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The Return of Be Kind, Rewind

By Michael Nazarewycz

*blows off dust*

Nothing is ever gone for long, especially in the movies. Just as the ‘80s ushered in the era of the modern-day sequel, so, too, did it find ways to avoid making a movie look like a sequel by avoiding numbers and instead getting creative with vocabulary. By using the noun “return,” a film that would normally feel like a tired continuation of a franchise now sounds like it’s instead making a plucky comeback.


Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)Return of the Killer Tomatoes
Starring Anthony Starke, George Clooney, Karen Mistal, and John Astin
Directed by John De Bello

Taking place 25 years after the first film (1978’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes – you know, the one where tomatoes became attacking killers), the world now lives a tomato-free existence, with the ripe red fruit having been legally banned. But trouble brews when mad scientist Professor Gangreen (Astin) attempts to create a race of tomato men, and things get complicated when his tomato girlfriend (Mistal) falls for a local pizza delivery boy (Starke). Some think the film is horrible while others think it’s hilarious, but I think it’s significant because it features an early appearance of dreamboat George Clooney.

The Return of the Musketeers (1989)The Return of the Musketeers
Starring Michael York, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay, C. Thomas Howell, Kim Cattrall, Geraldine Chaplin, Christopher Lee, and Richard Chamberlain
Directed by Richard Lester

Twenty years have passed since the end of 1974’s The Four Musketeers (itself a sequel to 1973’s The Three Musketeers), and since that time, like a boy band gone bad, the Musketeers have disbanded. But that doesn’t mean that evil sopped existing. The femme fatale this time is the daughter of the previous film’s villain Milady de Winter, Justine de Winter (Cattrall), who is looking to nefariously wrestle the crown away from Queen Anne (Chaplin). It’s up to D’Artagnan (York), Athos (Reed), Porthos (Finlay), and Aramis (Chamberlain) to set aside their differences … yes, Musketeers can have differences too ... and go “all for one and one for all” one more time. Howell plays the adopted son of Athos, who falls in love with Cattrall. Despite their individual successes in the ‘80s, this is the only film to feature Howell and Cattrall.

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