Welcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where sometimes we watch a movie that’s funny on purpose. That’s the case this week as we dig in to 1988’s Return of the Killer Tomatoes!
What’s The Plot?
Ten years after the Great Tomato War nearly destroyed the United States, life has returned to peaceful normalcy. Pizza delivery boy Chad Finletter, whose uncle/boss was the hero of the Tomato War, falls in love with the Tara, beautiful and kinky lover of mad scientist Professor Gangreen, and finds that she’s quite normal – she’s a mutant tomato person and just one of an army Gangreen plans to use to conquer the world! Can Chad get the girl, beat the bad guy, and save us all? Will Gangreen’s army of tomato soldiers kill us all? Well, you’ll just have to watch the movie!
Who Made This Beautiful Garbage?
John De Bello, the same hilarious madman who made the original Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. The four (yes, four) Killer Tomatoes movies are the man’s only notable credits on IMDB, but there are worse legacies to have than cult favorite comedies.
Five Reasons to See It
- John Astin, who legendarily played Gomez Addams on The Addams Family (original and 90’s cartoon versions) and has since made a career out of being awesome, plays Professor Gangreen. He’s worth the price of admission alone.
- A Facts of Life & Roseanne-era George Clooney is one of the leads. He’s not the hero, but the hero’s wannabe Casanova best buddy. George Clooney as a failing lech is funnier now than it was then.
- This movie served as the basis for the 21 episode cartoon version of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It introduced Chad, Tara, Gangreen(who was still played by John Astin), Igor, F.T., pretty much all the major elements that wound up in the ‘toon. Its original run from 1990-1991 but was definitely in reruns deep into the decade, so early rising 90’s kids should have a passing memory of it.
- Remember Gary Condit, the California congressman who we were all (incorrectly, as it happens) sure murdered his mistress back in 2001? Yeah, he has a cameo in this. He was a state assemblyman at the time…just like his friend Stephen “Rock” Peace, who co-wrote and starred in the original Attack and who co-wrote and played a supporting role in Return. Rock’s the guy in the middle about three pictures up.
- “Return of the Killer Tomatoes! The theme song still remains the same, the plot itself has hardly changed, a guaranteed bet for fortune and fame!”
Return of the Killer Tomatoes is an incredibly funny movie, with a brand of humor that is reminiscent of Airplane! The flick is definitely worth watching if you can find it, a worthy parody of low budget horror movies up to and including itself.
NEXT WEEK: Another personal favorite, 1975’s Death Race 2000