Fox // 1991 // 93 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // September 23rd, 2005
Viva la tomatoes!
Once again the infamous Dr. Mortimer Gangreen (John Astin, The Addams Family) returns to wreak havoc on humankind using tomatokind as his ally! Gangreen escapes from a French prison (why he's in France, I have no idea), and gathers his comical tomato fiends, as well as his pretty-boy henchman, Igor (Steve Lundquist), to do his bidding. The evil doctor hides himself inside a large castle as he puts his plans for world domination in motion. However, he's got a new nemesis in the form of an American backpacker (Marc Price, Family Ties) passing himself off as famous movie actor Michael J. Fox. "Michael" meets his love interest, a French country girl named Marie (Angela Visser, Spy Hard), who falls deeply in love with him. Only these two bumbling civilians can stop the dangerous Gangreen (the doctor, not the disease) from using his killer tomatoes to spread his seed of evil across the globe!
On the edge of redundancy, Killer Tomatoes Eat France is nearly the exact same movie as Killer Tomatoes Strike Back. Though the location (France) is different, the basic whole remains the same: Dr. Gangreen is trying to take over the world with killer tomatoes, and two bumbling heroes (one male, one female) must stop him.
Stop me if you've already heard this before.
Much like Killer Tomatoes Strike Back, Killer Tomatoes Eat France is filled with jokes about people getting hit with tomatoes, tomatoes being splattered against the wall, tomatoes showing up on dinner plates, and tomatoes acting like obnoxious humans. As with the previous film, the jokes aren't funny or rapid-fire enough for it to to qualify as a comedy. Writer/director John De Bello must have taken a cue from the Friday the 13th movies -- why make a new film when you can just remake the old one?
And so I, patient reader, must wade through this never-ending dreck so I can tell you to avoid it at all costs. In my review for Killer Tomatoes Strike Back I noted that my tastes had evolved beyond these films -- I am, indeed, growing older. And now I can safely say that if I ever have to sit through a fifth Killer Tomatoes movie, I will have to kill myself onbehaof of the film-going community: It would send a message that "we don't want any more killer tomato movies!"
Okay, that's a bit drastic. I won't take my own life over some pathetic B-movie. But I will ask you to heed my warning and spend an hour and a half of your life watching better stuff, such as Ron Popeil food dehydrator commercials or TV static. I, more than anyone, would like to report that Marc Price (Skippy from Family Ties) has become a grade-A thespian, but the fact is, he's starring in a killer tomatoes movie (when his character exclaims, "Oh, who am I kidding? Michael J. Fox is a major motion picture star and I'm making a Killer Tomatoes movie!" I can feel his pain). John Astin has officially taken his Dr. Gangreen as far as he can, and that's about two movies too far. The rest of the cast appears to be family and friends of Mr. De Bello, and God bless him for giving them jobs.
If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that movies with this silly a premise are only as good as the last film. Since the first film in this series was pretty bad, well, I think you can do the math. Killer Tomatoes Eat France is hopefully the last of this cruddy crop of deadly B-movies.
Killer Tomatoes Eat France is presented in 1.33:1 full frame, the film's original made-for-video aspect ratio. Not surprisingly, the transfer for this film is only mediocre. There are some defects in the image, as well as decent colors and black levels. Overall this looks about as good as the late-night television presentations I remember from the 1990s.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in English and Spanish. The soundtrack is clearly heard, and little else -- it's your basic made-for-video audio mix sans any surround sounds or directional effects. I'm sure that the French will be disappointed with the lack of French subtitles or audio track.
Extra features are pretty thin. All fans get are some trailers for other Fox
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 1991
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
* Bonus Trailers
* Tomato: Fruit or Vegetable?