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High Striker


A High Striker, also known as a strongman game, is an attraction found in amusement parks, and carnivals. It operates by utilizing a lever and puck where one end is struck by the person using a hammer or mallet.

My fascination with carnival life and the deeper meaning of man’s nature eventually led me to merge these disparate interests into a work of art which I describe as morally engaged fiction. Now I am pleased to present my award-winning, full-length, 113-page screenplay that I adapted from my 2012 novel “High Striker”.

“High Striker is a quintessential high concept film. There’s righteous vengeance, violence, premonitions, and other supernatural aspects built right into the premise. All of this comes out in an engaging plot that keeps the action pulsing from page to page. The plot is certainly the star of the show here, and it remains focused throughout.” – NYC Screenplay Analysis

Logline: Guided by dreams and driven by fate, Amos Konklin escapes kidnapping, amnesia, and prison to wield an executioner’s sledgehammer in the name of justice.

Synopsis: Since boyhood, Amos Konklin has spent sleepless nights, haunted by violent dreams. Following a boyhood encounter with a High Striker game master, Amos is kidnapped and forced to live with this abusive carnie. However, Amos accepts his circumstance as more than mere coincidence and is befriended and influenced by a carnival physician and a fortune teller. In time, he escapes the clutches of his kidnapper by killing him. He lives on to become a successful brain surgeon, saving lives, but behind the façade of the white hospital walls, Dr. Konklin also seeks to save humanity from its own depravity by ridding society of the monsters who keep him awake at night. All goes well until a caring reporter and old acquaintance figures out his secret which leads to his arrest for murder. However, when the shocking truth about his roots is revealed, he is set free. At last, with the answers to an elusive past that has shaped his destiny, he must face a final confrontation with the scar-faced man from his night-time visions.

Visual Imagery: The screenplay captures a sweeping landscape from life in middle America, to a travelling carnival, to post-carnival life in a Canadian small town, to hospitals and operating rooms, and to the abodes of criminals whose lives are terminated with the blunt force of a High Striker sledgehammer. Amos Konklin will leave a lasting impression as one witnesses a gifted child grow to adulthood through trial and tribulation as he fulfills his destiny.

Tone: High Striker challenges general assumptions about the natural world and rather than promoting a “feel-good” hero protagonist, it provokes questions intended to catalyze fascinating long-lived discussions about an unforgettable character in a riveting, original film experience. My goal is to one day receive a movie review that echoes the following comments about the novel: “A great read, I could not put it down - I was involved from the first page, to the last final page. HIGH STRIKER will remain with me, perhaps forever. I'll never walk past a carnival again without remembering this book. READ THIS BOOK. IT IS A KEEPER.”- Don Dexter, 2013

Nutshell/Comps: The closest comparable movie I can think of is Frailty (2001) and perhaps in some broader grand thematic way the HBO series Carnivale (2003-2005).

Type: Movie
Genre: Drama/Thriller
Rating: R