lowfashion presents: ludditor by todd stadler

Ludditor


I'm tired of all these movies in which a person is trapped somehow in a building by some monster or terrorist or something, and he ends up employing some convenient device to signal Morse code to people outside who might be able to help him. And of course there's this old salty police officer who still actually knows Morse code, who realizes that what is being communicated is the longitude and latitude of the missile base, or perhaps the chemical equation for the monster's anti-venom, or perhaps the circuit diagram for a new handheld computer device that will revolutionize the way we do business or something.

I mean, why Morse code? It's like over a hundred years old or something! What kind of message are we sending to future generations? Do we want our children to think that when technology fails, you can always rely on old-fashioned ways? Hello?! Why are we even insinuating that technology will ever fail? I mean, people are worried about violence and sex in the movies, but this is technology, people! I'm pretty sure that people will continue to have sex with and kill each other, often not at the same time, regardless of whether there are movies about it. But if we convince a whole new generation of kids that technology is worthless, then we lose a generation of IT workers, a generation of web surfers, a generation of people who are living and vibrant parts of the Internet Family. Not to mention the crushing blow this will deliver to our nation's bookstores and comic strip writers, who have come in large part to rely on the popularity of technology-related topics. Can we tolerate such losses?

Now, the only power greater than technology is our nation's vast array of media outlets. I am determined, even if I am only one man standing against a flood of unpopularity, to stem this tide of fascism by doing whatever it takes. To that end, I have written a script that I hope to have made into a blockbuster movie sometime soon.

Here's the plot so far. Picture this:

There's an awful monster on the loose, right, killing lots of people in horrible, gruesome scene after scene. This happens for the first 20 minutes or so. Lots of great special effects, edge-of-your-seat type stuff. Real boffo.

Then we flashback for the next 30 to 40 minutes to find out where this horrible monster came from: a pet alligator was abandoned by an inner-city kid (who is at the same time cute, angelic, clever and also scene-stealing), and it (the alligator, not the kid) makes its way to an Amish farm, which will be portrayed with extreme angles and stark shadows and stuff. Also, the clouds are always dark and there's lightning and thunder. You know, subtle and effective. Anyhow, the baby alligator seeks shelter from the storms in this compost heap, sort of a relic from the agricultural days that shows how old-fashioned these Amish folks are. You know, compost heaps are warm and moist (I think there will have to be narration to explain this, maybe by Patrick Stewart or James Earl Jones or Peter Jennings if we can get him). But then a lightning bolt strikes the compost heap, and what with all the fertile soil and minerals and scientific stuff, a monster is born: Ludditor!

It grows instantly to be something like 100 feet tall with big fangs and all - not just some overgrown salamander or nothing. Oh, also, it is rendered with computer graphics three times better than those in Jurassic Park. It instantly crushes the house of the Amish people whose compost heap it so ironically was nurtured in, and then with a mighty roar is off to a nearby large metropolis, where it seeks to destroy all that is technological in nature, which is to say anything that improves people's lives.

However, we find out it did not kill everyone in the Amish house. In a touching scene, the old man, leader of the Amish household, delivers a soliliquy along the lines of "Oh, curse my foolish old ways! Oh would that I had right now in mine arms a bazooka, a shoulder-mounted grenade launcher, or perchance a cruise missile, with which I could easily destroy this hideous monster that destroys technology. Verily, this beast is an enemy of mankind. But I am a simple Amish person, and have no such weapons,as I have selfishly eschewed mankind's intelligence for simplicity." And then the farmer dies as a cellular phone tower falls on him, maybe blown by a strong wind. But the point is Ludditor didn't kill him, technically. What did kill him is his own ignorance.

While the Amish guy has been realizing the error of his ways, we flash back to what the monster has been doing for the exciting climax of the movie: terrorizing the city with lots of cool explosions and pyrotechnics and stuff like that. He goes around destroying computer places and video game places and telephone and pager places - you get the idea. And then he knocks down this TV tower and traps this scientist guy in his science building. This science guy gets all scared, and we zoom in real tight on his face and hear his thoughts in a voice-over, where we find out that he is the brother of the Amish guy who died, but he hasn't talked to him in a while because the family split over the whole technology/no-technology issue and all that. (this is explained in a convenient flashback - maybe we see the scientist giving the Amish farmer guy a cell phone for Christmas, so they can keep in touch better, but the Amish guy gets really angry and overreacts, and maybe starts hitting the intelligent caring scientist guy). So then the scientist remembers that he has a cell phone just like the one he gave his brother - they were a matched set. He pulls it out and we see a tear in his eye. He's about to call someone for help, and as the cellular phone tower falls on the old Amish guy, this scientist hears his last words over the phone through some wierd phenomenon - and the farmer guy says "avenge my death with technology" or something. And suddenly the scientist realizes that he's the only one that knows how to kill the monster, which is rampaging everywhere. Maybe he says out loud that he's the only one that knows how to kill the monster. But now his cell phone won't work, so he can't communicate this knowledge with the people who can use it to destroy this anti-technology horror. So the scientist hatches his plan.

We switch to a view of this random guy surfing the web, watching live on the Internet as the monster destroys the city he lives in, and he says, "Wow, thank God for the internet, because otherwise I'd have to be out there in this storm watching that awful technology-destroying monster destroy our fair town, but now I can do it from the comfort of my own home, where I can wear bunny slippers". And then he says "what the..?!" because he sees on the internet broadcast the building where the scientist guy is trapped, and the scientist guy is putting his plan into action, flashing a flashlight out a window. And at first, the guy just thinks he's trying to attract attention 'cause he's a scientist or something, but then he notices a pattern in the blinking.

Now here's the real climax: if this were a bad movie, he'd be blinking Morse "code", but that's kind of my subtle point here - it's not Morse code! This random Internet-surfing guy says, "hey, that's TCP/IP protocol, I know that!" And starts scribbling down 0's and 1's on a pad of paper. Then he, you know, adds the numbers together or crosses out some and sees a picture of something, or however all that stuff works, and it's the scientist guy telling him to build a cold-fusion powered anti-gravity ray to blast Ludditor with. And he brings it to the police station, and no one believes him, because they think he's just a crazy "geek", that's what they call him.

So in the dramatic climax, he goes to his friends at a computer place that hasn't been destroyed by Ludditor, and they build the device, and they kill Ludditor with it, and as he dies, he falls over and also crushes the police building. Which is, you know, ironic.

Anyhow, that's the gist of the movie.


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