"A Perfect Gentleman" by Steven James Butler
Short and Long synopses
Tagline: "Biting back at Broken Britain"
Story theme:Respect is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Short synopsis: When accidental embalming fluid exposure unleashes a timid
Undertaker's repressed anger, he murders the rude and obnoxious to force the UK to
fix its' manners. He is a passionate believer in public service and the Big Society
after all. However, he learns it's not just "disrespect" taking Britain to hell in a
handcart as he unwittingly unleashes nefarious political forces that grab power and
enforce their own brand of "respect". A black comedy where the worm turns, bites
back at Broken Britain but takes off more than it can chew.
London, modern day. Timid undertaker JACK MILNER, bullied by his tyrannical, wheelchair-bound, manners-obsessed mother and oppressed by "Broken Britain" finally lashes out against the rude after accidental exposure to embalming fluid unleashes his repressed anger.
A passionate believer in the Big Society and public service, Jack murders the disrespectful and obnoxious to force the UK to fix its' manners. His mission helped and hindered by his exposure driven dizzy fits and hallucinations of the Bruce Forsyth fronted game show "The Makings of a Perfect Gentleman" where the show's "Strictly Come Dancing" style judges critique and rate each of Jack's attacks. However, can Jack solve the nation's "lack of respect" through violence? Will the judge's advice help him fix both Britain and his demanding mother MAUREEN'S malfunctioning stair-lift? Moreover, will Maureen ever say a kind word about her bumbling son?
Hunted by the gloriously obnoxious policeman DCI Thackwray, determined to get his man his way, and vicious, sink-estate gangster JAGGS, out to avenge the "disrespect" Jack showed in killing his drug dealing associates for littering. Jack has his work cut out to save the nation. However, with each new murder and media revelation about his victims' behaviour, his mission becomes a "cause celebre". From yobbish celebrity footballers to the rude who talk in cinemas, no one is safe from Jack's scourge against the disrespectful. And the ordinary, respectable, law-abiding Daily Post reading citizens of the country cheer him on.
Nevertheless, whilst most fearful people improve their manners others react oppositely forming a protest group exercising their "rights against oppression" by dressing as super-heroes and being deliberately obnoxious. Initially harmless, the group lunges towards the sinister after Jaggs’ crew infiltrate the protest movement and take over.
Politician MARGARET YAPP exploits London's fear to seize power, proposing her "British Values" Bill legislating for mandatory, legally enforced respect whilst her secret police ally prim, polite, spider in the web ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER BRIDGES covertly aids both Jack and Jaggs, assuring Yapp's power grab through the continued instability.
Will Jack shake off his well-mannered chains and realise that there are moments in life where only a bit of disrespect, rudeness and a swear word or two will do? Or will Bruce Forsyth crown Jack this years' winner of "A Perfect Gentleman" for inadvertently ensuring respect is given to those who don't deserve it? Either way he finds out that a bit of DIY fixing is not as easy as it first appears.
Story world: A satirically stretched version of modern day London, where most people are unfriendly, plain rude or too busy to bother with good manners.
Genre: A very British Superhero movie (no real super-powers and the mentally deranged Middle Class "hero" fights against the villainy of bad manners from the secret base of his garden shed) but also a satirical conspiracy thriller / slasher horror farce.
Film / TV Inspirations: Serial Mom, Falling Down, Brazil, Batman Begins, American Psycho, Demolition Man, Harry Brown, State of Play, The Thick of It, One foot in the grave, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.