"Tomatoes, tomatoes - everywhere!"
The sequel to the original silly vegetables-on-the-rampage picture ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES (1978) gets a Blu-ray and DVD release courtesy of Arrow.
Following on from the events in the first film, where it appears that giant beachball-sized tomatoes terrified the nation until they were destroyed by an awful pop song called ‘Puberty Love’ (I haven’t seen it but there are enough flashbacks and silly special effects to certainly suggest this), RETURN kicks off with Professor Gangreen (John Astin) creating an army of Rambo tomato men while his tomato girlfriend Tara Boumdeay (oh dear) looks on.
Actually it doesn’t. Instead the movie begins in the cinema showing RETURN OFTHE KILLER TOMATOES but they get the film wrong and start showing something else instead. The fourth wall-breaking continues about halfway through when the film runs out of money and everyone has to resort to product placement to keep the picture going.
Meanwhile, in the now tomato-free land that is America, pizzas have to be made with raspberry jam instead of tomato sauce. When a mutant fluffy tomato is created, Tara runs away with him and takes refuge with pizza-store chef Chad (Antony Starke) and his chum Matt (George Clooney. Yes that George Clooney only looking much younger and with much more 1980s hair).
Professor Gangreen plans world domination. Our heroes, plus a very strange collection of FBI agents, track him down and stop his evil plans while various silly sight gags abound.
Anyone unfamiliar with this film should be warned that, despite the promise of the title, there’s very little tomato action indeed in this, and I don’t think anybody gets killed by one. RETURN has a cheerful, AIRPLANE-made-at-home feel and starts well, but it does all get a bit desperate by the third act. The movie deserves points, however, for a lot of gags that were probably very original at the time, as well as for some very silly songs and an extremely silly end credit roll that fans of extreme daftness would be well advised to stay around until the end of.
Arrow’s Blu-ray makes RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES look remarkably good. You also get a feature-length commentary by writer-director John deBello, a new interview with star Anthony Starke, a trailer and collector’s booklet with new writing on the film. A cheerful enough timewaster for fans of very silly 1980s films. And George Clooney. Perhaps. I meant fans of George Clooney. Not George Clooney himself. I wonder if he remembers this?
RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES is out on dual format UK DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 27th June 2016