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Featured Blu-ray Review: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

March 4th, 2018

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray Combo Pack
Video on Demand

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is an intentional B-movie that came out in 1978. It wasn’t a big hit when it came out, but it quickly became a cult classic. It is such a cult classic that the out of print DVD costs $80 on Amazon. The Blu-ray Combo Pack is obviously a lot cheaper, but is it worth picking up for fans of the genre?

The Movie

Before I get to the movie, there’s a problem with the menu. It’s way too loud. If you are watching the extras and are bouncing between them and the menu, make sure you can mute your TV quickly.

We are first told about The Birds and how some people laughed at the premise, until something similar happened in 1975. We then go to the present day, where we see a housewife brutally attacked by a tomato. Well, “brutal” isn’t really appropriate. It could have been, if the filmmakers had the money to actually show the attack.

We quickly learn tomato attacks have become common, and terrifying enough to include a kamikaze attack that took out a helicopter. The government agent aboard, Von Schauer, managed to survive, but they are stunned at the ferocity of these attacks. They need to get the situation under control and without letting the public find out about it, or there will be panic in the streets. The president’s press secretary, Jim Richardson, it put in charge. In order to do this on the down low, they need the least well-known investigator around, Mason Dixon. He’s given a trio of operatives, including Lt. Wilbur Finletter. Unfortuantely, before he can even begin, a memo detailing the problem is leaked to the press and it is up to Lois Fairchild to get to the bottom of the case.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is an intentional B-movie and that will limit its target audience. If you are a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and find yourself watching the movie as much as listening to the riffs, then you will likely love this movie. There are some truly inspired comedy moments in the movie, like the slow speed car chase, the musical resolution, etc., which will make you laugh out loud, if you are a fan of these films. That theme song is just one of the all time best and the infamous helicopter crash captured on film helps the movie get off to an impressive start.

Granted, even in this regard, there are some issues. The film’s running time is just 83 minutes and it can’t maintain a high level of energy throughout this short running time.

Also, John Astin isn’t in this one, so Return of the Killer Tomatoes! is better. Grab that on Blu-ray as well.

The Extras

Legacy of a Legend is a 14-minute featurette on the movie and talks to the filmmakers, some of the actors, some fans, and even some of the critics who reviewed it when it first came out. Crash and Burn is a four-minute featurette on the infamous helicopter crash that happened during the filming of the movie. The original 18-minute short film, with optional audio commentary track, is next. A second short film, Gone With The Babusuland, is also included here, but the audio commentary isn’t optional. The San Diego Chicken is the focus of Famous Fowl, a two-minute short on his cameo in the movie. Up next are six minutes of deleted scenes. Killer Tomatomania is a man-on-the-street talking to people about the movie. Where are They Now? is a parody looking at some of the cast and filmmaker’s careers after the movie. We Told You So! connects the film to today’s GMO debate. Sing-Along stars with people on the street singing along to the theme song, but there are also sing-along segments for the five songs in the film. Slated for Success is a two-minute featurette on Beth Reno, who was the slate girl in the movie. I won’t tell you what she does now, but it is an impressive promotion.

The Verdict

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a great movie, if you are fan of intentional B movies. Furthermore, the Blu-ray Combo Pack is loaded with extras, so it is easily worth picking up. If you have never seen it and remain unsold, it only costs $2 to rent on Video on Demand, so give it a try.

Filed under: Video Review, John Astin, Jack Riley, David Miller, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor, J. Stephen Peace