Honor Bound

Creator: Mathias Perez
Age rating: 17 and older
A young Latina soldier in Iraq heroically saves the lives of her men in combat, but she cannot shake the horror of the incident. After returning home to civilian life in America, she struggles to control violent urges learned in war when she is faced with brutal injustice.
Synopsis: It is the second week of the war in Iraq. Erin Fuentes, a smart, tough 23-year-old U.S. Army military police sergeant, leads five other soldiers in a convoy searching for surrendering Iraqi soldiers. Suddenly, a rocket-propelled grenade streaks out from behind an earthen berm and slams into the truck trailing Erin's Hummer. Machine gun bullets rip into Erin's convoy.

In seconds, Erin's mission has gone from boring to catastrophic. She must counter the ambush, or they will all die. Scrambling alone out of the kill zone to flank the enemy, she summons all her will to steady her aim, and remembers the drill sergeant in basic training who helped her overcome her strong resistance to taking life.

Erin attacks, methodically, ruthlessly shooting her assailants. The survivors raise their hands and shout their surrender. Erin stops firing. Dead men litter the ground; bloody and moaning enemy soldiers and prisoners gape in terror. It is over, and Erin is gasping for breath, her weapon still leveled at the survivors.

A helicopter evacuates Erin and her wounded comrades. Erin is decorated for valor, but she is haunted by nightmares and guilt. Back with her unit, Erin's trauma is compounded when she breaks off a relationship with a boyfriend who can't understand what she's been through. The enraged soldier tries to rape her, but she fights back.

After leaving the Army, Erin enters college in Arizona, hoping to put the war behind her. She wins an internship with a judge, Lydia Martinez, and makes friends with another young woman looking for a new life--Laura Carlson, a single mother who has escaped an abusive relationship. Erin even allows herself to start a romance with a lecturer, Joe, who shows great sensitivity to her emotional state. But Erin's fresh start is shattered when her friend Laura is murdered by the woman’s estranged husband after Judge Martinez issues the man a restraining order.

Outraged at the law's failure to protect her friend, Erin begins to feel as she did about her soldiers in the Iraqi desert: she must act to protect these women. The murder of yet another abused woman who got a restraining order in Martinez' court pushes Erin over the line. Initially intending to stand a night watch over endangered women, Erin brings along a rifle, just in case. But when she sees a man creep up on his ex-wife's home, Erin recalls that she did not escape the boyfriend who attacked her in Iraq--he raped her. Almost reflexively, Erin shoots the man.

Sickened by her own actions, Erin nonetheless continues to hunt men who attack the women they profess to love. Erin's health, work, and her budding relationship with Joe suffer as her obsession with protecting battered women leads to more killing. Police are baffled, and the media can't get enough. Troy Harris, Erin's now-retired drill sergeant, recognizes his former charge outside the court as he watches a television news story. Disturbed at the coincidence of seeing one of the best marksmen he ever trained in a news story about a sniper, he decides to travel to Arizona to find Erin. As the police begin to develop a lead that points to Erin as a suspect, Harris follows the woman to her next kill. Before Erin can fire, Harris disarms her. She is at first defiant but realizes the killings must stop. Harris lets Erin escape to Mexico before calling the police; safely across the border, an exhausted Erin checks into a flophouse and tries to drink herself to sleep. She wakes with a start to the sound, upstairs, of a man beating a woman. Armed or not, Erin runs from her room to save the woman.

Latest Work

  • Script 1 - Mathias's Original Draft
    Creative Notes:
    This script won Third Prize at the 2007 Phoenix Film Festival, and also won a prize from that year's Latino Screenplay Competition. It's designed to be shot economically in southern California, Arizona, or elsewhere in the Southwest. Very few effects shots required.