If HG Wells was alive, having his name tied to the stupid, laugh-out-loud horrible 1976 flick FOOD OF THE GODS surely would have killed him.
Schlock producer Samuel Z Arkoff (Futureworld, Empire of the Ants) was legendary for turning out 8 or 10 b-movies a year.
Loaded with bad dialogue and second tier actors, they are kind of fun if you’re looking for trashy laughs.
This time around, we have Marjoe Gortner (Earthquake) as Morgan, perhaps the skinniest pro football quarterback in history. He and some buddies head off to a remote Canadian locale for some hunting, where they find the island being taken over by giant wasps, rats and yes, even grubworms.
The first wasp attack is really funny, with $10 special effects and giant plastic wasps being held by actors to their necks.
It seems that the cause of the giant animals is a bubbling oatmeal like soup erupting slowly out of the ground next to a daffy hillbilly woman played really badly by an elderly Ida Lupino of 70’s TV fame.
Thankfully Pamela Franklin (The Legend of Hill House) is around to pushback on her boss (Ralph Meeker of “The Dirty Dozen”) and his blatant sexism and greed. This is a guy you can’t WAIT to get attacked. As he swings a shovel at the badly animated wasps, you can’t help but wonder at how bad the effects are. Did anyone really try?
Well, the answer is yes, because the giant killer rats are actually pretty well done in the attack sequences. They are full-size giant rodent mechanical puppets designed by Rick Baker of “American Werewolf in London” fame. He’s clearly more talented than everyone else working on this movie. The closeups of rats attacking are kind of freaky and cool, but unfortunately the director and producer ruin them immediately by switching to a $5 shot of regular size rats superimposed on houses and yards.
But the best (worst) of all is the first attack on Morgan, as giant six foot tall chickens peck at him for what seems like an eternity. Waves of laughter were quickly followed by thoughts of how big an omelet would be from just one of their eggs…..
This was American International’s most successful picture they released that year.
It must have also been one of the funniest movies of 1976.
My face hurt from laughing at the chickens well after the scenes with the wasps and rats showed up. Overacted, underfunded AND HILARIOUS,
it gets an F.