THE FOOD OF THE GODS was very loosely based on part of H.G. Wells’ novel of the same name. It was directed by Bert I Gordon, “Mr B.I.G.” himself. Gordon’s Village of the Giants, about a gang of giant-sized teenagers, was likewise loosely based on an often-forgotten section of that novel.
This movie starred Marjoe Gortner, the child evangelist turned B-movie legend, as football star Morgan (no fuller name given), who travels to a remote Canadian island for a vacation. Unfortunately, thanks to a very embarrassed- looking Ida Lupino, her farm animals plus other wild life have begun eating “the Food of the Gods”, a white substance from deep in the Earth. That food has caused various forms of animal and insect life to grow to enormous size, setting up the usual rampage scenes from Bert I Gordon films.
Ralph Meeker, Jon Cypher and Pamela Franklin are also along for the ride, with everyone from the Medved Brothers on down making fun of Franklin’s line “Jobs for female bacteriologists aren’t easy to find.”
As always in films by Mr B.I.G. the real fun comes from the laughably awkward and cheap special effects used for the “gigantic” creatures. This film gives us attacks by enormous chickens, roosters, wasps and, of course, rats.
And it’s pretty clear rats WERE harmed during the making of this film. For scenes where Marjoe Gortner and company are supposedly shooting the attacking beasts with shotguns it looks like real rats were shot with B.B. guns to get the flesh-rending effects.
And at the end a flood wipes out the giant rats (despite the fact that rats can swim), who have besieged our surviving cast members in Ida Lupino’s farmhouse, Night of the Living Dead style. Lots of live rats seem to have been drowned to provide the corpses in the aftermath shots.
I know that since rats can be exterminated as vermin it often puts them in a dubious position when it comes to protection in films (there are even “rat snuff” porno movies) but The Food of the Gods goes beyond even Paul Naschy’s Hunchback of the Rue Morgue in abusing them.
At any rate after the epilogue with Marjoe and friends there’s a pointless teaser for a sequel which features a toddler drinking milk that has accidentally been mixed with some Food of the Gods.
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