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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersAll we wanted was a bigger and healthier tomato, what we got was a ripe parody that paved the way for such comedy classics like Airplane! and all the other beloved and relatively tasteless gag-filled comedies that populated the scene at the time of its release.  So maybe the gags don't always work and maybe the nonsense surrounding most of the movie limits the size of its audience.  That doesn't mean the movie isn't a success.  Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is classic of the cult circuit.  It has also spawned three sequels as the fight against tomatoes continues.

It will come as no surprise to you to know that John DeBello’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes began solely as a title.  It was (and still is) a very funny movie title that he and his friends thought would make one hell of a stupid movie.  They were right; the resulting movie – complete with a wild theme song – is full of all sorts of kamikaze killer tomatoes as the filmmakers go absolutely gonzo in their parody of the low-budget sci-fi films from the 1950s.  And they come in all sizes.   

The chaos in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes begins with the death of a housewife as one of the killer tomatoes pops right out of the kitchen sink and rolls itself toward the poor defenseless woman.  This was, in fact, the germinating seed of this gag-ridden flick.  From parodies of Jaws to any and all war movies, the film can be pretty damn funny before going full tilt with some of the overplayed gags.

Such is the squishy territory that is left in the wake of rolling and tumbling killer tomatoes.  MVD Entertainment Group finally releases this cult classic on blu-ray thanks to their efforts to present the film in the best possible way.  Surprisingly enough, the film has been painstakingly restored and newly remastered in 4K from the original 35mm negative.  This is the best presentation of the movie that I have ever seen.

Five minutes into the movie, the police force is shooting at rolling and tumbling tomatoes as they descend into the city.  While the cops aim, a helicopter is heard approaching.  And then we see it.  Our brain screams.  The back blade is angled way too low.  And, BONK, it hits the ground and the damn copter spins out of control before crashing into the field.  Yes, it’s a real crash. 

And it happened in a killer vegetable flick whose army is led by a man named Mason Dixon (David Miller).

No one was injured but – as the cameras were rolling and they actually caught the helicopter’s blade clipping the ground – the scene was actually worked into the movie due to a killer tomato that took flight lessons and hopped into the helicopter itself.  It is this spirited “anything goes” attitude that makes this campy trash work as well as it does.  It’s ridiculous and insane entertainment but, at the end of the day, it works far better than it has any right to.  And that’s what makes it immortal.

Mind you, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is still the worst movie about predatory veggies but, damn, MVD swings for the fences and knocks these attacking red bastards right out of the park with their new Blu-ray release. 

Hey, look, it’s a funky little tomato!  Cue the screaming and grab some spoons for the purée.  This pulpy bloodbath is beginning all over again.


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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
83 mins
: John De Bello
Costa Dillon, John De Bello
David Miller, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor
: Horror | Comedy
A New Musical-Comedy-Horror Show.
Memorable Movie Quote: "This is Sam Smith. He's our undercover expert. He's only disguised as Adolf Hitler."
Theatrical Distributor:
NAI Entertainment
Official Site: killertomatoes.com/
Release Date:
October 8, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 23, 2018
Synopsis: After a series of bizarre and increasingly horrific attacks from pulpy, red, seeded fruit, Mason Dixon (David Miller) finds himself leading a “crack” team of specialists to save the planet. But will they be quick enough to save everyone? To save you? You can’t run! You can’t swim! There’s nowhere to hide! The killer tomatoes are everywhere!.


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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: MVD Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray
- January 23, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: None
English: LPCM 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-25, 1 DVD); DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region A

MVD Entertainment Group presents Attack of the Killer Tomatoes on 1080p with impressive results.  Their newly remastered 4K digital transfer of the film is superb, bringing colors back to life – including the ruby red of the tomatoes and the water in which some of them float upon.  Textures are present in police uniforms and dresses.  The reds are ripe and the crisp colors of the exterior locations are solid.  There is a healthy layer of grain still present, too, giving this digital transfer a nice look.  The aspect ratio is 1.85:1 and the original 2.0 Mono Audio is delivered via an uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray. 



  • The audio commentary from writer/director John DeBello, writer/co-star Steve Peace, and ''creator'' Costa Dillon is funny, honest, and full of interesting tidbits about the making of the movie.

Special Features:

This SPECIAL EDITION 2-Disc release from MVD contains both the Blu-ray and a DVD copy of the movie.  Fans of these killer tomatoes get three deleted scenes and seven featurettes that include a collection of interviews from John DeBello, Costa Dillon, film critic Kevin Thomas, fans Kevin Sharp and Bruce Vilanch, future Tomatoes mainstay John Astin and actors Steve Peace, Jack Riley, and D.J. Sullivan.  A discussion of the helicopter crash sequence is also discussed.  We get trivia on the street, a discussion on the role of the San Diego chicken, two original 8mm short films, easter eggs and more!  The release also includes a collectible poster.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Legacy of a Legend (14 min)
  • Crash and Burn (4 min)
  • Famous Foul (2 min)
  • Killer Tomatomania (4 min)
  • Where Are They Now? (3 min)
  • We Told You So! (3 min)
  • Slated for Success (2 min)
  • Gone with the Babusuland (with optional audio commentary) (32 min)
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (with optional audio commentary) (17 min)
  • Production Photo gallery
  • Radio Spots
  • Original Theatrical Trailer


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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) - Blu-ray Review