RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES
Reviewed by: JimmyO
John De Bello
What's it about
After mankinds success against killer tomatoes in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, the red menace returns for revenge. It is all thanks to a Mad Doctor who has devious plans to take over the world with his tomato people that look like Rambo.
Is it good movie?
About a half hour or so into Return of the Killer Tomatoes, I really started to have fun with the red menace (tomato). In the middle of a scene, the cast and crew are informed that the budget has run out. Just when they are about to give up, one of his lead actors, a fellow by the name of George Clooney (yes, THAT George Clooney) suggests product placement to help finish the film. And for the next half hour or so, every scene contains several references to products, from Honda in San Diego to Pepsi. In one very funny moment, Clooney and Anthony Starke are having a conversation at their tomato less pizza parlor (peanut butter and jelly pizza anyone?). During the scene, a “stage hand” slowly puts a box of Corn Flakes in front of the two, completely blocking the actors. Tomatoes Part Deux takes a stab at sequels, product placement and how society reacts to disaster. Yet, it is so slapdash that it really doesn’t come off as what you would call a smart satire. Nope, there is nothing terribly smart anywhere near this film.
The film is so self aware, that sometimes it laughs much to hard at itself, while I only had a smile, or possibly a curious hmm. But there are enough jokes that work to make it a mildly entertaining watch. When the evil professor played by John Astin sends his assistant Igor (Steve Lundquist) out to find Tara the tomato girl (Karen Mistal) more laughs ensue. Igor asks a couple of passersby if there has been a chase yet? They say no, and thus, the chase begins. He gets in his garbage truck/newsvan and takes off, only to run into something a few feet away. That same couple that told him there hadn’t been a chase, notes this by saying it was the shortest chase ever, or something like that. There is enough of that kind of humor sprouted throughout this garden of comedy. But sadly, this is more like your Aunt Hilda’s garden which is sort of empty and fruitless because she is really too old to take care of it. Yet, every so often, something beautiful grows from it.
I guess I could mention the plot. It has been years since the great tomato war, and a few of those that survived it are still are haunted by those pesky red things. In fact, tomatoes have been banned, leaving the Finletter family (including Wilbur played by “Rock Pearce“ who survived the original film) having to use anything else to make there pizzas tasty. The peanut butter looks pretty damn nasty, so there is the gore factor. But Professor Gangreen (Astin) is creating an army of tomato people that look like Rambo. How surprising that that statement is still pretty relevant since this film was made in 1988 thanks to the recent Rambo return. And it is up to Chad, Matt, and a bunch of the survivors of the first film to stop the mad professor and save Chad’s new love Tara (yes, she is a tomato, but only when she hears music). It’s all ridiculous, and not as funny or as bizarre as Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. But at least it tried to do something new, and not just be another bunch of giant tomatoes rolling around. Although I did miss the song “Puberty Love”…
Video / Audio
Video: Not a bad Full-Frame Presentation. I suppose for this movie, it will be the best we get.
Audio: The Dolby Mono is also as good as this will get. Both of them make for a pretty good transfer for this kind of movie.
A Theatrical Trailer. If there were plans for anything else in regards to special features… I guess they got squashed.
This is not the movie that will make you afraid of tomatoes. It will however make you crave a Pepsi… hold on a second. I have to get a drink…
Now this is a pretty fun flick in spots, although it seems to think it is much funnier than it is. Yet still, George Clooney is pretty damn good as the wise cracking best friend. I also though Mr. Anthony Starke is pretty good too (he also still works). But it gets hilarious when it deals with product placement. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done as laugh inducing as it does here. Yet, the rest of the film is not always that ripe with comedy. I still had fun with it, but it is not quite as funny as the original.