The Food of the Gods (1976)



I wonder if the poster above is for the British release because I don’t know any movie that has a giant rooster as the bad guy that would get an X rating… ohh boy, don’t go there!  The British X rating wasn’t like the U.S. X rating; it was just a catch-all meaning “not appropriate for children.”  But then again the movie was made in 1976 not 1956 so I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Anyhoo, The Food of the Gods is an “eco-terror” horror movie but really it’s just a 1950s giant animal movie which happens to have been made in 1976 so there were no restrictions on violence and that’s why it earned the daring PG rating in the U.S.  That’s right!  This movie is rated P fucking G!  That means if you’re a parent, you may want to use caution when taking your kids to see this!

There isn’t much to say about this movie except that it’s entertaining and features Ralph Meeker and Ida Lupino, two very talented people who mostly played in the b pictures of yesteryear.  Meeker’s big role was in Paths of Glory but I prefer to remember him as MIKE FUCKING HAMMER in Kiss Me Deadly!!!  Ida Lupino was in some film noirs or something but more importantly she directed the classic, creepy thriller The Hitch-Hiker.

Uh yeah, there’s some plot about animals eating some weird chemical that causes them to grow really big; you’ll see giant roosters, giant larvae, giant wasps and, of course, giant rats.  One little white one is so adorable that I couldn’t find it scary no matter how big it seemed in comparison with the miniature it was attacking.

I love these kinds of movies so don’t expect some kind of real analysis here.  I like watching the director, in this case Bert I. Gordon, attempt to build a serious case around animals attacking miniature models in the master shot and then puppets eating the characters during the closeups.

Meeker plays a jerk scientist who only cares about money.  Lupino plays someone who lives in a cabin in the woods.  There is a football player, an assistant to the scientist, a couple with a pregnant woman and another guy who dies pretty early on from wasp stings.  The ending is a hoot but I really, sincerely hope no animals were hurt during the movie’s final scene.  I can’t give that way but, from what I read, the climax scene is real and though it works for the movie, pretty much qualifies as animal cruelty.  So I can’t back that but, at the same time, I like Cannibal Holocaust so I guess I’m a hypocrite.

Apparently, The Food of the Gods got a Golden Turkey award but I’m at a loss as to why as it’s no worse than any other “eco terror” film of the era and it’s certainly better than a lot of schlocky drive-in horror films.  I guess I should have mentioned that it’s based on a work by H.G. Wells so people know I ain’t no ignint dumbass who cusses a lot in film reviews.

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