Saturday, May 12, 2012

Badass Character Intros: Jared Nomak

This opening sequence from Blade II is a great example of playing with expectations. The set up is almost identical to the blood rave scene in Blade: some poor schmuck wanders into a den of blood-thirsty vampires. But instead of the Daywalker showing up and saving the day, we learn that this guy isn't a schmuck after all. Jared Nomak isn't terrified by the presence of vamps. As a matter of fact, vampires should be afraid of him! He then proceeds to wipe the floor (and walls) with them. Similar set up, but completely different payoff.

This sequence introduces Nomak as the primary antagonist and establishes him as a formidable opponent for Blade. It actually does a better job in this regard than the first film. Although we see Deacon Frost briefly in the blood rave, he doesn't do much. We have no indication that he's any kind of physical threat—beyond being a vampire. His fighting skills in the big showdown were always a bit sketchy to me.

We even get a little bit of foreshadowing when Nomak talks about not being in contact with his family. Far from a perfect film, but it certainly has its moments.

You can read the full script here.

PULL BACK from a neon red cross ablaze in the cold December
night to REVEAL an inner-city, store-front clinic.  Trash and
leaves blow over wet, snowy pavement.

ANGLE ON a PALE FIGURE standing across the street.  He looks
feverish and strung-out, in serious need of a fix.  This is
JARED NOMAK, 20s.  He starts towards the clinic.


Potential DONORS sit in a waiting area, filling out forms,
leafing through informational material.  A sign in the window
reads: "Se habla Espanol".  Others read: "YOU ARE MAKING A
overhear a bored-looking EMPLOYEE behind the information desk
quizzing someone over the phone:

 Have you recently visited a tropical
 country?  Uh-huh?  In the past twelve
 months have you gotten a tattoo, non
 sterile acupuncture, or undergone any
 ear, skin or body piercing?

We MOVE PAST the employee to Nomak, waiting.

  NURSE (O.S.)
 Jared Nomak?

Nomak looks up.  We get a better look at his face now - he
has a thin scar running from his lower lip down his chin.  A
childhood accident, perhaps.  A NURSE smiles and motions for
him to join her.  She's carrying a clipboard.

 Hi.  We're ready for you now.


Nomak follows the Nurse into a dimly-lit hallway.  We track
their progress in a convex safety mirror suspended from the
hallway ceiling as they pass all manner of medical supplies --
centrifuges, an apheresis device, etc.

  (referring to her clipboard)
 I see from your questionnaire that you
 don't have any immediate next of kin?

 Not that I'm in contact with.

 Nobody to call in case of an emergency?

 No --
 Does that mean I can't be a donor?

 It depends.  We came up with some
 unusual results on your blood test.

Nomak follows the Nurse to a steel door were TWO SECURITY
GUARDS await them.  Both look bored, paying little attention
to the monitor which offers a view of the examining room
beyond.  There is also a small window with safety glass.
GUARD #1 opens the door, following Nomak and the Nurse
inside.  GUARD #2 remains behind, manning the hallway.


The Nurse ushers Nomak into the room, indicating he should
sit in a kind of reclining dental chair with arm and
headrests.  Nomak notices a security camera mounted above.

 How unusual?

Beat.  The Nurse sets aside Nomak's file, looking

 Your blood has a very rare phenotype,
 one that's quite valuable to people like

 Us?  What are you talking about?

A kind-faced DOCTOR enters, nodding to Guard #1.

 It's a good news-bad news scenario,
 Jared.  Good news for us, bad for you.

The Doctor and Nurse smile, BARING FANGS.  We realize now
that they are both vampires.  The Guard, too.  He grips Nomak
by the throat, forcing him back into the restraint chair.  As
the vampire Guard does so, his hand brushes against Nomak's
jaw.  The flesh on Nomak's chin briefly separates along the
scar - almost as if it were a seam.

The guard pauses - and Nomak LAUGHS.  Definitely NOT the
reaction the vampires were expecting from a potential victim.
Nomak starts to shake and twitch, like he's going into some
kind of seizure.  The whites of his eyes bleed red.  He
throws his head back, opening his mouth as a PAIR OF RAZOR
SHARP CANINES extrude from his gums.  These are longer, much
more lethal-looking than the fangs of the vampires and --

Nomak lashes out, knocking the Guard backwards.  The Nurse
SCREAMS.  Nomak clamps his mouth onto her throat, SLAMMING
her back against the wall.

The vampire Doctor rushes to the door, scrambling to unbolt
it.  Nomak reaches for him, HOWLING with blood-drunk laughter
as he lifts the Doctor up.  Nomak flings the Doctor about
like a toy, using his body to SMASH the lights, then the
security camera above.


We hear SCREAMS and HORRIBLE NOISES coming from the examining
room.  Guard #2 draws a gun and looks to the security monitor
with alarm.  The screen goes black.  He looks to the small
window, trying to peer into the now-darkened room beyond --

SPLASH!  A wave of blood smears across a window.  A HAND
wipes a patch of blood away, revealing Nomak's baleful,
distorted eyes.  Guard #2 starts to back away when --

BANG!  Nomak slams against the other side of the steel door.
BANG!BANG!BANG!  The door begins to bend, hand-shaped
impressions bulging outward as Nomak starts to peel the door
apart like it was an aluminum can.

Guard #2 has seen enough.  He turns and runs even as the door
CAVES INWARD off its hinges.  Forward momentum sends the door
sliding across the hallway floor where it trips up the Guard.


as Nomak steps into the hallway.  Because of the lights
above, there are alternating pools of light and shadow in the
hall.  Nomak advances towards us, his face coming in and out
of darkness.

 Vampires --

With each pool of light, his awful smile seems to distort
further and further, until his mouth seems to be widening all
the way back to his ears.

 I fucking hate vampires.

On the floor, the vampire Guard CRIES OUT in fear, helplessly
raising his hands to defend himself.  Nomak HOWLS and leaps
towards him/us, blacking out the screen with his hurtling
form as we --

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