Movie Name: The Food of the Gods
Studio: American International Pictures
Release Date(s): June 18, 1976
MPAA Rating: PG
A friend of Morgan (Marjoe Gortner) and Brian (Jon Cypher) is killed while out on a visit to an island in the Northwest and the search for answers leads to horror. A substance is oozing from the ground causing the animals that eat it to grow to immense size and grow violent. Now trapped with the giant animals, it has become a fight for survival.
Directed by Bert I. Gordon, The Food of the Gods adapts the H.G. Wells’ The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth from 1904. The low-budget film performed strongly at the box office but was panned by critics. It has gained a small cult following over the years.
I saw The Food of the Gods as a kid. As someone who grew up without cable, you watched whatever horror you could get, whenever you could get it, and The Food of the Gods seemed to be a late night staple. As a fan of H.G. Wells, I would look forward to The Food of the Gods when it was on (despite the lack of ties to the movie)…overall, any horror was good no matter how bad it was.
The cast isn’t the greatest. Marjoe Gortner is a pretty weak lead though Jon Cypher has had a prolific career as a character actor. Pamela Franklin plays a semi-love interest for Marjoe and Ralph Meeker plays the scuzzy capitalist (who of course meets his doom). The movie also features Ida Lupino as the harvester of the “food” and Belinda Balaski and Tom Stovall as Rita and Thomas who are expecting a child.
The best (and worst) part of The Food of the Gods is the special effects. It is the best part because it is so cheesy and laughable because they are so bad. The movie mostly involves a couple of models and lots of models with giant rats crawling over them. I think that the rabbits of Night of the Lepus potentially look better than some of the work here.
The Food of the Gods is bad, but it goes beyond bad to camp. I am a sucker for ’70s environmental horror movies and The Food of the Gods is one of the better “bad” ones. It isn’t good, I can recognize that, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. The Food of the Gods was followed by the equally (if not worse) Food of the Gods II in 1989 (which sometimes goes by the great name of Gnaw! Food of the Gods II).
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