Blu-ray Movie Review – Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)

Return of the Killer Tomatoes
Directed by John De Bello
Courtesy of Arrow Video & MVD Distribution
Original Year of Release: 1988
Blu-ray Release Date: June 28, 2016

KIllerToamtos

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the produce aisle…

I remember watching the original ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES when I was in my early teens, and I absolutely loved it. Back then, the film was an obscure piece of schlocky filmmaking that was talked about in hushed towns among video store clerks. The rarity of the film alone was enough to pique my interest, but I was a devoted fan after viewing it.

When I heard about RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES, I knew I had to see it. The same folks that did the original were involved with the sequel, so I figured I could expect much of the same craziness as before. And sure enough, I was not disappointed. In fact, I would go so far as to say the sequel topped the original. And now, thanks to Arrow and MVD, we can now enjoy the insanity of killer vegetables in HD.

If you are not familiar with RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Arrow Video & MVD Distribution:

THE VEGETABLES OF DOOM!
The killer tomatoes are back! But this time around, they’re going to have to contend with late 80s George Clooney and his wicked mullet… Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Nope, it’s Return of the Killer Tomatoes!

Ten years on from the Great Tomato War, mankind lives in fear of another uprising by the waxy red menace. Meanwhile, Professor Gangreen, played with gusto by the legendary John Astin from TV’s The Addams Family, sets out to pursue his own evil ends by creating a burgeoning army of tomato militia men (who, somewhat conveniently, look just like regular men).

Following on from the 1978 cult classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Return of the Killer Tomatoes came armed with a healthy sense of its own ridiculousness and would expand upon a franchise that now comprises four films, two TV series and a video game. So what are you waiting for? Make Return of the Killer Tomatoes one of your five-a-day now!

I don’t care who you are or what your station is in life…you have to enjoy this film. There’s just no way around it. It’s quirky and weird, and it never takes itself seriously. How could you NOT enjoy it?

RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES is shot decently, although the cinematography is not something you’ll pay attention to in this film. Surprisingly, the HD transfer is sketchy; some of the shots look great, while others are grainy and VHS-quality. This is my sole complaint about the film, and it’s the reason I am giving it four stars instead of five. Thankfully, the sound quality is great.

The acting in the film is exactly what you’d expect from a picture like this. Of interesting note is George Clooney, who plays a major role in the plot. There’s no denying his signature stare or overbearing mullet, but he still does a fine job. He is accompanied by screen legend John Astin, who portrays the insanely funny Professor Gangreen, and a whole slew of otherwise decent actors.

The plot of RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES is very simple, but that doesn’t keep it from being fun. There’s enough slapstick comedy and subtle gags to please even the heartiest comedy fan. The film even spends a few minutes shamelessly plugging certain brand name items, in an attempt to appease corporate sponsors. This is hilarious, especially given the fact Clooney is doing a major part of it.

RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES is a big win for me, and fans of comedy-horror should love it. Whether you are watching it for the first time or revisiting memory lane, this film should have a definitive place in your movie library. It is available now, so give it a look.

MSB

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