Shepard’s Lamb

Screenplay by Alan Nafzger

Jake is white-trash and has been a habitual criminal his entire life. He is covered from head to toe in racist and sordid tattoos. His friends are high school drop outs and have very low IQs. While he has been in jail numerous times himself, Jack has been just smart enough to stay out of prison.

Greg is an African-American from a religious family. He is the son of a single mother. His mother is a strong woman and taught him, in no-uncertain terms, right and wrong. He served in Afghanistan and the audience might assume that this experience has warped him but it isn’t expressly stated in this screenplay. He is working as a long haul trucker.

Ironically, until the end of the movie, Greg kills only corrupt people in uniform. And Jack kills only innocent civilians.

It is fall, and young driver Greg takes his truck on a delivery from Idaho to Dallas with a cargo of potatoes. He is stopped at a road police post by a pair of rude and corrupt policemen. While they are extorting sex from the woman they stopped earlier, Greg shots the policemen dead. There he picks up a hitchhiker, an old man who recounts him a disturbing story. Soon after serving in Afghanistan, while returning home from the front, he was unashamedly robbed by a corrupt policeman, and later killed him in retaliation. On another stop the old man leaves as abruptly as he appeared.

Later Greg meets an underage prostitute. He takes pity on the girl and gives her some money out of charity, but she takes that as offence, insults him and leaves.

Greg meets an old woman with 11 Chihuahuas living in a remote area. The dogs are in excellent condition and live like royalty. However she is a breeders and sells the puppies. The local “rescue” group has a mortgage payment and parole to met. It is a for profit rescue. When they come to the harass the woman Greg happened to be there. The “rescue group” threatens to charge the old woman with “animal cruelty” if she doesn’t hand over the dogs. While there are wild dogs running everywhere in the city, they can’t be sold quickly by the rescue group, so the group has reverted to a legalize theft from breeders. As they persist in harassing the old woman, Greg follows them back to their 30 million dollar building. We learn that Greg kills two rescue workers and a corrupt Constable.

Jack and his gang rape and brutally kill a female college student.

Later yet, Greg is tired in the night and decides to stop at an road side park until dawn. Three locals approach and try to steal something from the truck, only to be stopped by Greg. They distract his attention, and hit him on the head with a log. He does not speak after this blow to the head. For a long period of time he is catatonic.

The scene shifts to the times in Afghanistan. Early in the war, two deserters from the Afghani army cautiously feel their way through the land. They enter a lone house where lives a widowed teacher with his infant son. The teacher is kind to the soldiers and provides them with much-needed food and shelter. However, in their eyes he has some things that they want (food, a radio and some poppy seeds) so they kill him, rob the house, and continue on their way, leaving the child to his own devices. Greg and his U.S. Army unit hunts down and kill the two deserters.

The scene shifts back to the present. It is spring, and Greg lives in a Dallas half way house. The blow has left him feeble-minded and mute. He walks around bearded, dilapidated, with blank stare. He doesn’t seem dangerous anymore and is barely caring for himself. He has to be told to do everything – brush his teeth and even to go to the bathroom. The young attractive woman managing the house visits his bedroom every night.

Meanwhile, Jack is selling the stolen potatoes on the local farmers market. They commit various crimes downtown Dallas. These are property and drug crimes and violence isn’t really required but it is Jack’s trademark. A homeless man that witnesses one of their crimes is beaten to death.

A policeman brings a prisoner to the halfway house. This new resident of the house immediately brings drugs into the house and hide them in the manager’s office desk. The police come and search and find the drugs. The police figure it was one of the residents, so the manager isn’t arrested. But she finds a better job and moves on. The woman leaves the place, abandoning Greg. A cold man takes over the half-way house.

Greg is beaten by the locals and detained by the police, only to be released the next night when the other half-way house resident (another inmate) challenges the lone guard to a fight, beats him unconscious, and unlocks the cells. Homeless, Greg wanders the village, being driven off by the locals, until he collapses from exhaustion. He is found and taken care of by the old man whom he earlier gave a ride.

Greg ends up at the Dallas farmer’s market. It isn’t clear if he knows, that the potatoes are his, but he sits down in the both next to Jack. Jack doesn’t recognize him; Greg has grown and beard and doesn’t speak. Greg clearly feels there is something wrong with Jack and his friends. He stares at them so long there is about to be a conflict.

When two policemen ride bicycles through the market, Greg notices how nervous Jack and his gang become. He senses something is wrong. Jack and his friends reach under a table for weapons; they don’t pull them out but when the policemen innocently stop to talk to Jack it seems to be only a matter of time.

One policemen asks Jack where the potatoes were grown, Jake obviously lies to him and says they were grown locally (which is nearly impossible). However, there is a stolen truck with Idaho plates on it parked right behind their booth. Over the past six months, Jack and his gang have been living out of the truck and selling the potatoes.

When the policeman speaks into his radio for the dispatcher to run the plates of the truck, Jack and his friends reach for their weapons.

Greg explodes into violence. He kills Jack and his two gang members, before they police can get off their bikes. The police have not had time to even un-holster their weapons. Greg saves their lives but is detained by the police.

We don’t know his fate but we can assume.

 

Dallas Farmers Market
Shepard’s Lamb

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