Thursday, June 3, 2010

4-Pack: Killer Tomatoes Strike Back!

After doing so well with the sequel, you had to know that this movie would disappoint.  How could you make another film that's so irreverent, ridiculous and funny?  You couldn't, but that didn't stop De Bello and company from trying.  The big problem that would be that they got their buddy on board, made him the new star (no Clooney here) and even letting him be a writer.  Mind you, the guy played a small part (substituting as the Press Secretary from the first film), but did nothing else besides that.  Who is this mystery man?  Well, does the name Rick Rockwell ring a bell?  Probably not, so I'll help you out.  Do you remember that Fox debacle known as Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire?  The *alleged* multi-millionaire was Rick Rockwell.  The show became controversial when we learned that he was a failed stand-up comic with a somewhat-dubious personal life.  What they didn't say was that he starred in this movie, Zubaz's and all.  This is...
The film begins with a woman chased through the woods, but she calms down when she sees that it's just a guy in a hockey mask.  Her fear returns when a group of tomatoes in hockey masks and armed with chainsaws show up.  This sets up our credits, which is layered over Mr. Rockwell waking up, doing random shit (juggling oranges...why not?) and going to work.  This guy is immediately annoying, from his cocky smirk to his Zubaz (it's fun to write that word) to his alarm clock that only turns off when he makes three baskets.  He goes to the crime scene and meets his partner, a normal-looking black guy who always has some tissue covering a cut on his face due to shaving.  Seriously- that's his only notable feature!  We learn that Gangreen (Astin) is still around, somehow not in prison despite being captured at the end of Part 2.  Him and Igor have a gang of killer tomatoes out and about robbing people, but they have a master plan.  Incidentally, they have abandoned the whole 'Tomato Men' idea too and have gone to little tomatoes, just with faces.  Is some consistency too much to ask guys?  Our hero is assigned to protect some tomato scientist, even though he doesn't believe in the killer tomatoes.  Um, we had a war with them?  It's like someone not believing in Japanese people!
Anyhow, let's get to the meat of the story: Gangreen's evil plan.  After escaping, he has taken on the disguise of Geronihew, a TV talk show host who is definitely not a composite of real people.  He uses his sway to turn people against Fuzzy Tomato and the idea of killer tomatoes entirely on a show featuring F.T., Wilbur Finletter and the blond scientist.  In the B-Plot, the tomatoes try to kill our heroine and she narrowly escapes one attempt.  A second attempt is foiled by our hero, which leads to them being less combative.  Incidentally, our hero finds splattered tomatoes with faces on them in her apartment, but is still a skeptic.  When they attack him personally but don't kill him, he finally gets on board.  Meanwhile, Gangreen kidnaps a bunch of press people and brainwashes them.  During all of this, they manage to slip in a 4th wall-breaking joke when they find the dead hockey player and refer to him being 'in Scene 1.'  Yeah, you're still not funny.  Gangrene randomly robs a bank and kidnaps a teller after a long, drawn-out comedy bit.  Is it funny?  No.  Is it long?  Yes.
As the film limps towards a finish, things don't get much better.  After a silly montage and a pointless cameo by the disguise expert, our heroes figure out that the place to go is the Central Broadcasting School, which is not to be confused with the real CBS.  If you thought my joke was lame, just know that they use it TWICE.  Our heroes sneak in and find the partner being mentally-tortured by Gangreen.  How do they find him?  They see the tissue from his cheek...since it could only be from him.  They find out about Gangreen's plan, but get captured.  Gangreen plans to sacrifice the woman on a B.L.T. Altar (don't look at me), so Fuzzy Tomato rushes off for help.  Wilbur gets back in his old outfit and rushes off to help.  While that's going on, our hero attempts to disrupt the final show from Gangreen by exposing Geronihew for who he really is.  This doesn't work, so they just pour ketchup all over him and have him get attacked by the tomatoes.  Don't worry- he's not dead.  As the credits roll, we get a bizarre 'post-game' bit involving the cast playing this movie.  As a final gag, we see Wilbur stuck in a tree and asking if he's too late.  The End.
Oh Dear God, is this movie lame!  What the hell happened to make the silly, but funny humor into just stupid crap?  Gone are all the parody-style jokes about their own low-budget, the silly effects and the like.  In its place, we get a bunch of sight gags, prop comedy and silly faces.  You all love sight gags like Rockwell playing with a yo-yo and having our the woman mistake it for an attacking tomato right?  You love seeing a track runner go through the police tape thinking that it's a finish line right?  You have to tell me that you chuckle at John Astin wearing a wig and calling himself Geronihew....right?  As I noted in the intro, the film has three writers: De Bello, Rockwell and Dillon.  Weird how two of those wrote for the first sequel and it was good, huh?  Not to put all the blame on the bad comic, but...I'm pretty much putting all the blame on the bad comic.  Sure there's also the absence of the better performers like Clooney and the suddenly-minor role by Stephen 'Rock' Peace as Finletter too.  Want to know why he was absent for most of this?  Because he was simultaneously working in the California State Senate!  Yeah, I bet you didn't know that, did you?  I also bet that you didn't care either.  Astin is funny here, but he's about the only one.  Do yourself a favor and avoid this one?  Other than the ironic aspect of Rockwell being in here, this movie is not worth your time.
Next up, with nowhere to go but up, can this series improve?  Well, the film has the tomatoes trying to invade, no.  Stay tuned...


  1. I called it quits after RETURN; the first two were mediocre enough as it was, I just couldnt ever bring myself to see the others

  2. As I said, I really love Return for it's random and off-beat humor. Everything after that sucks though- this one especially.