If nothing else, Return of the Killer Tomatoes is proof that you don’t need to see an obscure film in order to get sucked into its sequel. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was a weird, funny film but when its first sequel came out in 1988, few people would have remembered instantly the first movie. And why would you when you have George Clooney as a sidekick, the gorgeous Karen Mistal as Tara and John Astin hamming it up as the evil and insane Prof. Gangreen? Trailer and review after the break.
Lucio Fulci has many films to his credit that exemplify his talents as one of Italy’s foremost horror directors. Zombie Flesh Eaters, City of the Living Dead and The Beyond to name a few and those were his most celebrated but he had a career spanning three decades. A lot of his projects were deliberate choices, creative endeavours so The Black Cat might seem an odd choice for Fulci but between his directing style and the way the film turned out, I think it’s one of Fulci’s better films.
Macabre terror has been a staple of cinema since at least the Fifties. Hammer Films practically invented it after the initial horror successes at Universal Pictures in the 1930’s and 40’s. Macabre comedy, however, is still something of a rare breed. While people mistake it for black comedy, macabre comedy involves the process in which a horror story unfolds with moments of levity and sick humour. American International Pictures decided to follow up their horror title Tales of Terror with a comedy film titled Comedy of Terrors in 1963. A dark piece of comedy, it managed to attract a decent director, a then up and coming writer who was redefining TV with the Twilight Zone and a cast of classic horror actors to make, if not an out and out farce then at least, a quirky comedy that has more in common with Carry On Screaming! and Young Frankenstein than its more contemporary fellow examples in the genre.
Can a film rise above crippling criticisms that it brought on itself and be a good film? Very few films that I know of can do this. Tim Burton’s version of Batman is such a film. Critics disliked it but it found it’s audience without them. Same goes for Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer. OK, I’m joking but you get what I’m saying. Space Raiders might fit the bill as well. It has two massive problems out of the gate but, by Jesus, it works hard to get me to accept it even with its problems.