Hacking Humans Goes to the Movies 10.29.23
Ep 23 | 10.29.23

Spooky, scary, skeletons at the movies.


[Rose: You know I can't give you the keys, right, babe.

Dave Bittner: Hello, everyone, and welcome to a special edition of the "Hacking Humans" podcast, an occasional series we call "Hacking Humans Goes to the Movies." I am Dave Bittner and joining me is my CyberWire colleague, Rick Howard. Hey, Rick.

Rick Howard: Hey, Dave.

Dave Bittner: On this show, Rick and I look at some of our favorite clips from cinema and television, clips which demonstrate some of the scams and schemes that Joe Carrigan and I talk about over on "Hacking Humans." We've got some fun clips to share. So, stay tuned. We'll be right back after this message from our show sponsor. [ Music ] All right, Rick, so the timing of this episode could not be more perfect because we are coming up on Halloween.

Rick Howard: Yes, we are. It is the favorite holiday for the Howards. Okay? I think I may have -

Dave Bittner: Oh.

Rick Howard: Mentioned that many times. Okay?

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: But, yes, it is.

Dave Bittner: Yeah. Well, that's terrific.

Rick Howard: I am guessing from your sound there, Dave, that you are not a big Halloween fan or a scary movie fan.

Dave Bittner: I love Halloween.

Rick Howard: Okay.

Dave Bittner: I love the holiday. I love it as a concept. I love the kids coming to the door and handing out candy. And I even love going to a costume party. But I -- let me let you in on a little secret. I -- and it's really not a secret. I have what I describe as a hair trigger startle reflex.

Rick Howard: Oh, my.

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Oh, my.

Dave Bittner: So -- yeah. So -- and here's how it usually plays out. I will be, for example, working at my computer and I will be intensely focused on whatever I'm doing. Right? And some unsuspecting poor family member will come up behind me and say, "Hey, Dad." And I'll go. "Bahhhh!" Right? And I'll jump out of my chair and -- you know, and they're lucky that I don't pounce on them and like punch them in the face because that is how strong this reaction is. I will say my lovely bride and I went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg a few years ago. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary, which is around the end of October. So, we were down --

Rick Howard: Good things.

Dave Bittner: There.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Had a lovely time just the two of us. And Busch Gardens was in their Halloween or Howl-O --

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Scream mode, which meant that when the sun went down, the freaks came out. Right? And --

Rick Howard: I see where this is going.

Dave Bittner: Yeah. So, around every corner, there's some kind of scary clown or somebody with a chainsaw or an axe or something. Right?

Rick Howard: Uh-huh.

Dave Bittner: And there just came a point I turned to my wife and I said, "Honey, I love you, but we have to leave" --

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Because this is not fun for me. I am not having a good time. This is the opposite of a good time for me." So, while I can appreciate how people love this kind of stuff, and I am happy for you and all the people who love this kind of stuff, this is not my thing. I do not like scary movies.

Rick Howard: Well, we are on the opposite end of the spectrum, my friend.

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: My lovely wife and I, we dated to all the '80s slasher movies.

Dave Bittner: Oh.

Rick Howard: Okay? That's how -- that's what we did when we went out. Right? We know "Halloween," the original.

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: And "Friday the 13th" and "The Omen" and all that stuff, "The Exorcist."

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Yeah. We loved all of that stuff. And then we had children. Okay?

Dave Bittner: Right, right.

Rick Howard: And my wife has gone the complete direction that you're in right now. She can't stand them anymore. Right? And when -

Dave Bittner: Oh.

Rick Howard: Even if they play the trailer in the living room, she is running for the hills. So, we've gone --

Dave Bittner: Interesting.

Rick Howard: Through some change at the Howard house.

Dave Bittner: So, do you think like having kids just like enhanced her sense of empathy or something?

Rick Howard: I just -- yeah, she's -- it just -- it's not fun anymore. She goes, "All that could happen to my children. I don't want that, you know" --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: "I don't want to be watching that." So --

Dave Bittner: Yeah, yeah.

Rick Howard: But --

Dave Bittner: That happened to me.

Rick Howard: I'm not like that.

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: You know, screw those kids, I'm going to watch the movies.

Dave Bittner: That's right, that's right. Right. Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, so, we are taking advantage of the timing here and we are going to be talking about a couple of scary movies today.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: And you are starting things off for us here. So, what do you got for us, Rick?

Rick Howard: Yeah. So, my clip this week comes from the 2017 movie "Get Out," directed by Jordan Peele. I'm assuming you have not seen it, Dave, since you are --

Dave Bittner: I -- that is a safe assumption. I have spoken to many people who have seen this, including my own children --

Rick Howard: Uh-huh.

Dave Bittner: And I certainly saw the praise that this film received. I think -

Rick Howard: Yeah, yeah.

Dave Bittner: People were really impressed with his ability as a director. Of course, we know him from "Key & Peele" and being --

Rick Howard: Sure.

Dave Bittner: A fabulous comedian and satirist and all that kind of thing. But he's really -- he's got a new -- a second chapter I guess of being a really accomplished director. And this movie --

Rick Howard: Well --

Dave Bittner: Got noticed.

Rick Howard: It's like your superhero movies, there are some good superhero movies, but there's a couple that are good movies that happen to have superheroes in them. That's the way that horror movies are. There's a bunch of really good horror movies, but this movie, "Get Out," is just a good movie that happens to be a horror movie. Right? It's probably --

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: The scariest movie I've seen in the last decade. Right?

Dave Bittner: Ugh.

Rick Howard: Ugh, I know. And a little early warning about -- for our listeners out there, Dave, there is some blue language in this clip.

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: So, if you have young ones hanging around, you might want to hit pause for a bit.

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: The movie stars Daniel Kaluuya and he's the main protagonist. He's best known for probably this movie, "The Black Panther" movies and another Jordan Peele movie -- another Jordan Peele horror movie called "NOPE." He plays a young Black man, a talented photographer, whose girlfriend is White, played by Allison Williams, best known for maybe this movie, too, the "Girls" TV show on HBO and another really scary movie, "M3GAN," that came out this year. I can vouch for that. Right? So, the two of them travel to Allison's parents' house for the weekend. And Allison's dad is played by Bradley Whitford, you know, the long-running character actor. He's most famous for "The West Wing."

Dave Bittner: Oh, yeah.

Rick Howard: But he was in another great horror movie, "The Cabin in the Woods."

Dave Bittner: Wow.

Rick Howard: Right? And Allison's mom is played by Catherine Keener, one of those great "that gal" actors that has been in absolutely everything.

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: So, a little spoiler alert here. Okay? There are so many twists and turns in this movie that you don't see coming. So, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you should turn this podcast off because we're going to reveal the big spoiler here. Right? So, here it is, the spoiler. The bad guys in the movie are Allison's family. And you don't know that until about, you know, three-quarters of the way through.

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: They use Allison as bait to attract handsome Black men and one gorgeous Black woman to the house where the mom, Catherine Keener, hypnotizes the victims using a teacup and spoon. And, once hypnotized, the dad, Bradley Whitford, he's a neurosurgeon, he transfers the essence of the elderly and sick White people's brains into the brain of the victim so that they can live longer in a strong body. How is that for a sci-fi premise? Right?

Dave Bittner: Oh, yeah. Oh, I can't wait.

Rick Howard: The victim -- I know, it's really -- I know. The victims get trapped in a place called the Sunken Place. It's kind of a conscious state in which they are unable to move or speak. So, they are still in there, they just can't interact with their body anymore. Right? So --

Dave Bittner: Ugh.

Rick Howard: Horrifying stuff.

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: In this scene, Daniel Kaluuya is just starting to suspect that Allison's family is up to no good. He still has no clue about his girlfriend, though, and that's what makes it really scary. And it starts with him talking to his best friend, played by the standup comic Lil Rel Howery, on the phone.

Dave Bittner: Now, Rick, before we roll this, I just want to say for our viewers that the standard operating procedure for you and I doing this show together is we both watch each other's clips ahead of time.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: And, in this case, I have not done that.

Rick Howard: Do I need to excuse you to get out of the room so --

Dave Bittner: No, no, no, no, I -- I'm willing to take a bullet for the show and -

Rick Howard: Okay, I will --

Dave Bittner: Be providing -

Rick Howard: Let me --

Dave Bittner: Entertainment for all those people who think it's hilarious when one of their show hosts is scared out of his pants.

Rick Howard: I -- well, let me calm you down a bit. Right?

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: There is no gore in this scene. There is no --

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: Jump scares. All right?

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: It is --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: It is just that the situation changes and you go, "Oh, my God, I can't believe that happened." Right? So --

Dave Bittner: Uh-huh.

Rick Howard: You'll be all right.

Dave Bittner: So, psychological torture.

Rick Howard: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dave Bittner: Okay. All right, here we go.

Rod: That's Dre.

Chris: Dre?

Rod: Andre Hayworth. Used to kick it with Veronica.

Chris: Veronica from what?

Rod: Teresa's sister that work at the movie theater on 8th.

Chris: Yes, that is him, that is him. But wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, this is --

Rick Howard: So, this is Daniel talking about the other Black people they've seen that look strange, they're acting weird, they don't act like they normally do. And they recognized a couple of them.

Rod: It's not that, it's everything. He came to the party with a White woman like 30 years older than him.

Chris: Sex slave! Oh, sh*t!

Rod: Chris, you got to get the f*ck up out of there, man. You in some "Eyes Wide Shut" situation. Leave, mother f*ck --

Chris: You going be a -- hello? Chris? Oh, oh --

Rick Howard: Kaluuya's phone just died of battery. So, he's annoyed to talk to anybody.

Rose: Hey, handsome. >> His girlfriend walks in.

Chris: Rose, we got to go, we got to go now.

Rose: Okay.

Chris: Okay.

Rose: Is everything okay?

Chris: I'll tell you in the car. We got to go right now. Is that okay?

Rose: Okay, yeah. Let me go get my bag.

Chris: Okay.

Rose: Okay.

Rick Howard: Okay, she is like, "Oh, my God, I can't believe you're so scared, let's get out of here." Right?

Dave Bittner: Mhm, mhm.

Rick Howard: Now he's looking in this side room where Allison, his girlfriend, keeps pictures from her younger days. And now he's --

Dave Bittner: A little closet?

Rick Howard: -- take -- yeah, in the closet. He's going to go take a look at a few of them here.

Dave Bittner: Oh, boy.

Rick Howard: No jump scare here, Dave, okay, no jump scare.

Dave Bittner: That's just the kind of thing someone would say right before a jump scare.

Rick Howard: So, he turned the light on in the little closet. And there's a little red box where the pictures are. Allison's in the room looking for her bag. Now he's sorting through a bunch of pictures and, you know, they're from girlfriends and Allison doing certain things. But then he notices there is Allison with another Black boyfriend, not him.

Dave Bittner: Mhm.

Rick Howard: And then another one with a different Black boyfriend and another and another and another and another. And it's dawning on him that he is in trouble.

Dave Bittner: Maybe Allison just likes Black guys. I mean, no problem there. Ugh.

Rick Howard: And then the final one is Allison with a woman.

Dave Bittner: Oh.

Rick Howard: So, all of a sudden, he figures it out. He goes, "Oh" --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: "My goodness." Here comes the music.

Rose: Hey.

Rick Howard: And there's Allison.

Chris: Yeah, yeah, I'm just looking just looking -- just looking for my camera.

Rose: Uh, it's right here.

Chris: Have you got the keys? I'm going to put the bags in the trunk real quick.

Rose: Okay. Yeah, they are in here somewhere. It's just a matter of finding them.

Chris: Yeah.

Rose: Are you okay?

Chris: Yeah, yeah.

Rose: Okay. It might take me a second. Hey --

Rick Howard: She knows that he's figured it out.

Rose: Uh.

Chris: What, you can't find those keys?

Rose: No, I can never find them.

Chris: Let's do this on the move.

Rose: Yeah.

Rick Howard: He says, "Let's do this on the move." Let's get out. He's walking out even though they haven't found the keys yet. And the keys are important. So, pay attention.

Chris: Let's get the keys.

Jeremy: Yo.

Chris: Yo, man.

Jeremy: Where are you going?

Rick Howard: He gets to the bottom of the stairs and Allison's brother is blocking the way with a lacrosse stick.

Chris: No, I'm good. We leaving actually.

Missy: Really? Why is something wrong?

Jeremy: Rose?

Rose: His dog got really sick so he has to be at the vet first thing in the morning. Yeah.

Missy: Oh, how terrible.

Chris: Rose, the keys.

Dave Bittner: This is tense. Right?

Rick Howard: Yeah. The mom is holding a tea -- a spoon and the teacup. It's important for a second -- in a second. Now the dad has moved in. So, the whole family is coming in and converging on Kaluuya.

Chris: What?

Rick Howard: And he is afraid.

Dean: In life, what is your purpose?

Chris: Right now it's -- it's finding those keys. You know?

Dean: Huh. Fire, it's a reflection of our own mortality. We're born, we breathe, then we die.

Chris: Rose?

Rose: I'm looking.

Rick Howard: Rose is still playing the part.

Dean: And the sun will die someday. But we are divine. We are the gods trapped in cocoons.

Chris: Rose?

Rose: I don't know where they are.

Chris: Rose? Rose! Rose, give me those keys! Rose, give me -- give me those keys. Rose, now! Now! The keys!

Rick Howard: Now the brother swings at him with a lacrosse stick.

Rose: What the f*ck.

Chris: I didn't do anything.

Rose: What the f*ck is going on?

Rick Howard: The parents move in. He's getting backed into a corner.

Chris: Where are those, Rose?

Rose: You know I can't give you the keys, right, babe?

Rick Howard: Aw, man, she shows him the keys and she -- that -- she just tells him that she's been in on it the whole time. Right? And he is crushed, crushed at that moment. So, now he's looking for a way out. Okay? He's looking around the room. What is he going to do?

Chris: Come on.

Rick Howard: He decides to go for the brother. And the mom taps on the teacup and hypnotizes him again and he falls into the quiet place.

Jeremy: Did you see him drop?

Missy: Yes, I did. Jeremy, grab his legs please. Take him downstairs. Dean help him.

Jeremy: I can get him alone.

Missy: No, you can't. You've already damaged him enough.

Jeremy: Okay, f*ck. F*ck. All right?

Missy: Mind is head.

Rick Howard: You see Kaluuya falling into a dark space as they haul him down for surgery in the basement. Oh, my, okay?

Dave Bittner: Ugh.

Rick Howard: Oh, my, Dave. That is such a fantastic scene. When Allison changes her character from "I believe you girlfriend" to "I've been at you this whole time," it's -- it is bone chilling, bone chilling. Right?

Dave Bittner: Ah, ugh. Oh, ugh.

Rick Howard: I can see you shuddering there. Okay?

Dave Bittner: Yes, I -- I -- oh, I -- ugh. Oh. Now, to what -- now, look, I'm -- I have not seen this movie and I'm never going to. So --

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: And I'm sorry that I saw as much as I did. So, help me understand like what's the racial component here because -- is -- to what degree is that a big part of the story?

Rick Howard: It's such an interesting idea that the family, okay, they claim to be liberal Democrats.

Dave Bittner: Uh-huh.

Rick Howard: They -- in the movie they voted for Obama. All right? And, so -- and they're okay putting White people's brains in Black people's bodies because, you know, they're pro-Black. Right? So, it's just -

Dave Bittner: Oh.

Rick Howard: It's just odd. Right? And --

Dave Bittner: Right, right, right.

Rick Howard: And the other thing that isn't really stated out loud is Black people can disappear and nobody cares. Okay? And --

Dave Bittner: Oh.

Rick Howard: So, that's the reason they go after those folks. Right? And --

Dave Bittner: Wow.

Rick Howard: Yeah, I know.

Dave Bittner: Wow. Okay.

Rick Howard: I know.

Dave Bittner: That's some -- I mean, that's the kind of -- that's the kind of commentary I would expect from this director.

Rick Howard: Jordan Peele. Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Yeah. Exactly right.

Dave Bittner: Wow.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: There is a scene, okay, early on in the movie, there's a -- you know, you and I love the acting craft, Dave. Right?

Dave Bittner: Oh, Yeah.

Rick Howard: There is a scene from that one woman that was in the picture. She's the maid of the house. But at -- and then -- but Kaluuya goes up to her and talks to her. And she does the scene where she is playing both the victim and the older White person that was put in her body at the same time. Right? And you could -- and no words are said, it's just eyes and tears and smiling. And it's just the creepiest thing you've ever seen. It is really good. Okay?

Dave Bittner: Well, I'll take your word for it, Rick. I'm sure it's amazing, but that's -- I have seen quite enough. Shall we move on?

Rick Howard: I guess we shall. Okay? I guess I did not convince you to check this movie out this weekend.

Dave Bittner: Actually, I have heard nothing but good things about this movie. It's just not for me. And I'm --

Rick Howard: You're good?

Dave Bittner: Yeah, I'm uncomfortable right now. All right. Let me move on to my film this week. This is "Halloween III: Season of the Witch." Have you seen --

Rick Howard: "Halloween III?"

Dave Bittner: This film? Yes.

Rick Howard: Yes, of course, I have. Right? Because as I've --

Dave Bittner: Okay.

Rick Howard: Stated before, I've seen everything that was made in the '80s. Right? So --

Dave Bittner: Okay. So, a couple of things about this film. This is a 1982 horror film. This is the third installment in the "Halloween" film series. And the first two "Halloween" movies, of course, had to do with Michael Myers --

Rick Howard: Mhm.

Dave Bittner: Who's the killer with a mask. And what they were trying to do with the third --

Rick Howard: Wait, that's every slasher movie in the '80s, Dave. I'm just --

Dave Bittner: That's true. That's right. They all wore masks. Yeah. So, what they were trying to do with "Halloween III" was switch the format up a bit and move to an anthology series.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Right? And just --

Rick Howard: It completely destroyed us. Right? We weren't -- we didn't want it. We wanted more mass slasher stuff. Yeah.

Dave Bittner: You wanted more Michael Myers. Okay. So, Michael Myers is not in this version of the film. And this is more of a creepy mystery -- I wouldn't call this so much a slasher movie. Although there is some --

Rick Howard: Some of it.

Dave Bittner: Gore in it. Yeah. I don't know.

Rick Howard: Yeah, it's not a "Friday the 13th"/"Halloween" kind of thing. No.

Dave Bittner: No.

Rick Howard: No.

Dave Bittner: No. So -- but to tell you about my relationship to this film and why I chose this movie. Again, this movie came out in 1982. So, by the summer of 1983 -- because this movie did not do particularly well. It made money, but it was not a hit like the previous -

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Two "Halloween" movies was. By the summer of '83, this movie was in heavy rotation on HBO.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Okay? And we had just gotten cable TV in my neighborhood.

Rick Howard: Mhm.

Dave Bittner: And we were -- I -- we must have been on the free preview of HBO or something because I remember most of my teen years we did not have HBO because my father refused to pay for it. Right?

Rick Howard: Mhm, mhm.

Dave Bittner: But, for whatever reason, we had HBO when this movie was on pretty much 24/7 on HBO. So, I saw this movie a gazillion times.

Rick Howard: Really?

Dave Bittner: Yes.

Rick Howard: Because you wanted to watch HBO and that's all they had because, back then, HBO only had like seven movies in their rotation. Right? So --

Dave Bittner: Right, right. And I think, at this point, I don't know that my startle reflex had really kicked in yet. I think the movie that put me over the edge was "Poltergeist."

Rick Howard: Oh, yeah? Okay.

Dave Bittner: That was --

Rick Howard: Scary movie. Yeah.

Dave Bittner: The most -- the most scared I think I've ever been was the time I decided to watch "Poltergeist" by myself --

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: In my house alone. You know, nobody else around, you know, and at night.

Rick Howard: At night.

Dave Bittner: And I --

Rick Howard: At midnight or something. Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Yeah, exactly. I -- that is the time. I went around the entire house and turned on every single light in there because I was so scared.

Rick Howard: Okay.

Dave Bittner: But getting back to "Halloween." I'm curious. Like did you ever have any movies like that where just -- like not necessarily a good movie, but just because it was around so much that you have a certain amount of affection for it?

Rick Howard: Oh, a bunch of those movies. And especially horror movies, right, because, you know, like I said, we loved horror movies. So, whenever anything would be on, we'd always set our butts down whenever it would show up. Okay?

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: And, you know, what got us on our seats all the time was the "Night of the Living Dead." Okay? Because it was --

Dave Bittner: Oh, yeah.

Rick Howard: Because it was so - it was in the public domain, they could show it anytime. Right? And, so --

Dave Bittner: Right.

Rick Howard: I must have watched that a gazillion times. Right?

Dave Bittner: Right, right.

Rick Howard: And it's not a great movie, but it's a --

Dave Bittner: No.

Rick Howard: Classic horror movie. All right? So, it --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: So, we -- I have lots of affection for --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: "Night of the Living Dead."

Dave Bittner: So, "Halloween III: Season of the Witch," not a good film, but --

Rick Howard: Not at all.

Dave Bittner: In the plot, Dr. Daniel Challis, who's played by Tom Atkins, he becomes involved in investigating the mysterious activities of the Silver Shamrock Novelties Company, which is headed by Conal Cochran. And Cochran is manufacturing Halloween masks that contain a special microchip that's activated by a television commercial airing on Halloween night. Now, these microchips also can -- I'm telling you, Rick, this movie has something for everyone. Embedded in the microchips are pieces of Stonehenge.

Rick Howard: Okay.

Dave Bittner: So, this evil genius managed to steal a piece of Stonehenge, have it shipped back to the United States. They chipped off pieces of Stonehenge, which is where the magical powers come from --

Rick Howard: Okay.

Dave Bittner: Of course.

Rick Howard: Of course.

Dave Bittner: They put the chips of Stonehenge in these microchips that went in these Halloween masks. So, you have these like -- these rubber masks. Right? And I think there's a -- the main one in the movie is a just a jack-o'-lantern.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: But there was also -- there were a couple other ones, too. I think there was a witch and something else. But a skull was the third one. And, so, on the back of these rubber masks is this round disc that has the microchip in it. And, so, what happens is all throughout the movie they are running these TV commercials, right, that advertises the Silver Shamrock Company. And they're using the --

Rick Howard: Yeah, big marketing campaign for Halloween. Right?

Dave Bittner: That's right. And they're using the song from "London Bridge is Falling Down." And it goes "eight more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Eight more days till Halloween, Silver Shamrock." And, so, the idea is kids buy these Halloween masks and at their right time they put them on to watch this commercial. Well, when the commercial happens, the masks are triggered, the magic happens from Stonehenge and the wearer's heads disintegrate into a mass of insects and poisonous snakes.

Rick Howard: Snakes. As you --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Do. Okay?

Dave Bittner: Snakes.

Rick Howard: Yeah --

Dave Bittner: Snakes

Rick Howard: Snakes and insects.

Dave Bittner: Right, right.

Rick Howard: And --

Dave Bittner: Right.

Rick Howard: And goo because your brain is, right, disintegrating. Right? So, ugh.

Dave Bittner: That's right.

Rick Howard: It's -- yeah.

Dave Bittner: As if that weren't enough, and I told you this movie has something for everyone, towards the end of the movie, it is revealed that some of the characters are in fact androids created by Cochran, the bad guy, to carry out his sinister plans. As if this movie didn't need anything else --

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: There's also --

Rick Howard: You needed that.

Dave Bittner: Androids. Yeah.

Rick Howard: Yeah. You needed androids. Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Yeah. So, the scene I am sharing today is I think for me the most memorable scene from the film. And, in this scene, a salesman for the Silver Shamrock Company has come to visit the factory where they make all of these things. He's been invited to visit and he's been invited to -- and he's brought his wife and his son. His kid is probably 10 years old, something like that. And they've been put in a test room where -- that's been made up to look like a living room where they're going to be the first people to view this commercial from Silver Shamrock. And, of course, bad things happen.

Rick Howard: Yeah. And I will say, Dave, this -- it is a horrible movie. This scene is --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Scary. Right?

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: It is -- it is --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: It is -- yeah, for a - you know, it just is scary. So, good pick.

Dave Bittner: It is scary. Yeah, yeah. So, we start off we see this family inside of this -- it looks like a steel vault. Right?

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: And there's one of those reinforced windows -- the window -- the glass that has the wires in it. You know?

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: It says "Test Room A." And this husband, wife and son are inside of this room. And that's how it begins.

Unidentified Speaker: Mr. Cochran will be right along.

Dave Bittner: You see people watching them from closed circuit TV cameras. They have lots of different views inside the room.

Rick Howard: This is like a test case for them, right? This is --

Dave Bittner: Right.

Rick Howard: Right.

Dave Bittner: Right.

Unidentified Speaker: Well, Mr. Cochran will be here and everything will be fine. Right?

Dave Bittner: So, you see the kid with -- he's holding the mask under his arm.

Salesman: You know, I still can't --

Rick Howard: He's restless.

Salesman: Figure out why they won't take my orders for next year. You know how I like to work ahead and, well, they're just not interested at all.

Wife: Maybe they're not going to have Halloween next year.

Salesman: Ha, ha, ha.

Dave Bittner: Foreshadowing.

Unidentified Speaker: All right, roll it.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: All right, so, the bad guy tells them to roll the commercial. The TV in the test room comes to light and the little boy is standing right in front of it. Here comes the commercial.

Unidentified Speaker: It's time, it's time, time for the --

Salesman: Oh, this is just the same old stuff.

Unidentified Speaker: Has come. All you lucky kids with Silver Shamrock masks gather around your TV set, put on your masks.

Rick Howard: The TV trope where kids always get right in front of the TV and stare at it.

Unidentified Speaker: Jack o' lantern.

Dave Bittner: So, the kid puts on his rubber Jack o' lantern mask.

Unidentified Speaker: Watch the magic pumpkin. Watch.

Dave Bittner: And, so, there's this pumpkin on the screen that's flashing on and off and on and off.

Wife: I think this whole thing is a big joke. I mean, look at this.

Rick Howard: I think the mom was --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Drinking a little wine before she came in.

Dave Bittner: So, the disc on the back of the mask starts pulsing and the kid is sort of holding his ears like there's something going on inside this mask. He's trying to tear it off, but he can't. And he collapses on the floor. Of course, the bad guys are watching this with their cameras. And the mom realizes there's something wrong. And out come the bugs.

Rick Howard: Ugh, lots of --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Bugs.

Dave Bittner: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rick Howard: Cockroaches --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Centipedes.

Dave Bittner: Right. And soon --

Rick Howard: Here they come.

Dave Bittner: The mom faints. She falls on the ground. She's passed out. Here come the snakes.

Rick Howard: The snakes.

Dave Bittner: So, snakes are coming out of the --

Rick Howard: Big snakes.

Dave Bittner: The mask.

Rick Howard: Big snakes.

Dave Bittner: And the father is freaking out. The bad guys are coldly watching. And what comes out of the mask? A rattlesnake. The father tries to run away. He's trying to open the door. But, of course, it's locked. The rattlesnake comes after him, bites him in the leg. And he collapses to the floor dead from the rattlesnake bite. And, of course, now we see the mom, she's got snakes crawling all over her as well.

Rick Howard: And bugs. Okay? Yeah.

Dave Bittner: And bugs.

Rick Howard: Ugh.

Dave Bittner: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rick Howard: Ugh.

Dave Bittner: Yeah. So, Rick, how you feeling?

Rick Howard: Ugh. I -- while the scene was playing, I went around and turned all the lights on in my studio. All right? So --

Dave Bittner: Yeah, yeah. So, it's -- this is a very successful horror scene, wouldn't you say?

Rick Howard: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: Like I said, really scary. Okay?

Dave Bittner: Yeah, yeah. I -- so, I got to hand it to one of the commenters on YouTube where I got this clip from. And if you click through to this scene, you'll see it's the top comment there. And this person writes, they say, "Most people don't realize the various levels of fear in this scene. It's got everything most people are afraid of: snakes, insects, technology taking over, losing a child, confinement, being watched, false surroundings, nobody hearing you scream, conspiracies, mass worldwide killings and human sacrifice and body horror." He's right.

Rick Howard: Wow. It's like they --

Dave Bittner: This scene has everything.

Rick Howard: They took all the ingredients from all the '70s horror movies and just dumped them into one pot, right, and --

Dave Bittner: Right.

Rick Howard: Stirred it up. Right?

Dave Bittner: Right. Yeah, yeah.

Rick Howard: Can I tell you a story about the original "Halloween" though?

Dave Bittner: Sure.

Rick Howard: I was in college when it came out. And "Halloween" is really a terrifying movie. If you've never seen it before, Dave, I think you should run right out now and watch it. Okay?

Dave Bittner: I actually have seen that one. Yeah.

Rick Howard: But I hadn't seen it yet. And one of my friends went to the New York Film Festival and that's one of the shows they were playing. He comes back on the school bus, comes back and tells me -- it's like 1:00 in the morning on a Saturday night, and tells me scene by scene how "Halloween" goes. Right? And he told the story, he was so scary that we were just -- we were the only ones up in our rooms. Right? And we had all the lights on, we were freaked out. And that is why I'm a big fan of the "Halloween" series despite, okay, "Halloween III" being not that good of a movie.

Dave Bittner: Yeah. Isn't that great? I mean, I think all of us have that one friend from growing up who was just a fabulous storyteller and could -

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Come back from a movie like that and just take you through the movie scene by scene. They -- for whatever reason, they had the combination of a -- I guess a photographic memory, but also --

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Really good storytelling skills and --

Rick Howard: Yeah, and acting. Because you know --

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: He was acting pieces of that. Right? So, yeah, it was, you know --

Dave Bittner: Yeah. There was a kid who lived across the street from me who would do that. And, you know, when we were in our early teens, he was allowed to go see R-rated movies and I wasn't.

Rick Howard: Uh-huh, yeah.

Dave Bittner: So, he was my -- I watched them vicariously through his descriptions. Yeah, yeah.

Rick Howard: Well, now --

Dave Bittner: By the way --

Rick Howard: Yeah, go ahead.

Dave Bittner: By the way "Halloween III" does not have a happy ending. I hate to --

Rick Howard: No.

Dave Bittner: Spoiler alert you. This movie ends ambiguously. The last thing you see in this movie is the commercial playing. And, so, the --

Rick Howard: The bad guys win.

Dave Bittner: Right.

Rick Howard: The bad guys win.

Dave Bittner: The bad guys win. Yeah.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: Yeah. Ugh. So scary. And -- but -- so, just so our -- because -so, we don't get letters, let me just say tangentially that I just want to say that for -- as far as "Hacking Humans" goes, we're talking about all kinds of psychological manipulation here. Right?

Rick Howard: Yeah. It's like for -- they -- yeah. So, we're going to get real here. They tricked the sales guy and his family to come in and get tested on. Okay, that's --

Dave Bittner: Right.

Rick Howard: Psychological manipulation. And then in my clip they had to convince that guy to come out to the house so he can have his brain surgery done. So --

Dave Bittner: Right, right.

Rick Howard: Yes, it does relate to "Hacking Humans."

Dave Bittner: So, don't write us. Yeah. But mostly, Rick, it's just we want to have fun --

Rick Howard: Yeah, that's exactly right.

Dave Bittner: With Halloween, talk about some of our scary movies.

Rick Howard: Well, I'm freaked out, Dave. Okay?

Dave Bittner: Yeah.

Rick Howard: I'm hearing noises in my studio. So, you know --

Dave Bittner: Oh, yeah.

Rick Howard: I'm afraid. Yeah.

Dave Bittner: No, no, no. My -- I'm going to have to turn on all the light -- and usually I keep my -- this recording studio kind of dark and moody. But, no, I'm turning on all the lights because this is not fun for me.

Rick Howard: Yeah.

Dave Bittner: All right, well, that is our show. We want to thank you all for listening. And, of course, we'd love to know what you think of this podcast. You can email us at hackinghumans@n2k.com. We want to remind you that N2K's strategic workforce intelligence optimizes the value of your biggest investment: your people. We make you smarter about your team while making your team smarter. Learn more at n2k.com. Our senior producer is Jennifer Eiben. The show is edited by Elliot Peltzman. Our executive editor is Peter Kilpe. I'm Dave Bittner.

Rick Howard: And I'm Rick Howard.

Dave Bittner: Thanks for listening. Oh, hold on, Rick, somebody's -- somebody's knocking on my door here.

Rick Howard: I thought you were by yourself out - I thought you were -- I didn't think anybody --

Dave Bittner: Well, I am.

Rick Howard: Was in the office.

Dave Bittner: No, I didn't -- nobody's supposed to be here. All right --

Rick Howard: What is that?

Dave Bittner: Well, give me a second. I don't know.

Rick Howard: Yeah, yeah.

Dave Bittner: Hold on, let me just answer the door here. Hi. Wish -- wow. No, no, that is a -- that is a fabulous Halloween costume. I particularly love the tentacles. What -- oh, my -- no, I just -- no, please. No, no, no, no, nooooo!

Rick Howard: Dave! Dave, where are you? Where are you, Dave? [ Strange noises ] [ Music ]