FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards (FISA)

The 14th Annual
FilmMakers International
Screenwriting Awards (FISA)

Winners - Synopsis




Rampaging Wild Horses


John Panozzo


In the opening scene, we see our protagonist TONY TUCCI’s birth to his mother MARCIA and her husband FRANK. His childhood nemeses ERIC MCHALE and RHETT BETHARIS were also born in the hospital around the same time and the three of them are first united in the hospital’s newborn nursery.

Foreshadowing their relationship dynamics as older children, baby Rhett is removed from the nursery when he bawls his lungs out, Eric throws a pacifier at Tony’s bassinet and Tony returns the gesture with a middle finger.

Via voiceover, Tony narrates some details of the trio’s “frenemy” relationships during their childhood in the 1980s and 90s. The story then jumps to 2008. Tony is now 28. He’s having problems with his girlfriend BELLA and ends up saddled with extra work at his office. In his rush to get to Bella’s after work, he speeds and is stopped by Rhett, also now 28, and a cop. Rhett ignores the fact they are known to each other and suspends Tony’s license since this is his third driving violation in several months. Tony arrives very late to Bella’s and he is unceremoniously dumped.

Tony arrives home to find a surprise message that Eric has phoned for him. Eric finally reaches Tony and through miscommunication he succeeds in attracting Tony as a groomsman for his wedding in four months and twelve days – he is a geek.
During the engagement party, Eric finds out that his best man may not be home in time for the wedding due to an international board game championship. Eric’s fiancé VICKI, 24, puts the hard word on him and Tony is drafted to fill the role.

On an errand together, Eric leaves Tony to fend for himself when they are lifting a very large rock onto their pick up. By way of explaining, Eric says that “rampaging wild horses” couldn’t stop him from answering Vicki’s call, thus establishing the source of the title of the film.

Eric and Tony then stop by a dog pound so Eric can pick out a dog for him and Vicki. Tony is surprised since he remembers Eric never being around dogs as a kid. Eric explains that is was his mother who was terrified of dogs and it had nothing to do with his own preferences as a child.

Meanwhile, Rhett is busying himself by sending creepy anonymous messages to Vicki’s maid of honor GRACE, 24, and he takes an opportunity to tell his story of a brief affair with Grace to GRAHAM, who is Grace’s father. Graham has been running a dodgy backyard counseling practice to get his kicks out of people’s innermost secrets. What he doesn’t realize when Rhett visits is that Rhett is getting his own perverse pleasure from telling Graham the story - Graham doesn’t realize the lover is actually his daughter.

Through a series of scenes mostly involving the rescue dogs that each of them chose, Tony and Eric connect and start becoming closer. When Tony takes Eric’s advice to let loose a mockingbird he has captured because it had kept swooping him, Tony realizes the bond that has begun to take place.

After landscaping Eric’s parents’ holiday house, Tony and Eric stand shivering in the cold surf at the beach. It looks like they may re-enact Gattaca’s chicken swim scene only Eric’s grown out of such childhood rivalries and Tony doesn’t want to get his hair wet.
Meanwhile, Rhett still thirsts for revenge and books Tony for riding his bike through a stop sign on his way to Eric’s wedding rehearsal.

Tony plots his own revenge with his older brother ARLO’s assistance. Tony, in disguise, confronts Rhett in a pool hall and challenges him to a game of pool for $100. This parallels a teenage pool challenge between the pair at a party, recounted early in the film, when Tony had won and left Rhett flat on the floor in his briefs surrounded by broken glass and the urn of the party host’s grandfather scattered across the pool table. In the current challenge Tony wins in controversy and his wig flies off as he escapes from the pool hall and Rhett.

Eric’s stag night arrives and it’s being hosted at Tony’s house. The other groomsman, AARON, has organized strippers without Tony’s knowledge but its Tony who cops the rap when Eric closes proceedings early and storms inside.
Eric and Vicki’s wedding arrives. Tony’s plan for a tribute to their meet-cute story via a parachutist in a rooster costume fails to eventuate. Tony is already not on good terms with Eric from the stag night and this heightens when, on the way to the reception, the chauffer becomes sick and Tony is thrust the keys to drive. Tony won’t oblige given he has a suspended license and he sniffs a trap. Instead he drafts Arlo to drive the limo wearing the wig from the stunt at the pool hall. Rhett thinks he is pulling Tony over, and he is incensed to see it is Arlo.

Rhett then crashes the reception in his attempt to get Tony. Tony gets the better of Rhett in an incident in the foyer of the reception centre and then Grace slaps Rhett in the face when she realizes he is her stalker. In turn, Graham, one of many onlooking guests, is shocked and feints when he realizes that Grace was woman in Rhett’s recount.

Eric reveals to Tony that he always considered him a brother when they talk privately, even though he is utterly disappointed in him at the present. At the reception, Tony gives a heart-warming speech, thus redeeming himself in Eric’s eyes. Tony drives Eric, Vicki and their rescue dog to the airport so that they can move for Eric’s job transfer.

Tony reveals almost eight years has passed since the wedding – the story is being narrated in the present. Vicki and Eric have moved back home about a year. Vicki is expecting their fourth kid. Eric arrives to walk his dog with Tony and his new collie pup.

Copyright 2016 John Panozzo
All Rights Reserved