“Bride Of Killer Nerd” : Would’ja Believe — Toby Radloff Finds True Love?

Posted: February 3, 2013 in movies
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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One thing about making a movie for five or six thousand bucks — it isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) that hard to make a tidy little profit.

Evidently, 1991 shot-on-video shlock horror/comedy Killer Nerd, which we reviewed on this very site awhile back , did just that, because exactly one year later, co-directors/writers/producers Mark Steven Bosko and Wayne Alan Harold were back behind the Sony Betacam with “star” Toby Radloff, best known as Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor sidekick, back in front of it for a sequel, Bride Of Killer Nerd —a movie which, at its core, is basically more of the same (honestly, what else would you expect?) but is no less fun for that fact. Truth be told, one could even make the argument that this is a superior picture, but it’s not like it matters all that much since it’s basically a six of one, half a dozen of another comparison when we’re talking about these two flicks.

After evading the law in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, titular Killer Nerd Harold Kunkle (Radloff, essentially playing himself, and not “acting” per se so much as simply reciting lines) has moved his base of operations to the bright lights of Cleveland — his “operations” consisting, once again, of being stuck in a dead-end office job where he’s the butt of everyone’s cruel jokes. Harold’s feeling pretty damn depressed about his eat, work, sleep routine, though, and vows that if his life doesn’t somehow change significantly within a month, he’s going to relieve the tedium by committing suicide.

The fickle hand of destiny, however, seems to have other things in mind for everyone’s favorite psychotic geek — yes, friends, none other than Cupid himself has set his sights on the forlorn Harold, and has arranged to have his solitary path in life cross that of one Thelma Crump, a bespectacled, awkward, clumsy, off-kilter high school girl who is at the very least his equal by every standard of measurement on the social outcast scale — when they meet at church one fateful morning it’s love at first four-eyed sight, and nothing, as the saying goes, will ever be the same for either of them.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking — it sure sounds like ol’ Kunkle’s chasing after jailbait here. Before you spend too much time thinking about that angle, though ( which would be a monumental waste of energy on your part since the filmmakers obviously didn’t) it should be pointed out that Thelma is portrayed by Heidi Lohr (the same actress who played Sally, the woman who rebuffed Harold’s advances in the original Killer Nerd), who’s gotta be at least  35 years old if she’s a day. So let’s all just relax and let these two love-struck losers have their day in the sun, shall we?

Obviously, though, the good times can’t last forever, and when a group of popular kids at Thelma’s school invite her and her new beau to a party they’re having as a paper-thin pretext for extracting several ounces’ worth of revenge on her for a  laundry list of perceived transgressions she’s supposedly committed against their clique, it’s not long before the legendary of battle cry of “nerd nerd nerd NERD NERD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” once again issues forth from Harold’s — ahem! — dentally-challenged mouth and he unleashes the beast within to save his lady-love from the twisted machinations of the jocks and jock-ettes.

You know the drill — the red Karo syrup’s gonna flow generously as Kunkle hacks and chops his way through those who would dare sully his fair maid’s honor, but once the slaughter begins in earnest it becomes pretty clear that the object of his affections is every bit as unhinged as he is, if not more so!

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I won’t kid you, this is pretty low-grade stuff, even for late-’80s/early-’90s SOV fare. But what the fuck — it’s fun low-grade stuff that never for one instant sets its sights any higher than what it knows it can realistically (or unrealistically, as the case may be) achieve. Bosko and Harold are keenly aware of the limitations of both themselves and what and who they’ve got to work with, and proceed accordingly. If you or I made this thing we’d probably be too goddamn embarrassed at the final result to show it to anyone but our closest friends and family — and we’d make sure they were good and drunk first — but these guys had the balls to show the world (well, okay, an admittedly very small segment of the world) the fruits of their labors, and that’s pretty admirable in my book. If you don’t have much by way of brains or ability, balls alone can still take you a long way.

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Bride Of Killer Nerd is available on DVD paired with the movie from whose cam-corded loins it sprang in a one-two punch Troma bills as a “Killer Kollector’s Edition.” Besides the always-annoying-but-strangely-welcome Lloud Kaufman self-promotional intros and assorted crap, there are decent commentaries for both films featuring Radloff and Harold, an on-camera interview with Radloff where he reminisces further about his days as the original bullying-victim-getting-even, and a smattering of trailers for other Troma product. The flicks are presented full-frame with mono sound, and if any remastering of either the audio or video variety has been done it’s been pretty cleverly disguised since they both look and sound like crap, but no matter —that’s the way it should be.

Underneath all the thoroughly (but charmingly) unconvincing blood and stiffly-intoned angst, Bride Of Killer Nerd is, in this reviewer’s opinion, an unrelentingly optimistic work, with a message of hope for us all — after all, if Toby Radloff can find true love, anyone can.

Comments
  1. I love the Killer Nerd movies! Great review.

  2. Brian says:

    I’ll have to check this out. Toby Radloff is hilarious.

  3. Sam says:

    Hey, would you happen to know the name of the black character in the film?

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