So I know many will read the title and instantly make a judgment based on that alone. I mean Attack Of The Killer Donuts must be completely stupid and asinine right? Well in a way yes! However, that doesn’t mean the world of film doesn’t have a place for donuts with a taste for blood. If you watch this movie and are expecting Casablanca levels of story and acting, well then sure it probably deserves a low score. Well, here at The Nerd Mentality, we’re not all pretentious (just some of us), and we like a good horror comedy just as much as the classics. So for this review the film will be judged against its peers.
Best friends Johnny and Michelle work at Dandy Donuts, your typical shop in a small sleepy town. Johnny’s crazy uncle Luther had developed a Re-Animator type liquid (also glows neon green) that can bring the dead back to life. The first of many subtle references to other horror comedies. The film is certainly self-aware and I think is better for it.
We get to see Johnny and Michelle go through a typical day at the doughnut shop. While they take out the trash and clean up we get introduced to the many side characters that are involved in their lives. We have Veronica, Johnny’s “girlfriend”, who everyone else knows is only using him for money. Mrs. Scolari the older “shares too much information with everyone” lady. The typical bumbling cops Rodgers (C. Thomas Howell) and Hammerstein. The toupee wearing owner who doesn’t care about his business or employees. I have no problem with stereotypical characters in film as long as they provide the laughs like they are supposed to.
Now this is the story all about how their lives got flipped, turned upside down and nothing would ever be the same again when crazy uncle Luther decides to visit the doughnut shop one terrible afternoon… Scientists are always so smart until they’re not. After having made the “greatest discovery to mankind”, Luther goes to the shop to get Johnny’s laptop. He tussles with Mr Toupee and the serum which of course he kept in his lab coat manages to fly unnoticed 10 ft into the doughnut fryer.
So from here on out the donuts become sentient and have a craving for blood. They are efficient killing machines that can kill quickly and without remorse… until they can’t. Personally, I don’t mind stupid fun and films like this but consistency is key. For the first hour of the film the comedy is actually quite funny as they realize there are killer donuts on the loose killing people.
The last 20 minutes almost do away with all of that. I think the writers put themselves in a corner and rushed the ending. I could go into exact details of the ending and spoil it, but you have seen it a million times before and can probably guess it. My biggest problem though is how the donuts are portrayed (yes I just wrote that sentence) because they got neutered in their own film in the span of 20 minutes. Going from Predator levels of killing efficiency to the troll from Ernest Scared Stupid… or even… non-killer donuts.
Attack Of The Killer Donuts does have a lot going for it. Most of it comes from the writing (first hour) which was humorous and the acting. Horror comedies of this scope and budget aren’t generally known for believe acting. I found most of the cast to be very good and likable.
Kayla Compton who plays Michelle was more natural and believable then actors in many mainstream films that I have seen lately. C. Thomas Howell and Michael Swan (Uncle Luther) both seem like they had fun making this film and lend it some credibility. I can only imagine the laughs stifled when the actors had scenes of real and not CGI donuts thrown at them. I wish I had some behind the scenes features to watch.
Which leads me into the visuals and CGI. There were times when the CGI looked really good and others where it wasn’t so. I’m sure this was a budgetary issue because VFX shots are not cheap. This takes me back though to the writing. The scenes where there were so many donuts flying around didn’t need to be there. They could have dialed it back. Then again I’m probably over-analyzing a movie about killer donuts as it is.
Attack Of The Killer Donuts Final Thoughts: 3.5/5
Attack Of The Killer Donuts was an overall enjoyable time. It won’t redefine its genre, but it wasn’t looking to. It wanted to be a fun movie to share with friends and it mostly accomplishes the goal. The film released last month on digital platforms such as Amazon. If you enjoy this genre it’s certainly worth a rental, if not a purchase. Also be sure to check out our giveaway. One lucky reader will get their own digital copy of Attack Of The Killer Donuts.