Tahoochie Bridge: A forlorn looking spot on the outskirts of Edge City. We can hear Stanley's car sputtering and popping along before it actually pulls into sight on the dark rain-slick bridge. Stanley is in a miserable daze. Suddenly the engine starts knocking violently and the car dies. Steam hisses from the radiator as the car slowly rolls to a stop.
Stanley fights his way out of the rusted door with a squeal of metal. He tries to open the hood, but the metal is so hot, it burns his hand. Stanley turns and kicks the bumper... which promptly falls off with a resounding clunk. Beat. The front axle collapses, the tires fall off and the driver's side door clatters to the ground. Stanley stands there staring at the steaming heap of useless metal... his mind a complete blank.
He turns and slumps on the bridge rail. Things couldn't be worse . . . then the sound of thunder, impending rain. He looks down at the black brackish water swirling along beneath the Tahoochie Bridge. A wave of melancholy sweeps over him. Suddenly, something catches Stanley's eye... a body, floating along in the darkness. He snaps back to reality.
River bank: Stanley rushes down the slippery embankment beneath the bridge. He spots the body dead ahead, floating along in the moonlight and hurries as fast as he can. Stanley scrambles down the slope and finally reaches the shore. Stanley splashes into the waist deep water just in time to catch the body as it floats by. As Stanley grabs it, the "body" falls to pieces... revealing that it's nothing but a trash bag, an old tire, and some floating bits of garbage all clinging to the "head": an old wooden Mask. Stanley shakes his head in disgust... some lifesaver. Stanley inspects the Mask more closely.
Strange ritualistic symbols carved into a puckish face with a leering grin and eerie empty eye holes. Stanley turns the Mask around and inspects the inside... slowly bringing it closer and closer to his face. The surface of the Mask begins to shimmer. Suddenly a blinding spotlight shines down from the bridge and an amplified voice calls out from a squad car. A policeman asks him what he is doing down there. Stanley squints into the light, trying to think of a reasonable answer and blurts out he was just looking for his mask, as he holds it up.
Stanley's apartment building, later: Stanley's wet shoes squeak as he slowly makes his way up the stairs. A door with a sign that reads, "Manager" flies open and Mrs. Peenman (Nancy Fish) appears. She's an old dragon in hair curlers who will probably live forever just to spite her relatives.
She snaps at Stanley about him coming in so late. Then she sees the sludge on her new carpet from Stanley's shoes. She pitches a fit about the mess and insists it's coming out of his security deposit.
Stanley, battered, bruised and soaking wet is deep in urban shell-shock. Though wanting to tell her off, he concedes and excuses himself, and Mrs. Peenman slams her door. Alone in the hall, NOW he tells her off . . . when she's not there.
Stanley's Apartment: Small, full of books but very neat. A few cherished animation cels from 1940s cartoons are framed on the wall. We also see a maquette of a cartoon wolf in a zoot suit. Stanley's prized collection of "golden Age" Looney Tunes tapes are neatly displayed on a simple bookshelf. Stanley is greeted by Milo, a happy little terrie sized mutt with a big heart. The dog jumps into Stanley's arms, very excited. Stanley tosses the Mask down on his computer table as Milo fetches a Frisbee from underneath the bed.
Stanley pops one of his cherished Tex Avery cartoons into the V.C.R. and plops down on his bed. Despite all his misery that night, the cartoon makes him laugh. Milo comes up to him and beckons him to throw the frisbee. Though exhausted, he tells Milo he will throw it one time. Stanley tosses the Frisbee into the air. The disk sails across the apartment. Milo leaps up and makes a perfect catch. Suddenly there is a pounding on the wall that rattles Stanley's framed cartoon cels. Stanley shouts an acknowledgement to Mrs. Peenman.
With a sigh, he ejects the tape and a much quieter talk show pops on. The guest on the talks show is Dr. Arthur Neuman, who explains that people wear metaphorical masks and how people repress their Id. Their darkest desires and how they hide behind a more socially acceptable image of themselves in order to cope with the frustrations of day to day lives. Stanley pops off the T.V.with his remote and notices Milo warily sniffing at the strange Mask lying on the computer table. Stanley picks up the Mask as Milo whimpers and hops off the chair.
Stanley turns it over in his hands running his fingers across the time work wood. He approaches the mirror and slowly raises the Mask to his face, mocking the words of Dr. Neuman. For an instant - the Mask shrink wraps like a vacuum over Stanley's face.
Then, a beat later, the Mask is off with a pop. Milo watches apprehensively near the bed. A subtle shimmer crosses its surface. Milo does that doggie-head-cocked-sideways "What the hell?" look.
Amazed, Stanley studies the old mask. He puts the Mask on again - firmly this time. Milo dives under the bed as an incredible metamorphosis begins: rubber wooden whips shoot out of the Mask and wrap around Stanley's head - locking the Mask in place.
Stanley's clothes magically reweave themselves... growing in all directions. His head throbs and expands, turning lime green as it unites with the Mask. Stanley grabs his head. His body begins to move uncontrollably. Spinning faster and faster like a gyroscope as he becomes a human tornado. Stanley's words are almost unintelligible as his voice jumps one, two, five octaves. The whirlwind screeches to a halt, revealing... The Mask Creature. He's dressed in a snazzy zoot suit - a distortion of the pattern material of Stanley's clothes. The head is no longer Stanley's.
It's large, bald and bright green. The huge bug-eyes glow with mischief. The nose is small, bony and beaked. The mouth and teeth are enormous and gleaming white as he breaks into a learning grin. The overall effect is devilishly loony, but not altogether unhuman. In fact, there's something downright charming about him. The Mask checks himself out in the mirror and likes what he sees. With a crazy gleam in his eyes, he declares it's party time.
Hallway: Exiting the apartment, he struts down the hallway with style. He sees the manager's door with it's little "Quiet Please" sign. He raises a finger to his lip, making the "shush" sign. Trying to be very quiet, the Mask tiptoes down the corridor. The floor makes a barely audible creek as the Mask steps with exaggerated care.
Suddenly and unexplicably, a ringing alarm clock leaps out of Stanley/Mask's pocket and starts jittering down the hall. Stanley/Mask tries to snag the clock, but it bounces away every time. Frustrated, he pulls a full sized sledgehammer from his pocket and starts pounding the floor and wall in an effort to stop the clock.
The hammer, of course, slams craters the size of manhole covers and reverberates through the building like thunderbolts.
A crushing blow finally shatters the clock. "Snooze," he declares. The door bursts open and Mrs. Peenman's angry face pops out covered in blue mud pack and framed in curlers.
She gets one look at the Mask with his oversized carnival mallet raised over his head and screams bloody murder. The Mask screams in response, his eyes bugging out on stalks and his mouth expanding to the size of a tuba in mock horror.
A beat later, Mrs. Peenman's appears, cocking an enormous shotgun. The Mask starts ricocheting off the walls hooting maniacal laughter as Mrs. Peenman lets loose with the shotgun. The Mask bounces off walls as Mrs. Peenman continues to blast away, and finally leaps straight out the window, sending his body sailing through the air towards the street several stories below as Stanley/Mask screams.
City street: Splat. Stanley/Mask lands face down in the middle of the street. We see Stanley/Mask's flattened body. He raises one arm, grabs himself by the head and peels himself off the street. He shakes himself out with one sharp crack and straightens his zoot suit.
Now fully recovered and ready to strut like a prize fighter, an irritated driver pulls up, blasting his horn, hollering at Stanley/Mask to get off the road.
Stanley/Mask pulls out a tiny horn that reads "Squeeze me gently."
With a squeeze, the tiny horn morphs into a gigantic horn and lets out a deafening blast that shatters the driver's car windows.Stanley/Mask heads a short way down the street when a street gang confronts him. Death's Head punker #1 asks Stanley for the 'time.' The Mask turns to see he is surrounded by the Death's Head punkers.