a radio play
by Marc Heiden.
Announcer standard golden age radio voice - stiff but excited
Frenchman badly derived stereotype
an American Soldier typical WW2 grunt
an American Captain typical WW2 movie commander
Smashin' Sampson steel-jawed hero from 40's radio serial adventures
Red White and Blue Kid teen sidekick to Smashin' Sampson
Nazi a German footsoldier
Von Eckhardt the Nazi captain
Announcer same as ever
Glen Sampson initially stiff and heroic, then very confused
Red White and Blue Kid the now middle-aged sidekick of Smashin' Sampson
Professor Dammers head of the project, has a pipe in his mouth
Two Scientists work for the Professor
Pilot a double agent
A Villager flat, dull voice - representative of an entire horde of zombies
Mr. X the mysterious villain, has a robotic voice
the 1943 Smashin' Sampson and the 1973 Glen Sampson should be played by separate actors. the 1973 version starts out similarly to 1943, just a little stiffer. the difference becomes gradually apparent. Professor Dammers should not be played by the same actor playing either the American or Nazi Captains - he should not be mistaken as being from 1943 (he is a "modern" American, in contrast) and creating suspicion of treachery on his part (by linking him to the Nazi) will only confuse listeners to no useful end.
(we begin in 1943 - sound of crinkling wax paper to give that "old-time radio" feel)
ANNOUNCER: The year is 1943. Our American fighting boys are battling the Nazi (pronounced NAHT-zee) menace back across Europe! With a left hook to the chin and a rousing haymaker to the jaw, Uncle Sam is dealing out a lesson that International Fascism will never forget!
FRENCHMAN: (bad accent) Zank you so much, Amereecans! It is so good to know zat my children vill grow up vith access to democracy and zee free market capeetalism!
SOLDIER: Don't worry, little Frenchie. We've got 'em on the run now.
FRENCHMAN: Go, Amereecan!
ANNOUNCER: But as battle rages in Europe, a new threat is developing! Hitler and the rest of his Nazi swine know their time is almost up. Growing desperate, they grasp for the one last chance available to them: rumors from deep within the jungles of Brazil of a secret magical weapon that could turn the tide of the war! As the Nazis make their move, American special agents race to the scene!
CAPTAIN: Men, our only choice is to beat them to the ancient mines and capture the weapon before they do. Speed is of the essence. We can not afford to lose this weapon to the hands of the Nazis or our country will never forgive us.
SOLDIER: What is the weapon, sir?
CAPTAIN: We don't know what it does, private. We only know that it comes in the form of a long golden staff and that the bearer has the power to bring men to their knees. The Nazis want it badly, men. They've sent an entire platoon of S.S. Commandoes to keep us out of the village where it's located. Most of you are going into position here (as if pointing on a map) to make a ground strike against those fascist dogs.
SOLDIER: But who's going after the weapon, sir?
CAPTAIN: Command brought in a special operative for that particular task. Men, meet Smashin' Glen Sampson!
(gasps of awe from the men)
KID: And don't forget about his partner, the Red White and Blue Kid!
CAPTAIN: I'm sure we're all well familiar with the legendary exploits of these two adventurers. They have bravely volunteered to perform this mission. These two are our only hope to keep back the fascist tide. Glen, good luck and God bless.
SAMPSON: Thank you, sir. We won't let you down.
ANNOUNCER: And so our heroes press forward into the jungles of Brazil only to come face to face with an entire attack squad of Hitler's lapdogs!
SAMPSON: Hold it right there, villainous scum!
NAZI: Oh no! It's the American, Smashin' Glen Sampson!
SAMPSON: You've got that right.
KID: And don't forget about his partner, the Red White and Blue Kid!
SAMPSON: Come on, Kid, let's give 'em something to remember us by!
(sounds of a fistfight - exaggerated POWs and BAMs, etc)
KID: That'll teach you to mess around with Uncle Sam!
SAMPSON: Good work, Kid.
VON: Good work...but not good enough!
KID: Screamin' simians, Glen! It's the evil Nazi Captain Von Eckhardt!
VON: This, my American friends, is a gun. If you come any closer I will shoot you. Now you will please drop any weapons you are carrying.
SAMPSON: I've only got two weapons, Von Eckhardt. My fists and the knowledge that I'm working for the side of good.
VON: That's three weapons, you idiot.
SAMPSON: How do you figure?
VON: You've got two fists, don't you? Add the knowledge part and you get three.
SAMPSON: All the same, you're going down.
VON: We'll see about that. Now please, sit still as I tie you up.
KID: You'll never get away with this!
VON: Foolish American. I already have!
(a loud stone 'click' is heard)
KID: Slitherin' snakes, Glen! That silver light! The tomb is opening!
VON: Witness the beginning of a glorious new era! Witness the rise of the new Reich! Witness...
(a loud stone 'thunk' is heard)
KID: Witness a stuck door and a hoppin' mad Nazi!
VON: Damn it! (mutters) I'll fix it...
ANNOUNCER: You know, he wouldn't be having this problem if he were using a door built with good old American engineering. Too bad for the evil Nazi that no good American would sell him any! Listeners, the General Motors company produces some fine machinery and no home is complete without that GM stamp of approval. Buy American. Buy GM. Everything else just doesn't work.
VON: (muttering) Almost have it...
KID: Almost, Nazi...but almost isn't enough!
VON: You've untied your ropes!
KID: You bet! Now get ready for some two-fisted justice!
SAMPSON: Good work, Kid! Von Eckhardt! It's over!
VON: Wait...I am in the middle of fixing this!
SAMPSON: Not anymore you're not!
VON: Hold on! The cave will collapse if you...
SAMPSON: You're the only one who'll be collapsing around here! (delivers a loud punch)
KID: Yeah! We beat him!
(there is a moment of silence, and then a distant, growing rumbling)
KID: Uh, Glen? Do you hear that?
SAMPSON: Why, that stinking treacherous Nazi! The cave is collapsing! Run for it!
KID: Wait a minute! That silvery glow is starting again!
(a shimmering sound is heard)
SAMPSON: Is that the weapon? Oh my god, it's...
(the sound builds to a massive intensity and then cuts off abruptly.
silence. the crinkling paper ends too. we are now in 1973)
DAMMERS: That was thirty years ago, gentlemen.
SCIENTIST1: I don't understand, sir. We all heard Smashin' Sampson's radio adventures when we were kids, but what do they have to do with anything today?
DAMMERS: The truth is this, men. Glen Sampson was no actor. He was a real special operative. In order to keep his missions top-secret, we put them directly in public view.
SCIENTIST2: What do you mean?
DAMMERS: What better hiding place is there than the place so obvious that the searcher does not bother to look? No one thought for a second that those missions were real because they thought they already knew what they were - fictional radio serials.
SCIENTIST2: That's amazing.
DAMMERS: It's kind of daft, if you ask me, but it's what they decided to do.
SCIENTIST1: So all that stuff actually happened?
DAMMERS: Yes. Let me pick up where the story left off, though. The mine did collapse, but mysteriously enough, Glen made it out in one piece - without, however, his memory of the events in the cave. We tried hypnosis, but to no avail. The weapon was never recovered and the Army eventually forgot about it once the war was over. Since there was no conflict to keep the ratings up, Glen was placed into suspended animation to wait for the next war, and there he remains.
SCIENTIST2: Where do we come in, Professor Dammers?
DAMMERS: We come in right here (sound of him pointing to a map), in a small South American village, where the people have begun to act mysteriously zombie-like. As you may have guessed, this is the village where the mine from that story is located. Intelligence thinks that someone may have managed to recover the weapon and is testing it out. We need to stop them before they get any further.
SCIENTIST1: Sir, my degree is in biochemistry, I really don't think...
DAMMERS: It won't be us who does the stopping. It'll be Glen.
DAMMERS: Intelligence wants to bring him out of suspended animation and send him in. He's the only man who has experience with the weapon. We hope that the encounter will awaken his memory of the incident. Men, Smashin' Glen Sampson is once again our nation's only hope. It's time to give him a wake-up call.
(sound of a cart being pushed down a hall)
SCIENTIST1: (sarcastically) That's cool. I actually specialized in waking people up during my twelve years at MIT so I'm happy to put my skills to good use.
SCIENTIST2: Oh, relax. Let's just get this over with.
SCIENTIST1: I wanted to leave school after ten years, but I figured no, I'm not ready yet...I've only learned enough to slightly rouse people, so I continued my molecular biochemistry training...
SCIENTIST2: Come on, it's in here.
(sound of a door being opened)
SCIENTIST2: (recoiling) Bleh...I can see why Professor Dammers sent us to do it. It stinks down here.
SCIENTIST1: Doesn't look like anyone's been in this room for fifteen years or so.
SCIENTIST2: Hey, there are three units. One's Glen, but what are the other two?
SCIENTIST1: One's that kid, what's-his-name, that's always hanging around...
SCIENTIST2: God, I hate him. Whatever his name is.
SCIENTIST1: And the other...lemme check...huh. It's the Announcer.
SCIENTIST2: They froze the Announcer too?
SCIENTIST1: Must have had a sale on freezers that week.
SCIENTIST2: Let's do him first.
SCIENTIST1: OK. Let's see...it's a really delicate procedure...you have to move this to there...(various 'whoosh', 'whirr', 'boop', and 'click' sounds) and then this there...cross this over to that...unscrew this...screw that...bingo.
(there is a hum, and a large door slowly opens)
ANNOUNCER: Welcome back, everyone. We find our intrepid adventurers in what must be the Arctic, where the cold makes a man's nipples like harpoons...
ANNOUNCER: Our heroes sure wish they had some General Mills oatmeal to warm them up. General Mills delivers all the vitamins that an adventurer needs and a dinger of a taste, too.
SCIENTIST1: Sir, you can relax. We haven't awakened Smashin' Sampson yet.
ANNOUNCER: Even the greatest freedom fighter needs a little rest. Our heroes are enjoying a little downtime.
SCIENTIST1: That's right, sir. If you could just hold on...
SCIENTIST2: I'll go unfreeze Smashin' Sampson.
SCIENTIST1: Hang on, I'll help you...hey, it looks like they've been aging this entire time while they've been asleep. Huh. Guess that explains how the government got the suspended animation units so cheap.
SCIENTIST2: (calling from a distance) Hey, do you screw it before or after you make the cross-over?
SCIENTIST1: Harry, that's a delicate procedure...
SCIENTIST2: Ah, don't worry about it. I saw you doing it, it's under control.
(an alarm sounds)
SCIENTIST2: Um. In a sense.
SCIENTIST1: Crap! Did you...
ANNOUNCER: Suddenly things are looking grim for our heroes.
SCIENTIST2: Shut up, you! It's fine! It's...
(the alarm stops - there is a single 'boop')
SCIENTIST1: It's a pile of ashes. America's greatest hero, Smashin' Glen Sampson, is a pile of ashes.
SCIENTIST2: God, what a cruel twist of fate for the poor guy.
ANNOUNCER: And now, we pause for another message from our sponsors.
SCIENTIST1: (after a silence) Balls.
SCIENTIST2: Well...erm, it could be worse.
ANNOUNCER: The sniveling lab rat quivers.
SCIENTIST2: Shut up, you.
SCIENTIST1: What the hell are we going to tell Professor Dammers? We need Glen Sampson!
SCIENTIST2: Look, I don't know! I didn't mean to... (an idea dawning) Wait, that's it. We need (pauses to say each word) Glen Sampson.
ANNOUNCER: An idea forms in the greasy little half-man's head.
SCIENTIST2: Shut up, you. (a whoosh sound) I'm putting him back to sleep for a moment. Come on, Albert. I've got an idea...
(some kind of short music indicating a segue - jumping forward a month -
and then a door opens)
DAMMERS: Ah. Are our guests in the briefing room?
SCIENTIST2: Yes sir, Professor Dammers. They've been run through their physicals and given a basic update on what's gone on. They're a little restless but they're ready for you.
DAMMERS: Good. It's been an entire month. Intelligence doesn't want to wait any longer to get this started. Were there any problems with the resuscitation?
SCIENTIST1: Well...(2 kicks him in the shin) Ouch!
SCIENTIST2: Nope. They woke up just fine. One thing, though, sir. The freezing didn't stop the aging process. They've been aging all this time - everyone but Smashin' Sampson. He, just, uh, thinned out a bit.
DAMMERS: Ah, well. One complication doesn't spoil the pie. Let's do it.
(another door opens)
DAMMERS: Good evening, men. My name is Professor Dammers and I'm in charge of this mission...
ANNOUNCER: Professor Dammers, commander of the American forces, strides into the room.
DAMMERS: Thank you. Let me first say that it is an honor to work with you, Mr. Sampson. I thrilled to your radio exploits as a child. This mission involves a location I'm sure you'll find familiar...
KID: (now has a thick Brooklyn accent) And don't forget about his partner, the Red White and Blue Kid.
DAMMERS: Yes, you too. Your mission will be to investigate what is making the villagers act so strangely and find out if it is connected in any way to the disturbance that you resolved there during the War. If it is, Intelligence would like you to recover the weapon - assuming that is what's causing this - and bring it back for our scientists to study.
SCIENTIST1: (darkly) Yeah, give it to Harry. You can trust him to study it.
SCIENTIST2: (whispers) Knock it off. I solved the problem, didn't I?
SCIENTIST1: (whispers) Your friend in Psych Ops better be as good as you say he is.
DAMMERS: Glen, are you getting this?
GLEN: You bet, sir. Loud and clear.
KID: Hey, I'm gettin' it too.
DAMMERS: Great to hear. Your plane is waiting in hangar eighteen. Good luck, and may the deity of your choosing, should you choose to affiliate yourself with a religious order, bless. Should you choose not to do so, may whatever historical figure you most admire look favorably upon you. (silence) Government regulation. Inclusiveness. You understand.
(the sound of a plane taking off, and then the sound of the plane flying)
ANNOUNCER: And so our heroes venture off to a foreign land, once again entrusted with the safety of the free world.
KID: Hey, Glen, all 'a this seem a little weird to you?
GLEN: Why, whatever do you mean, young partner?
KID: Well, it's like...I'm, uh, old.
GLEN: Nonsense. We're tip-top fighting shape. Ready to give the enemy a good going-over.
KID: Glen, I got hair in my ears. I didn't used to have no hair in my ears.
GLEN: The last hope of America.
GLEN: The last hope of America.
KID: Glen, you OK?
GLEN: Not only am I OK, I'm in better shape than ever. Ready to do some justice.
(the plane makes an unfriendly-sounding noise)
KID: Hey, everything OK up there?
PILOT: It will be...once you are dead!
ANNOUNCER: Treachery in the skies!
GLEN: (confused) The pilot wants to kill us?
KID: Let's kick his ass, Glen!
PILOT: Die!!! (he leaps upon the KID. sound of a scuffle)
ANNOUNCER: The treacherous pilot and the Red White and Blue Kid are locked in mortal combat at ten thousand feet!
KID: Glen, help!
PILOT: No one can save you now!
ANNOUNCER: As our heroes battle it out at eight thousand feet...
KID: Glen, we've got to stop him! Help!
GLEN: How can we be having a fight now? Who's going to fly the plane?
ANNOUNCER: ...battling it out at six thousand feet...
PILOT: Die, over-the-hill sidekick!
KID: That's the Red White and Blue Kid to you, traitor!
GLEN: This doesn't seem right...
ANNOUNCER: (sense of urgency gradually creeping into his voice) ...battling it out at four thousand feet...
KID: Help, Glen! America's depending on us!
GLEN: Right. America. (with renewed confidence, walks over to the fighting pair) Alright, pal. End of the line for spies and traitors. (sound of a punch)
KID: Yeah, Glen!
ANNOUNCER: With Smashin' Sampson now in the fray, it's not long before the tide turns!
KID: Take that, spy!
ANNOUNCER: (yells) But our heroes are in dire circumstances as altitude continues to plummet!
KID: Assume crash landing positions!
ANNOUNCER: Buy General Motors seat belts! GM! The best choice!
(the plane crashes. sounds of a jungle. there is a long silence)
ANNOUNCER: Buy General Mills painkillers. The kind doctors recommend. General Mills painkillers. Ask for them by name.
KID: Slappin' sausages, we almost went down for the count there!
GLEN: (uncertain) Where am I?
ANNOUNCER: Our heroes find themselves in a South American jungle, surrounded on all sides by mists and mystery.
GLEN: Oh. Thanks.
KID: We've got to find a path to the village, Glen.
KID: So we can save America!
GLEN: Oh. Right. (somewhat confident again) We have to rescue democracy from the vile evil clutches of...(pauses, uncertain) Whose clutches are we rescuing it from?
ANNOUNCER: The village is grasped in the clutches of evil.
GLEN: Yeah, but who's evil?
KID: Evil is evil.
GLEN: I know, but who are these evil people that we're fighting?
KID: No, it's evil that we're fighting, and the people that we're going to rescue.
GLEN: This is making no sense.
ANNOUNCER: (helpfully) Could it be the rise of a new Nazi menace?
KID: Works for me!
GLEN: (confident) Right. The Nazi menace. America, free world. Industry! Let's go.
ANNOUNCER: And so Smashin' Sampson travels forth into the unknown. Dangers lurking all around, he presses bravely forward and soon our heroes have come to a clearing...
GLEN: I can feel it. This is the village we are meant to save from tyranny.
KID: These people have drunk from the poisoned well of evil for too long. Now it's time to show them the sweet taste of democracy's water!
GLEN: (uncertain) What the hell does that mean?
GLEN: That! It sounded absurd! It...
KID: Look out! The Nazi menace!
GLEN: (confident) Where?
KID: A villager!
VILLAGER: Hello, Americans.
KID: We're not just any old Americans, amigo!
VILLAGER: Of course not. It is the adventurer. Smashin' Sampson.
KID: (annoyed) And don't forget about his partner, the Red White and...
GLEN: Hello, little foreign friend. We are here to save you from evil!
VILLAGER: There is no evil here. Only happiness and popcorn.
GLEN: Don't be afraid. America is here to save you. Evil can't hurt you now!
VILLAGER: Oh. That evil. Hut 15 to your left.
(sound of walking)
GLEN: Nice village you've got here.
VILLAGER: Thank you.
GLEN: Let me tell you, you're going to love what America has in store for you. Business! Industry! Capital development!
VILLAGER: Sounds keen.
KID: Well, we're in the middle of the village. What now?
VILLAGER: Now we tie you up.
KID: What? Traitors!
(sound of murmuring voices as the village appears)
VILLAGER: You will not resist. There are far too many of us.
ANNOUNCER: Suddenly an entire sea of enemies appears!
VILLAGER: No talking, please.
ANNOUNCER: Our heroes are cornered!
VILLAGER: Be quiet.
ANNOUNCER: Whatever will they do now?
ANNOUNCER: Is that a plan developing?
VILLAGER: Someone make him be quiet.
ANNOUNCER: A villager emerges with a coconut! Listeners, there's nothing like a General Mills fruit snack to get an adventurer's energy back up. General Mills...
(sound of a thunk)
KID: Hey, they attacked the Announcer! Hey! You can't do that!
GLEN: Don't worry, kid. We'll find a way out of this.
KID: You bet, Glen.
VILLAGER: The ropes are tied very tightly. Next, we will burn you alive.
KID: You'll never get away with this!
VILLAGER: Probably not. Doesn't mean we can't try, though.
(sound of fire)
KID: Simmerin' superheroes, Glen, we're really stuck now!
GLEN: (confused) None of this seems right.
KID: What, you think it's fake fire?
GLEN: No, it's real fire. It hurts. But...
KID: Come on, Glen! You've got to save the day!
GLEN: See, that's just it.
KID: (in pain) What is?
GLEN: Do I really belong here?
KID: Of course not! We belong outside of this fire!
GLEN: No, you're getting me wrong. Let me explain...huh?
KID: The fire burned through your ropes! Great plan, Glen!
GLEN: (jumps) Phew. Glad I got out of there. Burned right through my shirt.
KID: Hey, Glen!
KID: (yells) Don't forget about your partner, the Red White and Blue Kid!
GLEN: Oh, right. Sorry. Erm, let me help you out of there. (pulls him out)
GLEN: So, like I was saying...I have this feeling that I wouldn't normally be standing here, surrounded by strange men with spears...
KID: They're going to skewer us, Glen! What're we gonna do?
GLEN: I don't know. What do we normally do?
ANNOUNCER: (groggy) greeeeaaaaat adventure...
KID: They lowered their spears!
VILLAGER: You have proven yourself a crafty opponent, Smashing Sampson. We will now take you to Mr. X.
GLEN: Oh, good. So we're not being skewered.
KID: Bring us to him! We'll give Mr. X a piece of our minds...and our fists! Right, Glen?
GLEN: (attempting boldness) You bet.
(sound of walking)
ANNOUNCER: Our heroes find themselves being herded by the savage, zombie-like villagers towards the lair of the evil Mr. X. A foreboding sight it is! Even the sun seems to shy away from the gruesome sight of the dark mountain.
KID: Wow, so it's true! He managed to open up the collapsed mine again!
GLEN: What kind of a last name is X? Is that Russian?
ANNOUNCER: An evil to chill the heart of even the boldest man emanates from behind the curtain in this grand chamber. What lurks here? What sinister mind has enslaved this village and now holds our heroes in its thrall?
VILLAGER: You will now bow before his evil majesty.
KID: Like hell we will!
VILLAGER: Suit yourself.
GLEN: (attempting boldness) We don't bow before evil. (quickly) Nothing personal. It's just, you know, a general rule.
VILLAGER: Doesn't matter to me. I just work here.
GLEN: (bold) Good.
KID: That's the spirit, Glen!
GLEN: Is it? I mean...
X: Quiet, little men.
KID: Why don't you come out from behind that curtain, you evil coward!
X: By remaining where I am, I risk incurring the disdain of a forty-four year old man in tight spandex who refers to himself as the Red White and Blue Kid. I suppose my course of action is clear.
KID: (hurt) Hey.
X: Nevertheless, I think I shall stay behind this curtain.
GLEN: Who are you? What do you want?
X: Complete and total submission, mostly. Artistic fulfillment would be nice.
GLEN: Oh. That's interesting.
GLEN: Been here awhile?
X: A few years.
GLEN: Ah. Just got here, myself.
GLEN: So, uh, weather's alright.
X: Mm hmm.
(more uncomfortable silence)
GLEN: Hmm. Well, I've really got to go, so...
X: You can't leave! You're my prisoner!
GLEN: Yeah, but we ran out of things to talk about.
X: Question me, you idiot! I'm evil!
GLEN: We barely know each other.
X: I'm the evil mastermind! Pry for the details of my plan! You know what to do!
GLEN: I realize that I should know, but I'm just not myself lately.
X: What the hell does that mean?
GLEN: I'm beginning to suspect that I'm really an accountant.
(a commotion is heard)
KID: Let's go, Glen!
KID: I got free while you were distracting him! Run!
GLEN: Sounds like a decent idea.
X: Guards! Stop them!
(the adventurers run out of the room)
VILLAGER: I think they escaped.
X: Seize them!
VILLAGER: I guess we could. Shouldn't someone else do it? I'm personally not very good at seizing.
X: You'll do it or you'll be destroyed!
VILLAGER: Great. That's really fair. (he shuffles off)
X: Not now that my plan is coming to fruition...I won't have Sampson ruin it now! (pauses) I can't believe I just said "fruition".
(sound of running)
ANNOUNCER: Our heroes turn corner after corner, but every one in vain.
KID: Behind us, Glen! More zombies!
VILLAGER: Yeah, hey, stop.
GLEN: But there's a giant pit in the floor!
KID: We'll have to jump it!
GLEN: I can't jump that!
KID: We've got to!
GLEN: No one could! It's too far!
KID: The zombies are coming right at us!
GLEN: Screw this!
(a zombie stumbles falls into the pit)
VILLAGER: (fading as he falls) That was a really dirty trick.
KID: Great plan, Glen! The zombies tripped over your cowering, huddled body and fell into the pit!
GLEN: Yeah, uh, plan. Come on back this way before the rest of them arrive!
KID: Okay! Around this corner! (they continue to run)
GLEN: More zombies!
VILLAGER: Cease your movement, man.
GLEN: It's a dead end! We're trapped!
KID: We've got to fight them!
GLEN: Like hell we do! There's like thirty of them! They'll eat me!
VILLAGER: Don't run anymore. We're going to seize you now.
KID: No way, servants of evil! Take this!
(sound of a scuffle)
ANNOUNCER: A thrilling, last-ditch battle between the forces of good and evil ensues!
GLEN: No it doesn't! (banging on the wall) I don't want to die! Help!
ANNOUNCER: (frustrated) Will you start fighting already, you whiny little jerk?
GLEN: Screw you! I remember it all now! I was an accountant and a bunch of guys in dark suits kidnapped me and brainwashed me because they wanted someone named Glen Sampson!
VILLAGER: So you're not Glen Sampson?
GLEN: No, I am Glen Sampson, it's just that...
VILLAGER: Okay, then. That settles it. (makes biting sounds)
GLEN: (banging on the wall) He's trying to eat me! Let me out! Help! Someone! Hel-
(the sound of stone moving - a secret door has opened)
ANNOUNCER: A secret door!
KID: Great work, Glen!
GLEN: (nearly catatonic) Mama!
VILLAGER: Will you please get back here so we can seize you?
KID: Let's get out of here! Close the door behind us!
(the stone sound again, and the door is closed)
KID: Great! That'll keep those zombies off our backs for awhile!
VILLAGER: (distant) You're being kind of a pooper about this.
GLEN: Where are we now?
ANNOUNCER: Could it be the secret laboratory of the evil mastermind!
KID: This must be where he makes his zombies! Come on, Glen! Let's bust it up!
GLEN: I'd rather try that red 'Exit' sign, myself.
KID: I found a torch! I can sort of see...some sort of chair, or something...
(there is a 'thwoosh' as the lights come on)
KID: The lights are on! Great! How'd you do that?
GLEN: The, uh, light switch. I couldn't find the handle on the exit door.
ANNOUNCER: What a strange sight it is that stands before our heroes! Row upon row of black, folding chairs, all facing a silver screen!
GLEN: (in the background) Ergh. Crap. The door's locked...(shaking door) Gotta be a key around here somewhere...maybe in this maintenance closet? (opens a door and closes it)
KID: Glen! Come back...oh, jeepers. Where are we, anyway?
ANNOUNCER: Who is that sinister figure emerging from the shadows?
X: Welcome to the zombie factory. Welcome...to my ultimate victory!
KID: It's Mr. X!
X: The show ends here, adventurers...where it also starts! (maniacal laugh)
KID: What do you mean? Who are you? Reveal yourself!
X: Surely you must have guessed by now. Look upon me and tremble, mortals.
KID: Oh my gosh! It's horrible! It's...
X: It is I...the petrified brain of Walt Disney!
KID: (stammers) S...S...s...
X: Just can't find the right rhyme for the situation? Sorry, kid, but you're all out of luck.
ANNOUNCER: A truly terrifying sight! A sinister brain without a body? The creator of beloved cinematic icons like Mickey Mouse and Snow White...turned evil?
X: You don't know the half of it, little man. But you're about to learn.
(there is a flick and a whirr as a movie camera starts up)
KID: He's started the movie camera! (slows down) The show is starting. I want to sit down and see...
ANNOUNCER: (also slowing down) We now pause for a commercial break.
X: Feel your eyes become enslaved by the screen before you. Fascinating, isn't it? Just can't take your eyes off it? Soon, you too will become like the rest of my zombies.
ANNOUNCER: (slow) Critics are calling it the thrill-ride of the summer.
X: You see, back in 1943, my studio was at the height of its powers. I had everything a man could want...money, influence...but I was all too aware of how quickly power can slip away, and I wanted to take steps to preserve my position. The Army would never have bothered to follow up on cockamamie rumors of a magic weapon hidden in South America. The heroes whose weekly radio serial was broadcast on my radio network, however, would happily have done so. So I used my connections to have you sent there, hoping to beat the Nazis to the magical prize. You served your purpose well. You kept the Nazis away and ensured that my scientists could do their work there, uninterrupted. We recovered the weapon. It was a large silver staff with the power to make men sleepy and obedient. But it wasn't enough. Only a few men at a time could see the staff and be affected by its power. Hardly enough to rule the world as I wished to. Cancer began to overcome my body in the late 1960's and I knew my time was short. That was when we hit upon the solution to the weapon's limitations.
KID: (sleepy) You'll never get away with this...or...maybe you will, actually...
X: You're too firmly entranced by the merry animated creatures and their inane burbling that you see before you to do anything about my scheme. You're part of it now. You see, the solution was simple. Motion picture film stock requires silver iodide to be developed. So we melted down the staff and began to develop our movies with it. We tested it out on the villagers here, and they couldn't move from their seats. They unquestioningly accepted the childish, repetitive plots and characters that they saw before them. They were hypnotized by the power of the silver staff...spread out into every film canister! (maniacal laugh) And when they left the theatres, having surrendered their critical faculties over to our filmic dreck, they were ready to accept any orders from me. They were my slaves, as you are too! (more laughter)
KID: (sleepy) As I am now, master.
X: No one can stop me! The world is mine! It's all over! It's...
GLEN: (returns) No key back there. Guess we're stuck. (freaks out) Oh my god! A brain in a jar on a pair of robot legs! Yah! Run!
X: No, you fool! Look out for my...
(there is a crash, the sound of glass breaking, and a splat)
GLEN: Oh, gross, its brains are all over me!
KID: (sleepy, but waking up) Turn the movie back on...hey, what's going on?
ANNOUNCER: Who is that hero emergent from the darkness? Could it be...it is! Smashin' Glen Sampson has saved the day again!
GLEN: Oh, god, how do you get the stain of brain off your pants? I don't belong here! Let me out! (pauses) Yuck!
(the sound of a plane flying, signifying our heroes' return to America)
ANNOUNCER: The country now safe from evil, our heroes return to Washington for debriefing.
DAMMERS: Well, the situation is now under control, thanks to you. We sent in a clean-up crew, and after a healthy dose of untainted Marx Brothers movies, the villagers were alright again. Well, not entirely alright, as you can imagine any society with over a hundred Groucho Marxes running around would be. But they are capable of independent thought, at the very least. At any rate, gentlemen, you have done your country a great duty.
KID: Only doin' what comes naturally, sir.
DAMMERS: Excuse me, who are you?
KID: The Red White and Blue Kid.
DAMMERS: Ah, yes. Whatever. Glen, Announcer - I thank you and your country thanks you beyond words for your heroism. You'll find a generous stipend in bank accounts that have been set up in your name. I'm sure you'll enjoy your vacations very much...after a quick detour, that is.
GLEN: What? A detour? But...
DAMMERS: You see, we decided to broadcast your adventure like we did in the old days, and ratings were so high...nostalgia factor and all...that you've been placed back on active duty.
GLEN: Weren't you listening? I'm an accountant! For the love of god, I don't do this!
DAMMERS: It seems that a research team has found a massive gold deposit in the middle of the Mediterannean Sea. It's in open waters, which means that whoever gets there first has a claim to it. Legend has it that the Greek god Poseidon himself guards the gold. Now, I don't know about that, but the Russians are on their way, and we plan to beat them to it. Ready for some deep-sea adventures, men?
GLEN: Hell no! I can't swim!
KID: That's his way of saying yes, sir. Just give him a little sedative for the flight and he'll be thrilled to help out.
GLEN: I'll kill you, you overgrown...
DAMMERS: Great to hear. Your plane is in hangar eighteen. Good luck, and may the ratings bless you.
ANNOUNCER: And so our heroes set off on another adventure, this time into the briny deep. An exotic locale to be sure, but wherever there is a threat to democracy, there will always be brave men like these adventurers to defend our shores. Thank you for listening, everyone...and goodnight.
GLEN: (screaming underneath the ANNOUNCER's speech) Help! I don't want to die! Get me out of here! Please! Someone! Nooooo! (ad lib to end)
image by Marc Heiden 12/98, for PDP Radio Plays.