Writer's Block (2019) - full transcript

A struggling writer accepts a once-in-a-lifetime offer to collaborate with a best-selling novelist at his remote Texas ranch.

You've never really liked
my trophies, have you, Tricia?

What I like doesn't matter.

Well, we finally agree
on something.

So, did you want something
or did you just call me in here

to make me look
at your dead animals again?

Conquests, dear.

Takes extraordinary skill
to track, kill a wild beast.

You put out a feeder
and wait for one to come by.

How hard can it be?

I got to hand it to you,
young lady,

your view of this, uh,
subject matter is pretty unique.

I mean,
I'm doing my best.

You're disappointed.

It's okay. Like you said,
you're doing your best.

I'll just find another way
to meet my deadline.

Mr. McGraw, I... can be better.
I can change.

I know. I know. But I suppose,
it doesn't matter.

Your time here
has come to an end.

So, I guess that means
I'll never be a famous writer?

I'll just go pack my things.


Si, Señor?
I will take care of it.

Catalina will show you out.

Come on, Skip.

Let's go meet somebody.


- Hi.
- Hi.

- Can I get a book signed?
- Sure. Yeah.

Salt Lake
is my absolute favorite.

Ah. Have you read the new one?

No. More of a Western fan.
You should do more of those.

I'll do that.

Do you want to get a drink
with me?

I'm buying.


Don't worry.
She doesn't have to know.

You're right.

She's dead.


You can keep that.

Hey, man,
I think I'm going to take off.

You can't leave yet. My aunt says
you're going to be here till four.

That's a little bit.
What do you think?

There's a big crowd
stuck in traffic.

Good point.

You know, I guess they're at
that other bookstore signing,

the one with the famous author.


You must be Skip Larson.

I'm Digger Haskell.
I've been looking for you.

You want me to sign a book?


Yeah. Why not?


Ditches or cemeteries?

You know you're one lucky son of a bitch.

- There you go, Digger.
- Thanks.

Hey, I need to talk to you.
Can we go somewhere?

He says I gotta stay till four.

Here's 500 for all the books
on the table.

That should do it.
I'll be outside.

I'm gonna get you.

Here's your books.

Nah, you can keep 'em.

So, what's this all about?

How well do your books sell?

I pay the bills.

Maybe, maybe not.

Heard your electricity
got cut off last month.

How do you know that?

And you were late twice
last year with your rent?

What the fuck, man?
My stalker alarm's going off.

Calm down,
I'm just doing my research.

Standard procedure when you
offer somebody a business deal.

What kind of business deal?

I work for someone
who loves your writing?

Who's this brilliant person?

Chester Everett McGraw.

- Yeah. You're right.
- Hold on. I'm dead serious.

Do you want to talk to him?

Here you go, boss.

This is Chester Everett McGraw.

Hello. Can you hear me?

I think he's just star struck.

Skip, I've got
an offer I'd like to make you.

Any chance you could meet me
in my ranch?

Yes, definitely, Mr. McGraw.

Perfect, I'll see you shortly
and just call me Chester.

Okay, let's go.

First things first,
I'll need to see your phone.

- What? Why?
- It's security.

Look, Chester's a very
private man, okay?

He don't want you telling
anybody about this quite yet.

You'll get it back.


It's okay.
I'll tell him you said no.

Well, wait, hang on. Hang on.

Can we, uh, go by my place?
I've gotta let my dog out.

The greatest author in the world's
waiting, your dog can hold it.

I'll send somebody over.

Today, right?

Because if he pees on the rug, I'll find
somebody smaller than you and beat him up.

I fucking love dogs.

Well, if the dog's all right...

You won't regret this, Skip.

That'd be a first for me.

You don't have to kill yourself.
Hell, I can do that for you.

Thought it'd be 30 minutes tops
to get there.

We've been on the road
for over two and a half hours.

Yeah, don't complain.

It's the second time I had
to drive this route today.

You really can't tell them
anything about Mr. McGraw?


- Yeah.
- Nope.

That guy is taking care
of my dog. Right?

You bet. I texted Hammer.


Yeah. Real rough person,
but not as pretty as me.

Come on.

All right.

You got everything you need
in there.

Get some sleep.
See the boss in the morning.

Why can't I see him now?

I just do what I'm told.

Look, got some tacos here
in the bag.

- What about Walker?
- Who?

- My dog.
- Walker's fine.

How do you know?

I'm smart that way.

"I'm smart that way."


What the fuck?

Dios mio. I'm sorry, Señor Larson.

I didn't mean to wake you.

What time is it?

It's 8:30, Señor.

Oh, God!

Sorry. Um, hi, what's your name?

and you're a famous writer, no?

No, at least not yet.

- Right.
- Well, then you will be. He will teach you.

- Hey, wait. Oh...
- If I can get you anything.

Um, sorry.

Um, so...

Um, you won't tell him
about this, will you?

I will keep your secret.

Um, do you know
why he picked me?

Señor McGraw
must see something in you,

but he will want everything
to be perfect.

He's waiting for you down the hall.


Good morning.

Good morning, Skip.
Welcome to my little writer's retreat.

Have a seat.


I trust that you rested well. Hey,
have you had a chance to meet Catalina yet?

The housekeeper. Yeah. Uh,
she must be good. The place is spotless.

She is a perfectionist and a delicate
flower, pure as the driven snow.

Let's keep it that way, yeah?


- Um, question.
- Mm.

Why all the secrecy?

Fame is a curse, Skip.

- I wouldn't know. Um, why...
- Why you?

20 years ago, I was you.

A wunderkind, talented,

initial success of my first
novel Callahan's Well,

and then I just fell
into the void.

- Writer's block.
- Yeah.

Only that term just scratches
the surface of my hell.

Some hell. You fed a dozen
best-sellers, turned into hit movies.

You're Hemingway, Steinbeck,
and King all rolled into one.

I've had some success.


I'd be thrilled with a 10th
of what you've done.

What I want to do
is share my good fortune.

I want to give something back
to my profession.

By helping me?

You're here to learn, yeah,
but I'm not going to lie.

My motives are somewhat

How so?

I'm up against the six-month
deadline on my newest book.

And I got to have somebody to, you know, bounce
ideas off of and fill in some of the gaps.

- I'm here to help you write a novel?
- In a manner of speaking, yeah.

I'll make you this wager,
you accept this opportunity

and you'll make more money
you ever dreamed of.

I don't know what to say.

Say yes,
you've got this rare gift.

I read your first book.

Oh, man. Terrific writing.

And then it was like, you hit the
same brick wall that stopped me.

Your newest book, it reeks.

You are defecating away
your own God given talent, son.

Wow, I have never had anyone
tell me I suck so eloquently.

Sense of humor. That's good.

We'll need to temper it.

If you work with me,
you will temper it.

Now, the terms.

- I'm all ears.
- No outside communication for six months.

I don't know if I can be
a hermit for six months.

Come on. Walk with me.

What's that?

Over there?

That's where we process our game.
You want to go see?

I'll take a raincheck.

Skip, this is the peace
and quiet we writers need.

But what about my compensation?

Oh, slow down, my friend.

Before we start talking
contracts, we talk rules.

In my master class, I am indeed the master.
There'll be no contradictions.

I may allow some discussion, certain
subjects, but my decisions are final.



Live up to your contract,
in six months, you'll have $200,000.

And if I like your writing,
I'll double it.

Plus, you get 35% of the novel
we co-write.

That's unbelievable.

You'll be a millionaire.

Now, you and I both know
this ain't my first rodeo,

so I know you've got a skeleton
or two in your closet.

Everyone does.

Before I give you this contract,
what do you hide?

Well, no major scrapes
with the law.

I used to drink a lot.

So, you stopped?

Many times.

I'm hoping this time, it sticks.

It'll stick this time.

- Anything else?
- No.

Here's the contract.

Here's my favorite pen.

J. D. Salinger himself
gave it to me.

You sure? I mean, uh...

Digger will be by
in a couple of hours

and by then, you'll have either signed
it, or we part ways.

Make the right decision, Skip.

Make the right decision.

J. D. Salinger.



- How'd it go?
- Digger.

Have you got some
side game going?

What are you talking about?

I saw you take the license
plates off that truck last night.

Are you running
some kind of chop shop?

Ah, shit. I gotta kill you now.

No. Hey, man, I haven't
even signed the contract.

Well, hurry up.

Look, I got some great advice
about working with Chester, right?

Tone it down on the smart ass.

Two Oscars,
lifetime achievement.

I would kill for
just one of these awards.

Everybody would.

So, what's he really like?

What am I getting myself into?

He's like a father to me.

I owe everything to him.

How's that?

10 years ago,
I fell 30 feet off of an oilrig.

I was in a coma for a week.

he saw this in the newspaper.

He was there when I woke up.

And he and I we got to talking
and he said,

"You know,
if I were to kill anybody else,

I could use somebody tough
like you."

Counsels me for everything now.

Wow! All of his best-sellers.

Life of Malice. Saturn Draft.
The Warrior Code.

That's beautiful leather.

Oh... Ow! Shit, man.

That's some grip you got there,

I'm sorry.

Chester just don't want anybody
touching those.

He says something about the acid on
your fingertips ruining the leather.

He's worried that way.

I get medical coverage, right?

You'll be fine
as long as you can jerk off.

We're not getting involved
with Rudy.

You can tell your gangster
cousin, go screw himself.

Goddamnit, Jillian.
We need the money.

Why is that?

Why do we need the money? Huh?
Is it because you don't write?

It's 'cause you talk
about writing,

you think about writing,
you fucking drink about writing.

You do everything
except for actually write.

It's not exactly easy
with a depressed wife.

You fucking bastard.

What about you, huh?
You're not getting any help.

Screw yourself.

You know, fuck this.
I'm outta here.

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Let's just pretend that
you're going to your writer's dinner.

- I'm late.
- Yeah.

Well, at least, you're loyal to the
whiskey or wherever it is that you go.

Oh! I'm sorry.
I did not know anyone was here.

Oh, it's okay.
Um, I just signed the contract.

You'll be seeing a lot more
of me.

- Well, I wish you luck.
- Oh, okay. Thanks.

Uh, will I see you again?

Of course,
I clean your room, remember?

Thank you.

So, our masterclass begins.

Let's discuss
your earlier novels.

You mean the Westerns?


That's why you're here
because of the Salt Lick.

Great page turner.

So, you want to get back
to your roots?

I want us both
to return to our roots.

Well, I was kicking around an idea
for a sequel to Dreams in the Dust.

Let's hear it.

Uh, Silas, the protagonist,

teams up with the girl that
was raped in the first book,

uh, to get revenge
on the villain.

Let's hear what else you got.

- Okay. A prequel to the Salt Lick.
- No, no, no prequels.

How about a sequel?

Uh, Jake, the son grows up
to start a Mormon church.

That's just idiotic.

Uh, okay. Um, let's start over.

The problem with Westerns
is they just don't sell anymore.

Oh, really?

Mine will.

You've, uh... you've read my early
work Callahan's Will, haven't you?

Your first bestseller?
Of course, I have.

Look, I'm working on a sequel to it.
It's the one with the deadline.

It's on the computer.

What I'd like you
to just go look at it,

work up a plot using the main
characters and we'll start from there.

I'm honored you'd share
those characters with me.

Good. It's settled.

Let's start pounding
the keyboard.

I want an outline
and the first chapter by supper.

That's impossible.

Here's an incentive.

Okay. Outline first chapter.
Sure. No problem.

Who are you?

A fan.



I love books.

What kind of books?

The kind with words in them.

Yeah, but are you...

An English lit major.

And you are?

In way over my head.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

I kind of like it.
Good job, girl.


- Hi.
- Here you go.

Outline and first chapter.

I knew you could do it.

Uh, I'm probably gonna need
some more clothes.

Uh, stick with me, you'll be wearing
jewels. Don't worry about the clothes.

How'd you, uh,
like the little surprise?

Uh, yeah.
Kara is a big fan of the arts.

I heard, uh,
you weren't real excited.

This looks delicious.

This is garbage.

Pure garbage.

You haven't even read it all.

I don't need to.

I mean, the opening line could have
been written by a six-year-old child.

What's wrong with it?

"Sunlight cut through the dust

to cast a soft glow
on Callahan's face."

Oh, that's what's wrong with it.

It's only the first
frickin' line.

And there's an outline.

I mean, for the love of God,

you've got Callahan falling deeply
in love in the first chapter.

What juvenile tripe?

What the hell, man?

What do you want me to do?
Coddle you?

Or teach you how to write?
I can't do both.

Better I correct you
than the critics.

Take it like a man,
if you are a man.

Just because I didn't sleep
with your little...

Oh, come on.

Do you know how many men would
literally kill to sleep with that woman?

Just eat your Goddamn steak.

We'll start over in the morning.

Go away. I'm busy.

Hear it didn't go so well.

Yeah, that's an understatement.

Your boss is a flaming asshole.

Well, that flaming asshole has a
dozen best-sellers to his name.

Good for him.

I'm taking a road trip to the
nearest bar 'cause I need a drink.

You'll stay put
because you signed a contract.

Consider it unsigned.

You're going to throw away a deal of a
lifetime because your feelings got hurt

because you want to go get
some booze?

Look, this whole setup is weird.

No phone, no internet,
no outside contact.

And where the hell is my dog?

- Walker's fine.
- You said he'd be here.

I said,
you'll get your fucking dog.

Man, oh.

Get out of my way.

Ugh, ugh. What?


Slowly, cuz.

You're not here all five days?

- No. What day is it?
- Monday.

What is the shit?

There are easier ways to die.

I was on a trail. I got lost.

Where's your water,
your backpack?

Got lost on the trail?

You know,
you don't have to kill yourself.

Hell, I can do that for you.

Life and death.
So, easy for you, huh?

It's like a hobby.

Look, I know you're fucked up
right now,

but this shit
isn't going to bring them back.

Rudy, the big bad criminal, huh?

I wrote that,
the whole book about you.

Serious, bro?

You're crossing
a real big line here.

I ain't your, bro.

I sold it too.

You're going to get me executed.

So, you gonna kill me? Huh?

You know what?

Here's life, take it or don't.

You're on your own.

You should've killed me.

Come on, Skip. You can do this.

She let you down.

I love disappointment.

I was very fond of her.

So, now what?

You bringing my bread and water? I'm busy. Go away.

Catalina. Oh,
I... thought you were Digger.

Am I that unattractive?

No, I meant, come in.


Digger tried to stop me
from leaving today.

And why would he do that?

You tell me.

Digger, I can't explain.

He is, uh, as you say, wildcard,

and Chester's under pressure
with his deadline.

He's lucky to have you.

- May I ask you a question?
- Sure.

Why did you not sleep with Kara?

It's personal.

Secrets are safe between us.

But I'm glad you didn't.

Come on in, gentlemen. No... Nothing's
gonna bite you. It's all dead. Come on.

Skip, I need to talk to you
about something.

But, you know, first, I think
Digger has something to say to you.

How about that, Digger? Huh?


Yeah, look.

I'm sorry.

Skip, I apologize.
Our first session ended badly.

So, if I want to walk out of
here, you or Digger won't stop me?

I won't. Digger, will you?

- No, Sir.
- Now, Digger won't.

You can walk out of here

You can walk out here right now
if you want to.

Where's my dog?

Digger's in the process
of retrieving it.

Do you know,
if you walk out of here,

you're walking out
on a once in a lifetime chance

at literary immortality,
not to mention $2 million?

- You said it was a million.
- Well, now, it's two.

You think I'm here
only for the money?

No, not at all.

I think you're here because
you want to be great like me

and I'd be pleased if you'd
just hear me out on this.

I'm listening.

Let's talk while we hunt.

Why is the housekeeper
hanging around here?

It's my job to clean the ranch.

This is my area.

Don't you have other places
you can clean?


There is clutter all around us.

I heard you
and the old man argue.

Did he tell you that?
Or were you spying on us?

It's my job to protect him.

From what?

Maybe you.

I know my place.

Do you know yours?

Oh, man.

This looks pretty good.

Let's get this drone up
and see what it says.

Seems a little like cheating.

Drone's, merely a timesaver.
I can find game on my own, Skip.

Less time searching though,
means more time riding.

You got me there.

After all,
we don't use typewriters anymore.

There down in that gulch, see?


Oh, that's a trophy.
Let's go get him. Come on.

Oh, it's a 10 pointer.

- How close do we get?
- Shh! He'll hear us.

- What...
- Move!


You're wondering how I missed?

Your trophy room
would suggest that you don't.

I've been waiting for you
to mention my collection.

It's a lot of dead shit.

That dead shit as you call it,
took me years to acquire.

I stopped and conquered each
one of those animals myself.

They gave themselves to me.

Each piece had a purpose,
no waste.

I don't see what this
has to do with writing a novel.

It has everything to do
with writing.

I mean, what is writing,
but conquest of language.

It's like the ancient
Maori of New Zealand.

They believe that consuming
the flesh of their enemy

incorporated the strength of
the dead into their own bodies.

You're starting to creep me out.

I... merely mentioned it
as a metaphor

for what we have to do
as writers.

We don't so much create
as we consume.

We capture what we observe
in others' lives.

And then we incorporate that
into our own body of work.

- Sounds kind of like plagiarism.
- No?

Their stories become ours
by right of conquest.

I could've killed that deer.
You know it, I know it,

but I wanted to teach you what
happens when you don't use your gift.

You do want to become
a brilliant author, don't you?



Give me that bow.

- You're coming?
- I'm coming.

Hey, I was, uh, hoping to get
some more of that venison.

There's some grill left
in the kitchen.

Old man's retired for the night.

Yeah... When does he write?

He seems more attached
to the hunting and the trophies?

Yeah, the trophies give him
edge, keeps his writing fresh.

And you keep everything
running smoothly.

I do my best.

Hey, before you go get your panties
into one, Hammer's bringing your dog.

Great. Thank you.

Hey, Skip. You heard
about the Junction Boys?

Is that a country
or a Western band?

Texas-Anaheim football, son.
Back in '54.

Anyways, just hired Paul
"Bear" Bryant as their new coach

and he thought the boys
were soft.

So, he took them out to West
Texas in the dead of summer

to weed out the weak links.

- And it worked?
- Well, hell yeah, it worked.

I think half of them quit
and one of them died.

They give a trophy
to the dead guy's family?

How'd they do that year?

Well, the only won one,

but after that, we went seven and
two, next season, undefeated.

Hmm, I guess that's what
dedication will get you.

Not dedication,
commitment, Skip.

So, a chicken lays an egg,
he's dedicated to breakfast, right?

But a pig,
that's a tasty slab of bacon.

That's commitment.

You Goddamn right,.

Chester demands commitment.

You know what?
Why don't you run along?

Probably got some chapters
to write.

I expect my dog tomorrow.


Jillian problems.

She won't get help.

And I'm worried for April.

You really think she'd do that?

Hurt her own baby?

Keeps me up at night.

Look, if things get too real,
call me.

I can fix things.

You know, keep April safe.

Let's address rule number one.

- Man gets his dog.
- I've reprimanded Digger.

Your dog's in transit, but let's address
why despite your enormous talent,

you're failing as a writer
and it's going to get personal.

We got...
We're passed personal days ago.

Right after I finished
Callahan's Will, I lost my wife.

You lost your wife
and your baby girl, too.

Let's talk about their deaths.

Let's not.

Oh, we're going to.
It's in the contract.

I don't want to go there.

You believe it was your fault,
don't you?

Were you at fault?

Okay, yeah. Let's just pretend that
you're going to your writer's dinner.

I'm outta here.

Were you?


I wonder why that would be,

No comment.

At least you're loyal to the
whiskey, wherever it is that you go.

Could it be because you were out
drinking the night your wife died?

Goddamn it!
How do you know this?

You blamed her
for your failing career?

Fuck you.

She wanted to hurt you back.

You all argued.

You fought back and forth.
The baby cried. The baby kept crying.

The baby kept crying.

And while you were out drunk
on your ass,

she shook that baby to death...

...and then she killed herself.

And I am sorry for that.

I should have been with them.

Since then you've just drifted,

unable to focus on anything
but your past.

Your writing career
is all but died.

What am I supposed to do?

I looked inward
towards my strengths.

I found out that the only thing I
could count on was my gift, my writing.

It removed all my fear
and false beliefs.

You make it all sound so easy.

It's anything, but easy.

But when you remove
all the static that's your past,

you could find your life again.

I mean, take it back, Skip.

You're better than this.

You're the most talented guy
I've seen.

Stand up and be a winner
one more time.

You can do it.

I know you can.

I'll see you for dinner
on the patio at six.

Skip, it's time for dinner.

I'm not hungry.

Chester sent me to get you.

And you do everything he says,

Only if I want to.

Good for you.

You look tired.

Was it difficult in class today?

That deer he's roasting
had a better day than I did.

I don't understand.

He made me talk about something
I don't want to talk about.

Yes, he can be very cruel.

He says
it makes a writer better.

I'm glad you are here.

I'm on the fence.

I think.

Whoo! Oh, yeah.

Where's Kara?

She left us.

I'll miss her
as a well-read fan.

Was there something over there
that's got your attention?

I was admiring your weapons.

Let me show you something, huh?

Catalina, go straighten
the triangle, please.

- Si, Señor
- Thank you.

- Look, wait, you don't have to...
- It's all right. It's all right.

Okay, honey,
move over just a little bit.

I don't want to drift on you.

The boss never misses.

- Impressive.
- Thank you.

Skip, you're in for a treat, chicken
fried venison, fresh from the field.


Looks great.

Digger, uh, take care
of that other matter, would you?

- Yes, Sir.
- Thank you.

- This is delicious?
- Hey, uh, is there any chance

uh, you could knock me out an
outline of chapter two by tomorrow?

I don't know.
I might still be eating.


I'm kidding. I'll get it done.

Because of that,
we've got a big surprise for you.



Oh, my God! Hey. Hi, buddy.
Hi, buddy. Come over here.

Yeah, I missed you.
When did you get him?

- Saturday.
- Saturday? Why didn't you bring him?

Because I told him not to.
You gotta earn it.

You motherfucker.

Goddamnit, Skip.
Don't ruin a perfect day.

Take home lesson here is you do
your job and good things happen.

I don't need that kind
of motivation.

You don't do your job...

Just do your job.
Come on, Catalina.


I wanted to talk to you.

Yeah, sure.

Your writing is good.

Did Chester show it to you?

No. He left some pages out
in his office.

Wouldn't he be mad if he knew you
were snooping around his desk?

I told you,
I don't always do what he says.

Wait, hang on.

Uh, what about Chester?

I mean, I saw him kiss you.

He protects me like a father.

So, there's nothing going on?

No, not like that.

Why are you here, in this house?

Hmm, the money is good.

This is for my younger brother,
he's in college.


My mother died years ago and my
father, the less said, the better.

I'm sorry, Catalina, um...

Every so often you lose
a little bit of that accent

and your English
gets a whole lot better.

You caught me.

It's for Señor Chester.

He likes to think
I'm uneducated.

I can trust you, right?

Cross my heart.


You are the greatest.

Your readers, the critics,
everyone acknowledges this.

You have earned everything
you have achieved.

No one can take that away
from you.

Not Skip, not anyone.

"The world breaks
everyone, and afterwards,

some are strong
in the broken places."


Yes, you are strong.

Is Skip happy?

He could produce two
or three more books for you.

I'm not sure I could stomach him
that long.

You mustn't give up.

Never question my commitment.

This is only one chapter.

I'm stuck
on where to take the story next.

Thought maybe
we could brainstorm.

Skip, I'm here to guide you
through the creative process,

but I can't do that
if you refuse to create.

I'm not refusing.
I'm working as fast as I can.

This stuff doesn't just fall
out of your head.

You, of all people,
should know that.

Better than you think.


I'm disappointed.

Let me take a look
at your draft. It'll help me.


That's enough.

Take the rest of the day off.

Go play with your damn dog
or fuck Catalina.

You broke one of my rules, Skip.

He knows about us.

Skip, meet Lance Keller.
Lance, Skip.


Lance is a writer,
Skip, just like you.

He's quite talented,
also like you.


I thought I'd give Lance the
opportunity of fleshing out our story.

You mean writing our book.

Call it competition.

Bring out the best
in both of you.

That wasn't our deal.

Is this because of Catalina?

Our deal is
whatever I say it is.

It's in the contract.

What do you think about this?

May the best man win.

Clock's ticking, Skip.

Why are you avoiding me?

I've come by your room
every night.

I can't lose my job.

I'm leaving.

You need to help me.

- I can't.
- Yeah, come on.

Just do what he says
and write the book.

Screw him.


I was just cleaning his room.

That Lance is one hell
of a dude, isn't he?

I thought I was your favorite.

Banging the housekeeper
dropped you a notch.

I suppose you're going
to send me to my room now.

You should try me.

My room, tonight.

You have to go with me, now.

- This is the only place I've ever known.
- I'll take care of you.

I don't need somebody
to take care of me.

I need someone who won't quit.

Skip, this is your dream.

Just finish the book.

He's never going to honor
that contract.

All that work I did.

I'll come back for you.

Don't bother.


You're making up excuses.

What am I supposed to do?
Leave with a failure.

There is no future for us
if you don't write the book.

Thought you'd understand.

More than you know.

J. D. fucking Salinger.

Come here, come here.

Let's go.

Come on.

Load up, load up.
Let's go, let's go.

Come on. Let's go.

All right.

All right. How do you think
we get this thing started?

Holy Shit!

I thought I caught a burglar?

No, it was just me.
I was gonna go for a ride.

At three o'clock in the morning.

Couldn't sleep.

I suppose
your dog couldn't sleep either.

How do you get the lights on,
on this thing?

Come on, I'll take you inside.

No, thanks. It's okay.

We're just going to take a quick spin.
It's no big deal.

Get out.

- Really? It's fine.
- I said, get out.

What are you going to do?
Shoot me?

No, your dog.

Come on.

Where the fuck do you even get
an ankle monitor?

Just stand up, turn around.

Stand up and turn around.

Hey, what are you...
What are you doing?

Just finish the fucking book.

Maybe your dog will live
long enough to read it.



Eat your ice cream.
It's your favorite?

No, it's yours.

Okay. What's the matter?

Why the ankle monitor?

He can't leave. Not yet.

He'll never finish
your book now.

Oh, yeah, he will.

He wants literary immortality
as much as I do.

Look at me.

You're in love with
him, aren't you?

Of course, not.

You told me not to.

I can't have anything
go to waste?

Can I join the party?

- Sure.
- Interrupting again?

Tss. You're sheer perfection.

What's her problem?

Her emotions are a distraction.

You know,
they are fucking each other.

Oh, Digger. Come on.
She's my little angel now.

I'm sorry, boss.

I'm just worried
she's changed teams.

You let me worry about Catalina.

So, who you like best,
Lance or Skip?

Oh, man.

- It's too early to tell.
- Yeah.

It don't matter, they're all
going up to the same place anyway.

You left me.

I was going to come back.

Do you know where Walker is?

Digger has him.

I thought you wanted
to be a famous author.

I do, but not one
with a gun to my head.

Can't you see
what's going on here?

Yes, Digger overreacted again.

I'm going to talk to Chester
and I will get your Walker back.

Open your eyes.
I'm a prisoner here.

So are you.

Please, just let me try.

Okay. Yes.


Somehow, our relationship's hit
a new low.

I just don't feel
the love anymore.

you can still redeem yourself.

All you got to do is help me
finish this damn book.


Guns give me a crippling case
of writer's block.


What's it going to take
to get past this?


Don't you owe me something?

Ah, it's coming,
don't worry about it.

Good morning.

Well, aren't we cheerful?

There you go, boss.

I think you're going to like it.

Well, if he likes your hackneyed
prose, I don't think I'd be here.


Huh? Damn good.

I'm going to need some time
to digest this.

Yeah. I've been writing so much
better without that ankle monitor.

Oh, he didn't tell you
about that, did he?

Better check your contract?

Good luck, teacher's pet.

An ankle monitor, Chester?

Oh, Lance,
I forgot you were here.

You might go now.

You made a decision, boss?

Don't push me.

I sure would like
to suspend Skip.

Yeah, Skip.

So, he's out of here?


Digger, now... What... Now...

I got to judge on the merit.

It's Lance.

I... used a few pages
of his stuff, but not much more.

Skip can't be that much better?

He is, unfortunately.

I'm sorry, but he just is.

And, uh, about that crisis point
I outlined...

It doesn't work.

Oh, it works just fine.


Let's see, uh,
Ranger Hawks lets his son die

and then gets shot in the leg
and may not recover,

loses his love interest,
starts drinking,

I mean,
what a cliché bunch of shit.


Son of a bitch.

Digger! Digger!
Goddamnit, Digger!

Yeah. Huh?

Hey, hey.

- It's enough. Enough.
- Goddamnit, no.


What do you know, you putrid excuse
for a writer? Don't you ever question me?


What'd you say?

- Heck...
- Oh, heck, you son of a bitch.

You son of a bitch.

Oh. Oh. Ah!

- Ah! Ah!
- You okay,?

Just get the monitor.
I'll be fine.



You know, for a college grad,
you ain't got a lick of sense.

Fucking cliche.

Can't you morons come up
with anything original?

You just won't ever learn,
will you?

I thought that was the point
of Chester's little boot camp.

Teach me not to quit.

You lost your chance
on the million dollars.

Why? 'Cause I stabbed
my employer in the foot?

I don't recall a rule
against that.

It must've been
in the fine print.

Remember that story
about commitment, Skip?

Well, little Walker
committed to the cause today.

Yeah, he's puppy bacon now.

What do you think of that,
bunny man?

- Fucking sick fuck!
- Yeah.

We were going to do it in front of
you, but Chester said it was a...

What's the word you used?

Oh, yeah, too cliché.

Fucking psychos!
I'm going to fucking kill you!

Wait a minute,
maybe we didn't kill him.

Man, I don't remember.

You sure have to finish the book
to find out.

Sweet dreams, sunshine.


Oh, God!

Skip. Skip.

- What happened?
- Ow.

Are you okay?

This is too much.
They'll kill you.

How can they kill me?

I have his Ginsu knife.


Let's go.


We gotta get Walker
and get the hell outta here.

But no one ever leaves.

A light bulb went off.

Concussions will do that to you.

Chester's never going
to give me credit, will he?

He's gonna slap his name
on my work.

Do you know about this?

- No, I...
- Don't lie to me.

I read his manuscript.
It all makes sense now.

He uses you to keep them here,
to keep them occupied.

- That's not true.
- Liar!

I never slept
with any of the others.

No, because of your strict
moral code, no doubts.

- Skip listen, I can fix this.
- Oh, bullshit.

I asked him to spare you.

Oh, spare me?

Yeah, I guess he didn't break
all my ribs.

- I hate him, okay?
- Oh, God!

Save it for the other writers,
if there are any?


- Skip, I love, you.
- Oh, did he tell you to say that?

I don't know. I helped you.

I'm going to go find Walker.

Him I trust.

- Skip, listen to me.
- God... Bye, Catalina.

Skip, listen to me, okay?

He's going to find you.

The ankle monitor.

Not here. It's locked.

Not for long.

Boss, he's gone.
Somebody cut him loose.


- Where were you?
- With Lance.

Get my bow and arrow
and my Maori spear.

Okay. Put it... put it...
Put it over there. Put it.

Here, give me that thing.


Walker. Hey, buddy!

Oh, my God!
I'm so glad to see you.

You, okay? Hang on. Just...

Holy shit! What is that stench?

- God!
- I don't want to know.

Let's go
or Digger's gonna hear us.

I gotta get this monitor off.

What... Why did they do this?

They butchered him.

Tell me,
what the fuck is going on here?

I can't.

Tell me!


No, no.

No fucking way.


It's like a...

They hung him up like...
like a fucking trophy.

You've known about this whole
time, haven't you?

Answer the goddamn question.

You're wrong, okay.
He's not crazy.

Yeah, right.

You betrayed him.

You have no idea what I'm doing.

Come on, let's go.

Come on.

Get in.

Get in, dammit.

I can't.

You just said he'd kill you.


Because I can't betray
my father.





Ah, fuck!

Looks like coordination's
the last thing to come back.

I'm Sherriff Harley Young.

I'm glad to see you.

They're trying to kill me.

Who's trying to kill you?

Chester Everett McGraw.

The author?
He's trying to kill you?

Yes. You have to arrest him.
He's murdering people.

- Writers.
- Okay, calm down.

First, let's talk
about your bullet wound.

A present from his hatchet man,

He's here in the hospital.

Sherriff, there's a fire
in the utility room.

Don't go anywhere.

Hey, buddy. Hi.

- Neutered?
- Yeah, he's fixed.

Not him, you asshole!

Who wouldn't want to cut your balls
off the way you treat this dog?

Hey, look, lady!

You're not the first person to
want to cut my parts off to date.

- Come on, buddy.
- No surprise there.

The guy's a ghost.

We can't find a trace of him.

I know him.

He'll eventually write again.

Then we'll find him.

They're made of tempered steel
with a lifetime guarantee.

You won't find a better knife

And in other news today,
a bank robbery in broad...

Chester Everett
McGraw is working on a sequel

to Callahan's Will .

We have him on the phone
right now?

I expect to have it
ready for the publisher in a month.

Mr. McGraw, you churn out one best-seller
after another. How do you do it?


Total commitment to my craft.

Wow, all of his best-sellers!

That's beautiful leather.

Ow, shit.

Sorry, Chester just don't want
anybody touching those.

Nothing goes to waste, huh,

Hey, Boss,
you gotta see Hammer's text.

Says something about Skip Larson
having some books...

I know. I got the same one.

"Author Skip Larson
discusses his upcoming book,

Texas Slaughterhouse - How I
survived the Hill Country Murders.

It says Friday in Houston.

Yep. It's at that same
crappy bookstore I found him.

I could get him there.

Seriously, I come to your bookstore.
I buy your books.

I'm here all the fucking time.

I love this book
because murder is...

We're supposed to be in Houston
at your fake talk, aren't we?

That was the plan.

Pretty pathetic.

He said you might show up here.

Makes my job easier.

You here to collect evidence?

Something like that.



- Ah!
- Ah!

You can't do anything right.

You dickhead!

Joe! And fucking Skip Larson's not here.
You gotta be kidding me, man.

How are those steaks coming,

Not so good.

Is he dead?

I see.

You're a psycho.

You disappoint me, Skip.

You might not believe it, but I
actually think you're a talented writer.

The only thing you know about
good writing is how to steal it.

I earned my way to the top.

How many of your bestsellers
you even write?

Five? One?

Just get lucky the first time
and then decided to coast.

You wouldn't understand the
anguish I've endured for my craft.

I've done things most mortals
couldn't even conceive.

You made me drop my pen.

It was Voltaire
I believe that said,

"To hold a pen is to be at war."



You won!

Big fucking deal.

So, what?

You're in my house, holding the
gun that you killed Digger with

and shot me.

You're going to jail, Skip.

I could kill you.

You couldn't kill shit.
You can barely gut a deer.

You are going to prison.

On your word that a New York
Times bestselling author...

Oh, is a mad man.

Good luck with that chord, Skip.

The police are going to search
this house...

And they're gonna not find

Oh, no, they're going
to find something.

All those other authors
that you killed...

Let's face it, you lose, Skip.

I threw away everything just
like they're going to lock you up

and throw away the key.

You didn't toss everything;
you couldn't.

You're the guy who uses everything.
Nothing goes to waste, remember?

Yeah, that was...

You dumbass, that was more
of a fucking metaphor.

More like your main theme,

Your prize books,
more of your damn trophies.

wouldn't let me touch them. Why?

Leather-bound, but what kind?




Cutis Vera,
care to translate, Chester?

- Which poor bastard is this?
- No, they're mine. I didn't steal them.

There's always another story,

- Thank you very much.
- You're welcome.

Peas and carrots.

There you go. Yeah.
Thank you and take care.

- Hi, what's your name?
- Hi, good to see you. Maggie.

Maggie, nice to meet you.

It's so nice to meet you.
Can I get a picture of you?

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Mr. Larson, I can't believe
you lived through all of that.

Me either. Thanks.

You really loved her,
didn't you?

And they never found the body?

I... Who can I make this out to?

Me, Elaine.


Would you like
to hang out later?


They make a decadent
agave margarita next door.

My treat.

I don't drink,
but how about coffee?

Mr. Larson, at last I find you.

- Yeah.
- I'm Michael Waldman, an attorney representing...

Hey, this is a book signing,

My other lawyers handle all
the Hill Country incident stuff.

- I'm sick and tired of you guys showing up here.
- Here's the letter.

Here's my card. Read it.

- If you have any questions, just call me.
- Letter for what?


Skip, will you sign
my grandbaby?

Are we still on for dinner?

- Yeah. Seven.
- Seven. See you tonight.


Dear, Skip,
as I ponder my limited time on death row,

I have an offer for you.

No publisher will touch Callahan's
Hell given my circumstances.

However, there is interest if
you're sole author of the book.

My attorney has all the necessary
contracts and an advance of $2 million.


You can be a real writer,
an author of real fiction,

not like your book, a crude
assembly of facts, sophomoric.

Rudy, Skip.

Yeah, long time.

Hey, I'm sorry.

Look, I need your help.

Can we meet?

Mr. Larson. My client will be happy
to hear of your wise decision.

Let's make this quick, huh?

Here you are.

There you go.
That's all we need.

He just left.

He took the deal.

Chill, man.

Did anyone follow me?

You were right.

Some chick named Hammer.

Don't worry,
talked her out of it.


Hey, words can be persuasive.

You're a writer, you know.

I cracked her phone open, too.

Took some convincing,
but we got a password.

That first number

is probably the guy
that put out the hit on you.

How'd it go?

Very well,
I sold a lot of books.

Hello, Skip.

How'd you do it, Catalina?

You know I love secrets.

Yes, I remember.

But the time for secrets
between us has passed.

I had to get close to you.

My father's an old man
and to receive his acclaim,

his place in history,

he needed guidance, my guidance.

He lacked the commitment
I wanted him to learn.

The way you changed everything
when you didn't sleep with Kara.

You need to listen.

Kara didn't work, okay?
He's different.

You will not sleep
with that man.

We do whatever we have to do.

He will finish your book.

He thought I betrayed him
for you.

How do you justify
murdering all those people?

Skinning them for your sick
and twisted trophies?

Do you remember Digger's story
about the Junction Boys?



Like you cleaning the study while
I lay there beaten to a pulp.


Can I expect to meet anymore
of your friends in the future?

Bye, Skip.

Catalina is alive.

She could have killed me
anytime she wanted to.

I guess she wanted me
to get my hopes up.

Believe the book rights
really were mine.

Here's the money.

You sure you can get to him?

I mean, he is in a
maximum-security prison.

Don't you watch movies?

Prison is a dangerous place.

People die there all the time.

What cause of death do you want
on the death certificate?

You choose. You're the pro.

You know, cuz, you could have had
us for a lot less than 2 million.

You didn't have to use it all.

I know.

I don't want the money.

But Chester always said, "Use everything.
Never let anything go to waste."

See you around, cuz.