Sunday, February 4, 2018

Phil's Cult Classics: ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES (1978) from MVD Entertainment Group - February 4, 2018

Hello again and welcome to another installment of Phil's Cult Classics! Today's film truly lives up to that moniker. It was a head of its time, with it's nod to classic 1950's sci-fi films, random humor, fourth wall breaking, absurd story and man-eating fruit, it's no wonder the film has become a fan favorite for all these years. Now, MVD Entertainment has released a new brand spanking new Blu-ray/DVD combo of ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES!

Original Theatrical Poster (1978)
The film's official synopsis: UFOs! Bigfoot! Communists! The government has swiftly dealt with many a crisis... But can it survive the diabolical ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES? Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the supermarket, you're face to face with terror so bold, so frightening it has never been seen on-screen before or since (not until the sequel, anyway). 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!

It's been a while since I've sat down watched the movie. I forgot just how random, stupid, and hysterical it was! Directed by John De Bello and written by De Bello, Costa Dillon, and J. Stephen Peace, the film is as goofy then as it is now. Plus with a cast that includes David Miller, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor, and also Dillon and Peace as Lt. Wilbur Finletter, it's astounding that they were able to keep a straight facing during the making of the movie.

The film was released to theaters October 8, 1978 by NAI Entertainment. Their budget has been estimated between $90,000-$100,000. It grossed roughly $567,000, but what's even more amazing is that the film spawned three sequels, a Saturday morning cartoon show, a line of toys, a novel, and three different freaking video games! All from a movie that was called one of the worst movies ever made by critics. Yeah, what the hell do critics know! But at the end of the day, De Bello and the gang ended up having the last laugh, and they laughed all the way to the bank and into cinema immortality!

The folks over at MVD Entertainment Group did a great job of restoring the film, and releasing it under their MVD Rewind Collection label. The film received a new 4K digital transfer and looks the best as it ever has. While there is still some film grain (which I love by the way), the colors like bright and crisp, sound is great, and overall it's a fine upgrade. Most of the special features are carried over from the 25th Anniversary DVD Release from Rhino Video (which I still own). The special features include the following: Audio commentary from writer/director John DeBello, writer/co-star Steve Peace, and ''creator'' Costa Dillon, 3 Deleted scenes, Seven featurettes: ''Legacy of a Legend'' is a collection of interviews, including comments 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 - ''Crash and Burn'' is a discussion about the famous helicopter crash that could have killed everyone because the pilot was late on his cue - ''Famous Foul'' is about the San Diego Chicken and his role in the climatic tomato stomping ending - ''Killer Tomatomania'' is a smattering of interviews with random people on the streets of Hollywood about the movie - ''Where Are They Now?'' fills viewers in on what the cast and crew have been up to over the past couple of decades - ''We Told You So!'' takes a hard-hitting look at the conspiracy of silence surrounding the real-life horror of killer tomatoes, ''Slated for Success'' featuring Killer Tomato Slate Girl.

Other special features include ''Gone with the Babusuland'' - the original 8mm short that inspired Attack of the Killer Tomatoes with optional audio commentary, ''Attack of the Killer Tomatoes'' - the original 8mm short film with optional audio commentary, Production design photo gallery, Radio Spots, Original Theatrical Trailer, and a Collectible Poster. Also there's an Easter Egg on the Blu-Ray: On the opening page of the “Chapters” menu, highlight “Next”, press down, and a tomato will appear on the left side of the screen, which will lead you to their Super 8 version of an intermission. It's actually quite funny and was shot in someone's kitchen.

Overall, ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES is one of the best cult classics of all time!! MVD Entertainment did a wonderful job of restoring the movie and getting it out there for those who may have never seen it before! The film was long overdue for this type of release. Now a new generation of film lovers of bad, camp, and cult movies will be able to add this to their library! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES is available in a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo at your local retailer as well on online retail websites like Amazon and Diabolik DVD. To order a copy for yourself, visit To learn about MVD Entertainment Group, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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