1978 / Director. John De Bello.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I must have been no older than 8 when my dad introduced me to ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. At that age I had no comprehension of "cult" or "midnight movies". At that age the title itself was what left an impression and it sounded terrifying to me. The poster art didn't make it any less scary either... but of course ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES is not scary at all and it is actually a satire. I've seen it many times over the years and the older I get, the better it keeps getting. With an obvious nod to the sci-fi b-movies of the 1950s the film is also cut from the same cloth as Monty Python. Naturally the film tanked at the American box office and it took years to find its audience. Telling the story of an unexplained killer tomato outbreak the film follows government officials and researchers as they frantically (and comically) attempt to overcome the crisis. Of course that means plenty of singing, dancing and hilarity. Every frame of the film is laced with gags... some are outdated and racist but in the context of time, still hysterically funny. If you've never seen this wonderful slice of cheese then you really ought to. John De Bello went on to make 3 sequels and a television series out of the property and with each evolution of the franchise it became more absurd and nonsensical. The sequels are stacks of fun and well worth your time but it is this original film that deserves the praise. It was audacious for its time and it exploited a sense of humour that is seemingly still lost on so many Americans. There is no escaping the KILLER TOMATOES!!