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Film / The Food of the Gods

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The Food of the Gods is a 1976 horror film directed by Bert I. Gordon, so it naturally involves people fighting against (badly done) giant things. The cast includes Marjoe Gortner, Pamela Franklin, Ralph Meeker, Jon Cypher, and Ida Lupino.

Loosely based on a H. G. Wells novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth,note  the film follows pro football player Morgan (Gortner), who — on a vacation trip with his friends to a remote island off British Columbia — encounters giant wasps that kill one of the friends. He later discovers that the insects got huge due to a weird substance which is bubbling from the ground, and that any offspring of creatures that eat it will grow into giants. Unfortunately, rats have eaten the stuff and their litters are also growing into unusual sizes....

In 1989 the film got an In Name Only sequel, Food of the Gods 2.

Munch on these examples:

  • American Gothic Couple: A copy of the Wood painting can be seen on Mrs. Skinner's wall.
  • And Starring: "And Ida Lupino as Mrs. Skinner"
  • Asshole Victim: Bensington, even lampshaded halfway through the film by Mrs. Skinner.
  • Behind the Black: Shown in one scene when Mr. Skinner encounters the rats in the dark.
  • Closed Circle: The island can only be reached by ferry, and has no means of lone-distance communication.
  • Death by Materialism: Jack Bensington's fate. He tries to fetch jars of the substance even when he's surrounded by the rats.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: When they are full of giant wasps and rats, it's definitely not a good idea.
  • Eaten Alive: The giant rats' victims go on screaming for an awfully long time while they're being chewed on. Mrs. Skinner's arm is chewed on by giant mealworms, although her injuries are superficial enough that she's able to bandage them herself and carry on.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Some of the Food is shown leaking into the water supply, where it is drunk by cows, whose milk is then given to schoolchildren..
  • Forced Perspective: Most of the rat effects.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The jars containing the size-altering substance are labeled as F.O.T.G.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Morgan mentions in the opening narration the time when his father warned him about this.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Part of the plot has Morgan wander through tunnels dug by the giant rats. He brings along a flashlight, but it doesn't really looks like he'd need it.
  • Huddle Power: Shown in the opening football game.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: "H.G. Wells' Food Of The Gods", although it's almost In Name Only.
  • Kill It with Fire: Morgan destroys the wasps by setting their nest on fire. The fire somehow vaporizes the whole thing without leaving anything behind.
  • Kill It with Water: A dam is blown up to drown the rats who, due to their size, are unable to swim. It is notable that the dam is next to the ocean and water level on the island rises above the sea level.
  • Molotov Cocktail: Morgan makes a whole lot of them when the rats besiege the farmhouse.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: Mrs. Skinner says that the chicks which grew into giant chickens ate all the adult chickens that'd stayed normal-sized.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Morgan kills the leader rat by bashing its brains in with the butt of his shotgun.
  • Plot Hole: Bennington supposedly gathered every container Mrs. Skinner had on hand to collect the Food in, yet Morgan has no trouble finding lots of intact jars for his Molotov cocktails even after he's smashed Bennington's.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Lorna approaches Morgan before the final battle, wanting at least one time with him incase they don't make it. Morgan turns her down, assuring her that once they've made it through, they can make love all they want.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Naturally.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Morgan brings along a shotgun to take care of the giant monsters. Each time he shoots it's a One-Hit Kill.
  • The Swarm: Of giant rats.
  • Terrifying Pet Store Rat: The superimposed rats playing the giant monsters mostly stare around as if they're looking for a treat. Dubbed in wildcat noises may help.
  • Too Dumb to Live
    • When our protagonists board up the house, they somehow forget the door.
    • When the farmers find a strange substance on the ground they don't know what it they decide to feed it to their chickens, causing them to grow giant.
  • Touch of the Monster: As seen above.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Bennington drives past Mr. Skinner's car, which is half on, half of the road, has its windshield smashed, one door torn completely off, and what appears to be its owner's bloodstained clothing littering the immediate surroundings. Admittedly, Bennington is a huge Jerkass, but Lorna, who is with him and a much more sensible, levelheaded and compassionate person, also reacts to it as though it's simply an ordinary broken down car and not clearly the site of a grisly, violent death.
  • Wicked Wasps: These "wasps" look more like mosquitos.
  • The X of Y: The film's title.