Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978, John DeBello)

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes [Blu-ray/DVD] [2 Discs] [1978] - Front_Standard

After a long break in review writing, I'm back with a film that I hold dear to me.  I still remember it clearly.  It was after a half day of school in 7th grade and I invited two of my friends over for lunch and to watch a video.  My mother drove us through the Wendy's drive thru in Natick, Massachusetts - only about a mile away from the Stop and Shop famously described in Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' Roadrunner.  We then came back to my house to watch my friend's copy of a film he said was one of the funniest films ever made - Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.  These two particular friends were always telling me about the classic films they would watch - Black Belt Jones, Avenging Disco Godfather, The Kentucky Fried Movie, etc.  Films I can tell they chose purely because of their preposterous names.  Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was no exception.  Admittedly though, at the time I wasn't prepared for these films.  I got some laughs but it wasn't until many years later that I would fully appreciate the fine art of B movies.

Here is where I generally write a short synopsis of the film in question.  Umm.  Ok.  Here goes.  So there are these tomatoes, some large and some small, which somehow become sentient and attack and kill people.  A special team is put together by the president, led by Mason Dixon (one of the few laughs the film got from me the first time I watched it) to kill the tomatoes.  Oh, I have to also mention that there is a song in the film called Puberty Love by Ronny Desmond, which is important to the film's climax.  Being a fan of the burgeoning early 90's grunge movement, my 13 year old self was stoked when he read that the voice of Ronny Desmond was actually Matt Cameron, drummer for Soundgarden (and later Pearl Jam).

Obviously the plot of this film is wafer thin, but it's the way it is pulled off that makes it the cult classic that it has become.  The use of then popular inside jokes, movie parodies and other low budget zaniness turns Attack of the Killer Tomatoes into one of the finest cinematic spoofs I've ever seen.  I mean, the film may not compare to some of Mel Brooks' spoofs, but it kept me (at least my 37 year old self) laughing though the entire 87 minutes.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes comes to Blu Ray in an awesome 2 disc special edition from what may become my new favorite line of films - MVD's Rewind Collection.  I've been a fan of MVD's output for a long time, but this new line (which includes probably my favorite Punk film of all time - D.O.A.: Right of Passage) looks like something I will definitely be salivating over.  Awesome VHS like packaging and a huge slew of extras make this Blu Ray a must have for any Cult film fan.

Special Features:
  • Newly remastered 4K digital transfer of the film
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of film (1.85:1)
  • Original 2.0 Mono Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Audio commentary from writer/director John DeBello, writer/co-star Steve Peace, and 'creator' Costa Dillon
  • 3 Deleted Scenes
  • 'Legacy of a Legend' (SD,14:13) is a collection of interviews, featuring John DeBello, Costa Dillon, film critic Kevin Thomas, John Astin, Steve Peace, Jack Riley, and D.J. Sullivan and more!
  • 'Crash and Burn' (3:40, SD) is a discussion about the famous helicopter crash that could have killed everyone because the pilot was late on his cue
  • 'Famous Foul' (2:21, SD) is about the San Diego Chicken and his role in the climatic tomato stomping ending
  • “Killer Tomatomania' (4:33, SD) is a smattering of interviews with random people on the streets of Hollywood about the movie
  • 'Where Are They Now?' (2:51, SD) fills viewers in on what the cast and crew have been up to over the past couple of decades,
  • 'We Told You So!' (3:07, SD) takes a hard-hitting look at the conspiracy of silence surrounding the real-life horror of killer tomatoes
  • “Slated for Success” (1:57, SD) featuring Killer Tomato Slate Girl
  • “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” (the original 8mm short film) (with optional audio commentary) (17:35, SD)
  • 'Gone with the Babusuland' (the original 8mm short that inspired Attack of the Killer Tomatoes) (with optional audio commentary) (32:28, SD)
  • Original theatrical trailer (SD)
  • Production design photo gallery
  • Radio spots

Purchase this film from MVD HERE

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