Friday, April 16, 2010
Another review from Giuseppe, again from the "B-Movie Collection" and this time it's "The Return of the Killer Tomatoes" starring George Clooney. Well, lets ketchup with the review....sorry.
It's been 25 years since the Great Tomato War, presumably covered in Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes (1978). Tomatoes are now illegal which makes for interesting alternative pizza sauces (jam, boysenberry, chocolate, etc) prepared by best buds Chad (Anthony Starke) and Matt (George Clooney) at their uncle's pizza place. It's on one of Chad's deliveries to (evil) professor Gangreen's mansion that he meets the beautiful but slightly odd Tara, she 'assists' the professor ("I'm his lover. I also cook, clean, perform 637 sexual acts and use all the popular home appliances"). Chad's smitten but what he doesn't know is that Tara is really a tomato! The prof has been performing illegal genetic experiments and has succeeded in creating a machine which transforms tomatoes into people, soon he will have an army strong enough to take over the world.
Yeah if you haven't realised already this film is a bizarre over the top comedy. But the truly odd thing is it's actually funny! The prof's assistant Igor is a handsome trained news anchorman waiting for his big break, Clooney runs 'meet Rob Lowe' competitions to get women (including Playmate Teri Weigel), Tara turns back into a tomato whenever she hears music (but she loves the farm report), there's a mutant fuzzy tomato (called FT) that throws itself on a grenade to save the day, oh and look out for Michael Jackson, Carmen Miranda, Don Johnson and The Pope. At one point the film simply stops as the production has run out of money, there's a cast and crew meeting and it's decided product placement is the solution, next thing you know everyone's drinking brand name beers, eating candy bars and the mad prof has a Pepsi logo on his back. Similarly when a totally unrelated ninjas versus cowboys fight breaks out in the pizza place Clooney calls a cut and ejects them from the film - meta enough for a Charlie Kaufman fan?
The films success is due in most part to the acting being spot on; John Astin (so very right in The Addams Family so very wrong in most everything else) is perfectly cast as the cackling professor, Anthony Starke throws himself into his role with as much deadly seriousness as he can get away with and even young Clooney is surprisingly good as droopy eyed Lothario Matt but the true standout is Karen Mistal as Tara delivering killer lines with an earnest innocence ("Can I cook you something? How 'bout a blowjob, maybe iron your pants?").
Perfect post-pub entertainment - make it a fully interactive drinking game experience by having another tipple every time someone says tomato!
Presented 1.33:1 full frame, that's the way it was shot. The image looks very good for a low budget 80's feature, strong colours, well saturated. Audio is standard stereo.