Attack of the “Attack of the” Movies

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There are certain words in film titles that are indicators as to what you are about to see. Take Film Franchises. Words like “Star Wars”, “Spiderman” and “Marvel” tend to indicate a film worth seeing. Often words like “Batman” and “DC” tell us that there will soon be a portion of our lives that we will never get back. Other standout words include “Insidious”, “Conjuring” and “Annabelle”, all of which are currently on many a marquee.

Today, we look at films that begin with three little words:

ATTACK OF THE

This is not a franchise. But it is an indicator that there could be hilarity on the horizon. Most films that start with those three words are destined to be funny, most times unintentionally, sometimes intentionally. Many of these films fall into my “You should see bad films so you know what a good film looks like” mantra. This means that if you haven’t seen these movies, maybe you should.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

Didn’t take her long to find her husband and his mistress

 

Take a philandering husband, an angry wife and add a saucer full of aliens who have put away their anal probe for other toys and you have the makings of a science fiction classic that has been made twice: 1958 with Alison Hayes and 1993 with Daryl Hannah. It is a cautionary tale about being unfaithful to a giant woman. Men, take heed.

And we won’t even talk about Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader from 2012 or Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold from 1995. Those times it’s drugs and not aliens.

 

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978 to 1992)

His mistake was wanting to go out for pizza!

 

Starting with one of the great theme songs that film lovers should be marching to on a regular basis and ending with one of the worst fake Top 40 hits, this film spawned three hilarious sequels. The film has everything: teenage heroes, a master of disguise who dresses as a tomato, a Karate expert and their leader, who spends the film attached to his parachute. Later films would introduce a villain, Dr. Gangreen (played by John “Gomez Addams” Astin), who controls the tomatoes. He is bent on taking over the world, or at least France. Let’s not forget that it also spawned a cartoon series that ran from 1990 to 1991.

 

Attack of the Killer Donuts (2016)

Sometimes the fur flies, sometimes the dough flies

 

Now I know everyone has a mad-scientist uncle that lives in the basement and does “Herbert West” style experiments on rats. And that he succeeds in bringing a rat back to life. Okay, it eats the other rats in the basement, but there are always side effects. In this case, the serum ends up in a donut deep fryer. The donuts sprout teeth and kill people. The best parts of the movie usually entail someone off camera throwing donuts at the cast, who are often armed with tennis racquets and frying pans to defend themselves. Could Wimbledon be their next stop? This film is currently running on Starz.

 

Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies (2016)

And they are stylin’ on the dance floor…

 

Zombie people and zombie deer menace a ski resort in Austria. They created by a failed experiment to make fake snow. Add your normal cast of teens, a ski pro who skinny-ski’s in front of children and a barmaid with WWII munitions in the basement and you have an often-hilarious film even the living dead will dance to. And they do!

 

Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

Yes, most species of crabs have that eye structure.

 

Hey there cousin. You say the island is full of giant crabs. And these crabs eat humans and they become more and more intelligent as they eat people and develop mental telepathy. And the whole place is sinking into the sea. Does that seem to upset you, old timer? From the skilled claws of Roger Corman, this has one of the least convincing giant crabs in all of filmdom. Okay, that’s a real small population, but least is still least.

 

Attack of the Mushroom People (1963)

I really haven’t seen this one in a long time. Maybe it’s time for a view…Nah!

 

Directed by Godzilla legend, Ishiro Honda, Matango (as it is called in Japan), has appeared on many “worst ever” lists. A group of shipwrecked people find mushrooms as their favored means of nourishment. Sadly, the mushrooms are wise beyond their spores and take them over, turning them into the dreaded Mushroom People. It’s kind of like setting “Night of the Living Dead” in Kennett Square, Pa (The Mushroom Capital of the US), instead of Pittsburgh. I will admit that there is a noir feel to film, but people are turning into mushrooms, not locating the Maltese Falcon.

 

Attack of the Puppet People (1958)

 

Anyone know the number for 9-1-1?

 

A scientist (played by the underappreciated John Agar) finds a way to shrink people to the size of dolls. Those of us who are long-time Dr. Who fans know that this is possible, but always lethal. The evil Time Lord, The Master, carried such a weapon in the Tom Baker days. But, lets give the scientist the benefit of the doubt when it comes to molecular compression.

Now, these shrunk people are not happy about being, well, shrunk and kept for the scientist’s amusement. So, they fight back, hence the Attack.

 

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)

1959

 

Once again, here’s a film that was done twice. The original in 1959, gives us man-sized leeches that tend to sneak up behind people and drag them to a watery grave. Now, there are over 700 different species of leech and, although they can reach lengths of 16 inches, they are usually between 0.3 and 3 inches in length (Thank you Softschools.com). A leech reaching the size of a man is somewhat unlikely to begin with, making the 1959 version more about guys in rubber suits than about monsters. Flash forward to 2008, when the film was remade. I have not seen this, but the leeches on the poster appear to be about 12 inches in length and do not have arms and legs, like those of their predecessors. However, looking at the trailer, the leeches look like a length of flexible pipe purchased from Home Depot, so it really isn’t much of an improvement. This film would likely make a good double feature with a personal favorite of mine, “Slugs”.

2008

 

As though I needed more proof, here are some more film titles. Yes, these can be found on IMDb! Although I have not seen them, you can see by the title that you will likely laugh more than you will cower.

 

ATTACK OF THE JELLY MONSTERS FROM DEPTHS OF URANUS (2011)

ATTACK OF THE KILLER SHREWS! (2016)

ATTACK OF THE SOUTHERN FRIED ZOMBIES (2017)

ATTACK OF THE YETI HAND (2009)

ATTACK OF THE VEGAN ZOMBIES (2010)

ATTACK OF THE HERBALS (2011)

 

Sounds like my “Need to See” list just got longer. Enjoy!

 

 

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About Ernie Fink

Ernie Fink has been a fan of film, mainly in the genres of horror and mystery, in equal parts, for over fifty years. His love of horror in the cinema begins with "King Kong" and in literature with Edgar Allan Poe and Bernhardt J. Hurwood.  With mysteries, he skipped from the Hardy Boys right to Hercules Poirot, only to find John Rebus and Harry Hole waiting in the wings. He has been known to read subtitles extensively, and rarely leaves a theater until the lights come up.
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