Who doesn’t love a good disaster movie saga? Especially one featuring hordes of man-eating fruits? If you look at hits for a standard internet search and the number of subscribers to the two YouTube channels that have ever uploaded their material, not a lot. But like a bad joke or a free growing tomato plant The Killer Tomatoes just keep on coming. And from the humble beginnings in 1978 as actual tomatoes to the ’90s Tomato Men hybrids, they have surely come a long way.
Five great tomatoes:
Kitchen Killer (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes):
The first tomato to ever take a human life is seen a few seconds into Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Unlike its larger relatives,it is quite similar to a normal tomato. The only clear giveaway is the vaguely human droning sound it emits when hunting and attacking. How it precisely kills its victims is not known, the general view is some kind of physical assault as it is usually seen leaping through the air towards unsuspecting individuals.
Fuzzy Tomato (Return of the Killer Tomatoes):
The real star of the show, FT, is both a third (or second) generation killer tomato and an accident of professor Gangreene’s mansion laboratory. His “faulty” genes made him aware of right and wrong. He also caused Tara Boumdeau to develop affection for other living beings, which not only caused Gangreens downfall but also contradicted his early statement, “You will never know what it is to be loved! Emotions are for people. Not vegetables!” The success of Wilbur Finletters “Operation Rescue The Boys” is largely dependent on FT. In Killer Tomatoes Strike Back he has a smaller role as the prime suspect of detective Rockwell. His career stretches into the animated series where his disguise as a dog is kept up, but he now has a face.
Killer Tomatoes (video game):
A more crude and overall horrific depiction of the red killers is seen in this 8-bit production. The game was made for the Nintendo Entertainment System and is based on the TV show. Incidentally, a Game Boy version of the game was made a few years later. Zoltan who had his first speaking role in the fourth film, Killer Tomatoes Eat France, is here seen as a boss alongside professor Gangrene and several lesser known villains.
Tara Boumdeay (cartoon):
As instrumental in ending the animated series as the war on the Western Front was in ending the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Tara Boumdeay is still the star of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: the Animated Series. Airing on Fox Kids from 1990 to 1992 this show brought the story from Return of the Killer Tomatoes to a whole new and naturally younger generation, which explains the use of the title “Attack –“ and not “Return-“ as the producers exchanged the romance of Lois & Mason with Chad & Tara. They also changed the romance of Chad and Tara with a dynamic duo of Chad and Tara. However, the second and last season’s experimentation with digital animation was the act that caused viewers to break away and ratings to drop. Both Taras were modelled on Karen Mistal’s performance in Return of The Killer Tomatoes but the shock those generally male 12-year-olds (and fans of the original movie) experienced in season two is still felt twenty years hence. I mean, just look at them. Is that even supposed to be Wilbur?
Mafia Tomato (Killer Tomatoes Strike Back):
The third film introduces a new generation of tomatoes. Tomatoes with human features such as faces, language, and ties to the criminal underworld. Brandishing a cigar, moustache, and a table at a seedy bar he is the only link to Grangreen’s secret operation. And although he needs a professional translator to be understood, his work ethics place him firmly on the Michael side of the Corleone spectrum of gentleman criminals. Even though it might seem like cheap repetition of the earlier film’s black market subplot, it does show us the extent to which FT and Kennedi Johnson’s tomato-awareness program has done to erase the trauma of The Great Tomato War in the American public.
Thank you for your time.