The Food of the Gods (film)
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|The Food of the Gods|
|Directed by||Bert I. Gordon|
|Produced by||Samuel Z. Arkoff
Bert I. Gordon
|Written by||Bert I. Gordon|
|Music by||Elliot Kaplan|
|Cinematography||Reginald H. Morris|
|Edited by||Corky Ehlers|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|Box office||$1 million|
The Food of the Gods starred Marjoe Gortner, Pamela Franklin, Ralph Meeker, Jon Cypher, John McLiam, and Ida Lupino. This film was loosely based on a portion of the H. G. Wells novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth.
Michael Medved gave it the Golden Turkey Award for "Worst Rodent Movie Of All Time".
The film reduced Wells' tale to an "Ecology Strikes Back" scenario, common in science fiction movies at the time. The "food" mysteriously bubbles up from the ground on a remote island somewhere in British Columbia. Mr. and Mrs. Skinner (John McLiam and Ida Lupino) consider it a gift from God, and feed it to their chickens, which grow larger than humans as a result. Rats, wasps, and grub worms also consume the substance, and the island becomes infested with giant vermin. One night, a swarm of giant rats kill Mr. Skinner after his car breaks down in the forest.
A professional football player named Morgan (Marjoe Gortner) is on the island for a hunting trip with his buddies when one of them is stung to death by giant wasps. After ferrying his friends back to the mainland, Morgan returns to investigate. Also thrown into the mix are Thomas and Rita (Tom Stovall and Belinda Balaski), an expecting couple; Jack Bensington (Ralph Meeker), the owner of a dog food company, who hopes to market the substance; and Bensington's assistant Lorna (Pamela Franklin), a "lady bacteriologist". After Morgan locates and dynamites the giant wasps' enormous nest, he and the others become trapped in the Skinner's farmhouse, surrounded by giant rats. Mrs. Skinner, Morgan's friend Brian (Jon Cypher), and Bensington are killed by the rats.
Morgan blows up a nearby dam, flooding the area and drowning the rats, whose size and weight renders them unable to swim. After the waters clear, the survivors pile up the bodies of the rats, spilling the jars of "F.O.T.G." and gasoline on them before burning them. However, several of Mrs. Skinner's jars of "F.O.T.G." are swept away, drifting to a mainland farm. The substance is consumed by dairy cows, and in the film's closing scene, schoolchildren are shown unwittingly drinking the tainted milk, implying that they will also experience abnormal growth.
- Marjoe Gortner as Morgan
- Pamela Franklin as Lorna
- Ralph Meeker as Jack Bensington
- Jon Cypher as Brian
- Ida Lupino as Mrs. Skinner
- John McLiam as Mr. Skinner
- Belinda Balaski as Rita
- Tom Stovall as Thomas
- Chuck Courtney as Davis
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The movie was AIP's most successful release of the year, causing them to make a series of films based on H.G. Wells novels.
In popular culture
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- In the episode "Of Rats and Men" of the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series, a horde of giant mutant rats menace a movie theater running a feature titled "Food of the Vermin – In 3D".
- Richard Nowell, Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle Continuum, 2011 p 257
- Food of the Gods Movie Review (1976) - Roger Ebert
- Scream Factory Announces Two Creature Double Feature Blu-rays
- Red-Hot Rooney Back on Top. Lee, Grant. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Dec 1976: e12.
- Review and Production Stills at stomptokyo.com