Blu-Ray Review- Return of the Killer Tomatoes!

I’ve become kind of obsessed with pre-fame George Clooney. The films are all pretty terrible even the better ones like Red Surf and Return of the Killer Tomatoes!. His last credit before he become a star due to E.R. and From Dusk Till Dawn was the inspired credit of play a “Lip Syncing Transvestite”. Return of the Killer Tomatoes! is of course the very belated sequel to 1977’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, which I have to admit i’ve never seen.

It’s set 10 years after the great tomato war and tomatoes have been outlawed. Naturally given to the ban pizza is nowdisgustingly made with chocolate sauce and peanut butter, which it is in reality sometimes is because they are WEIRDOS. It makes no sense why they didn’t just use a BBQ or Chilli based sauces but logic isn’t something which applies to these types of films. Shit gets real when the Professor Mortimer Gangreen (John Astin) attempts to unleash some tomatoes on an unsuspecting world. Clooney is the ladies man Matt who works at a pizzeria and his buddy Chat who is actually the lead have to try to defeat the tomatoes and the professor and bring some normality to the world.

The comedic tone of the film walks a tightrope of being both clever and stupid beyond belief, sometimes in the same gag. The production placement gag in the middle of the film is inspired bit of parodying but the finished outcome of the gag is stupid and becoming increasingly annoying. It however was one of the first times a film tackled this which at the time was becoming more and more apparent to filmgoers.

Clooney naturally gives the best performance of the film and is his usual charming self and is always amusing when he is on-screen for the simple fact it’s George Clooney. The special effects are non-existent and disappointingly the there isn’t much killer tomato action and since I haven’t seen the first film I can’t compare the two. It’s a solid send of the genre but certainly isn’t no Evil Dead 2 or any other classic horror comedy of the same era. It could also easily lose a good 15 minutes of its 98 minute running time but it’s still entertaining and has some great laugh out moments.

Arrow has restored the film in 2K which is probably more than the film deserves but it looks as great as this film ever could. Anthony Starke gives an interview where he tells a hilarious story of him and Clooney going clubbing and not being able attract any of the opposite sex. Sadly if not unexpected George Clooney isn’t interviewed on the disc but we can dream what he would have to say about his experience on the film. The director John De Bello supplies a commentary track and the trailers are included with a booklet with some writing on the film.

★★★

Ian Schultz

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