MEALS FOR MONSTERS: KILLER TOMATOES EAT FRANCE (1992)
Review and recipes by Jenny Orosel
I saw a movie at the video store that screamed out “Meals for Monsters” to me. KILLER TOMATOES EAT FRANCE (1992)! Yes, there would be deliciousness coming from a flick like that. I loved the original ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES (1978). When I watched this one, I was a little disappointed at first. The tomatoes don’t do a whole lot of killing. In fact, a more appropriate title would have been ANNOYING TOMATOES BUG THE HELL OUT OF FRANCE. But there was one tomato that did kill someone, and it was set in France, so I guess the title isn’t a complete lie. Once I got over the lack of produce-responsible homicide, I realized that it really was a funny movie. So I stuck with it.
Remember an actor by the name of Marc Price? You might remember him better as “Skippy” from the TV show FAMILY TIES. In KILLER TOMATOES EAT FRANCE he plays…Marc Price, in France to film a low-budget killer tomato movie. To pick up chicks, he pretends to be Michael J. Fox. Somehow, while trying to hook up with a French woman, he ends up ensnared in a plot by Professor Mortimer Gangreen (played with sheer glee by John Astin), with the help of his army of tomato puppets, to create giant mutant killer tomatoes that will not only eat Frenchmen, but also help falsify a prophecy to bring a new King to France and then take over the world. Marc and his love must find the true king of France, free the tomato rock star, and solidify their relationship. Yep, don’t try to follow the plot too closely. It will only make your brain hurt.
In the original, the tomatoes were giant papier-mâché vegetables. In FRANCE, the tomatoes look more like those Madballs from the eighties. While not as menacing as six food tall produce, they do get personalities. And there was some fantastic self-referential humor; jokes were made about plot holes, burning of the script, and Marc being able to laugh at his own standing as an actor. While not quite the movie I thought it was going to be, it turned out to be perfect for a fun night of flicks and food.
B minus movies are always better with a good strong drink. And, what better drink for a killer tomato movie than a Bloody Mary? Now, you could go and get tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt…or, to speed things up (and allow more time for beverage consumption) you can get a good Bloody Mary mix!
EASY BLOODY MARY
Standard ratio: one shot vodka per glass of Bloody Mary mix. If you’re not a fan of Killer Tomato movies, two shots vodka per glass of Bloody Mary mix. If you’re not a fan of tomatoes in general, one shot Bloody Mary mix per glass of Vodka.
For the main course, pasta with tomato sauce seemed a no-brainer. Is it French? No, but it’s tasty, and we humans can assert our dominance over the tomatoes by crushing them!
PASTA AND TOMATO SAUCE
½ package dried pasta
1 can crushed tomatoes (or whole if you want the sensation of crushing them yourself)
1 pound ground beef, turkey, pork, hamster…whatever appeals to you.
½ medium onion, chopped
Red pepper flakes
Get a big pot of water boiling for the pasta. In the meantime, brown the ground meat with the chopped onion, 1 tablespoon garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Drain. Add the can of tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons each basil, oregano and garlic, and 1 teaspoon each salt and red pepper flakes. You can easily adjust the seasonings to your own taste—if it needs to be sweeter, add more basil. If it’s too sweet, add more oregano. If it’s not salty enough, add salt. If it’s too salty…well, there’s not much you can do to fix that, so be careful when adding salt. Simmer. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Serve with some garlic bread. Will serve three regular appetites, two hungry people or one person who hasn’t eaten in a week.
For dessert, nothing says “French” like croissants. Okay, maybe crepes, madelines, pan perdue…but croissants are relatively easy. But the real question is: what flavor? Since our hero was almost foiled by a rain of banana peels (yes, the humor does sink that low), banana seemed to be the most logical choice. You will need:
1 roll refrigerated croissant dough (jumbo size, with six per roll)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the dough. Slice banana into 6 pieces. Roll each piece in brown sugar, then roll the dough triangles around each piece, sealing up. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle a little brown sugar on each. Bake for 15 minutes, or until they start getting golden brown.
KILLER TOMATOES EAT FRANCE was not the movie I was expecting it to be, but I had fun nonetheless. Hopefully you’ll have fun with it as well. If not, you’ll at least have some tasty food to go with it. Or have more Bloody Marys until it gets fun (or you just don’t care).
© Copyright 2011 by Jenny Orosel