The Food of the Gods (1976)

food of the gods poster 1976 movie
2.0 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 1/10

So Bad It Is Good

Cheesy, horrible looking, bad story and special effects

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Food of the Gods

Studio:  American International Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  June 18, 1976

MPAA Rating:  PG

food of the gods ida lupino maggots

Well…this teaches me not to feed random crap coming up out of the ground to animals

A friend of Morgan (Marjoe Gortner) and Brian (Jon Cypher) is killed while out on a visit to an island in the Pacific 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 become 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.

food of the gods giant rat attack

Crap…my insurance deductible doesn’t cover “giant rats”

The story is a pretty typical animal attacks story.  Stranded in the wilderness, the characters are overrun by various monstrous size critters.  The movie drops the idea of giant people which as a big parts of the Wells’ story, but rats, chickens, and wasps were included.  The horror if the film is more laughable and not very inspiring.

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.

food of the gods giant rats electric fence

Electrocuting giant rats is fun for everyone!

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 film is bad, but it goes beyond bad to camp.  I am a sucker for ’70s environmental horror movies and the movie 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).

Related Links:

Food of the Gods II (1989)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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