1997 / Director. John De Bello.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
KILLER TOMATOES EAT FRANCE was originally written as the third instalment in the series, which makes a lot of sense because it is infinitely better than KILLER TOMATOES STRIKE BACK, which ended up in third place instead. It is a stupid fucking movie but its humour recalls the slapstick, absurdity of the first two instalments and while it more or less coasts on the notoriety of the property it still delivers some guilty laughs. Dr Gangreen (John Astin) finds himself in France on a prisoner exchange program and his evil tomato minions break him out with a giant tomato-shaped hot air balloon. For some retarded reason the tomatoes all speak fluent English and are capable of operating machinery and weaponry... all without limbs, let alone opposable thumbs. With a movie like this impressions mean everything and KILLER TOMATOES EAT FRANCE kicks off its proceedings with a few solid gags. The first few seconds of the opening credits declare "The fourth film in the Killer tomatoes trilogy" and continue with some amusing title cards and Zucker-esque statements. We're also introduced to a character played by Marc Price (Skippy from Family Ties). In line with the self-referential nature of the series he immediately references Michael J Fox and complains that while Fox is off making Hollywood hits, he is stuck making Killer Tomatoes movies. When a beautiful French country-girl shows up he suddenly adopts Fox's name and passes himself off as the Hollywood star. It's all dumb stuff and the tomato puppet creations are shit. With a critter-like appearance and a gremlin-like banter they roll and bounce around Paris like mongaloid space hoppers. The original crew with staple faces from all of the movies return and director John De Bello milks the series for all its worth. It's a far cry from the original ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES and bares little resemblance... but it's a fun, zany b-movie all the same and brings the franchise back on track (well sort of). The original music is back (phew) and there are some tasty references to the original, including a great WWII style battle sequence. It would seem that De Bello saw where he went wrong with RETURN and tried to make amends.