The Aftermath (1982) - full transcript

Two astronauts return to earth ("a few miles off the coast of Los Angeles") to find that it has been destroyed by nuclear war. L.A. has been taken over by Cutter and his gang of outlaw bikers (straight out of the 70s with bell bottoms and everything). Cutter rapes and pillages. Of course, there are also mutants. The astronauts hook-up with the only normal people left: two good-looking women, and two cute little children; a boy and a girl.

Picked up anything yet?


That really concerns me.

Everything checks out as operational.

Nothing's coming in.

It's got to be our malfunction.

Unless of course all 725
tracking stations worldwide

just happen to be on the
blitz at the same time.

Yea, well, do your best. Keep trying.


how long before reentry?

It's not going to be long now Newman.

Everything still checks out okay.

It's not us.

What the devil's going on down there?

That's just my luck.

I manage to stay cooped up
with you for over a year

just for the privilege
of returning home a hero.

Now, because some
lousy radio malfunction

- would you please shut
up, this is serious.

We're gonna have to take
this thing in by ourselves.

Well, that means losing the ship.

- I haven't taken a vote
yet but I have a sneaking

suspicion that if it
comes to deciding between

losing the ship

or losing our lives, you
guys are gonna pick the ship.


I want you to aim us for
a spot a few miles off

the coast of Los Angeles.

I want a lot of people
to see us coming down.

That way we're covered
no matter what the problem is.

Let's just pray
that we don't hit land.

What are you doing?

I though you might like to work him

at the camp for awhile.


Put the women in the truck.

The guys?

The usual.

It's jammed!

Mathews, come in.

- Our ship had made a trail
on its reentry

that could be seen for a radius
of over 200 miles.

Yet no one came.

No boats. No helicopters.

No sightseers.

No one.

I found myself a prisoner

trapped on the shoreline
by shear trusses hundreds

of feet high.

I decided to try and climb my way out.

The steep sea cliffs
were impossible to scale.

So I began to move
parallel down the coastline

in hopes of finding an
easier way to the top.

By midday I came to a
small beach clearing.

And on it, in the distance,

I thought I saw something.


I was in the middle of a nightmare.

With no way to wake up.

Whatever had killed these people

it had done it so quickly

that they had hardly been
aware they were dying.

Among their belongings
i found several things

I felt might of use to me.

As I was beginning to leave

I saw a small portable radio.

At last, I had a chance to
communicate with the outside

world for the first time since
the beginning of our mission.

What's out there?

There's nothing.

You'd think we'd at least
see part of the lights.

- I wish we'd made it to
the top before the sun set.


I wonder if there are any
wild animals around here.

Probably nothing dangerous.


wake up!

- What is it?
- There's something out there.

- God, what were they?
- I don't know.

We'd better get back and
build up that fire, come on.


- Little was said
between mathews and I

as we descended the mountain.

The rubble in the valley
below was all that was left of

what was once a great city.

It had finally happened.

The last great war which
mankind had all but

obliterated himself.

One thing puzzled us.

Everywhere we went

we saw no people

living or dead.

And we began to wonder,

were those hideous man-like
creatures that attacked us

the night before

all that remained of the human race?

On the edge of the city was a
civil defense radio station.

I felt that there we
might find the answers

to many questions.

Mathews' leg had been
injured during the crash.

So it would be necessary
for me to make the ascent

to the radio station by myself.

Night would be upon us shortly.

And it was very important
that we find out more

about what its shadows might hold

before they fell upon us again.

The dead broadcaster's hand
was firmly grasping the controls

of a tape recorder.

I wondered what it was
that was so important.

That a dying man would use
his last breath to record it.

- It's been 32 days
since I was last outside.

For all I know there might
not be anyone left out there

to hear what I'm about to record.

In a matter of only a
few days I've watched as

the world was ripped apart
and its people destroyed.

There's no more food, no
more water, no more help.

Of the major cities of
the world all have been

either partially or completely destroyed.

Millions are dead from nuclear blast.

Millions more scarred,
deranged by volatile

new biological weapons and germ warfare.

Those who survived the
initial blast are mindless,

batted monsters.

They run in packs like
wolves and feed themselves

on anything they can find.

The thousands of corpses
begin to disappear from

the streets as they
roamed and fed themselves.

When they were gone they
began to attack small animals

and children, anything.

The conflict has ended.

I, myself, am getting
sicker and sicker each day.

I am no longer able to go about freely.

Soon I'll be unable
to care for myself at all.

So if I must die

I prefer to do it here quietly
where they can't find me.

I wonder what he meant by they.

What's that?

- It's a geiger counter, i
got it from the radio station.

- Does it work?
- Oh, yeah, it works.

There's nothing for it
to pick up right now.

I'll hang on to it though,
we might need it later.

I repeat,

I'll broadcast on this
frequency three times daily.

This is Newman in the city
of Los Angeles signing off.

- Yes?

We never discussed this before

but I'd like to before I go.

Go on.

- Five years ago when
Jenny and my son died

I knew that no matter what else happened

in the future nothing
could ever be as horrible.

And even now, amidst
of all that's happened

it still holds true.

- Look, pal, it's been
no big secret to me.

You hated the world in
general for a long time.

I understand why, the world
lost a lot of its charm.

We both grew up and we
saw a lot of the things

that made life beautiful change

and become plastic, you
hated the plastic, I didn't.

It's that simple.
- No, not quite.

Okay, here's the difference.

I'm hurting right now.

I can tell by looking at
your face you love the way

things turned out.

No more taxes, no more red
tape, no more government.

No more ugly apartment buildings.

You've given me this
speech a hundred times

on how great it's gonna
be when all this crumbles.

Well, it did come.

Only to me it's not great.

It's just scary.

I guess what I'm trying to say is,

I don't seem to be mourning
in the same way as you.

Try not to think too much.

Take care.


- I'd be delighted to show
you around, Mr. Newman.

We don't have many visitors
nowadays, Chris and I,

at least not the kind
that we care to entertain.

- I know what you mean.
- You just step this way.

The Egyptians had an amazing culture.

In many respects their lifestyle exceeded

even that of the 20th century.

But then their technology
grew to such an extent

that it controlled them and in the end,

like us, it swallowed them up.

All that remains now of that
once glorious civilization

just these few remnants.

Throughout history man developed

many unique mechanical devices

with which to destroy his fellow man.

That Cannon for instance,

ancient man felt that
the bigger the weapon,

the greater its potential for destruction.

We learned differently, didn't we?

I wonder has it ever struck
you strangely paradoxical

that in the end

it was the smallest things that did us in,

tiny little invisible
particles we couldn't even see

by the naked eye?

Destroyed by atoms and germs. What irony.

Well, man developed his
technology and technology

became a monster and destroyed him.

20th century.

- At last, perhaps an apt
expression, Mr. Newman.

I wonder if it will prove prophetic.

Possibly this is the last
century of man on earth.

I wonder.

I had hoped to prepare one final exhibit

of man's last decay.

But I don't know now. I
doubt there'll be time.

What do you mean?

Well, you're an astronaut, Mr. Newman.

I suppose I don't have to
tell you what that means.


Oh, that's all right,

you don't have to be
secretive with that square

little man there.

Chris and I have had
numerous discussions about

this recently.

I've been trying to
prepare him for the time

when I'm no longer here.

And it'll make my passing easier.

Don't worry, Mr. Clark.

I'll take real good care of him.

Are you all right?

I will be in a minute, yes.

The pains have been coming
rather regularly lately.

Perhaps it would help if you slept.


Yes, I think a good long
sleep is what I need.

I'll be saying goodbye now Chris.

Mr. Newman came along
just at the right time.

Bye, Mr. Clark.

Goodbye, Mr. Newman.

We won't be seeing each
other again before you leave.

I want to thank you for
sharing your time with me.

Goodbye, Chris.

Chris knew that he would never

see the curator again.

He'd never known his
parents and most of his life

would be spent in loneliness.

Coming with me would be just
another of dozen of changes

he'd already experienced
in his brief lifetime.

But I could tell by our conversation that

he was very sensitive,

and loving child.

I felt we would become good friends.

And so we did.

- We need more gas, right?
- Right.

Then what are we gonna do?

Oh, I thought we might look around

and see if we can salvage
a few things for the house.

What about this?

- What?
- What about this?

I don't know.

Oh, what's the matter with me,
why this is a terrific find.

If we Polish it up a bit
it will be as good as new.

No matter what happens, you
stay here until I get back.

Stop that, wait a minute, stop it.

Now answer me, why did you shoot at us?

I was shooting at you, not the boy.

And you know why.

What do you mean?

Don't torture me with this game.

Just take me to cutter
and get it over with.


I heard that name before.

Whoever this cutter is,

I'm not with him.

You're not gonna take me to him?

My name's Newman.

The boy's name's Christopher.

What's your name?
- Sarah.

Tell me more about this cutter.


He's a monster.

He has a camp where he and
his followers hold women

and children prisoners.

Usually kills the men.

Children too when they
get old enough to give him

any resistance.

I have a girlfriend and her
baby who are still there.

I managed to get away but I got
to keep moving all the time.

If I stay too long in
one place, he'll find me.

I know he will.

Why don't you come with us, Sarah?

Chris and I will take care of you.


Sarah, the Jeep!


I'm sorry. I've awakened you?

No. Really. I couldn't sleep.

- Are you feeling better?
- Yes.

- This is the first time in
over a year I've felt safe.

You look like a different person.

Well, good night.

Don't leave.

- Hey, you okay?
- Yeah.

You have a bad dream or something?

Yeah, I guess so.

- It's okay, we all have
nightmares sometimes.

I'll tell you what.

How about if I just stay up with you until

you fall back to sleep?

I'd like that.

Okay, scoot over.

I think I'll have a drink,
it will warm us up a bit.

All right.
- I know.

Thunder scares me. Don't
you ever get afraid?

I used to all the time.

- You?
- Yeah.

Well, what happened?

- See, there was this bully.
He used to beat me up.

At least twice a week.

And know what happened?
- No.

One day I drew a line in the dirt

and I decided that no matter what happened

no one was going to cross it.

- Who won?
- Well, nobody.

By the time it was over
we were both so covered

in blood you couldn't tell who was who.

Well, if nobody won what was the point?

Well, I guess the point is that

if you decide that you're willing to fight

or die if necessary for what is right,

then nobody can ever make you
do anything you don't want to.

Nobody ever stepped over the line again?

Only once.

Five years ago my wife and son died.

Car load of drunken kids
crashed into the back

of them when they were in a park at night.

The doctor in the emergency
room wouldn't render aid

to them until I got there
to sign a release form.

And while all this was going on

they died.

What's that?

A dinosaur, my son gave it to me.

He used to say to me,

that way when he was
gone and I missed him,

I would have to do is look at it.

I don't feel lonely anymore.

It's really nice.

I'll tell you what.

When you get bigger

and when we part company if we should,

I'll give it to you.

And that way you can
use it to remember me.

The way I used it all these years

to remember him.
- I like that.

God, I'm glad you guys came.

If we never heard your
call for help on that radio

we probably would have
never stumbled onto you.

Now we're here we're gonna
take real good care of you.

Several weeks passed.

I decided to teach Christopher
how to handle a firearm.

He was amazing.

I've seen few adults
handle weapons as carefully

and without fear.

On the far targets he
was fairly haphazard.

But on those of 25 feet or
less he was amazingly accurate.

But what pleased me the
most was his attitude.

He knew this was no game.

And that one day, his life,

or the life of someone he loved,

might very well depend
on how well he learned

his lessons now.

Boy it's a big camp,

it's going to be fortified
on all four sides.

Here are where their weapons
and ammunition are kept.

Here is where he keeps the
women and children prisoner.

Cutter himself holds up
at this side of the camp.

And the rest of his men,
they're scattered all

over the place.

Cutter's got a second in command.

I don't remember the
guy's name but I saw him-


Do you really think just the
three of us can bring this off?

Well, it isn't going to be any picnic.

But once this laser starts firing,

cutter's gonna think
patton's army is crawling up

his backside.

But it will have to be a surprise attack.

And everyone will have to be
in absolute synchronization

and this includes you too, Chris.

Let's go over this again.

Then after we've done
it about 10 more times,

we make our move.

Where's the mother?

Sarah said she was gonna be in here too.

You're not being very friendly.

If you don't care about yourself,

think about that little girl.

- I don't know, listen,
I'm gonna try and find her.

Once the diversion
starts you take the child

and head for the Jeep.

- All right, let's go.
- Okay, I'll meet you there.

Party's over, cutter.

Move over, let the girl get dressed.

I don't know who you are,

but you just made a big mistake.

- Well, it certainly
won't be my first mistake.

But it maybe your last if
you don't start moving.

Come on.

I want you to hurry. We
haven't got much time.

- My baby.
- She's safe.

There they are.

What happened to mathews?

He ripped his leg open again.

' Yes?

I'm scared.

I can't explain why, but I,

I love you.

I never said that to you before.

I felt it for a long time.

I've never said it.

I want to in case

something should happen.

I never thought I'd feel this way again.

But I love you too.

Very much.

The following morning Chris
and I made a final supply

run into the city.

In a few hours we'd be
leaving the fortress for

a less dangerous region.

I knew that eventually we
would have to deal with cutter.

But first I wanted to make sure
that Sarah, Helen and Laura.

Were all safely out of his reach.




What are you doing?

I'm going after them.

- There are too many of
them. You'll be killed too.


I've got to try.

Somebody's got to try.

I don't want to continue
to live in a world where

baby killers walk around unpunished.

It's got to be done, Chris.

No matter what the price.

You understand?

I think I do.

I hope you do, son.

I hope you do.

You know, it's really a waste.

You're just throwing your life away.

You're gonna go down
there and commit suicide.

It's not gonna bring them back.

You just want to indulge
in revenge, don't you?

No, mathews.

Not revenge.


- I wish I could have
seen the look on his face

when he walk in and found them all.

I still say we should have stuck around

and killed him too.

We'll never see him again.

He and the kid are probably

a couple 100 miles away from here by now.

Newman, Newman!

I can't find him.

What do you mean you can't find him?

He's one man. You get him.

Why did you come?

L just did.

- Why don't you shoot
me and get it over with.

Smile for me now, getman.

This is for Helen.

This is for mathews.

And this is for Sarah.

And this?

This is for Laura.

Mathews went after you.

- He found me.
- Well, where is he?

- With Sarah.
- That means he's dead?


What happens when you die?

I don't know, son.

No one does.

It's sad to die.


Death isn't sad.

We all have to die.

What's sad is,

having to go on
without someone you love.

Just as we have to go on now.

Of all his men,
cutter was the guiltiest.

Yet he had gone unpunished.

I wanted to make sure that Christopher was

in a secure place.

And then I would return and find him.

If it took me the rest of my life.

Want a drink?

- You want more?
- Yeah.


I understand now.

What's that, son?

- What you meant about
why all this is happening,

drawing a line and everything.

Come on.


- No, I'm not leaving.
- Run.

- You should have killed
me when you had the chance.

Somebody will get you, cutter.

' Maybe you?


You missed. Now it's my turn.

You underestimated me, Newman.

But I don't underestimate anybody.

Nice knowing you, Newman.

You can understand.

Newman, are you gonna die?

I'm afraid so.

Newman, I don't want you to die.

Don't cry, son.

You'll be all right.

We had some good times
together, haven't we?


I'll miss you.

Just remember

to keep drawing that line.

Just as you did today.

Stand firmly by

and the world will be yours.

I love you, Chris.
- I love you, Newman.

Newman, don't die, please don't die.

This is so I'll always remember.

As I began my walk down
that long road leading

to the future,

I couldn't possibly have
realized at the time,

how right Newman had been
in the way he lived.

And the importance
of the way he died.


and justice, were no
longer just words to me.

I would never be sure
what death would hold.

But one thing I did know

as long as I lived,

Newman would continue
to live also within me.

And regardless of how long
or short my stay on earth might be

I would never be alone again.