​​                                          46 EXT. DITCH SAME ROAD--MOMENTS LATER

Jeffery, Celia and Ines stand outside the VW bus. One of the rear wheels is off the road in a ditch. They are stuck. Inés is stooped over, intensely examining the wheel. Jeffery stands behind her as Celia paces impatiently behind him. Jeffery has the van partially jacked up. The base of the jack is precariously placed a few inches from the edge of a steep ravine. Jeffrey stands back, admiring his work. 

                                             JEFFERY JAMES
                          There, you see.  Not bad for an English professor.  A bit higher

                          and we can shove some rocks under the wheel and off we go.

 Inés and Celia watch as Jeffrey proceeds to slowly jack-up the van click-by-click. 

On the third click the dirt under the jack suddenly gives way and the jack springs gaily down into the ravine, disappearing in the heavy brush. It is irretrievable. Jeffrey looks at them with a sheepish smile.

                                             JEFFERY JAMES(CONT'D)

                                             CELIA JAMES

                          Not bad, for an English professor!  Quite a trick!   

                                             JEFFERY JAMES
                          Yes, just one of many.


                          Look, someone will be driving

                          by any minute.  We can get a tow truck.

Inés gets up and walks over to the side of the road where there are a few trees.  She examines

a fallen tree.

                                             CELIA JAMES
                           There won't be any cars on this road for hours. Everything

                           is ruined!  We'll have to start walking--and I brought that

                           damned heavy suitcase.

The sound of an engine is heard and a motorcycle approaches from the direction they

were headed. Jeffrey smirks at her.

                                             CELIA JAMES
                           O.K. I'm wrong--again. Let's ask them to send a tow truck. 

 She waves wildly for the motorcycle to stop.  The driver pulls the bike over and raises his

            shaded visor. The motorcycle is driven by an young man and his girlfriend.

`                                            JEFFERY
                                         (To the driver)
                           Could you help us?  We are stuck and we need to be towed out.

                                             MOTORCYCLE DRIVER
                                         (He looks at his girl friend

                                         and smiles blankly at Jeffrey)
                           No English, Japan... We tourists... Sorry...We say goodbye.

Jeffrey looks on helplessly as they sputter off down the road.

                                             JEFFERY JAMES
                                       (to himself)
                                             CELIA JAMES
                           What now?

                                             JEFFERY JAMES
                           I'll carry the suitcase.  It's going to be a long hike back down.

                                       (Walks back across the road.)

                           Hold on!  I saw a movie once where the car was stuck, just like that.
                                       (She indicates the VW bus)

                                             CELIA JAMES
                                        (She snaps at Inés)
                           This is NOT the time for old movie stories.
                                                  (changing her tone)
                           Sorry, Inés, I'm completely frazzled!  I didn't mean to yell.

                           No problem.  My dad does all the the time.  In the movie they

                           got the car out of the ditch using a big board to lift it.  If we can

                           drag that tree over there across the road it might work like a

                           see-saw to lift the wheel up.

                                             CELIA JAMES


                                             JEFFERY JAMES
                           Young Archimedes is suggesting we use the tree as a big lever 

                           to lift up the van. It just might work. 

                           Archi-who?  Was he a famous hit-man?

They cross the road. The pine tree has only a few branches and resembles a long pole. They drag it across the road and place one end under the VW frame near the trapped wheel. Using the edge of the ditch as a fulcrum, Celia and Jeffrey push down on the longer end of the tree, prying the VW up. Inés places rocks under the wheel.  They add a big rock to raise up the fulcrum and repeat the process, raising the van a little each time.  After the third time, the wheel is on the same level as the road.

                                             CELIA JAMES
                           Inés you are a genius!  It's a good thing you remember your old movies.  

                                             JEFFERY JAMES
                           O.K. Let's give it a try.

They enter the van and slowly drive back onto the road surface.  They continue on, passing a few humble houses.

                                             CELIA JAMES

                           We've lost the truck.  How will we ever find the village?  

                           It's hopeless.  We may as well turn around and go back. 

Jeffrey slows the van to a stop and stares for a moment out his window into the trees.

Celia and Inés look at each other, puzzled at the stop.

                                            CELIA JAMES
                           What now?  You need to pee? Are you going to turn around?

                           What on earth are you looking at?

He continues staring out his window.

                                             CELIA JAMES (CONT'D)
                           Is there a new problem?  Is there an alien from

                           outer space in the tree?

Jeffrey says nothing. He is smiling. He beckons her over toward the driver's window and points toward the trees.  She struggles to lean past him to see what he is pointing at.  There is a tiny faded hand-painted sign nailed to a tree that reads "Bienvenito a Cielo Azul" . Celia hugs Jeffery and the three drive on, having reached their destination.


Salsa Infernal  is my screenplay about an aspiring young writer, Celia, and her English Professor husband, Jeffery, who are vacationing in Mexico. Celia has bet her sister-in-law that she can find the source of a popular but mysterious local salsa. No one knows where it comes from or, for some reason, they are not telling.  Jeffery adopts the persona  of fictional sleuth, Philip Marlowe, as they and their precocious  teenage guide, Inés, stumble through a series of comedic misadventures in search of the salsa. In the scene  below, they are attempting to follow a delivery truck to a tiny village in the mountains called Cielo Azul, having heard rumors that the salsa may be produced there. Misadventure once again prevails as their rented VW bus runs off the road into a ditch and the delivery truck eludes them. Inés, their young Mexican guide (and also an aficionado of old American gangster movies) saves the day.

[Note: Sample below does not conform to strict screenplay format]

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