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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Food Of The Gods


        I had always wanted to see "The Food Of The Gods", and finally, I got my wish.  O...m...g...  This trashy adaption of H.G.Wells' classic story is just something that has to be seen to be believed.  Simple as that. It's just so wild and bizarre- and somehow manages to be hilarious, disturbing, ridiculous, and somewhat creepy all at the same time.  The plot goes something like this.  Basically some farmers, one being Ida Lupino, discover some weird goop mysteriously bubbling up from the ground on their land.  Thinking it a gift from God, they start feeding it to their chickens.

      Which soon results in a barn full of giant chickens.  It's absurd for sure, yet kinda scary at the same time.  Giant birds are spooky anyway, but a giant chicken? Yikes.

      To make matters worse for them but awesome for us viewers,  rats, wasps, and other vermin have managed to get into this "food of the gods"- resulting in, guess what?  You got it.  An island crawling with giant critters.  One of the many man vs. animal movies of the 70's, this one is a sight to behold, that's for sure.  This is total drive-in schlock.  Completely batshit and over the top.

     Now as sublimely cheesy as this movie is, it does get really disturbing once the giant rats come into the picture.  As the movie goes on and the humans become more and more desperate for survival, the rats seem to take center stage- which results in lots of rats getting blown away.  Many people were disgusted and shocked by the violent scenes of the rats being shot and destroyed.  And it is disgusting and shocking.  Some claim that it's all done with paintballs and special effects, but it quite obvious that you're seeing many rats visibly killed in some of the film's most infamous scenes.  A source of controversy for years, it's somewhat surprising that as late as 1976 acts of cinematic cruelty to animals would be allowed to be shown on film, especially in mass quantities like in "The Food Of The Gods".

     Bottom line- "The Food Of The Gods" is one of those movies that starts off so bad, you just have to keep on watching to see what happens next.  There are many sublimely ridiculous moments- I myself will never forget the sight of Ida Lupino desperately beating the giant plastic worm supposedly chewing on her arm.  The special effects are pretty laughable, but somehow all this works, to a certain degree.  I'm not saying I love this movie, or even like it.  But I own the movie, so I must like it somewhat... Okay, I do like it, okay?  Fine.  I like it!  This is most definitely a movie I would love to see on MST3K.  It would be a hoot, for sure.  Overall, as cheesy and laughable as the movie gets at times, it still manages to be entertaining.  The film has achieved a cult status of sorts, and it's certainly not the worst horror movie out there- although it does almost reach Ed Wood level at times.  Which of course is why it's so watchable and why I recommend Bert I. Gordon's classic nature's-revenge opus from 1976. You just gotta love the 70's, man.

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