1988 / Director. John De Bello.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The Zucker Brothers receive most of the credit for pioneering the slapstick/spoof comedy sub-genre in American cinema but John De Bello also deserves a share of the honour. With his 1978 film ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES he made a movie that was way ahead of its time and completely misunderstood by almost everyone who saw it. It was full of sight gags, one-liners and every kind of cheap laugh it could get. Ten years later De Bello made a triumphant comeback with RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. Where the first movie laid the foundation this sequel built upon it and took the story into new levels of absurd. This is a seriously fucking hilarious movie that is, in my mind, better than the original. A decade after the events of the first movie the mad scientist Professor Gangreen (John Astin), who was responsible for the original outbreak, has invented a machine that turns tomatoes into humanoids. Where a particularly bad song marked the defeat of the killer fruit last time, music now fuels their rampage. The tomatoes now turn into lookalikes of whoever sings a particular song... (Michael Jackson song turns them into Michael Jacksons) and rock music creates tomato armies. What makes it even more hilarious with hindsight is that one of the film's lead heroes is none other than George Clooney. Add a fuzzy tomato, brilliant song lyrics and an entirely self-referential brand of humour and you get a wonderful 80's comedy that takes a classic cult movie and turns it into a franchise. This is a great series and needs your undivided attention.