Pulse (1988) Script

What is it?

You'd better call the police.

Yeah, come on. You better... I'll go down.

Be careful. Yeah.

What? Um, oh, uh, uh, 1947 Kenwood.



Bill? No.

It's okay.

All right, folks, let's back it up. Let's back it up.

Be careful there. Stay back. Get back.

What did you see?


Please clear the area.

This is the police.

Move away from the lawn.

In here!

All right, you people, stay back.

You'll note that Captain Hurley has turned on the No Smoking sign in preparation for our landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

We ask that cigarettes be extinguished at this time.

Please check to see that your seat belt is securely fastened and that your tray table and seat back are in the upright and locked position.

You're really gonna like the new place, son.

It's a lot bigger than that condo in Venice.

And you won't be sleeping on the living room sofa.

...the latest in a rash of Southland freeway assaults where now a total of more than 40 or more have been killed and several injured.

What are you doing?

Um... the smoke.

Oh, uh, don't.

Um, that window's off its track.

It'll go down, but you can't get it back up again.

Is that better?

Your mother quit smoking, huh?

Yeah, she says people smoke because, well, they don't like themselves.


Well, your mother's become quite the psychologist, I guess, huh?

You know, David... it's a good thing your school didn't let out last week.

We had a lot of excitement here.

We had three police cars, an ambulance, a fire engine and a TV cameraman from one of the stations.

What happened?

Wait a minute. We're almost home. I'll show you.




What happened? A fire?

No. Hank Jordan, the guy who lived there, just went crazy or something.

I imagine they'll... fix it up and sell it.

I just hope they do it soon.

It looks so terrible the way it is.

You think your mom packed enough stuff for you?


Is something the matter?

Where you and Dad lived before didn't have all these... bars on the windows.


Well, your dad put them up right after we moved in.

It makes everything a lot safer.

Oh, and look.

We didn't want to... cover up the picture window with them, so we did this.

Our bedroom's down the hallway, right over there.

We have our own bathroom, so this one will be all yours.

And this... as if you couldn't guess... is your room.

So, what do you think?

Don't you like it?

It has a lot of mushrooms in it.

Would you like some soup?



Thank you.

You'll have to tell me what other food you... can't stand.

Okay. Ahem.

What's up?

What do you mean?

Well, I mean... you've been so down ever since you got here.

What's wrong?

You really should have come to Colorado.

What, for the summer?

Yeah, and then we could see each other.

And it would be a whole lot better.

I mean... I could show you all these neat places.

Like, um... there's this one place, you know, called the Roaring Fork where you get in your inner tubes, ride down the river and you carry a fishing pole and...

I've got some pictures to show you.

Sounds pretty nice, kiddo.

Yeah, and then you could stay with us at our house.


You know that's not possible.

I know.

But... then you could stay someplace else, like someplace close.

And, well, she could come too.

And then I could stay with you guys there.

Yeah. But I can't do that, see?

I have a job. I have to stay here.


You know, Mom doesn't have any of that stuff.

What, the microwave, you mean?

See, we used to live in an apartment in Denver.

And it had all that stuff. But... I don't know.

We had a microwave and everything.

But Mom just never used it. She was scared of it.

She says it can make you sterile.

Oh, that's silly.

Well, I mean, it's not true.

Well, it might have been true a long time ago, but it's just not true anymore.

Hi there.


Mmm! Hey, what are you making?


Oh, yeah?

Yeah. We're making lemon meringue pie.

All right! Fantastic! My favourite.

Oh. What's this?

Oh, uh, we rented a movie, and then David found out there's a Dodgers game tonight.

Yeah? You're still a Dodgers fan.

See, I bet there's no ball team in Leadville Falls, right?


Anyway, we'll eat dinner a little early, and you guys can watch it. and, if there's still some time left, you can look at the tape.

Oh, tonight. See...

What about tonight?

Dan is having some people in from New York.

Madison Avenue types, you know?

So I told him... we'd be there.

Why didn't you call?

It's not for dinner. It's for after.

What about...?

Oh. No. You're invited too, son.

You should come, really.

Everybody would love to meet you.

Do I have to?

You'd probably... rather watch the ballgame.


Joe Malfatano walking over, talking to Getty.

Virgil back behind the plate.

Garber stretches.

And the 0-1 pitch to Mike Marshall.

Base hit, left field.

Marshall going for two.

The throw to Oberkfell. He's in there.


All right! Yeah.

Here's Chuck Tanner again.

And he's marched into his bullpen.

He's gonna bring in his sixth pitcher of the night.

And guess who it's gonna be.

Nike makes shoes for kids.

Running shoes.


The pitch to Whitfield. Inside. Good stop.

On the low inside pitch...


Hi, Dad.


How are you?

Mm-hm. I'm fine.

It's the bottom of the ninth, and the score is tied.

The guy on second...

...Breaking ball...

...Popfly to the shortstop...

Two and two.

One out, one on. Tenth inning.

The Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth.

Double by Landreaux, groundout by Brock and a double by Marshall who ripped one past...

Once again, the stretch and the pitch.

Ground ball outside...

And the Dodgers miss a good chance in the bottom of the 10th inning.

And there are two groundouts to close it out.

No runs, one hit and two left on.

So the Dodgers, a tough loss to the Atlanta Braves here...

Keep it down.


How many times do I have to tell you? Keep it down.


Quiet. Keep it quiet.

We could get one of those, for sure.

Let's take a look at that right now.

All right.

Thank you, Marge. Good luck.

And remember, that's two free...

Thank you.

Never at that price again.


And so... many things for you.

Just think of all the things it will do...

Hi. You're on the air with Bobbie.

This is Marian...

Hi, Marian.

From Phoenix, Arizona.

Now, what can we do today, Marian?

I'm interested in the zirconia necklace for $99.99.

Now, are you just getting one today, Marian?

Well, uh...

Gosh, I hadn't thought about getting...

It makes a great present.

Is there a deal?

Of course there's a deal. There's always a deal.

Well, how much would two be?

Two would be 99 times two.

Deduct $46.

Oh, well, um...

My husband's gonna kill me.

But all right... I'll have two.

All right.

And you can just tell him that one of those is for your mother-in-law...

Here we have to call them by feature.

And all for $149.99.


Oh, it certainly is.

It's on its way.



Hey, kiddo. Kiddo.

What's going on?

The... The... The fire!


In there!

What do you mean? What are you doing with the dryer?

It... It just came on. I was just looking at it.

Well, you shouldn't play with things like that, David.

You could get hurt.

Dad, I wasn't playing with it.

It just came on and it was making a noise.

I was in... by...

By the television.

What about the television?

Well, come here and look, and I'll show you. Come on.

It was really strange.

I mean... there was, like, no picture at all...

There are times when you...

Listen, David, didn't we decide on a bedtime for you tonight?

I mean, it was right after the ballgame.

Dad, I was in bed.

That's weird.

What is?

Uh, it won't turn off.

A Winston money-back guarantee.

Next time you need to stop on a dime, make sure you have my Winston brakes.

It's your main power switch.

It shorted right out.

What caused it to short out?

Well, okay.

Take, uh... Take your voltage coming in the main, uh, power station in Canoga Park.

Now... the electric company will tell you that it's running smooth and steady.

That's a lie.

I mean, you put that thing under a magnifying scope, that smooth, steady line starts looking like King Kong's EKG.

90-volt drop-offs, 130-volt spikes.

Pulses, they're called.

So, uh, what are you saying?

Are you saying that I should call the electric company?

Well, no.

See, uh, in order to melt the switch like this... in my opinion, take a couple thousand volts at least.

And if the electric company ever burped that loud, it'd blow every damn circuit breaker in your house...

Like that.

Then I don't understand.

Hey, join the club.

You know, there's a lot of things I don't understand.

Take lightning.

You know, my... grandpa's house was...

Look, there wasn't any lightning last night, was there?

You want me to admit it?

Okay, I admit it.

I don't have a goddamn clue what happened to your TV set.

Did you get a look at the back of that thing when I had it off?

I mean, you got enough chips in there to send a spaceship to Saturn.

You know what I do?

I read the book.

I do what it says.

Hey, dude, check it out.

Wow, what a skater.

What a nerd.




Hey, watch out!

Geek. Turkey.

How sad. Oh, please. Oh, my...

Man, that was bad.

What's your name?

My name's Stevie.

You just moved in, huh?

Yeah, just for a while.

How come just for a while?

Because I don't live here. I'm just visiting.

Well, then, where do you live?

In Colorado, with my mother.

Well, then, where does your dad live?

Here. That's who I'm visiting.

You're not very smart, you know.

We can play there now, you know.

Where? Inside his house?


I wouldn't go in there for anything.

And anyway, my mom won't let me.

We can play in his yard now.


We couldn't used to. He was mean.

He used to yell all kind of crazy things at us.

Like what?

See how that grass is dead and everything?

He used to say we did that.

He used to say we'd sneak around at night and put poison on it.

That's pretty crazy, all right.

My mom said he was crazy because of what happened to his wife.


Man... that was bad.

One day we were all around after school, and we started to hear all this yelling and screaming.

The police came and an ambulance.

And nobody knew what happened.

Some of the kids said he must have murdered her.

Did he?

What's your name?


So, what happened?

She was washing the dishes.

And she turned on the garbage disposal.

And there was something stuck in it, with this metal thing.

It wasn't even a knife or a fork.

Some kind of metal thing.

And when she turned it on, it shot that metal thing right up into her face.

Shot it up just like a gun.

Isn't that bad?

It shot it up right through her eyeball.

Flight 5009.

Five-oh-nine? Yes, that's right.

Mom, listen, I know that.

I know, but...

Please, Mom. Just listen, okay?

Mom, will you please just listen?


Please. Would you just listen?

I know. I know that, Mom, but...

I want to come home.


Why can't I just come home now?

Because it scares me here.

I don't know why. It just does.

No, it's not Ellen. She's okay.

Yeah, she took me riding.

Yeah, the other day.

No. How can I?

I don't even see him, you know?

He works all day.

And then when he gets home, he's tired. and all he wants to do is watch television or something.

Yeah. I know, but...


What is it?

Ellen, look at that.

Look at what?

Well, right there by the house.

The grass. Is it getting enough water?

I watered it yesterday.

Oh. Yeah, well... maybe it's getting too much.

Well, um... I'll check the sprinklers.

Maybe they're not reaching there.

Okay. Good.

Yeah, look, and don't forget about the tickets, okay?

Just, uh, call him as soon as he's open, and then let me know.

Oh, and tell him that I can come and pick 'em up on my lunch hour.

Don't worry.

See you at 6. Okay.

Bye-bye. Bye.

Yes. Oh, great.

Uh, no, my husband will pick them up at 1:00.

Is that all right?

Well, I'm going to have to replace the whole lawn.

You see, it's all... scorched completely.

That'll have to all come up. Okay.

And then there's the shrubbery.

Hey, David.

You're getting wet.

Come on. I'll make you some breakfast.

Okay? Good.

See you.

We can leave as soon as your dad gets back from work.

We can have hot dogs at the ballpark.

Does that sound okay?


Well, you don't sound very enthusiastic.

What happened to his grass?


Well, you know, the man across the street.

He said the kids were putting poison on it, didn't he?

Well... he said a lot of things after his wife died.

Paranoid, you know?

I guess he just stopped taking care of things and began to blame everyone else.

So it started to die after his wife got killed?


Well, no, actually, it was before, but... it got a lot worse afterwards.

Why this sudden interest in poor Mr. Jordan's grass?

I don't know.

What's the matter?

You look like you've seen a ghost.

Stevie, come on.

No, I don't want to.

Stevie, come on. Don't be such a wimp.

No. My mother told me not to. It's dangerous.

Come on, Stevie. She's not gonna even know.

No, I don't want to.

Stevie, if you don't come on right now, I'm not gonna play with you ever again.

Come on.


Stevie, get back here right now!


No way!


Oh, man.


What are you doing here?

Spooky... ain't it?


Did it talk to you?

The voice in the wires.



Yeah. Fried him like an onion.

Why do you figure he did it?

Smashed the place up, I mean.

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

Ellen just said he went, like, crazy one night.

Crazy, hmm?

That's exactly what those son of a bitches would say.

They probably had that poor bastard thinking he was going crazy.

I know all about it.

I must have seen 20 houses... just like this one.

And after the first few...

I started having me a real close look.

And I know what I know, boy.

But I'm not telling it.

Not anymore.

No, sir.

Let them call these other poor devils crazy if they want to, but not me.

All right! Sports fans, let's go.

Great. Great seats, love.

Look at this. First base line.

Uh, I think maybe you should sit down.

We seem to have a problem.

Well, it's a long drive, you know?

We don't want to be late.


What is it?

David went over to the Jordan house this afternoon.

Oh. Ah.

That wasn't very smart, David. I mean, it's dangerous there.

You could get hurt.

I know. I know. But listen, please.

He seems to think that what happened at the Jordan house is gonna happen here.

It comes in through the wires.

I... I... I saw it.

And... And that night that you were gone, I felt it.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Come on, now. Just slow down.

You felt what?

The voice in the wires.

He's met some crazy old man in the Jordan house, and...

He's not crazy. And Mr. Jordan wasn't crazy.

And the thing that killed him is in here now.

And I just don't want to stay here anymore.

And I just want to get out of this house right now!

Yeah. Look, look. Look...

Bill, Why don't we...?

Why don't you go upstairs for a little while and let me and Ellen talk about this, okay?


Look! Please.

Just for a little while, okay?

I'm sorry.

Hey. Hey, come on.

Hey. What do you think you're doing?


Hey. Come on.

What? What? No, Dad.

Dad, I don't want to stay in the house.

Dad. No, Dad, please! Okay.

No! Dad! Come on.

Don't make me go in there!

No, Dad, I don't want to go in there!

No! No, Dad!

No! Dad, no!

No, I don't want to go.

No, Dad, you're hurting me. Stop it.

Dad, you're hurting me!

I don't want to go back in the house! No!

Did you...? Did you talk to him?

The old guy.

Well, after David calmed down, I went over to talk to him, but he wasn't there.

His truck was gone.

I don't know.

Do you think... something could be wrong with the electricity?

It's just that David seems so scared.

Yeah. Well, I mean, of course he's scared.

It was...

It was that night we left him alone, see.

That was the beginning of it.

And today... jeez.

I mean, he goes into that house, and some crazy bastard jumps down at him out of the ceiling.

I mean, jeez... I mean, that would have scared me to death.

Weren't you supposed to take this back?

Oh, I did.

Um, they called this morning.

There was something wrong with the tape.

It must have happened when the TV set broke.

I had to buy it. It cost 60 bucks.

It's just that if he leaves in this state... he's never gonna want to come back here again.

And how can I be his father if I never see him?

I mean, you understand?

I love him. I'm...

He's gonna be okay.

Let's get some sleep.

We'll work it out.


I hope it was a lousy game.


I'm sorry I have to go to this meeting.

You sure you don't want to come over with me to the campus?

You could walk around.

You gonna be all right?


Are you sure?


Ahh, Vincent, get him... Steven!

I said come in here. Your lunch is ready.

Okay! I'm coming!



What are you doing?

Cobras are attacking the Terror Dome.

Wanna play? Come on, you can be the Cobras.

No, not really.

Okay, you can be the GI Joes.


How do you get to the airport?

Why do you want to go to the airport?

Is there a bus or something?

No, I don't think so.

It's a long way away.

Are you going back to Colorado?

Yeah. I have the ticket, I just gotta get the time changed.

Steven, get in here right now.


Maybe my mom will drive you.

Do you want me to ask her?

No, it's okay. Thanks, Steve.

Steven, right now!


So, what are you gonna do?

All right. Still keeps Will alive.

Oh, there's the sound. That means we're out of time.

We'll automatically now start revealing one letter at a time.

This is crucial.

The first person to buzz in with the correct answer wins the money in the puzzle bank, and in this case, will win the game.

So be very careful.

Hands on your buzzers.

You may buzz in as soon as the next letter is revealed but not before, or you'll be disqualified.

Ready? Go.

"H." Will?

"They lived happily ever after."

And you will, yes.

"They lived happily ever after."


David. Oh, my God.

He was a lot more scared than hurt.

The bruises from the collision and mild shock is what the doctor said.

The gas didn't really hurt him.

But if he'd been there any longer...

Oh, Jesus!

Mr. Rockland?

Can I show you something?

Yeah. Sure.

I slugged your line with a new piece of pipe, so now I'm gonna turn the main back on, relight all your pilots.

Right here's your problem.

Split wide open.

Actually, you're pretty lucky.


Oh, yeah.

Volume of gas you had in here, and the ignition of that station wagon turned on, this whole place could have blown sky-high.

Good grief.

Look, I mean... what could have caused this pipe to split like this?

Metal fatigue.

You see that window right there.

Afternoon sun comes blazing through there, right on that spot.

Pipe heats up.

Sun moves on, it cools back down.

Expansion, contraction.

Just wears the metal out, till one day...

Anyway, that new pipe ought to last you another 10, 20 years.

You might think about getting some Sheetrock on this wall, though, help insulate it.

Yeah, I will.

Okay, well, I'll get that main right on.

Thank you very much.

And then everything will be just fine again, won't it?


Oh, something happens, and it almost kills someone.

And... you people come here and you talk about pulses and metal fatigue, and you pull out some pipe or switch, and you say, "Here you are. Just slap in a new one of these."

And you don't know what's happening.

I mean, you don't know what's really happening here, do you?

Hey, hey. Do you?

Ellen, come on. Come on.

Calm down. Calm down now.

Bill, what is it? Please.

Why is it doing this to us? What does it want?

What "it"?

Uh... last night I couldn't sleep.

I just... lay in bed, listening.

You know, all the little sounds there are at night.

The furnace turning on and off, the refrigerator and...

I heard something else.

Something... growing inside the house.

Getting stronger.

The voice in the wires?

And what do you call all this? An accident?

Yeah! Yeah!

Yes, that's exactly what I call it. An accident.

I mean, what do you want me to call it?

You want me to believe that there's some thing in the house that is trying to kill my son?

Come on. I mean, that's crazy.


That's what we called him.

Poor Mr. Jordan. We said he was crazy.

Was he?

Okay, okay. Listen to me now.

Listen. What happened today was this.

Right here. Look at it. You see?

This is what happened.

It's not a monster. It's not a plot.

It's not a plan. It's not a conspiracy.

It just is what it is.

It's a stupid hunk of metal.

And how many more things like this are there?

How many more things that we don't even know about till someday one of them breaks and almost kills one of us?

Goddamn it!

Stop it! Stop it!

I mean, what is this about?!

Do you wanna leave too? Is that it?

I mean, I don't know what's happening.

Do you wanna leave too?

Oh, God!

Bill... you're gonna be late for your meeting.

I could have done that.

Yeah... okay.

So if anything should happen... anything... just call me, and I'll come right home.


I promise.

Yes, sir.

I'll be over at the place on Thornton.

There's no phone there.

So if you run into a hitch, just work around it.

Don't leave. Um...

I want you to tell me about the houses.

Tell you what, lady?

You know what.

You told... my son.

I want you to tell me.

Lady, I didn't tell nobody around here nothing. and I'll be glad to tell you the same thing.



Turn off the faucets... and I'll tell you what to do.

To do?

Yes... do.

Or would you rather hide in your hole and hope for the best?

Pull the plug, lady.

Pull all the plugs.

Disconnect yourself.


And not just up there at the top of the pole.

That don't mean nothing.

It don't just crawl in on your wires.

It ain't a thing.

It's a signal.

A pulse.

Kind of like... a voice.

So, what you've got to do is to get rid of anything in your house that might have ears to hear it.

Me... I'm back to wood fires and kerosene lamps.

My wife would like to kill me.

But she thought I was nuts when I built the fallout shelter.

But you wait and see.

I was right about that one too.

I heard a man on TV one time say that... paranoia is just another word for heightened awareness.

But you do what you want to, lady.

What the hell do I know?

I'm... crazy.


The hardware store in the mall has got a special on kerosene.

It smells some, but it sure does make a pretty light.


Ellen? You up there?


Hi. Wow! Oh, yeah.




I, uh...

I talked to your mother.

She's coming on Sunday.

To take me back?

Well, see, I was hoping that we could just sit down and maybe talk things over and...

Damn! Hot!

Oh! Oh!


Honey! Honey!

Honey! I can't get it open!

I gotta get something to break it.


Okay, okay. I'm coming. I'm coming.


How is she?

She's in the burn unit.

They say she could be okay, but I don't know.

Video CD player could be yours for only $189.


Hey, all right. Okay.


Bill, if you need anything, Ruby and I will be upstairs.

We'll get some fresh linen and things for the guest room.

Okay. Thanks.

Ellen's okay.

I mean, I know... it looked pretty bad and everything, but, uh... they said... that she would just have to stay there in the hospital for a while.

And without Ellen here...

Your mom is coming here tomorrow morning.

And... we're gonna pack you up and...

And you can go with her.


Look, so Howard...

Howard just said just now that you could stay here tonight if you wanted to.

And it would be okay with me.

I mean, if it would make you feel better.

Can you stay here too?


If you want me to.








Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

Come on.











Help! Help!






Help! Help! Help!


Help! Help! Help! Help!


Put this blanket... Okay.


Go on! Oh!

Where are the keys? No!

This way!

No, Dad!


Okay? Okay...

Hurry, Dad. Hurry!

Stand back.


Bill, stop it! Hey!

For God's sake!

Frank! What are you doing?

Where's the cops?

What the hell are you doing?

Drop it. Drop the axe!


Drop it!

I said, drop it!


That was your house that you just wrecked, wasn't it?

Yes, it was. Yes.

You must both be crazy.

Yes, we are. We're - both of us.

We are, aren't we?

We're crazy. We're...


Oh, God, are we crazy.