Killer Tomatoes Strike Back! (1991)


USA. 1991.


Director – John De Bello, Screenplay – John De Bello, Constantine Dillon & Rick Rockwell, Producers – John De Bello & J. Stephen Peace, Photography – Stephen F. Andrich, Music – Neal Fox & Rick Patterson, Special Effects Engineering – Michael Lambert, Killer Tomatoes – Andrew P. Jones, Production Design – Robert Brill. Production Company – Four Square Productions


Rick Rockwell (Lance Boyle), Crystal Carson (Kennedi Johnson), John Astin (Dr Gangreen), Steve Lundquist (Igor), John Witherspoon (Evan Rood), ‘Rock’ Peace (Captain Wilbur Finletter)


Police detective Lance Boyle investigates a murder but refuses to believe tomatologist Kennedi Johnson’s insistence that it is the work of a killer tomato. He is forced to believe the truth of what she says after he saves her from a tomato attack. Combining their forces, they follow a trail that leads to Professor Gangreen who is posing as top-rating tv talkshow host Geronahew and planning a tv broadcast that will turn people into mind-controlled zombies.

This was the third of the Killer Tomatoes film. By this point, the idea had started to seem an extremely limited one-note joke. Nevertheless, this sequel still manages to replay the idea with some amusement and has its occasional moments. It is certainly the best of the Killer Tomatoes sequels if that counts for something, although that is hardly much of a race.

Unlike the lame first sequel Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988), this one goes back to having tomatoes doing silly things. There are some amusing shots with tomatoes swinging into rooms to conduct commando raids, ninja tomatoes throwing shurikens, and tomato bars where various tomato lowlifes gather to smoke, drink and play pool. There are moments when the film rises to being quite funny. There is an amusing parody of the Psycho (1960) shower scene where the heroine bursts into screams, only for us to discover that she is reacting to having run out of shampoo and only having a sliver of soap and then a pullback from the trickle of red going down the plughole to reveal that it is coming from a squashed tomato. Possibly the funniest sequence is the opening, which has the heroine being pursued by a masked, chainsaw-wielding maniac and then stumbling to realise, “Thank God, I thought it was a killer tomato,” only to turn and be faced with a horde of tomatoes all wearing hockey masks. It is an amusing even if not a particularly good film. The film also improves on its predecessors by using some reasonably decent special effects to create the tomatoes, although the tomatoes are clearly not particularly mobile in wider shots.

The other Killer Tomatoes films are:– Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978), Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988) and Killer Tomatoes Eat France (1992). The idea was also spun out as an amusing animated children’s series – Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1990-93).

Clip from the film here

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