Scorched Earth (2018) Script

In the middle of the 21st century, Mother Nature finally unleashed her fury in a cataclysmic event known as the Cloud Fall.

Ice caps melted so quickly that entire cities were wiped out within months.

Once the rains began, it was flooding on a biblical scale.

It destroyed almost the entire planet.

Pockets of respite on high ground allowed those few who survived to start again.

50 years after the Cloud Fall, two things essential for survival that had been taken for granted for so long are now rare commodities--

Air and water.

In this new barter economy, there were two currencies--

Water tabs to purify poisonous rainwater and pure, powdered silver, an essential component in air filters that can delay eventual death, like black lung.

New and rudimentary authorities began to keep people safe as possible.

Vehicles that burned fossil fuels, or belchers, were illegal.

Those that drove them were guilty of the most heinous crime possible.

The new authority offered rewards to bring these outlaws to justice and bounty hunters roamed the wasteland looking to claim those rewards.



What are you doing?

I can't survive out here without-- ugh, ugh.

Sometimes I think you don't even like me.

She's picking me up and dragging my ass across the wilderness Seriously, what the fuck is up with a coffin?

Whoa, Womack, when did you get so sensitive?


OK, OK, just take me in.

Just take me in.

I've had it.

Just take me in.

Come on.

Chavo, where's Chavo?

East, east, they're on the east.

She got wind of some pilgrims down by the docks.

See you next time.


There's no next time, Gage.

That is the point.

Hey, where are you going?

Aw, look at that.

It stopped raining.

Drinking water?

That's it?

But I helped you.

Gage, I'm going to die out here.

Looks like you're going to need it.

There's a burner on the way.

But I helped you!

I helped you, Gage!

Where are you going?

I'm going to die out here.


Suck wind and die, Gage.

Damn it.

Look at you.

Who have we got here?


Look at how pretty you are.


Look, we have an advance permit, issued by the territorial authority, guaranteeing us safe passage.

We are on a pilgrimage.

And if we don't make our destination, a bounty will be issued for your head.

Oh I'm sorry.

I didn't know.

I feel stupid.

Forgive me.

Well, I bid you all a good day and wish you a safe journey.

Thing is, if you all disappear without a trace, how they going to know who to put that bounty on?

There's no authority out here.

Now if the rest of you cooperate, you just might live to see another day.

And you-- what's this?


Well, that's an unexpected surprise.

I'm going to grind this up and put it in my own personal air filter.

And I'm going to think of you every time I suck a fresh breath.

Get the usual-- Filters, water, tabs.

I know someone paying top dollar for able bodies.

Hey, who's out there?

Hey, Chavo.

God damn it.

Go to hell, Gage.

I will, I promise.

There's two ways we could do this.

That's one of them.

Hey, hey-- she's over there.

Go around.


Where the hell are you going?

Oh, big mistake.

Nobody runs out on you, right, Chavo?

Look, scumbag, I'm just trying to get by like everybody else.

Thing is, you've been a really bag girl, Chavo, and that makes you very attractive to a scumbag like me.

Listen, I'll let them all go if you give me a walk, Gage.

Nothing compared to what I could get for you.

You know that.

I'll blow her head off, and then I'll kill the rest of them.

I'll do it, you know I will.

And then you can tell that to the Authority.

You hear me?

Loud and clear.

Thank you so much.

I'm really going to need you to stay out of my way.

Not necessary.

Damn it.

No, I just lost half a bounty.

Well, I'm sure once we tell your employer what you did here, they will reinstate the full value of the reward.

Wow, man, you really are as naive as you look.

Where are you going?

You've got to help us get him to medical assistance.

Not my problem.

A warm welcome to the two newest members of the community of New Montana.

There are viable hempseed that's going to be critical for us in the years to come.

Is saying that there will be no spike in toxin levels expected this week, but that's still no excuse to be leaving a sealed environment without a backup breather.

So one last thing, we've been getting reports of increased outlaw activity in the surrounding areas.

So keep an eye out for strangers, not just for yourself, but for your neighbors.

The Territorial Authority wants us to report potential activity--

Meeting adjourned.


You can count it, if you want.

There's only water tabs in here.

Where's the powdered silver?

Yeah, the Authority didn't send any.

I don't know why.

Water and air scrubbers running for the rest of the month.

Right, so the Authorities set the bounty at 300 tabs and two grams of silver for Chavo, and then doesn't send the silver.

I mean, you could tell me the truth.

You'll get what's owed.

I just need a little more time.

You've got enough to get by.

And health of the hardworking people of this town.


Tell me, what are you going to do when all the belchers have been retired?

I'll come looking for you.

You're just trash like the rest of them.

What makes you so different than the bounties you drag in here?

I'm still above ground.

Well, would you look at that?

They did send the silver after all.


I taught you never to sit with your back to the door, especially when you're breaking into someone's home.

Yeah, you also taught me collecting bounties was a noble profession.

I wouldn't play with that, if I were you.

It's concentrated acid.

That'll cut through you like--

Well, concentrated acid.

I saw what was left of Chavo.

Nice shooting.

My aim will never be as good as yours, Doc.

Aw, that's all in the past.

Since this, I'm happy just being a simple country doctor.

It was fun though--

Taking down fossil abusers with you.

You seen the latest bulletin?

Sure, Tom Jackson, 5,000 tabs.

Biggest bounty the Authorities ever offered.

Even Grubbs is talking about raising a posse and taking a shot at it.

Jackson's nothing special.

I taught you better than that.

He's consolidating.

He took over this settlement.

Place called Defiance, built from the ground Made it a safe haven for lawbreakers, most of them Someone with your talents could clean up.

You'd have to be crazy to try.

You're wondering if you can take them alone.

You can't.

Why not?

Leaves their bodies hanging from the gate as a warning.

Just forget I ever brought it up.

Yeah, but you did.





He wouldn't let a bounty hunter within 10 clicks of Defiance.

Maybe not a bounty hunter.

What do you mean?


You look like you wearing Chavo's hat.

Got Chavo lying on a slab right in front of you.

So that's your plan?

I've already killed everyone she's running with.

Who's going to know the difference?

Anyone that knows your face.

This is what most people ever see of me.

No, but if it gets me into town, then maybe--

Maybe it can delay how long it takes you to get yourself killed.

If I leave now, I can be there before nightfall.





It's not funny.

It's a little bit funny.

You really need to lighten up.

I'll see you soon.

Please don't do this.

You around once in a while, even just for a couple of days.

I'll be extra careful crossing the river.


It'll just even out the odds a little.

On the house.

Who's that?

Chavo, you can tell by the hat.

Empty bottles and a wasted name.

You can change the rules, my baby, but you can't quite change the game.

If the feeling ain't the same anymore, my baby you can hear me call, but you cannot see me cry.

And I sing all my lullabies, but they never put me to sleep.

Excuse me.

On someone in the middle of a performance, especially when that someone is my lady.

Well, thing is, I don't know who you are or that that was your lady, how was I supposed to know that my exit would have such an impact on your fragile ego?

My name is Thomas Jackson.

This is my town.


Have a drink with me, Miss Chavo.

Come on, just one drink--

Single malt.

I'm not in the habit of owing anyone any favors.

Oh, there's no obligation, I promise.

Simply join me for a nice civil chat.

We may find that conversation mutually beneficial.

All right, Let's see what you have to say, Mr. Jenson.

That's Jackson.


Are you a gambler, Ms. Chavo?

Isn't everyone?

Now please don't take offense to this, but do you have anything worth betting?

300 tabs enough?

That'll do.

You don't mind if I deal, do you?

Is there another option?


Have a seat, Mr. Lear.

This'll take a moment.

So what brings you to our little metropolis?

I heard bounty hunters weren't welcome here.

I'm sure you saw the gates.

Territory and Authority overreach stops right there.

People have to earn their place here.

So what would you say is your best asset?


I'm a good listener.


Is that so?

I am very aware of your exploits, Ms. Chavo--

Living in the wasteland, raiding pilgrims who were unlucky enough to get caught up in your web.

I mean, hell, there are 12 dead last month.

There are not a lot of people to go around these days.

I have my reasons.


I have big plans for Defiance, and anyone who comes here to work for me.

You're a good salesman, Mr. Jackson, but I'm not buying.

Sometimes it's good to admit when you've been beat.

All in.

Ah, that's how you want to play it.


Well, would you look at that.

What a deal.

I could really use someone like you.

Like I said, just passing through.

It's too bad.

You'd really fit in around here.

As you can see, Mr. Lear, I'm a little busy.

You want to see this.

Excuse me, Ms. Chavo, apparently there's an urgent matter I must attend to.

Anything Ms. Chavo wants is on the house.

Please find her a nice, clean room for the night.

This way, ma'am.

A message from the Territorial Authority tells us that Tom Jackson and his men are expanding their raids into nearby settlements and fortifying Defiance.

We are one of the closest towns.

It is only a matter of time before he ends up here.

So we need to stop him before this happens.

It is our duty to protect our territory.

I need volunteers to come with me to take him in.

What about the reward?

I hear there's a heavy reward.

Bringing these men to justice is its own reward, wouldn't you say, Doc?

No, I wouldn't.

Who's in?

Good, grab whatever gear you need.

You know, even when the levels read low, it's still good to have some kind of respirator with you.

You've got a lovely singing voice.

You don't want to ruin that with a black lung.

Where are you from?

What do you care?

South-- the old Arizona.

I spent some time there when I was younger.

Were you in the militia, like Jackson?

Jackson was in the militia?


Well, after my parents died, me and my sister were put into one of those work camps.

She was a lot like you--


What does she play?

She doesn't play anything.

I'm sorry.

What brings you here?

I mean, you've made quite the impression already.

Must be doing something right.

I've never seen Lear look so pissed.

I'm just passing through.

What about you?

I lived in a village with my family and Jackson found us there, took me with him.

Why don't you leave if you're unhappy?

What makes you think I'm unhappy?

You didn't do that to yourself.

Look, I'm sorry.

Listen, everyone I ever knew or loved was killed by Jackson's man.

What's left out there for me?

Even if I wanted to leave, he wouldn't let me.

Even if you wanted to?

So what's your strategy?

Do you have one?

Because if not, you're walking these men into a death trap.

We have the element of surprise.

Surprise, that's it?

This isn't like busting kids for pissing in a clean creek.

Jackson's men are ruthless killers.

Why don't you leave it to people who are better suited to this kind of work?

What are you going to tell these kids when their dads are dead because of your greed.

That'll be me, because you'll be dead too.

Don't let your ego get in the way of common sense.

I know exactly what I'm doing.

It's a fine line between ignorance and arrogance.

You know what?

I'm done with this.

Oh, I'm so sick and tired of you constantly controlling me.

I'm my own person.

You seem to have forgotten who's keeping you alive.

Hey, Chavo!

It's Zee, remember me?

Yeah, sure I do.

Good to see you.

What the hell, Chavo?

When we were buck naked busting in the barn last month.

Hey, I only remember the special ones, and apparently, you're not that.

Hey now, hold up.

You're not Chavo.

Hey, come here.

But you got Chavo's hat.

You got her bandana.

And you definitely got her attitude.

Now why you want people thinking you Chavo?

I don't get it, but that look in your eye tells me that it would be dangerous for you if people knew.

That's right.

All right, well, how about I keep my mouth shut and you keep yours open?

Do I have a choice?



Not here, please?

Give it to me.


Jackson, get down.


Let's take a look at this asshole.


Wow, ruthless.

Huh, so what the hell was that about?

It seemed like he knew you.

He's a Sheriff in New Montana, been after me for years.

Keeps sending second rate bounty hunters after me.

He was a scumbag by all accounts.

Ah, you did the good people of New Montana a favor--

Your one good deed for the day.

Drag him up.

Think you're pretty smart, don't ya?

Compared to who?

Well, you don't have me fooled.

You were in that alley together when it went down tonight, I saw you.

What about it?

Well, how'd he get it?

What happened exactly?

Shot in the back.

Shot in the back.

That's real funny, because my medic took a look at him.

He said cause of death was knife to the heart.

I asked myself, how the fuck does he end up getting knifed in a gun fight?

Maybe he upset someone.

You seem to get upset quite easily.

You're lying.

I want the truth.

You don't want the truth, you want an excuse.

I don't need an excuse with you, Chavo, or whoever the hell you are.

You really are dumb.

He was raping me.

He dragged me in the alley and I shived him before he got what he wanted.

I used his body to save my skin.

He was already dead.

What did he care?

Wait a goddamn minute, this does not change a thing.

Let it go.

Sleep well, Ms. Chavo.

We'll talk tomorrow.


So did you have a little trouble sleeping last night?

Not at all, I slept like a baby.

You had one eye on the door all night just hoping I'd drop by.

Am I right?

Somebody was snooping around the office there.

You know, if you keep staring at me like that, I'm going to start thinking you're sweet on me.

If you plan on sticking around, you better start showing some respect.

To who?


I could fake it, if you'd like.

You're probably used to that.

You know, you hang your balls out there like that, they're going to get busted.

What did you think was going to happen?

Jackson, you and me need to talk.

From the spring at Valley Gorge and you agreed that I could use that water for my farm.

Yeah, don't pretend you don't remember.

I'm not stupid.

So tell your pissants to stay away from my gorge, or there'll be a couple less people sucking in air?

Do you understand me?

Look, it's none of my business, but you're coming across very aggressive and I'm a little concerned you haven't thought this through.

Who the hell are you, his fucking mother?

And yeah, it is none of your business.

Thank you, Ms. Chavo, but the man is right, I do need to deal with this personally.

Oh now, Mr. Bradshaw, I sincerely hope we don't have to resort to violence here.

Stay right there.

I mean it.

Now clearly, you have the upper hand here, Mr. Bradshaw.

I'm not dumb.

So I have a proposal.

I promise that my men will stay away from your land from now on if you promise not to come here again making threats.

Do we have a deal?

OK, deal.

I won't come by here making threats.

No, you won't.

I appreciate the back-up.

Have dinner with me tonight.

Wow, that's-- you look great.

Thank you.

I had this uniform handmade.

It's a replica of Simon Bolevar based on a painting I saw in a book.

What do you think?

It's impressive.

Do you know who Bolevar was?

Some guy, I'm guessing.

He was a nation builder.

He was a man with far reaching vision, unafraid to forge his own destiny.

He's my inspiration.

Apparently, he was particularly adept at recognizing loyalty amongst his underlings.

He was also very good at ferreting out traitors in his midst.

New blood trickles in every day, any one of them could be secretly gunning for me.

It's the law of averages.

Are you sure you're not just being paranoid?

No, far from it.

Find Mr. Lear, tell him I'll meet him in my office in an hour.

Goddamn it.

I've met a lot of men like you, but they never lay down roots.

Ms. Chavo, I'm certain you've never met a man like me.

You see, I have hopes, dreams, aspirations.

I have a vision for the future.

Have you ever used one of these?

I can't say that I have.

It was the preferred close combat weapon on earth for nearly 2000 years.

Could you imagine?

Perfect heft, balance--

I could slice someone clean through.

I wonder what's for dessert.



Hey, here.

And that's the entrance right there.

Good morning.

He has something to say to you.

Go ahead.

I apologize.

Apology accepted.

Good, done.

Well, that was some evening.

Very exciting.

Anything to do with that abandoned silver mine eight clicks east from here?

I was out for a ride the other night and there it was.

That's when I knew why you guys were here.

Smart move.

But hey, it's none of my business.

Have a seat.

There are some open silver mines.

Must have been active before the cloud fell.

And they're right there, ripe for the picking.

So why not start digging?

Those old excavators are out of commission, can protect our interests from attack like the other night.

From some smaller settlements, but it won't be enough.

However, Mr. Lear--

For the last three weeks, a group of pilgrims have been traveling across the plains.

On their route tomorrow, they're going to hit a brickyard.

It's the perfect place to snatch 'em.

But it won't be easy.

These pilgrims are getting smarter.

Once word gets out that we have an almost unlimited supply of silver, everyone will be gunning for us.

So let's make it your business.

I'm prepared to cut you in as a token of my thanks for that night.

One of your considerable talents could prove very useful to us.

Isn't that right, Mr. Lear?


Well, I'm flattered, but I'm not sticking around that long.

You keep saying that, but you're still here.

Best of luck, gentlemen.



Mm-- now we're negotiating.

This is exciting.

Never pegged you for greedy.

Would you accept 10%?

No, but I'd do it for 15%.

Oh, this is exciting.

Let's break out the good stuff, the real stuff.




A toast to new friends.

Hi, you wanted to see me?

Look, Melena, I've seen the way Jackson treats you and you need to get as far away from this place as you possibly can.

This scarf is the only thing I have left from my other life.

I wanted to give it to you to thank you.

What do you have to thank me for?

You're the only person here who doesn't treat me like I'm someone else's property.

What is it?

Mr. Jackson says it's time to go.

I have to go.

They're coming.

What is that?

Told you it wasn't going to be easy.


Well, obviously we need to take the turret out.


Where the hell are you going?

Where is she?

Oh, that took care of that.

Round 'em up.

Get your ass in there right now.

Credit where credit's due.

Well, I have a vested interest now.

Keep your mouth shut and be patient.

This is just the beginning.

Once that silver starts to roll in, everyone in the territory will be crawling to us to recharge their filters.

I have the Sheriff of New Montana dangling from my gates.

If we need more people, we know where to find them.

We will rule this territory.

Ah, that's disappointing.

Thank you, Ms. Chavo.

Serenade us, my dear.

I'm OK.

Love is a madness, I can't get away.

It hurts me to love you, and it hurts me to stay.

This sweet sadness is this all I get for picking the dark horse and placing my bet.

Well, if I can't make you love me, and if I can't make you pretend, no, no, I can't make you want me, baby, then there's nothing else to recommend.

I guess it has to end.

Hey, I wanted to give this back to you.

No, I want you to have it.

Please keep it.


Listen, you need to get out of town tonight.


I'm not Chavo.

I'm a bounty hunter.

And I'm not here to join Jackson, I'm here to take him in.

Where am I supposed to go?

Head to New Montana.

It's a better way of life.

Should I take him in dead or alive?

If I didn't have to drag your sorry carcass all the way across the territory, trust me, you'd already be dead.

Bounty hunter, huh.

So where's Chavo then?

Dead, I assume.

You've done better than most of 'em, I'll give you that.

Not many can do that.

I really thought we understood each other.

Well, then you're a bigger fool than your sidekick.

OK, let's think this through, shall we?

You take me in, they pay you a nice huge bounty.

Trying to chase down the next big fossil abuser, getting black lung in the wilderness.

Or, you stay here, join me 50/50 partners.

What do you say?

Is that your sales pitch?

Could use some work.

The thing is, this isn't about the bounty.

It's personal.

Try anything and I'll kill you.

I'm a light sleeper.

See, I knew there was something off about you.

Guess I was right, huh?

I'm might have to start listening to you more often, Mr. Lear.

How did you know?

Remember me?


Thanks for tipping me off.

Untie me, sweetheart.

I'd like to have my hands free for this.

Now, what is with all the hatred?

You killed my sister.

Your sister?

When was this?

Down South.

Ah, well, down south was a long time ago.

How do you know it was me?

That scar on your arm?

That's where she bit you.

Oh I get it now.

Right, let's string her up in the pallet.

Wait, if you wouldn't mind, Mr. Jackson, I've got a better idea.

I know exactly what to do with her.

Bring her back to me in one piece--

The truck, not the bounty hunter.

And make sure she's dead.

Are we clear?

You won't have to worry about that.

You ready for a little road trip, Gage?

Damn it.

Just a minor technical glitch, Gage.

We'll be back on the road in no time.


You know it was never personal, Womack.

You know that, right?

Personally, I'm enjoying the hell out of this.

All right, listen, we can make a deal.

I know where Jackson's got more tabs and silver than you can use in three lifetimes.

I'm not intrigued.

You paused.

I did not pause.

And I am not intrigued, OK?

Damn it, listen.

Before long, there won't be a free person in this entire territory, including you, Womack.

That doesn't concern either of us anymore, Gage.

You're about to die and I've got the black lung, thanks to you.

Wait a second.

On second thought, Gage, this is where I drop you off, literally.

What are you doing, Womack?

Slight change of plans, Gage.

You're going to love this.

Hey, hey, Womack, think about it.

Whatever you're doing, you think about.

Think twice.

Going down.


Breathe, Gage, come on, damn it.

Come on, breathe.

Come on, breathe.

That's it.

Cough it up.

Keep coughing.

Cough it up.

Keep coughing.

Doing good, that's it.

Get it all up.

Keep it coming up.


Come on.

Am I dead?

Not anymore.

I thought maybe you were the ugliest angel I'd ever seen.

I don't even know how I got here.

Yeah, just take it easy.

They did quite a number on you.

Get some rest, OK?




You're not going soft, are ya?

I wasn't sure I was going to see another one of these.

Beautiful, isn't it?

My dad used to say the sunsets weren't near so pretty before the cloud fell.

Kind of ironic.

I really thought I could bring him in alive.

I keep saying, at least you got out.

They probably think you're dead, so they won't be gunning for ya.

I'm going back.

At some point, your luck's going to run out.

He killed Beatrice.

What makes you so sure?

He's got a scar on his arm where she bit him.

Besides, he's coming here next.

Why bother with New Montana?

He found a silver mine.

He's going to need hands to work it.

He'll be running this territory in no time.

Well, I'm coming with you.

I don't think that's a good idea.

Oh, you don't think that's a good idea?

Do you know what I think about you not thinking that's a good idea?

I think you're coming anyway.

I think you're right.

Well, look who's back.

How many men did you say he had?

He lost five taking the pilgrims, but I'm sure Womack stayed.

So 12.

Well, all we need now is the element of surprise.

Take these masks.

Here's the map, head to New Montana.

The people there will take care of you.

Thank you.

You Tom Jackson?

No, what you want?

Well, I think someone from here has misplaced this, figured I'd return it.

He's the man in charge, right?


Wait here.

Getting kind of crowded out here.

What the hell is this?

Where'd you say you found this?

You Jackson?

On the edge of the Wastelands.

Followed the tracks, led here.


I thought you said you finished her off?

I pushed her off the ravine.

I watched that thing smash to bits.

There's no way she survived.

There's only one way to find out.


She is full of surprises.

How did you--

How many's that?

I counted seven.

Five more.

Son of a bitch.

The mine-- if it was me, I'd be going after the silver stash while they stall us.

I'm going out there.

Cover me.


You don't know when to quit, do ya?

You know how to drive one of these?

Not really.

Push that down as hard as you can.

Point this in the direction of New Montana.

Don't stop for anyone.








Think we're good?

I'm going after Jackson.

I know where to find him.



What kind of coward shoots a cripple in the back?

You should have walked away when you had the chance, old man.

I'm not much good at walking away.

I never was.

It's time to pay for what you've done, Jackson.

Is this still about that little scar?

I have a lot of scars, sweetheart, but you can't go holding grudges in this world.

I think perhaps I'm just an outlet for all this misplaced rage.

Did you read that in a book too?

I did, actually-- Clinical psychology.

Oh, they'd have a field day with you.

Look, I don't know what you're trying to accomplish here, Well, as long as you're dead, I don't really care.

I can see that your mind is made up.

Shall we begin?

You having fun?

Wait, wait, wait--

It's over.

Your crew's all dead.

I don't suppose there's a doctor around here?

Our team medic is face down in the dirt over there, so you're shit out of luck.

Do you mind if I drink of water?

You go on ahead.

It's going to be the last thing you'll ever do.

Ha, that's funny.

Hey, Gage, ever hear of a military tactic called scorched earth policy?

You know, we could have made a great team.

With my ruthless efficiency and your stubborn refusal to die.

Chavo says goodbye.

No, no, no, no, no, Gage!




You're the ugliest angel I ever saw.

Is he dead?


Can we get out of here?

Give me a second.

I'm going to cut these poor bastards down.


You OK?


I feel like one of your bounties.

Trouble is, I'm not worth much.

To me, you are.

What was that?

Did you say I was to you?


You did, I heard you.

Well, then you're hearing things.

You are going soft.

I knew it.

Try to sleep.

You definitely said it.

I did not say it.

Saw the devil on a one-way street.

He was checking out my wanderin' feet.

Didn't speak, didn't make no sound--

He said, get yourself New Montana bound.

Going home-- I catch a flamin' stone.

Going home-- cutting deep and high, watch my grief tumbling out of the sky, tumbling out of the sky.