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Retro Review: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

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Spoof and parody movies have, in recent years, gone right down the toilet. Movies like the Scary Movie franchise and not another whatever movies have ruined the art of the spoof and parody. Those movies capitalize on the recent trends and pop culture and think topical humor would make good movies; scratch that, they think its an easy cash grab. Instead of implementing timeless stories and plots, let’s parody a commercial with a basketball (I remember the commercial but no idea what it was selling since it’s been over a decade).

The only way to watch good parody and spoofs is to watch the classics where characters were acting like what they were doing and saying was supposed to be an everyday normality. Movies like Airplane and the Naked Gun franchises work is because the actors were treating it as if they’re supposed to say it straight and not be overly goofy. One of the earliest movies that seemed to implement the strategy is Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. This movie is a parody/spoof movie that takes Hitchcock tropes from his The Birds movie and incorporate it into a sci-fi comedy musical. Did it work and does modern audiences even feel any kind of inclination to want to watch a movie with such a goofy title? Let’s look at the plot, the comedy and whether or not it will be funny for modern day audiences. Let’s sit back and see if this movie is ripe (puns are funny) as we review the movie, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

The plot of the movie is quite different and makes the movie quite interesting. We have mutated tomatoes on the loose throughout the USA and they are attacking and killing people with no remorse. It’s up to the government and a selected few agents to find a cure or solution to the tomato problem and end it before more and more people get killed and hurt. The movie is trying to be a comedy and spoof version of The Birds.

The movie has this feel of anxiousness because we jump from scene to scene with almost as little context as possible; whether we’re showing different short snippets of people getting attacked by the tomatoes or to government buildings and senate hearings and the president sitting in the oval office. The pace of the movie works to its advantage so it can show the “dire” situations of the tomato problem and also compress all these different scenes in as well to make it a longer feature. Are there scenes that weren’t needed in the movie? There were a couple of scenes that didn’t add to the movie and felt unnecessary, but, it doesn’t harm the movie. It makes you want to think, okay, that missed, but, what else do they have to offer. The plot was explained decently with some surprises along the way but, once we got the story out there and no more setup scenes, the pace slowed down and it was a lot more easy to follow who the characters are and what their purposes are.

The comedy of the movie is fantastic. The opening credits has an operatic singer singing the killer tomato song, which the song itself is so goofy that I am genuinely tickled by it. The actors were playing straight characters (not the goofball) and they were just thrown in funny situations (similar to Airplane). Some of the comedy (without spoiling the movie), features government officials having to get on the desk in order to reach their seats because the room is way too small, a paratrooper constantly in his uniform with the parachute always deployed, mocking Donny Osmond going through puberty, etc.

Watching this movie, I can see where movies like Mars Attacks took some ideas from (mostly the loud pitch song to drive the creatures into a weakened state). Not only is the one liners and action funny, but, its also a musical! Yes, a sci-fi comedy musical. There are a couple of scenes where people will break into songs and sing about what’s going on in the scene and what they hope to accomplish. One scene features a commercial public relations head honcho sing about consumerism and people will listen to whatever he says. Another is when the army is facing great odds against the tomatoes, one soldier solemnly sings about American history in war and like that, it turns into a cabaret/early rock and roll boogie woogie style all about what they’re going to do to the tomatoes when they come face to face with them. It came out of nowhere and I was very happy it did.

Comedies are very hard to write. It’s all subjective and in the PC age, one has to be careful not to offend anyone or else it can lead into a trigger attack and people smearing posts on the internet and whatnot. Most of the comedies in this generation are ingrained in pop culture and drugs and innuendos. Sometimes, we need to take a step away from what’s easy to write and think in twenty years, would this still be funny or would it be outdated? When watching Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, I laugh at the scenes that needed to be.

The jokes are funny due to great writing, and the actors portraying their tough exteriors in scenes that are so out there that the audience would have no choice but to laugh at the absurdity. This movie has timeless jokes and antics that don’t get old no matter how many years has passed. This movie was made in 1977 and in the year 2017 (40 years), I was able to enjoy the jokes and humor this movie offers because it wanted to be funny and timeless, not topical and the local fad. People of this generation and next should be able to sit down and find enjoyment in this movie whether it be the absurd premise or the musicality or the goofiness of some of the characters. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes should be on equal or close to equal par with other successful movies like The Kentucky Fried Movie and Airplane. It’s got a cult following, and one day, it won’t just be a cult phenomenon but will somehow break the glass and just be a forgotten gem that the public would enjoy.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Frogfathers lessons from the Normandy surf

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Frog Fathers: Lessons from the Normandy Surf” is a deeply moving documentary directed by Bob Whitney, narrated by John C McGinley, and presented by World of Warships and FORCE BLUE. It chronicles the journey of four Navy SEAL veterans revisiting the site of the D-Day landings to honor their forefathers and gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made during World War II.

The film’s strength lies in its raw emotional impact and historical significance. It blends personal narratives with archival footage, offering a poignant tribute to the bravery and resilience of those who fought on June 6, 1944. The veterans’ reflections and the cinematography effectively capture the solemnity and reverence of their pilgrimage.

While the documentary focuses primarily on the veterans’ experiences, it also serves as an educational tool, highlighting the strategic importance of the Normandy invasion and its pivotal role in shaping modern history. The film’s respectful approach and engaging storytelling make it a compelling watch for anyone interested in military history and the enduring legacy of the D-Day heroes.

Overall, “Frog Fathers” is a powerful and heartfelt documentary that honors the past while inspiring present and future generations to remember the sacrifices made for freedom 

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American Horror Story: Delicate

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As most of us are already aware, the 12th Season of AHS has been fraught with all kinds of differences to the previous seasons, mainly in that this is the first one to be based entirely off a novel, ‘Delicate Condition’ by Danielle Valentine. The first half of the season aired in October 2023 to mediocre reviews, while the SAG-AFTRA strike caused production and airing delays for the latter half of the season, and the episodes of Part 2 were all cut to less than an hour long apiece. And none of that is even getting into the disjointed attempt at storytelling for Season 12, so let’s dive into this! 

Meet Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), former young ling star of Hollywood now struggling to recapture fame as an adult, who wants a baby, very very badly. Bad enough to drive herself and her husband Dex (Matt Czuchry) through multiple unsuccessful rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), bad enough to keep trying no matter how crushing each failure turns out to be, bad enough to involve her purported best friend and bougie publicist Siobhan Corbyn (Kim Kardashian) in her struggles, and maybe, just maybe, bad enough to give up on a burgeoning resurgence of her career after interest in her comeback role for The Auteur begins garnering her Oscar-worthy attention. 

So, Anna and Dex are going to go through yet another round of IVF, likely one of their last attempts at it, from a different doctor, Dr. Andrew Hill (Denis O’Hare), and clinic based on Siobhan’s recommendation. And already, strange things are beginning to happen to Anna – her appointments that she set herself begin springing up incorrectly, a doom saying woman called Preacher (Julia White) shows up spouting warnings about trusting no one, dire warnings appear in unlikely places, and BTW, it seems as though long-suffering but good-nurtured Dex has a side-piece too. It doesn’t help that Dex’s new partner at his art gallery, Sonia Shawcross (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), bears a striking resemblance to his dead ex-wife Adeline, either. Those spiked emerald heels start appearing weirdly too, and it seems as though no one will listen to Anna as she grows more and more suspicious that some sort of sinister cult has designs on her as-yet-unborn baby. At the same time, Anna tries to live the life of a successful returning actress, attending parties and gallery openings while draping her rapidly-expanding middle in shimmering fabrics and actively ‘campaigning’ for that little golden statue that most actors covet. Competition is fierce, even among her co-stars of The Auteur, and while Anna wants to be supportive of her fellow entertainers, she clearly appears to be incapable of doing both at the same time – wanting the baby and the little gold award at the same time is too much to ask, apparently. 

Elsewhere, mostly in the past, various women in states of desperation formed from one situation or another are visited by sinister-looking women in prim black dresses, headgear reminiscent of – to me anyway – an odd cross betwixt birds and bunnies, my guess is an ostensive nod to fertility in general, and a general feeling of blood-bound witchery about them at critical moments of crossroad choices. 

Though the second half of the season moves a good deal faster than the first, the attempts at callbacks and reminder flashes to Part 1 hit with all the impact of a dropped bag of garbage onto their friends Talia’s (Julia Canfield) borrowed bougie kitchen floor – splat, into incomprehensible silence, from all parties, both characters and audience, concerned. Even the reminders that, in Part 1 of Delicate Dex’s mother Virginia Harding (Debra Monk) did indeed have perfectly valid memories of abuse at the hands of a black cult and Dex’s own father Dex Sr. (Reed Birney), the revelation pales and peels away in the face of Dex’s true parentage. 

Which brings us back around full circle kinda sorta, to the only real character worth a damn in this entire miserable season of strange feminism and aspirations of world domination through a kind of idiotic Rosemary’s Baby nightmare scenario, we should have known she’d steal the show when Kardashian was cast for it, Siobhan Corbyn, leader of the blood cult her high and mighty (old) self. Throughout the whole show her character has remained exactly the same, and it’s a wonder Anna can stare at her all stupefied while Siobhan does her villain speech at the end of the last episode. Siobhan never masked her ambition or greed, her mysterious protective vibe and even deep love for Anna, and can always be counted on to have secret plans of her own, already in motion, bitch. 

The idea that Anna herself was used as a surrogate for Siobhan and her incestuous eugenicist plans, plus the sweet little demon baby she just birthed, has an ironic the-world-is-tilting-the-wrong-way kind of witchy madness to it. Sure, Anna really can have it all, the baby and the golden statue, if only she joins the patriarchy-crushing cabal of blood witches with world domination plans, got it. 

I have questions, or I would have, but things are moving on and Anna is being saved by … Dex’s dead ex, Adaline the former member of the coven right okay her, she’s going to show back up and offer Anna a simple chant to Hestia her patron Goddess, and that is somehow enough to deal with Siobhan entirely – poof. And finally, after all that rigamarole, decades of planning and scheming and witchy plotting finally settled, Anna really can have it all as a White Witch of Hollywood, heaven help us, with her perfectly human baby and that damned little golden statue, clutched in an only slightly desperate grip. 

As with any season of AHS there are a great deal of statements that could be implied just under the skin of the season – the canker way of ambition, the millenia-old pain of a woman giving birth, the savagery and bloodshed that comes with bringing forth life, pushback against both the patriarchy and ultra-feminism, the absolute desperation of humans wanting to have a child, and perhaps strangest and most open to interpretation of all, what it means to be feminine. The worlds population of women who can’t or don’t or simply won’t have children, for any reason or none, are relegated to servants, expendable servants at that, for this new world order that Siobhan is proposing, and that is far too close a comfort to things like outright slavery. A dictator is a dictator, no matter how great she looks in those emerald spiked heels. 

It’s not the really beautiful grotesquerie that Ryan Murphy and his AHS gang are often known for, nor is it utterly terrible and should be burned at the stake. What Delicate should be, is put back together with missing and cut footage, an hour long per episode again come on folks, fleshed some more of Siobhan’s baby-stealing adventures in the past and given us an actual reason to like anything about the whiny Anna, at least the Part 2 we as longtime AHS fans deserve. Toss in some more spidery hijinks! Give us the actual origin of those weird feather bunny-ear headdresses! 

American Horror Story Delicate the whole season can be seen on FX! 

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Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!

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Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

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