Blu-ray Review: The Food Of The Gods / Frogs Double Feature
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The Food of the Gods
Director: Bert I. Gordon
Screenwriter: Bert I. Gordon
Cast: Marjoe Gortner, Pamela Franklin, Ralph Meeker, Jon Cypher, Ida Lupino, John McLiam, Tom Stovall, Belinda Balaski
Scream Factory
Rated PG | 88 Minutes
Release Date: May 26, 2015

Written, produced, and directed by Bert I. Gordon, The Food of the Gods was American International Pictures’ most successful release of 1976. Why? Because people love giant chickens and rats, obviously

Loosely based on H.G. Wells’ novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth, Gordon’s film concerns a mysterious substance that bubbles up from the ground on a remote island. Farmers Mr. and Mrs. Skinner (John McLiam and Ida Lupino) stumble upon the stuff and, for reasons unknown to us mere mortals, mix the goo into their chicken feed.

The baby chicks quickly grow to man-sized monsters, consuming the adult chickens and wreaking havoc on the farm. Meanwhile, rats, wasps, and grub worms also consume the substance, and the island becomes infested with giant vermin.

Enter professional football player Morgan (Marjoe Gortner), who’s visiting the island for a hunting trip with his teammates. When one of them is stung to death by a giant killer wasp, we are treated to this profound, poetic bit of dialogue: “Seven years in the major leagues and he never got carried off the field even once. And then this had to happen to him. It really makes you think.” You said it, Morgan!

After ferrying his buddies back to the mainland, Morgan returns to take revenge on the giant vermin that killed his friend. 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.”

That’s right mammoth mammals and giant insects, there’s a new sheriff in town, and she’s a lady bacteriologist, goddammit! As you might imagine, the rest of The Food of the Gods centers around the humans coming up with ways to destroy the colossal creatures and dispose of the mysterious substance before nature overtakes them.

Is The Food of the Gods a good movie? No. Is it fun to watch? Absolutely. Who doesn’t enjoy watching harmless mice crawl all over a miniature farmhouse? And who doesn’t love a good ol’ cockfight between a giant animatronic rooster and pitchfork-wielding farmer? It’s not every day you see a man eaten alive by giant rats, after all – unless you live in Manhattan, that is.

Bonus Features

* New Audio Commentary With Director Bert I. Gordon
* New Interview With Actress Belinda Balaski
* Radio Spot
* Photo Gallery
* Theatrical Trailer

Director: George McCowan
Screenwriter: Robert Blees, Robert Hutchison
Cast: Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Lynn Borden, Judy Pace, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam
Scream Factory
Rated PG | 91 Minutes
Release Date: May 26, 2015

Directed by George McCowan, Frogs has the greatest tagline of all time: “TODAY the pond! TOMORROW the world!” I mean seriously, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Starring Ray Milland, and Sam Elliot, Frogs tells the story of Southern family under attack by frogs, snakes, birds, lizards, and the occasional butterfly. It all starts when wildlife photographer Pickett Smith (Elliott) investigates the pollution of a Florida swamp. While snapping pictures of the local flora and fauna, he happens upon the estate of the affluent Crockett family.

Clint (Adam Roarke) and Karen (Joan Van Ark) Crockett escort Smith to the family mansion, where he meets wheelchair-bound patriarch Jason Crockett (Milland). Jason has big plans for the 4th of July, and he doesn’t want the festivities interrupted by the island’s fauna. He hires some dude named Grover to spray the place down with pesticides to get rid of the amphibians and reptiles around the plantation.

Well, you can see where this is going – mother nature is going to strike back with a vengeance! The film’s title is misleading, however, because the frogs don’t really do much other than hop around and croak. Snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles rack up the most kills, with leeches and butterflies picking up an assist here and there.

The film’s climax sees thousands of frogs breaking into the mansion and confronting Jason. The old man collapses out of his wheelchair from a heart attack as the frogs croak louder and louder and hop over his corpse. Fin.

Scream Factory’s The Food of the Gods / Frogs Double Feature is a great time if you love bad movies. These films have never looked better, which is to say that they look way too good considering the cheesy effects, bad dialogue and questionable direction involved. That being said, I can’t recommend this set enough! The Food of the Gods / Frogs is now available on Blu-ray at Amazon.

Bonus Features

* New Interview With Actress Joan Van Ark
* Radio Spot
* Photo Gallery
* Theatrical Trailer


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