Wednesday, June 2, 2010

4-Pack: Return of the Killer Tomatoes!

After the mild success of the first film, it was sort of a gimme that more would come from it.  Sure it was ten years later, but it still counts damn it!  Seriously though, it's interesting to see that this got made, no doubt off of the video success of the original.  Fortunately, since this isn't a Godzilla movie, I can suggest that without being corrected by Venoms5.  Anyhow, John De Bello is still at the helm of this movie, although one of the stars from the original (the parachutist) is on board as a Producer and a Co-Writer.  Oddly, the lead actor and character is not brought over, but the parachutist (Wilbur Finletter) is.  I guess it pays to be one of the writers, huh?  Let's address what you are all are thinking about though: George Clooney is in this movie.  Yes, George Clooney plays an '80s playboy who never wants to settle down- that's true acting.  The biggest get for the series comes in the form of John Astin.  The man has the right amount of seriousness and silliness to make the character work in this film and the sequels, even if the script is not always up to par.  One thing to get used to as well is the film's severe disrespect for the Fourth Wall.  You got a little of it in the first film, but the real craziness begins here.  Without further ado, this is...
Before the plot can begin, we get a silly framing device with a small tv station playing the movie.  Of course, the host originally starts playing a movie called Big-Breasted Women Go To The Beach and Take Their Tops Off, but is lambasted before you can see anything.  The film openly mocks its low-budget status even more with its silly title card (see above) and reuse of the same music.  Sadly, the credits are not quite as silly as Part 1.  In the wake of the Great Tomato War, the fruits are outlawed, Wilbur Finletter is a hero and has turned this fame into a gig running a tomato-free pizza shop.  Who wants blueberry jam and marshmallows?  Wilbur has a flashback/recap featuring the old footage, but a woman calling in and complaining about the movie's use of stock footage puts a stop to that.  More importantly, our hero- Wilbur's nephew- has the hots for a girl who lives at a far-off mansion that is surrounded by Rambo-wannabes.  As the young woman explains, 'they're just gardeners and carpenters- not tomato men.'  As it turns out, her flimsy cover is not true and they are in fact tomato men created by Astin's character.  He uses music to transform them from fruit to man, which sets up a silly plot-point for our heroine.  During an experiment, the scientist creates a fluke known as Fuzzy Tomato (F.T. to his homies) and tosses him out, prompting the girl to leave.
Being the idiot that he is, our hero panics when a hot blond shows up at the pizzeria and says 'you want to have sex.'  Dude, you can only be in a bad '80s film once- embrace it!  As it turns out, he eventually falls for her and they do the vertical mambo off-camera, a fact that pleases his roommate/co-worker (Clooney).  Never mind the fact that she showers with fertilizer or tapes The Farm Report off of the radio (gee, that dates this movie, huh?).  Meanwhile, the evil Doctor has realized what happened and sends out his henchman Igor to get her.  Apparently, he got an intern though and he's actually an '80s yuppie who wants to be a newscaster.  A date between our hero and heroine is broken up by some classical music, resulting in her transforming back to a a tomato and scaring people.  When they leave (he was away for all of it), they are chased by Igor, but only after he asks a couple (one of whom is writer Costa Dillon) if the film has had a chase scene yet.  When he crashes, the man comments, 'This is a low-budget movie!'  Eventually, our hero figures out some semblance of what is going on and things don't end well.  During a scene where he's consoled by Clooney, the director (also Dillon) interrupts and explains that they're out of money.  This leads the film's best scene: Clooney and Dillon playing caricatures in an attempt to promote Pepsi, Bud Light, etc.  Now armed with some money, they can wrap this thing up!
Things turn sour when our heroine is exposed a former-tomato and chased, only to be captured by Igor and the Doctor.  F.T. escapes and gets our heroes to go help him out, only for them to get captured as well.  Of course, before they do, they indulge in a long promotion for some ATVs, only allowing it to end when the director approves.  Desperate, they call Wilbur for help, getting him to bring in his old friends- well, except for the dead swimmer.  They find the house and wander around, at one point stumbling across a China closet...which naturally opens up to a stock footage shot of the Great Wall.  Incidentally, the disguise expert is dressed like The Lone Ranger, which is at least better than his Qaddafi outfit.  The bad guys get away, but leave our heroes in a death trap.  Fortunately, Wilbur is there to stop the device...after tripping over his parachute 40 times.  The finale is at the prison where the Press Secretary is being held- yeah, he apparently survived the stabbing and changed actors (to Rick Rockwell).  Our heroes confront the Doctor, who manages to get distracted by saying the 'secret word' from the film's framing device.  They are beaten, but manage to gas our heroine...which doesn't kill her and makes her human.  Alright then- The End.
I won't lie- this movie is funny as hell!  Is it juvenile?  Yes.  It has George Clooney playing a guy who pretends to be Rob Lowe to get a date.  Is it stupid?  Yes.  The film has a fat, black man dressed as The Lone Ranger, for crying out loud!  Is the movie self-referential?  Yes.  It has our two heroes addressing the cameras and explaining how every joke has had a pay-off.  Hell, it has the writer playing three roles (the director, the guy on the street and a prison gate guard) and actually makes a joke about how 'he's already playing three roles in this sucker!'  In spite of all that, I love this movie.  The film is extremely-dated, full of silly jokes and has a plot that makes no damn sense.  I still love it!  No matter what logic you throw at me, you can't convince me that this movie is nothing other than some funny-ass shit.  If you're into serious humor and more straight-laced stuff, you may hate it.  You have to appreciate it for one thing though.  If nothing else, it introduced us to the best new sport idea in the last thirty years: Full Contact American's Cup!
Next up, want to see how fast a series can crash & burn?  Find out how tomorrow!  Stay tuned...

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