Pop ‘Em Palooza!
Brief Summary: In Pop ‘Em Palooza!, pandemonium erupts when a drug designed to turn queers straight has disastrous side effects. When one sacrifices true sexuality, he/she sacrifices identity. One facet cannot be altered without triggering a toxic ripple.
College dropout and struggling lesbian Megan resumes her illegal hawking of straight pills when her best friend Samantha begs her to convince her gay boyfriend—Danny—to try the “miracle” drug. Initially reluctant, Megan agrees both to appease her crush and for some much-needed cash. Megan meets Danny at the gay club where he works. They strike up a friendly conversation after a creep attempts to hit on Megan. Much to Danny’s surprise, Megan reveals that she is Sam’s friend, urging him to stop cheating by taking the drug. He rejects the offer until a fed-up Sam leaves him later that night. The next morning he wakes up with a random chick in his bed. The rest of the day, he is disturbed by the lustful glances tossed his way by other men. He takes this repulsion as a sign of success.
Meanwhile, Megan is annoyed to find her one-night stand Eddy slumped on her apartment door, flowers in hand. Out of pity, she takes a pill and they hook up once again. After the consummation, Megan twitches as a snoring Eddy sleeps beside her. She takes the pillow from behind her head, hovering it over Eddy. Just as she is about to smother him, Sam knocks on the door. Awakened from her hypnotic daze, she stirs Eddy, telling him to leave and never return. A crying Sam enters with the promised cheesecake brownies. After a cuddling exchange, she reveals that she has left Danny, her cheating boyfriend. Megan seizes the opportunity. The two hook up.
Back to Danny: He flirts with a girl who comes to the club with her gay best friend. He takes her back to his place. Confident in his new pill-induced heterosexuality, Danny calls Sam the next morning saying that he’s fixed himself. Sam reports back to Megan who feigns nonchalance. Sam leaves a broken Megan, returning once more to Danny. Megan calls Eddy. She takes a pill. As he takes off his shirt, she stabs him with the stiletto heel Sam left.
Sam and Danny seem happy as can be. Danny even proposes to Sam who accepts. While Sam is out with the girls, Danny is overcome by desire. He brings another girl home. To his disgust, he finds that sex can no longer satisfy his desire. While they’re hooking up in the kitchen, Danny takes a steak knife and stabs the girl. Horrified yet excited, he phones Megan.
Dressed as a maid, Megan arrives with a huge plastic bag. The two bond over disposing of the body. She reveals everything comes with a price; happiness isn’t free. Danny asks if the killing stops. Megan shakes her head. Sam arrives home to a clean house, thrilled that the two most important people in her life have finally become friends.
INT. MEGAN’S ROOM — EARLY MORNING.
MEGAN (22), wild brunette hair, wakes up to Britney Spears’ WORK BITCH, playing from her phone. She screams into her pillow before answering.
Megan: Sam, this is getting ridiculous. I told you not to call.
Sam: A half-hearted warning is not going to faze me. I’m no quitter.
Megan: Still, I can’t help you. Sorry.
Sam: But you can! You’re better at this than any of them. Megan, you’re the best. You know that.
Megan: Yeah, but that’s not me anymore. No more black leather jackets, cheap smokes, and pocket knives—we’re not in high school anymore, Sam. So stop with the cheerleader pimping already.
Sam: Pretty please? I’ll throw in some cheesecake brownies.
Megan: Why don’t you just leave him?
EDDY, a mumbling man, is revealed beside Megan in bed. He scratches his head.
Eddy: Babe, make me an omelet or something, will you? My stomach’s growling like one of those pit-bulls rescued by the ASPCA.
Megan: Do I look like a bed and breakfast?
Eddy: Well, you sure let me eat a lot last night.
Eddy crosses his arms behind his head, a smug grin sweeping across his boyish face.
Megan: Get the hell out of my bed. You’ve served your purpose.
Megan rummages beneath the sheets and throws Eddy his boxers.
Eddy: Fine. You’ll be begging me back before night breaks.
Megan: Don’t hold your breath.
Eddy begins to put on a white wifebeater.
Megan: That’s mine.
Megan retrieves her wife beater, before tossing Eddy a light blue V-neck sweater.
Megan: This is yours.
The door to the apartment slams shut as Eddy makes his grand exit.
Sam: Who’s that?
Megan: My latest failed attempt at orgasm.
Sam: Told you not to cancel HBO.
Megan: I’m not made of money. Were you serious about the cheesecake brownies?
Sam: As a heart attack.
After rolling her eyes, Megan releases a tremendous sigh.
Megan: Okay, I’m in.
Sam: Yay! That’s my bitch!
Megan: But just for the brownies. And don’t call me that ever again.
Hanging up, Megan slams the phone on her nightstand. She buries her red face in her hands.
Megan: Oh Megan, what the hell have you gotten yourself into this time.
Megan swallows a pill before downing a water bottle. She crumples the bottle before trying to throw it into the trashcan by the kitchen, but misses.
Megan: Epic fail. Just like me.
INT. GAY CLUB – EVENING.
Megan bursts through the doors like the goddess of lust with her form-fitting red dress and high heels. Men in tight leather pants make out wildly on the floor. Strobes flash while loud techno vibrates the entire space. Megan takes out her phone to look at the picture Sam sent.
CLOSE-UP ON PHONE SCREEN: A HANDSOME MAN (35) with chiseled features and red hair.
BACK TO SCENE: Sam spots the same red haired hunk tending to customers at the bar.
Megan: Damn it, Sam, you owe me big time.
Megan takes a seat at the bar. A MAN (45), balding and intoxicated, sits by her.
Man: May I buy you a drink, beautiful?
Megan: Not unless you have a vagina.
Man: Come on. It’s a gay bar. I’m not trying to hit on you.
Megan: And I don’t think you’re a creep who I intend to mace in 5, 4, 3, 2—
The man gets up and leaves.
Megan: That’s what I thought.
DANNY, the red-haired man, approaches Megan, setting a shot down in front of her.
Danny: Sorry about that. We get a lot of those around here. Don’t know where these guys get off thinking they can come in and pick up women.
Megan: Maybe that’s not why they come. Maybe their pitiful pick-ups are just half-assed attempts to validate the heterosexuality they know they’ll forfeit by the end of the night.
Danny: I think we’re going to get along great, you and I. I’m Danny, by the way.
Megan: Shirley Temple.
Danny: Excuse me?
Megan pushes the shot glass toward Danny.
Megan: Grenadine in Sprite. Shirley Temple—the drink.
Danny: You’re at a bar.
Megan: And you’re gay as a goose. Stop stating the obvious and fetch me my desired libation, peasant.
Megan snaps in a z formation, before turning her nose up in the air.
Danny: Naughty little thing. I’ll have you know, I have a girlfriend.
Megan: That doesn’t mean anything.
Danny: Maybe not to you. But I’ve been with her three years—the best of my life. And I’m the bartender here, aren’t I the one who’s supposed to interrogate you?
Megan: Go ahead. Ask away.
Danny: What are you doing here? You’re not here to drink and you don’t seem interested in dancing.
Megan: I’m here because I’m bored. I don’t drink because I loathe alcohol with a passion. I’m not dancing because this techno is the music Satan plays on the elevator down to hell’s 9th circle.
Danny: Who are you?
Megan: I’m Megan, a friend of Sam’s.
Danny’s eyes glaze over. He drinks Megan’s discarded shot.
Megan: Are you deaf? I ordered that Shirley Temple like five minutes ago. No tip for you, Mister.
Danny: What do you want?
Megan: For you to stop cheating on my friend.
Danny: My relationship issues are not your concern.
Megan: They are when I get blasted with them every night. Can’t even get any sleep. Got circles so dark under my eyes, you’d think I’m a vampire.
Danny: Look. I know I’ve got a problem, but I’m working on it.
Megan: Look around. You work at a gay bar. It’s like a recovering pot-head who works at a dispensary in Oregon.
Danny: So, what are you going to do about it, Dr. Drew?
Megan: Offer you a way out.
Megan withdraws from her purse a white pill.
Danny: A cyanide pill? No way in hell. I am not committing suicide.
Megan: Cyanide—no. Fidelity and happiness—yes. This pill provides you with what you desire.
Danny: And what is that?
Megan slides the pill toward Danny.
Danny: I’m not taking that for you.
Megan: Not for me. For Sam.
Danny picks up the pill, rotating it in his large hands.
Danny: How come I’ve never heard of this? If this was real, a lot of people would be taking it.
Megan: It’s experimental. In it’s beginning stages. I’m a test subject.
Danny: Oh yeah? And how are things going with that?
Megan: They’re going. I had sex last night.
Danny: How was she?
Megan: He was great.
Danny huffs and sets the pill inside the Shirley Temple he freshly prepares for Megan.
Danny: No thanks. But I’ll figure this out myself.
Megan drops an entire bottle of pills in his tip jar.
Megan: Just in case you change your mind.
Megan takes a sip of her Shirley Temple and slams down $20.
Megan: So you can buy yourself a clue.
INT. DANNY’S APARTMENT — NIGHT.
Danny unlocks the door and throws his jacket on the kitchen counter. He takes a vitamin water from the fridge, pressing the cold beverage against his hot forehead.
CLOSE-UP: DANNY’S FOREHEAD. Sweat is dripping. CUT TO CLOSE-UP: VITAMIN WATER, covered in condensed droplets.
MEDIUM SHOT of Danny who opens the drink, pouring its contents all over his drenched face. He closes his eyes in relief until someone clears their throat off-screen. Danny tenses, grabbing a steak knife from a drawer.
Danny: Who’s there? Come out!
Danny enters the family room where he finds SAM sitting on the couch. In underwear, she’s wearing a USC Jersey and a football helmet.
Sam: Come out? Wow. That’s rich coming from you.
Danny: Sam? What the hell are you wearing?
Sam: I thought you’d like it.
Sam: Since you obviously enjoy them wearing it.
Sam reaches under her jersey, removing a gay porn magazine with two butt-naked men in football helmets.
Danny: Stop going through my stuff!
Sam: Stop cheating on me!
Danny: That was so long ago it’s ridiculous.
Danny walks toward Sam, knife in hand.
Sam: Not so fast. Drop the kill-shaft, Michael.
Danny: Oh, sorry.
Danny sets the knife on the couch.
Sam: Don’t be sorry. Cock or knife, you have a natural desire to handle phallic things at all times. I get it.
Sam flips through the pages of the magazine.
Sam: You know, they really are hot. All these ripped guys with their hard abs and fat pork-swords. I can see why you want them.
Danny puts his arms around Sam, pulling her in close.
Danny: I don’t want them, I want you.
Sam pushes Danny back. She takes the knife and repeatedly stabs the magazine, puncturing the black leather of the couch.
EXTREME CLOSE-UP ON: KNIFE PUNCTURING COUCH
Sam: If only that were true. But you like men. You were born that way.
Danny doesn’t answer. Horrified, he looks at his ruined couch.
Sam: Oh, and Xavier called. He said the tests came back clean.
Sam leaves the room, returning with a small bag and some sweat pants. She takes off the helmet, revealing blonde hair which spills over the jersey. Sam pushes the helmet into Danny’s hands.
Sam: A farewell present.
Danny: Where are you going?
He runs his hand across his mutilated couch, avoiding Sam’s eyes.
Sam: To stay with a friend. You don’t know her.
CUT TO CLOSE-UP ON: PILL BOTTLE in the pocket of Danny’s Jeans.
BACK TO SCENE.
Sam: Or maybe you do.
A sharp thud is heard as Sam departs. Danny sinks into the couch, picking up the ruined magazine. He sticks his hand in his pants.
CUT TO: PORN MAGAZINE
CUT TO: DANNY’S JERKING HAND.
CUT TO: PORN MAGAZINE
CUT TO: DANNY’S JERKING HAND.
Time between each jump decreases, until Danny releases a tremendous cry. He rips the magazine to shreds before staring at Sam’s discarded football helmet.
Danny takes the pill bottle from his pocket and pops off the cap.
Danny hears Megan’s voice from earlier: “I can offer you a way out. Not for me, for Sam. Straightness. Get yourself a clue.”
Danny pours some pills into his palm.
Danny: What the hell?
He throws the pills into his mouth, before picking up a bottle of wine from the coffee table. Downing its contents, Danny throws the bottle over his shoulder and passes out on the couch.