Private Project

VOODOO VALENTINOS

‘bigger the fools, bigger the stars’

A night-long, road comedy set in seventies, north-west England.

The paths of two, girlfriendless, working class, teenage losers are dramatically and hilariously altered by a voodoo cabbie who collects them en route to a middle class, village party to which they are not invited.

Granny and Tommo are unrelenting in their mockery of each other but are kindred spirits; Granny insisting they stick together for the night, Tommo doing all he can to get away, reticent of parties.

Granny believes that imitating his kung fu teacher, an older northerner, Big Stan (who apparently beguiles teenage girls with cliché oriental wisdom), will be key to his success with females; while Tommo, resigned to life without females, wanting to mask his despondency, ridicules the naïveté of his companion's exuberant believing.

From pub to pub, taxi to party, Granny and Tommo are battered, shagged and humiliated beyond belief, courtesy of two merciless bouncers, two fat slags, a witch doctor and a limitless supply of middle class, party eccentrics.

Girls are won/lost, reputations gained/destroyed, all by the effects of a self-image-boosting, juju potion, sold to Granny by the cabbie; Granny transforming himself (unintentionally) into a ‘wise’, kung fu superfool, with inhuman strength and immense mind powers; Tommo turning himself (involuntarily) into an obsessed, banana-grabbing monkey-pet.

Further conversions to arse-chewing bear and humorously polite defecator force Granny and Tommo out into the night, parting company and leaving behind a house-full of traumatized guests, for which, somehow, they go completely unpunished and remain curiously likeable, having learned absolutely nothing from their experience.

Charismatic, anarchic, strangely enigmatic, Voodoo Valentinos invites audiences on a fast, dreamlike ride through the seventies night, painting portraits of some of life’s truest, unselfconscious clowns.

  • Michael Louis Gould
    Writer
  • Project Type:
    Screenplay
  • Number of Pages:
    100
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English
  • First-time Screenwriter:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Make Me Laugh Festival (seasonal, 1st season) 2024
    Poland
    January 10, 2024
    WINNER - BEST FEATURE SCREENPLAY - https://tyjtt.my.canva.site/creative-horizons-festival#page-6
  • Paperscreenplay (Season 8) 2023
    Online, UK
    December 18, 2023
    WINNER - BEST CONCEPT - https://paperscreenplay.com/season-8/
  • White Rose International Film Festival (Season 1) 2024
    Yorkshire, England
    March 3, 2024
    RUNNER-UP - BEST FEATURE SCREENPLAY - https://www.whiterosefest.com/monthly-winners
  • Maverick Movie Awards (annual) 2023
    London
    February 1, 2024
    FINALIST - MOST MAVERICK CONCEPT - https://www.maverickmovieawards.com/2023-2/
  • Feel the Reel IFF (October, monthly) 2023
    Glasgow, Scotland
    November 24, 2023
    FINALIST - BEST SCREENPLAY - https://www.feelthereeliff.com/october-2023
  • London International Screenwriting Competition 2022 (a first 10 pages competition)
    London, UK
    January 17, 2022
    SEMI-FINALIST - https://londonswc.com/?page_id=70
  • Dark Comedy Film Festival (annual) 2022
    LA
    May 20, 2022
    OFFICIAL SELECTION (website currently under reconstruction)
Writer Biography - Michael Louis Gould

Michael has written two feature film scripts, SACRED SUN (horror/fantasy) and VOODOO VALENTINOS (brute British comedy).

He is a former co-founder of London film business networking initiative FILM MEANS BUSINESS (no longer active) and a former trustee of WIMBLEDON FILM CLUB, for which he booked films, liaised with cinemas and distributors, introduced cinema screenings, wrote programme notes, interviewed guest speakers and organized ticket sales. He is currently a selector for WIMBLEDON INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL.

Michael lives in London, has a degree in economics from Liverpool University and is a former employee of NatWest International. He speaks reasonable Spanish, having worked in South America (continent of his birth) for two years, and, at 63, is married with two grown up children.

Add Writer Biography
Writer Statement

I wrote Voodoo Valentinos during a particularly dark period of my life, from which screenwriting helped me hugely to escape, resulting in a screenplay that became, unsurprisingly, hugely escapist.

Before entertainment, or art or meaning, escape is what people look for first in a film, a comedy film especially. A screenplay motivated by a deep longing for escape will always make a good start.

For me, escape came in the form of an intensely nostalgic return to my seventies youth, in the picturesque, town-sized City of Chester (England) where, in sizing old acquaintances as prospective characters, I found myself ghosting around two old friends, of whom, for their charisma and brute-comical ways, I had always had strong, affectionate memories. I felt I could articulate them as leads and knew that they could give my screenplay the uncivilized start that its comedy demanded.

A curious thing then happened. Having just completed a film course in Central London, I flagged down a minicab driven by an enthusiastic African taxi driver, keen on selling me voodoo products from a brochure. Half an hour later, as I got out of his car, I knew what would be happening next in my screenplay, a macabre, sinister-looking cab would roll into the frame, witch doctor at the wheel.

This witch doctor, who would surface as a sort of unwitting messenger, would go on to fertilise the script richly, turning it into the darkly comedic night ride that it was ultimately destined to become, sending out an under-truth, that it is the fool, not the 'wise one', who is life’s greater being (greater self); fools being unwitting understanders of 'greater life', for as long, at least, as they remain fools.

I revelled in the writing of Voodoo Valentinos and was reluctant to have to leave it, content though I was that the characters would naturally neither learn from their experiences, in taking heed, nor grow from them in wisdom, rather that they would remain fools, guard their foolishness the more.

Voodoo Valentinos is a gutter-humoured brute which, like its characters, can be all too easy to disparage. It emits, by subterfuge, an under-message, the bringer of which is a shadowy taxi driver (and fool) who invites us into his taxi-world to escape, and to immerse in a gross innocence which, outwardly, we agree we ought long to have abandoned, inwardly though we determine otherwise.