All they wanted to do was sell a gun. But things don’t always go as planned.
The great thing about revenge stories is that they mess with what we like to think about right and wrong. Do the ends justify the means? And, when it’s a woman taking justice into her own hands, even murderers gain our sympathies. From Lipstick to the likes of Volver, The Brave One, Kill Bill, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, we love stories where strong women match evil with evil…especially when justice prevails.
Meet Babyface, Prima and Whisper: three low-riding, gun-toting, social critic gangsters. CJ Walley’s San Diego Impala Cholas opens with the three in their Impala, driving to meet a woman who needs a gun. When the gangsters encounter their prospective buyer Lola, they are filled with scorn that quickly turns to mistrust. But Lola has a secret. And, once the Cholas discover the truth, they devise a plan of their own.
What coulda, shoulda been a simple transaction with a gun gets complicated – quickly. Compassion, politics and a shared anger over the injustices women face jumps directly in the way.
Thanks to C.J. Walley’s unique style, the dialogue for Cholas really pops, filled with slang from gangster culture and exchanges that his female characters feel alive. These women – as depicted – are for real and scorn those who don’t walk the talk. As Prima explicitly declares: “Personas dressin’ up like gangsters and, you know, gettin’ ink, because, what? They like the style?”
Fans of C.J. Walley won’t be surprised – Cholas’ chalk full of captivating dialogue… as well as a masterful exploration into what motivates his characters. Including violent, gritty action. Make room Lisbeth Salander and Beatrix Kiddo, here come the Cholas! Everyone make room for the ride!
Budget: Low to medium – will need a Chevy Impala.
About the writer – CJ Walley: I began writing in 2012 and I’m pleased to say it’s been very exciting so far. I have been fortunate enough to have a short produced by a director in London and Amazon Studios have spotlighted one of my features as a notable project. My scripts place within the top 10% of various major screenwriting competitions and, as I continue to write specs, I am remotely collaborating with a producer in LA on a comedy series, working with a director in New Orleans on a thriller, and blogging for Stage 32. I’m here to do two things, work hard and make friends. My writing has a down and dirty tone, deep emotion, gritty action, wry humor, and features strong female leads. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, then I’d love to join forces with you whatever the scale, do not hesitate to reach out and drop me a line.
Read San Diego Impala Cholas (11 pages in PDF format)
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
About the reviewer: Julia Cottle is a cultural anthropologist living in Chicago. She has worked for years as a university instructor and researcher for organizations committed to social justice. She recently has begun to work on two screenplays.