Director – John De Bello, Screenplay – John De Bello, Constantine Dillon & J. Stephen Peace, Producers – John De Bello & Stephen Peace, Photography – Kevin Morrisey, Music – Rick Patterson, Special Effects Engineering – Michael Lambert, Killer Tomatoes – Character Innovations, Production Design – Robert Brill. Production Company – KT Entertainment/Twin Pics Ltd/Four Square Productions Inc
Marc Price (Michael), John Astin (Professor Mortimer Gangreen), Angela Visser (Marie), Steve Lundquist (Igor), Gerard Lundquist (Louis the XXVII)
The French are about the execute Professor Gangreen but he makes an escape. He then rents a castle and sets about launching his plan to fulfil The Prophecy of Nicodemus and have his idiot assistant Igor crowned the king of France. Meanwhile, a young aspiring American actor is hitchhiking through France and meets the beautiful Marie who thinks he is Michael J. Fox. ‘Michael’ goes to see his friend FT, the intelligent tomato, performing in concert, only for FT to be abducted by Gangreen who wants his DNA to build a tomato army. ‘Michael’ and Marie join the fight to rescue FT and stop Gangreen from making the prophecy come true.
This was the fourth and so far final Killer Tomatoes film, not counting the series’ subsequent foray into animated television. Killer Tomatoes Eat France has more of a budget than the previous entries, which allows for the creation of some convincingly evil killer tomatoes. On the other hand, the slight appeal that the concept had in the first film has been well and truly worn out through the preceding three films. Director John De Bello does not seem to realise this fact and hammers away at the film with a singularly relentless silliness.
The Killer Tomatoes series’ brand of silliness has all become old hat by now – we have seen tomatoes doing incongruous human things like driving vehicles; we have had the funny credits (which here seem to consist of prefixing everything with ‘ze’); we have had the scenes where the action inadvertently breaks thee fourth wall and strays over into the filming of the film – the lead actor here refuses to be killed off halfway through the film – and so on. Killer Tomatoes Eat France doesn’t have any fresh gags to add to this. There is a certain amusement to its decision to go and shoot on location in France, which proves an opportunity for the film in its own blithely vulgar way to thumb its nose at French culture – all the French wear berets, have atrocious accents and wave bread sticks about. However, the film makes the criminal failing of insulting its audience’s intelligence too in a brief post-credits scene where John Astin appears in a balloon, laughing at the audience, having stolen their car stereos while they “were watching this stupid movie.” Any film that holds its audience in contempt for being stupid enough to watch it can surely only be regarded as a waste of time.
The other Killer Tomatoes films are:– Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978), Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988) and Killer Tomatoes Strike Back! (1991). The idea was also spun out as an amusing animated children’s series – Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1990-93).