I’ll be completely honest here and tell you that I was originally intending on watching Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, but let’s face it: The sequel was on Watch Instantly. Fortunately for me, the entirety of the original was summarized in the first twenty minutes. I’ll have to check it out some day, but I don’t feel I was missing anything. And, according to the producers, I didn’t. That’s what I really enjoyed about Return: It didn’t take itself seriously at all. Someone even comments on screen towards the beginning: “Hey, I thought this was supposed to be a sequel. This is just a bunch of footage from the first movie!” With a level of wit and irreverence so totally 80’s, Return of the Killer Tomatoes is an great farce on the genre and a pretty darn enjoyable flick to boot!
Goofiness was certainly the name of the game. However, unlike a lot of movies of this era, it did it with a sense of class that warmed my heart. It was cheesy, yes, but not too much so to be stupid. DeBello, not to say he is an extraordinary director, does a good job in walking the fine line that many in the decade could not. “Return” had an almost “Airplane!”-like vibe to it, with well filmed gags and just enough breaking down of the fourth wall to keep it interesting. The film mocked itself, but not too much.
Captained by a very young George Clooney, the cast of “Return” really made the movie. They played their parts very well, and while most of the movie was slapstick and one-liners, brought character to the characters and helped the audience to enjoy the story. No one is winning an Academy Award, but any casting director with a bit of sense would give them another shot in the comedy realm. On the subject of characters, there was enough carry over to make fans of the original happy as well as giving us newcomers a whole new premise to dig on. And I really did dig on the hottie-that’s-really-a-tomato, Igor the aspiring newscaster/henchman, and the gang of old heroes that still think they can save the day.
Effects-wise, it was the 80’s. Enough said. They really put the “special” in Special Effects, but that was part of the charm. The only real gore we get is fields of stomped tomatoes, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy Karen Mistal’s gratuitous midriff shots throughout. Sound effects were pretty fun and helped the movie along, adding to the cheese but not overdoing it.
I’m sorry I don’t have too much to say on this matter, but “Return of the Killer Tomatoes” isn’t really one you think too hard on. It was a fun hour and a half, enjoyable by the whole family (I can’t see why it would have been rated anything higher than PG), and probably available for free at most major retailers. John DeBello should be proud of his franchise, and I’m sure he’s laughing all the way to the bank.