Every so often, an opportunity presents itself.
Whether it’s a logline that sparks a filmmaker’s interest, a fund worth pitching for, or a production company that knows your work and wants to see what else you’re packing, it’s always a good exercise to revisit old drafts.
When an opportunity recently presented itself for our comedy short Bad Korma, we dug it out from its styrofoam packing (being careful not to disturb the Ark of the Covenant in a neighbouring crate), trimmed back its fringe, slicked back its eyebrows, and subjected it to some seriously sharp ‘Savile Row’ tailoring.
Of course, this also meant leading the script with a detailed synopsis – a letter of introduction if you will.
And we decided to share it with you…
BAD KORMA – Synopsis
It’s never wise to keep Reg Caesar waiting, but an unexpected call out to two of the boss’s underlings gets off to a sticky start when they run over what appears to be a badger on the road outside the house. Curly, the driver, is keen to make sure they make their entrance smack bang on time. Su, his partner, is more concerned about re-balancing the universe after docking it an otherwise happy and healthy badger.
No-nonsense and workmanlike, Curly is aggravated by Su’s talk of “karmic consequences”, particularly as up until recently, ‘Sunil’ was a similarly no-nonsense workmanlike hard man called Alan who DIDN’T go out in public looking like a cross between Nehru and Timothy Leary. Alan’s changed a lot after only five ‘New-Age Living’ night classes. With time ticking on, however, Su is relieved to find that the unfortunate animal tyre-tracked into the afterlife isn’t a badger but one of the local cats. Su hates cats.
After pausing briefly to take care of an ongoing job (wrapped up in a tarpaulin in the boot of the car), Curly and Su find themselves at Reg Caesar’s back gate, wondering about what might happen on the other side. Reg’s reputation for ‘temperamental extremes’ is well-founded: he could be the other side of the door with a smile and a couple of cold ones, but he could equally be having one of his chainsaw-and-wet-wipes days. Curly certainly isn’t taking any chances. Curly brought a gun.
Finally plucking up the courage to open the door, Curly and Su enter Reg’s lovely back garden to find something not-so-lovely bloodied and bruised in the middle of it: their mate and card-playing confederate Quiet Pete, tied to a chair and looking like he might soon be joining the cat out on the road. At this point, Curly reveals that the gun he’s brought might not be quite as useful as it looks.
Reg stomps out from his conservatory covered in Quiet Pete’s blood. After berating Curly and Su for being a few minutes late, his mood immediately lightens when he realises his Chinese-made Bulgarian Rolex is running fast and invites them instead to have a crack at Quiet Pete from a choice of garden tools and kitchen utensils. Badgering the boys to get stuck in, Reg suddenly changes his mind again and heads inside to clean up. Curly and Su find themselves unable to get their hands dirty when Quiet Pete briefly regains consciousness to ask if it’s poker night again.
Back in his conservatory, Reg’s desk is covered in takeaway dishes. One of his semi-legitimate businesses is a curry house, but he seems to be unhappy about some of the items on the menu. As Curly and Su enter sheepishly, Reg is on the phone to chef ‘Ravi’ complaining that dishes aren’t hot enough, aren’t orange enough, or are less “chicken-y” than he’d like.
After complaining bitterly that his accounts don’t balance, Reg brutally force-feeds Su a portion of his latest curry invention: the ‘Bollywood Burner’. Su – or rather Su’s digestive tract – quickly discovers that the dish lives up to its name. While Su desperately searches for something to put out the fire, Reg explains to Curly that two of his other ‘collectors’ – Mani and Donut – haven’t returned with something Reg was expecting and really, really wants… even though he’s not prepared to divulge what it is. Reg is also crystal clear about what he wants done to Mani and Donut if it turns out they’re not just stuck in traffic.
Back in the car, Curly and Su discuss the plan to track down Mani and Donut. As Su rattles through possible options, Curly reveals that the anomalies in Reg’s accounts are due to his having filtered off money for the last two years – he never thought Reg kept any actual accounts. Blindsided by Curly’s confession, Su vomits out the passenger window before the car moves away.
Reg meanwhile is arguing with himself over the wisdom of telling Curly and Su about his ‘special something’. Reg being Reg, he quickly decides it was a bad idea and that he needs to deal with things in his own way. Forcing Quiet Pete to come around, Reg tortures him some more, only to reinforce his own changing opinions as Quiet Pete doesn’t utter a word. Resolved now to take down everybody seemingly out to defraud him, Reg ‘tools up’ and heads out after Curly and Su. No longer angry with Quiet Pete, Reg cheerfully leaves him some “minty yoghurt” to take the edge of the curry sauce Reg has been flicking into his wounds.
As Reg’s car speeds off in the background, Quiet Pete tries some of the sauce he’s covered in. It’s tasty… then ridiculously hot.