No one has ever truly confirmed the full intent of the numbers stations. For decades — since WWII, some say since WWI — shortwave broadcasts around the world have repeated strings of numbers for unknown recipients. The voices are male and female, some children, some synthesized. Supposedly the stations are government-maintained, the numbers strings of one-time pad code. None have ever been acknowledged in an official capacity. Some still broadcast.

The stations have invaded popular consciousness in small ways: a huge collection of recordings was released as The Conet Project; one of those recordings found its way into Wilco’s song ‘Poor Places;’ another is used in ‘Gyroscope‘ by Boards of Canada. The show Lost famously used the idea of the stations as part of its incorporation of a string of powerful numbers into the main storyline.

And now a numbers station is the setting and namesake for a routine-looking thriller starring John Cusack and Malin Akerman.

The Numbers Station appears to have a couple of good beats, but mostly it looks like the continuation of Cusack’s journey into Nic Cage-ness. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, necessarily, if the movies in which he made that journey looked like they were any good.

Yahoo has the trailer. The Numbers Station arrives on April 26th.

After his latest mission goes disastrously wrong, veteran CIA black ops agent Emerson Kent is given one last chance to prove he still has what it takes to do his job. His new assignment: guarding Katherine, a code operator at a top-secret remote CIA “Numbers Station” where encrypted messages are sent and received. When an elite team of heavily armed assailants lays siege to the station, Emerson and Katherine suddenly find themselves in a life-or-death struggle against an unknown enemy. With the station compromised and innocent lives at stake, they must stop the deadly plot before it’s too late.

(Listen to more numbers stations recordings here. They’re eerie and oddly compelling.)

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