Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (Blu-ray)
Review by: Jake Keet
Posted on: March 1st, 2018
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Plot: What’s it about?

Everybody is entitled to their guilty pleasures. For myself, I like De Palma’s Body Double, Virtuosity, and several other films that are not considered high-brow. I don’t feel bad for liking any of them, but I also don’t run around telling people that they must add these films to their collection. One film that I will be adding to that list of guilty pleasures is the original midnight movie cult classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. MVD, a distribution group that has helped to distribute labels like Arrow Video and Drafthouse Films, now has its own vintage label called MVD Rewind and this film is one of their first releases.

The film is essentially a nonsensical satire of films and television from the Seventies. It is a thriller spoof where America is facing down the menace of evil tomatoes that are killing people across the great country while the government tries to hide the facts from the populous. A ragtag group of imbeciles are enlisted to fight this evil vegetation before our country is lost.

This movie is stupid. Really stupid. It is incredibly cheap. The effects budget for the while film could not have been more than a few thousand dollars. The only reason the film has an impressive stunt like a helicopter crash is because the pilot they hired accidentally crashed his helicopter during filming. It is a film that has stood the test of time through sheer stupid comedic antics that are still as entertaining as forty years ago. I laughed a lot at this film and was thoroughly entertained. The film is essentially G-rated so there is no reason to feel bad for sitting down and laughing like an idiot with your kids (if you are willing to let them know that you find this funny.) While this film will not be for everybody, I found it very entertaining.

Video: How’s it look?

A brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negatives has been provided and it’s noticeable from the get go. It is hilarious to judge a film like this based on video specifications given how incredibly cheap and quick the filming of the movie was, but honestly there is no way that this is not the best this film has ever looked. While this film will not win any awards for clarity (due to cheap filming techniques,) fans should be very pleased with the work that went into the release.

Audio: How’s it sound?

MVD Rewind has provided an English LPCM Mono Track from the original recordings. This track sounds good overall, but given the cheap and fast recording of the audio some hiss is apparent and some distortion (infrequently.) This film is hard to judge based on audio given the limited resources, but I feel confident in saying that it will not sound any better than this in later releases.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Legacy of a Legend – is an archival piece featuring some solid interviews with the cast and crew. This piece is as silly as you might expect but goes a long way towards explaining how the film became a cult classic. They discuss some of the mistakes during the making of the film through some interesting anecdotes. They also mention that many of the ideas in the film have been used in later films.
  • Crash and Burn – this feature is all about the accidental plane crash which they filmed and subsequently used in the film.
  • Super Duper 8 Prequels
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes – is the 8mm short film that they used to gain funding for the feature film. This feature can be played with or without a commentary track. A lot of the ideas in this made it into the feature film.
  • Gone With the Babusuland – an unrelated short film from the same people that features a commentary track that can not be turned off
  • Famous Fowl – features an interview with the San Diego Chicken. As dumb and funny as you might expect.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Killer Tomatomania – features a man dressed as a tomato talking to people in Los Angeles in the street.
  • Where Are They Now? – is a ridiculous follow up on several cast members. Strangely enough Dana Ashbrook of a Twin Peaks and Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam had roles in the film as children.
  • We Told You So – a silly conspiracy theory piece about how the film was not meant to be seen.
  • Sing Alongs
    • Sidewalk Sing Along
    • Main Theme
    • The Mindmaker Song
    • Tomato Stomp
    • Puberty Love
    • Love Theme
  • Slated for Success – a piece on the slate person for the film.
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Trailer
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Radio Spots
  • Audio Commentary – features John De Bello, Costa Dillon and Steve Peace.

The Bottom Line

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is good clean stupid fun. Fans will rejoice to own it on Blu-ray, while others will turn their nose up in the air at the idea of this film existing. You know who you are on either side of the argument. For myself, I laughed a lot. I also enjoy the sequel which has an early performance from George Clooney and is available on Blu-ray from Arrow Video. Recommended.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (Blu-ray)
MOVIE INFO.
YEAR RELEASED
1978
RATING
Unrated
DIRECTOR
John De Bello
STUDIO
MVD
RUNNING TIME
83 min.


Rotten 27%
TECH SPECS
  • BLU-RAY
  • (1.85:1)
  • Video Codec: AVC
  • Audio: Mono
  • 1 Disc Set
  • DISC FEATURES
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy

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