Crash and Burn (1990) - full transcript

Unicom is a powerful organization overseeing most of the world after its economic collapse. They have banned computers and robots in an attempt to insure "life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic stability". When a Unicom Synth robot infiltrates a southwest TV station and kills the manager, a revolutionary against the gestapo-like corporation, a lowly Unicom delivery man must help the rest of the station survive through the incoming "thermal storm".

- I need some fuel.

- Propane or kerosene?

- Kerosene.

- Only got a few liters left of that.

Put the rest of the kero

in the man's scooter out there, Scratch.

- It's the ultraviolet.

His noodle is fried.

Can't keep him out of the sun.

You work for Unicom, huh?

- Yeah, can you tell me how
far that station is from here?

- Oh, you've got business
with old man Hooks?

He loves you "uniboys."

That's about 40 miles.

- Got any dried food?

- Let me take a look.

- Temperatures continue to rise

throughout the southwest.

Some thermal squalls have been reported.

The ozone depletion continues.

Unicom officials have
reiterated the mandatory use

of cool suits outside at all times.

This just in, three more
members of the Independent

Liberty Union were arrested
yesterday by Fresno police.

Unicom officials said the
ringleaders were using

reconstructed computers to
communicate with another

like-minded group in the Midwest.

This is the fifth time in
as many months ILU members

were arrested.

Unicom officials have asserted
that all such dissident

groups have been ferreted
out and eradicated.

You know that's not
what's really going on.

I don't care what the company says.

This liberty movement is getting stronger.

Company officials have
expressed to me privately that

they're having one heck of
a time feretting out this...

- All I've got is this snake jerky.

- No thanks.

How much do I owe you for the kerosene?

- Oh, make it 30 even.

- Thanks a lot.

- Keep cool buckaroo.

- Sure is a bitch-o machine
you've got here man.

- You know you really ought to go inside.

- Why?

- The ultraviolet.

It's burning you up.

- Yeah, why?

- Are you batman?

- No, see you around kid.

- See you around kid.

- Well my goodness you actually look as if

you're enjoying this, for crying out loud.

He doesn't look like he's
minding it too much himself.

If your mother is only to see
this, for crying out loud.

This is like put another
quarter in and take a ride.

This is disgusting.

How can the two of you
even look at yourselves

in the mirror?

Am I right audience?

- When I look in the mirror I
feel just fine about myself.

- I provide a service for
troubled and lonely men

and I'm proud of it.

I'm healthy and clean and
very good at what I do.

- Oh honey I bet you are.

We have time for one more call.

This is Winston Wickett,
you are on the line.

Hello, hello,
is that really you Winston?

- Yes it's really me you desert dipshit.

And turn your monitor down!


You certainly are sorry.

Now what is it?

I just want to say,
I don't think human prosties

are worth a bro dick.

- And why is that caller?

Well first
off they ain't as pretty

as the synthoid prosties were.

And they ain't as good either.

- Hold on now, what do
you mean, not as good?

Well, let's just
say that the synthoid prosties

were more agile and cleaner too.

All those weird diseases
came back after we had to use

human whores after they
banned the synthoids.

Winston, are you listening to me?


- Let me ask you something here lady.

How exactly do you know
how good you really are?

Is this some kind of a test
you took yourself or what?

I don't have
to be told how good I am.

I know how good I am.

Well I know you know...

Maybe because
you haven't had a human

in a long time.

Oh, that's
a pretty cheap shot.

Like you have.

Sort of like
this show, cheap shot?

Liston young lady,
let me tell you something

right now, nobody talks to
Winston Wickett like that

and gets away with it.

- Young fella, is there
something I can do for you?

- Yeah, you Lathan Hooks?

- That's me.

- Tyson Keen, from Unicom.

- Well you tell big
brother whatever it is,

I ain't interested.

- Well big brother just
brought you half a dozen liters

of Freon.

- Listen, I am sick and
tired of you Unicom regionals

coming out here every time
you've got nothing better to do.

Breathing down my neck, telling
me how to run my business.

You know what you ought to do?

You ought to tell your bosses
that they ought to worry less

about what happens out
here in the wasteland,

and more about those big
business shits in Washington.

- Look, I'm not breathing
down anybody's back.

I'm just making a buck.

- There are no bucks to
be made out here fella.

Yeah, I guess I do need that stuff.

Been out of back ups so
long I forgot I ordered it.

- Yeah, like you forgot you promised me

a real live audience,
and a real cameraman?

When am I going to get them, Lathan?

- When pigs fly Winston.

Get that stuff in here.

- Hey sweetheart, do you think
you could hold that camera

just a bit steadier?

We're starting to look like
an amateur hour around here.

- Whatever you say, you ass holiness.

- Look Arren, I need a bit of an advance.

I promised these two bimbos
I'd take them out to dinner.

- Yeah, what'd they promise you?

- You've got a sick mind, you little drit.

- So what'd you do to
piss off my grandfather?

- I told him I work for Unicom.

- That'll do it every time.

You don't look like a corporate geek.

- Company needed someone who knows bikes.

This job is not what I expected.

After this, I'm moving on.

This place is like a museum.

- It's an old power station.

Unicom took it over, fired
everyone, and left it to rot.

Lathan did this.

- He put all this together?

- Yeah, well, I modified a lot.

I patched together some stuff
from the junkyard outside.

- I'd better get that Freon.

- My name's Arren, what's yours?

- Tyson.

- You know when it gets
still like this it means

thermal's going to hit.

You should stay until it passes.

- That could be two or three days.

I wouldn't want to overstay my welcome.

Jesus Christ, is that what I think it is?

- It's a DV8.

Back when they
really made them big.

I've only seen these in pictures before.

How'd it get all the way out here?

- The government scrapped them.

They built them for the
Mexican uranium mines but

when the mines went dry
they just dumped them.

There's probably more out here somewhere.

- Really?

Boy, it must have really been
a sight to see this old guy

in action.

- Long before I was born.

- Somebody's been messing with the cortex.

- Oh me, I was trying to see
if it was still operable.

- That's against the law.

- So shoot me.

- Your parents got any more like you?

- No, my parents are dead.

It's just Lathan and me.

- I'm sorry.

So how did you and the old man
end up all the way out here

in the wasteland?

- It's a long story.

It can't be that
long, you're not that old.

- I'm sixteen.

- And never been kissed.

- You know, maybe I'll
take you up on that offer.

Stay awhile.

- That's Lathan's room
over there and that's mine.

Our handyman sleeps on
the next floor down.

Come on, I'll show you.

- So what else is on the third
level, besides the studio?

- There's a kitchen and a medical clinic.

This place goes on forever.

I want you to meet Quinn.

He's Lathan's engineer
and all-around handyman.

You'll probably be bunking with him.

Good afternoon boys and
girls, let's begin today...

- Hi Quinn.'s lesson
on global economics.

Why don't we open your
textbooks to page nine.

- Come on, I'll show
you where his room is.

- So now kids, the two primary
causes of the last century's

catastrophe were...

computer stocks...

- Who's that?

- Parice, the schoolteacher out here.

Correct, and the result was?

Carrie, are you with us this evening?

Yeah, I'm here teacher.

Well, my governments couldn't
pay their national debt

so Unicom took over responsibility.

- Good, right, and it can't
happen again because why?

Because Unicom is a free
enterprise bureaucracy

dedicated to the concepts of
life, liberty and the pursuit

of economic stability.

- Awful pretty for a school teacher.

- I guess, if you like the type.

Take a look at chapter four.

Carrie, why don't you go
ahead and read aloud for us.

- So Mr. Keen.

Where are you from originally?

- Oceanside originally.

My name's Tyson.

- I've never seen the ocean.

- I have.

- Is it true that some
people still swim in it?

- A few, now and then.

- Well, you know, it's funny.

I've always wondered what I
would look like in one of those

bikinis women used to wear.

- You wouldn't catch me
dead wearing one of those.

- That's cause you're
not grown up enough to

fill one out yet.

- Very funny Quinn.

- Sorry I'm late.

Mr. Keen, my granddaughter
says I owe you an apology.

I suppose I do.

You caught me at a bad time.

- You mean there's a good time?

- I've been around a long time, Mr. Keen.

I lived through the days of redemption.

They say we're redeemed now.

- Well things could be worse.

- Mr. Keen when Unicom decided
to ban the use of computers

by civilians because as they say

we "screwed up the money markets"

we "triggered the econo-collapse."

We bought that.

We didn't like it but we bought it

because it was the easiest thing to do.

And when they outlawed robots
because of some demented

vision about the book of Revelations,

we thanked them for guiding
us out of the darkness.

- Lathan.

- But nothing much has changed Mr. Keen,

except you and I have lost a
couple of our civil rights.

We're still as uneducated as
ever, still as self-absorbed,

and we're still watching
the same crap on television

as we did 40 years ago.

- Well no offense Mr. Hooks,
but the Winston Wicket

show ain't exactly brilliant programming.

- That jackass' uncle holds
the mortgage on this station.

That's why we have the Winston
Wickett show on television.

- Even in absentia, I'm
the topic of conversation.

- What are you doing back here?

- Well the day-night
motels are all filled up.

With thermal coming on, we
just figured we'd turn around

and come back.

- Great.

- And I promised these two
fallen women a nice dinner.

Sandra, Christie, anything
you want, it's on the house.

- All this room and we
have to make our own bed,

for crying out loud.

- Come on Grace, you're going
to be bunking in my room.

And Winston, Lathan says
that you guys get the clinic.

Don't touch anything.

- Oh I'm not going to touch anything.

Come on downstairs girls,
we're gonna play doctor.

- I'll get the spare cot out.

Good night Arren.

- Good night Quinn.

- Good night.

- Sleep well.

- If you need anything, I'm right here.

- Thanks kid.

- He seems really nice.

- I guess, if you like the type.

- So how long have you worked here?

- About six months.

- Tough old man.

- Yeah he's hard but fair.

- So what did you do before this?

- Odd jobs here and there.

- Same here.

No matter what it is, as long as it pays.

- Good night.

- Night.

- It's all yours.

- Come on ladies, this will
be a night that you girls

will not forget for a long, long time.

- It's a frigging hospital.

- I wonder what kind of
mind fuckers they got.

- Hey Christie, come on,
remember we agreed, okay?

- Why's all this here?

- That's an emergency
room for the desert shits

whenever they wander in.

- Is there a doctor out here?

- Uniquack comes out here
every couple of weeks,

shoots them up with some
medicine, and they're good as new.

- Scared the hell out of me.

I was just checking...

- Ahhh!

- What is that, what is that, Arren!

- Shut up you idiot!

- What the hell's going on?

The electricity's out, air's down.

Sensor's warn when it's 105.

What the hell is that?

Juice is out, that's all.

- Lathan's not in his room.

- He's probably been messing around again.

Shorted out the power source.


- Lathan!

- Maybe he's in the trans room.

- I'll go with you.

- Oh this is great.

The old bastard has blown a
fuse in the middle of a thermal

and we're gonna roast.

- Lathan.

- Lathan.

- Ah, there's some major damage here.

This isn't good.

- Where the hell could he be?

- They killed him!

It wasn't an accident.

- Arren, stop, listen to me.

- No, you don't know, they killed him.

- It's okay, it's all right, I know.

It's okay sweetie.

- What happened?

- I don't know.

Might have slipped off the catwalk.

Could have been a heart attack.

How's the kid?

- She's pretty shook up.

- Well this a fine kettle of snatch.

We're gonna be roasting here
in this goddamn furnace.

- You know you really are an asshole.

- Keep your hands off of me.

- There's a man dead out
there and you're worried

about the heat?

- That's not going to make
it any cooler in here.

Look if the thermal continues
and we can't get the

spark back on we're gonna fry.

It's 110 degrees right now
and it's gonna get a hell of a

lot hotter when the sun comes up.

Well what about auxiliary power?

We've got about an hour left.

- Hey Quinn, why don't you do
something out of the ordinary?

Why don't you do what you get paid for?

Why don't you just fix it, huh?

- So can we fix it?

- Maybe, we can try to
rig a power bypass but

we got to go outside to do it.

- How is she?

- About as well as can be expected.

She keeps saying that
the old man was murdered.

She's in shock.

I had to give her something
to help her sleep.

- We're going to rig a power bypass.

In the meantime, maybe you can
find some kerosene lanterns.

Better suit up.

- He didn't fall.

He was jamming their signal.

They killed him.

- What?

- Don't let them get away with it.

- Arren, who?

- Unicom.

- Arren?

- Is she all right?

Quinn's waiting for you outside.

Oh, be careful, okay?

- I will.

- Don't touch anything in here.

Hold the light steady.

- No water.

- Why not?

- The pump's electric.

- You know if this thermal continues,

we're gonna die without water.

- Do you mean to tell me there
are no emergency supplies

out here?

- Damn fool.

- There's gotta be something here.

Christie check the cupboards for soups.

Any other kind of liquids.


- Good idea.

Winston, that's your job.

- What?

- Come on, don't tell me
you've never drank out of a

toilet before, and here
I thought you were a

well-rounded guy.

All right, if you're
going to be a spoil sport,

we'll boil it, okay?

- Yeah, boil this.

- How much longer?

- I've almost got it.

- I had just looked into the abyss.

At least the last son of a bitch flushed.

- What is all this?

- Here's to big strong men!

- He wanted somebody
to help pound the sand.

- How about you, is there
anything I can do for you?

- I'm okay.

- Is everything fixed?

- Yeah, until the thermal passes.

We have to rewire the whole thing.

- I just stopped and looked in on the kid,

to see if she was all right.

She wasn't there.

I looked everywhere, she's gone.

- Arren?

She's not there.

You okay?

- Yeah, I'm okay.

- Come on, we'll find her.

- This place is starting
to give me the willies.

- Relax, it's a hell of a lot better than

some of the places we've been in.

- I don't know, there's
something weird going on here,

I can feel it.

- As soon as the thermal passes,

we'll head on up to Frisco.

- What about the money
Mr. Wickett owes us?

- That fat little fucker's a dead beat.

I say we cut our losses
and kiss his ass goodbye.

- He said he was going
to make me a TV star.

- Come on, let's go find the kid.

- Arren?

Arren, are you down here?


- Arren, come on you little drit.

This ain't funny.

Arren, come on baby, don't do this.

Come on, if you're in here, let me know.


Son of a bitch, what
the hell are you doing

sneaking up on me like that?

- What are you doing here?

- I need a drink.

I need a drink.

- Follow me I want to show you something.

- Where'd all this stuff come from?

- Lathan did it.

During the Day's Redemption.

It's all stuff from the 90s.

- What do you guys use it for?

Ouch, Jesus!

What the hell are you doing?

- Oh god, I'm sorry!

I had to see if you were synth.

- What are you, nuts?

Synths were destroyed years ago.

- No, Unicom has been using
them for over a year now.

Lathan and the others
found out about it when it

infiltrated the group.

- Wait, what, what group?

The Independent Liberty Union.

- Your grandfather was
a member of the ILU?

- So what do they use synthoids for?

- Watchdogs.

- To watch?

- Us.

They're programming
them on a UHF frequency.

Lathan found a way to jam the signal.

It was only a matter of
time before they traced

the pirate jam and sent
one of their rubber geeks

to stop it.

That's why they killed him.

At first I thought it was you,

but Lathan said you were harmless.

What we didn't figure on
was one already being here.

- But Arren, by international
agreement, synthoids are

programmed to be incapable
of killing humans.

- Any synth can kill you if
you override its fail safe

program with a crash and burn virus.

That's what they were broadcasting.

When I came down here there
was all sorts of stuff

happening on the screen.

It was the virus programmed
just before Lathan was killed.

There, that's the synthoids ID number.

That's us.

That's the crash and burn virus.

And that's my grandfather's
social security number.

- So what's FLR 101?

- First law of robotics, deleting it.

Creating a killing machine.

Tyson, I'm sorry I cut you.

I guess I already knew
you weren't a synth.

- Arren, there's things that
don't add up here though.

What about that dead room?

What about all the emergency supplies,

they're stashed where
nobody can get at them.

- Well someone must have moved them there.

- What about the Freon, there's at least

ten liters of Freon back there.

Your grandpa said you had
been out of it for months.

- Well one of us ain't one of us.

I want to find out which one.

- This is the craziest goddamn
thing I've ever heard of.

- Look, I saw the computer myself.

- Well good for you.

All that means is that
little shit is going to jail

as soon as they find out about it.

This whole thing is absurd.

- Why?

I mean anything is possible.

- Well we all know each
other, except them.

- And me.

- I saw him bleed.

- Can we just get on with this, please.

I want to go to bed.

Besides, what difference
does it make, if one of us

isn't real anyway?

- Exactly, if there is a synthoid,

and if it did kill the old man,

it got what it wanted.

What makes you think we're still targets?

- But what if it's programmed to kill

anything it sees as a threat?

We all know it's here.

That's probably enough.

- Well you all deserve
to know for yourselves,

so I'll go first.

You're getting better at that kid.

- I'll go next.

Piece of cake.

- Who's next?

- I got nothing to lose.

- I'll go next.

- If I can't trust you, who can I?

- I'll do it.

Is that red enough for you?

I need another
goddamn drink before you play

doctor with me.

Why does it have to be this way?

I mean, ladies first.


Jesus Christ, Quinn, you asshole.

You think everything's a big joke.

- Well, I guess that leaves me.

- I told you this was a crazy idea.

You ought to be locked
up, you little cretin.

All this ILU bullshit.

You're as crazy as the old man was.

- For Christ's sake Winston,
she just lost her grandfather.

- Oh, so it's okay for her to
just slice and dice me then?

Jesus, look at this.

It's already starting to swell up.

Bitch you infected me!

When this thermal's over with,
I'm going to call the rangers

and I'm going to tell
them where they can find

your little computer.

Oh boy, little girls like you go over

really well in prison princess!

- It's all right kid.

We all make mistakes.

Well, it's after two,
I'm gonna get some sleep.

See ya in the morning.

- I'm going to have some tea,
does anybody want to join me?

- Yeah, I'm going to
stay up a little while.

- Good night.

- I'm going to bed.

I'll be in Lathan's
room, it's more secure.

- I don't know, I just can't
picture Lathan in the ILU.

He liked to think of
himself as a revolutionary,

but he was really more
of a dreamer than a doer.

- Whiskey?

- No thanks.

- What about the computer?

- That was a surprise, I don't know,

I guess the rangers will
have to figure that one out.

- So why do you live out
here in the wasteland?

- Same reason most people do I guess.

Everything went under glass
when the ocean air got toxic,

and even with these thermals.

I couldn't live that way.

- Yeah, it's a hell of a world we live in.

- Yeah.

- What, what's wrong?

- It's just been a long
time since someone held me.

- What's wrong with this thing?

Jesus Christ!


- Jesus.

- They finally got to you.

- Good boy, don't let them figure you out.



Tyson is that you?

- Quinn!

- Let her go.

- I could snap her neck like a twig.

- You do and I'll blow
your fucking microchips

all over this floor.

- Suit yourself.


- Where are you going?

I got to thank you kid.

You said a synth would try
and destroy anything it saw

as a threat.

I wasn't programmed for that.

They just told me to get the old man.

But as soon as you said it,
I saw the sense in the idea.

See there's a teeny tiny
little chip in my big

gargantuan brain.

The company calls it the Jiminy factor

because it's like a conscious.

Kind of cute, huh?

But I would never, not in a
billion, million, trillion years

terminate a human.

But thanks to a miracle
of modern technology,

poor little Jiminy Cricket
has crashed and burned.

So now there's only one mission left.

To protect the company's
synthoid program from any

outside interference.

And you two with your goddamn
questions and unpatriotic

opinions have definitely interfered.

So we're going to have some fun.

How about a little hide and seek?

- Tyson, how did you know it was Quinn?

- The cut on Wicket's hand
swelled up way too fast.

Coolant is lethal in the blood.

Quinn slashed him right after he used it,

you never even got a
chance to wipe the blade.

That hidden coolant,
that's his blood supply.

Okay we've got to get
the others out of here.

Are there any more guns?

- Yeah, Lathan got one from the ILU.

I know where it is.

- We should stick together.

- No, I can watch out for
myself, now that I know

what I'm watching out for.

- Where'd you get that?

- It's Quinn, he tried to kill us!

- Oh good god.

- Tyson's waiting for you in the studio.

I'm going to get the others.


Sandra, the synth is Quinn.

Where's Winston and Christie?

- I don't know.

- Okay, get to the studio
and I'll find them.

But watch out for Quinn.

- That's an ugly sore
you've got there Winston.

- You scared the shit out of me.

What the hell are you sneaking
up on me like that for?

- You ought to have someone
take a look at that.

- Oh Quinn this things
is making me scared.

For a small cut I've never seen anything

this goddamn infected.

- You think you've got problems?

Take a look at this.

- Jesus Christ!

- Where are you going fat boy?

I thought we could whip
up a batch of cookies.

That's all folks!

Uh oh, it's way too late for a doctor Win.

I think we'd better amputate.

It looked like it might be fatal mistake

when he shot out my circuits.

He even improved something.

You know what that is?

My sense of power!

- He got Winston.

- What?

- Christ.

- Sandra, I couldn't find her.

Hey but maybe that means he won't either.

- Guess who?

- Well your hands aren't
as large as Winstons.

Say something else.

- What do you want me to say.

- Tell me that you like me.

- I like you Christie.

Don't look, keep your eyes closed.

- What are we going to do if we get him?

- Try to get broadcast power back up.

Let the world know what's
going on down here.

- It's not just here.

- Well maybe we should contact Unicom.

- Jesus Christ what does
it take for you to see

what that would get us?

You're supposed to be the smart
one around here, remember?

- Relax, take it easy all right?

- Shit.

He just wants to play with us.

We'll be all right if we can
hold him off until morning.

Then Christie and I are out of here.

- Take Christie with you.

Tell her I said goodbye.

- I stopped at a road side
about 40 miles east of here.

Is that the closest place?

Do those heaps outside still run?

All right, let's get Christie
and get the hell out of here.

- The heat will kill us by noon.

- Guess we'll have to do it before then.

Do you have a photocam here?

- Lathan had one.

- Okay, get it, get some
pictures of that thing,

then meet us outside, all right?

Let's go.

Come on Arren, let's go.

- Come on!

- Hang on.

- What's the rush?

- Tyson look out, Tyson!



- Arren, oh my god, Tyson.

- Hang on Tyson, we're
going to get you out!

- What are you going to do?

- Resurrect the dead.

Help me with this.

I'll get the DV8 going.

Lathan made sure it could
run from my computer.

- But the electricity is out.

- That's why I got the power bin.

There's enough spark in here
to get the main frame going.

- That's crazy it took
months of training to

walk a DV8.

- I've been training.

- Don't worry Tyson, we'll get you out.

- Come on, get up.

Damn it.

- Sorry fella.

- Let's see.

Oh man, that's going
to need some stitches.

- Let's find Arren and
get the hell out of here.

- Arren?

Something's not right.

Where the hell is she?



- Don't you want to kiss
me just one last time?

- Hey!

Kiss this.

- I wonder what the hell they're up to.

- Probably some pile up on the interstate.

See you around Scratch.

- Where are you all headed?

- Datlin.

Lathan wants me to pick him up something.

- How's that old renegade?

- Better than ever these days.

Be seeing you bud.

- Take care.

- I guess they figured out
that their electronic funkees

got terminated.

So where now?

- Do you know where ILU headquarters is?

- Yeah, Bakersfield.

- We'll get them those pictures
of the synthoids you shot.

You can help them set up
broadcast facilities and

Unicom's word won't be worth shit.

Is there any other way
to get to Bakersfield

besides the main highway?

- Yeah, there's a dirt trail
up about a half mile up.

Comes out just outside of Long Pine.

- You all right?

- Yeah, I'm just thinking about Lathan.

Guess I'm a little scared.

- You're not the only one.

- I just wish he could have
seen that old rust bucket walk.

He would have been proud.

You kind of liked her, didn't you?

Yeah well, she was only
going to break your heart.

Right after she ripped it out.