The Food of the Gods / Frogs (Double Feature Blu-ray / Movie Review)
Someday the animals are going to raise arms (paws? claws?) and strike against humans. In the meantime, however, we can just sit back and see how it will all unfold with Scream Factory’s Double Feature release of The Food of the Gods and Frogs. Released in the ’70s, these movies are most certainly not the best around, but some fun can be had in how bad they are, especially with the ridiculous use of a giant rooster in The Food of the Gods. Read on for the breakdown of each movie and the disc…
DISCS: 1 RUN-TIME: 88 / 91 min ASPECT RATIO: Various RESOLUTION: 1080p AUDIO: LPCM 2.0
SUBTITLES: English REGION: A RATING: PG PRODUCTION DATE: 1976 / 1972 RELEASE DATE: May 26th, 2015
Nature strikes back!
THE FOOD OF THE GODS Legendary director Bert I. Gordon (The Amazing Colossal Man, Attack of the Puppet People) – the father of the “gigantic creature” genre – delivers this spine-tingling tale of ecology gone berserk. Based on H.G. Wells’ classic horror novel, The Food Of The Gods predicts a terrifying future where oversized animals are suddenly at the top of the food chain and ready to take over!
On a remote island, a mysterious substance is oozing from the ground. A farmer sees that it acts as a growth hormone and thinks his fortune is made. But when rats, chickens, worms and wasps begin sampling the potent substance, they morph into bloodthirsty giants! Now, it’s up to the island’s few residents and visitors to destroy “the food of the gods”… before the animals take over for good!
FROGS “A shocker reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds” (Variety), Frogs is an amphibious horror flick teeming with thousands of nasty-tempered creatures that are hopping mad – and murderous.
Jason Crockett (Ray Milland, X: The Man With The X-ray Eyes) is an aging, physically disabled millionaire who invites his family to his island estate for his birthday party. The old man is more than crotchety… he’s crazy! Hating nature, Crockett poisons anything that crawls on his property. But on the night of his shindig, it’s nature’s payback time, as thousands of frogs whip up every bug and slimy thing into a toxic frenzy until the entire environment goes environ-mental. Sam Elliott (The Legacy, Road House) and Joan Van Ark (The Last Dinosaur) also star. New High-Defintion Transfer!
As I usually do for these Double Features from Scream Factory, I’ll break down each movie into their own little mini review. First up we have The Food of the Gods.
You know you’re going to watch a bad movie when one of the first things that pop up in the credits is the text “Based on a portion of the book by H.G. Wells.” They had no problem slapping his name all over the movie, but couldn’t be assed to use his entire book and instead take bits and pieces and serves up a pretty slow burn, one that hurts.
I went into The Food of the Gods with low expectations, yet I still came out not liking it very much. It’s rather slow in the plot department and the story doesn’t go anywhere with it’s tale of giant animals gone mad. The mysterious goop that springs from the land is never explained and I couldn’t wrap my head around how the animals became so large. One of the characters says it was the babies of the affected animal parents who became large, which means the main creatures in this flick, the rats, would’ve had to reproduce awfully fast for them to be so many. Hmm, maybe I’m over thinking this flick a little. Either way, this is never really explained properly.
One thing I really want to point out that makes me not like this movie is the use of rats being killed on screen. You see these poor defenseless animals being shot, drowned and electrocuted and it’s just heartbreaking to see. I guess the director Bert I. Gordon believes in the mantra “anything for a good shot.” Besides that disgusting act against animals, I do want to applaud the props department for some wonderful shots of real rats climbing over small models. It was pretty cool looking and I’ll be honest, it worked wonderfully. As for everything else? Meh.
Next on the disc, we have in my opinion, the better of the two flicks, Frogs, starring a moustacheless Sam Elliot and the gorgeous beyond all words Joan Van Ark. Of course, when I say better, I don’t mean that much better, but only mildly better. It’s still a slow movie, with a plot that is underdeveloped, to say the least. Sam Elliot is a photojournalist investigating pollution and happens upon a rich family celebrating some birthday parties on an island. As the days unfold, more and more animals show up and people start dying. If you’re expecting a bunch of giant sized frogs doing the killing, prepare to be very disappointed.
Not one person is killed by a frog and is instead dispatched by birds, snakes, spiders, crocs and a freaking turtle. The frogs kind of just hop around and I don’t know, order the other animals around? Either way, the frogs don’t do jack shit in this movie. On the other hand, the snakes and spiders are used effectively and will make your skin crawl. One scene in particular involved snakes and leeches and was in my opinion, a brutal way to die. Besides some people getting dispatched by animals of all sorts, we really don’t know why this is happening and the ending suggest it’s on a global scale, but we never really do find anything out. Hey, at least we get to see the smooth as ice Sam Elliot and the hot as fire Joan Van Ark for a majority of the runtime.
Scream Factory has certainly gone above and beyond with this release. The films are a little rough around the edges, with noticeable scratches and dirt present, but overall they are looking pretty damn nice. No DNR has been used, so you don’t need to worry about any sort of waxy look. The movies also sound clear, with LPCM 2.0 audio. To be cut and dry, there isn’t anything overly wrong with the presentation side of this disc.
The features are also not bad, but a little a the light side, with a new commentary by director Bert I. Gordon for The Food of the Gods, an interview with Belinda Balaski, some trailers, both for the movie and other Scream Factory releases, a radio spot and finally, a long as hell photo gallery. Frogs also has an interview with Joan Van Ark, who looks like she may have had some work done, a trailer, radio spot and a not so long gallery. The interviews aren’t long, or very much informative, but they are fun. Overall, this is a disc worth picking up for fans of the films.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
THE FOOD OF THE GODS
New Audio Commentary With Director Bert I. Gordon
New Interview With Actress Belinda Balaski
New Interview With Actress Joan Van Ark
The Food of the Gods and Frogs are not the greatest, but that doesn’t mean the disc isn’t. Fans of the films are going to love this release from Scream Factory. All the animal chaos is clear as can be and the features, albeit on the small side, are a welcome addition. Recommended for the fans, but others may want to hold out, or watch the movies first.
Rating is for the fans. Other people can wait it out.