Category Archives: Science Fiction: Giant Insects

Movies about giant insects and/or spiders. They’ve got one hell of a bite.

The Food of the Gods

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1976
Stars:
Marjoe Gortnor

Pamela Franklin

Ralph Meeker
Writer:
Bert I, Gordon
Director:
Bert I. Gordon
WRC Score:
3/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 15, 2010

2016-link-box-002

H. G. Wells’ Food of the Gods, or, rather The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth, is a satirical novel detailing the invention of a substance that causes gigantism in various organisms, including, in time, Humans. It concludes with the start of a great war between the giants and the regular folk, one the giants seem destined to win.

Which isn’t even hinted at during the course of this flick.

In fact, if anything part of the book could be honestly said to be adapted here, it’s the first part, where a village finds itself forced to deal with giant wasps, chickens, and yes, rats. Of which little actually seemed to interest Wells.

And all of which interest Bert I. Gordon, King of the Superimposed Giant Monsters.

On the matter of if this was a good thing or not, I will let the reader decide for themselves. Me, I’ve never been able to finish the book. The movie, however, I love dearly, despite its problems.

And what problems are these? Well, turn the page and we’ll start the ball rolling.  A farm house in the woods has become the home of something… horrible…

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Empire of the Ants

Opening Thoughts

Date:
1977
Stars:
Joan Collins

Robert Lansing

John Davie Carson
Writer:
Jack Turley
Director:
Bert I. Gordon
WRC Score:
2/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 9, 2010

It’s easy to mistake Bert I. Gordon as a one note man, filming variations on the same story for the entirety of his career. This neither accurate or fair: Only nine of his twenty-four movies dealt with over-sized animals and/or people threatening the world. It’s just that those nine tend to loom large, as it were, over the rest of his output.

Empire of the Ants marks the last time Gordon went to this particular well, as well as the last time he–now how to put this kindly?–“adapted” a story by H. G. Wells. As the poster implies, it deals with over-sized ants. It’s also the only film that dares stand antenna to antenna to the Sci Fi classic Them!.

How does it do in comparison to either the Wells story or Them!? Well, let’s just say that Gordon should have stuck with Giant Grasshopper movies and leave it at that.

I loved this movie as a kid. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Which only proves I never had much taste in movies.

As an adult, I haven’t had much use for it. I get kind of riled up towards the end of this particular review over certain aspects of the flick, but I don’t hate the movie.

Really.

I’ll prove it to you. Turn to the next page and see for yourself.

Food of the Gods

Date:
1976
Stars:
Marjoe Gortnor

Pamela Franklin

Ralph Meeker
Writer:
Bert I, Gordon
Director:
Bert I. Gordon
WRC Score:
3/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 15, 2010

2016-link-box-002

A restful retreat for two friends turns to tragedy as one of them dies of massive poisoning. Meanwhile a remote farmhouse becomes a place of horrors as chickens grow to enormous size. But these are but the least of the threat brought on by the Food of the Gods.

This is one of the Giant Monster movies Bert I. Gordon is best known for, featuring not one, not two, but three types of giant creatures to plague the protagonists.  It stems from the first part of H. G. Well’s classic novel of the same name, but stems is all you can say about it.

In comparison to the Giant Monster Movies that came out of the Seventies, Food of the Gods isn’t that bad.  This isn’t saying very much as its competition includes such winners as The Giant Spider Invasion and Empire of the Ants.  It’s an average sort of creature feature, in other words.  No better or worse for that (1 point).  In fact, the F/X works tend to be rather good for the period.

Though sadly we’ll becoming back to that point before long.

Personally, I love Food of the Gods.  The story, which does have its problems, doesn’t bother me and it has Pamela Franklin, one of my all time favorite actresses, in it.  I have fun watching it and even as I write this I’m wishing I could see it again (2 points)

There is, though, one inescapable problem.  There’s some very obvious violence against the rats in the F/X.  While it bothers me to see, it doesn’t affect my over all enjoyment of the film.  However I can see where it might someone else’s.  Thus I’m filing Food of the Gods as NOT RECOMMENDED.

Overall Score: 3 (-) total point out of a possible 4 (-_-)p

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Empire of the Ants

Date:
1977
Stars:
Joan Collins

Robert Lansing

John Davie Carson
Writer:
Jack Turley
Director:
Bert I. Gordon
WRC Score:
2/4

(-_-)p
Note: 
First posted in
a different form
on July 9, 2010

2016-link-box-002

Empire of the Ants tells a cautionary tale about trying to run a land development scam.  Namely make sure there are no giant ants living near by.  Otherwise you and your marks might be forced into a cross-country flight.

Bert I. Gordon is famous for his Giant Monster movies.  Or maybe infamous is the better word for it.  In any case, this is (currently) the last one he made.  And most likely the worst of the bunch.

Oh, the plot moves fluidly from place to place and the characters don’t grate nearly as bad as they could.  But that doesn’t mean any of them are good.  About the best you can say is that the acting is competent and the F/X could be worse.  Some how.

Just don’t let anyone with any knowledge of ants near it.

Comparing it to most classic Giant Monster Movies, this one’s terrible. However, comparing it to other Giant Monster Movies of the Seventies, it’s a decent enough flick. What does that mean?  I dunno.  I just got done ripping into it for the Whale review and am feeling charitable?

Probably.

As I didn’t find myself hating or disliking it (1 point) I feel inclined to grant it an on the cusp mediocre (1 point). It really, really could have been worse.

That said, I’m sliding a NOT RECOMMENDED on at the end, cause I’m certain other viewers won’t feel as warmly to it as I do.

Overall Score: 2 points out of a possible 4 (-_-)p

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