BAD NEIGHBOURHOOD ON THE INTERNET, EXT, DAY
OUR HERO (played by SHIA LE BOEUF. I wish he wasn’t, but it’s just his sort of film.) is taking a shortcut through a seedy neighbourhood of the Internet. He looks nervous. He should be.
A COMMAND PROMPT (DANNY TREJO) steps out of the shadows. He's smoking a Cuban cigar.
McAfee VirusAlert’s sirens are going off, in the distant far corner of the screen. OUR HERO’s eyes flicker towards them.
No amount of Partypoker adverts could be as terrifying as this sight.
Hey, homes...you wan’ install xtcjrf.frrjh.ehch? YES. NO.
No, thank you.
OUR HERO tries to reach the end of the alley and get to the VirusAlert. But COMMAND PROMPT is too fast for him, popping up into his path. He pulls out a knife.
I said, you wan’ install xtcjrf.frrjh.ehch? YES. NO.
I ain’t playin’ wit’ ya, homes. You wan’ install xtcjrf.frrjh.ehch? YES. NO.
OUR HERO restarts his computer. He blacks out.
COMPUTER, INT, DAY
When OUR HERO wakes up, he’s surprised to see not his familiar desktop screen, but a slightly suspicious-looking menu in a suit (WILLIAM FICHTNER.)
If William Fichtner is not available, Joe Pantoliano will play the role of the untrustworthy antagonist.
Good evening, sir. Name’s Thinkpoint. Anti-Spyware Unit. You mind if I have a look around?
Er...do you have any credentials?
THINKPOINT flashes a badge that looks like the Windows logo. But it doesn’t look quite right. OUR HERO frowns.
So you’re an anti-spyware programme installed on my computer? I, er...don’t recall seeing you around here before.
I’m undercover, sir. Before you load up your computer, I’m going to have to make a scan – see if those viruses are still around.
THINKPOINT begins to scan the computer, without waiting for a reply.
OUR HERO’s suspicious now. He begins to sidle over to Task Manager.
I wouldn’t touch that, sir. It’s almost certainly infected.
I just...thought I’d check if there were any dodgy systems running on my computer.
That’s my job, sir. You just stay still while I scan the system.
OUR HERO, remembering his GCSE IT training, attempts to open the Internet Explorer bar.
When he turns around, THINKPOINT’s aiming a gun at him. He smiles, nastily.
I’m afraid I can’t let you check my credentials online, sir.
OUR HERO gapes.
You! You’re the virus. I suspected as much.
You had to keep pushing, didn’t you? You had to keep asking questions.
(Through gritted teeth)
It would all have gone down smoothly. I’d have finished the scan;
Then I’d have told you your computer was deeply, horribly infected and asked you to download my advanced software, at a cost of $99. It would have been the perfect crime.
So. When it comes down to it, you’re nothing more than a common thief.
OUR HERO’s taunting THINKPOINT; keeping him talking. All the while, his fingers are tapping away behind his back, at his roommate’s laptop.
A secret message, into Google.
‘Thinkpoint Scam Removal’.
GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE, INT, DAY
Two ENTRIES, mere drones among thousands, are talking amongst themselves as they work at their screens. ENTRY 1, neatly dressed and youngish, taps away at his computer’s keyboard.
Hey, Entry 2 – got a guy here who says he’s infected with the Thinkpoint virus. Told him to get on Task Manager and shut down the process; and from there he can wipe it off his computer with his real anti-spyware software. What a noob.
Then he frowns.
Huh. Apparently Thinkpoint won’t let him open Task Manager. Cunning bastard.
He taps his fingers, a little frantically, on the desk.
Well, I mean...if Thinkpoint has all the exits sealed off, if he can’t get to any of his anti-virus programmes or to Task Manager...well, we should probably call in an airstrike. Nuke the computer. We might lose the hostage and a few of his Word documents, but-
ENTRY 2 puts down his whiskey bottle. He’s unshaven, aging and dissolute; but there’s a powerful glint in his eye.
I know how to get him into Task Manager.
Sure you do, old timer. There’s a reason you’re the second entry on Google, and I’m the first. Your maverick ways aren’t well-liked around here.
ENTRY 2 leans urgently in to his microphone.
All right, kid – listen up. Restart your computer again. At the very moment when Thinkpoint begins to scan, open up Task Manager. He’ll be too busy scanning to notice. Close the process.
(Rummaging through his papers)
Now, Thinkpoint’s smart, so even if he’s closed down, he won’t let you onto your desktop screen. But I know a secret entrance.
Using Task Manager, go to ‘Start’, ‘Run’, and type in ‘explorer.exe.’ That should be enough to get you to Internet Explorer. You can wave down an anti-spyware programme from there. Good luck, kid.
He leans back from the microphone. ENTRY 1 is staring at him.
I hope to God you’re right.
COMPUTER, INT, DAY
OUR HERO nods, and lowers his flat-mate’s computer. He raises his finger, slowly, to the restart button.
THINKPOINT gazes at him, amused.
That won’t stop me, boy.
OUR HERO presses the button. He blacks out.
COMPUTER, INT, DAY
OUR HERO opens his eyes. THINKPOINT is still standing before him.
I told you, boy – you’ll never be rid of me!
Now, I think it’s about time I scan your system again. Maybe that’ll convince you to buy my full version for $99!
He turns. And OUR HERO dives for Task Manager-
-Quickly clicking on the PROCESSES menu, finding the process called ‘hotfix.exe’ and ending it-
And the lights go out. The desktop screen goes dark.
We hear THINKPOINT’s voice.
Very clever, boy. But I’ve got the desktop closed off. I can’t leave; neither can you. There’s no escape.
We hear his footsteps, in the darkness, getting closer.
OUR HERO types in, through Task Manager, ‘run explorer.exe’.
The lights come back on. And THINKPOINT is nowhere to be seen.
OUR HERO dashes down the stairs. We hear THINKPOINT roaring, from above,
Boy! I do this for a living, boy!
A MALICIOUS POP-UP smacks into the wall just over OUR HERO’s head, exploding in a shower of Smileys and secrets of getting dentist-clean teeth.
OUR HERO keeps running. He makes it to the front door of Internet Explorer and begins to pound frantically on it.
Mcafee! Mcafee, where the hell are you?
MCAFEE SQUAD CAR, INT, DAY
Obese, uniformed MCAFEE is enjoying a nice jam donut when a call comes in over his radio.
Bill, we’ve received a message that there might be a virus in your neighbourhood.
Looks pretty quiet to me. Crank caller, you think?
Maybe, but check it out all the same.
All right, all right.
They don’t pay me enough for this shit.
Still grumbling beneath his breath, he dusts the sugar granules off his chest and gets out of the car.
COMPUTER, EXT, DAY
THINKPOINT circles the walls of Internet Explorer. He’s pissed off now, and mean.
He finds a door, and tries the handle. It turns.
Then we hear,
THINKPOINT turns. MCAFEE is waddling down the alleyway.
Could I ask you a few questions, sir?
THINKPOINT rummages in his suit pocket and produces his Windows badge.
That’s quite all right, officer. Anti-Spyware unit. We’d received a call that there was a virus in this area.
Same one we heard. Musta been some kinda wind-up, you think?
Yeah, you’re probably right. It’s my daughter’s sax recital tonight, too. Shame to be spending my evening on some wild goose chase instead.
He and MCAFEE share a fraternal chuckle. Silence, for a moment.
Well, if you’ve got this area locked down, I’ll be getting back to the squadcar. Good night, sir.
Good night, officer.
He waits for MCAFEE’s footsteps to recede, and then turns the handle and slips into the house.
INTERNET EXPLORER, INT, DAY
THINKPOINT enters the empty room. He glances about him, seething. Listening.
Then turns. OUR HERO is standing, in the corner, a kitchen knife in his hand. He’s trembling.
THINKPOINT grins. Finally, it’s over.
It’s time to stop running, boy.
It’s over, Thinkpoint. They’re coming for you now.
THINKPOINT laughs at him.
Oh, of course...I forgot! Friendly old Officer Mcafee’s coming to help you, isn’t he?
I hate to disappoint you, but he’s not coming for you. Nobody’s coming for you.
OUR HERO’s courage seems to quaver. He blinks, uncertainly.
You’re beaten, boy.
NOW BUY – MY FULL VERSION – FOR $99!
He raises his gun. Aims.
A single shot.
THINKPOINT frowns, as if confused. Then he topples over, dead. His gun goes off in his hands, firing a toxic bullet full of hot girls in OUR HERO’s local area and shattering a window.
SPYWARE DOCTOR (HALLE BERRY) is standing in the doorway, her SCANNER-GUN smoking. For no reason, she’s dressed as Catwoman.
I don't know. Maybe she was on her way to a Hallowe'en party. Maybe it's ironic.
She lowers the gun, slowly.
OUR HERO and SPYWARE DOCTOR rush to one another. They start to like, totally make out and junk.
I love you.
Then she pulls back.
Oh, by the way, you’ve only installed my free trial version. In order to actually delete THINKPOINT from your system, you will have to purchase me in full.
(In sudden horror)
Wait - WHAT?
CUT TO BLACK.