Escape From New Orleans

Written By Hector De La Rosa & Jared M. Place
Based on a character created by John Carpenter and Nick Castle

After the President failed to present his message at the Hartford Summit meeting and was made a political laughing stock on live television, the state of world affairs grew even worse. Russia began threatening the United States with a nuclear assault, and civil unrest was growing at an alarming rate within our borders

Just three years earlier the U.S. Government failed the populous miserably when several category five hurricanes ravaged the Gulf Coast. As a result of these severe natural disasters all off shore oil refineries were destroyed, and all shipping lanes and ports were rendered useless. The entire Gulf of Mexico was polluted with millions of gallons of crude oil, toxic chemicals and human waste and 70% of southern Florida was under water.  It was the worst ecological disaster in the history of civilization.

New Orleans and several neighboring states were deemed unlivable by the United States Government and therefore abandoned. As a direct result of this declaration, tens of millions of refugees were forced flee the states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Eastern Texas and migrate north in the hope of finding salvation. Instead of providing disaster aid to the ravaged southern United States the President decided to move forward with plans to build massive containment levy around the city of New Orleans to help prevent any future coastline destruction. A similar wall was built separating Georgia from the Florida arcapeligo which was seized by the Cubans when it was no longer considered as part of the United States. Mexico invaded eastern Texas and criminals from all over the region including South America now inhabited  these abandoned territories now known as the "Excommunicated States of America" to traffic drugs, slaves and weapons into a country whose glory had faded. Left to their own devices they lived as warring tribes in the lawless ruins of the south.

A once proud nation was now in darkness…        Fade to black.

Fade in.  NOW

With the United States economy near total collapse and the crime rate rising to a crippling 400% since disaster struck, the American people blamed the President for the mishandling of the disaster and call for his impeachment. Riots break out all over the country and The United States Police Force being heavily outnumbered can no longer maintain order. The citizens of the once quiet privatized US region communities have been heavily affected by the steady influx of crime, homelessness and disease and attempt to flee to Canada. In response to this mass migration, the Canadian government closes its border to the United States.

The President realizing that his days as our leader were coming to an end decides to bring down the one man that put the final nail in his already deplorable political career. He rescinded Snake Plisskens pardon and charged him with Treason. A remnant of the United States Police Force issued an immediate warrant for his arrest, and a substantial reward for his capture. Snake Plissken was now once again public enemy number one.

However, the damage had already been done. Fires raged in every major city forcing millions more into the streets of total anarchy. The White House and Congress are eventually burned to the ground, and all senators, congressman and the President himself are lynched by the enraged masses. All major television stations are off the air, most internet, phone and electric service is cut off. It is the worst possible scenario. There is no government; there are no police, only the criminals and the world they are making.

EXT - Texas - New Alamo City Junction – Night

We see a dirt covered street with rows of closed down shops, and run down homes. The focus is on a saloon with a bright red neon sign that read Apache Red's. You could hear music from the street and the bustle of the patrons inside, as we see the wheels of a vehicle pull in front of the establishment. The engine rumbles and then cuts off. A creaky door opens and a familiar boot hits the dirt, it’s Snake Plissken. The wind blows in his hair as he shuts the door and slips a cigarette between his lips.

It had been almost six months since his adventure in New York, and Snake Plissken was making the best of his time as a free man, but at what price? He hadn't run with anyone since his days with Taylor, and he had plenty of time to think about what happened to him in Frisco. That's all he did, he thought about the good ol' days and how far away they seemed now. He had shed that skin and was moving on, or was he. The buzzing from the neon sign brought him back to the street where he was standing; he lit his cigarette and walked toward the saloon.

INT - Apache Red's saloon – Night

It's business as usual inside the only saloon within 100 miles of New Alamo City Junction Limits. Every seedy character that escaped being squeezed by the man and doing time in the former Big Apple frequent the establishment. Snake pushed open the saloon doors and everything just came to a hault as he stepped inside.

INT - Apache Red's Saloon - Night

A huge man approaches Snake. He walks up to him and begins to pointing his index finger into his chest.
Huge man:  "Hey! You just can't walk in here without making a donation to the local charity, and that would be me one ey…"

Before he could finish his sentence Snake grabs the hulking brutes finger, breaks it, and forces him down to one knee. With liquid smoothness he delivers a vicious head butt to the bridge of his nose killing him instantly. He looks down at the felled giant with almost an amused look on his face, raking his fingers through his hair and continues into the saloon.

Snake: "You shouldn't write checks you can't cash asshole."

He slithered through the crowd, his senses coiled and ready to strike. His thoughts were on the botched heist in Kansas City where he was double crossed by Harold Hellman and had no choice but to leave Apache Red behind in order to escape incarceration, or worse. A lot of people got killed that day including one of Snake’s running buddy's Fresno Bob. Snake just barely made it out himself. It's been 4 years since that fateful day, Snakes thoughts receded to the very moment he had to flee his partners in crime as he continued to make his way to the back of the establishment. He knew that dwelling on his past was a condition that made him vulnerable, so he pulled a chair and sat down in a heap. Everyone there knew who he was, he was very un-approachable and that's just the way he like it.

INT. Church house, Former Louisiana Bayou - Night

Old Man - "Well be all right in hear for a spell, those Voodoo freaks don't like to come in here. Fucks up their Joo joo I think"

Snake keeps his guard up and his weapon cocked and ready to kill.

Snake - "What's the best way out of here old man?"

Old Man - "I'm afraid there ain't no way out till they leave, and that won't be till the morning son. By then those damn scalpers will be around wantin your locks"

Snake - "What do mean by scalpers"

Old Man - "Ingines! God damn redskins! They own a lot of this here swamp and the tribes go a huntin around here looking for decorations."

Snake - "Pick your poison asshole" he mumbles under his breath.

Snake realizes that he must act now or there will be no tomorrow.

Snake - "Stay here old man, you stray off and you’re on your own ya got that?"

The old man nods in agreement while taking a swig from his rusty flask, as Snake recedes into the darkness.

EXT - Church house, Former Louisiana Bayou - Night
The maniacal gang the "Voodoo Devils" are swarming around the outside of the church like a pack of hungry lions. They stay in groups of three or four chanting and waiving their spears and machete's.

INT - Church house, Former Louisiana Bayou - Night
The old man is sitting in the darkness humming and rocking back and forth as if to keep himself calm. He takes another swig from his flask. He hears a sound in the darkness his eyes widen, he gulps down the rest of hid liqueur tilting his head all the way back. At this very moment a spear head pierces through his chest. He drops his flask as a hand reaches out from behind him and covers his mouth. He is pulled into the darkness and we hear the swish of a blade cutting the air, a crunch and then the sound of limp weight hitting the dry wooden floor.

INT - Church house, Former Louisiana Bayou - Night
After surveying the scene outside Snake returns to where he left the old man. He sees him sitting on a stool by a darkened window with just enough moonlight to make out his silhouette.

Snake - "Everything's set. It doesn't matter where we try to get out; they got his place covered pretty good. All you have to do is stay with me"….

Snake pauses, he notices something is not right with the old man, he reaches for his shoulder.

Snake - "You with me old-timer?"

As soon as he touches the old man his head falls off his shoulders and onto the floor. Snake hears rustling moving toward him and glass breaking.

Snake - "Shit!"

Snake turns and fires his machine gun into the darkness, in the flickering that resembled a strobe light he could see hoards of crazed thugs coming at him.

Snake - "So much for hallowed ground"

Snake turns and runs away and up a flight of stairs. With the thugs in pursuit he leads them through the church with a purpose in mind.  

INT - Hallway, Church house, Former Louisiana Bayou - Night

Snake turns the corner at the top of the stairs and ducks as a machete swings for his head; he falls to one knee and plunges a small throwing spike into the attackers thigh and pushes him into a few more thugs that are rushing in. He fires into the chest of the first attacker as he falls backward. Snake stands quickly and kicks open a locked door to his right and rolls into it. When the two thugs catch the other they are propelled backward onto a trip cord that sets off an explosion that kills them all instantly.

INT - Hallway, Church house, Former Louisiana Bayou - Night

Snake gets to his feet and opens a door that leads to the other side of the hallway the windows in the room are smashed and more skull faced maniacs come rushing in. Snake fires at them and drops a grenade and exits trough he door emptying his magazine into a wall of thugs in front of him. He steps to the side and the grenade goes off. He jams in another magazine and keeps firing at the endless hoards of blood crazed thugs. Snake runs down a hallway that he did not venture through earlier and sees that it's a dead end. In the corner is a hulking figure with skull face paint just waiting for Snake to make a move. He has no time to decide as the footsteps behind him are getting closer. He rushes at the figure letting loose a barrage of bullets. He tackles the brute and they both smash through the wall and then crash through the rotted floor on the other side and plummet into the cellar.

INT - Cellar, Church house, Former Louisiana Bayou – Night

Snake emerges form the muck coughing violently from having swallowed some of the putrid water that he is now chest deep in. He reaches into his cargo pocket and pulls out a chem light. Upon activating it an orange glow engulfed his immediate surroundings. He began surveying the area and noticed that he was in some kind of cellar; he turned and saw that the savage that he brought down through the floor with him was dead. His neck had been broken. Snake waded through the muck grabbing at anything just trying to get his footing. He noticed the foul stench of rotting flesh, of death. As he moved through the cellar he began to see what looked like arms, then legs, then mounds of bodies piled up one on top of the other. He saw bones floating in the muck and bodies fused together from the years that they have been decaying. These bodies must have been people that were fleeing the flood waters years ago when disaster struck and were trapped in the cellar which became there tomb. He is overcome with disgust and began to vomit.
Snake had no time to waste; he had to find a way out of this horrible pit. It wouldn't be long before those skull faced crazies he momentarily left behind, figure out were he went and came looking.  Snake gave the cellar a quick scan looking for any windows or doors, but he could find nothing. He began to look up toward the ceiling and made out what looked like an old sewage drain pipe sticking out of the wall. He made his way over to it, but it was just too high. Snake was always in survival mode and realized that the only way that he was going to get to that pipe was to ascend a wall of rotted corpses. He swallowed hard and began to climb, the smell is unbearable. The waterlogged bodies felt spongy and they made a horrible wet sound when he shifted his weight. He was almost there, just a few more feet to go. He tried not to breathe through his nose as the smell got worse as he got higher up. He clasped the rim of the sewage pipe and pulled himself up and into it. The chem. light was beginning to dim; he tossed it into the pit below and activates a new one.

INT -  Sewage waste pipeline, Former Louisiana Bayou – Night

Snake pushed forward venturing into the pipeline with no idea where it would take him, he only knew that he had to get out of this God forsaken place. With no directional equipment and no way of contacting the outside he was definitely on his own. After walking several hundred yards Snake realized that he was inside a maze of old aqua ducts that ran water underneath the streets of New Orleans. With no way of knowing who, or what was waiting for him around the next bend he had to be extremely careful.

Snake - "Don't want to get jacked down here" He uttered as he slinged his machine gun over his shoulder and upholstered his side arm. In the distance he saw a faint flickering light, he paused and listened. Snake ditched his chem light into the muck, as its florescent glow began to fade he began to move toward the light. In almost absolute darkness Snake moved ever closer to the beacon in the distance. The flickering orange glow was the only light visible, it cascaded off the rusted metal bulkhead that made up the pipeline. Shadows danced on the wet grime that covered the interior of the tube, as Snake cautiously and stealthily advanced.

With his every sense on full alert Snake's eye began to adjust to his dimly lit surroundings, his ears zeroed in on the faintest of sounds: dripping water, scurrying rodents and the distinct sound of singing?

As he moved closer to the light he saw a junction ahead, an intersection where the tunnel branched off in different directions. He noticed a lone lantern dangling from the ceiling; its flame illuminated the immediate area.

Snake paused and backed up tight against the wall, making sure that he stayed in the shadows. He held his 45 at the ready, primed to strike down whatever potential threat awaited him. He was now just several feet away from the lantern, and could make out what looked like various boxes, containers, candles, and cans. He had stumbled unto a make shift camp. There were soiled blankets and pillows on top of crates where whomever lived there obviously slept. Snake could still hear the singing, he was almost upon it when he kicked a can and it suddenly stopped. He had found the source, there, silhouetted in the dark was a figure kneeling on the ground. One half lit by the orange glow of the lantern, the other in darkness. Raising his weapon, he advanced on the figure. When it slowly gets to its feet and faces him.

Snake - "Don't move."

He sees that it’s a young girl, 11 maybe 12 years old. Even in the slimy filth of this hole in the ground he can make out her soft, delicate features.

Girl - "I won't."

Snake, cutting her off, "What are you doing here?"

Girl - "I live here."

Snake - "You live here?"

Girl -  "Yeah. Ever since the Maskers killed my parents last year, I've been trying to survive the best I could. We were homesteaders, had a little farm and a house until they showed up."

Snake - "You mean those things out there?"

Girl - "Yeah, but I got away. I stay down here. It's pretty safe down here as long as you don't go out at night. Can I ask you what you're doing here?"

Snake - "Where does this tunnel lead?"

Girl - "Just about anywhere. Where you wanna go?"

Snake - "Bourbon Street. You know where it is?"

Girl - "I know where everything is. Follow me, I'll show you."

The girl took the lantern and began walking, Snake walked behind her with his gun leveled at her back. It might be a trap, and he wasn’t taking any chances.

Girl - "Yeah, it's not too bad if you know the routine. There's places you can't go in the daytime 'cause the Mardi Gras Indians are out hunting, scalping. At night the Maskers are out and you don't want to know what they'll do to you. I've seen some terrible things here. They're all crazy you know.

Snake - "No shit."

Girl - "You don't look crazy, except for the eye patch. I've never seen you around before, are you new here? How did you get here? So what's your name? I'm Nola. My parents named me that 'cause it stands for New Orleans Louisiana, but now I think it means "No One Leaves Alive."

Snake - "You talk a lot."

Nola - "You don't talk at all".

Snake - "I like it that way now keep quiet."

The tunnel shifts left, then right then right again followed by more turns. No one would ever find their way out of this maze without help. Snake figured the crazies outside wouldn’t venture down here for fear of getting hopelessly lost.

Finally the tunnel terminated at a "T" shaped junction. A left turn, a right and then straight up.

Nola - "Here it is, right up there is Bourbon Street".

Snake looks up. A rusty ladder embedded in the brick leads up to a man-hole cover.

Nola - "Can I go with you?"

Before she can even finish Snake snaps back, "NO".

Nola - "But I can help you, I know my way around."

Snake - "Look kid, I don't need you following me around. You make a sound and somebody see's me, I'm dead, and I don't wanna be dead see?"

Nola - "You don't know this place like I do. You might get killed without me! Please, I won't get in the way, promise!"

Snake takes a long look at the man-hole above. He realizes he has no idea what waits for him up top, or where he's even going for that matter. He's not familiar with the layout of the city. "God Dimmit, she might actually prove useful" he thinks to himself. Agonizing over his decision, he turns to Nola.

Snake - "Here's the way it works kid, you don't make a sound, you don't say anything unless I ask you a question. You keep in the shadows, stay low and don't fall behind. If you do you're on your own, got it?"

Nola -  "Yeah! I mean yes sir!"

She flashes Snake a half assed salute with the wrong hand.

Snake - "Let's go."

Nola can hardly contain her joy. For the first time in what seems like forever, she's giddy. She feels protected in the presence of this stranger. Snake is the first sane human being that this little girl has seen in ages. It's comforting. In some way, he reminds her of her father.