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Old 01-13-2020, 02:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,180
Default "THE LUGNUT LIST" -- The Mechanic's Top 10 of 2019

The annual Lugnut List consists of my favorite material from the 522 submissions I received during the past calendar year. It is not an attempt to compete with any other list. It's just for fun and to potentially give the authors more exposure.

Not every script in the Top 10 received a FULL CONSIDER from me. In fact, I think I only awarded 3 submissions my top grade in 2019. Nevertheless, these 10 screenplays and 10 TV pilots were the best I read this year, whether for the concept, the execution, or both.

If you're a writer on the list and want anything edited (or spot a mistake) please email me at

If you're an interested agent, manager, or producer and I don't already know you, email me and I'll connect you with the writers.



BALD EAGLES by Peter Alexander (Comedy)
Several Americans vacationing in Colombia stumble onto a plant in the jungle which can cure baldness, so without a hair between them they desperately try to grab some of the magical leaves for themselves, but that puts them in direct conflict with a local drug cartel.

BEAUTIFUL LIE by Lauren Merage (Psychological Thriller)
After she's injured in a car accident which kills her father, a young dancer meets the perfect man and a whirlwind romance ensues, but she slowly begins to realize he cannot be trusted and their initial meeting was anything but a chance encounter.

DON'T TELL A SOUL by D.G. Stone (Supernatural Thriller)
A centuries-old witch possesses the body of a 17 year-old high school student and seduces boys, which renders them catatonic if they "tell," but things get complicated when she befriends a new girl in town, and also discovers she's being pursued by three bounty hunters.

HACKED by Dylan Dockery (Sci-Fi / Action)
An ex-Marine turned journalist explores a new prison off the California coast where once-violent inmates have received brain implants which make them harmless, but when someone hacks the latest upgrade to protect the for-profit prison industry all hell breaks loose overnight.

LA MAMÁ by Chris Commons & Peter King (Biopic / Prison Drama)
Chronicles the life of Mary Brenner, a successful businesswoman, wife and mother who shuns an affluent Los Angeles lifestyle to move into a dangerous Mexican prison to care for the forgotten inmates and guards as a nun.

LIFESAVER by David Beck (Drama)
Fired from her teaching job at a Catholic School after 22 years, a transgender woman contemplates suicide until she meets a young girl who has two fathers – one of whom recently left with a woman – and they have a profound impact on each other’s life.

MAXWELL by Luke Domet (Sci-Fi Thriller)
An android “boy,“ who is rigged with an explosive device should he fall into enemy hands, escapes from a military proving ground, and when he meets a 10 year–old robotics whiz with a defective heart they instantly become best friends and try to help each other.

TEN PIN by Gaby Purchase (Comedy / Drama)
Desperate to raise some money to fund his passion for ten-pin bowling, a chubby 14 year-old kid decides to enter a multi-school cooking competition and soon discovers an all-new passion which transforms his life and brings his family closer together.

THE DELIVERY by Joe Ferran (Thriller)
A young piano prodigy desperate for a break is forced to confront his dark side when one "errand" for his music industry idol turns into a night of bloodshed, drugs and betrayal.

WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S III by Pete Johnson & Craig Miller (Comedy)
Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman set out to kick-start their fading acting careers with a WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S sequel. But their plan faces serious jeopardy when a violent accident puts them in the same position as the characters that once made them famous.

(The last few years I've started receiving a much higher percentage of TV pilots, so this year I picked 10 favorites instead of 5.)


52 by Ryan K. Scott (Drama / Thriller)
*Logline Confidential*

A MATTER OF DEGREE by Melissa Neiman (Legal Drama)
*Logline Confidential*

BOOM SQUAD: ABDUCTION by Crosby Selander (Sci-Fi / Action)
An honorable gunslinger from the Old West and his female sidekick are abducted by an alien organization known as Xavier and forced to fight on separate teams in a gladiator-style tournament, but they escape with their teammates and form a “squad“ to take down their former captors.

BROWNSVILLE by Jesse Knight (Period Drama)
A U.S. Army battalion of African-American soldiers arrive in a small Texas town to replace the all–white troops who were posted there before them, but the locals are not happy and it’s up to the battalion’s business-savvy unofficial leader to keep the peace.

KENTUCKY KINGS by Noah Thomas Grossman (Period Drama)
After the destruction of their distillery, a Kentucky bourbon family struggles to preserve their way of life as Civil War erupts.

PROPHETS AND SHEEP by Jeff Nord (Drama)
Two brothers are estranged because one of them is gay and left their parent’s cult–like church, but when he discovers his 6 year–old son will die unless he gets a heart transplant, he returns and begs for forgiveness with the aim of destroying the church from within.

SAR–AK by Sarah F. Sprague (Action / Drama)
A rookie Rescue Swimmer for a Coast Guard team which operates in the rough seas and storms of Alaska undertakes her first real mission, pulling two SEALs from a sinking fishing vessel.

THE RESURRECTED by Kim Garland (Supernatural Thriller)
When a dead body comes back to life and then escapes from a Manhattan funeral home, the determined Funeral Director, Lexi Rivera, must track down the body to clear herself of wrongdoing.

TRIX by Melissa A. Calderone & Brandon Carter (Period Drama / Aviation)
*Logline Confidential*

In the fast-paced, cutthroat world of L.A.’s garment industry, an estranged daughter takes over a failing apparel company from her mother – a fashion icon from the 70s (think Cheryl Tiegs) who suffers from early stages of dementia.

I was too busy last January to add this section for 2018, but here's a few honorable mentions for 2019. I can't list everyone, so please don't be upset if you didn't make either list (like the two angry writing partners who emailed me last year).

Honorary Mentions:

KAYFABE by Farouk Chakwa
STARVED by Mary E. Gracen-Farrell
CONTROLLER by Alexis Howell-Jones
SPACE SUCKERS by Derick Otto & Rebecca Arnold
MONSTERS by Matthew Bryan
NO HEROES HERE by Clint Williams
SUNDAY'S TRUST by Mark Allan Anderson
TANK by Travis Seppala
THE LONGEST SLEEP by Benjamin Wong
MURDER IN LONDON by Neeraj Katyal
THE SPEECH WRITER by Kathleen Coggshall

THE SERVICE by Edward Klau
ANGELS OF WAR by Natalie Bergman & Victoria Rau
BURNED by John Covarrubias
THREADS by Peter Bishop
ICE QUEENS by Cara Hedley
FIRST LADY by Mika Frank

10,000+ Screenplays
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EvilRbt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2020, 08:11 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 510
Default Re: "THE LUGNUT LIST" -- The Mechanic's Top 10 of 2019

Nice to see some familiar names ( three of whom I know) getting some well-deserved recognition, esp as they're all writers who've been working hard on their craft for years.

Congrats to those who made their way on to the list
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:50 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 402
Default Re: "THE LUGNUT LIST" -- The Mechanic's Top 10 of 2019

Delighted to be on the list, even if only as an honorable mention.

If anyone is interested...

My low-budget screenplay No Heroes Here is a character-driven action-thriller that puts a man’s morality on the firing line. No Heroes Here follows a world-weary combat vet who forms an uneasy partnership with Russian mobsters to save his failing bar on the shore of Lake Champlain. But, he balks when the Russians cross the line into human trafficking. And saying "no" means he has to go to war to protect the people he has grown to love.

The script advanced to the semifinals of the Austin Film Festival screenwriting competition.

Happy to send along the script.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:30 AM   #4
RogerOThornhill's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,231
Default Re: "THE LUGNUT LIST" -- The Mechanic's Top 10 of 2019


Are there any trends you are noticing?

Too many or not enough of a particular story type?

Any particular script problems that are universally common?

Any script problems becoming less common?

Just curious.
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