Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978)

Note:  This movie was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Every so often, I have an urge to see a really bad movie. Sometimes, it’s because someone else said that it was bad and I take it sort of like a dare to see that movie. Other times, the movie hasn’t yet been reviewed on Epinions and, in an attempt to gain an entry into the monthly first-review sweepstakes, I find out why it hasn’t been reviewed yet. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes doesn’t really fit into either category.

This movie is every kid’s dream. For reasons that aren’t immediately revealed, tomatoes start attacking and killing people at random. A team is assembled, consisting of the best minds that a limited budget can afford. There’s an Olympic gymnast that defected to the United States, a disguise expert, a SCUBA expert, and a man with a parachute. The team is led by Mr. Mason Dixon, who is charged with the task of figuring out how to stop the tomatoes.

When I finished watching the movie, my initial assessment was that it’s the B-movie equivalent of UHF. The jokes go from silly to politically incorrect. The men have to meet in a very small room. One of the men is Japanese and has the accompanying bad dubbing. There are also a few translation mistakes that might offend some.

There are a lot of silly site gags and one-liners throughout. For instance, the disguise expert’s disguises really aren’t that good. He’s black man, but is able to pass himself off as both Hitler and a tomato. Also, the SCUBA expert walks around in full gear at all times. Also, notice that when a Congressional committee is formed, all of the committee members have the same last name as a former president.

Taken as a movie, it’s pretty bad. It’s one of those movies that are so bad, you have to see it to see just how bad it is. Whatever plot there is exists solely to string the jokes together. The film quality hasn’t stood up to the test of time. (I don’t think that in 1978, the powers that be were planning on putting the movie on DVD.) I do have to admit that the opening theme was pretty good. The acting was also as good as could be expected, although some of the actors haven’t gone on to do much else.

I give the movie one star, but it goes on my list of the best one-star movies ever, right up there with Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe. It’s corny, cheesy and it has “low budget” written all over it. (With one possible exception, I don’t think we ever see a tomato actually kill anyone.) You have to see this movie, just to see how bad it is.

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