Vigil (1984) Script

You know, the more I think about it, the more I reckon we're heading for the South Pole.

Maybe the Pole's coming up to us even.


Ice-cap shifting...

...coming north.

That's why we're getting this wicked weather.


Dad! Wait for me!

Hey, Dad! Where are we going?

To the tops.

A dead hawk is a good hawk, eh, Dad?


Wire 'em up, the live ones keep away.

Are we in the clouds now? Fog.

Same thing, Granddad says.

He would.

Clouds, alright.





One potato, two potato, three potato, four.


Ready or not!



Thought I'd lost you.

Toss, when you're working as a team, you don't lose the boss, so stay near me.

Got it? I got it.





Uh... uh!




He fell.

In nomine Patris et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus.

Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror by night, nor the arrow that flieth by day, nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor the destruction...

One potato, two potato...

Three potato, four...


Ready or not!


I better go and fix the carburetor.

What am I going to do with it all?

Burn 'em, give 'em away.

I've got such a lot to do.

I wanted you to know about the other day.

No need, it's over now.

Thanks for all that you've done. No trouble.

I was shooting your goats, and...

The coroner said it was an accidental death, now let's leave it at that.


I just wanted to get it sorted out.

Do you feel better now?

Yeah. Thanks.

Well, now you can piss off.

Pass me the Big Tom.

No, the big one.

Whatcha been doing this morning?


Here, give us a go.


Ha ha!

You got it going, Grandpa!

Keep her in your sights, Toss. She's got a mind of her own.

Where's she taking us, Grandpa?

That tractor's been sitting out there watching, waiting.

Before you know it, she's up and off and after us.

Do you mean the tractor's alive?

Stands to reason.

How do you see it otherwise?


It sends out little miniatures of itself.

Du-du-du-du-du... They hit your eyeball and explode, flash.

Get that tractor fixed, and the world's my oyster.

I'll have time to do the things I need to do.

Good man, that Ethan Ruir.

Good pair of shoulders on him.

At the funeral, the priest talked about a valley of death and ashes.

Oh, it's just the sort of thing they say.

See, I've got this idea for a sheep dip where you make the sheep do all the work.

Where is the valley?

Maybe I could combine it with the turbine.

A small one to start with, and then... Ho ho!

Where is it?

Oh, it's just priest's talk. Don't bother with it.

They make simple things complicated so as to keep themselves in work.

I can use this jacket.

Got us a new shepherd. What do you mean?

New shepherd. The bloke who... Oh, you shouldn't have done that.

There's too much for this old back to carry. And yours.

Besides, we owe him a favor.

A favor?

We're not staying here. I'm getting out.


We're going to get out, are we?

Well, we'll bloody soon see about that!

Go on, clear out of it, the lot of you!

Go on!

Oh, Mom!

Keep your head down. It won't take a minute.

Well, maybe we'll get you a ballet teacher when we leave here.

Mind you, you should have started a lot earlier.

You'll just have to practice and not let up.

Let your hair grow long, tie it back... not a loose strand.

Shiny, smooth, clear sharp lines.

How are you, Birdie?

Great set-up you've got here.

Come on in.

That hut on the hill suits me fine.

Now what have you got lined up for me?

What's the matter?


Silly bugger, Justin.

Only time I ever saw him worked up was over them hawks.

Oh, he got a bit toey when he thought I was shirking, but not worked up though.

Not like the hawks got him going.

His passion was hawks.

Or killing them.

Silly bugger.

Takes more than him or you to wipe out hawks.

He wasn't a smiling man, Justin.

But when he was wiring them to the fences, he smiled.

And I got to thinking about Justin and the hawks, how he saw them, what they looked like in his head.

You follow?

Yeah. Yeah.

Now, when you think of hawks, what do you see?

I see them diving out of the sun, so that their prey can't see them.

And racing just above the ground without moving their wings.

Ah, there you are.

What you see depends on who you are.

He just saw them as something bigger and tougher than he was - smarter too, though that wouldn't take much.

I watched him through the years.

And I tried to see the hawks like he saw them.

Mom! Mom!

Mom, I'm scared.

I've got something to show you.

Surprised, are you?

Of course it isn't finished yet.

Don't seem right to work on it now he's gone.

Well, no sense in getting Liz more upset.

You had a bit of dust-up the other day, huh?

Best keep your head down till she blows warm again.

When's that gonna be? Oh, can't say.

Getting a bit of work done might warm her up.

Go on.

Grab the parrot beaks behind the chimney.

'Toss. Toss.'

Course it's here.


Sounds hollow?

Course it is. Known about it for years.

Right. What's first?

Peg her out.


Eight foot square.

No sense in skimping.


Here. Uh!

Bit to your right.


And... here.


Twelve-six on your diagonals.


How high do you reckon she'd be from that?

About eighteen feet.

Huh, sixty-two.

You see, it's your base that counts.

She's down there at eighty feet, maybe eighty-two.


But this is the thinnest part.

The key to all this is your rig.

If your rig's not right, you've got no show.

All the stuff's all here, it's a matter of assembling it.

It's a question of precision, timing and strength.

Oh, Christ, here comes Lizzie.

I was going to burn that stuff I cut down yesterday.

Anything else to go on the pile? The burning can wait.

There are twelve hundred lambs should have been docked three weeks ago.

You get your head up and what happens?

Dad, you took on this farmhand, now... That jacket's a bit small for you.

We'll see if there's another lying about.

You think you're so clever.

Now, don't tell me you're going to go and have a go at them hawks as well.

Oh, I thought I might look out for some deer.

In my own time.

Good, go for it.

Here! Come in here! Take it easy, Birdie.

Another half day to go and we'll have finished.

The boss has asked you down for lunch.

You must've made an impression. I could do with a bit of home cooking.

I don't know if these bloody sheep are getting faster or I'm getting slower.

Come here, yer...


Are you alright, Grandpa?

Go on. Wash it off.

I suppose I should have taken my boots off.

Nobody else does.

How's it going?

Not bad. Got through that lot.

A thousand in two days. It's good going. Just about finished.

Clear it in an afternoon.

I think the old boy's just about had enough, though.

Got his leg, has he?

He's really been going at it.

When he works, you can't stop him.

When his leg seizes up, he puts his mind to it and he won't budge.

He tells me it's a war wound.

I've heard so many stories about that leg.

I don't know which one's right.

Do you know he once told me he fell out of a balloon?

What's he doing up there now?

Figures he can drain the valley.

Oh, I'll give him three days and he'll let it rust.

You're different.

What do you mean, different?

Well you've invited me into the house.

You can wash up here.

He reckons it's all to do with drainage.

See, there's this big cavern underground.

If you blow a hole through the surface it's like pulling a plug...

Magic - all the water drains away.

And do you believe him?

If you want a cup of tea or coffee, help yourself.

No, thanks.

That's the old man's chair, and if you sit there you might have a fight on your hands when he comes in.

You watch him.

He'll go straight for that chair, sling his leg up, and tell me how everything's just getting too much for him.

...fixing a town clock or something.

He was glad enough that we'd caught up, but then off he'd go again leaving Mom and me to pack everything.

I'll take the old man's place this afternoon.

Sure you can manage?

Every year of my married life.

You don't forget the knack from one year to the next.

I meant... Yes, I know what you meant.

I know what you meant.

Those lambs have to be docked before they're sold.

We should make a good team.


Oh, sorry.


The old feller's getting worse.

It's taking it out of me, Lizzie.

You know, I reckon there are some things that are beyond me now.

I don't think I'll manage the docking this afternoon.

Why did you hire that man?

I can't run the place by myself.

But you might have to, because I just want to be rid of it.

We can look after things, Elizabeth.

We can't stop the hills caving in on us.

Come on, Ethan, I haven't got all day.

Take it further up.

If you cut there, you double the work load when it comes to crutching.

You want to take over on this side? Why, can't you cope?

I wouldn't get too settled here if I was you.

You giving me notice? Yeah.

You'll be finished at the end of the month.

Don't worry, missus. I'll be long gone.

Are you afraid of work? Depends more on the boss than the work.

Oh, you would have had a lot of those. A few.

None of them women, eh?

You'd be surprised.

Listen poacher, you're here to do a job, and just that job.

Now I don't care if you have to chase up the odd goat.

That's your business, and in your own time.

It's the only fringe benefit you'll get around here, right?


Bless, O Lord...

You alright, Toss?

Go on.

Why are you wearing that jacket, Toss?

Ethan's silent bullets.


It protects me.

If you don't want to be caught, you're going to have to change the way you think.

Be like a deer, really shrewd.

You move when she moves, so she can't see you.

Stop when she stops.

You can see their heart beating.

When they're captured, they're kept in the dark.

I saw them once.

An enormous building.

I opened the door.

The light sent them scattering to the far corner.

I stood stock still waiting for them to calm down.

They just stood there... shivering and sniffing the air.

They could hear me breathing.


Can you call my father?

I'll brew up some tea.

I'll show you something.

There's a shadow in the glass.

A spirit.

How did you do that?


The... The day Dad died, were you hunting a deer?


I think I wounded it.

Where do you think it is?

Depends. On what?

Well, if he's hurt, he'll head for the tops where there are no flies.

If the flies got to her first then...

Dead? Yep.

With God.

Don't know about that.

You go to God when you die.

That stag's rotting in the bush.

Sometimes you kill one, but somewhere and somehow it's dragged itself, maybe only forty feet away to where the dark camouflages it, and you never see it again.

God doesn't care, does he?

Does the sky care?

Do the hills care?

God doesn't care, I don't care either.

If He doesn't care, I don't care about Him!

Here's one in the eye of God!

One in your ear!

One up your nose!

Beans to God!

Beans to God!

Beans up your bum!

Yeah! Bum!


What did you do? I went to sleep.

Before you went to sleep.

Oh, we talked a bit, and he knows about deer, and they get scared in... Mmh, he knows about deer alright.

He's strange. He captures spirits and puts them in glass.

A man of many parts, isn't he?

Tell me some more about this stranger.

I sucked his finger.

What do you mean?



Right, take her up.

Come on, Lisa.

Inside, Lisa.


You're full of surprises.

What do you want?

I think the old boy wants you to come and have a look.

You're like two kids in a sandpit.

Don't do that!

What are you after?

I want you to keep your hands off my daughter.

That's the girl. Now, up!

Hey! Take her up.

Look at me, Mom.


Hey, Mom!

Right, let's get this thing moving!

There you go.

Quick now!

Not so fast!


She's a beauty, Grandpa. Whoa-ho!

Keep her going. Rev her up.

Ha ha!

That's the stuff. It's the best ever, Ethan.

Isn't it great?

Come out, Birdie! Get clear!


The whole thing was alive!

It was wonderful, Grandpa.

Something you want?

We've got some sorting out to do.

They're your problems, missus, not mine.

I didn't hire you, but my God... Yeah. It's time I was going.

You're a greedy so-and-so, aren't you?

Well, take what you want, then.







Is the old boy out there?

Don't worry. He's probably planning his next scheme.

Let's get that tractor fixed before you go.

This your last instruction to the heathen farm hand?

Well... may as well make use of you while you're on the payroll.

A few more days, and none of us will be here.




I know who you are.

Devil's angel.



Ethan Ruir.


Don't go!


Give me a hand with this.


Eh? Oi! Hold this down here.

Move it up! What?

I said, move it up. Oh.

That's it. Hold it.

I must fix that, er... Eh?

I said, I must fix that gate of yours before I go.


We'll just have to bolt all the doors and wait for him.

It's all gone now.

No, it's no good.

Push it over.

Push it over! Don't speak to me like this.


Watch out!

He's sulking.

Hey, Birdie!

Come on, Dad! Let's get going.

You may as well accept it.

The farm's sold.

Come on!

You can't stay in there forever.



Are you going to be out for dinner?

It's your favorite.

What's the trouble?

Listen, Dad, we can't do much about it talking through a closed door.

The tractor's ready and waiting.

What you need is a good...

Oh, let the old sinner have his own way. He always does.

He always comes round by tea time.

I want you up at the house with your hands washed by half past six, Dad.

You too, Toss.

Leave me alone!

Where will I put the tractor?

Well, you could put it straight through there. Right.

We're coming to get you, Pop.



Dear God, please, please help me.


All inside me.



I think I'm dying, Granddad.

Aren't we all?

Be seeing you, Birdie.