[Neanderthal poster] Neanderthal


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Thirty thousand years ago, we battled Neanderthal for
dominance of the Earth — now they want it back!

“I just wanted to fall in love!” But for Joe, forbidden love comes at a high cost.

Caught between love and loyalty, this heart-twisting story of modern romance and ancient conflict explores a moment of crisis in a young man’s life — make that a young Neanderthal’s life — as we learn the depths of a secret society that has lived for millennia hidden within our own.

Yes, Neanderthals survived ‘extinction’. And they continue the First War, secretly battling to cleanse the planet of Homo sapiens with guerrilla offensives such as the 1918 flu epidemic and AIDS, heroes like Jack the Ripper and Vlad the Impaler.

From the isolated community where Neanderthals have dodged the Homo sapiens invasions, Joe and Adam have been sent off to college in the San Francisco Bay Area to gather technology for the Neanderthal nation’s final revenge. They plan to scorch Homo sapiens from the surface of the Earth with ‘dirty' bombs — a genocide that will restore Neanderthal to their former position of dominance on Earth.

First love is so potent, especially when forbidden. Young Joe's loyalties twist when he falls for Mary at UC Berkeley. She's studying genetics, he's researching the ultimate weapon — for the final battle in an ancient war.

After graduating high school, math whiz and gymnast, Joe follows in his dead father's footsteps, volunteering for an undercover mission that might decide the war. Joe's rivalry with Adam, his childhood best friend, mixes with the comic results of culture clash and the challenges of hair management. Joe struggles with duty vs. love, finally bonding with Mary to create a surprising, peaceful solution to unite the two species and end the war. Ironically, Joe must first kill Adam in a primitive duel.

Neanderthal features strong locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, including SFO, the Golden Gate Bridge, the historical gun emplacements at its north end (Battery Wagner), the fishing pier Fort Baker, the UC Berkeley campus and the Campanile, and well-known San Francisco locations such as Fort Point, Coit Tower, Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, and Baker Beach

The story is rich with archetypal images. A handprint tattoo marks the chest of each Neanderthal male as a symbol of identity, loyalty and community. 'Fireweaving', a Neanderthal meditational tool combines flames with cave art. Ancient cave drawings compare interestingly to the graffiti of the old fort where they duel below the Golden Gate Bridge (Battery Wagner).

Act 1

  1. In 30,000 B.C., against a stunning Cappadocia (Turkey) backdrop, two Homo sapiens ambush a Neanderthal couple. The male Neanderthal lives long enough to watch them eat her brains. His intelligent, anguished face sheds tears and blood on a hand print tattoo on his left pectoral.
  2. Present day: Mary and Joe cavort in bed, in love. Mary showers while Joe fireweaves — flames and images from the past. Joe bears a hand print tattoo on his chest.
  3. FLASHBACK: Joe graduates from high school to find out about his mission — undercover. Joe's father, an army Major, died on a commando raid when Joe was very young.
  4. Joe joins Adam at UC Berkeley, two young Neanderthals on a secret mission. Joe's VO: "We were soldiers, still fighting the first war, begun 30,000 years ago."
  5. At the bookstore, they meet the lovely Mary. Joe juggles her spilled books and falls for her on the spot. Joe and Adam ogle 'sape' chicks — and SNIFF them.
  6. Adam allows Joe to experience 'sape' pheromones, then gives him pills to counter the effect. Reminds Joe of a childhood image: Ulysses Hears the Sirens.
  7. Adam tells Joe, take the pills "or your brow ridges will grow back."
  8. Joe and Adam visit Coit Tower. Joe is claustrophobic in elevator. Looking over San Francisco, Adam says "This will be ours soon. And every building will still be standing. That's the beauty of the 'dirty rain'."
  9. Joe sits with Mary in 'Pre-History for Poets' class, sketches a rose for her. Instructor begins class: "We will learn about the roots of man and discuss the eternal question: What does it mean to be human? ... Does everyone have a syllabus?"
  10. Joe and Adam fireweave with a bonfire at an old fort under the Golden Gate Bridge.
  11. Pre-History lecture #2 tells history of hominid evolution and the Homo sapiens migration out of Africa.
  12. At the campus pub, two Neanderthals get drunk on beer — Mary rejects Adam and flirts with Joe. Joe pukes and blames 'sape' treachery.
  13. At the gym, Joe beats Adam in a Neanderthal game — leaping high to catch a feather in their toes.
  14. Mary grieves with her mother over the phone. "I miss Dad, too." She speaks of a career in genetics.
  15. Isolated, lonely, Joe sees a TV lighting up a store window. The image of a nuclear mushroom cloud darkens Joe's expression.
  16. Joe and Mary talk about having lost their fathers.
  17. Adam and Joe sharpen a Hak Ba knife, admiring Neanderthal war heroes, thirsty for blood: Jack the Ripper, Stalin, Eichmann. Adam recalls an engraving: Vlad the Impaler killing 40,000. The Neanderthal war "killed 25 million 'sapes' with the 1918 flu epidemic ... 30 million with AIDS!" Joe: "I can't wait for my first kill!"
  18. Mary paints Joe's portrait: "I can't wait for my mother to see this!" Mary glows when Joe says "We'll treasure it, years from now." Then they argue about war.
  19. Joe and Adam react emotionally to lecture about Neanderthal.
  20. Jogging at Fort Point, Mary confides to her friend: "I've finally met a real man!"
  21. In his dorm, Joe reads studiously - and turns the pages with his foot! "his big toe as dextrous as a finger". His screensaver shows 'Ulysses Hears the Sirens', and Vlad the Impaler at the 'Forest of the Impaled'
  22. Adam is promiscuous, "probing the old crone's fable — that we couldn't impregnate 'sapes'."
  23. In the lab, Joe daydreams about Mary during a lecture about the half-life of plutonium.
  24. Joe gets therapy via pay phone. He has 6 barbers! As the barber works "with the pomp and precision of a matador," Joe asks him about artificial insemination; the barber's mustache droops comically.
  25. Mary invites Joe to an anti-war rally. They clash about war.
  26. In 'Gillie' camouflage suits, Joe and Adam conduct hi-tech surveillance on Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. Adam tells Joe their mission — poisoning the world with 'dirty' bombs — is the final battle. Adam: "Soon we'll live free in a new 'taler' homeland!" Joe: "The apocalypse!"
  27. ACT 2

  28. In the elevator, Mary kisses Joe. Joe and Mary unzip in her bedroom, semi-nude.
  29. Adam sees Joe with Mary on campus. Joe shows distance.
  30. Adam goes face to face with a snarling dog. Joe and Adam hunt for 'sapes'; they catch a drunk. Joe refuses his "first kill"; Adam does it. Joe pukes.
  31. Mary shaves Joe in an intimate bathroom scene. Mary's breasts bobble. Joe says 'I love you' to Mary.
  32. Present day: Mary finishes her shower, practices writing "Mrs. Mary Carpenter" in mirror.
  33. Joe tells Mary he trusts her deeply, proposes marriage. She accepts; he tells her he's sterile. She mentions genetic treatments and insists, "We'll get you tested."
  34. Mary takes Joe to the fertility clinic where she volunteers. She helps take a sperm sample.
  35. Mary gets mad at Joe because he wouldn't allow testing of his sperm. Joe says "Neanderthal" and Mary, incensed, kicks him out. He goes to car, resists the pills, calls Adam.
  36. Joe tells Adam he loves Mary, a 'sape'. Adam reminds Joe of the war, warns him.
  37. In a flashback inside Mt. St. Helens, an army Major leads a commando raid - to blow up the volcano! A mistake by the Elder's son causes a premature detonation - the volcano blows, all die!
  38. The Elder answers a telephone call from Adam about Joe, orders Adam to use his Hak Ba if necessary.
  39. Flashback to a primitive ritual in a cave 10 years ago. Adam and Joe are bloodpaired with handprint tattoos.
  40. Joe speeds across the Golden Gate Bridge, "What kind of man am I? ... What would you do, Dad?" He tosses the pills off a fishing pier.
  41. Dream sequence: Bombs in sky ... Mary disintegrates in 'dirty' rain on the beach.
  42. Joe returns to Mary, tells her "I am Neanderthal". Mary retches in sink. "I love a Neanderthal?"
  43. Hot water fogs the mirror to reveal "Mrs. Mary Carpenter" she had written after shower.
  44. Joe and Mary fireweave — images of primitive war, the ancient Homo Sapiens migration into Eurasia. "Our nation collapsed as your people flooded out of Africa to invade our lands."
  45. Joe steals a car for their escape, but is ambushed by a Neanderthal agent secreted in the back seat.
  46. Drugged, Joe is taken to a Neanderthal cave and interrogated by the Elder.
  47. Joe successfully lies to the Elder about genetic experiments with Mary and 'test tube baby'. Joe is released.
  48. In the 'crystal cathedral,' the Elder tells Joe of the volcano explosion, how his father died a hero. Montage of Joe's dad, Elder's son, eruption. Elder gives Joe his Hak Ba — "I know the volcano took your father's.... Follow your flame."
  49. They drive to class on Adam's motorcycle. Adam's leather jacket is emblazoned, "Rulers of the Earth."
  50. Joe and Adam argue about the war and Mary. Joe: "It's time for us to stop hiding and give up the old ways! ... I won't fight in a war that will destroy the planet!"
  51. Adam challenges Joe. In a primitive duel, Adam uses his Hak Ba knife to stab Joe. They stagger through an intimate death scene. In a surprise reversal, Joe uses his athletic body to fiercely stab and kill Adam.
  52. ACT 3

  53. To evade surveillance, Joe, wounded, scales an exterior wall to rejoin Mary, then collapses.
  54. They disguise themselves and borrow a car, but are observed as they drive away by a hidden Neanderthal agent.
  55. Driving to airport, Joe tells Mary he wants to create hybrid species as alternative to the war.
  56. At SFO, Joe and Mary cleverly avoid satellite surveillance.
  57. Elder directs an ambulance to Battery Wagner to pickup Adam's body before any doctors see it.
  58. As a ruse, Mary buys two tickets to NY City with a charge card. Joe gives them to homeless man with dog.
  59. Cops find the car empty and seal off the airport.
  60. Joe and Mary get on Marin Airporter bus and leave the airport in the nick of time, heading north.
  61. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, their bus is passed by flashing ambulance lights and buzzed by a helicopter.
  62. Back at the boarding gate, the homeless man, carrying his cute dog, boards the flight. Six men in blue point guns to stop them. He cries: "Don't shoot! She's got a ticket!" The dog barks pertly.
  63. In tense moments crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, their bus is passed by the flashing lights of an ambulance and buzzed by a helicopter towing a searchlight. Fingers of light probe the bus in a creepy scene inspired by F.W. Murnau.
  64. Mid-bridge, Joe is exhausted by fear and agitated by withdrawal from the meds. He hits a low and apologizes to Mary for getting her involved – and jumps out the window of the moving bus into roaring traffic.
  65. Mary threatens the driver to stop the bus. She jumps into traffic to follow Joe. Joe adeptly lopes across 6 lanes of cars driving 45 MPH, neatly dodging commute traffic. But Mary is quickly on her knees in harm's way as traffic implodes atop the Golden Gate Bridge. Joe leaps across roaring traffic using cars as stepping stones to heroically save Mary from an oncoming truck.
  66. Finally cuddling in the bed of a truck headed north, Joe apologizes and promises never to leave her again. "Our baby could unite the species! If we have a boy... let's name him Adam."
  67. The Marin Airporter bus disappears through Rainbow Arch entrance to the roadway tunnel north through the mountain. The sunrise spreads its wings over the blinking lights of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  68. The last scene reveals the daring compromise Joe seeks with Mary's help to end the war.


Copyright © 2016 by Kendall Callas.   All rights reserved.