Review – The Food Of The Gods (1976)
Back to the 1970s we go, for a review of the 1976 movie The Food Of The Gods. I watched this for the first time last night, and i have to admit i really enjoyed it. I also have to admit to being slightly shocked at something i read, about the making of this classic piece of 70s hokum, but we’ll come back to that later.
The movie is loosely based on an H.G. Wells novel, which i read many years ago. I can’t remember much about the book, so i’m not too sure how faithful it is to the original novel, but i’m guessing it’s roughly the same, just bought forward to the present day.
The story goes something like this. A professional American football player, decides to take a break before a big game, and takes off to a small island, for some rest, recreation and that all American pastime, hunting.
Within hours of arriving, one of the group is stung to death by giant wasps. Our hero goes off to find help, and finds a small cottage, in the middle of the woods, owned and run by an old, God fearing woman, played by Ida Lupino. Little does he know she has discovered a mysterious spring on her land, which spews out what looks like porridge or oatmeal, and have been feeding it to her animals for quite some time, without having a clue what it is, or realising it makes anything that eats I,t grow to huge proportions.
Getting no reply at the door he wanders into the barn and comes face to face with giant chickens, in what is an unintentionally hysterical scene.
From here on in it’s basic science fiction/horror fare. An island crawling with giant wasps, worms and most alarmingly rats. The movie turns into a kind of siege situation with everyone, including the lovely Pamela Franklin, trapped in the cottage and surrounded by huge rats the size of ponies. Throw into the mix a businessman whose only concern is making money out of the mysterious substance, which the couple call The Food Of The Gods, and you have an explosive mix of characters for the rats to pick off one by one.
The movie itself isn’t bad at all, and in my humble opinion isn’t deserving of the awful panning it got when it was first released. The critics at the time were not kind to this film, one of them calling it” A stunningly ridiculous mixture of science fiction and horror film cliches”
The acting isn’t brilliant, but passable, and the special effects are at times a little ropey to say the least, but this is 1976 folks, and this is what alot of sci fi/horror movies looked like. Despite all this i loved it. The only problem i had, was finding out that many of the rats were drowned during the making of the movie. You wouldn’t get away with anything like that nowadays, and quite rightly so.
To sum up this is an enjoyable way to pass 90 minutes. Leave your brain at the door and just enjoy this brilliant slice of 70s fun.