Scared Stupid: Original First Draft Treatment by Ric Menello

Many people have asked for the early material that Ric worked on for the Beastie Boys, such as the TV Pilot and feature film project. The original treatment for Scared Stupid was devised by Ric, who after several revisions, turned all the ideas into a feature length screenplay with Mel Neuhaus. In the end, there were two versions of Scared Stupid, one authored by Ric and another completely different and original version written by Adam Yauch and Tom Cushman.


Scared Stupid by Ric Menello

"Spooks Run Wild" The East Side KidsScared StiffHold That GhostOlsen & Johnson Ghost CatchersBud Abbot and Lou Costello Meet FrankensteinBela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn GorillaThe Cat and the CanaryThe Ghost Breakers

This is a haunted house comedy in the tradition of such 1940s classics as The Cat and The Canary and Ghostbreakers with Bob Hope, Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein and Hold That Ghost with Bud and Lou, Scared Stiff with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and Ghost Catchers, Spooks Run Wild and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.  However, in the roles usually played by such musical and/or comedy stars as Dean and Jerry, Bud and Lou, The Bowery Boys, Bob Hope or Olson and Johnson, we would have the 1980s equivalent, THE BEASTIE BOYS.  This tremendously popular rock n’ rap comedy group would be carrying on in an honorable and hysterical musical comedy tradition.

At the ancient ancestral home of BEASTIE BOYS’ member MIKE D, the family patriarch, GREAT UNCLE SILAS D is convinced he is dying.  More than that, he is convinced that the various family members hovering around him in the huge castle-style mansion are intent on murdering him for his vast millions.  Even though he has all this money, the house he lives in, although huge, is dark and dank.  He is a miser, and keeps a strict eye on how much electricity is used, and on the amount of phone calls made by his staff and relatives.  SILAS D refuses to eat, throwing his tray of food at his NURSE.  He has taken to his bed, although DOCTOR MOREAU, his physician, has said that other than having a weak heart there is absolutely nothing wrong with him.  SILAS D, on the other hand babbles on and on about his relatives trying to poison him, and about how ghosts, demons and devils wander about the mansion waiting to kill him should he venture outside of his cold, clammy room.  His relatives go downstairs to the parlor to discuss his condition with the Doctor.  UNCLE SILAS D manages to fall asleep.  In the dark room, a secret passage opens in the wall, and a dark HOODED FIGURE comes in, and its massive shadow looms over SILAS and his bed.  Slowly, as SILAS wakes up and tries to scream, the HOODED FIGURE smothers him to death with his own pillow.  DOCTOR MOREAU and the RELATIVES enter and discover UNCLE SILAS D murdered, with a look of horror on his face.

This leads into the OPENING CREDITS, which are animated, featuring THE BEASTIE BOYS.  The animated credits lead into the rest of the credits, which show THE BEASTIE BOYS in live action, being chased through the mansion by ghosts and goblins, as they sing their latest song, appropriately entitled “Scared Stupid”.  After the credits, we go to New York City, where THE BEASTIE BOYS, are living in a cheap looking apartment, which is in a state of disrepair.  It turns out even though they have a top ten album and a hit single, they have no money left, having gambled it all away on wine, women and song, not to mention the horses at the race track.  There is a knock at the door and their ancient neighbor, MR. CURMUDEGEON enters.  He’s an old man who wears thick glasses and is nearly blind, but will not admit it.  He comes into the apartment and staggers around wrecking it as he talks to them. He smashes furniture, trips over things, and almost scalds Mike D’s crotch trying to pour coffee they have offered to share with him.  Curmudegeon even falls out the window and has to be rescued by Mike D.  Finally, they discover that he has brought them a telegram, which came to his apartment by accident and which says Mike D should come to his family mansion tomorrow to claim his piece of UNCLE SILAS D’s inheritance.  Although Mike D has always been scared by the mansion and the ghosts he believes live there, the money is a strong lure, and he and his cohorts MCA and ADROCK decide to go and get the money, after having a big night on the town and charging it all.

THE BEASTIE BOYS go to a swank restaurant and harass a stuffy French waiter, wrecking his joint.  MCA orders the most expensive French champagne on the wine list, and in the kitchen THE HOODED FIGURE appears and uncorks it, pouring out the champagne and replacing it with Gasoline.  The waiter brings out the uncorked champagne and MCA tastes it, gagging and spitting it out all over MIKE D, who does nothing but sit there with gasoline all over his face.  MCA complains that “This shit tastes like Swiss Up”, but later says it’s not so bad after you’ve had a few drinks.  The waiter tells them they cannot charge their meal and must pay in cash or wash dishes.  THE BEASTIE BOYS respond that they are the evening’s entertainment, and get up and perform A SONG for the patrons, who go wild and applaud their antics.  Then, we see THE BOYS washing dishes.  MCA manages to sneak away from the others, when he encounters an exotic beauty with a foreign accent named NATASHA KASHA.  She suggests they lose his friends, and that he accompany her to her apartment.

It turns out NATASHA is working for THE HOODED FIGURE, and that she has mistaken MCA for MIKE D.  As she tries to maneuver MCA into position, THE HOODED FIGURE keeps trying to kill him.  Knives fly by, axes are tossed, drinks are poisoned, and blackjacks are used, but MCA innocently keeps avoiding them, and doesn’t even notice someone is trying to kill him.  However, THE HOODED FIGURE kills NATASHA by accident, snapping its fingers after tossing the knife in the wrong back.  MCA takes a while to realize NATASHA is dead, but when he does he panics and runs out, bringing MIKE D and ADROCK with him.  They get back to the apartment only to find it empty. NATASHA’s body is not there, and MIKE D and ADROCK are convinced MCA had a hallucination brought on by the champagne.  When they leave and slam the door, they do not see the closet door pop open and NATASHA’s body fall out with a knife in its back.  Then, THE HOODED FIGURE leaves using the window.

THE BEASTIE BOYS must do THE JOE FRANKLIN SHOW the next day, and they ask Joe as a favor not to divulge that MIKE D just inherited millions of dollars.  Naturally, as the show starts, Joe goes into an elaborate intro stressing that they inherited millions and that should make them the target for murderers and fortune hunters after their money, or as Joe says, “I bet there’s hundreds of people out there willing to kill you for it. I know I would.  Only kidding.” Then he proceeds to ask various panelists if they’d be willing to kill THE BEASTIE BOYS for their fortune, or else if they think others would be willing to kill them for it.  MORRIS, the painter who paints pictures in a minute, responds he’d be willing to bet that if someone killed MIKE D, he could paint a picture of it before MIKE D actually died or an ambulance got there.

THE BEASTIE BOYS are now more paranoid than ever about the money, and decide to sneak out of their apartment using the window, to avoid the reporters and curiosity seekers, and possibly murderers, at the front door.  MR. CURMUDEGEON again offers his services, holding a ladder at the window, so they can get out unnoticed.  However, the ladder is at the wrong window, and the BEASTIE BOYS fall to the ground one by on as CURMUDEGEON looks at the wrong window where the ladder is and wonders what’s keeping them.  They’re lying in a heap next to him.

THE BEASTIE BOYS set out for the mansion driving their 1960s convertible with tail fins.  As they drive they see scantily clad women across the countryside, waving to them in various occupations (Farmer, Gas Station Attendant, Motorcycle Cop, Other Motorist, etc.).  THE BOYS sing a SONG about their love of women.

Getting to the mansion, MIKE D becomes completely petrified.  He says it’s like a horror movie where there is lightning, and on cue lighting flashes.  Then, he mentions thunder and a thunderclap is heard.  Then he mentions scary music and scary music is heard.  “Actually, it’s organ music” he corrects, and sure enough, organ music plays on the track.  Realizing everything they say is happening, MCA yells, “Then he girl wit the big tits shows up”, and they all look around expectantly.  However, when the door opens, it’s the housekeeper, a sinister old woman named MRS. DANVERS, who has big tits but not the right big tits.  The BOYS are disappointed until they see LOLITA STATUTORY, who is beautiful and has big tits too.  This pleases them.

Coming into the huge, gothic mansion, THE BOYS are completely dwarfed by the eerie surroundings and the sinister people.  Not just the evil looking MRS. DANVERS, who is always lit from below, but the maniacal butler, JEEVES, who is a big, burly motorcycle type, who is dignified and humble one minute, and a raving lunatic the next.  When asked by MRS. DANVERS to show THE BOYS to their rooms he says with great restraint, “Right this way…” then adds “You fucking idiots!” scaring the hell out of them. “You must excuse Jeeves.  He hasn’t been the same since Woodstock, where he murdered his wife on bad acid”, explains MRS. DANVERS.  Every time another person, usually MIKE D, mentions the word “Woodstock”, Jeeves re-enacts murdering his wife on MIKE D, beating poor MIKE D to a pulp.  At one point, JEEVES takes a huge mallet and is about to hit MIKE D over the head with it, when he turns around.  JEEVES simply smiles and shows the mallet to MIKE D, offering him the use of the croquet court out back.  Then, while MIKE D is eating dinner, JEEVES whips out a Chainsaw, and when MIKE D turns and sees it, JEEVES just smiles and offers to cut MIKE D’s meat for him, sawing through the table as he does.  Food goes flying, and MIKE D gets up to reveal his pants in shreds.

The family lawyer, LIONEL ZUCCO, reads the will stipulating that MIKE D, and the other relatives, including his snotty, preppy useless rich kid of a cousin SNYDER D, and SNYDER’s mother LADY MACBETH D, will share in the millions only if they remain at the gothic mansion all night long with the ghosts and demons that dwell there, and survive until morning.  Because SILAS D was so cheap, the phones and electricity have already been shut off.  It’s going to be a scary night, especially with creepy people like MRS. DANVERS and JEEVES sticking around to claim their small pieces of the inheritance.  MIKE D wants to leave, but MCA and ADROCK force him to remain.  Then, very weird things begin happening.

A typical occurrence early in the evening is when MIKE D thinks a demon is following him and runs into MCA’s room, where ADROCK is, too.  MIKE D runs in, shuts the door and says he’s being chased by a demon.  Outside, we use a steadicam to show some demon’s POV, tearing down the hall at top speed, roaring.  When it gets to their door, THE BOYS open the door only to find MRS. DANVERS standing there very quietly.  She asks if there is anything she can get them.  Ghosts, demons, zombies and other manifestations occur.  When MIKE D runs in, shutting the door behind him and putting his body against it and saying he just saw the ugliest monster he ever saw in the hall, MCA goes out to look and finds that MIKE D was looking into the hall mirror.  MIKE is about to go out again, looks into the hall, and runs back in shutting the door and saying there’s another monster out there. MCA says it’s just a mirror, opens the door and there is a huge monster in the doorway.  MCA closes the door, still calmly convinced it was MIKE D’s reflection, pauses a minute and runs like hell in fast motion out of the room by the other door, followed by MIKE D and ADROCK, and chased by the monster.  ADROCK tries to seduce the Irish maid, MOLLY O’DONNELL.  When he tries to make love to her, she turns into Linda Blair from THE EXORCIST, her head spinning around.  He thinks she’s getting kinky, but proceeds until she vomits green goo all over him, then says “Yo, I ain’t into that shit!” and exits angrily.  Later he tells MCA he can’t understand why MOLLY threw up when he got into bed with her and MCA says it sounds perfectly natural to him.

One by one, MIKE D’s relatives, including SNYDER D and LADY MACBETH D, are murdered by someone or something, and the HOODED FIGURE keeps skulking around in the secret passageways.  Finally, by accident, MIKE D discovers that SNYDER D and LADY MACBETH D are actually alive and were only pretending to be dead.  They have hired gangsters led by BIG CHOOCH CALABRESI to scare MIKE D and the others out of the house by making them it’s haunted, and then by killing them if that doesn’t work.  As MIKE D listens, he hears SNYDER and BIG CHOOCH listening to the radio.  It turns out a killer GORILLA has escaped from the zoo, so BIG CHOOCH orders one of his henchmen to “get into the Gorilla suit” and scare MIKE D out of the house, or else kill him and blame it on he real Gorilla, who is roaming the countryside someplace nearby.  The henchman complains, “How come I always gotta get into the suit, boss” but complies.
Meanwhile, the real Gorilla wanders into the house.  MIKE D, MCA and ADROCK manage to knock out the henchman in the Gorilla suit and they put ADROCK into the Gorilla suit, prompting him to echo the henchman’s complaint of “How come I always gotta get into the suit, man?” However, events become more and more confusing, funny and scary as MCA and MIKE D confuse the fake Gorilla (really ADROCK) with the real Gorilla.  This is especially funny when MIKE D tries to “unzip” the real Gorilla and get ADROCK out of there!

When the real Gorilla drops down a secret trap door and disappears, and ADROCK gets out of the suit, the gangsters get even tougher. On SNYDER’s orders, they get a SWAMI to come to the mansion, on the pretext of telling THE BEASTIE BOYS he’s a psychic swami and can exorcise ghosts from the house.  “They have been getting enough exercise on their own without your help,” states MIKE D.  When MCA inquires how the SWAMI knew they needed a psychic, he answers, “I’d be a fine psychic if I didn’t know you needed me!”  The SWAMI secretly hypnotizes MCA, turning him into a homicidal killer when he hears the word “Shostakovitch”.  When the SWAMI exits, MIKE D finds all sorts of reasons to say this obscure word, turning MCA into a killer trying to do away with him whenever he turns his back.  MIKE D finally realizes what’s going on and he and ADROCK manage to escape from their crazy, murderous partner, and then rejoin him when his latest psychotic spell wears off.  They are careful not to say “Shostakovitch” again.

Finally, as dawn approaches, MIKE D notices the chess set in UNCLE SILAS D’s room. He realizes the key to all of this lies in the fact that the chess pieces were in a certain position when UNCLE SILAS D died.  Indeed, weeks before he died, UNCLE SILAS D had glued the chess pieces to the board in this position.  MIKE D races down the stairs followed by his puzzled pals.  He sees that the floor of the ballroom hall is done in black and white squares like the chess board, and proceeds to rush into all the rooms and grab everyone living or dead, placing them on the floor in position exactly matching the chessboard.  Then, as dawn comes, he parts the curtains.  The light comes in from the sun bouncing off different shiny objects the various people have on their persons, and the sunlight points the way to a secret passage.  Following the light, MIKE D, MCA, and ADROCK go down some stairs that turn into a sliding pond, sending them into the basement.  There, they wake up after losing consciousness.

The basement is a LABORATORY, presided over by a crazy German scientist who resembles both Albert Einstein and Doctor Mabuse, named HEINRICH BRUMSKY.  DR. BRUMSKY is working on a super secret government project involving a rare, special kind of uranium deposit found in very few places in the USA.  This super-uranium is stored in huge quantities under SILAS D’s house, and the government has made an illegal deal with SILAS D’s relatives to refine the uranium in the house without anyone’s knowledge. So, SYNDER D didn’t really want his UNCLE SILAS D’s money, so much as he wanted to inherit the house which would’ve gone to MIKE D, and make ten times his UNCLE SILAS D’s money off the deal with the government for refining the super-uranium. DR. BRUMSKY also had agreed to supply the ghosts and demons necessary to scare MIKE D and his pals out of the mansion.  Also, DR. BRUMSKY has been making creatures for years but nobody is interested.  He shows them his latest creation, a six foot six blonde amazon who is beautiful except for the bolts in her neck and scars on her face.  He says she’s almost perfect but she has no brain, and MCA responds that the woman is perfect.  While DR. BRUMSKY lectures THE BEASTIE BOYS on science, his hippie burnout assistant, IGGIE is in the background feeding and teasing the GORILLA which BRUMSKY found and put in a cage to experiment on. While MCA, MIKE D and ADROCK play the scene in the foreground with DR. BRUMSKY, the GORILLA in the background grabs IGGIE, pulls him into the his cage, and stomps him into little pieces.

Finally, all of the murderous gangsters and surviving relatives including the SWAMI and SNYDER D, rush into the lab and start chasing MCA, ADROCK and MIKE D to kill them.  Even DR. BRUMSKY and the GORILLA join the chase.  Running into a room, the quick thinking ADROCK positions MCA to one side of the door, and he and MIKE D yell “Shostakovitch” over and over again as each gangster, relative and pursuer runs into the room.  Each time they yell this, MCA becomes a mad killer and smashes the person coming in over his head with a huge medieval mace which he took down from the wall.  Soon, all of the enemies of THE BEASTIE BOYS are tied up.  MCA, MIKE D and ADROCK drink champagne and toast each other.  They say that they were almost out of breath back there, so it’s lucky they didn’t have to say “Shostakovitch” too many more times.  Naturally, this turns MCA into a maniac and he smashes the champagne over ADROCK and MIKE D’s head, and then chases them with medieval mace.

When we see the mansion again, it has been transformed into a NIGHT CLUB, a cross between an 80s club and a 1940s traditional nightspot.  THE BEASTIE BOYS perform a SONG there and their customers applaud enthusiastically.  Customers complain that the soup tastes like paint, and MCA tastes it and says it is paint.  Others complain about their food, and it turns out everyone is eating uranium.  MCA asks MIKE and ADROCK who is the cook is and they say their cook is MR. CURMUDEGEON.  We then see CURMUDEGEON in the kitchen with a lit match trying to light the stove.  As DR. BRUMSKY had said earlier, “One wrong spark and the whole place could go up in a nuclear inferno!”  Well, as CURMUDEGEON lights the match and says, “How doya light this damn stove” we see the sign saying “Danger – Nuclear Area”.  The whole mansion goes up in a nuclear explosion, as we see a mushroom cloud build towards the sky.  THE BEASTIE BOYS stagger away from it, their clothes in tatters and smoking.  They are glowing as they walk away.

(NOTE: Previous to the scene where they turn the mansion into the nightclub, they finally catch THE HOODED FIGURE.  They unmask him and he turns out to be a celebrity from the world of Rock n Roll or Comedy. RODNEY DANGERFIELD, PEE WEE HERMAN, DAVID LEE ROTH, MICK JAGGER or someone older like MILTON BERLE might be good.  Whoever it is becomes a maniac, saying he could no longer stand THE BEASTIE BOYS’ antics and had to skill them for the good of audiences everywhere.  An alternative is that the HOODED FIGURE is unmasked and turns out to be someone they do not recognize. He is the WRITER of the movie, and is so angry at what they have done to his work; he’s trying to kill them before the picture is over.)



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