Return Of The Killer Tomatoes! (1988)

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Overall Rating 52%
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Ranked #5,042
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Mad scientist Professor Gangreen is cooking up the second coming of the Great Tomato Uprising, in which music converted tomatoes into human form to war against mankind. Pizza delivery man Chad Finletter must save the world and beautiful tomato-girl Tara. --IMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: January 8, 2008
Return of the Killer Tomatoes.
Return of the Killer Tomatoes.
The theme song still remains the same.
The plot itself has hardly changed.
A guaranteed method to fortune and fame.

Yes, the killer vegetables are back, indeed. However, contrary to the theme song's claim, the plot here is completely different from the first. It is now ten years since the Great Tomato War, and the actual culprit of the tomato uprising was the works of Professor Gangreen, however, no one was ever able to prove his guilt. Meanwhile, after being labeled a national hero, Wilbur Finnletter has settled down and opened a pizzeria with his nephew, Chad. Tomatoes are now illegal, so these pizzas are made using a variety of jams in place of the usual sauce. Young Chad is the delivery boy, and relishes his trips to Gangreen's place as he's quite taken with Tara, the young girl who lives there. In his inept attempt to make conversation, she reveals that she is the professor's lover. What Chad doesn't know is that Tara is not a woman at all, but a genetically altered tomato. You see, Gangreen's new plan for using tomatoes to overthrow the world is a machine that actually turns tomatoes into human. His experiment also yields a basketball sized fuzzy tomato. After he orders it to be destroyed, Tara saves it and decides to run away with it. The only other person she knows is Chad, so that's where she goes to seek refuge. Instead of being content with the fact that she was designed as a cooking, cleaning sex slave (she knows 815 dishes and performs 637 sexual acts, including a real doozey with six milk bottles and a tuning fork), he sets out to find just what's going on in Gangreen's laboratory.

As it stands, there's really not a lot of tomato action at all in this sequel. A bit of a shame in my opinion, but Return still manages to be pretty damned funny in its own right. It's a slightly different, but no less absurd, form of comedy. Last time, they took this amazingly ridiculous idea, and while tongue was noticeably planted firmly in cheek, they took a serious approach to it, creating an intentionally unintentional comedy. This time, they relied on a nonstop barrage of surreal antics, some running gags from the first film, and reducing the fourth wall into a pile of rubble. Things like the director suddenly stopping the shoot to announce they didn't have enough money to finish the movie. One of the characters suggests product placement as a good way to make up the extra funds, and the throughout the rest of the movie the characters will break into an advertisement for Pepsi or Nestle or what-have-you.

Like the first one, the bad acting is not only forgiven, it's all but needed to match the tone this movie gives off. Stephen Peace returns to the role as Wilbur Finnletter, and he's joined by Karen Mistal, Anthony Stark, and even a young George Clooney in one of his first movies. I'm actually kind of surprised Mistal didn't go on to be a big name star. She gave one of the better performances found here, plus she's definitely a treat for the eyes. And of course, who can forget John Astin as Professor Gangreen. He went balls to the walls with this role, and the results were fantastic.

So far, the Killer Tomatoes franchise has taken two completely different approaches and has successfully gone two for two. I haven't seen the two subsequent sequels, but here's hoping they were able to keep up the pace. As for Return, I'm thinking an 8/10.
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