ECOCIDE! Coming Soon to a Cineplex Near You

Peterson Toscano / 7 min read / Cli-Fi Imaginarium
18 October 2023

Memo from Gertrude Nordhaus, Head of Twenty-Second Century Fox Studios

September 24, 2134

To: Creatives

Historically, in times of peace and prosperity, the horror genre has performed well, but the four horror vehicles we pushed this year generated no income, and Halloween Part 57: Return of the Robot Zombies, which you projected would yield a 25% return on our investment, delivered a negative 32% loss. We need to consider new villains. Now that the public has firsthand experience with robots, zombies, and robot zombies, they no longer frighten. For the 2137 season we either need to find a new villain or scrap the horror genre altogether. I suggest you look to the early 21st century for inspiration. That is how we developed the popular Active Shooter horror/thriller series, which would no doubt still deliver if the censors hadn’t stopped us from including firearms in films. My sense is there is an old terror that will rattle moviegoers today.

Movie Trailer Script and Treatment for ECOCIDE

Genre: Horror

Release Date: July 4, 2137

[Opening scene: Intense, foreboding music plays, scenes of a once-thriving, now-distorted Earth fill the screen, a stark echo of a forgotten time.]

Narrator [with a grave, ominous tone]: “In an epoch where humanity once teetered on the brink, a forgotten terror emerges… A sin so grave, it scarred the very soul of the Earth…”

[Scenes flash showcasing devastation: animated clouds of smog consume cities, colossal machines ravage verdant lands, and oceans boil.]

Narrator: “…ECOCIDE!”

[The screen is immersed in darkness for a moment; the suspense is palpable.]

Narrator: “Dive into a world where the humans fight against their own creations and evil, greedy forces recklessly plunge creation into chaos!”

[Characters are seen enveloped in dramatic shadows, their faces twisted in horror as they combat oversized monsters made of pollution and waste.]

Narrator: “Witness humanity wrestle with a civilization plagued by their insatiable greed and unrelenting pollution!”

[Silhouettes of humans are seen battling exaggeratedly animated entities representing different ecological disasters, their movements filled with an overwrought sense of doom.]

Narrator: “Encounter a realm of grotesque machinations and unfathomable horrors. Explore the uncharted territories of a planet enslaved by its own progeny!”

[Scenes of intense, dramatized ecological battles unfold; the humans in early 21st-century clothing wield everyday items with seriousness, faces masked in horror.]

Narrator: “Feel your heart race as the very essence of existence is threatened by the shadows of yesteryear! Journey through the remnants of a toxic land while a band of heroes battles against Mother Nature’s most powerful enemies!”

[As the music reaches a crescendo, the ecological nightmares intertwine with the haunting echoes of a seemingly doomed world.]

Narrator: “ECOCIDE! Relive the forgotten terrors of old and experience the unrelenting battle for the soul of the Earth. A voyage through the echoes of a dangerous, uncertain era.”

[The screen fades to black, the logo for ECOCIDE materializes in metallic, trembling letters, leaving a haunting whisper in the air, with a subtle undertone of ironic amusement.]

Narrator: “Bear witness to the horrors of… ECOCIDE! Coming soon, to a cineplex near you.”

[The trailer concludes with fleeting images of ecological horrors, leaving the audience enveloped in an aura of serious anticipation.]

Movie poster for ECOCIDE

Scene from ECOCIDE

Note: We need to add names for characters that are similar to some of the eco-heroes of old. Research department suggests Greta, Bill, and Donald.

[Scene: A clandestine hideout, dimly lit, charged with tangible tension. The Friday for Future teen activists, their faces etched with determination, gather around a table laden with diagrams and documents depicting various forms of pollution.]

[Ambient sounds: Echoes of dripping water resonate in the background, mingling with hushed, fervent discussion.]

Activist 1 [with burning passion]: “We must unveil the malevolent forces! The architects of this ecocide, they lurk in the shadows! The planet is suffocating, we must act!”

Activist 2 [gravely]: “The strands of this conspiracy are deeply intertwined, entangled through every level of power! We are the last hope against this unseen, insidious enemy!”

[The camera pans over the table, showing diagrams indicating oil rigs, factories, and cars as the principal sources of pollution.]

Activist 3 [eyes ablaze]: “The sources point to a clandestine alliance—automotive overlords, fast-food magnates, and tech barons! They are the unseen puppeteers, pulling the strings of destruction!”

[The camera zooms in on the teens, their expressions a mixture of resolve and intense concern.]

Activist 4 [voice quavering]: “The legions of pollution are at the gates, rivers are chains of toxic despair, and the skies cry acidic tears! We need to unearth the puppet masters, reveal them to the world!”

[The camera focuses on a fictional legal document titled The Covenant of Ecocidal Conspirators, suggesting a grand, enigmatic conspiracy.]

Activist 5 [tears in her eyes, clutching a recycled pen]: “Every layer we uncover reveals a deeper corrosion! The shadows within the sanctuaries of power! The world must see this concealed calamity!”

[The scene is steeped in a lingering silence, the air throbbing with the passionate fervor and intense resolve of the activists.]

[The scene fades out. The lingering image is that of the Friday for Future teen activists, a beacon of resolute passion against the enigmatic forces of ecocide.]

Film review dated June 29, 2137

ECOCIDE 2137: An Unexpected Comedic Masterpiece in a Renewed World

by Bixby Riley-Salinas

In 2107, a year marked by ecological harmony and a trend of lessening extreme weather events, ECOCIDE emerges as a concoction of supposed harrowing odyssey and antiquated terrors, crafting a paradoxical dance between exaggerated despair and unintended comedy. This film, with its uproarious absurdities, leaves audiences trading in their anticipated horror for bursts of laughter.

ECOCIDE ambitiously ventures into a world marred by imagined ecological ruin, showcasing an overly dramatic battle between humans and the comically gigantic embodiments of environmental catastrophes. However, the anticipated atmosphere of dread is recurrently overshadowed by the film’s theatrically overstated depictions. Scenes intended to evoke ecological horror depict characters wielding eco-friendly artifacts against behemoths of pollution with a dramatic seriousness that elicits more guffaws than gasps.

One unforgettable scene portrays a battle against the “Carbon Cloud,” a comically malevolent entity. Humans, with over-the-top earnestness, combat this animated smog monster with electric vehicles and wind turbines, producing a comedic spectacle rather than a horrific tableau.

The film seems to forget that ecocide, declared an international crime in 2038, prompted serious, impactful, and transformative endeavors by international communities, which, although revolutionary, were devoid of the exaggerated drama and laughable hyperbole depicted in the film. The genuine journey to end ecocide and decarbonize the economy was largely legislative and bureaucratic. The “bad guys,” a handful of corporation heads and political leaders who were brought before the International Court, when finally pressed for an answer as to why they contributed to the destruction of the planet, argued that they were just giving the public what it wanted. This echoes the unsatisfying justification for genocide the German-American historian Hannah Arendt outlined in her 1963 book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Turns out the true monsters of our world are not interesting enough for the horror genre. The true story that “inspired” the film contrasts starkly with the ludicrous narrative of ECOCIDE.

The film’s climax is a comedic convergence of exaggerated ecological disasters and melodramatic desperation. Humans, adorned in exaggerated costumes, battle environmental horrors and a cabal of shadowy villains, delivering an unintentional symphony of hilarity.

In conclusion, ECOCIDE, appearing on screens today in 2137, a time steeped in ecological renewal, morphs from its envisioned haunting exploration into an epic of unexpected comedic brilliance. Its hyperbolic portrayals and dramatic exaggerations form a stark contrast to the real, serious history of ecocide and the transformative, albeit less dramatic, efforts to mitigate it. ECOCIDE may have aimed to horrify, but it unexpectedly emerges as a comedy so brilliantly bad it’s unmissable, leaving one to wonder if this comedic essence was the film’s true ingenious intent.

Image by Peterson Toscano

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