Nightmare City (1980) Script

Good evening from the BWC news room.

Top of the news this evening is speculation about the real facts behind the Department of Health announcement about a radioactive spill, supposed to have occurred yesterday at the state nuclear plant.

Information from an official source, which reached our newsroom this afternoon, stresses the seriousness of the situation, but, at the same time, the prompt action of the emergency team has already contained any damage caused by the accident.

Hi, lovely. Hi, Miller...

Mr. Desmond's waiting for you. Go right in.

The arrival here, expected at any moment, of Professor Hagenbeck...

Ah, Miller... of the original planners of the nuclear station, will undoubtedly... enable us to obtain more precise information.

You heard? He's arriving tomorrow morning at 11.

Take one of the best cameramen with you.

Why me in particular?

I want an exhaustive interview which will reassure our viewers.

Not just the truth, pure and simple?

Forget the philosophy, Miller. Just do what you're told.

I'm not used to manipulating news, according to my professional ethics.

He hasn't arrived yet.

Find out what runway they're landing on. OK.

Hey, Willy, come over here.

What have you got? Unidentified trace.

What's the bearings?

About 30 miles north-east. Altitude approx. 5000.

Control tower here, there's a trace approaching from the north-east.

Distance about... 30 miles.

We've seen it.

Doesn't seem to fit in with any of our data.

We're trying to identify it now.

Try to make contact.

Calling aircraft, about 30 miles north-east of Glipswick Tower, identify yourself...

Calling aircraft, about 30 miles north-east of Glipswick Tower, identify yourself, please.

Could be their radio isn't working.

It's a Hercules military transport.

That's strange, it doesn't have any markings on it.

It looks like it's going to land. He's coming in on 25, make sure that runway's clear, and declare an emergency.

Hey, you up there, what are you up to?

Where are the pilots? We'd better call the police.

Hello! It's an emergency!

What the hell's going on?

I don't know.

Let's see.

What's the story? Nobody answers, sir.

In the name of the law, open the door!

I repeat: In the name of the law, open the door!

I repeat: I order you to open the door!

You have just 30 seconds to make up your mind.

It's Professor Hagenbeck.

Look out! Get back!

Stop them!

Aim at their chest!

Shoot, shoot!

No, no!

Oh, my God! I don't believe it. It's absurd...

Let's go out of here! Let's go!

Answer, please.

Interrupt the program, we're transmitting a special newsflash.

Does the chief know about it? No time to tell him.

Am I in charge of the broadcast... or not?

Whatever you say, Miller. Your wish is my command.

Wake up, Terry. Give your best smile and announce Miller, special newsflash.

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please.

We're interrupting our transmission of It's All Music for a special newsflash.

At the end of the newsflash we'll return with our regular program. Thank you.

Oh, shit! Just as I was going to warm up a little bit.

Shut up, I wanna listen to it.

At 11 o'clock this morning... an event without precedence took place at the airport of this city.

An airplane of no nationality landed at the airport, ignoring all instructions from the control tower.

The airport police immediately converged on the scene of the unauthorised landing, surrounding the aircraft and ordering its occupants...

Yes, right away, chief. come out and identify themselves.

The order had absolutely no effect.

What the hell are you doing? Who interrupted my broadcast?

Now, don't go mad at me, it's not my fault. The chief rang down.


I'd like to know who was on that plane.

They're UFO's. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

You read too many comic books.

You can say what you want, but I'm not going home tonight.

You can sleep at my house. I'll protect you.

Yeah! And who's gonna protect me from him?

Will you all shut up!

We're back on the air in 2 minutes. Come on.

Is it possible you aren't aware of the trouble that broadcast of yours could've caused, or the uproar that would've followed it?

I'm well aware of that, General Murchison, but I'm a journalist and my job is to keep the public informed.

Mr. Miller, listen to me... very carefully.

Something very serious has happened at the airport.

But until we conclude our investigation and take the necessary countermeasures, nothing is going to leak out, nothing!

The Defense Department has strictly forbidden it.

I don't give a damn about the Defense Department.

In a democratic country nobody can interfere with the freedom of the press, for any reason whatsoever!

I see. Mr. Desmond, as the person in charge of this station, you will be held directly responsible for the dissemination of any tendentious news.

I am sure you realize what you're risking.

Don't worry, we won't transmit anything without your authorisation.

Thank you.

Good morning.

I'm fed up with you, Miller.

I'm suspending you from all duties.

No, you're not, I quit!

Ok, I see... yeah...

Excuse me, honey... I'm in a hurry.

Hello. Hello, Liz. Is my wife there?

She... she just went out this minute.

Call her back, immediately!

Yes, sir, of course.

Mrs. Miller! Mrs. Miller!

I'm sorry, sir. But I missed her.

But you'll be able to reach her at the hospital in half an hour.

She said she wasn't feeling well today. She was going to stay home.

I don't know. Maybe she changed her mind.

Ok, Liz. Thank you.

Please, don't answer. It'll stop. This is your day off.

Major Warren? Speaking.

This is Civil Defense headquarters.

General Murchison would like you to come down here right away.

Why? What's up?

The General will explain everything to you himself.

Come right over. The drill is maximum urgency.

Sorry. We'll finish our "conversation" later.

What's wrong? You don't like it.

No, to the contrary. But every time I look at it I get a feeling of...

Of death. Is that what you were going to say?

Maybe... It's the first time one of your works has given me a feeling like that.

It's funny, but it's like that.

I cannot say that you are wrong.

When I look at it objectively, I mean... when I'm not actually working on it...

I almost get the feeling I wasn't the one who made it.

But some other being outside of me.

That sounds like science-fiction.

Metapsychics, if you want. It's better we don't take it so seriously.

I'll junk it if you want.

No... don't even think of it.

Can you imagine what the world would have lost had Michelangelo destroyed his works at the request of Major Warren?

I'm not Michelangelo.

To me, you are much more...

Wake up, Major, if not, you're never going to get to work...

Camera 1, zoom out to her waist...

On 2, hit it!

What's happening? Help!

Oh, my God, get us out of here!

What the hell's going on down there?!

I don't understand...


Civil Defense, this is BWC TV station, we're being attacked.

Send somebody fast or they gonna kill us!

Get out of here!


Hi. How are you feeling today?

Horrible. In this absurd world where people only cares about making money.

Well now, people cares about your health as well.

Temperature? Normal, Doctor.

Continue with the antibiotics, every 8 hours. And complete rest.

Hi, Jim. How are you feeling today?

I feel a lot better... I have so much trust in you.

You've got to relax. Don't worry.

Tonight Dr. Kramer is going to operate you and tomorrow morning you'll wake up fully recovered.

You'll get back to playing soccer in a month.

Is that the truth? The truth.

Last night I had this nightmare...

It looked like war... there was a big explosion...

A nuclear explosion... and blood, a lot of blood.

You have too many bad dreams. I...

Jim, you don't have to think about war and death, you have to think about life, ok?

Well, ok.

I'll drop by and see you later.

Our latest reports indicate the presence of attackers here... here... and here.

This enables us to determine a presumed line of march.

From the airport to the city limits... then quite definitely in a north-eastern direction.

We don't know if this means a predetermined plan, but we must assume so, we have no other choice.

Unfortunately, the reports reaching us from our various information centers, the latest from the National Science Academy, are all pretty sketchy. They do suggest, even in a vague way, the type of countermeasures to adopt.

You may proceed.

This is the body of one of the attackers.

It was picked up on the runway at the airport.

The autopsy categorically excludes an extra-terrestrial being.

His molecular structure includes him in the human race.

A paradox, when you consider what they've been doing.

Colonel, please.

I'm Colonel Donahue of the Institute for Atomic Research..

The examination of various tissue samples we have taken from the body, reveals the presence of a degree of radioactivity.

Far superior to the level normally tolerated by the human organism.

In addition, we have found, more or less, recent hypertissue regeneration.

Can you make that a little simpler, Colonel?

Some of your colleagues may not have the same theoretical or technical background.

In other words, this individual, and others like him, have been subjected to strong doses of atomic radiation which increased their physical capacities beyond the normal.

How far beyond? That's difficult to say.

But it's a fact that these cells, subjected to every treatment we know, have turned out to be almost indestructible.

In short, it's a kind of a superman.

Much more than that. What do you mean?

I mean that the abnormal strengthening of the cells vital qualities has increased their direct genetic capacity.

In other words, the victims of these creatures are contaminated, even if they only suffer minor injuries.

Then they can reproduce themselves, say indefinitely.

That, more or less, is correct.

And you say, with our weapons, that they can't be destroyed?

No, that their substance can't.

Excuse me, Colonel, isn't that the same thing?

Not exactly. A machine may be indestructible, yet its functioning may still be blocked.


By interrupting the feeding process, for example.

Atomic contamination destroys red blood cells in very short order.

That's why new blood is always needed for these creatures...

True, the human organism is greatly strengthened.

However, the power still remains the brain.

A lesion to the nerve centers can produce paralysis.

The procedure stops the complex entirely.

You mean only bullets damaging the cranium can stop these... monsters?

This corpse is the proof.

It's the only lifeless body we have discovered.

The cerebral apparatus has been destroyed.

Thank you, Colonel. General Reedman, you've heard everything.

The order to any soldier and police officer is:

"Aim to the brain". You must be very specific about that.

As for our combat plan, we must follow emergency plan H, and keep plan B in reserve in case the situation gets out of hand.

That's all for the moment, gentlemen. Thank you.

Oh, Warren. I have to talk to you.

Excuse me, General... may I make a phone call?

Alright but hurry it up. Yes, sir.

Yes, sir. At once.

Hold on, please.

Hello. Oh, it's you, dear.

I was in the bathroom doing my hair.

I... want to look nice for you this evening.

I'm afraid this evening's out of the question.

Can you tell me why?

No, I can't explain it now. But I...

I want you to do exactly what I tell you. Understand?

Perfectly. I am to do what you wish and not ask why.

A typical male chauvinist pig attitude.

This is serious, don't kid about it.

Make sure all the doors and windows are locked.

Nobody is to be let in, nobody, understand?

I'll be home as soon as I can.

And when I get there, you're to make damn sure it's me. Is that clear?

Yes, transparent. Have you become jealous all of a sudden?

Think whatever you want to think, but for God's sake, do what I tell you!


General Polyclinic. May I help you?

Will you hold the line, please.

Dr. Miller is wanted on the phone.

It's for you, Dr. Miller. Your husband.

Tell him I'm very busy. He can call me again later.

Sorry, sir. But Dr. Miller is about to go into the operating room.

Please, would you call again later?

I must speak with her now... it's urgent.. you can just...

I'm very sorry, but... I see. Thank you.


Come on, Jessica. The camper is ready.

Ok, I'm coming. Is the camper all packed?

All packed, and filled up with gas.

Ok, I'll get it.

No, leave it. Don't answer it, it's probably some bore.

Or maybe your father who always wants to know where we're going, and where we're going to stop, and if we have enough money.

It may be... Generals are fussy, General Murchison is no exception.

I really don't know why I married Jessica Murchison.

It isn't even 3 months, and already you repent.

I'm a pacifist. I hate uniforms. Madam...


Good morning, madam. Your father wishes you to join him.

Immediately at Defense headquarters.

At headquarters? Why?

He tried to phone you, but there wasn't any answer.

He says that you're not to waste anytime.

I have a car outside.

Did something serious happen?

Your father will explain everything to you.

Maybe some kind of war broke out...

Ok... you can wait for us in the car.

Hello. May I talk to General Murchison? It's his daughter speaking.

Would you hold the line, please.

He is in a meeting.

The line was cut off. It's dead.

Why don't we just clear out of here?

I don't like spending my weekend with a General.

Neither do I. We could call him from a phone booth.

Come on, hurry up... We have to sneak out, so that idiot outside doesn't realize anything. Ok?

Let's go.

The way is clear... Come on.

Dr. Miller, please. I'm her husband.

I'm sorry. Dr. Miller's in the operating room.

She's assisting Dr. Kramer in a very delicate operation.

And we have strict orders not to disturb her.

I've got to see her. I can't wait!

Sorry, Mr. Miller, orders are orders.

Emergency 24!

We picked up a woman with her throat slashed.

Plasma needed urgently!

What the devil's going on today?

That's the 6th emergency in 2 hours.

Alright, we'll arrange for a transfusion. Call Dr. Sanders.

Raise it! Come on.

It's Whitey. Let him in.

Come on, Whitey! What are you standing there for?

What happened? An accident?

Call an ambulance, there are injuries!

Help me, give me a hand!

Here the situation is critical.

Unfortunately, they've just sabotaged the south power station as well.

We have a team of engineers there, but it'll take hours before they can get it working again, with luck.


The emergency generators and searchlights have been positioned at all strategic points in the city.

Well done. General Murchison.

Gentlemen... the Government informs that other planes full of infected people have arrived, and orders we don't leak any news that might cause public disorder.

But... we can't conceal this from the public. It's absurd!

The Government disagrees.

We'll just have to try to keep control of public buildings, barracks, hospitals, as long as we can, after which...

We just have a solution.

You're right, Warren.

We'll simply have to declare a state of emergency ourselves.


What happened to her? She has serious wounds in her throat.

Quick, to the intensive care unit.

An anesthetist, it's urgent!

Quick, come on!

Quick, this way!

What the devil are they up to, those fools?

Why haven't they turned on the emergency generators?

Two of the generators are out of order, Doctor.

They're starting up the 3rd.

It'll provide just enough current for us and the emergency ward.

Have you checked the pulse rate?

It's weak but regular.

Continue with direct oxygen.

Keep that light steady!

Ah, it's about time.

Go and get more plasma.

And hurry! Yes, Doctor.

Help! Open up this door!

Oh, my God, I can't breathe!

I can't hold on...

They can't leave us here.

I feel like I'm going to faint...

Hey, open up this door!

Come on! Open up!

What do you want?

Jim! Jim!

Oh, no... Jim!

Help, help!

Anna, where are you?

It's me, Anna, don't be afraid. Oh, it's you.

Take it easy.

Oh, Dean. It's horrible!

You can't imagine... it's a massacre!

Yes, I know. Come.

I can't operate with this noise. Make them keep quiet.

Keep still. Don't move!

Let me go!

Help! Let me go!


Help! Help!

The emergency exit is on the right.


Get us out of here!

I can't breathe... My heart feels like it's bursting! Help me!

Don't push! Keep still!

If we keep calm then we can all breathe a lot easier.

Why doesn't somebody do something?

These things have manual controls on them.

Why don't they wind us down?

You're right. Hey! Get us out of here!

It's alright. Be... calm.

They're lowering us down.

Don't push! Get back!

Stop it! Get back, everybody!

To the ambulance, go!

Dean! Look out!

Take us down a little and turn left.

A.F.3 to base command...

This is Major Warren calling. We're flying over the outlying areas...

So far we've had no trace of the infected on this side.

Only some cars heading out of town.

Any news of your daughter?

No, none. I only hope she's alright.

I'm sorry, Murchison, really I am.

Thank you.

Reedman, the situation is hopeless.

Many parts of the country are cut off. Most of the phone lines are out.

What's worse, we've lost contact with Government headquarters.

We'll have to declare a state of emergency ourselves.

But you realize... I'm fully aware of the consequences.

I just see no alternative. I understand.

What are your orders?

Notify bases 112 and 401 to stand by with helicopters and if necessary squadrons of fighter bombers.

We'll try to get control back at once before it's too late.

Or before we all become contaminated, just like them.

...has declared a state of emergency.

All civilians have been ordered to remain in their houses or to place themselves under the direct protection of the police or the military.

Private traffic may circulate only if authorised by the Civil Defense Command.

It's frightening. How could a thing like this happen?

It's part of the vital cycle of the human race.

Create and obliterate, until we destroy ourselves.

Words. We're up against a race of monsters.

Created by other monsters who have only one thing on their mind:

The discovery of greater power.

At least this time there won't be any historical justifications.

Even if any of us survive.

Do you think it's possible to stop them?

The infection is like an oil stain, and who knows how far the contagion has spread now.

...with the danger of the contamination, public buildings and private enterprises will remain closed for an indefinite time.

Weekend vacationers are ordered to reach immediately the nearest populated areas.

The Civil Defense authorities have further stated that...

Jessica, stop that humming! It's getting on my nerves.

Bob, what's wrong? You're getting a bit too nervous...

I just heard a newsflash on the radio.

Something serious has happened in town...

They've declared a state of emergency.

A state of emergency? Does it have to do with my father?

I don't know. It's difficult to understand.

But we should go back to town.

But we just arrived...

I've no intention of giving up my weekend.

To hell with the emergency.

Listen, you're General Murchison's daughter and it's my duty to take you back home...

Something doesn't feel right in this place. Like what?

Like that continuous barking, without seeing a dog around.

And we haven't seen another car for more than one hour.

In a place like this, usually full of campers.

Listen. It's almost 10. The Jones' should arrive soon.

Let's talk with them. They should know what's happened in town.

Just as you like.

Bob! Come here!

He seems to be burned alive.

There they are!

Martha! Ted! Oh, are we glad you are here.

Martha, what's going on?

Hey! What are you doing with that gun?

Sheila... Sheila! Can you hear me?

It's me, Cindy. Let me in, please!

For God's sake, I'm afraid being outside all alone! Open the door!

Open the door, please... I'm alone.

Oh, Sheila! I thought I was going mad.

I just couldn't stand it anymore! Being in the house all alone.

Now relax. Come.

Johnny went off to work and the cleaning woman never showed up.

I kept hearing noises everywhere.

On the roof, in the cellar, everywhere.

Well, you can relax now. We're safe here...

At least for the moment.

Warren is coming as soon as he can.

God, Sheila, what's going on?

I don't know... I really don't know.

Have you tried calling Gracie?

Her husband is with the department of something or... or other.

How could I call? The phone hasn't been working for 3 hours.

You sure?

Not working here, either.

There must be a breakdown at the exchange.

Cheer up.

Drink this.

I'm frightened, Sheila. Really frightened.

On the radio they say to stay home, and lock all the doors and windows.

I did it. I even barricaded the coal hole to the cellar.

What did you say?

That I barricaded the coal hole to the cellar.

How did I managed to forget that?

Wait, Sheila! Don't leave me alone. I'll come with you.

Thanks for reminding me.

What was it?

Nothing. Light a candle... And stay down here.

Sheila! Sheila!


Why didn't they stop us?

We have a Red Cross protecting us.

What is it, dear?

We're running out of gas.

Down there.

Anybody here?


You can get out. There's nobody here.

What do you think about it?

It's a bit flashy, but it's better than this.

Just like a western.

Except that, they didn't have... instant coffee in the good old days.

Another advantage of civilisation.

Like Coca-Cola and nuclear energy.

Believe me: We are living in the age of the advantages.

This is good.

Do you think we should give up... the advantages we have gained?

Maybe it would be better. However...'s not the fault of science and technology, but of man.

We proud ourselves on having invented computers and we were not able to predict a mess like this.

How long will it last? I don't know.

But one thing is clear, we're partly to blame ourselves.

Just think of the life we have led... up until today.

Shut up in those ridiculous cities.

In a steel and concrete jungles. Like machines.

All this had to happen to realise the truth.

Let's hope it isn't too late.

...according to the latest reports from the Civil Defense headquarters, groups of saboteurs are on the edge of the city.

Public buildings have been ravaged.

Last night the general hospital has been hit the hardest by people contaminated with radiation.

37 people were reported dead and many more were injured.

Military authorities has ordered that all commando units...

Anna, it's better we start moving.

Get all the provisions you can.

I'll get the gas.


Help me, Dean!

One of them is outside! I saw him!

It won't hold up for long.

Find some cloth, something that can burn.

Take this...



They're all together.

When I say 'now', you open the door, ok?

But I can't... Shut up!

Do what I say and don't argue!

All right.


Let's go!

Do you want some more?

Don't give in. Hang on!

I'm really tired.

And I'm frightened.

I can't take it anymore. Dean, please, help me.

Relax. Nothing is going to happen as long as we stay together.

I promise you.

What we've got to do now is get away from here as fast as we can.

But where?

Why don't we face it? We're not going to survive!

They're all around us, they're waiting for us!

We are trapped like two flies in a spider's web.

We'll never survive. Never!

Stop it!

Get down!

Run and don't look back!

Here they are! Get us down!

Get us down a bit closer!

A.F.3 to base command...

I've located a whole group of them.

They are moving in an east direction towards the main waterworks.

I'm afraid they want to sabotage the pipelines.

Request General Murchison immediate air assistance. Over!

Base command to A.F.3. Message received.

Will pass your request to General Murchison at once.

Who's that? Reedman? Just listen to me, Reedman.

I'm not interested in your opinion. I know it's a huge risk!

I agree with that, but there's no alternative!

Just carry out my orders!

If necessary you can go to Chambers yourself.

We'll find some solution in the end. I'm sure.

You know there's no solution.

All we can fight for is a little time! But how much?

What about this place? Looks peaceful.

Let's go!

Wait here.

Well? Come. There's nobody here.

But the bell is ringing? I told you nobody's there.

Let's go!

Remember the medieval legends?

They say that demons and vampires can't enter the house of God.

Come, I'm sure there's no risk.

Thank the Lord, Father! We really need help...

Captain! What's going on around here?

Where are the other officers?

Why hasn't somebody responded on the radio?

We located other infected areas north of here over the beltway.

So get those planes in the air.

Answer me! Or are you looking for a court-martial?

Don't move, Major, or I'll kill you!

You can't fool me. You're like all the rest. Contaminated!

You brought death and destruction. You destroyed my squadron.

But you don't fool me no more!

Put that gun down! Have you gone crazy?

I don't intend to die. I want to live!

A.F.3 to base command... This is Major Warren calling.

Vaden Airport has been sabotaged.

No chance the fighters can intervene.

Standing by... for further orders.

Just a minute, Major... I will pass you over to General Murchison.

Warren? This is Murchison. Listen carefully.

All communications with operational command units have been cut off.

Do you hear me? Variant B is out. Return to base.

Do you hear me? Your mission is useless now.

Message received, General. Will do. Over and out.

Oh, Donahue. I suppose you're here to tell me your experiment didn't work out.

On the contrary. The gas has proven effective.

Our planes can fire it with their missile launchers.

General Reedman must be informed immediately.

But, Donahue, we have no planes! Not anymore.

And there's no more Reedman.

But didn't he leave for the airbase at Chambers?

He never got there. They brought him here 20 minutes ago.

May God help us all.

Wait here! We're taking on a passenger!


Where are you?

Why did you leave the door open? I mean, I told you...

My God...

No, Sheila!



Just try to understand, I had to kill that priest!

Ok, but...


Maybe it still works. Wait here.

When I give you the signal, run to the jeep fast. Ok.

Run for it, Anna! Run!


Hey! Help!

Help! Hey!

Let's try to pull them outta there. Hurry up!

But, Major, is it worth it? Maybe they're already infected.

Just do what I tell you!

Come on! Just pull!

Come on!

Don't look down! Come on.

Just pull. You can do it.

I can't hold on!

Don't let go! I can't hold on!

What is it, dear? What's wrong?

Why, it's... it's nothing.

I had a horrible dream. A nightmare.

Anna, how do you feel? Are you alright?

I just wanna go to sleep! I'm so sleepy...

God! It's late! I have to get to the airport!

I've got an interview to do with the nuclear scientist, Professor Hagenbeck.

He's an important man. He runs the nuclear state plant.


Professor Hagenbeck. But, dear, are you listening to me?

He hasn't arrived yet. Find out what runway they are landing on.


Hey, Willy. There's an unidentified trace...

This is control tower. Identify yourself.

Maybe their radio isn't working.

It looks like it's going to land. He's coming in on 25...

Make sure that runway's clear, and declare an emergency.

What the hell is going on?

I don't know. Let's see.

What's the story? Nobody answers, sir.

In the name of the law, open the door!

I repeat: In the name of the law, open the door!