Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Food of the Gods

Once again, a brilliant H.G. Wells novel (The Invisible Man, War of the Worlds, The Time Machine) has been turned into a really cheap-ass film. Some of the film adaptations like "War of the Worlds" did indeed come out well, even if it did vary greatly from the novel. I can safely say that "The Food of the Gods" was an excellent novel, that was turned into a really laughable movie. It's funny for all the wrong reasons. I believe that the special effects department meant well, but just really made the movie ridiculous. We'll discuss them as they occur. Too begin, this film was made at a time when science fiction was making a comeback. Giant "this and thats " of some form or another, mostly created by modern means and mistakes like bombs, radiation, pollution, nuclear waste, etc. The giant villains this time are mostly rats. Anyway, the story: A famous football player needs a little vacation before an important game. He takes along a few friends, his coach and some teammates to an island getaway. A narrative theme begins with a man talking about how nature will someday rebel for all the shitty things we do to it, unfortunately the victims are innocent people who only suffer the wrath of the actual polluters. They arrive on an island only to be met with giant wasps. The crappy special effects begin here... the wasps are transparent, you can see right through them. There's one close-up of the attack which shows a most obvious big plastic bug. One fatality, one down... more to come. The group comes across a chicken coop that looks like it's been partially torn apart. He peeks inside only to be met with a giant chicken (well, a big plastic chicken head that someone is thrusting toward the actor). This scene is sidesplittingly funny. The plastic head doesn't move it's mouth or blink or anything, pretty pathetic. The owner of the chicken coop is located in the nearby farmhouse. It's an old lady that explains how some weird chemical started bubbling up in her backyard. She feeds it to the chickens (Yeah, that would've been my first choice too). The chickens grow and grandma thinks she's got the solution to hunger. The problem is, other creatures are grubbing on this chemical that granny has now spread all over the damn place, resulting in large bugs, large worms, and mostly large rats. The pests reign supreme and kill most of what's left of a forgettable cast. The big plastic rat heads are as funny as the big plastic chicken heads, so obviously fake and totally laughable. The special effect used for when a giant rat is shot with a shotgun is this, the rats are being shot with a paint ball gun. Problem is, those things shoot hard, not much for people, but these poor rats were looking mighty stunned and rendered unconscious upon impact. One of the last people left, theorizes that even though rats are really good swimmers, the fact that they have been enlarged, the same rules of gravity do not apply and if the rats are submerged in water they will sink and drown. This is absolutely not true by the way. Remember hippos, anyone? Four tons of flesh that floats along the water like a swimming pool floatie. Anyway, these two guys plant pipe bombs on a nearby damn (on an island?). The damn blows, the rats drown. You would think/hope that it would end here, but it doesn't. A creepy aftermath is hinted at. Some of the growth chemical makes it into a nearby stream and out into fresh water areas where cows drink from. You then see a cow on a milk machine, then school children enjoying their afternoon milk and cookies. I guess it's hinting that we can soon expect large ravenous children, not to mention larger than life cows (now maybe a good steak won't cost so damn much) and whatever other life that the chemical came in contact with while in the water. I see a sequel with giant crawfish! Aaaaaagh!

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