMIS roar past in the opposite direction,
buffetting the Mustang with their air waves.
EXT. FORK IN THE ROAD - DAY
The car rolls into a fork in the road, limping with the droop of
an animal that won't make another hundred yards.
One sign on the larger road says "GLOBE" is 29 miles away. The
other sign, on the lesser road, tells us "SUPERIOR" is only 2
miles. A third sign confirms his destiny with "Gas, Food, 1
BOBBY seems to have no choice. He aims the car down the lesser
road towards "Superior, Arizona."
EXT. OUTSKIRTS SUPERIOR - DAY
The car rattles on its last legs, as BOBBY mutters incantations,
noticing a old, ghostlike MINING COMPANY at the base of the
mountains overlooking the TOWN. It's deserted now, no one
visible, the gates shut, but in its vast, dark bulk, we sense
the ancient richness and power of this town. Bobby moves on.
EXT. HARLIN'S GARAGE - DAY
Down the road from the MINING COMPANY, BOBBY'S CAR pulls into a
small GAS STATION, made of weather-beaten wood, its windows long
since dusted over. The pumps themselves look to have been
manufactured in the early fifties. Above the station is a sign
so faded it's barely readable: HARLIN'S.
Bobby gets out of the car and with great care, favoring his
bandaged left hand which seems to give him a great deal of pain,
he opens the hood. A plume of steam hits him in the face.
Bobby looks around for someone, anyone. After a few moments he
reaches into the car and blows the horn. He waits, then blows
it again. From out of the station walks DARRELL - a
slow-looking man in coveralls caked with grease and dirty. He
looks the part of a yokel.