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Malleus

Adulterous husband burned at the stake for consorting with evil emerges in modern Los Angeles to stalk a fatherless young man he thinks is a reincarnation of his own son.

The year is 1317, and Europe is gripped by famine in the "Little Ice Age." Ten-year-old Nicholas Baret is a young boy living in Goudency, France. When his baby brother dies, his mother, Georgette, blames Nicholas's handsome, womanizing father, Tristan. She denounces Tristan as a "wolf by night" and pressures the local priest into putting him before the inquisitors.

Tristan, who is having simultaneous affairs with a local noblewoman and a promiscuous young woman Claudine, is accused of consorting with demons, seducing girls, creating succubi, and devouring livestock.

Tristan and Claudine are convicted after failing their "tests" of ordeal by cold water and ordeal by hot water. Both are burned at the stake. Little Nicholas watches horrified beside his vengeful mother. But even after Tristan dies, rumors of his presence circulate in the superstitious village.

Those who testified against Tristan die in gruesome ways. Tristan's widow Georgette goes mad.

CUT TO present day: Tristan has traveled forward on the currents of time and reappears in modern day Los Angeles. He soon begins to shadow a troubled college boy named Nick Barrett, whose own father had committed "suicide by cop" when Nick was ten. Tristan is convinced that Nick is a reincarnation of his own son, Nicholas, and he desperately wants to be in the young man's life.

Nick, who doesn't get along with his surly stepfather, is shocked when the stepfather is attacked by a mysterious creature and torn to pieces. When the police take saliva, blood and fur specimens from the stepfather, the lab reveals that they came from a medieval wolf species that had gone extinct hundreds of years ago.

The police naturally suspect a hoax and seek an expert at the La Brea Tarpits lab to re-analyze the specimens.

Meanwhile, Tristan befriends Nick, who is suspicious at first, but because he misses his father, he is vulnerable. He follows Tristan into dark activities in L.A., prowling and hunting, doing drugs, etc.

Nick's girlfriend, Ashley, grows worried over Nick's increasingly strange behavior, odd dreams, and frequent absences. She worries about schizophrenia and dislikes Tristan, who sees Ashley as an adversary.

As the police investigate, Tristan realizes that they are closing in on him and his secret. Ashley suspects that Tristan is a monster, and urges Nick to break off the relationship.

Tristan decides to possess and kill Ashley --- as he has killed the female police detective trying to pick him up for questioning about the stepfather's murder.

Tristan ambushes Ashley as she is driving home from shopping. Nick rushes to her aid.

Just as he is about to overcome Ashley, Claudine, the girl who was burned at the stake with him, appears, her clothes still aflame. She convinces Tristan that Nick is not his son, and that he must return with her to limbo. Nick and Ashley reunite, and Nick resolves to stop obsessing on his dead father and give his mother the support she needs.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Starring Roles For:
Colin Farrell
a young Robert Pattinson
a young Anne Hathaway
In the Vein Of:
Possession
The Name of the Rose
An American Werewolf in Paris
Posted:
07/02/2012
Updated:
12/19/2020
Author Bio:
I'm a produced screenwriter. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. www.lindaboroffauthor.com

I wrote the feature film, Murder in Fashion, about the killing of designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The film played at theatres and festivals and was reviewed in the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/movies/22murder.html?_r=0

I collaborated with producer Don Murphy (Transformers, Natural Born Killers) on the script "Fast Fade" on the life of tragic film noir actress Barbra Payton.

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