Food of the Gods

I watched another low budget 70s sci-fi / horror movie a few nights ago — 1976 “The Food of the Gods.” It was apparently based on a part of a lesser known H.G. Wells novel and the film bears little resemblance to the source material.

If you haven’t seen it, “The Food of the Gods” is the story of a football player and his buddies who go on a hunting expedition in what I think is British Columbia or Victoria, Canada. While hunting, one of them is killed by giant wasps and when his companions find his bloated body after he had been stung to death, one of the players, Morgan, vows to discover what happened and convinces his buddy to come along.

It turns out that there is a farm nearby where some sort of mysterious substance (that looks like oatmeal) has been bubbling up out of the ground (why is never explained) and the farmer and his wife have been mixing the substance, which they consider a gift from God, with the chicken feed. This has caused their chickens to grow to the size of horses (and, I assume, lay eggs the size of beer kegs). There is an (unintentionally) hilarious scene where Morgan the football player enters the barn and is attacked by a giant rooster. This is event is communicated to the audience by having Morgan look horrified as a giant rooster puppet head and giant rooster foot are flailed at him from off camera as his anorak is shredded. He kills the rooster with a pitchfork and then confronts the farmer’s wife, shouting, “What the hell is going on around here!?! I was nearly killed by those giant chickens!”

Morgan learns of “The Food of the Gods” (or “T.F.O.T.G.”) from the farmer’s wife. She reveals that rats and insects have also eaten “T.F.O.T.G.” and grown to enormous size. A greedy businessman who wants to make millions from the mysterious substance and his winsome, spunky female biologist employee show up, as well as a man and his pregnant wife who were ‘trapped like rats’ in their Winnebago (see above). My favorite scene involves cutting between the horrified looks on the actors faces and a swarm of rats crawling all over a toy Winnebago smeared with what looks like peanut butter. An intelligent, albino rat with red eyes seems to be the ringleader.

The humans retreat to the farmhouse where large rubber rat heads are thrust into the shattering windows as the women scream and the men blast away with shotguns. There are frequent cuts to scenes of rats crawling all over a model of the farmhouse while someone apparently shoots at the rats with some sort of paintball gun filled with what looks like a mixture red paint and raspberry jam.

Later in the film, Morgan uses home made pipe bombs to blow up a nearby dam, drowning the rats. There are several scenes of what look like live rats being drowned in a fish tank. Between drowning rats by fastening their tails to the bottom of a fish tank and shooting the rats with high velocity raspberry/paint pellets, ‘The Food of The Gods’ is the perfect document for PETA to show why it sucked to be an animal in Hollywood in the 70s.

The rats all drown and the survivors pile up the rat carcasses as well as the remaining “Food of the Gods,” douse it all with gasoline and torch it. We hear a voice over of Morgan saying what a terrible thing it would be if any of that “T.F.O.T.G.” were to get into the ecosystem as we see melting snow washing some Mason jars labeled “T.F.O.T.G” into a stream, which flows into a river, where cows are shown drinking the water (and licking up the oatmeal-like “Food of the Gods” from the jars) …then the cows are milked, and, ominously, the milk is served to school children… Oh, the horror.

One Comment on “Food of the Gods”

  1. limpey says:

    Oooh. Thanks for the link! Never read the original; maybe now I can make time!

    I was wondering if a “Food of the Gods” inspired adventure would entertain the D&D crowd… but it might actually not seem weird to players in the D&D universe to run into assorted giant centipedes, rats, wasps, etc.

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