Royal Jelly Pitch & Yaw
John Domini

Silver Lake: The dream begins in incompatibility. How's that sound? How about we take you there, a place altogether different -- incompatibility?

Venice: We know what it's like for you. All day you've got to listen to this stuff.

Silver Lake: All day long you've got to listen. People walk in and say, We open on a country road, tumbling down the well of the headlights.... They say, We open in the city, smoke, drizzle, fire escapes, the figures amoebic...

Venice: Not that, we don't know how to open. Our first sequence, boom. Everyone thinks they know zombies, the zombie apocalypse. But what we've got, the way we open, I mean, not in their wildest dreams.

Silver Lake: Except, in dreams, that's where it begins, doesn't it -- or shouldn't it, in dreams in all their incompatibility?

Venice: Like, a zombie wedding. Boom. A zombie wedding, that's how we open. Beauty. We trash everyone's expectations.

Silver Lake: The expectations, the clichés, trash them all. How many times do we have to come face to face with a tottering corpse who was formerly our father? Our wife or boyfriend or favorite child? With a knife in its ear? Plus there are always the empty long shots. How many times, a long pan of some empty public space, no one in it except a couple of shambling undead.

Venice: It's over, it's so over. I mean, zombies have gone to cable!

Silver Lake: Commercial cable, mark of the plague, might as well carve the credits into a tombstone.

Venice: But we're off the wall and never before seen. We open on a wedding, one look and anyone can tell. The invitations. The gifts.

Silver Lake: The flowers, the right sort of flowers, and it's children who hold the flowers. Children in full dress up, so many little brides and grooms -- can't we pitch that towards the strange? Can't the kids induce a chill?

Venice: It's going to get strange, as the camera keeps moving.

Silver Lake: The camera keeps tracking, and what are we seeing, all these disgusting corpselike details?

Venice: An open neck wound, above the tuxedo collar. And there, in the knot of the tie, okay the four-in-hand can be tricky, but that's a finger...

Silver Lake: And how long does it take for a pattern to emerge? We're thinking, one long tracking shot and everyone gets the picture -- it's the groom's people. It's the groom's lineup. How can you not notice, over on his side of the altar, his side of the stairs? One guy's standing on two stairs at once. One leg, what, how's this possible? Is he missing everything below the knee?

Venice: Now the girl, her side of the altar, her people, these are fresh-faced American kids. I mean, it's got to be the girl who isn't a zombie.

Silver Lake: How's this possible?

Venice: It's got to be, the girl saves the guy.

Silver Lake: The girl saves the guy. Isn't that the boat that floats? Isn't that Old Ironsides, herself, sailing smack through the middle of our dream?

Venice: See, our concept's such a risk, big big risk, and the opening sequence goes right to the verge, the consummation, you may kiss the bride.... You'd think you'd walked into an art film.

Silver Lake: But the romantic dynamic? The character arc? That'll float.

Venice: Always. The girl saves the guy. Always.

Silver Lake: Think of Endymion, one kiss from Goddess of the Moon, and he's youthful and beautiful forever. Isn't that what we've got here? Isn't that what our girl can do for her zombie?

Venice: For zombies everywhere.

Silver Lake: She's the center of our dynamic, the one who saves the guy and saves the world and does the explaining -- at least until our big Reveal. You realize she's got to be some kind of scientist? A rare interdisciplinary specialist?

Venice: She's got chemistry, she's got botany, and, this is important, she's the only person in the world with a doctorate in the Undead.

Silver Lake: With a woman like that, don't you see, it's best if we go darker? Latino, mixed-race, always tossing her hair? It's best to add that layer.

Venice: Dead or alive, her and her guy come from different tribes. And then, you may kiss the bride! It's almost an art film. It's Juliet, wherefore art...?

Silver Lake: Because -- isn't she the fresh-faced American kid, the one who saves the world? The one with, so to speak, a head on her shoulders? Hehhehhehhehhehheh.

Venice: Ha-ha, ha-ha. We know what it's like for you, listening all day to this stuff. But listen to this. Next sequence, we take a big big bounce.

Silver Lake: When you open on a wedding, ask yourself, where's the last place you'd expect to go next? How about the apocalypse? We flash back.

Venice: Flashback to the apocalypse! Zombies on the march!

Silver Lake: What's the last thing you'd expect, just, just as he's about to kiss the bride?

Venice: As for just how far we flash back, hm. Maybe a couple of years. We think a couple of years, but that's your call. That's you and the test audience.

Silver Lake: Any audience, they'll never have seen anything like it, one moment he's about to kiss the bride -- and the next, what is this, the essence of Meet Angry? The very avatar of Meet Angry? We flash back, and he's trying to eat her alive, she's trying to chop his head off.

Venice: Certainly no more than a couple of years back. Come the wedding, she's still got to be young and cute.

Silver Lake: She's going for his head, maybe she's got a hatchet, how's that for Angry?

Venice: The visual, it's eye-popping, ha-ha, ha-ha.

Silver Lake: Hehhehhehhehhehheh. But while these two are trying to kill each other, that's a major challenge for the exposition, isn't it? The backstory? Just imagine what our girl might have in her hand. Is it a hatchet, a pair of clippers, a letter opener? Whatever weapon she's brandishing, plus the way she using it, these have tell us something.

Venice: Thing is, we're in her greenhouse lab. Flashback to workspace, with ferns and Petri dishes. Degrees on the wall, chemistry and botany both. Plus this very weird doctorate in the undead. That's important, and also we need an old photo or two. Sepia tones, a hut, a kettle, grandma or great-grandma.

Silver Lake: Aren't they both dark, the girl, the grandma? See how we cast the shadow of the exotic, even when we've got a scientist in her lab, working through lunch? Oh, and that's important, she's working through lunch. But this trial prescription she's working on, a vaccine to save the world, it could be extract of Lil' John the Conqueroo. It could be out of grandma's kettle.

Venice: Turbo-nutrients of Mojo Hand, could be, and then, once the zombie breaks in... Oh, and don't forget just which zombie. Don't forget he's the future groom. We'll have an establishing shot.

Silver Lake: We'll have a recording device too. She makes notes while she's working, she does our explaining, because otherwise, honestly, who could keep up with the changes? How many times have you seen a sequence where, honestly, you don't know what's going to happen? Our girl doesn't fail to notice he's cute, either -- she makes a note. But meanwhile he's trying to sink his teeth into her jugular!

Venice: In one hand she brings up the hatchet or the blade, and in the other she's got her lab-tested Eye of Newt.

Silver Lake: A visual dialectic, right there, psychedelic as well as dialectic. And did you forget she's at lunch? When our boy broke in, we were thinking, she'd be working on a platter of crayfish.

Venice: They eat the screen, crayfish. Plus, think of the fight choreography. Nobody can fail to notice this guy's cute. Trim, buff, and he's had the undertaker's facial besides, the kind of blush-on MJ used in "Thriller."

Silver Lake: "Thriller" could be useful in the choreography. The music wouldn't work, and not just because of the estate, what they'd ask for permissions. They'd ask the moon and the price of a limo round-trip -- but artistically, aren't we in a different place?

Venice: Our concept and arc, they line up better with piano and strings. Especially after the girl throws the dust in his face.

Silver Lake: You see the beauty of it, the Lady or the Tiger, one hand full of death and the other full of cure? See the hesitation? A hesitation, and then she heaves the dust right in his face, Krakatoa!

Venice: We can go more FX or less. That's your call.

Silver Lake: Tea leaves, ashes, glints of mica.

Venice: She throws it, he snorts it, and boom, he falls on the crayfish.

Silver Lake: When's the last time you saw such a sequence? When you really didn't know? There's the hesitation, the inoculation, and he falls on the crayfish.

Venice: He wants the fish. The dead fish, not the living flesh. A change of diet, think about it. Think about the consequences.

Silver Lake: A paradigm shift throughout the totality of the zombie narrative.

Venice: We domesticate 'em. Their diet changes and everything changes.

Silver Lake: Have you ever seen anything like it? A sequence that sets you asking -- what, already? Already the world is saved?

Venice: I mean, it's still only the first reel!

Silver Lake: Ah, "the first reel," a lovely anachronism.

Venice: I mean, just look at us move. A zombie wedding and then a fight tooth and nail, then we save the world and set up a mystery.

Silver Lake: A brace of mysteries. One, up in the old brown photo, doesn't that seem like someone we ought to know? And two, what was our world-saver thinking, when she went for that third Ph.D.?

Venice: Meantime, already we're on to the followup. We're going theory to application. Next sequence, domestication of the zombie. Put 'em to work.

Silver Lake: Remember, our Rappaccini's Daughter, she stopped her attacker with an herbal goofer. An antidote like that, you understand, we don't have to mess with needles? To get up close and pin them down and then inoculate?

Venice: We don't need some ex-wrestler, pinning the zombies down. Our concept, it's wrestler-free. We're about a spray. A spray, and just listen to our visual.

Silver Lake: Yes, listen, we begin in an alley perhaps. A confined area, anyway -- you picking up on how much room we leave for the director? You getting how much discretion he has, the backdrops, the choreography?

Venice: Could be an alley, or it could be, think about this, a movie theater. Think about going meta, here.

Silver Lake: You picking up on the possibilities, the director could even go meta, screen a commentary on the folks before the screen...

Venice: Could be a theater, anyway it's a small space, confined area, and in there we've got our inoculation crew. Them, they've got the food set up. Crayfish, hotdogs, melon balls, cheese and crackers... Actually there's an argument to be made for pizza.

Silver Lake: Isn't there an opportunity in pizza? It's an eye-catcher to begin with, maybe a visual pun -- all that red sauce? But additionally one thinks of Italy. Couldn't Southern Italy work as well as, say, Old New Orleans? Places like that, don't they share the interracial conflation, the trans-oceanic interpenetration? Plus we like the possibility of going huge in Europe.

Venice: Your call, of course. Unions, distribution, the price of a limo roundtrip, you know better than we do. What we know is, if we do Italy and pizza, then for the fight in the girl's greenhouse, before she hits him with the dose, we have to figure out something. We have to figure out how she ordered pizza in the middle of zombie apocalypse.

Silver Lake: But isn't that our true calling? Isn't that why you invited us, to think of something, to rub these antiques till a genie pops out? Don't we want to be the first living-dead movie to break huge in Europe?

Venice: It's weird, how zombies never took off in Europe. I mean, they went for Avatar. In Avatar, you've got a crip who marries a cartoon. You ask us, that's not so different from a zombie who marries a Brainiac.

Silver Lake: Isn't there a certain interpenetration? And wouldn't it just eat the screen, no less, if for the next sequence we went to a medieval hill-town? Cobblestones, crooked alley, and there's our inoculation crew.

Venice: The pizzas are delivered, the boxes are opened. Picnic tables, maybe.

Silver Lake: Then there's the human bait, a track star, a lot of skin showing. And isn't she making a spectacle of herself? The way she keeps jogging around the piazza, chanting and sweating and spitting on the cobblestones, what self-respecting zombie could fail to notice?

Venice: They notice. They start coming. There's a wailing and a gnashing of teeth. But the jogger toddles calmly into the alley.

Silver Lake: When has anyone seen a sequence like this? A horde of the undead clamber into the alley, ravenous, merciless, and why don't the living in their path get a move on, why are they just standing there, fresh-faced, perhaps with a hint of a sneer -- and what, what is that they're swinging up into action before them? What, bottles of spray, really?

Venice: They spray the baddies. The baddies fall on the pizza.

Silver Lake: When've you seen anything like it? When's the last time anyone came into your office and actually took you by surprise? But our metamorphoses, they're barely past the so-called first reel, and we've got tame zombies.

Venice: We've got Ghouls Gone Mild.

Silver Lake: And aren't the ambulatories still in one piece? Can't they still hoist and carry and put away? We've created a new labor force!

Venice: We domesticate 'em and put 'em to work.

Silver Lake: Can you see it, no exposition necessary, just one slow-pan after another? Provocative color saturation? The zombies tote baskets down the rows of a vineyard. They truck carts along the aisles of the warehouse. They yank the levers on the molds for hard-rubber dog-toys. Then there's children's toys -- you wonder about those, perhaps?

Venice: Children's toys would need living workers. Quality control.

Sliver Lake: See how our inspiration brings up one promising fillip after another? See how it keeps opening, unfolding, showing fresh colors? Let a hundred flowers bloom!

Venice: Our zombies need training too, basic training. A young woman with placards and the uglies in rows before her, groaning in unison.

Silver Lake: You wouldn't have much of a workforce without language, some rudiments of language, would you? Words of single syllables, gestures no one could confuse, doesn't our brainstorm have room for them all? And yet it never leaves the arc. Have you forgotten we've got a dynamic in place? The girl saves the guy, girl of color, guy in mortician's makeup. And, as a person of color, can't you imagine her conflicts?

Venice: She's got a hairball of conflicts. Grody dimensions, and it doesn't matter if she's Sicilian or Creole.

Silver Lake: Imagine, the camera pans across the zombie in her greenhouse, he's harmless now, he's a worker bee who can't even fly....

Venice: He can't fly, certainly can't sting, and the camera pans over him, sprinkling the manure or something, and then moves up to that photo over the desk of our Supergirl, or better yet a set of photos. Others of the family, all in sepia. Sepia photo stock, sepia subjects. Her ancestors look whipped, as if without that hoe in their hands they couldn't even stand upright.

Silver Lake: But mostly there's the grandmother -- some sort of leader, isn't she? Every shot she's in, isn't there some sign of deference, the eyes lowered or the cap pulled off? Photos like these, they'd make a fun project, for whoever you lined up in design.

Venice: Grandma's some sort of leader, yeah. But she's just a pair of arms like the rest of 'em, toting a kettle and wearing burlap.

Silver Lake: And is that a brand on the old woman's wrist? Our heroine, our girl with all the degrees, could she come of slave stock? She's a regular Georgina Washington Carver, on a fast track for the Nobel, that's in both Chemistry and Peace -- and my God, what has she done, if not create another slave race?

Venice: A hairball of ferocious dimensions. She'd never have saved the world if she'd known it meant tearing out her roots.

Sliver Lake: See how our vision can modulate? See how we take time for character? The pace has been breakneck and everyone can use a sequence in a lower gear, while our girl perhaps poles a raft into the bayou, Cajun country...

Venice: Or maybe she'll head for one of those Italian, waddyacall'm. The elf-huts they've got there, the turrets with a beanie hat.

Sliver Lake: And you know who she finds at home, don't you, humming amid the threads of simmer that rise from kettle? Who else but Madame Laveaux or Strega Nonna or the very avatar of the botanist and chemist and doctorate of the undead? She might be long in the tooth but she's still easy on the eyes.

Venice: Mother knows best. Before long, the Old Wise One gets her visitor to admit she has feelings for her first case, her whaddycall'm, the first conversion. You know, Undead Worker #1. We'll have an establishing shot. The girl lowering her eyes. Blushing...

Silver Lake: Insofar as she can blush.

Venice: Anyway we keep it slow, a sequence for character. Closeup on her face, then closeup on her hands as she receives a little bag of herbs.

Silver Lake: A bag, a word of advice, we'll take our time. But then, you understand, we're right back in the lab? Back up to speed, straight to the lab, now we're cooking. Montage. Leaf-clippers, eyedropper, Petri dishes. And don't we need one of those machines that whirl the test-tubes around?

Venice: Always a great visual, whirling those test-tubes around. It's hypnosis, think about it, and in this case it's our girl, she falls into a trance. She goes after her guy with the first dose out of the lab. Hits him right between the eyes.

Silver Lake: And you want a name director? You want someone whose very name says ambience? Then this is the sequence where you'll hook him, maybe you'll get Méliàs himself back from the dead -- because this where you tell your director he'll have to show us a zombie in love.

Venice: Not that we don't have an idea or two ourselves. We see our Worker #1 for instance pausing over the laundry. There's a job for the zombie in your house, the laundry. But our guy, after his new dose, when he gets to some of the girl's things, brassieres, panties, we see him lingering.

Silver Lake: A zombie in love, honestly, doesn't that allow us a wild serendipity? Wild -- and yet at the same time well within limits, PG-13? Well within conventions of a date flick.

Venice: We've got all that under control. All solidly this side of the R.

Silver Lake: You'll see how we handle it later on, but for now, think about this, what it looks like if our boy takes a special interest in her underwear, if he puts it to his mouth, if he takes a little gnaw...

Venice: A little kiss, a little gnaw. In this context it has a different significance.

Silver Lake: In this context, you point out any signifier, it'll have a different significance. Yet whatever your director works with, nibbling, nuzzling, whatever -- by this point, can't we expect the audience to follow the dots? Our pretty lab magician has made her confession to the old Kitchen Magician. Our #1 Convert has put his face in his savior's panties. By this point, honestly, I have to ask. Doesn't everyone get it?

Venice: The girl saves the guy. Rudiments of language. Everybody gets it, and in five minutes' screen time we're back to the zombie wedding. Boom.

Silver Lake: We're back to a happy ending, our happy beginning, how's that sound? And out in the audience everyone's on board, though some of them, I'm sure you saw this coming, some of them out there must be wondering -- wait, what? Happy ending already?

Venice: Some of them must be thinking, maybe I did wander into an art film.

Silver Lake: And they're wondering about a couple-three moments during those last five minutes. Weren't there a couple-three shots out of synch? A couple times, there, didn't our lover boy bare his teeth? We were watching love bloom, the latest dose had made it bloom, somehow, some-who-knows-how, and so what was that, the lover boy baring his teeth? Even licking his chops?

Venice: The girl's showing more skin, too. I mean, a June wedding. And the way her undead crush is staring, uh, uh, that could be taken two ways. Could be romance, the way he's staring, uh, could be... Then we come to the wedding, and on the groom's side of the aisle there's a lot of touching. The groom's side of the aisle, his crowd, they're clumsy, in need of a hand.

Silver Lake: And remember the altar steps? The Best Man, and the one with half a leg, and the one who left his finger in his tie? Those guys are all pressing the flesh, passing the ring, straightening up each other's monkey suits.

Venice: We could go more FX here. A director who knows his CGI, he could show us microbes leaping.

Silver Lake: You see how the new paradigm keeps unfolding? How even now, there's yet another petal, unfolding? This is the danger petal, a serious scare just in the way the groom smiles, as the preacher says you may kiss...

Venice: Wedding apocalypse. Boom.

Silver Lake: What about the side effects? Didn't anyone think about the who-knows-how side effects? But no one did, it appears, and certainly not our girl.

Venice: Whipping up the new prescription had her hypnotized.

Silver Lake: Her happy ending does a cartwheel straight into the end of the world!

Venice: The groom's people fall on the bride's. At least for some of the good guys, there's the aisle. There's the pews. Some of 'em have a little breathing room and a bit of protection.

Silver Lake: Except, protection -- who's got none at all? Who's got no breathing room at all? You see where we're going with this?

Venice: The bride. The bride, she's up there right next to the groom. Arm in arm. The bastard's got his teeth in her as soon as she lifts the veil.

Silver Lake: Have you ever seen anything like it, cartwheel, apocalypse? The best person in the whole concept has gone whack! And doesn't that mean everything has to pick up fresh speed? A courageous few wrestle the girl away, by an eyelash, by a cat's whisker...

Venice: They get her back to the lab, but zombified.

Silver Lake: She's snarling, she's snapping, but they throw some church raiment over her. They wrap her in triple-ply swaddling. Can you picture it, blood and altar and miracle -- chiaroscuro?

Venice: Anyway we've got to go darker here. We've got born-again zombies. I mean, there's no way to round them all up. No way the few wedding survivors can stop them, all the carriers of the flesh-eating side effect. A bunch of them, too many, wander off, they head scot-free down the church boulevard. We'll have an establishing shot.

Silver Lake: Every one of these newly-re-infected and not-quite-dead is another horseman of the apocalypse.

Venice: Though the groom himself, he's in isolation. Carrier #1, the courageous few grabbed him too.

Silver Lake: And isn't this where we can look, briefly, like all the other zombie films? This, it's back to holocaust, and can't we borrow that look -- famished, ravaged, perverse? Think about Night of the Living Dead, what it owed to the concentration camps, the photos from spring '45.

Venice: We're back to the bunker, the greenhouse lab. The prowling hordes outside, beyond the barbed wire, and the bride and groom inside, in separate cages. Of course the good guys have the spray, the original formula. But we've got that covered, a quick experiment with re-inoculation. Another terrific visual.

Silver Lake: And another unfolding petal, namely, the zombie omnivore. Re-inoculation turns them that much more ravenous! Could it get any worse -- if the undead don't eat you, they'll eat you out of house and home?

Venice: The spray won't do it, after the side effects, and that's when someone realizes, they've got to go out to the swamp. To the cabin in the swamp or the hut with the beanie.

Silver Lake: Isn't the old woman the Ur figure? Happy ending or holocaust, our moviegoing destiny, isn't it also her destiny? And she doesn't want it.

Venice: She wants no part of it. Maybe we'll have the witch brandish a poker, when the courageous few come knocking. Definitely she'll have a dog, an ugly mutt, toothy, a hound of hell. Looking a lot like a zombie, come to think.

Silver Lake: The Ancient, her roots deep in the earth, how will they budge her?

Venice: With an iPhone, is how. Product placement, Droid or iPhone, whichever cuts us the best deal and comes up with the best photos, the highest pixel count.

Silver Lake: Can't we move from face to photo again, a companion sequence, a parallel segue? A segue, this time, between Demeter and Persephone? The elder's a deep brown, firelit, while the girl, her girl, her acolyte, languishes in chains, glaring, a zombie, pale to the point of white.

Venice: A change sweeps over the oldtimer. She quiets the hound and puts away her poker. We end in closeup, and for this shot, whoever we get, for this she's got to be the scariest thing in the movie. I fix her, she says, you understand she talks like a throwback, but you not gon like it.

Silver Lake: Now, let's take a minute, you and the two of us. Let's ask, when it comes to zombie fear, what's the base matter? The very bottom sediment?

Venice: You not gon like it, she says, and next scene, the Queen of the Underground has come to the lab. She's under the bright lights, and what she's set up, it's something else no one's ever seen.

Silver Lake: Isn't it, I mean the core and keel of it -- isn't it incompatibility? Isn't it? Think about the very word "undead."

Venice: Ha-ha, ha-ha. The arc we've got, it undoes the undead.

Silver Lake: We've got a Black Magic Woman, but what she's set up, it's an ob-gyn clinic. In the middle of a zombie apocalypse! Who's the scientist now?

Venice: The story we've got, the science works both ways.

Silver Lake: And can't you just see our Weird Sister? She delivers the big Reveal as she ministers to her strapped-down honeychile. And Honeychile, isn't that just the word, the nickname, for this low, sweet, singing? Though our heroine, strapped to the table in what's left of her wedding dress, she's nothing like honey. They had to lash her feet to the stirrups. Old Isis croons in her ear, she springs the Reveal, but all her young votive can offer in response is a wailing and a gnashing of teeth.

Venice: The sequence won't be half-over before the audience starts to connect the dots. This woman who saved the world, she always had a rare gift. The only grad student in a highly specialized field. The only person who'd ever for a minute look at a zombie and think, He's kinda cute...

Silver Lake: Our narrative, you see how it crests and dives and muscles on, so powerfully that we can trust the audience? Trust them to grasp that our Golden Girl is zombie spawn? Oh, and "spawn" -- that's as far as we'll go.

Venice: We'll keep everything solidly this side of the R.

Silver Lake: A word like "spawn," like "insemination," that'll do. Why would we ever get out of the lab? What sort of a movie would get into all the greasy mechanics?

Venice: We'll keep it within limits. We know what you're buying, with that ticket.

Silver Lake: Why would we ever leave the lab? Isn't it a euphemism or two in everyone's interest? Another word we'll probably use is "miscegenation."

Venice: If we wind up down in New Orleans, we want "miscegenation." In that context, it has a significance. Otherwise we'll keep things antiseptic, and we'll have our Voodoo Nurse whispering reassurances. Saying something like, Honeychile, dis a lot easier for you den it was for me.

Silver Lake: See how we can just hint at the mechanics? Aren't they just a matter of semantics? Then once our girl goes through the insemination, once she's a carrier of another kind, she's back to normal.

Venice: Any of the undead that come near her, after a minute they're normal too. Or abnormal, depending on your point of view. Either way it gives us another great sequence. All she has to do is stand out by the barbed wire and let the wind pick up her scent.

Silver Lake: The invisible majesty of pheromones, an Immaculate Conception, or in this case disinfection -- isn't that the best way to handle the greasy, shivery, febrile particulars? To be sure, our girl's got something in her belly, now. But isn't the outreach what matters, the power that emanates from the belly, the changes in every slavering creature caught in its ambience?

Venice: Every zombie, anyway. Think of the dance of the bees, how one guy comes back with claws full of pollen and the whole colony goes into a dance.

Silver Lake: Have you ever seen the dance of the bees? Could you ever have imagined that a few minutes watching Animal Planet would alter the base matter of the zombie dynamic? We've sailed the seas and come to bees.

Venice: It's a colony, the dead among us. It's life everlasting, except dead. It's the drones, hauling and picking and swabbing and pulling the levers. Only, sometimes they need a new queen. Sometimes they have to walk off the job with jaws snapping. It's not about feeding, it's about breeding.

Silver Lake: Have you ever seen a movie like it? Implanting the Royal Jelly of the undead? Our heroine, with what the Ancient whispers in her ear -- it's like the movie of her own parents falling in love!

Venice: We could wrap up with another of those slow pans. High saturation, panning over the worker bees we never think twice about.

Silver Lake: Have you ever so enjoyed the end of the world? End of the world, in our case, comes to world without end. Can you picture it, the laborers placid in their labor, the Queen smiling down from the deck of her greenhouse?

Venice: We could put her in something like stadium seating, a touch of meta.

Silver Lake: Certainly it's been meta for our main girl, hasn't it, stumbling upon her very fate? Certainly she must be wondering -- earlier, what was all that striving? The long nights over chemistry and botany and life and death. The trial and error in the lab, every experiment in six iterations, if not a dozen. What's the point striving, when ultimately, all that you're about is this girlchild at you feet? An ordinary enough child.

Venice: Though she does look like she's about to bite her pet hamster in the neck. Ha-ha, ha-ha.

Silver Lake: Hehhehheeh. And what's the point of putting up a fuss? Isn't it better to simply let the spectacle unfold?

Venice: Just let the kid chomp. One last splash of adrenalin, that's what you're buying with the ticket.