The nation is in chaos! A vicious plague of man-eating killer tomatoes is sweeping across the U.S. A special task force is assigned to investigate these ferocious fruits. But with the likes of Lt. Finletter, who never goes anywhere without his parachute, and Greg Colburn, the underwater expert who never takes his SCUBA gear off, the task force is not looking too promising. Just who or what will save the day?
- Attack of the Killer Tomatoes review by Count Otto Black
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For almost 40 years, ever since the moronic Medved brothers invented the craze for deliberately watching terrible movies you don't enjoy on any level just to sneer at them, this film has been hailed as "so bad it's good". There were even a couple of sequels. Unfortunately it's just plain bad, and unlikely to appeal to anyone other than the kind of teenager who watches childrens' TV ironically.
In many ways it resembles "Airplane" in style, only with a much, much smaller budget and absolutely no comic or acting talent on display whatsoever. Much of the "humor" relies on the assumption that the very idea of tomatoes attacking people is in itself so hilarious that no actual jokes are needed. Unfortunately the budget only runs to a handful of scenes of the tomatoes doing anything more dramatic than being rolled in the general direction of the cast or dragged along on a string, and just one brief sequence actually shows them causing the mass destruction they're alleged to be responsible for throughout the film, so mostly it consists of various cheaper bits of comic business punctuated by references to all the trouble the tomatoes are causing offscreen. Alas, almost none of this is the slightest bit funny - there are probably about two or three halfway decent one-liners in 80 minutes.
Here's an example of the level of hilarity on offer. An incredibly stupid special forces "disguise expert" randomly dresses up in various inappropriate costumes for no reason at all. While he's dressed as Hitler, another even stupider member of the team tries to kill him because he thinks he really is Hitler, even though he's black. And that's one of the better jokes. The whole sorry mess looks like a ten-minute TV sketch that somehow ballooned out of all proportion (especially on this DVD, a mediocre quality video transfer cropped to fit a TV screen), and because there's nowhere near enough comic material to fill the running time, almost every gag, however feeble, either goes on far too long or happens at least twice. Or both.
The oddest thing about this dismally unfunny little movie is that Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!" is practically a remake, since both films involve the USA being invaded by monstrous beings against whom the army is useless, resulting in farcical situations in which government officials and soldiers are made to look foolish, and then at the last moment it turns out that the unstoppable horrors can be defeated by playing them a dreadful pop song. Therefore if you happen to be a clone of Tim Burton, you'll undoubtedly love this movie! But if you aren't, I'd give it a miss.