Friday Night Movie: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
0:24 . . . No one is laughing now This prologue is heartening proof that the filmmakers had their heads in the right place.
1:12 This is so unspeakably hilarious . . .
1:37 You know, I was just remembering the loveliness that was The Blob and now here I am with another theme song. =)
2:23 I am already envious of the sense of humour that produced this movie.
2:58 Attack of the killer tomatoes! AtTAAACK of the killer toMAAAtoes! Why is this song so catchy???
3:03 There's a novel???
3:24 Ah, Houston? We have a problem up here . . . People told me this film was funny, but they didn't tell me it was priceless!
3:55 And now the sauce--as well as the plot--thickens! ;-)
4:18 This would be more badass if we didn't just see that investigator harmlessly licking tomato juice from his finger.
5:12 Let me guess . . . A tomato got into the helicopter?
5:35 A kamikaze tomato! And that answers my question. =)
6:45 The first significant difference from The Blob? We jump straight to credulity. Because it's so much funnier when everyone takes bloodthirsty produce seriously.
6:49 Why him? . . . Because he's got a vegetable garden. That's why! I simply can't believe this movie never won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.
7:02 Oh, God! Who'd have thought? All we wanted was a bigger, healthier tomato! It's like The Terminator with the machines replaced by garden produce! =D
8:59 I'd love to watch this while high. =P
0:14 I once knew a Japanese girl who'd be very offended by this.
0:28 Of course, if we're going with the Pearl Harbour analogy, we'll end up unconditionally surrendering to the tomatoes in about four years.
0:59 Oh, I could go on and on about "Man vs. Fruit" right now, if this were that sort of blog.
1:25 There's a little Jap in the air . . . He means "nip." I want to know what they would have done with "Flip."
1:53 Anyone else remembering the Naked Gun movies? (Yes, I know they come much later, but they were the first of this sort I saw.)
2:57 I already love this team.
3:44 Because even pseudo-Horror movies need teenage fodder.
3:51 Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . . Bwahahahaha!
4:16 And because whenever your friends are attacked by something in the water, you should always jump into the water, too.
5:39 There have been some isolated reports of alleged incidents involving some unusual activity associated with this . . . particular vegetable Swap "vegetable" with your issue of the day and you'd never be able to tell that this isn't news footage from an actual press conference.
6:42 You say to-MAY-to; I say to-MAH-to . . .
7:51 Lois Fairchild, Society section. The new kid. A nosy, young, female reporter, aye? Will she get some tough, no-nonsense leading man from the military to protect her from the tomatoes?
8:38 I wonder how this would have done as a straight, serious Horror offering.
9:45 I hate to be a reverse sexist pig in this context, but my work experience has been that men make better bosses than women.
0:14 The broad daylight makes it funnier.
0:40 You've probably already noticed that the sync is off. =/ I'm just hoping this doesn't turn into another Attack of the 50 Foot Woman disaster. (Remember that live blog?)
0:57 Who was US President when this movie came out? Is there a subtle jab in his direction here?
1:33 They said I'd never get reelected, especially after it got out that I used the Statue of Liberty as collateral for that Arab loan. I desperately wish my commentary could be as clever as this script--or just as irreverently quotable.
2:13 Without the crushed tomatoes and the tomato juice, this looks like an old school Sesame Street clip.
2:46 We all knew this joke was coming . . . =P
3:02 What would you prefer: the killer tomatoes scoop or the flying man scoop?
4:59 So they drop the swimmer and the scuba diver in the middle of what is nearly desert?
5:16 Forgive me, but I prefer the witty quips to the sight gags.
6:54 Go disguise yourself as a tomato . . . Oh, if I had seen this movie back when I was still making my own Halloween costumes . . .
8:00 Not that anyone cares, but in the mid-70s, my family had two couches like that, but with a blue palette. (And several paintings like that, too. Don't get me started on the lamp.)
8:15 First we have to convince the little housewives out there that the tomato that ate the family pet is not dangerous Pure Orwellian magic!
8:51 War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Disaster is Blessing. I see how governments roll.
9:25 Just when I was thinking that all this movie needed was a show-stopping musical number . . . Attack of the Killer Tomatoes has got everything, mate!!!
1:13 STANDING OVATION AS HE BRINGS THE HOUSE DOWN!!!
1:52 I wonder if the Affirmative Action crowd picked up on that. =P
3:09 She's one step ahead of him! I'm kind of impressed. =)
4:03 Is it seriously that easy???
5:20 I guess not. =P
5:23 A strumpet, sir! . . . A harlot, trollop, lady of the evening. And did the Women's Lib crowd pick up on that? (LOL!)
5:43 No comment. =|
6:22 Okay, here's a comment: I like Finletter's floral apron better than Smith's tomato costume.
7:12 What? Lois got her scoop???
7:32 Okay, I didn't see that coming! LOL!!!
8:49 It looks like a . . . pumpkin!
8:59 Why isn't it struggling harder? Did they sedate it?
9:31 And I suppose that is a beefsteak tomato?
9:39 Just wondering: was the expression "to eat steroids for breakfast" already popular enough to be parodied this way or is this a general steroids joke? (And now we know this movie is deep because it gives us more questions than answers!)
0:17 Perhaps they should have recruited an Olympic volleyball player instead?
0:35 And the erstwhile Miss Middleton thought she had an impressive train! LOL!!!
1:11 Does anyone else love how absolutely literal Finletter is?
2:26 "Tomato Plants vs. Nuclear Plants" What do we call this play on words? I know it's not zeugma, but that's all I'm coming up with.
3:00 I think "classy with a capital K" is my new favourite insult. =P
3:57 That face exactly!!!
4:32 I can't believe how much US geography I'm learning from this film!
4:52 In a proper Horror movie, he'd be due for a bloody death. In this movie . . . I can't predict anything.
5:30 Hmmmmm. =/
6:12 You've been reading their nameplates, right?
6:22 Oh, really?
7:25 Awwww, I love you, Finletter!
7:31 But you're going to end up loving Lois
8:16 This scene could have been edited better for humour, but it makes the romantic point, anyway.
8:37 You mean go to bed? . . . I couldn't do THAT! Okay, so I can predict some things about this movie. ;-)
9:23 Lois and I clearly went to the same school of seduction. =/ (I want my tuition dime back, too.)
9:46 They'll have a marriage made in heaven, I tell you!!!
0:18 Those of you who watch a lot of Thrillers and Conspiracy Theory movies . . . did you see this twist coming?
0:26 ROFL!!! And that is why good snipers use rifles. =P
1:51 The look on Mason Dixon's face makes the whole moment.
2:34 Oh, wow. He is a master of disguise. =P
3:43 I have a friend who says there will never be war in the continental United States because it's too darn big for any country to invade properly. Well, nobody told the tomatoes.
3:57 If we can hold them here, we can win. You can win what? The strip of coastline? Expensive beachfront homes? This is a scathing satire of what a modern military might consider a victory, but let's not get too deeply into that.
4:53 He's actually making good time despite that parachute creating all that drag and wind resistance. (Am I using the right terms or am I being am embarrassing girl here?)
5:04 This is now officially the best chase scene ever.
5:37 Who wants to bet that the (completely incompetent) assassin is a woman? (I did not intend that to come out sounding as sexist as it does.)
6:06 I'll say it again. Finletter is so disarmingly cute.
6:18 Yes, I know it's a joke about bureaucratic government, but what it really reminds me of is the principal's desk at my bureaucratic high school.
7:10 I felt the character wilt. LOL! (And I didn't feel sorry for him. =P)
7:21 Well, of course he asked for the ketchup. His turning into a human cannibal leached into his performance and he started projecting "tomato cannibal" without even thinking.
7:52 You married, Major? . . . No. He's just making a general observation. ROFL!
7:56 Hey, Finletter! I'm single! Call me!
7:58 I wonder what the tomatoes are thinking about right now. It used to be that the great thing about monster antagonists was that we didn't have to empathise with them to retain our own humanity.
8:53 I just checked. This movie wasn't even nominated in the Best Original Song category at the Oscars. WTH???
9:15 Would an American movie be able to pull something like this off today without someone screaming that it is against The Troops?
0:36 It begins!
1:34 The tomatoes continue on their rampage of wanton destruction: burning . . . pillaging . . . raping . . . I kind of knew the last bit was coming, as it is to pillaging what salt is to pepper, but that didn't make it less hilarious.
2:34 You will have to find another man, you know. You're no spring chicken. It is beyond the scope of this movie to show how this reporter is emotionally manipulating his audience, but his manipulation of this interviewee does just as well.
3:53 If there's anything more ruthless than a cornered animal, it's a cornered vegetable. (Uh, I mean,
4:11 I stand corrected. This is officially the best chase scene ever.
4:31 We all know how they filmed this, but let's continue to suspend our disbelief and marvel that tomatoes can roll up stairs.
4:46 Close the dang door, Dixon!!!
5:00 Anyone else love the little boy?
5:13 Is that Finletter being oblivious in the driver's seat?
5:51 He saw the engine being messed with, and he still got in to drive it?
6:52 They've both slowed to a crawl and they still insist on keeping this a car chase. You don't see dedication like this in straight Action movies!
7:14 I'll bet Finletter is doing over half the work now.
7:43 Notice the way they go from suburbia to desert to suburbia to desert? It's really sloppy editing, but there's a decent chance it was also deliberate.
7:48 Well, finally! (Notice his car is still moving? LOL!)
7:59 And that is why you must always use the safety brake, even when you "know" your car could never catch up to you.
8:18 Okay, so he's not a girl. =P
9:30 It's actually a credible motive. But now I want to know how he got the tomatoes to work with him.
9:45 Questions, questions! You've missed your calling! Is he saying Dixon should have been a reporter? LOL!
0:47 Anyone else disappointed that being "in tune" with his own tomatoes doesn't mean he's some human-tomato hybrid?
1:01 Three times! But who's counting? ROFLMAO!!!
2:21 I know exactly how Dixon feels. (I don't think I like you anymore, Finletter.)
3:34 Nothing beats these epic movies and their casts of thousands!
4:43 What I wouldn't have done to have been that particular extra . . .
4:58 Yes, this is a low-budget flick--but I think they should have gone all out--into debt, even--and filled up that driveway with a thousand tomatoes. Think La Tomatina, people!
5:26 Many years later, someone would take the premise of H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds, spice it with the levity of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and come up with an Alien Invasion movie parody. (Title withheld because of spoilers. =P)
5:51 Those costumes look familiar? ;-)
6:33 Because music hath charms to sooth the savage . . . tomato. (Shakespeare has just been surpassed.)
7:36 Cool coat! =D
7:42 Okay, that's it. Now I've seen everything.
8:11 And I was wrong again. You haven't seen everything until you've seen a tomato that can read music.
8:30 Wait. So Dixon gets the girl in the end?
9:29 Oh, the romance of it all . . .
0:10 My love for you will never dim/ Until all the fish can swim. See how much more you absorb when you pay attention to the words?
0:38 This would be funnier if the video and audio were in sync, but I think we can still appreciate it.
0:45 But really . . . which delivers more comedy: Mason and Lois turning out to have operatic voices or Mason singing like a soprano and Lois singing like a baritone?
1:21 That's it? But they didn't do the twirl! =(
1:29 Sinister music again!!!
1:34 Oh, brother! =P
And now we're done!
Thanks for watching this movie with me. =) It might be ridiculous, but it's got heart.
Its greater message, you ask? . . . Well, I don't want to look too deeply into any parody (as this is one genre that seems happy to paddle about in the shallows of philosophy), but given the current state of the world, I couldn't help picking up the anti-war subtext.
First note that war is actually a reasonable alternative here: the widespread and indiscriminate attacks by the definitely tomatoes justify all-out war against them. And frankly, half the appeal of a Creature Feature is that we don't have to feel sorry for whatever monsters need to be taken out: we can hunt them down, kill them, and mount their heads on our walls, without any guilt whatsoever. Take no prisoners. Show no mercy. Sauce 'em!
Yet look at how it plays out here. It is not the (bureaucratic, incompetent, yet musically talented!) military that wins a victory for humanity. Nor is it achieved by any force of arms. (Because, you know, all our firepower is no match for what the tomatoes have got.) We win in the end because we have really bad music and the tomatoes would rather die squashed in a stampede than listen to any of it for one more second.
But while the "hit single" Puberty Love is a cultural low, the role it ultimately plays in saving civilisation should be enough to make you think twice, if you're any way tempted to call Attack of the Killer Tomatoes a cultural low.
Any movie that is anti-war and funny has already done something right.