It’s Scaretober, y’all! Woot! Woot! October is my favorite month, so I’m pulling out all the stops. To celebrate, I’m sharing my favorite scary fun books and movies. All. Month. Long. Let’s get to it!
Today’s feature: Attack of the Killer Donuts
This is a movie that knows what it is. It embraces its B-grade, and tries to do it well and with a sense of humor.
Of course, the second I found out it existed, I had to watch it. The bouncing, jelly-spewing donut special effects were worth it. Director and effects guy Scott Wheeler (who also directed Avalanche Sharks…) rolls out all the tropes, in a spoof that is clearly inspired by 1978’s “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and fits squarely in the horror niche of inanimate/nonliving entities that come to life to torment humans. (Think: 2019’s Killer Sofa.)
As for the plot? Well, I’m in it for the donuts, but sadly, like Godzilla, these movies never let us bask in the glory of the monsters. They insist on a human storyline. Johnny, our hapless hero, has a mad scientist uncle living in his basement. (Totally realistic. I should go downstairs and see what Dr. Herbert West is working on in my basement.)
Uncle Luther is a misunderstood genius who has invented a serum that brings things to life. Of course, those things, whether they are a dead rat or a donut, immediately go terribly awry. Clearly, Luther has neither read nor watched any horror or sci-fi stories created since, well, Frankenstein. And definitely had no knowledge of any Lovecraftian reanimation stories. Nope. Not a reader, this guy. Otherwise, Luther would have known the pitfalls of playing with the forces of life and death well enough to leave the darned serum at home. When it flies out of his lab coat pocket into the fryer at the local donut shop, disaster ensues.
Over the film’s short (but oh, sometimes they feel long) 86 minutes, we get some memorable performances. There is the hippy health food store owner/ hot yoga aficionado who develops an artisanal gluten-free, sugar-free donut to compete with the Dandy Donut store’s conventional (at least, until they’re mutated) donuts. His donut, in a nod to Pulp Fiction, is delivered in a box and glows gold when the box is opened and its beauty beheld. Naturally, his snotty artisanal vegan life meets a gory end at the hands (teeth, technically?) of a glutened, sugary fiend.
Then, there’s Poor Mrs. S., whose diet cheat day is ruined by a dozen ravenous deep-fried and frosted dociopaths. (Ha. See what I did there?). And, I’m not sure how this tidbit slipped past me, but I was surprised when C. Thomas Howell, the one-time 80s teen heartthrob, (WOLVERINES!!) makes an appearance as the bumbling, but well-meaning policeman hot on the trail of the town’s donut menaces. Howell embraces the role, almost enough to erase Soul Man from memory. Almost.
Now, I’m not in the business of giving away spoilers, but if you are in the mood to watch some well-animated, toothy donuts go on a murderous rampage–and you like watching things blow up, and blonde two-timing girls in Daisy Dukes get their comeuppance– check it out. I thought it was fun. Then again, I am the type of person who watches the Gingerdead Man on Christmas…
And, now that you’re totally sweet on this movie, here’s the trailer!