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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

1 rating: 1.0
A movie directed by John De Bello

Music, comedy and spoof horror are all combined in this uniquely low-budget attack on conventional horror movies. When a high-level government experiment goes terribly awry a group of giant, mutated tomatoes roll through suburbia on a spree of mayhem … see full wiki

Tags: Movies, Comedies
Cast: Jack Riley
Director: John de Bello
Release Date: 1980
MPAA Rating: PG
1 review about Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes ~ ahem!

  • Sep 12, 2000
Pros: The Tomato Festival only comes around once a year

Cons: The things I do for Epinions - arrrrgggghhhh

What kind of movie buff would I be, if I were to neglect one of the most bizarre movies to hit since Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Nestled against the eastern boundary of Columbus is an intimate city by the name of Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Reynoldsburg has a population of a few thousand people and has the distinction of being the home of the Tomato Festival. Ohio has a unique blend of soils that produce some of the tastiest fruit known anywhere. The Tomato Festival was held this year with the culmination Sunday, 9/10/00, with the crowning of the Tomato Queen and the Tomato Parade. In their honor I scurried to Hollywood Video (Blockbuster didn't have the good taste to have a copy of this movie) and picked up this cult classic, so, on with the show..................

One does not care if they actually make it into the movie or not, the prelude to this classic is just as funny as the movie, interviewing the writer, director, composer, actors, and yes, darling, even the tomatoes - the true stars of the show. I viewed the directors cut, well worth the extra $1.00 at Hollywood Video.

Please, at no time, confuse this with a real movie. It is a demonic parody on Hollywood, actors, movie themes, monsters, music, the military, the government, and lastly, on ourselves. This movie should be viewed for what it is, and when you figure that out, please email me and let me know.

The movie begins with a scrolling intro, depicting that THIS movie will be filmed on the lines of the classic Hitchcock movie The Birds, one could only hope. Instead, our first tomato viewing is the winsome housewife doing dishes and discovering the tomato in her sink. The tomato jumps from the sink, to the sound of the music from Psycho, before breaking into the credits, and of course, the title song. Thanks to John DeBello, for his ingenious words and catchy tune, pounding ceaselessly in my head now.

Tomatoes is nothing but pure spoof. Outrageous, unrelenting, campy spoof. At no time does the director John DeBello (also the producer, writer and composer) bother to insinuate there is a story line to the movie. It is ridiculously sublime and jammed packed with innuendo! Susidee is not generally taken with slapstick comedy (ie: Airplane, Police Academy), but Tomatoes takes slapstick to an all time low.

The hero of the story, Mason Dixon (David Miller) reminds one of John Belushi, muddles his way through this timeless tale with finesse. Truthfully, there are no true acting credits to be given, unless it is to the tomatoes, in this movie. I particularly loved the ‘director' watching the movie through the little window, like at the movie theater, and constantly turning to the audience and offering his comments.

There is one particularly funny scene where the head honchos are meeting in a room the size of my clothes closet, 10-12 men, generals, etc, and one lone Japanese scientist. After delivering his ‘take' on the tomato problem, he raises his arm in the air and knocks a picture of the U.S. Arizona off the wall into the fish tank, while the familiar whistling sound of a bomb plays in the background. Of course, he speaks in Japanese, with his voice dubbed in English, for effect.

In all, the writers attempted to spoof as many films as possible with this movie. There is the Jaws sequence where the tomatoes attack swimmers, the Superman spoof with Lois as the reporter, later as a man walks down the street, he says "Oh hi Lois" and she responds with "Oh hi Clark", while he adjust his glasses. We also have a Lassie flashback where the boy is fishing and asks the dog "Gee, what is that Spot?", whereas Spot responds "Gosh, Billy, I don't know. I'll go investigate".

The tomatoes, of course, roll about town attacking, smashing, drowning, pureeing, and bulldozing the town members in every perfectly bizarre manner. In addition to that, we are given the treat of the Army breaking into song and dance, in full combat gear, to the tune of "Tomatoes" in one of the most outrageously choreographed scenes I have ever viewed in my life.

During part of the movie, it suddenly switches to a foreign language with English subtitles, a result of the ‘directors cut' being unable to locate the original American version - their story, not mine.

There is also a scene where the President (Ernie Meyers) is signing papers, using a different pen for each page, then wading the papers up and throwing them away. When they do a close up of the pages, it is blank except for "Official President signed paper" printed on it, and his signature. Just as he finishes signing the last paper with the last pen, an office supply boy shows up with a new case of pens....poor Pres!

Several times during the movie, the Press Secretary is meeting with a movie producer, Mr. Swan (Al Skiar), (ie Wag The Dog), and a scrolling advertisement for the Sunnyvale Furniture Store keeps playing across the screen.

Army Special Tomato Task Force: A disguise expert (his disguises are absolutely hysterical, I'm sorry), an Olympic gymnast that defected to the United States, an underwater expert in full scuba gear at all times, and the irrepressible Wilbur Finletter (Rock Peace) running around in full parachuter gear, dragging his parachute behind him throughout the movie.

If you think this review rambles a bit, well a lot, then you should have seen the movie. If you have absolutely nothing to do and would like a really good laugh, rent the darn thing. Don't go in expecting a movie, just accept it for what it is - whatever that may be! And keep in mind, if you are ever attacked by killer tomatoes, the song "Puberty Love" will turn them into a fine salsa. If you don't know the words to this song, I urge you to learn them now!

This movie gave me a headache!


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