Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mmmmm...Ambrosia Salad? Oh. A DIFFERENT Food of the Gods

Going into Food of the Gods, I had no intention of doing a review. I turned it on, hit up the Internet, and had planned to spend the next hour or so occasionally glancing up at the screen for ‘70s wackiness while paying bills and answering old emails.
But then a rubber chicken the size of Chewbacca attacked our permed quarterback of a hero and I realized there was no way I could not write about this film.

It must be said: Food of the Gods makes Frogs look like a masterpiece.
Quick Plot: Eager to take a break in the comfort and innocence of nature, football star Morgan grabs a few buds and heads off to a sparsely populated island. Before you could say touchdown, one member of the posse is mauled to death by oversized wasps. It’s a tragedy. It’s bizarre. But the levelheaded Morgan decides alerting the authorities is a dreadful idea because they’ll never believe him.

Also, because he’s an idiot.
Elsewhere on the island are the recently widowed Ida Lupino (hamming it up in a film just a hair better than The Devil’s Rain), an evil scientist and his assistant (And Soon the Darkness’ Pamela Franklin), and a very pregnant couple who are boring and very pregnant. 
Oh, and herds of Rodents of Unusual Sizes that would be adorable if they weren’t trying to rip you apart with their fuzzy little mouths.

The terrible evil scientist, you see, has been developing some form of toxin that makes living things grow to immense proportions. Much like Lisa Simpson in that science fair subplot, he rationalizes his Frankensteinian crime with the idea that such food could be fed to all the poor orphans of the world. 
Don’t worry: he gets eaten by the cuddly rat puppets too.

You don’t need to know much else about this movie, made by that incorrigible, oft-MST3K’d Bert I Gordon (Earth Vs. the Spider, Village of the GIants, childhood favorite Empire of the Ants, etc). Too many characters survive. The mean ones die painful and hilarious deaths. The dumbest narrator in the history of film (yes, I’m including Diary of the Dead’s Deborah) slurs his way through a framing setup. Not a single creature looks anywhere near either a) real or b) large. If these descriptions don’t make you grin, this is not the movie for you.

High Points
Sorry, but I can’t not love a movie that has its female protagonist sweetly proposition the male hero with sex right as he’s about to set fire to a bunch of bear-sized rats
Low Points
For what it is, this is a perfect(ly bad) movie that will make anyone expecting an animals attack tale exceedingly happy. HOWEVER, a bone to pick with the ending: I’m not one to ever quarrel with a film that ends on what is supposed to be an ominous shot of a cow mooing into the future, but I don’t think the twist makes any of the sense Gordon was intending. See, ingesting the Food of the Gods makes you giant. Soooooo what’s the problem with drinking it in milk form, especially if all other creatures are already getting a head start? Shouldn’t you WANT to grow to insanely large sizes in order to better defend yourself?

Lessons Learned
Jobs for female bacteriologists are just not that easy to find
A plus side about shooting giant toxic bees: instead of exploding into gutty messes, their innards just melt and evaporate upwards
if you live on a farm, you’ll know everything there is to know about birthing babies (unless, I suppose, you’re black)
Currently streaming on Instant Watch, Food of the Gods is a riot and joy for those who enjoy awful ‘70s cinema. Great for kids or easily amused adults, it offers no intelligence, no scares, and no good taste. In other words, it’s some kind of wonderful.


  1. I love this movie. I also love FROGS. I deem them both to be masterpieces on different levels. The giant animals invading the human sphere movie done with perfect seventies panache. I wonder if this one was ever a MST episode. It would have been perfect.

  2. The covered quite a few Bert I. Gordon films, but I don't think Food of the Gods ever made it. Suuuuuuuch a shame, it has MST written all over it!

    Frogs is definitely in its own plane of existence. So dreadful in such a fantastic way. I also heartily recommend Empire of the Ants. I think it's now on instant watch, and wow...ants!

  3. I love Food of the Gods! I actually saw it in the theaters as a kid and it might as well have been The Exorcist for how much it traumatized me. It's so schlocky and awful but to my young eyes, it was full-on horror - especially the scene with the oversized maggots crawling on the old lady's arm! And Empire of the Ants made for an equally unnerving trip to the theater back in the day. Good times!

  4. Hey, I've admitted in the past that those gigantic ants in Empire freaked me out as a kid. I *suppose* I can understand those adorable maggots being scary, though I found them slightly cute. Different strokes!

  5. I love The Food of the Gods quite a bit myself, and even if they are pretty dated, the effects are, to me at least, pretty decent considering the time period and budget.

    That fucking chicken scene is so great, though! I wonder if the Chicken Lady from The Kids in the Hall watches this film as her own form of porn? She likes seeing a little inter-species pecking from time to time!

    Great review as always, and it is a bad movie in many ways, but I couldn't imagine it being any other way.

  6. I always like to think there is indeed a porn (even if it's found porn) for every fetish, and I imagine Bert I. Gordon has succeeded at making many oddballs happy. Go them!

  7. Yeah, I used to like this movie as a kid (one of the local channels in my area used to show this a lot, mostly on Saturday afternoons) but I haven't seen it since then. Not sure why I liked it so much, but then again I do enjoy Frogs and Squirm, so there you go. I remember the same station that aired FOTG showed a lot of "when-animals/insects-attack" type of films along with a lot of Elvis movies, which is pretty weird. But it does explain my fondness for Blue Hawaii :)

  8. Funny, my 5 year old nephew has become a HUGE fan of Eight Legged Freaks, a movie I enjoyed as a sort of modern 'oversized animals attack!' take. I guess today, we can find a lot of those same types on the SyFy Channel, which have about the same level of goofiness as these ones. Still, there's something truly endearing about the late '70s/early '80s creature features.

    And of course, Elvis.