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Foywonder’s Valentine’s Day Salute to The Love Bomber

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Nothing says “I love you” quite like the gift of imploding large buildings. I know that probably sounds like a rather odd, not to mention extreme, way by which to prove your love for a woman, but then none of you is “The Love Bomber.” Women can’t resist a man that can make shit blow up. Why do you think Michael Bay gets laid as much as he does?

Today being Valentine’s Day, what better time to pay homage to one of cinema’s most lovelorn maniacs? “The Love Bomber” was the villain of the 1984 made-for-TV thriller City Killer, the terrifyingly romantic tale of a deranged stalker’s quest to prove his worth to the woman he loves by demolishing infrastructure.

Foywonder's Valentine's Day Salute to The Love Bomber

The big three TV networks rarely make original movies anymore; cable networks have been left to pick up the slack. Were it made today, City Killer would almost assuredly be a Lifetime Network original movie if only because they pretty much own the patent on stalker movies. It also probably wouldn’t be nearly as entertainingly preposterous. City Killer was made before the 1989 murder of “My Sister Sam” actress Rebecca Schaeffer that really made the reality of women being stalked something to be taken extremely seriously. This movie tries to take it seriously but betrays itself at every turn, often in amusingly dopey fashion.

Back in ’84 young Heather Locklear was riding a wave of popularity thanks to her roles on the popular ABC programs cop show “T.J. Hooker” and the nighttime soap opera “Dynasty.” Here, sporting the most obscene case of 80s Linda Evans’ hair not actually found on the head of Linda Evans, Locklear portrays Andrea McKnight, a young businesswoman with a flourishing career at a Chicago securities firm and a dark secret: she’s been moving about the country trying to escape the ex-boyfriend stalking her for the past five years.

Leo Kalb seemed like a nice guy at first (she actually claims that their relationship initially began because she felt sorry for him) but she quickly came to realize that he was several McNuggets short of a Happy Meal. When she attempted to break off the relationship, he began following her and calling her and hanging up. Then he put a bomb in her parents’ mailbox. Now Leo has found her again and when she continues to spurn his amorous advances he decides to impress her by causing an abandoned high rise to implode a few blocks from the street corner she’s standing on. Using his former Army Corps of Engineers know-how, Leo decides that the fastest way to a woman’s heart is through controlled detonations. As he tells her, anyone can blow up a building, but to make a building implode like he does takes a special kind of man with a special kind of skill, thus confirming his major inadequacy issues. Leo then calls up a TV station after the initial demolition and threatens to do it again unless he’s paid $2 million and a private plane for two destined for Costa Rica is made available for him and Andrea at the airport. He tells the media to refer to him as “The Love Bomber.”

“The Love Bomber” wasn’t some snarky media creation; it was his idea to call himself such. Why not the Ex-Ploder (He was her “ex”-boyfriend after all) or The Affectionate Imploder? Okay, perhaps those aren’t an improvement. Would you still want to go down in criminal history known as “The Love Bomber”? Conclusive proof that Leo Kalb was more insane than any of us could possibly fathom.

Foywonder's Valentine's Day Salute to The Love Bomber

A little romantic advice to all you guys out there: If you want to convince the woman that you’ve been stalking that you’re a changed man, don’t break into her apartment in the middle of the night and wait for her to come home and change into her nighties before popping out of the shadows to assure her that the therapy you’ve been getting is working. It’s just common sense.

As we’ll come to learn later on, Leo’s girlfriend prior to Andrea had done quite a number on his manhood by either making fun of the size of his penis and/or calling him a lousy lover. We never find out exactly but this is what we’re supposed to believe is the root of his psychosis and the reason why he couldn’t accept being rejected by a nice woman that didn’t degrade him. Reminds me of that time last year when that girl ridiculed the size of my penis and I then blew up that oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. I showed her, didn’t I? I showed them all!

TV vet Terrance Knox is quite entertaining playing the part of this poorly written loon. There’s much joy to be had listening to this supposedly menacing madman on the phone constantly referring to the cops as “those turkeys” and chastising authorities for thinking he’s “just some bozo from down the street.” Actual dialogue that gets repeated more than once, folks. The best is Leo’s big denouement at the end when he flips out and tells everybody, “You’re stupid!” Usually you don’t hear such lines coming out of the mouth of a movie baddie that isn’t either 10 years old or a Plan 9 from Outer Space alien.

Step two in his plan to win back Andrea’s heart is to blow up the building she works in. Leo’s not a complete monster so he calls the authorities and gives them fifteen minutes to clear the building. While everyone else evacuates – I’m not making this next part up, Andrea’s portly boss can’t leave without his pet mouse. Just when you’re rolling your eyes at the notion of this guy potentially getting himself killed just to save a mouse, he suddenly experiences a heart attack after taking all of about ten steps down the hall. One of Andrea’s co-workers carries the cardiac-challenged boss down the stairs, but the boss dies and the co-worker has to leaves his corpse in the stairwell so that he can make a break for it himself. Leo detonates the building and this minor supporting co-worker character whose plight had suddenly become a major point of suspense is killed and not one single character gives a damn. A news report later confirms nine deaths; who the other seven were is anyone’s guess? Nobody cares. Leo calls to tell Andrea that he did it so she wouldn’t have to go back to work and this way they’ll have more time to spend together for, like say, a trip to Costa Rica.

The TV reports that the actions of the “Love Bomber” have prompted the complete and total evacuation of downtown Chicago. Because of two buildings being imploded and 9 dead bodies? It appeared as if the evacuation of Chicago was accomplished in all of about three hours, topping the half a day evacuation of Manhattan in the 1998 Godzilla. Helicopters patrol the skies; the National Guard rolls in; martial law is imposed; all because of a guy calling himself “The Love Bomber.”

One thing you’re probably wondering is how in the world did some cheap mid-Eighties TV movie pull off the special effects of huge inner-city buildings collapsing? Six words: stock footage, stock footage, stock footage. If you’ve ever seen the music video for the David Bowie/Queen duet “Under Pressure” then you’ve already seen every single implosion shown in the film.

I do believe City Killer may also currently hold the world record for most person-on-the-phone-trying-to-keep-the-bad-guy-on-the-line-so-the-police-can-trace-the-call scenes in a single motion picture.

Assigned specifically to Andrea’s protection is Detective Eckford (“Eck” as he’s known for short), played by Gerald McRaney, who you may remember from the show “Simon & Simon”. He played Simon. No, not that Simon, the other Simon. Eck is still grieving from the death of his wife and he and Andrea find solace comforting one another in a one-on-one therapy sort of way. Eck will spend so much time staring longingly at Andrea you might begin wondering if he wouldn’t mind bombing a few buildings to try and impress her. As ludicrous as the whole building bombing stalker angle is and the total evacuation of downtown Chicago is, nothing, and I do mean nothing, in this film is more unbelievable than when Andrea and Eck become lovers. Heather Locklear in her prime and “Major Dad” bumping uglies? More like “Ick” if you ask me. Post coitus they will snuggle on the couch and stare at a picture of his dead wife – I kid you not.

Foywonder's Valentine's Day Salute to The Love Bomber

Delusional Leo believes Andrea is actually being manipulated by the cops to do him in and throws a major temper tantrum on the phone that is followed up with a rather comical montage of about four more buildings going kaboom. Even more amazing is Andrea – a woman who has spent much of the movie whining about how miserable her life has been on the run the past five years from this lunatic that has now killed several people and left a major US city in a state of terror – gives the authorities grief over their plan to use her as bait in order to give the snipers a clear shot. She’s not mad about being used as bait; she’s made because they plan to kill the guy that has made her life hell in front of her. She finally relents after the power of Gerald McRaney’s mustache compels hers to cooperate. Never underestimate the power of a Gerald McRaney mustache ride.

The sufficiently idiotic finale has Leo setting up one last potential detonation after slipping past the military by driving up in an Army jeep dressed like a soldier and barking orders at the dimwitted guards that instantly assume a guy in uniform barking orders at them must mean he’s a commanding officer. The final confrontation takes place on the roof of the very building he’s rigged to blow. Andrea finally empowers herself by fooling Leo into a false sense of security long enough for both a police sniper and Eck to shoot him. Of course, just shooting him would be too clean an ending; the mortally wounded Leo has to collapse right down on his dead man switch. Fortunately, god bless the power of plot convenience, this particular detonation didn’t cause the building to fully collapse until Eck and Andrea had sufficient time to get into a waiting helicopter and take off.

And to think Heather Locklear probably still believes RETURN OF SWAMP THING was the silliest film she ever starred in.

Foywonder's Valentine's Day Salute to The Love Bomber

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Michael Bay Adapting Duke Nukem with John Cena in Talks For Lead Role

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I think we can all agree that this may very well be one of those times when we see an announcement and go, “Huh… That actually makes 100% sense and I’m completely behind it!”

It’s been announced that the classic FPS shooter series Duke Nukem is getting a film adaptation out of Paramount with Platinum Dunes, the company owned by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller, producing the movie. As of now, there is no script but the plan is to have WWE superstar John Cena taking on the lead role. As of now, it’s still in early stages but this is actually very exciting news as this combination seems like a match made in heaven.

Just think about some of Bay’s films, like Transformers, Bad Boys, The Rock, The Island, etc… Now imagine that kind of gleeful explosive action as the backdrop for Cena to kick untold amounts of alien ass. For those who worry that Bay won’t go hard enough in terms of violence or offensive language, don’t forget that both Bad Boys films as well as Pain & Gain were rated R for very good reasons.

Duke Nukem was originally released back in 1991 in the self-titled game made by Apogee Software. The character has since been in multiple sequels, although there are only four titles to the main storyline, and spin-offs as well as appearing in cameos in other games such as Death Rally, Blood, Serious Sam 2, Balls of Steel and can be seen in the trailer for Ready Player One. Nukem’s last video game appearance was 2011’s Duke Nuke Forever, a game that went through countless delays only to be met with critical panning upon release.

Horror fans who have played Duke Nukem will recognize many of the character’s iconic one-liners as being lifted from several horror films. Quotes from They Live, Army of Darkness, Aliens, Predator, Jaws, Full Metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, and many more. The references were littered throughout and many delighted in their homages. However, Bruce Campbell wasn’t a fan when asked about the game back in 1999. He told IGN, “…they’re rip-off artists. Let them get their own damn material. It’s called hiring a writer.” [Source].

That being said, how cool would it be if Campbell made an appearance in the film to put Cena’s Duke Nukem in his place should he use one of those quotes? Apart from being a treat for fans of the games, it’d be a great moment in a film that’s meant to be chock full of bravado, machismo, and strong chins!

Coming back to Platinum Dunes’ adaptation, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on this project! In the meanwhile, why not tell us your favorite Duke Nukem moment in the comments!

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Ellen Page and The Cured Come Home to VOD

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We’ve been talking about the new zombie flick starring Ellen Page entitled The Cured for quite some time now, and we’ll soon be able to sink our teeth into it courtesy of IFC Films.

The flick stars Page (Juno, Hard Candy), Sam Keeley (Anthropoid, In the Heart of the Sea), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Infinity War, The Infiltrator), and Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games trilogy, “Ray Donovan”) and is directed and written by David Freyne in his first feature film. Look for it in theaters and On Demand on February 23, 2018​.

Synopsis:
What happens when the undead return to life? In a world ravaged for years by a virus that turns the infected into zombie-like cannibals, a cure is at last found and the wrenching process of reintegrating the survivors back into society begins. Among the formerly afflicted is Senan (Sam Keeley), a young man haunted by the horrific acts he committed while infected. Welcomed back into the family of his widowed sister-in-law (Ellen Page), Senan attempts to restart his life—but is society ready to forgive him and those like him? Or will fear and prejudice once again tear the world apart? 

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#Brainwaves Episode 74 Guest Announcement: Creature Designer Mike Hill – The Shape of Water and More!

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We’re getting monstrous on Episode 74 of Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio as joining us will be award-winning artist, filmmaker, and creature designer Mike Hill, whose work you can see right now in a little film called The Shape of Water.

Join us this coming Wednesday, January 24th, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

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Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

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