The Food of the Gods – 1976
Bert I. Gordon
H.G. Wells – based on a portion of the novel
Bert I. Gordon – screenplay
Review by Wayne Malin
Kind of sad…and dull,
Some white stuff from the ground turns animals giant-size on a remote island. Soon a bunch of people are battling giant wasps, chickens, earthworms and rats to get off the island.
It sounds interesting but this is actually a pretty pathetic adaptation of (according to the credits) “a portion of Food of the Gods by H.G. Wells”. The sound you hear now is Wells spinning in his grave.
The dialogue is just DREADFUL (some of the lines were so bad I couldn’t believe I was hearing them) and the script is just silly. As for the acting–Marjoe Gortner was bad but Belinda Balaski and Pamela Franklin (looking fantastic in her last film to date) were very good despite their lines. The bit where Franklin tells Gortner she wants to make love to him (when they’re holed up in a house surrounded by giant rats) had me helpless with laughter! It’s also really sad to see two fine actors–Ida Lupino and Ralph Meeker–reduced to crap like this. Their performances are very bad too–Meeker the worst of the two.
The special effects are mostly horrendous–the giant chicken will have you howling and the wasps are (very) obviously superimposed. However the sequence with the giant earthworms was VERY bloody and admittedly a high point. And some of the rat effects weren’t bad. Also there are a number of extremely bloody attacks by the rats–I’m really surprised this got by with a PG. The attacks are the only reason I’m giving this a 2.
And when the attacks aren’t on the movie is dull dull dull! Scattered unintentionally hilarious dialogue does not compensate. Worth watching for the attacks–otherwise a boring, silly and sad film.