The Midnight Meat Train (2008) Script


Hey. Hey.

Did you finish your reading? Yeah.

Most of it.

You know how everyone's complaining about how dangerous the city is..

And how they wish they could go back to the good old days when it wasn't?

Well, it turns out there never really were any good old days.

It's always been a hell hole.

You don't find me fascinating anymore?


Babe, are you all right? No.

No? No.

Some Russian cabbie jumped a curb today..

Yeah. And knocked a pedestrian..

Through a storefront window. I got there just as they were..

Loading the body in the bag, and I thought I got the shot..

Something that the Post would buy, you know, but..

I don't think it's good enough. What if I had some good news for you.

You know, like news that meant you could throw away your police radio..

And only shoot the stuff you want. Forever and ever.

I'd marry you.

That's it?

What else do you want?


How about..

You in a bed..

Not worrying about anything..

For at least an hour, except how to make me and yourself..

Really, really happy.

It's a deal. Yeah?

Yeah. You like that?

You like that? That's good. So..

You know how you're wishing Jurgis would introduce you..

To some of his fancy art-world friends?

And you can never understand why he doesn't?

Well, I called him today and I said:

"How come you don't introduce Leon..

To any of your fancy friends?" Do you know what he said?

What? That he didn't do it..

Because he figured that when you were ready, you would ask.

So I asked for you.

Isn't that great?

Do you know who Susan Hoff is?

Of course. You're kidding.

Do I look like I am kidding you?

You're meeting her tomorrow. Are you kidding me?


Does my hour start now?

Whatever you do, don't mention Maya.

What? Why?

Susan likes her artists young, male and single.

Actually, you know what?

The male part isn't that important.

Here we go. Come on.

Hello, my darling. Hello.

Sorry that we're late. Oh, don't apologize.

Punctuality means nothing to me. It's a virtue for the mediocre.

You know when I first knew that Basquiat was a genius?

When he was three days late for lunch.

So tell me about your work.

Explain it to me. What interests you?

The city. Why?

Because no one's ever captured it. Not the way it really is..

The heart of it. That's my goal, that's my dream.

Then you're failing.

You were at the right place, weren't you?

Yeah. But not the right time.

The image grabs our attention, sure, but so what?

It's melodrama, arresting but empty.

I want to know what comes next. I want to see the face of the businessman..

When the filth touches him.

The next time you find yourself at the heart of the city..

Stay put, be brave, keep shooting.

Then come see me.

She hates my work. No, she doesn't.

When she hates somebody's work, she gives them about a minute.

You got three. So, what? She likes it?

Well, I wouldn't go that far.

You think she's right, don't you?

She's not.

Oh, no, no, no.

Time to pay the toll, baby.

Leave me alone, please.


You gotta pay on your knees, baby. Hey!

What the fuck you gonna do, bitch?

Why don't you come up here and find out.


That's good.

Yeah, that's great.

All right, stop right there. Right there. Stop. That's perfect.

Ever starred in a movie before?

Yo. Let's go.

Dead motherfucker.

You okay?


Most people would have ran away.

Oh, yeah.

I didn't this time.



Hey, babe? Yeah.

You seen my purse?

Yeah, it's on the chair. Okay.

When did you take these?

Last night.

You have to show these to Susan Hoff. What you said she wants..

I mean, this is it.

Yeah, you think so?

Yeah, because if it's not, I hope I never see it.

Hey. Good morning.


Babe, I will see you later.

All right.

Here you go, sir. Thanks, babe.

Hands off.

No fucking way. Come on, one last time.

I said never again.

If I don't care that your disgusting grease gets all over my tofu..

Why do you care that tofu would get over your grease?

Because my customers, real Americans with blood in their veins..

They don't want their cheese steak within a mile of a bean curd.

It makes me wanna puke. They're never gonna know.

I will know. Tofu's tasteless.

Now you admit it. Of course.

My gramps, God rest his soul..

Jesus. If he saw me do this, he'd rise and make a sausage out of me.

Yeah, and your regular customers would gobble it right up.


That's the same girl, right?

She's a model.

"Erika Sakaki disappeared after leaving a downtown club..

Shortly after 2 a.m."

Oh, my God.

What? That's right when I shot her.

I gotta go.

Where are you going? Cops. I will call you later.

And they ran off after you made your presence known.

No, you see them? No, no.

It wasn't until I pointed out the surveillance camera.

That's what made them leave.

Where did they go? I thought that they left..

But it's quite possible, and that's why I am here..

To say that perhaps they went down another stairwell..

And entered the same train that she went on.

And you?

I told you. I..

I did not get on the train. I left on foot.

Okay. Okay?

Well, I am sure anything you need to know..

Will be on that surveillance tape.

Do you sell your photos?

What? Yes, but not like this. Police calls mostly.

Erika's a pretty big model.

Tabloids be interested in these.

Really? I wouldn't know.

Is that so? Yeah. I wasn't stalking her..

If that's what you're indicating.

Look, I.. I saw these guys.

I thought that they looked suspicious, so I followed them.

But you did continue to photograph her?

Well, yeah, yeah, but.. I guess so, but..


When you come up with an answer, call me.


It's nothing. I didn't imagine you to be..

The person that would say, "whoa." I am not.

I don't.

I haven't said it since high school.

But that's how good it is.

I am having a group show in three weeks.

Get me two more images that strong..

And you will be a part of it.


Oh, good.

Without your unconditional love and support..

And without you finally introducing me to one of your contacts..

I can't believe you made me wait so long.

None of this would have been possible.

I love you both.

Cheers. Cheers.

Now, I must depart. What? No.

What? Where are you..? What? Two more images.

That's not tonight. No.

Why can't..?

Two more shots. That's all I need. What about these shots?

Hey, tell your wife to relax.

Sweetie, I take the train every day. Safer than walking.

But you hear these stories.

That was ages ago. Look, no graffiti, air conditioning works.

You can understand the conductor. It's a new century.

We're getting at off the next stop, so you can do what you want..

But we're getting off, okay.

All right, fine. You know what? We can go back to my place..

And Leigh here can cook us..

A nice romantic dinner for three. Did we just miss our stop?

You'd have to talk my wife into bed. You're into it.

Randle. Wait a second, honey.

You know, it's cheap wine.

Cheaper than the plate.

Maybe if you didn't sleep.. Randle.

What? What trips me out..




Why are you doing this?


I am sorry, mister, I..

I just wanted a picture of you.

Sometimes I don't know what I am thinking.

Hey, buddy? What?

Mind if I take a look?

Officer, you can't do that. Yes, I can.

Orange Alert and above, I can search whatever I want.

How do I know you don't got explosives?

It's a camera.

Yeah. Life's like a box of chocolates.

What the hell is going on?

Supposed to be a local.

This is a citizen's arrest.



I am gonna shove that hammer up your ass!

I am very disappointed in you, Mahogany.

Clean up the mess.



How'd you get in here? The spare key.

Okay, before you freak out..

Let me just say it's not an engagement ring..

Until I make enough money, but it's..

It says that we're engaged to be engaged.

It's not bad, hey?


I have horrible taste. No, you don't.

It's beautiful. You think so?

It should fit.

I can't imagine my life without you.

Don't even try.

I love you.



Who's this guy?

Oh. I don't know. A butcher.

He was at the station the night that model disappeared.

Are they for your show?

No, there's just something about him. Yeah, I'd say.

But why are you following him?

It seems like you should be working on your stuff for Susan.

No, no, I know, but if that model's still missing..

And he was at the station.. Yeah, so just, you know..

Give a picture to the cops and move on.

I mean, people disappear all the time.

Whatever happened, they will figure it out.

What? What?

What's wrong?

How can I put this delicately?

You look like shit.

Give me a break. I am working my ass off.

Doing what? Contracting TB?

Hey, Otto, take a look at the dying man over here.

What the fuck happened to you?

What are your specials?

We have brisket on rye, turkey meatloaf on rye..

Chicken parmigiana on r..

What? What's the big deal? It's one bite.

Fuck it. Give me one of these.

You sure about that? It's a steak. Meat.



I know I look like shit.

More of the butcher?

That's where he works.

Babe, listen to me. I don't care if you eat meat.

I eat it all the time. But this thing with this butcher..

Shouldn't you be focusing on your work?

Oh, God, remember what you told me?

About how people are always missing for all sorts of reasons, right?

Right? Yeah.

Usually, there's a reason. I have been thinking about that lately.

Look at this. These pins represent missing people for the last 3 years.

Not one of them has ever turned up. No letter home. No call for money.

Not even a corpse. Nothing. They just vanished into thin air.

Okay, so what do you think happened? Well, it's not chance.

Somebody's abducting them.

And they never find the bodies because he takes them here.

He butchers them? Yeah.

Baby.. Listen to me. I am sure.. Look at this. Look what I found.

This is..

So some guy was accused of kidnap..

A guy who worked.. This is a century ago.

A guy who worked in the same plant.

What are you saying? You saying that it's the same person?

Is that what you're saying? I don't understand how that works.

How does that work? How..? Was he reincarnated?

No, no. I don't know. Maybe, but look..

The point is that it's happened before. It can't be a coincidence.

No, this guy's involved somehow. I know it. Look at this. Look at this.

I was there the night that it happened.

She got abducted. This is the train she went in on.

That's his hand. You know how I know? I took another photograph..

Of him going down into the subway, the same subway. I totally got him.

This is the guy, Maya. It's been happening. There's been abductions.

It's happened. I don't know if it's a copycat, but I got him.

This is not what's going on, okay?

This is all fake, okay? It's not.

No more. No more night shoots.

No more, please. Just day shoots.

I don't want you to shoot terrible things.

I want you to stop with the conspiracy theory.

I want you to stop with the butcher.

I just want you to shoot the stuff that makes you happy.

What makes you happy? What do you love?


Don't leave me.

You, I love you.

I love you.

I got it.

That's good.

I am sorry.


I am sorry.

Jurgis showed me a picture of that broad..

That's gonna make your boy rich and famous.

Yeah? So?

What do you have to do to get a date with a broad like that, huh?

Magically transform into someone who does not call women "broads."

Maya. Can I talk to you for a second?

No fucking way.

No. Come back later. She's busy. Come back later.

You okay?

You were right.

That's all I wanted to say.

Candy. You want to buy some candy?

Sorry, man.

Whatever, man.

You want to buy some candy, mister?

Go to somebody else. Come on, man, buy some candy.

Was that a game or what?

Oh, shit.

Hey! Open up!

Open the fucking door!

Open the fucking door!

My God.

Who is it? It's me.

Oh, thank God, baby.

Where have you been?

Leon, what's the matter? Leon.

Leon, what's going on? Leon, what's the matter?


Babe, come on, open up. What's going on?

Leon, open the door.

Leon, you're scaring me.

Please open the door.

This is not fair, Leon.

Open the door.

Open this fucking door now!

You know you can't do this. This is not fucking fair.

You cannot just be out, gone all night, and just disappear..

And then fucking lock the door in my face.

I need to sleep. No, no, no, baby, baby, baby.

Babe, babe, babe, what happened? What happened?

Oh, God. What is this?


We have to get you to a hospital right now.

I followed him into the subway.


It's always the late train.

Probably the same one each time. He waits for it to empty out..

And then he kills them.

He butchers them like cattle.

I saw it.

I took pictures.

They never find the remains because he unloads the meat somewhere.

We have to.. I have to call an ambulance.

There's an abandoned subway station..

Underneath the meat plant. Okay.

Here's what we're gonna do. I am gonna take you to the hospital..

And when the doctors are working on you..

I am gonna take your pictures, take them to the cops.

They won't listen. My camera's gone.

What? He took it from me.

That's the only proof I have. Baby, it's gonna be okay.

I am gonna call an ambulance, okay? I am gonna fix it.

It's okay. No.

They will think I am a lunatic. They will think that I killed Erika.

I know. I want to help you.

Help me. I want to help you.



My opening's tonight.

We're as crazy as he is. No, we're not.

Because we know what we're doing is insane.

He doesn't.

What else are we gonna do? Jurgis, what else?

We need his camera. We need to see what he saw.

Jesus Christ.

No, no, no.

I want you to wait here. If he comes back..

Just make a sound, okay? Hey.

Jurgis. What if he comes back?

If he comes back, we're screwed.

It's gonna go a lot faster with two of us, okay?

I am gonna go this way. Fuck.



Miss Jones. Did you find Jurgis?

Calm down. Please, sit.

I just received the report from an officer on the scene.

They went to the room you gave me. There's nobody there.

But that can't be right. They met the tenant in the lobby.

He let them examine the place. He's been out the whole day.


He's a butcher.

Leon says that he slaughters people..

He kills them. He's seen it, photographed it.

What are you talking about? It sounds crazy.

I didn't believe it either. But I was in his room.

I saw the tools he uses.

Okay, let's talk about what really happened.

The tenant said a family heirloom is missing, an album.

He wants it back. It's a timetable.

With a check for every murder going back a hundred years.

You cannot give that back. It's the only proof we have..

Let me see it, please.

The tenant doesn't want to press any charges.

He just wants his property back.

I don't have it.

Jurgis does.

You have to find Jurgis.

Look, you have already admitted to breaking and entering.

That's very serious. I could hold you for that alone.

If you do not go back with me, I am gonna go back with someone else.

And you will be arrested, Miss Jones.

Phil and Sue Bennet. They buy what I tell them to.

But to give themselves the illusion of free will..

They wait for my third suggestion.

The Kleins. They will want some alone time with you.

Just a little postmodern chitchat.

Humor them. It's a sale.

The Franks. Now, they never buy photography..

But if anyone can convert them..

Jack, Andi..

I'd like you to meet Leon.

Andi thinks you're more like a painter than a photographer.

Andi, that's.. That's very perceptive of you.

I actually started out as a painter.

Duty calls. If you will excuse me.

Excuse me.


Come on, your public awaits you.

I am not holding my breath on that one. A tad too bleak.


Where are you going?

I said, where are you going?

I got a train to catch.

No, you said medium rare. Hey.

Hey, zip it, huh?

It's hot. Hold on one second.

Hey, where the hell you been? Excuse me?

Where is it? Where's what? My..

Maya. All right, now you're as crazy as your boyfriend.

What? Stop. What are you doing?

All right, Maya.

Stop right.. Hey, hey!

Don't you.. If you.. Don't leave!

Maya! Maya! Stay right there, honey..

Leon, are you there?

That butcher, baby, the butcher, I think he has Jurgis.

You.. I.. That cop, detective, I..

Miss Jones.

I want the book, Miss Jones.

Tell me what's fucking going on.


Do you have any idea?

Where is Jurgis?

Tell me.

He's on the train.

14th Street. First one after 2:00.




Oh, my God.


Oh, my God, Jurgis.

Maya. Maya.

Oh, my God. I am so sorry.

Oh, God. Oh, God.


No. No!


No, Jurgis!



Please, step away from the meat.

Take this..


He didn't have what it takes anymore.

He knew it must be done.

It was a privilege.

I envy you.

Before you were born..

Or the birth of any other human thing, that's how long.

Or longer. And now you found us..

As only a few before you have.

The intimate circle that keeps the secret..

We protect and nurture them..

And order is thereby preserved.

It must be done to keep the worlds separate.

You will understand soon enough.

Now, serve as we all do.. No.

Without question.

Police say Miss Jones and Mr. Thompkins..

Are only missing at this point..

Although foul play has not been ruled out. Elsewhere..

Preparations are underway for the arrival of leaders..

Of several nations in the European Union.

The mayor's office issued a statement..

Supporting prospects of new opportunities.

Meetings are scheduled with local business leaders.

The meetings will include a tour of the city's harbor and transport facilities.

Stay tuned to WEQT for further developments in this story.