Elaine obviously didn't take the Street Nurse's warning too seriously. Even if she did, it
wouldn't really matter. Elaine wants to know the truth, even if it means putting her own neck on the chopping
Because of all of this, we are now treated to a shot of Peddler's home - a dark, very graffitied-up, creepy,
abandoned underpass. It is not a place that Elaine should be, but it may be her only shot at finding the
|There is a lot of dry brush on the ground, which help to set off the
greenery from the plants around the entrance.|
|Location, Location, Location:|
The location of Peddler's Underpass, and the small cliff area that Elaine falls down, reside on the West end of the former "Belmont Tunnel", a part of the Toluca Substation. Operating between 1925 and 1955, the subway ran through the tunnel until a new Freeway system was completed, at which time its operation ceased. Falling victim to the times, the tunnel became graffitied-up and run-down. Formerly known as "The Hollywood Tunnel", several films have used it as a backdrop due to it degredated delapidation. While it is still there, it has been closed off and painted, and several of the out buildings were removed in order to construct an adjacent apartment complex.
The camera pans around to where we see a steep hill leading down towards it's entrance. There is a chain-link
fence running up the embankment and it's a good thing it is there...
|The music is soft and serene, but as the camera pans around to where we can
see Elaine standing on the top of the embankment, there is a build-up in the music that adds a vibe of suspense
mixed with a hint of lonliness.|
Elaine stares down at the task at hand, wondering if she is ready to go down or not. She decides it is time,
but a stumble and a fall are what she is met with.
Elaine grabs ahold of the first upright on the corner of the chain-link fence. She tries to walk down the
embankment holding onto the fence, but that doesn't work so well, and she goes to fall.
Elaine luckily catches onto the second upright.
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|Elaine is wearing a pair of cream colored short-heeled shoes that almost make
her appear to be barefoot.|
Elaine, still trying to use the fence to help her get down, gets her foot caught up and she almost spins
backwards. She is able to catch herself, but that doesn't keep her from stumbling down another 8 feet to
where a third upright is placed.
Elaine can't hold on as the driving force of the momentum that is pushing her hits her hard. She starts to
slide, not having anything to hang or hold on to.
Elaine almost catches her balance, but the sliding down the last part of the embankment, mixed with the
momentum built through her falling, isn't enough to help her to stop.
Elaine tries to grab for the small bush that is near the bottom, but is unable to grab it and has nothing to
help her stop her fall.
There is still about another 6 feet of rise to the hill, and as Elaine comes sliding down, she is, in fact,
finally able to help her catch her balance and stay upright. But of course the built up momentum won't allow
Elaine to stop falling.
Elaine throws her hands up in the air - an involuntary reflex occurring due to the body's need to want to stop
itself. There is nothing to grab onto, and Elaine flails in midair.
Elaine: Uh! Uhn, Oh.
The fall sends Elaine crashing to the ground, face first. She is mortified and embarrased, but luckily,
there is nobody around to see her in this vulnerable state. Then again, there is also nobody around to hear
Elaine scream, assuming anybody and anything was to attack her...
Elaine slowly begins to pick herself up off of the ground, probably a little sore, but probably with a pride
that is hurt worse than her physical being.
|Maybe Elaine should have listened to the Street Nurse's warnings about not
coming here... The place is exceptionally creepy and Elaine has already gotten hurt, and she hasn't even made it
inside yet. Hopefully this is not an ominous prelude to more sinister activity that may wind up taking place.
Hopefully not, although Elaine's heart is probably beating fast and furious, as she knows she is putting herself
into a very dangerous and unpredictable situation, but her desire to know the truth about the murder she
witnessed is more than enough to get her to continue on, seeking nothing but the truth...|
Elaine does a push-up type of movement to help pick herself up off of the ground. She slowly staggers to her
feet, taking care to brush the dust off of her green and white striped dress.
Elaine is unsure of her surroundings and seems a little unnerved.
|The excessive graffiti might be just vandalism by young hooligans or gang
members, and is probably considered to be nothing more than a nuisance to the city, but it definitely helps to
add a splash of color to the seemingly baron and desolate landscaping. There is a ton of litter lining the base
of the overpass and it shows the degradation of society when not properly maintained.|
|The music definitely adds suspense to such a suspenseful
Elaine surveys her surroundings. She is uneasy, but is up for the challenge. With her left hand, she brushes
the hair out of her eyes that had began to cover the left side of her face. She is slow to proceed, knowing
the danger the situation provides.
She turns and begins walking towards the underpass, undeterred by what just happened.
With her right hand, she reaches up and rubs a spot on the right side of her head. This is the second time
that she has hit her head, and it definitely doesn't feel very good. She rubs the pain away as she walks
towards the entrance.
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|While most of the graffiti is undecipherable, some it is comes off as being
slightly legible. One of the lines of text appear to read "So Cal" which would be a colloquialized form of
"Southern California", where the movie was filmed, and another line reads "1990" which would imply that the
graffiti is fairly resent, as we have established on Page 1 of this guide that we are only in May, going into
June, in the year 1990. 1990 is the year that the movie was filmed, as well as the year the movie was
Elaine appears closer to the entrance. This is it. This is where the "murderer" lives.
The sunlight stops halfway on the brick wall to the right of the entrance. The sun hasn't come around far
enough to cast light upon this spot, and thus the remainder of the dwelling is submerged in darkness and
shadows. It adds a suspenseful feel as we fear the unknown.
Elaine gathers her composure as she prepares to possibly come face to face with a man murdering hotel patrons
for clothes that he can sell to buy alcohol. It's a very suspenseful time.
The chain link door, although possessing a hole where the chain-link was cut away, is carefully tied shut with
a piece of "Police Line - Do Not Cross" yellow caution tape...
The camera peers into the fence, but all we can see beyond the chain-link, is darkness. It adds a feeling of
fear, for Elaine is about to enter this dark and desolate place, where anything could happen to her...
Elaine gives it one last look before finally deciding to enter. She hasn't seen any movement, and she is
hoping that she can solve the mystery before the "murderer" gets back...
As she makes her way through Peddler's domicile, she makes sure she makes her presence known:
Elaine: Hello!? Anybody here!? Hello!?
Nobody answers, and Elaine walks through the creepy emptiness, surveying her surroundings. The music is
ominous and our hearts race knowning that Elaine could be getting herself into some serious trouble.
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|One line of graffiti that Elaine passes reads "MERK". It is possible this is
referring to a mercenary, or paid assassin. It would make sense, as it builds on the theme of murder and danger
causing items. (Kind of like the use of fire, knives, scissors, chisels and chainsaws.) It could be taken an
alternate way, however, and could be used as a colorful description for Peddler. He isn't paid to assissinate
people. He comes to the hotel, kills them, robs them, sells their clothes to buy liquor, and retreats back to
the safety and comfort of a dark, desolate underpass... |
|At least it isn't pitch dark. There are 50 gallon oil drums being used
as burn barrels throughout the enclosure that help to add heat and light to the small, dank
|The fires burning indicate that someone has been here recently. For Elaine's
sake she is hoping that the person or persons who started them are nowhere in the nearby vacinity and that
Peddler doesn't come back any time soon.|
|There is a blue tarp draped like a canopy atop an area containing a plastic
white outdoor chair and a shopping cart. There is definitely evidence of someone living or staying
As the camera pans through the room, we see more graffiti, trash cans, pallets, boxes mattress frames and a ton
of paper debris that is lining the floor. It gives a feeling of "You shouldn't be here", and Elaine probably
shouldn't, but she wants an answer.
She keeps walking forward, towards the direction of the light coming from the nearest fire barrel.
Elaine doesn't know exactly what she is looking for, but she is certain that she will know it when she sees
it. Right now everything appears to be junk: the collection of a packrat or a vegabond.
Elaine knows that there must be something around here, she just has to keep looking. Where would Peddler
keep the good stuff, because it's certainly not out in the open. Perhaps a box?
|Elaine looks around, but this time she notices a box, sitting longways, and
perpendicular atop another box. Even the box is covered in graffiti, but it is wide open, looks inviting and
is easily accessible. This would more than likely be where Peddler keeps his newer items, as it's location
suggests a placement designed around convienience.|
The box Elaine is eying is located adjacent to one of the fire barrels, which is a good thing, as the fire will
provide ample lighting for Elaine to be able to rummage through this open box, hopefully finding something that
will help her to solve the mystery...
|Errors in Continuity:|
|When the camera zooms in towards the box, notice that the front and side flaps
of the box are flapped over, and the box is wide open. Only the flap on the black is still closed, while the
rest of the box is open and inviting. Also notice the clothing drapped over the right side of the box.
When Elaine squats in front of the box, the front and side flaps of the box are now closed. The right side flap
remains open, although there is nothing drapped over it. The clothes are now inside of the box, in a fairly
organized manner. The front and back flap and closed and the right flap is flapped over the front and back
flaps. Elaine is thencefore forced to open a previously already opened box.|
Elaine eyes the box inauspiciously. She can sense that it contains clues to solving the mystery and she wants
a better look. She slowly makes her way over to it, praying that nobody catches her.
She squats down in front of the box, and opens the cardboard flaps, first the front and then the left side.
This helps to provide her with a better view of the contents.
The first item that Elaine notices in the box is a black dress shoe, approximately size 9-12, that would
fit a man's left foot.
|Pulling out and examining the left shoe is a reminder of seeing the solitary
right boot that she saw on the elevator. The shoe's mate is resting in the box, on the right side, below
where this one was sitting, and resting adjacent to the yellow polo shirt. At least Peddler was able to get
both shoes. Elaine only saw one boot on the elevator, but when she finally sees them again on Peddler's feet, he
has somehow acquired the boot's missing mate. It is likely then that Elaine can conclude that Peddler does
indeed always steal both shoes, probably from a hotel patron after he murders them somewhere in the hotel.
While he intends on keeping the boots, the items in the box are more than likely going to wind up being sold for
Elaine turns the shoe over. It appears to have suffered some kind of accident that resembles water damage on
the toe end of the shoe. We will learn later that these are actually scorch marks, made by pulling the clothes
out of a fire, while they were in the process of burning. For now, all the viewer sees, or knows, is that it
is an older, slightly damaged, but in still very nice condition, dress shoe. And we know that Peddler has
this shoe, as well as other clothing items, inside of box. And we assume they have come from the hotel and
that Elaine is on the right track. She is... almost.
Elaine puts the shoe down to grab ahold of another clothing item - it appears to be a yellow polo-type shirt
and it is resting atop a grey sweater, which is on top of other clothing item odds and ends.
Elaine surveys the boxes contents, and is certain that these clothes all came from the hotel, but she doesn't
have a way to prove it. She also doesn't have a chance to finish rummaging through the box, because she hears
a noise from behind her.
Elaine turns around. Her heart is probably racing and she desperately hopes that it's not Peddler. She looks
Elaine comes face to face with the boots, not having been this close to them since she saw the right one on
elevator all the way back on Page 6. Indeed it is Peddler. She has been caught.
She gives the boots a solid stare. Yep. Those are them. This has to be man who committed the murder at
the Wessex Hotel.
She looks up, knowing she has been caught.
|Elaine is putting herself into an extremely dangerous situation. Here she is,
on her knees, rummaging through someone else's box, out here in the middle of nowhere, in a dank and dirty and
abandoned underpass. She is in an extremely vulnerable position, and now, here is some dangerous man whom Elaine
believes is on a killing spree at the hotel, and he is standing over her while holding a solid iron bar. Elaine
could be raped, abducted, tortured, or brutally murdered and the reality of the situation comes into play.
Elaine should not have come, but she wants to know the truth... even if it means risking her own life. Comic
relief would be nice right about now, but none will come. The situation is serious and potentially life
Peddler: What the hell are you doing in here!?
|The ominous music comes to an end when Peddler confronts Elaine. We hear the
crackling of the fire and the anger in Peddler's voice as a slight reverberation causes his angry tone to echo
Elaine is terrified although she maintains a hint of diligence. She says nothing.
Peddler: Answer me!
Elaine pushes the front of the flap shut best she can, while keeping an eye on the dangerous looking man
standing in front of her. He is completely blocking the exit, and she knows that there is no way that she can
escape this man. She slowly begins to stand up. She faces him as he comes slightly closer, stopping on
the left side of the fire barrel that Elaine was using for ambient lighting. We can tell that she is
worried even though she does a very good job and hiding her fear.
Peddler: I know you. You're a cop.
|Out of the Box:|
|While Elaine isn't a cop, she did spend several years as a successful lawyer
during her stint as Abigail "Abby" Perkins in the series "L.A. Law". Elaine ends up working closely with the
LAPD over the next few days trying to solve this mystery, and it is likely that the movie contains several small
homages or references to "L.A. Law". If I can find any specific ones, I will update
Peddler: Wait a minute. I do know you, yeah.
Peddler thinks for a second, and then it hit him.
Peddler: Yeah, you're the one that chased me. You are a cop!
Elaine: No really, I'm n...
Peddler: Then whatchu doing in my stuff?
Elaine is dressed too nicely to be a rogue or a thief. There wouldn't be any reason in the world that she
should be in here, rummaging through Peddler's box of junk.
Peddler: Whatchu looking for?
Elaine gestures towards the "new" boots that Peddler had just acquired.
Peddler is extremely proud of his new boots and has been having a blast showing them off. He certainly isn't
going to want to give them up. He really doesn't even want to talk about his boots. After all, to him it
really isn't anybody's business when, how, or where he got them.
Elaine: Where'd you get 'em?
Peddler is mad thinking that Elaine believes he stole the boots.
|We will learn later that Peddler didn't steal the boots. He actually
acquired them legally... But Elaine would never think that to be true. She thinks he is a cold blooded killer.
Technically seeing Peddler isn't lying, and is legit, this scene is redundant. On the other hand it is
essential, because Peddler truly is the key to figuring out what is going on, as we will see
Peddler: I didn't steal 'em if that's what you wanna know.
Elaine: No, really, I just wanna know where you got them.
|Elaine isn't lying when she says that she doesn't think that he stole them.
Technically she believes that he murdered somebody for them... and then "stole" them.|
Peddler: You came all the way down here to ask me that?
Technically Elaine did, although Peddler would never believe that... Same as Elaine would never believe that
Peddler is innocent. Elaine might have had alternate motives. Maybe looking for blood stained
clothing, weapons, or other incriminating evidence, but she never found any. All she can do is ask the
supposed "murderer" personally, face to face...
Peddler: What do you take me for?
|Elaine has not said a word, and even she could have defended herself,
and stressed that yes, she was here to ask about the boots, but she chooses to remain quiet. Her
quietness makes Peddler feel nervous and gives him the impression that Elaine is just up to know good. Elaine
just stands there with a blank stare.|
Peddler is standing there holding his iron pipe. He holds it in a threatening manner, almost as if he intends
on using it to cause harm to Elaine.
Peddler: I don't know what you're after, but you better take
your lilly white-eyes outta here, before I bounce this off
Peddler hits the barrel with the pipe, and Elaine realizes that that is what Peddler might end up doing to her
head if she doesn't get out of there!.
Sparks fly out of the barrel after Peddler strikes it and the ringing of the metal that just struck provides
a reverberating echo that help adds an aura of creepiness to the situation.
|The reverberating echo of the metal barrel helps to provide an opening for
ominous music to come crescendo-ing into the scene. It provides an ominous exit for Elaine as she leaves,
lucky to be alive.|
Peddler: Go on! Get out of here!
At least Peddler is giving Elaine a chance to leave... he didn't have to, as it's likely nobody other than
the Street Nurse knows that she was coming to see him... Elaine is very lucky that is getting a chance to
Elaine slips by, coming dangerously close to the supposed "murderer", and being sure to face him as she is
slipping by. Luckily he never touches her or does any kind of physical harm to the young writer...
Peddler watches Elaine, making sure she leaves. He can't believe she would come out here, and still doesn't
understand exactly why she is looking for him. All he knows is that he doesn't want any hassles or trouble
and is perfectly content with his life the way it is.
|Elaine didn't exactly find the answer she was looking for but she has found
the man, and that's all that matters. That will give her a start. She hates having to climb back up the
embankment, but she is willing to do it, just to get to safety.|
|As Elaine runs off, there are two fire barrels that she is forced to pass
before she gets to the entrance. The camera is pointed facing the fire, which almost appear straight across from
the entrance. Because of the positioning of the camera, Elaine appears to be running through the fire. It
vaguely gives us the look and feel of Elaine appearing to be busting out of the gates of hell. There is nothing
else that Elaine could do. The only option she has left, is to take the matter up with the local police
department, and hope that they will arrest this murderer before he can harm anybody else.|
CONTINUE TO PAGE #17