Musical Numbers: 2/10
Special Effects: 4/10
Skillfully and excellently followed by…
Product Placement: 9/10
Tomato Discrimination: 8/10
Tomatoes are inherently evil, we all know that. They mockingly dance between fruit and vegetable, never revealing what they really are (I actually think that they are some form dairy…), and yet nobody seems to suspect them of anything. What would the world be like if tomatoes suddenly realized their horrific potential and went on a blood-thirsty mission of murder? How many people would fall to the real Red Scare (sorry Communists, for once it’s not you) if they took to the streets and came after hardworking individuals (un)like myself? In an effort to better prepare the citizens of earth, Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes and its sequel, Return Of The Killer Tomatoes, give us a glimpse in to this possible nightmare.
Attack starts off right away with a woman being murdered in her kitchen by a tomato. That’s only the beginning, however, because soon we learn that the tomato menace is an all-out war, and our armies are struggling to keep the rolling bastards out of our backyards. Apparently, some sort of genetic experiment to create a superior tomato went horribly wrong, and the result were these killer varieties. The government puts together a crack (pot) team of “experts” to combat the growing tomato population, but unless they can find some sort of tomato weakness, all tomato hell is going to break loose.
To make matters worse, the tomatoes are getting larger in size. Soon, people are being chased down the street by tomatoes as big as VW Bugs, and all of mankind’s weapons seem to be useless to stop them. The only thing that seems to give them pause is the horrible song “Puberty Love”, which is possibly one of the worst tunes ever written. When the tomatoes hear it, they shrivel and retreat, giving the soldiers a chance to land a powerful blow. One such soldier, Lt. Wilbur Finletter, organizes a large group of people to stampede the weakened tomatoes and take back the streets. He is branded a hero, and the Great Tomato War is soon over, all thanks to bad music and the indomitable spirit of man. But mostly the bad music.
In Return Of The Killer Tomatoes, many years have passed since the war, and tomatoes have become an illegal substance. Finletter has opened up a tomato-less pizzeria, and his nephew, Chad, helps him do deliveries. Chad likes to deliver to the home of the crazy scientist, Prof. Gangreen, because the beautiful Terra is also there. Little does Chad know that Terra is actually a tomato that was turned in to a human by the crazy professor, and that he plans to conquer the world using an army of tomato soldiers. The key, much like in the first movie, is music, which can turn the tomatoes in to people or back in to tomatoes.
Terra becomes self-aware and realizes that Prof. Gangreen is a jerk, so she runs away to live with Chad. Distracted by the fact that Terra is so hot, Chad doesn’t understand what is going on until Terra is kidnapped by a garbage truck (stay with me). Chad follows the garbage truck to Gangreen’s mansion and witnesses the transformation of a tomato in to a person, allowing him to put all of the pieces together. He enlists the help of his room-mate, George Clooney, and together they go to rescue Terra and stop Gangreen for good. They get in over their heads, and it’s once again up to Wilbur Finletter to suit up and save the day. Gangreen is finally stopped, and the world is once more free from the threat of evil tomatoes. As a bonus, the discrimination against tomatoes begins to stops, and Chad can continue his inter-foodgroup relationship.
Both of these movies were pretty great, but I’d have to say that I liked the second one better. They break the fourth wall continuously and announce that they will be doing heavy product placement to fund the movie. From that point it’s obnoxious and hilarious what they force in to each shot. Plus, one of the best delayed gags I’ve ever seen is set up in the first reel and knocked out in the last. I did, however, love the actual threat of tomatoes that was way more prevalent in the original film. There is something about people laying dead on the ground covered in tomatoes that is just so….funny. I think that everyone should see these movies, and if you take them seriously, you deserve to be cut deep.
Until next time, boys and girls, keep watching those bad movies, but don’t throw tomatoes at the screen. They may not like it.
P.S. Did not intend this to be my Easter post, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t celebrate it. Happy Zombie Jesus Day!