Attack of the Killer Tomatoes #1


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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes #1


  • Words: Dale Mettam
  • Art: Erich Owen
  • Inks: Erich Owen
  • Colors: Erich Owen
  • Story Title: Part One of Three
  • Publisher: Viper Comics
  • Price: $3.25
  • Release Date: Nov 26, 2008

In this uncertain world there is a terror more feared than any other . . .

Thirty years ago movie audiences were hit with the height of B-movie art. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was a B-movie phenomenon that poked fun at all the disaster films that predated it. Silly masters of disguise, truly mad scientists and disorganized generals were on the menu and a certain type of audience loved it.

Now as a remake looms in the future, Viper brings us this adaptation of the cult classic. The idea is not to merely adapt the original movie, but update it as well. The dialogue here is certainly closer to what you might hear on the streets or at least in a comic shop.

The story is the same though. For unknown reasons, tomatoes go on the attack. Leaving tomato juice behind at frightening crime scenes. Of course, the government would rather there not be a panic caused by all of this so they put their least capable scientists, military leaders, and secret agents on the case. No need to let the public know through a high profile investigation and after all it is only a fruit or is it a vegetable? Knowing your enemy is important.

For fans of the original, this is sure to be a mixed bag. The updated jokes will leave a bad taste in their mouth, but as with any adaptation of older material, it is important to speak to modern audiences. So cracks about Jaws and 300 are added to the quip in the introduction about Birds. Little things like this don’t leave younger readers out in the cold, but keep the tone of the original.

There are scenes that are verbatim from the original. The infamous "Oh my God, it’s Adolf Hitler" scene is in here in all its lunacy. But the first victim is not shown being attacked, she is merely waiting for a chalk outline as a crime scene. Some things will work better in comic book format anyhow and some won’t. It will be interesting to see how chase scenes play out later on.

For those unaware of what they may be getting into; the film this book was based on was a low budget and zany production. It was firmly tongue-in-cheek and plays to the same kind of audience as the Airplane or Naked Gun films. This is low brow farce, but still a step above Scary Movie. The difference between the two kinds of quality, is that one plays on the tropes of the genre it is poking fun at and the other merely apes it in a funny kind of way. One requires more creativity.

Killer Tomatoes, love it or hate it, is that kind of project. It plays on the ideas presented in horror/disaster films but brings its own story to the table. That is where genuine laughs can come from. This is the kind of thing that remains funny on multiple views or in this case readings. If you are expecting smart entertainment, then turn to Transhuman. But if you want a laugh that comes easy when your mind is shut off - this is your book.

The art is perfect for the book. It is playful and cartoony. With only three issues to present an hour and half worth of movie, Owen gets everything that is needed into panels. He helps move the plot along by providing what dialogue and sparse narrative boxes can’t. He also evokes the original cast in his designs. His Mason Dixon is a caricature of David Miller and that is all good.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is good clean comic book fun. Leave your sense of disbelief checked at the door and have a ball.

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