There’s a nuclear bomb on my desk. It’s the third nuclear device I’ve written about in the past week. The first one was the nuclear warhead from Sean Connery’s last Bond film Never Say Never Again. You know, the warhead that S.P.E.C.T.R.E. agents stole in their nefarious plot to blow up the world. The second one was the nuclear warhead that John Travolta’s character stole from Christian Slater in his nefarious plot to blow up the world in Broken Arrow. The third nuclear warhead that sat on my desk was the one that terrorists stole from superspy Harry Crane (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in their nefarious plot to, uh, blow up the world in True Lies.
You would think after the experience of writing about these detailed props and fake nuclear payloads I’d be jaded. But it’s impossible not to admire the amount of work that went into creating the items that show up for less than a minute in these films yet convince audiences of the danger and legitimacy of the on-screen threats.
But today, my bomb expertise is needed for something else. I must type 55 WPM about the prop that’s on my desk. If I type at a SPEED less than that, everyone in the warehouse will explode, as former jaded employee Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) has demanded 3.7 million dollars not to blow up the prop.
So, I’m writing as fast as I can about the bomb from Speed. The same one that’s housed underneath the bus Sandra Bullock drives in the movie, and that Keanu Reeves tries to disarm.
For a prop that appears for less than a minute total in the movie, the bomb is incredibly detailed. It’s constructed of a metal wire cage that surrounds the most C-4 explosive material I’ve ever seen. The explosives are made of rubber, but that doesn’t make the prop look less fearsome. It comes complete with a countdown timer, and buttons to confuse anyone who might try to disarm it. The finishing touch is Payne’s gold retirement watch, which Hopper’s character adds as a bitter flourish to the bomb.
Gotta type fast! Wish me luck! Someone’s phoning me now with a new pop quiz. What do I do…What…do…I…do?!
Tales from the Prop House – Every month, our Entertainment catalogers report some of the amazing things they’ve seen in our warehouse. This month, Paul Bisnette writes about a complete stormtrooper costume from The Mandalorian, Julio Leyva writes about Brad Pitt’s cowboy hat from Thelma and Louise, Bradley Harding talks about Barbara Streisand’s iconic hat from What’s Up Doc? Macy Shackleford writes about Julia Roberts’ Tinkerbell costume from Hook, and Colin Tait writes about Dennis Hopper’s bomb from Speed.