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Review: Horror-comedy ‘Attack of the Killer Donuts’ lacks imagination

A scene from the movie “Attack of the Killer Donuts.” Credit: Level 33 Entertainment
A scene from the movie “Attack of the Killer Donuts.”
(Level 33 Entertainment)

“What could possibly cause doughnuts to become bloodthirsty killers?” That question — spoken aloud, in an over-earnest deadpan — is the creme filling in the center of “Attack of the Killer Donuts,” the latest example of the “Sharknado”-style horror-comedy subgenre best called “trash for trash’s sake.”

The team-written “Attack of the Killer Donuts” screenplay doesn’t take many chances. Justin Ray plays Johnny, a low-rent L.A. doughnut shop employee whose mad-scientist uncle accidentally drops a vial of an experimental formula into a batch of the fried sweets. Before long, the pastries have sprouted teeth around their holes and are terrorizing every cop and stoner in the neighborhood.

Director Scott Wheeler is a veteran special-effects artist, who handles the creature animation well. The doughnuts bounce around adorably, and even carry a touch of grotesque menace as they leap at customers’ throats, spewing a sickly green jelly.

But the lack of any real imagination makes “Attack of the Killer Donuts” a chore. The movie is essentially a series of unfunny sketches, featuring the untimely demise of one broadly stereotyped character after another: a hippie, a chubby cat-lady, a homeless man, a two-timing bimbo, etc.

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These kinds of projects are aimed at garbage connoisseurs looking for something dumb to watch with friends on a weekend night. But when the stupidity’s intentional — and lazy — the eyes glaze over.

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‘Attack of the Killer Donuts’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes.

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Playing: Laemmle Royal, West L.A.

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