The Food of the Gods (film)

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The Food of the Gods
Food of the gods.jpg
Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff
Bert I. Gordon
Written by Bert I. Gordon
Starring Marjoe Gortner
Pamela Franklin
Ralph Meeker
Jon Cypher
John McLiam
Ida Lupino
Music by Elliot Kaplan
Cinematography Reginald H. Morris
Edited by Corky Ehlers
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release dates
  • June 18, 1976 (1976-06-18) (U.S.)
  • January 22, 1977 (1977-01-22) (Japan)
  • March 15, 1977 (1977-03-15) (Philippines)
  • July 15, 1977 (1977-07-15) (Finland)
Running time
88 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1 million[1]

The Food of the Gods is a 1976 science fiction thriller film released by American International Pictures and was written, produced, and directed by Bert I. Gordon.

The Food of the Gods starred Marjoe Gortner of Earthquake, 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.

In spite of the film's success, Michael Medved gave it the Golden Turkey Award for "Worst Rodent Movie Of All Time".

Plot[edit]

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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Bert I. Gordon had earlier written, produced, and directed (for Embassy Pictures) Village of the Giants (1965), which was also very loosely based on the book.[2] This movie is the first film in A.I.P.'s H.G. Wells film cycle, which includes The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Empire of the Ants.[3]

Release[edit]

The film premiered on 18 June 1976 in the United States.[4] Scream Factory released the film on May 26, 2015 first time on Blu-ray Disc, as double feature with Frogs.[5]

Reception[edit]

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.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

Sequel[edit]

In 1989 a film entitled Food of the Gods II (if only in name) was released.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Nowell, Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle Continuum, 2011 p 257
  2. ^ Review and Production Stills at finalgirl.blogspot.com
  3. ^ Horror Movie A Day: The Food Of The Gods (1976)
  4. ^ Food of the Gods Movie Review (1976) - Roger Ebert
  5. ^ Scream Factory Announces Two Creature Double Feature Blu-rays
  6. ^ Red-Hot Rooney Back on Top. Lee, Grant. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Dec 1976: e12.
  7. ^ Review and Production Stills at stomptokyo.com

External links[edit]