Return Of The Killer Tomatoes John De Bello

Return Of The Killer Tomatoes John De Bello
In some ways, the Killer Tomatoes B-film franchise is one of the most successful series in cinema. Spawning no less than four sequels, this story about fruit (yes, they’re a fruit) genetically modified to take over the world is so ludicrous and campy that one is instantly compelled to want more, more, more. However, as most of the aforementioned sequels take their kitsch too far, this 1988 follow-up to the original shoestring-budgeted celluloid disaster/comedy strikes the perfect balance between suspension of disbelief, ridiculousness and self-awareness, deserving a re-release as a "Cult Fiction” title. Picking up years after the original, the tomato uprising has been obliterated. The world lives in a tomato-free society where merely uttering the word causes pandemonium and tomatoes have been entirely outlawed. Chad (Anthony Starke) and Matt (George Clooney) run a pizza shop where pies are crafted into delicacies featuring toppings such as peanut butter, marshmallows and sardines. However, fiendish genetic scientist Professor Gangreen (John Astin), defeated in the debut Tomato film, is still adamant about taking over the world, going so far as to turn his vine-ripened creatures into humans. As Chad falls in love with a renegade tomato woman (Karen Mistal), he invokes the wrath of Gangreen, resulting in an onslaught of burly tomato-men, ninjas and toxic waste. While the premise is asinine, the fact that De Bello plays such a card to the hilt is Return Of The Killer Tomatoes’ most redeeming quality. From gags about product placement to slapstick humour and a few well-placed subtleties, by movie’s end, he has created an enduring piece of crap perfect for wasting hours away. Factoring in spot-on performances by a pre-megastar Clooney and the wonderfully goofy Astin (best known as Gomez Addams) and A-film quality cinematography, one can even forgive the lack of bonus features. (Anchor Bay)