MJRM2009: The Food of the Gods (1976)

Taking into account the previous weekend’s holiday and that we kind of let Michael Jackson Rat Week fall by the wayside, we’re going to extend the festivities for a whole month! That’s right, Rat Week is now officially Rat Month!

So let’s continue, shall we?

Jaws really kind of screwed things up in the ‘70s with the giant animal monster party, and the killer creatures kept getting weirder and weirder. Like Frogs, Slugs, and Night of the Lepus. But Bert I. Gordon (aka B.I.G.) was no stranger to giant creatures, having previously worked on Earth vs. The Giant Spider, Village of the Giants and The Amazing Colossal Man, all awesome movies. But Christ almighty is this a stinker.

Food of the Gods isn’t that bad really, but it’s silly, and just a little too slow to watch with drunk friends. There are however other awesome huge creatures like roosters and maggots.

And Gordon uses the best trick in the book with real rats running around tiny balsa wood sets and huge rat face puppets for the close-ups and giving them new roaring, snarling sounds when they grow. But the most talked about aspect is the blatant animal cruelty on display here. These rats are really being injured here, either by pellet guns or squibs and it appears like even actual rat drowning. It’s odd how normally one might not give a second thought to wishing a rat dead (if you live in a big city, that is) but here, it’s kind of gruesome honestly. They’re just trying to get a paycheck, show up on set chit chatting with the other extras when BAM, you be blowed in a dirty pool of water only to die before finding out what the catering will be.

Story-wise, it’s the same sort of thing you might expect from the ‘70s: eco-thriller about nature having it’s revenge on a cruel and polluting mankind. There’s even the "it’s over but wait...there could be a sequel!" ending. And there is.

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