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Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes! [WORK]

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a 1978 American parody film[2] produced by J. Stephen Peace and John DeBello, and directed by John DeBello based upon an original idea by Costa Dillon. The screenplay was written by Dillon, Peace, and DeBello. The film spoofs B movies and was made on a budget of less than US$ 100,000. The story involves tomatoes becoming sentient by unknown means and revolting against humanity.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

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The film opens with a scroll saying that when Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds (1963) was released, audiences laughed at the notion of birds revolting against humanity, but when an attack perpetrated by birds occurred in 1975, no one laughed. This is followed by a pre-credits sequence of a tomato rising out of a woman's garbage disposal. Her puzzlement turns into terror as the tomato draws her into a corner. Following the credits, the police investigate her death. One officer discovers that the red substance with which she is covered is not blood, but tomato juice.

A series of attacks perpetrated by tomatoes occurs (including a man dying by drinking tomato juice made from a killer tomato, a boy heard being gobbled up by a killer tomato, and a sequence where the tomatoes attack innocent swimmers, in a parody of Jaws). While the President's press secretary Jim Richardson tries to convince the public that no credible threat exists, the President puts together a team of specialists to stop the tomatoes, led by a man named Mason Dixon. Dixon's team includes Sam Smith, a disguise expert who is seen at various points dressed as, among other things, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Adolf Hitler; scuba diver Greg Colburn; Olympic swimmer Gretta Attenbaum; and parachute-toting soldier Wilbur Finletter.

Smith is sent out to infiltrate the tomatoes at a campfire, eventually blowing his cover while eating a hotdog and asking if anyone could "pass the ketchup." Colburn and Gretta are sent to sectors, while Finletter stays with Mason. Meanwhile, the President sends Richardson to the fictitious ad agency Mind Makers, where executive Ted Swan spends vast amounts of money to develop virtually worthless ploys, including a bumper sticker with "STP" for "Stop Tomato Program" on it, a satirical reference to both the real "whip inflation now" campaign with its widely ridiculed "WIN" slogan and STP motor oil decals and bumper stickers which were commonplace in the 1970s. A human is revealed to be also plotting to stop Dixon when a masked assassin attempts to shoot him but misses. A senate subcommittee meeting is held where one secret pamphlet is leaked to a newspaper editor, who sends Lois Fairchild on the story. While she tails Finletter, he mistakes her for a spy and trashes a hotel room attempting to kill her. He then chases the assassin as the masked man fails again to kill Dixon, but loses him.

The tomatoes are cornered in a stadium. "Puberty Love" is played over the loudspeaker, causing the tomatoes to shrink and allowing the various people at the stadium to squash them by stomping on them repeatedly. Fairchild, meanwhile, is cornered by a giant tomato wearing earmuffs, hence cannot hear the music. Dixon saves her by showing the tomato the sheet music to "Puberty Love". He professes his love to her, in song. The film ends with a carrot that rises from the soil and says, "All right, you guys. They're gone now."

Filming took place in Oceanside and other parts of San Diego County.[3] The finished film contains footage of a real helicopter crash. In a scene showing law enforcement officers firing their weapons to ward off tomatoes in a field, a $60,000 Hiller Aircraft UH-12E that had been rented for the production was supposed to have landed in the tomato patch behind the officers, but during the landing, its tail rotor struck the ground, causing the craft to spin out of control near the ground, roll over, and burst into flames. The helicopter pilot escaped without serious injury.[4] The crash was caught on film as the cameras were rolling at the time. The crash was later worked into the film.

The theme song, written by DeBello, describes the tomatoes' rampages through the world, describing that they have killed a man named Herman Farbage while he was taking out the garbage, that the mayor is on vacation to get out of stopping them, that they have scared off the National Guard, and that they have even eaten the narrator's sister. This theme song is used in different variations over the course of the series, here simply sounding like the score of an old monster movie with lyrics and a more catchy tune. All other music was written by Gordon Goodwin and Paul Sundfor with lyrics by Dillon, DeBello, and Peace.

Upon release, Variety wrote that the film "isn't even worthy of sarcasm."[5] Emanuel Levy gave the film a score of 2 out of 5.[6][7] Time Out called the film a "one-joke spoof".[8] Eric Henderson, reviewing the DVD edition for Slant Magazine in 2003 opined that "even more so than the Samuel Arkoff-like opportunism of the producers, and more so than some of the worst framing this side of Coleman Francis, the really frustrating thing about Tomatoes is the toothlessness of its satire. And that's a major missed opportunity, considering that the irony of using a stereotypically foreign genre (Japanese monster movies) against a parody of America's jingoistic reliance on military power (the Army is useless against the giant tomatoes) should've been a comedic gold mine."[9] Rue Morgue writer Michael Gingold later wrote, in a review of the Blu-ray edition in 2018, wrote that "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes may be one of history's most misunderstood films. It has often been celebrated as a prime example of 'so bad it's funny' cinema, when in fact it's an attempt at intentional comedy that is, at best, a scattershot success."[10]

This is our take on restaurant style salsa. Made with fresh tomatoes and tons of jalapeños. Originally a favorite at potlucks and gatherings, now introduced to the rest of the world. Prepare your taste buds for the attack.

In 1978, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was set loose into the world. Billed as a musical-comedy-horror show, famous for its weirdly catchy theme song, and feted as the Worst Vegetable Movie Ever Made, it's a film in the vein of (and made at the exact same time as) Kentucky Fried Movie and Airplane!, as well as the Mel Brooks and Monty Python comedies that preceded it. Spoofing schlocky B movies from the 1950s and '60s, it follows the course of a seemingly unstoppable tomato attack on America and the brave team of government agents pledged to stop it in its tracks. There are musical numbers, and topical jokes from the 1970s, and lots and lots of people screaming as tomatoes both giant and normal-sized sit next to them.

Costa: I saw Attack of the Mushroom People, and I remember thinking,How dumb is this? And suddenly got the idea that we could do something even sillier. I don't know why tomatoes came to mind first, maybe because they seemed so innocuous.

And all of us have deep military roots, we've all been around the linear, eye-on-the-ball-don't-distract-me-from-my-mission tunnel vision. Guys who you tell them to go get a pizza, by god they're gonna go get a pizza. [Finletter's] mission is the tomatoes.

Costa: We had what I called "stock tomatoes" and "star tomatoes." Stock tomatoes were the ones we were going to smash and throw, but we would buy first-rate tomatoes for the stars. We'd get the stock ones cheap because they were blemished, or starting to rot.Nothing smells better than tomatoes sitting in a garbage can for a couple weeks.

Costa: For the big tomatoes, we tried all kinds of things. We tried to make a framework out of PVC, we tried papier mache, they looked awful.We tried a balloon; that looked ridiculous. What we ended up using was this soundproofing material they were using inside the walls of the BART cars.

Costa: We rented the San Diego Stadium for the entire day for $200, and just spent the whole day smashing tomatoes. And that fancy hotel in San Diego, we were the first film to ever be allowed to shoot there. It's interesting, San Diego in 1977 was still not a very large city, and they were thrilled to have us filming, even though we were this tiny movie. We were a SAG film, though, which was unusual for a low-budget movie. Even though you look at them and say, "I can't believe these people are professionals," we paid scale.

John: This may be the only movie ever that had huge audiences for midnight showings and matinees. The people who dug the tomatoes and all the stupidity were college kids and 8-year-olds. High school kids had no idea what it was.

But there was this show called Muppet Babies, a cartoon show based on all the Muppets, and they showed a clip of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Something to do with nightmares, or something. [Ed note: In the episode "The Weirdo Zone," Fozzie Bear recounts his adventures with an "Attack of the Silly Tomatoes"--they were, of course, attacking him for telling bad jokes.] It turned out to be their most popular episode, and New World had some connection to Muppet Babies, so they contacted us, and asked if we wanted to do a sequel. We said, "Not particularly, we've moved on from that."But then they used the magic words: we'll pay you.

Steve: The only time that it was ever a liability in a campaign was right after we had made that film Happy Hour. My opponent was a social conservative, I think that is the politically correct terminology. And if you remember video cassettes, every single one has an FBI warning on it about theft. So my opponent put this mailing out attacking me because I make movies that are so scurrilous, the FBI has warned people against even watching them.

I said I'm a bit older, you know, I was 24 when I did that film. I was the guy in the blue suit being chased by the tomatoes, and she looked at me like, what was I talking about? So I asked, "What movie did you watch?" She said, "Fried Green Tomatoes." Close, but not close enough! 041b061a72


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