Cannibals, Aliens, and Zombies: The Scripts I Read in 2017

2017 seemed to speed by in a way that makes reflecting on it about as rewarding as reflecting on yesterday.  But that’s what the end-of-year milestone is for. We examine, ponder, and make lists. My inbox is flooded with lists compiled by people reflecting on the year in movies:  best, worst, most underrated, most overrated… and thanks to “The Post” even best journalism movies.

Courtesy: iStock/Getty Images

Courtesy: iStock/Getty Images

But because I spent more time reading scripts than seeing the movies or pilots they may or may not have turned into (chances are they did not), my end-of-year list is common elements in the more than 2300 scripts of which I read all or part in 2017. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Soldiers or veterans, often suffering from PTSD
  • Aliens, attacking or posing as humans
  • Zombies, doing what zombies do
  • Vampires, often cavorting with zombies or aliens
  • Werewolves, doing what werewolves do
  • Serial killers, often with an unstoppable detective hot on their trail
  • Cannibals, doing what zombies do only more methodically
  • Female characters – either naked or in tattered clothing – running through a forest, often from a cannibal or serial killer
  • Female protagonists with fertility problems
  • Female characters described as “no-nonsense”
  • Children or brooding teens who convey their emotional disturbances or brilliance through drawing
  • Male characters described as looking either like Will Ferrell or Zack Galifianakis
  • Characters that are aspiring actors “trying to make it”
  • Characters that are aspiring screenwriters “trying to make it”
  • Characters suffering from writers block, often with nagging editors, managers, or agents
  • Bachelor/bachelorette parties, often ending in alcohol-fueled memory loss
  • Weddings, often involving drunken shenanigans and possible alcohol-fueled memory loss
  • Road trips, often to weddings or bachelor/bachelorette parties
  • Divorce, often prompted by affairs or aforementioned fertility problems
  • Jokes about, or references to, the Kardashian family or a specific member thereof
  • Jokes about, or references to, Donald Trump
  • Jokes about, or references to, hipsters
  • Jokes about, or references to, millennials
  • Millennial characters that make ‘80s references

I'm eager to see what 2018 brings. If it's anything like 2017, it will bring more cannibals, aliens, and zombies! Maybe aliens with writers block on a road trip to a wedding...