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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Food of the Gods and Frogs (Scream Factory Blu-ray Double Feature)

In the second Scream Factory Animal Attack Horror double feature Blu-ray releases, we see more Bert I Gordon and the great Ray Milland in a strange case of the creepies crawlies coming out from the woods in a tale of animal revenge. When Food of the Gods is on the table, it's a must pick up for the discerning horror enthusiasts with a rich history surrounding it. Rat Horror from Deadly Eyes to Of Unknown Origin to Rats: Night of Terror all have a creepy, camp that plays well to make you laugh, but Food gets under your skin. A nice presentation by Scream Factory, even if the best thing about Frogs is that somewhat misleading cover.

You can order The Food of the Gods and Frogs from DiabolikDVD;

http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Cult-Favorites/Food-of-the-Gods-[sl]-Frogs-(Scream-Factory)-(Blu~Ray).html

The Food of the Gods

The Food of the Gods was a movie I enjoyed in cover art only for years. I'd go to the video store and have no clue what the movie was truly about. I never turned the damn thing over to read about it. Then came a fateful morning a couple years back where I had the chance to enjoy it in it's glory on Netflix. Giants rats in the middle of the woods and some strange substance that makes them grow beyond imagination. Yep, that's a damn good movie. That's a movie you can watch every day for a month and find something new to appreciate especially under the experienced eye of Bert I Gordon.

I have to say that this thing looks beautiful. It's the focal point of the release to be sure with Frogs taking a second seat to this masterpiece derived from the work of H.G. Wells. There's some interesting cigarette burn-like details toward the end of the movie, but nothing that impedes the viewing of the picture and is clearly something from the source material. It gives it grindhouse charm.

The Food of the Gods is part protest of capitalism's blind eye to consequence, part giant creature movie and first and foremost a look into the vengeful nature of Mother Earth. The rats will have their days (or maybe it will be the cows if the ending holds). What truly works for Food of the Gods are the oversized rat replicas. Sure Gordon is known for splitting images to create composites that show larger than life scale, but these rats attack human with beautiful Crayola red gore using physical puppets and heads. They're amazing and creepy and they'll get you running the other way.

This film has a strong finish with a great twist and an ultimate battle to survive on an isolated island that has some truly suspenseful moments. I typically would think that it would take more than one gun shot to put down a gargantuan rat, but I'll let it slide. Yes there's a sequel and that would have made a better companion for this double feature, but perhaps Scream Factory will offer it up late if this series continues. It clearly should.

Hey Freddy in Space and Frank Browning, when do we get a Food of the Gods Ben and Jerry's flavor?

From Scream Factory:

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!

Extras:

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



Frogs

Despite being a big Ray Milland fan, Frogs didn't sit well with me. Sure Milland is a genius in X TheMan with the X-ray Eyes, but in this film he's not quite the energetic protagonist he once was. Did I like Frogs? Well, I didn't find it frightening. I kept verbally rushing the animal attacks because I was so out of touch the characters. At least you can always root for mother nature. Frogs has always been described to me as a tragically bad movie; to watch it might be considered torture and it should be the victim of MST3K. 

A strong performance by an exceptionally young Sam Elliot combined with Milland's classic Hollywood charm carries the viewer through some varied animal attack scenes including a rather out of place tarantula attack sequence. It pops up so randomly, you'll think you're watching Fulci's The Beyond. I wish I could say that a majority of Frogs kept my attention, but it feels an opportunity to riff and not a movie to be entertained by even with my man with the X-Ray eyes playing the old, creepy fella. In all fairness this is from 1972 which is pretty early on in the Animal Horror uprising.

These things end in one of three ways: the animals win. the human win. the world explodes. I'm not sure which really happened here.

From Scream Factory:

"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!

Extras:

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

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