While I mostly write about books, my love of horror began with old movies and branched off into comedy horror shows like The Addams Family and The Munsters. The more ridiculous the premise, the better. Enter Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It’s been forever and a half since I last watched the movie, but I do remember that ridiculous is an understatement. The fact that it inspired multiple sequels, a children’s cartoon, two video games, a comic book, a couple of similarly themed books, and now this novelization written by Jeff Strand and audiobook narrated by Joe Hempel is actually pretty amazing considering the poor reception of the movie in its time.
Let’s talk about the audiobook. Joe Hempel is a treasure. Like the movie, the audiobook is speckled with songs and faux advertisements and that one awful puberty song. Hempel narrates with gusto and paired with Jeff Strand’s humor, this audiobook is a joy to listen to.
As for the book itself, if you’ve seen the movie, you know the story. Humanity comes under attack by constantly mutating killer tomatoes. Everyone is an idiot and there’s little hope that humanity will figure out how to survive, except for maybe China and their secret weapon, Bruce Lee. It is ridiculous and hilarious. I know it’s cliche to say the book is better than the movie, especially when the book is a novelization of that movie, but it’s true. Characters that didn’t get much screen time, like master of disguise Sam Smith, come to life in this book. Jokes that barely registered in the movie are amplified. Imagery that were probably cost prohibitive to produce in a movie are elevated by Strand’s colorful writing.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. This book is 233 pages or 5 hours of pure fun. This book filled in a lot of gaps that the movie left wide open. I particularly enjoyed all the fourth wall breaking commentary. The whole thing was just so funny.
Big thanks to Jeff Strand, Joe Hempel, Encyclopocalypse Publications and BookSirens for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can preorder Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Novelization on Amazon or Audible for its April 14, 2023 release.