Taxidermist

Log Line
Stranded motorist are terrorized at a remote bed & breakfast.

Script Info
Script Type: Feature
Genre: Horror
Est. Budget: Less than $1M

Screenplay Synopsis
Open on a dark highway where a fast moving station wagon rolls down the road from a weekend camping trip. Alan Reynolds at the wheel, his fiancĂ©e, Bree Tanner, struggles to control her argumentative children, Skylar and Travis. Everyone is so angry they are paying no attention to the outside world -- when a dark figure staggers onto the highway in front of Alan's oncoming headlights. Bree screams, Alan reacts too late, smashing into the stranger. Alan loses control and crashes into the woods. They’re not sure if it was an animal or a man. When Alan goes back to the impact site, there’s plenty of blood on the asphalt, but no body.

Alan and Bree seek help at a secluded Bed and Breakfast run by Skinner Winslow, a “retired” doctor, his sister Rita Sue, and their maid Kindness, who wears a white veil over her face. Skinner, the local taxidermist, offers to notify Sheriff Todd. 

Alan’s damaged station wagon is towed to a garage owned by the local mechanic Frank. Four college students, Gavin, Dan, Midori and Kelly, arrive looking for a good time. The next morning, newlyweds Michael and Maggie, discover Skinner’s Bed and Breakfast, as the perfect honeymoon getaway. Maggie is beautiful and wears a bright jade stone silver necklace around her neck. Kindness is jealous. When Bree’s children, Skylar and Travis, discover Skinner's unlocked taxidermy shop, they freak out. It’s full of grotesque animal experiments including a partially skinned coyote. Skinner finds them there and isn’t happy. Alan shows Sheriff Todd where he hit the mutilated stranger. Sheriff Todd tells Alan that the blood on the pavement is human. He’s treating the accident as vehicular manslaughter. Alan, a career fireman, is stunned. We learn that Skinner was once a plastic surgeon, but was stripped of his license. Bree tries unsuccessfully to make conversation with Kindness, who shuns any contact. Dan and Midori become sick and mysteriously disappear. Alan looking for Bree’s engagement ring in the station wagon luggage at the garage is brutally attacked and murdered by Frank. Gavin stumbles into an abandoned warehouse, which is really a laboratory and operating room, where he finds Frank with Dan and Alan’s bodies. 

Skinner surprises Gavin, holding an armed crossbow, and fires an arrow bolt into Gavin, wounding him. Skinner straps Gavin onto a surgical table and tells him the maid Kindness is actually his wife. She suffers from a rare form of cancer that is eating her face away. He’s been trying to find a cure, including skin grafting. He starts skinning Gavin alive. Rita Sue drugs newlyweds Michael and Maggie. Michael awakes in Skinner’s operating room to find Maggie lying on a separate table – her face has been skinned and removed by Skinner. Michael is in shock – and pain, as Kindness helps prepare him next to be experimented with. Skinner removes the veiled mask from Kindness exposing a grotesquely deformed face -- her yellow skin stitched together like a tattered quilt. Part of her lower jaw bone is missing from which she drools uncontrollably. Skinner kisses the black opening where her mouth should be. 

Frank now pursues Bree and the kids trying to kill them. Sheriff Todd comes to the rescue, shooting Frank and enabling them to escape, but an arrow bolt from Skinner’s crossbow takes him down. Kelly tries to join them, but is also killed by Skinner. Michael manages to crawl out of Skinner’s operating room before he’s skinned alive and links up with Bree and the kids on the run. They almost make it to Sheriff Todd’s blazer sitting in the parking lot, when Skinner shoots Bree with an arrow bolt through her side. Now unable to run, she begs Michael to flee with her children. Skinner advances on the wounded Bree and withdraws his knife, preferring skinning to a quick kill. 

Bree fights for her life, not ready to give up. Her and Skinner battle, she’s too weak from loss of blood and succumbs. Skinner prepares for the kill, when Kindness arrives with Maggie’s jade silver necklace around her neck. She grabs Skinner’s hand, wanting to share the kill together. That’s all the time Bree needs, she lunges for Skinner’s cross bow and shoots him! Then calmly reloads and shoots him again. Kindness begins to wail, a mournful scream, she cradles the dead Skinner and tugs her mask down – revealing Maggie’s lower jaw wired to her face. 

Bree jerks Maggie’s jade necklace loose from Kindness’ neck. Turns and stumbles to Sheriff Todd’s blazer to rejoin Michael and her kids. As they drive away into the rising sun. 

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