"Press Play and Die"

Creator: Greg Przywara
Age rating: 17 and older
A cashier is forced to team up with an escaped school shooter and take part in a plot to assassinate his former employer with an exploding DVD.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: One night during a blizzard, Mark Crizlanek, a cashier at Mendota’s Market, encounters an old high school friend named Trevor Gates, who brags about his new job with the movie rental service Reelspeedy. Mark later finds out this is a front for a terrorist operation run by the Cappellas, the most ruthless Mafia family in the Midwest. The Cappellas control their business interests with an iron fist and eliminate anyone who stands in their way with exploding DVD‘s. Shortly thereafter, Mark’s lover, Crystal Logan, turns up brutally murdered in a store restroom and Mark finds himself implicated in her death.

While awaiting trial, the Cappellas’ lawyer makes him an offer he can’t refuse: A guaranteed acquittal in exchange for his unconditional participation in an unspecified scheme. Mark, who believes the Cappellas are to some degree responsible for Crystal’s death, refuses to agree to the lawyer’s proposition. He is convicted of first-degree murder and given seventy-five years. On the way to the state pen, the Cappellas hijack the prison bus and free Mark.

After Trevor convinces Mark that his former employer, Jared Mendota, killed Crystal, he agrees to team up with an escaped school shooter named Erik Stockton and take part in an assassination plot against the tycoon. After killing Mendota, Mark “borrows” Trevor’s Blackberry and discovers a Facebook post in which his old friend boasts about how he tricked him into thinking Mendota killed Crystal. Mark is ready to extract the truth from Trevor at gunpoint until Erik convinces him that such an endeavor would be lethally pointless. Erik convinces Mark to destroy the home of Erik’s nemesis Kent Gardner in exchange for incriminating information about Crystal‘s killer. He successfully completes this mission.

However, Erik refuses to fulfill his end of the bargain unless Mark agrees to sell racist signs for his white supremacist uncle. Suddenly, Mark sees a news flash about Brett Favre’s retirement. Erik, who was promised Packer tickets by his uncle as payment for his services, now realizes he has no reason to withhold the murderer’s name from Mark any longer. He tells him that Stuart Worthington, the deranged inventor of the exploding DVD, killed Crystal and an incriminating cassette can be found in a book in Trevor’s basement.

Before Mark can turn the tape over to the police, he and Erik are captured by the Cappellas. They are taken to Worthington’s secret lab, which is housed in an abandoned feed mill. The scientist threatens to have Mark shot if he refuses to participate in his scheme to release toxic gas into the city water supply. Mark tries to escape, but is killed in a fire that also claims the lives of the killer and his associates.

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