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Screamplay (1985)

A detective investigating a series of murders discovers that they are similar to the slayings that occur in the new script of a Hollywood screenwriter.


Rufus Butler Seder


Ed Greenberg (screenplay), Rufus Butler Seder (screenplay) (as Rufus B. Seder)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rufus Butler Seder Rufus Butler Seder ... Edgar Allan (as Rufus B. Seder)
Eugene Seder Eugene Seder ... Al Weiner
Cheryl Hirshman Cheryl Hirshman ... Harriet Weiner
James McCann James McCann ... Sonny Weiner
Clif Sears Clif Sears ... Busdriver
Johanna Wagner Johanna Wagner ... Coffee Shop Waitress
Lonny McDougall Lonny McDougall ... Transvestite
George Kuchar ... Martin
Basil J. Bova Basil J. Bova ... Tony Cassano
George Cordeiro George Cordeiro ... Sgt. Joe Blatz
Ed Callahan Ed Callahan ... Keven Kleindorf
M. Lynda Robinson M. Lynda Robinson ... Nina Ray
Katy Bolger Katy Bolger ... Holly
Bob White ... Lot
James M. Connor ... Nicky Blair (as Jim Connor)


This is the story of aspiring sreenwriter Edgar Allen (Rufus Seder) as he arrives in Hollywood carrying his most valuable possessions: a suitcase and a typewriter. Edgar Allen's best attribute is his wild imagination. He imagines scenes so vividly for the murder mystery he is writing that they seem to come to life...and they do! As mysterious murders pile up, and Edgar Allen must confront old actresses, rock stars, and the police in the bleak setting of broken dreams in Hollywood. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...takes HOLLYWOOD by the throat and STRANGLES it! See more »


Comedy | Horror | Mystery



Official Sites:






Release Date:

November 1985 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


First and only projected ever made by Rufus Butler Seder. His multi-tasking functions includes direction, writing, editing, acting in the lead role, art-department, sound editor and special optical effects. See more »


The 'dead' drag queen blinks twice. See more »


[first lines]
Edgar Allan: [Thinks while typing at typewriter] Dear Mr. Weiner, Just a quick note to tell you that the killer is approaching me from behind and, by the time you read this I may very well be dead. It's all because of my screenplay! I'll try to explain as quickly as possible. It all started a short time ago when I first arrived here in... Hollywood.
See more »


Features The Golem (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

Stylish, clever and fun.
17 September 2017 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

What I love about watching extremely obscure, low-budget movies is that, every once in a while, amidst all the garbage, a true gem is discovered; Screamplay is one such movie, a refreshingly original, wonderfully observed movie rich in style, with pitch-perfect performances from all involved.

Screamplay tells the story of aspiring oddball screenwriter Edgar Allen (played with relish by the film's director Rufus Butler Seder) who arrives in Hollywood hoping to make it big. At a diner, Edgar has a close encounter with a roller-skating transvestite mugger, but is saved by Martin (George Kuchar), owner of a cheap apartment complex inhabited by a disparate collection of characters, including an ageing actress (M. Lynda Robinson), her beautiful student (the lovely Katy Bolger), a wannabe agent (Ed Callahan) and a hippie guitarist (Bob White).

Martin offers Edgar a room to live in and a job as janitor; when not performing handyman tasks, Edgar continues his murder mystery screenplay, channelling his anger and frustration into his writing, using those around him as inspiration for his script's victims. But when the occupants of the complex start to turn up dead, killed in the same manner as in his script, Edgar becomes the prime suspect of Hollywood cop Sgt. Joe Blatz (George Cordeiro).

Shooting in black and white, director Seder employs movie-making techniques from the age of the silent movie—vignettes, back projection and crude optical trickery—giving his film the look and feel of a German expressionist horror or an early Universal film, the effect heightened by the exaggerated mannerisms adopted by his cast. Seder, as Edgar, is redolent of Dwight Frye from Dracula (1931) while Bolger looks just like those dusky eyed damsels that used to get menaced by mustachioed villains in cliffhanger serials.

Seder wraps up his mystery in great style, with Edgar writing himself into his script as the final victim as a way of finding out the identity of the killer. The best, however, is saved for the very end, the film closing with one of wittiest final lines I can remember (I won't spoil it for you—watch the film to find out!).

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