ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES
Special Collector's Edition
Review by Michael Jacobson
David Miller, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor, Rock Peace, Jack Riley, Von
Director: John DeBello
Audio: Dolby 2 Channel Mono
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Rhino Home Video
Features: See Review
Length: 83 Minutes
Release Date: September 23, 2003
someone please pass the ketchup?"
of the Killer Tomatoes is on DVD as a special collector's edition. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
is the A title of B movies, earning fame and popularity as the self proclaimed "worst movie ever made". I
don't know if pointing out that it's actually not the worst of the worst
would be helpful or hurtful. It's
not bad enough to be good. It's
barely bad enough to be bad.
Airplane and Kentucky Fried Movie, director and co-writer John
DeBello, along with some college friends, envisioned a spoof of horror films in
which our favorite red fruit (vegetable?) came to life and wreaked havoc upon
humanity. That 8 mm college film
eventually blossomed into the full fledged theatrical offering with the same
title, although it's debatable whether production values actually increased
title, which came first, is hysterical. The
movie is considerably less so. 83
minutes isn't a long time, but it's far too long to keep a single joke
buoyant. Tomatoes get big and kill
people...how many different ways can you say it?
bits range from amusing to flat, but nothing is fall-down funny.
Some of the better moments include the title song (reminiscent of what
Burt Bacharach wrote for The Blob), the master of disguise who
infiltrates the tomatoes' camp but blows his cover in the worst possible way,
and the adman called upon to put a positive spin on the tomato situation for the
lesser moments mostly involve running gags that wear out their welcome quickly,
including a special operative who drags his parachute behind him throughout the
entire movie, and the ridiculously inept song "Puberty Love" that gets
played OVER and OVER...it plays a key part in the film's finale, but by that
point, I was kind of hoping the tomatoes would win.
movies can be fun, but unfunny comedies just disappoint.
The one bright idea isn't enough to power a full length film, no matter
how well paste...er, paced. People will always flock to this one because of its
reputation for ineptness and for the title, which has become a part of American
culture. But this is really just a
hearty helping of hype while surprisingly shallow in substance.
don't know why a widescreen transfer was forewent here, but the framing always
seemed a bit off to my eyes. The
overall quality is fair, with some good coloring marred by occasional faded
looking images (owing to the age, no doubt)...not a lot of scratches or spots,
though. A decent effort.
original mono soundtrack reflects the film's low budget a little more; you can
frequently tell when lines were dubbed in afterwards, or worse, when they SHOULD
have been. The music sounds fine,
but there's not a lot of dynamic range. Background
noise is minimal.
special edition is quite loaded, starting with an amusingly animated main menu
screen. A commentary with John
DeBello, Steve "Rock" Peace (writer and co-star) and Costa Dillon (creator)
is a fun listen...you've got to admire guys who are proud of making one of the
worst pictures ever!
are three deleted scenes and six featurettes, including a retrospective, a look
at the helicopter crash sequence (an actual accident), the critical response, a
look at the fans and more. There
are two of the filmmakers original student films, including the one that
eventually became this move. Both
feature commentaries. There is also
a trailer, radio spots, a trivia game (sadly not interactive), and more.
As they say, atsa lotsa mozzarella!