Thursday, 24 May 2012

Movie Review: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Director: John De Bello, 1978

Pros: spoofs a lot of movies, takes the attacks seriously while taking itself as a joke

Cons: very cheesy, less humor than expected, boring at times

Several groups of misfits from the scientific, military and special ops communities, are brought in to deal with the menace of killer tomatoes.

In order to keep the menace under wraps, only the most incompetent people are sent to deal with the problem, with the exception of Mason Dixon (David Miller), who's actually quite smart.  This allows for a lot of quirky humor.  Add in 70s clothing and cheesy effects and there is stuff to laugh at, just not always what the film was going for.

The movie does well to take the killer tomato premise seriously.  It creates  a 'straight man' to play the spoof jokes off of.  And the movie does spoof a lot of other films.  My favourites were the nods to Jaws and Superman.

The only 'special effect' was the giant paper mache tomatoes.  Any other time something requiring special effects happened the camera focused on the people reacting to the incredible thing (tomatoes eating people, Superman flying, etc.).

On the whole, for a modern viewer, the movie is quite boring (mostly meetings with various people and little actual dealing with the problem or seeing people get eaten).  Lois Fairchild (Sharon Taylor), a reporter sent to get the story, does nothing and could have been cut from the film.  Her only purpose seemed to be as a Lois Lane reference.  And while there were a few good jokes, there weren't enough to keep me interested for a feature length film.

I'd give it a pass.

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