Two famous guys are seated in the living room of a cool Hollywood Hills mansion. I turn on my camera.
“How the hell is it I’m living out at hot and dusty Spahn Movie Ranch and you’re here with all this luxury,” Charlie says.
“All this comes from my talent writing and directing movies,” says Quentin. “I’ve been obsessed, that means dedicated, all my life.”
“If producers and other musicians weren’t screwing me, I’d be a great songwriter and performer.”
“Charlie, I don’t think you can honestly claim you’ve committed yourself to music.”
“How could I, being in jail half my life till I was thirty-two?
Quentin says, “Yeah, that’s a big consideration when building a career, staying out of jail.”
An elbow pinned to each thigh, Charlie leans forward, “It’s also big having a mom and stepdad who take you to movies and encourage you. I love my mom but she was a drunk and a thief and went to prison. I don’t remember ever seeing my father or much of Mom’s many other men when she got out.”
“You had disadvantages but still should’ve worked harder to develop your talent when you were released.”
“Prison was home. I’m not sure I even wanted out.”
“Come on, Charlie. Lots of young women do whatever you tell them.”
“They have to show loyalty. And they’re happy to. They love listening to me sing. So did Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. He said I was a genius after I played him my song ‘Cease to Exist.’ I didn’t hear from him but several months later found out he stole my melody, changed the lyrics, and recorded my song as ‘Never Learn Not to Love.’”
“Dennis Wilson’s scared of you.”
“He should be,” Charlie says. “He stole my property.”
“The guy just spent a hundred grand housing, feeding, and drugging you and lots of members of your family.”
“Dennis did that so he could have my women and cash in on my talent. I may have to take care of him.”
Quentin stands high over tiny Charlie and says, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is all making history better.”
“Tex, girls, get in here,” shouts Charlie.
A good looking man and two pretty young ladies dash into the living room where Quentin says, “Brad…”
Brad doesn’t appear, and the three followers tie Quentin’s hands behind his back.
“Brad, you’re on. Get out here,” orders the director.
“You’ve got maybe three minutes to live,” says Charlie
“Read the script.”
“There’s been a rewrite, by me,” says Charlie, laughing with his threesome.
The front door breaks open and in charge Brad and Bruce, the famed martial artist evidently changing his script, too, and smacking bruised Brad around the room until he falls near Charlie’s feet which kick Brad in the ribs.
“Bruce, delighted to see you’re in such wonderful form,” says Quentin.
“I’m surprised you approve, given your planned portrayal of me as an arrogant buffoon and incompetent fighter.”
“That would’ve been dark comedy, Bruce, nothing more.”
“Who’s side you on, you little Chinaman?” asks Charlie.
Bruce snap kicks him in the face and rolls on the floor, under Tex’s pistol fire, and springs up with a simultaneous eye gouge and groin grab maintained until howling Tex collapses. Each woman, armed with a knife, eases toward Bruce.
“This would be rather easy for me, Quentin, but in light of your historical distortions I think you should resolve matters. I’ve read you sometimes ‘bitch slap’ your business adversaries.”
“That’s all just Hollywood, Bruce. Don’t you want to be the hero, vanquishing these hippies and saving Sharon Tate and her friends next door?”
Quentin dashes to a nearby closet, retrieves a flamethrower, aims, and ignites two shrieking knife wielders.
“That could’ve been your scene, too, Bruce.”
He walks to Quentin, takes the flamethrower, and fries Charlie and Tex.
“Well done, Bruce, scene changes as well as the fireworks.”
“I’ve still got to deal with you and Brad.”
“Cut, Bruce, cut. You’ve already ended the film beautifully.” Quentin twists toward me and shouts, “Cut…”
“The camera won’t go off,” I report.
“Don’t worry about that, Bruce. This great film just ended.”