HARE LIP PROJECT
by Richard Nathan
As the film begins, the following legend
appears on the screen:
weeks ago, three film students went into the woods to make a film about three
students who had gone into the woods to make a film three months earlier.
They were never heard from again. None
of them. Not the original three students, or the other three students
who made film about the first three. Nobody!
Really. Never heard from
is the film they left behind when they disappeared.
not just making this up.
ALICE'S BEDROOM -- DAY
shooting film of the ALICE, the Director of the second film.
(She's the one who disappeared three weeks ago - not the one who
disappeared three months before that).
Okay, hello, and
welcome to my film. I'm making a
documentary about these three film students who made a documentary about the
Hare Lip Woman, and who were never heard from again.
In my documentary, I'm going to try to find out what happened to them and
why they were never heard from again. But
first I'm going to show their film footage which was found after they were never
heard from again. So the part of
the film you are going to see now is the part from the students who were never
heard from again. It's not from me,
because I'm going to be heard from again.
LUCY'S HOUSE -- DAY
Now we're in the home of LUCY, who is the
first director, the one who disappeared three months ago, not the one who
disappeared weeks ago. LUCY speaks
into a hand-held videocamera.
This is the story of the Hare Lip. It's a local
legend here in Southern California. It seems
there was a woman who was very beautiful,
only she had a hare lip, which is like a cleft
pallet, and they can cure it these days. Only
they couldn't cure it back when this story took
place. Anyway, this woman was so
embarrassed by her hare lip that she went into
the woods to live all alone in a cabin, where
no one would ever see her hare lip. At the
same time, there lived in the city a man with
a wooden eye. He only had one real eye, but
he was too poor to buy a glass eye, so he had
a fake wooden eye made. Anyway, he figured
no normal woman would go out with him, but he
heard about the woman with the hare lip, and he
thought maybe she would go out with him. So
he wandered through the woods, until he found
her cabin, and he knocked on the door, and he
was still worried about his wooden eye, but he
figured she wouldn't say anything because she'd
be so sensitive about her hare lip. So he knocked
on the door, and he said, "Would you like to go
out with me?" And she was thrilled, because no
one had ever asked her out before. So he said,
"Would you like to go out with me, and she said,
"Would I? Would I?" And he said, "Hare Lip!
Hare Lip!" And neither of them were ever heard
from again! So we're going to go into the woods
and find out what happened to them.
EXT. DARK ALLEY -- EVENING
LUCY, followed by her two man film crew, RICKY and FRED goes into a dark alley to interview people on the street.
Now we're going to have a man-on-the-street
interview to see what people think of the story
of the woman with the hare lip and the guy with
the wooden eye.
The first person LUCY walks up to is a WITCH, looking like something out of the Wizard of Oz (with the green skin, and the pointy black hat, etc.)
Excuse me, may I ask you a question for my
Have you heard the story about the hare lip
Isn't that the story of the woman with a hare lip
who goes into a bar, and she says to the bartender,
(the witch uses a hare lip voice for the woman)
"I'll have a scotch and soda." And the bartender
says, (the witch uses a hare lip voice for the
bartender) "One scotch and soda coming up."
And the woman says, (the witch uses the hare
lip voice) "Are you making fun of me?" And the
bartender says, (hare lip voice:) "No, this is the
way I talk." Then another customer comes in and
says, "Gimme a shot of whiskey." And the bartender
says (normal voice:) "Shot of whisky, coming right
up." And the woman says, (hare lip voice:) "I
thought you said you weren't making fun of me."
And the bartender says, (hare lip voice:) "I
wasn't making fun of you. I was making fun of
No. That's not the hare lip story I meant.
Lucy goes further into the alley to find another person to interview. She walks up to a VAMPIRE who is busy sucking blood from the throat of his beautiful VICTIM.
Excuse me. Do you mind if we ask you a few
questions for a film we're making?
Go away! Can't you see I'm busy?
Whenever the vampire takes his mouth away from the VICTIM's neck, blood spurts out of the two wounds in her neck. (Whenever the VAMPIRE isn't speaking, he goes back to sucking.)
We just wanted to know if you've ever heard
of the Hare Lip Woman and the Wood-Eyed
Of course I've heard of that ridiculous story.
They were telling it way back when I was a
Well, do you think it's true?
Of course it's not true. Only an imbecile would
think it was true.
Well, I think it's true. There was a man with a
wooden eye and a woman with a hare lip.
Except some people say it was a woman with a
wooden eye and a man with a hare lip. But one
thing everyone agrees on... they were never
heard from again.
I'm going to make a film about them and call it
the "Hare Lip Project." Do you think maybe I'll
never be heard from again?
I hope so.
I take it you don't believe in the supernatural.
I don't believe in you. Now go away and stop
LUCY turns to the camera.
There you have it! Folks around here tend not
to believe in the Hare Lip Project.
EXT. -- THE WOODS -- DAY
LUCY and RICKY and FRED are walking through the woods. They take turns shooting each other with the videocamera.
Is there some way we could do this film
without the guy having a wooden eye and
without the woman having a hare lip?
I think that would be kind of hard.
Yeah. Like doing "Titanic" without the
iceberg or the boat.
It's just that we're making this film to get jobs
in the business, right? And I'm afraid there'll be
people who'll think we're making fun of the
handicapped, and that's not cool.
Are you saying Will Smith isn't cool? He makes
fun of Kenneth Branagh for not having any legs in
"WILD, WILD WEST." And no one's cooler
than Will Smith.
But he's black, so he can get away with it. He's
an oppressed minority. But I'm a white guy, so
I can't make fun of women with hare lips.
Maybe he's right. My mother got a hairy lip when
she went through menopause, and when we joked
about it, she had a fit!
Not hair lip! Hare lip!
It's spelled "h-a-r-e." Not "h-a-i-r."
It's spelled "h-a-r-e" like a bunny rabbit hare,
not "h-a-i-r" like the hair on your head hair.
So she had a lip like a bunny rabbit?
But don't bunny rabbits have hairy lips?
It's like a cleft pallet! It has nothing to do with
Still, what if there's some big important producer
with a hare lip? If we come up with a movie that
makes fun of people with hare lips, he could fix it
so we'd never work in this town again.
Big important producers don't have hare lips.
They have enough money to get them fixed.
But what about wooden eyes? Lots of important
people have fake eyes. Like Sammy Davis Jr.
And he's black, so he can get away with it.
Sandy Duncan isn't dead, or black, and she's
got a glass eye!
(dripping with sarcasm)
Yeah, right. If we offend Sandy Duncan, she'll fix
it so we'll never work in this town again! I'm
trembling with fear!
Peter Falk has a glass eye.
And Pamela Anderson had glass breasts.
She had breasts made out of silicone, until she had
the silicone taken out. And don't they make glass
out of silicone? Or is that mirrors?
We're not making fun of people with glass eyes . . .
or glass breasts! The guy in this story has a
I still think it's risky! There are a lot of very
compassionate people in the business. Like
Steven Speilberg. He may not have a fake eye,
or a hare lip but he's so compassionate, he'd worry
that somewhere in the world there's a poor little girl
with both a fake eye and a hare lip, and if she saw
our film, it would break her little heart.
Speilberg would get so mad, he'd ruin our lives
forever. We'd be lucky if he didn't have us killed!
But not everyone's a squishy soft Democrat like
Steven Speilberg. Remember, Bruce Willis is a
conservative Republican. He'd probably love it
if we made a film about a guy with a fake eye.
He'd probably be so pleased, he'd give us all jobs
on his next film.
Maybe not. It's
true he's a conservative Republican,
but he's also bald, so he might not like people making
fun of other people's deformities.
I don't care! I don't care who we offend! This is
my artistic vision! You guys promised to make this
film with me! It's too late for you to back out now!!!!
Now, come on! It's time to shoot the first scene.
EXT. A SMALL CLEARING IN THE WOODS -- DAY
LUCY is speaking very seriously, directly into the camera.
This is the site where a family of settlers lost their
way in the Nineteenth Century. Without any food,
they were literally starving to death. "Daddy!
Daddy," the children cried, "We don't like Mommy's
hare lip!!!" "Shut up and eat around it," their father is
reported to have said.
EXT. CAMPSITE IN THE WOODS - LATER
RICKY is leaning back against a tree.
All this talk about fake eyes makes me think of the funniest thing I ever saw in my entire life. It was Sammy Davis Junior's face after he got hit by a pie on the Soupy Sales Show. Sammy was doing a guest appearance with Frank Sinatra, and I'll never forget the look on Sammy's face when Soupy smacked him with that pie.
It was the perfect combination of shock and lost dignity. It was the best! Better than Stan or Ollie or Larry or Moe or Curly or anybody. There's no point in ever throwing a pie in anybody else's face, because Sammy Davis Jr. has already done the best possible reaction. Then a few nights ago, I was channel surfing, trying to find something to watch on television, and I found a documentary on Frank Sinatra. It showed Frank in the back seat of a car, talking about the Soupy Sales Show, and he said Soupy came up to Sammy on the side with the glass eye, and he literally blind-sided him. Sammy didn't see the pie coming. So that great reaction wasn't talent - it was just natural. That was the most disillusioning moment of my entire life.
No it wasn't.
Yes it was.
No it wasn't.
Yes it was!
No it wasn't. Because even if he didn't see it
coming, it was Sammy Davis Jr.'s great talent
that made him look like he did when he was hit
by the pie. And that's what made him great.
Maybe you're right.
EXT. A PATH IN THE WOODS -- DAY
LUCY, and RICKY and FRED are walking through the woods, passing around the videocamera.
I'm not sure it was such a good idea to make this
film in the woods.
The story takes place in the woods! Where else
could we make it?
The woods are sort of monotonous. I mean, how
interesting can we make all these shots of leaves
and dirt. Besides, its hard to put product placements
into the woods.
What's a product placement?
That's like if you're making a movie, and you have
the hero drive a Lexus, then the Lexus company is
so grateful, they give you a free car.
Wow! That's cool! Put me down for that!
No one is going to give us a free Lexus for
doing a student film.
Okay, but what about McDonald's? We could
do a product placement for McDonald's!
You want us to put in references to McDonald's?
Why? So you can get a free happy meal?
Sounds good to me.
But free happy meals is only the beginning.
We could make a deal for cross-promotions.
McDonald's could give away little Wood-Eye
Man and Hare-Lip Woman toys for the kids
to play with.
RICKY picks up some twigs off the ground, and holds them up, pretending they are Happy Meal toys talking to each other.
"Would you like to out to McDonald's with me
for a Quarter Pounder? "Would I? Would I?"
"Hare lip! Hare lip!" And then McDonald's
would pay us a fortune!
I'm not going to sacrifice my artistic vision to make
Why not? I
mean, what makes you so great? You
think you're better than George Lucas? I bet he's
sacrificed lots of his artistic vision to make a fortune!
Don't talk about George Lucas while the camera is
I bet George Lucas doesn't even like Jar Jar Binks,
but he knew he could make a fortune in merchandising
if he put Jar Jar in the movie, and he knew he had a
duty to everyone who had a share in the profits of
Don't talk about George Lucas while the camera is
Because we want to get jobs! Remember? No
one is going to give us jobs if we bad-mouth
I'm not bad mouthing George Lucas! I think he's
a great patriotic American. The more money he
makes, the greater it is for our economy.
Putting Jar-Jar Binks into his movie so that he can
make a lot of money does not make George Lucas
Hey, I like Jar-Jar Binks.
Stop talking about Jar-Jar Binks while the camera
is rolling! Do you guys want to get jobs or not!
I just think it's great that George Lucas can be so
This is my movie! And if I say we don't talk about
George Lucas or Jar-Jar Binks while the camera is
rolling, then we don't talk about George Lucas or
Jar-Jar Binks while the camera is rolling!
It might be nice if some other directors could learn
to be as flexible as George Lucas.
Stop talking about George Lucas!!!!!
Tempers are beginning to fray.
EXT. CAMPSITE -- DAY
LUCY and RICKY and FRED reach an open area that is fit for a campsite. Lucy notices an ominous noise.
Listen! What's that noise?
It's getting louder! Can't you hear it?
It sounds like it's right on top of us. How can
you not hear it?
Maybe I could hear it if Fred would stop playing
with that Thunder Tube.
FRED is indeed playing with a Thunder Tube - a hollow device with a metal coil on the end that makes weird sounds. LUCY grabs if from FRED and hits him on the head with it.
LUCY looks around and sees that it is getting dark.
It's getting dark. We'd better camp for the night.
As they begin to pitch a tent, Lucy gets an uneasy feeling.
Sometimes, I get the weirdest feeling, . . . like
someone's watching us.
From behind the surrounding trees and rocks, fantastic creatures stick their heads out and look at the kids. There are vampires, witches, werewolves, monsters, apes, Santa Claus - whatever the wardrobe and makeup budget can handle.
EXT. INTERIOR OF THE TENT -- NIGHT
It's a dark, dark night. The three film makers share a tent.
I don't hear anything.
You don't hear anything?????
Just the normal sounds you hear in the woods.
You've got to expect the local critters to make
At first, we hear CRICKETS CHIRPING. Then AN OWL HOOTS. Then a LION ROARS. An ELEPHANT TRUMPETS. TARZAN GIVES HIS JUNGLE CRY. A WOMAN SCREAMS! GUNFIRE ERUPTS. A WORLD WAR II PLANE DOES A STRAFING RUN! BOMBS EXPLODE! RAY GUN FIRE!
Lucy sticks her head outside the tent and yells:
(shouting at the top of her lungs)
Shut up out there!!! We're trying to get some sleep!!!
All the mysterious noises stop.
EXT. A PATH IN THE WOODS -- DAY
The next morning, the three film makers are walking through the woods. RICKY is in the lead, with his back to the camera. He is followed by LUCY, who is followed by FRED, who is shooting the scene.
Are you sure this is the way to where the cabin's
supposed to be.
I think so. But I'm having a little trouble because
of my depth perception.
What do you mean? What's the matter with your
RICKY turns around. One his eyes has been mysteriously replaced with a wooden eye!
Are you making fun of my wood eye! Don't you
make fun of my wood eye! Don't you say anything
about my wood eye, if you know what's good for
Okay! Okay! Calm down!
RICKY turns back and walks along the path. LUCY falls back to confer with FRED.
Did you ever notice before that he has a wooden
No. I never noticed that. But sometimes I miss
these things. It took me fifteen years before I noticed
my father only has one nostril.
This is so weird! I would have sworn he had
two normal eyes! You know, this could actually
help the film.
How do you mean?
Instead of just being a horror film about a guy with
a wooden eye, this could promoted as an insightful,
sensitive, caring project this is both by and about a
man with an artificial eye. A man dealing with his
inner demons and his wooden eye. A man who is
not afraid to look his own wooden eye in the face
and see the truth!
Wow. We've got to send a copy to Peter Falk.
RICKY calls back to FRED and LUCY.
You two better not be talking about my eye!!!
EXT. CAMPSITE IN THE WOODS -- DAY
LUCY is talking to RICKY.
I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I wasn't trying to
make fun of you. I never even noticed before
that you had a wooden eye. It seems kind of
obvious now, but before it fooled me completely.
It must look very natural under certain light.
You knew! You always knew.
I didn't! I swear.
Yeah. Right. Next you'll be telling me you didn't
know he has a wooden eye either.
RICKY points into the camera, indicated FRED who is filming the scene.
What are you talking about? He doesn't have
a wooden eye.
What do you mean I don't have a wooden eye?
Are you kidding me?
FRED hands off the camera to RICKY, who aims the camera at FRED, showing that he now has a wooden eye.
I've got a wood eye, just like he's got a wood eye.
It's why we agreed to do this film, isn't it? Don't
pretend you don't remember! We asked you if you
would like us to work on your film, and you said,
"Would I? Would I?" And we said, "Hairy lip!
Hairy lip!" Don't pretend you forgot that!
That's hare lip! Not hairy lip! Hare lip!
Looks pretty hairy to me.
RICKY turns his camera on LUCY, revealing that she now has a huge mustache! She slowly reaches up and feels the hair on her upper lip, and screams in terror.
What's happened to me? I got a hairy lip! I
never had a hairy lip before.
RICKY hands her the camera.
And you. . . All your eyes are wood eyes!
She turns the camera on her fellow film makers. Now each of them has two wooden eyes. They stumble blindly through the woods, like crazed zombies. Being blind, the GUYS keep waking into trees, tripping over shrubs, etc.
RICKY & FRED
Wood Eye! Wood Eye! Wood Eye!
Hair lip! Hair lip! Hair lip!
They stumble along until they exit the woods, onto a busy road.
EXT. CIVILIZATION -- DAY
They're out of the woods.
Oh, look! Civilization.
RICKY and FRED pull of their fake wooden eyes, and LUCY pulls off her fake mustache.
I'm glad that's over with.
Now we can sell this baby and be big time film
We'll have the studios pounding on our doors.
Offering us six picture deals!
We'll be bigger than Jar-Jar Binks!
JUMP CUT TO:
INT. ALICE'S BEDROOM -- DAY
ALICE speaks into the video camera:
But they were never heard from again! So now
I'm going to go with my film crew and try to find
out what happened to them.
EXT. THE EDGE OF THE WOODS -- DAY
ALICE and the two guys in her film crew, RALPH and ED, enter the woods. They hand their videocamera back and forth.
Okay, here we are, going into the same woods
that the first three film students went into.
The camera pans around the woods.
You guys see anything?
Okay, let's get out of here.
They leave the woods.
EXT. -- OUTSIDE THE GATE OF A MAJOR FILM STUDIO -- DAY
Alice and Ed stand outside the entrance to a major film studio, while Ralph goes up to talk to the guard at the gate.
There were rumors that the film makers came
here to try to sell their film, so we're going to try to
get inside to talk to some film executives.
Ralph comes back.
So what did he tell you? Can we go inside? What
did he say?
If we did what he said we should do - this would be
a porno film.
Let's try another studio.
EXT. -- STREET NEAR THE STUDIO -- DAY
Alice and Ed are looking at the place on the street where they parked their car, but there's no car there.
Where's my car? What happened to my car?
Don't look at us.
A car does not just disappear! It doesn't drive
off by itself. My wallet and all my credit cards
were in that car. Everything but the forty bucks
in my back pocket.
Maybe the Hare Lip took it.
That is not funny. That is the unfunniest thing I ever
Or maybe you shouldn't have parked it in tow away
RALPH points to a sign that says this is a tow-away zone.
Okay. We'll take a cab to the next studio.
She reaches into her back pocket to find some money.
Where's my money? I had forty dollars in my
back pocket!!! Where is it?
You don't have any money?
This isn't funny! Did you take my money?
She turns to Ed.
Did you take it?
No! I swear! I never touched your money.
Absolutely not! I swear on my mother's grave!
On my father's grave! I swear on the graves of
everyone I have every known and loved that I did
not take your money.
You didn't take it?
Okay, I did. I bought some lottery tickets with it.
ALICE leaps at ED to strangle him, but RALPH holds her back.
I'll kill you! I'll kill you!
Take it easy.
I don't have any money left!
We'll think of something.
EXT. FREEWAY OFF-RAMP -- DAY
ALICE and RALPH are holding up signs which say: WILL FILM DOCUMENTARY FOR FOOD. They aren't getting any takers.
EXT. A LONELY STREET IN A BAD AREA OF LOS ANGELES -- EVENING
ALICE and RALPH are walking down a street. ALICE notice that Ed isn't there.
Where's Ed? What happened to Ed? Ed! Ed!
He's gone. He disappeared, and now we're going
to disappear! We're all going to disappear and never
be heard from again, like those first three film makers.
I'm so sorry. It's all my fault. You and Ed were so
wonderful. You came to make this film for me, and
it's my fault you're never going to be heard from again.
Please forgive me.
ED strides up to her. He has a fist full of money.
Guess what? We won five hundred bucks in the
Give me that, you moron!
She grabs the money.
EXT. OUTDOOR RESTAURANT -- EVENING
RALPH, ED and ALICE are seated at an outdoor cafe, waiting for the dinner they've just ordered.
So, you think we're ever going to find out what
happened to those first film students?
We know what happened to them.
They were never heard from again!
LUCY, RICKY and FRED walk by in the background, taking orders and delivering meals. They've all become waiters.
Well, who cares? Based on the film they left behind,
they weren't very good film makers anyway.
You're right. Our film is much better.
LUCY, RICKY and FRED glare at ALICE, RALPH and ED.
Our "Hare Lip Project" will make us famous as the
greatest documentary film makers of all time!!!
LEGEND APPEARS ON THE SCREEN
THEY WERE NEVER HEARD FROM AGAIN!
WE'RE NOT MAKING THIS UP!
© 2000 by Richard Nathan. All rights reserved
The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use. No other use may be made without the author's permission. Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express permission.
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