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HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE, feature motion picture Situation Synopsis & Story Line
June 4, 2018
4:54 am
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HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE, feature motion picture Situation Synopsis & Story Line

Peppered elsewhere throughout this Forum readers have noticed mention of the feature motion picture project HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE screenplay written by M. Dawson Holland, based on a Treatment he paid Warren Publishing's EERIE comic book Senior Editor Bill DuBay to write, based on Jim Stenstrum's Nuclear Age Classic. Dawson had gotten the Motion Picture Rights from Jim and ended up writing the screenplay himself, although he will tell you he, as film co-producer, was not his own first choice. Sometimes it comes down to not being able to negotiate for a screenplay writer's fee. Unlike Dawson's Nostradamus short story, his 120 or so page "adapted" movie script is too large to park here on our Forum. So I've convinced him to give us an idea about his feature film project by placing its Situation Synopsis & Story Line here.

At one time Dawson had famous Academy Award nominated Actor, and motion picture Director, Peter Fonda on board to Direct his HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE production. Dawson told me "It was a real roller coaster ride of emotions as we came very close a few times to getting the 'Green Light' to go into production. I had financing lined up with a Canadian Bank who loaned film companies production budget against a Studio (film) Negative Pick-Up Deal. We got very close and then some Executive producer at the Studio would ask us to increase the budget so we could cast someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Lead protagonist of Hard John Apple. HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE simply was not a Schwarzenegger 'I'll be back,' film. At some point you realize a project has cost you more than you can afford to keep it in the In Box and you have to put the script on the shelf and move on to the next thing."

This should give you enough of an idea of what HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE, you may have read about elsewhere on this Forum, was all about.

Enjoy!

...

June 4, 2018
6:27 am
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cyber west hollyweird
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HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE has the premise that after a World-wide Nuclear war, the populations whom survive would not turn back to their old governments to rebuild civilization, but would probably turn to their Religious leaders, who would, after-all, give the people some explanation why their God or gods allowed mankind to do this to themselves.

In Jim Stenstrum's original comic book story, since he was mainly dealing with the rebuilding of the old Continental United States, it mainly deals with 2 competing religious factions, the Catholics and a loose confederation of Protestants. There was myself, my old business partner Scott Nisbet and Treatment writer Bill DuBay and Jim himself throwing ideas around about changes that needed to be made to adapt Jim's creative and quirky neat little story to the Silver Screen. Thus I brought in a little expanded story for both the Mormon presence and Scientology whom I thought would like a share of the North-West and West respectively. And let's expand the map to all of North America. But the neo-CATLICKS and the neo-PROTSTINTS still have the Big roles to keep a two-hour movie not too complicated but still tell the story of the four main characters. And I gave the Native Americans back some of their old territories.

Scott had pushed me to write the screenplay, but I thought we should hire someone with more experience in that particular medium. But after Scott passed away I found myself promoted by the Grim Reaper from a co-producer to sole Producer, and so knuckled down to the job of trying to visualize all the camera angles we would see on the Big Screen and translate that information so our Director and cinematographer could translate shooting-script page paper to film. Keep in mind we were working back in 1984 before everybody owned all the neat IT toys with unlimited storage memory school kids have today. I was working with paper and a typewritter and a lot of whiteout. And I also had to create about 8 music video 2-minute montages we could use to promote the movie to the then MTV viewers back when MTV actually still meant "Music Tele-Vision." Today MTV is like Nickelodeon Sr. with music videos few and far between. But I think the movie's music video montages still pace the story in place and I'd still leave them there.

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HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE

For Major Theatrical Release

THE MOTION PICTURE

Situation Synopsis for HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE:

HARD JOHN is an "After the Nuclear Holocaust" genre feature film that satirizes what the Recovering World might be like if it were run by TV Evangelists. Fragments of civilization have turned to religion for help to rebuild their World after the Nuclear Holocaust. New Regional Governments based on differing Religious Disciplines have sprung up in the Power-vacuum left by the internecine. Each Religious Group thinks they are the Rightful Heir to our Forefather's ideals and "God's America." Aside from being Theocracies, what these new sovereignties have in common is the fact that they crushed the old Federal Government's efforts at rebuilding, by Preaching that the Fed had only been one of Satan's Fronts through which The Devil manipulated the events leading to the "HOLYCO$T."

Each Sect has hired highly skilled mercenary soldiers to defend their Faiths and Territories, as well as being Secret Police and to collect taxes for their Crusades. One of the most dangerous and famous soldiers is HARD JOHN APPLE, aided by his sidekick, a large Orange Orangutan that answers to the name "THE GENERAL." There is no question that the Ape is intelligent; often times he seems as intelligent as Hard John.

Hard John's companion is personable and clever with a quick sense of humor, and John seems to sincerely believe that the General is the Reincarnation of a pre-HOLYCO$T Top-Forty Disc Jockey, obviously mutated beyond belief! In addition to communicating with agile facial expressions, WE HEAR and are led to Believe the General shares his innermost thoughts with what Hard John has come to call Quadraphonic Telepathy! Seeming to pick appropriate Rock Lyrics out of the aether, does the General really beam Mental Music–which aptly conveys his own thoughts and feelings on various subjects–into Hard John's head? John sincerely Believes that this is the way in which the Ape communicates with him, and him alone. Since no one else can Hear The Music from the General, one must inevitably question John Apple's sanity. Or has the nuclear conflagration left the General with latent mutagenic telepathic abilities directed to and made manifest to John alone?

Story Line for HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE:

It's twenty years after Earth's Great Nuclear HOLYCO$T! HARD JOHN APPLE is 33 and there are those who think that the war has made him insane. His dreams are schizophrenic nightmares where he wrestles with colorful spirits; and an unending stream of old rock and roll lyrics flood his reverie.

One of the major Sects, THE CATLICKS, is headed by POPE HOLY ROLLO, who is determined to wipe the rest of the "Infidels" from the face of his "New Kingdom (i.e., planet Earth)." Guided by his New-Improved Testament, Catlicks have deployed into the two major religious Crusades, Blessed Big and Blessed Small. The second major denomination Sect, THE PROTSTINTS, led by THE REVEREND TIMMY BRAGGART, have ideas other than being exterminated.

The Prots most dangerous mercenary, Hard John Apple, is retiring from active duty to pursue his own interests. The Prots are willing to bestow this dangerous soldier the entire Eastern Seaboard; and believe him Mad when he only asks for the Catlick controlled dust-bowl of Kansas–which they gladly grant him. Unknown to the Prot leadership, Hard John has found out from the notorious Catlick terrorist, HEMLOCK ZINGER, where the last remaining ICBMs, unlaunched in their Silos and long forgotten exist–Kansas!

Through the years, Hemlock Zinger, an ex-Marine Corps Colonel, has played one Sect against another, and even formed his own group called THE RED THREAT ARMY, until the time comes when he manipulates them all to converge into one Valley to attack Hard John's control base, THE NUCLEAR HIT PARADE. For to whom control of the missiles belongs rests the hegemony of the World, the Intents and Purposes of Hemlock Zinger to take them back from Hard John.

Hemlock Zinger's beautiful Russian assistant, lover, and idealistic second-in-command of the Red Threat Army, TARA RABWMDEYOV, is captured by Hard John. She is betrayed by Hemlock, and soon realizes that she too has only been used by Zinger as a pawn in his plans, and that he had no interests in the people, her comrades cause, or even her. She becomes disillusioned with Marxist leadership theory. She sides with John in his scheme to destroy the last remaining armies of mankind, all now collocated in the Valley surrounding the Nuclear Hit Parade control base.

Perhaps most significantly, Hard John believes himself to be the reincarnation of John the Baptist. His sole responsibility is to bring enlightenment and salvation to the heathen "automatons" who populate his World. The instruments with which he intends to accomplish his Holy Mission: all of his ICBMs controlled from HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE! A Baptism of fire!

Raised by a doting godfather, Hard John was taught that he alone is the sole living, breathing, thinking entity on the planet. Everyone else, he was taught, is an "automaton" created for his benefit to do his bidding. Perhaps because of his upbringing, he is a free-thinking rouge, almost without fear, living totally for the satisfaction of the moment! He believes he is wholly responsible for every event that transpires in his reality. There are few surprises to Hard John Apple, and very few emotions other than relaxed pacifism. In order to offset the terminal boredom resulting from his feelings of such god-like omnipotence, Hard John believes that he is playing a game of chess with the lives of the "automatons," by creating little situation melodramas for these people to react to.

That melodrama, shared with an orangutan who believes himself a Top-Forty DJ, a Russian girl with platinum hair, and a balding sociopathic warlord who covets Hard John's missiles, is the subject of the motion picture feature HARD JOHN'S NUCLEAR HIT PARADE.

At the movie's ending, we see that the four leads were really four Angels who had been sent to possess the bodies of our leading characters. Having a very dim awareness of their motivations after their avatar incarnations, the four main characters bring the events of their cosmic "passion play" into Being in order to show the Survivors of the HOLYCO$T the Folly of Mankind's continued Warfare.

...

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