Six pseudo-sci-fi screenplays in short-story form.
The first five of these cinematic stories follow an all-too-common Hollywood formula: An ordinary citizen is confronted with an inexplicable problem or power. â€œStream,” for example, deals with the apocalyptic crisis that results from an alternate astral plane sucking away the souls of Earthlings. One man can save them all, but only if he is projected to an energy stream within the plane. In â€œHeaven’s Door,” a prosperous communication business connects the living world with Heaven. When people find out that they can speak not only with their loved ones, but also with God, demand for the service skyrockets–though unfortunately, those conversations have greater consequences. Deadly, Gremlin-like creatures take over the small town of Rockville, Colo., in â€œNightlings,” sending college students Josh and Troy on a battle for their community. In â€œTex and Kate,” two aging country heroes stumble upon a fountain of youth, though their second chance comes rife with complications. Morris, the hero of â€œIn Your Dreams,” who has always been lost in his own subconscious, discovers that he is able to interact with other people’s dreams. In the final story, â€œSouthern Fried Yankees,” the author departs from his tired formula and fondly remembers a summer that he and his brother spent with their grandmother in southern Missouri during the 1960s. This realistic story is far more effective than the other five, in which Young ceaselessly recycles the same hokey Hollywood clichÃ©s. While books often make good movies, the opposite is rarely the case. The pseudo-cinematic tone is childish, the characters are flat and the condensing of full screenplays into short stories makes them feel rushed and unfinished.
Hollywood made the right decision.