Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes! (1978)

DVD Cover (Rhino Films 25th Anniversary Edition)
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Overall Rating 47%
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After a wave of reports of mysterious attacks involving people and pets being eaten by the traditionally docile fruit, a special government task force is set up to investigate the violent fruit and put a stop to their murderous spree. Included in this crack team are a lieutenant who never goes anywhere without his parachute, an underwater expert who's never out of his scuba gear, and a master of disguise who conceals his appearance by dressing as a black Adolf Hitler. --IMDb
David Miller
David Miller
George Wilson
George Wilson
Sharon Taylor
Sharon Taylor
J. Stephen Peace
J. Stephen Peace
Ernie Meyers
Ernie Meyers
Review by Crispy
Added: September 29, 2007
Lately I've been writing a lot of reviews about various creatures gaining super abilities and striking out against humanity. Now, I leave the animal kingdom and focus on the wrath of plantlife. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one of the greatest Masterpieces of Crap in all of cinema. I give you Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

An effort to yield larger, healthier tomatoes horrifically backfires when instead it sets the little buggers off on an unstoppable rampage. Now, the U. S. government has to do everything in its power to cover up and stop the belligerent fruit. The president's press secretary, Jim Richardson, hires advertiser Ted Swan to spin the attacks in a new light for the public. With the intention of ending the tomato threat, they enlist the services of Mason Dixon and supply him with a cracked team of agents. Meanwhile, entrusted with her first real assignment, reporter Lois Fairchild is doing everything in her power to gain information about the tomatoes out of Dixon.

Yeah, that's a pretty barebones plotline isn't it? But let's face it, the plot isn't exactly the strong part of this film. It has just enough to keep things moving along but it's the gags that make this movie as memorable as it is. It was written as a spoof of the B movies that were a dime a dozen in the '70s and it nails all of the characteristics, some are touched vaguely but most are done with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

For those of you remembering the cartoon or looking at the cover, you might be a bit disappointed. Our tomatoes here aren't graced with evil glares and sharp teeth; they're just normal everyday tomatoes rolling on the floor making some warbled gibberish. The results are amazing, as the sheer absurdity of it all carries these scenes to an entirely new height. And absurdity really is the name of the game here. The entire film is filled with some of the most nonsensical things you can think of. The opening credits come complete with advertising and the cheesiest theme song ever written. Even the ending has arguably the single most inane resolution ever conceived, yet it fits in here so extraordinarily well. The entire affair reminds me of Jim Abrahm's films, so you can kind of judge to see how much you're gonna dig this one.

Obviously, watching people scream at tomatoes for an hour and twenty minutes isn't going to work, and thankfully our group of filmmakers fully realizes that. They were able to consistently move things up to the next level at all the right times. The first few attacks were hilarious, but just as soon as they started to wear a bit thin they changed it up until it was a legitimate full-out war between man and fruit. Hell, even the aforementioned ending scene had a few extra laughs coaxed out of it by upping the ante one last time.

The acting here is a bit hard to judge. I mean, it was all atrocious but I'm fairly certain it was deliberately so. Even so, Stephen Peace was able to put on a fairly memorable performance as the incompetent Wilbur Finnletter. In fact, he would go on to appear in two of the three sequels and was involved with the last one behind the scenes. The rest of the cast did a fine job being not fine as well, but none of them stand out as well as Peace did. Granted, that may be based on his character, yet he still deserves his due.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes might be one of the dumbest ideas ever caught on film, yet with tongue planted firmly in cheek, it's truly a must-see. Some of the best gags are the smaller, inconsequential ones just thrown in there, like the meeting room in a closet or the Japanese scientist talking in a horribly dubbed voice. The only flaws found here are the occasional gag where it's obvious they were just trying a bit too hard and its lack of replay. It's one of those flicks that you can watch a few times, laugh your ass off and then let it sit for awhile before breaking it out again. Even so, I'm sure this one is floating around the $5.50 bins somewhere and for that price it's more than worth it. 8.5/10
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