The Toll Collector
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Rating: 3.8/5 (4 votes cast)

The Toll Collector

When dead bodies start washing up near a lonely bridge, detective Harvey suspects the midnight-shift toll collector. But can he prove it before another unlucky soul crosses the span in the darkest hours of winter?

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  1. mikeyz says
    January 20, 2014, 2:47 pm

    My pleasure and thanks! Oh and I forgot to mention — that scene near the end with Todd and his shaved head in his uniform drew parallels to Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver for me! I don’t know if that was your intention there as an homage but I really loved how that played out!

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      ebfilms says
      January 22, 2014, 5:24 pm

      Thanks, I don’t think intentional, but very cool that you picked up on that.

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  2. mikeyz says
    January 20, 2014, 10:46 am
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    I must say I really have a soft spot for stories like this because the premise is so simple yet so meaningful and profound. The protagonist here is a regular average Joe with a regular job who, for no apparent obvious reasons to us, becomes unhinged and goes off the deep end. Right away, I’m reminded of the film Falling Down. I too have a story in this competition called Drive Thru about an average yet troubled working middle-aged man who essentially stalks a young girl over an order speaker at a fast food restaurant of all places! I invite you to take a look at it if you find some time.

    To continue with this great piece: Todd’s arc here is fascinating and disturbing and I couldn’t stop reading this in anticipation of what sort of revelations were to follow at that bridge. And the method in which those revelations were exposed at the doctor’s office over the tape recorder was wonderfully presented!

    Your grammar and formatting was solid; clearly, you do this for a living and it shows!

    Overall, an amazing read but if I have to just nit-pick a little (since, after all, we are supposed to do this as critics … lol), I would have to say that I was kind of looking / hoping for a bit of a twist in the end with the homicides. Instead, you basically gave me what I kind of expected anyways although, as I already eluded to, your revelations were presented in an amazingly creative and terrifying manner that it really didn’t make much difference to me anyhow. In the end, I thought you pulled it off beautifully. Well done and best of luck to you in the competition!

    Mike.

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      ebfilms says
      January 20, 2014, 2:02 pm

      Thanks kindly Mike. I appreciate the words and the time and effort to read. Best of luck to you as well.

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  3. aweiss says
    December 14, 2013, 7:26 pm
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    What starts off slowly, and very quietly, nothing seems to be going on, and then things do a 180 and wow! This screenplay is so well written that I couldn’t put the last 30 pages down, it was that gripping. Horror is not usually what I’m comfortable in, just because I scare easily. And I did here, but that the point of a horror film. So yes, this is scary as anything, and just sneaks up on you. The idiot with the hatchet job thought he spoiled everything. I will say that his spoilers didn’t spoil it for me, He didn’t say anything in the end.

    And whoever that idiot was, of corse there is a protagonist, and a good one. This film is very contained, so there is only one of them, but he does his job well, I could visualize him, just like the plot in general. Dialog is very real too, and no formatting issues to boot. Minor typos, one or two spelling mistakes, easily corrected.

    I hope you can get this made at some point. You credits in your response to the hatchet person say it all, as in, I think you can. So I wish you much success.

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      ebfilms says
      December 14, 2013, 8:58 pm

      Wow….thank you Andrea, that was a very nice review. I’m glad you liked my script and stuck with you. Your comments mean a lot. Regards, E.B.

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    says
    September 25, 2013, 10:01 am
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    My apologies but I feel this script needs a lot of work – first off you’re log line doesn’t ring true – at no point in the story does Detective Harvey believe Todd is the murderer – he questions him once, just as he did everyone else, and then goes about his business. He doesn’t even become alarmed when he sees what he thinks is blood in the toll booth, and he doesn’t find out it’s him until the doctor tells him.
    Your script really has no set up at all, and nothing really happens until page 28 when the first body is found. Before that it’s just Todd at work- Todd at home – work, home, work, home, etc. until a body washes up on shore. Todd crosses paths with very forgettable characters, regardless if they end up being victims, the audience really has no sympathy for them because they are strangers.
    Also, in the end you try to explain just through the doctors / cops dialogue that Todd is some deranged maniac, but throughout the script he seems perfectly content with his life – he doesn’t do or say anything that would make us believe he would even be someone that would need therapy, let alone a killer. Yes his mother dies, but apparently he was a killer before that, and still does that justify the killings.
    I really didn’t understand how at the end when the doctor is listening to the recording and you’re note says ‘IT IS NOW CLEAR THAT THE PATIENT IS TODD’ – what does that even mean? Was his voice disguised the first four times we heard the patients voice, how would we just now realize it is him.
    Also your story doesn’t have a protagonist at all. You can’t say it’s Detective Harvey or the Doctor, because they are only in about 4 scenes a piece and essentially do nothing helps anybody throughout. We don’t even get to know who they are – it seems like they are just there to fill a few pages
    You also gave us exactly the ending that we suspected. It was obvious throughout that Todd was going to end up being the killer because there really isn’t any other 3-dimential characters, and yes he ends up being the killer without any twists or turns – there’s nothing thrilling about this ‘Thriller’ – the things you suspect to happen do in fact happen.
    Again my apologies, but I think this needs a lot of work

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      ebfilms says
      November 17, 2013, 12:43 pm
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      What a joke. Who are you- some bottom feeder? You’re an idiot. Look me up on IMDb douche’bag. I’ve sold 2 screenplays and have written and directed 2 movies. Besides that, I have written over 25 screenplays, one of which was in the Finals of the Nicholl Fellowships. What have you done? I read your profile…very little it appears. I read the contest rules wrong. I didn’t know pieces of shit like you would be reading my screenplay. I thought this contest had merit. My bad. You clearly didn’t get my script- but don’t apologize for being stupid.
      p.s. — Now I’ll go and review your screenplay- which will never be made into a movie.

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      • hingylingy says
        November 21, 2013, 1:22 am

        I just love your reply….checked you out and yeah! You are doing it!
        I respect that and can only ask that you take a look at some of my work here to see if it is worthy. I agree this site can be sad at times… I did win a log line contest here with Radical Shift, I have two top synopses here, Scroll Back and The Cold Agenda.

        I would love your feedback, is my stuff something you would ever consider producing?

        Much Respect,

        Jay Stamatis

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          ebfilms says
          November 21, 2013, 1:27 am

          Thanks. I pretty much write & direct my own stuff, but I’ll definitely take a look at your synopsis for sure.

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