Saturday, September 10, 2016

Remembering Herman Farbage, or I Watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, So You Don’t Have To

The world’s first and to date only tomato-themed horror franchise, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978) aspires to a low-rent Mel Brooks/Airplane/Marx Brothers level of humor and for the most part succeeds, in the sense that this is an independent movie with an amateur cast and you can’t judge it with the same standards you use to watch Deadpool (2016) or The Force Awakens (2015).  Inspired by The Birds (1963, imagine the pitch: “Let’s make a movie like The Birds, but with tomatoes…”) the movie also features an original and operatic theme song entitled of course, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!  You can’t fault writer and director John DeBello for staying on-theme.
Sentient tomatoes rebelling against their human oppressors may not be your cup of tomato juice, but the yuks come fast and loose, and if you miss one, no worries, there’s another equally bad gag coming up.  The stop motion tomatoes rolling around or flying (flinging) through the air have a surreal charm, though sadly, tomato on human violence is largely implied and shown through reaction shots.  Much like Rubber (2010), the movie about the killer tire, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!  works best as an inspiration for fledgling filmmakers.
The movie inspired three sequels, Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988), Killer Tomatoes Strike Back! (1990), Killer Tomatoes Eat France! (1991) and a 90’s cartoon, none of which I bothered watching because frankly if you’ve seen one killer tomato, you’ve seen them all.

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).