Morgan (Marjoe Gortner) is a professional football player. He and a couple friends are taking a little R and R on an island in British Columbia. While out hunting Morgan’s friend, Davis (Chuck Courtney) is attacked and killed by giant wasps. Morgan goes for help and ends up at the farm of Mr. and Mrs. Skinner (John McLiam and Ida Lupino). Morgan hears a noise in the barn. When he opens the door, he is attacked by a giant rooster. He manages to kill the rooster.
Mr. and Mrs. Skinner have been feeding their chickens what they refer to as “food”. The food is a substance that they found on their property bubbling up from underground. It doesn’t affect the adult animals, but the baby chicks grow to tremendous size. Mr. Skinner went to the mainland to try to sell the food to an industrialist. He makes a deal with Bensington (Ralph Meeker), a self-centered mogul who wants to market the food. Unfortunately, rats have also gotten into the food and are now the size of horses. On the way back from the mainland, Mr. Skinner gets a flat tire and is eaten by the giant rats.
The next day Bensington and his assistant, Lorna (Pamela Franklin) go out to the farm to close the deal. Also heading back to the island are Morgan and his friend, Brian (Jon Cypher). Morgan wants to find out what exactly happened to Davis. On the way back to the Skinner house they run into Thomas (Tom Stovall) and Rita (Belinda Balaski). Rita is pregnant and the couple’s RV got stuck in the mud when they were attacked by giant rats in the middle of the night. Morgan tells the couple he will return and take them back to the mainland after he talks to Mrs. Skinner.
After Morgan and Brian leave, the RV is again attacked by the giant rats. Thomas and Rita run through the woods and make it to the Skinner farmhouse. The rats, being led by a giant white rat, work together to try to get to the small band of people trapped in the Skinner house.
“The Food of the Gods” AKA “H.G. Wells' The Food of the Gods” was released in 1976 and was written, directed and produced by Bert I Gordon. It is a low budget science fiction thriller film. The movie is loosely based on the 1904 H.G. Wells story “The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth”. A sort of sequel called “Food of the Gods II” was released in 1989.
This is Gordon’s second bite of the apple with this eco-horror film. His first attempt was with “Village of the Giants” 1965. Gordon AKA Mr. B.I.G. did many films that used forced perspective to make people, animals and objects look larger than they really are. Gordon died in 2023 at the age of 100. Apparently, Gordon has the distinction of having the most movies that were lampooned by MST3K.
Gordon used giant fake worms, chickens, wasps and rats as well as miniatures, back screen shots and forced perspective to make the creatures seem giants. Six mechanical rat heads and four guys-in-rat-suits were also used. The film is short on story and short on character development but long on giant slo-mo rats. The movie should be taken as it is, a campy “B” movie that is more suited to the giant monster movies prevalent in the 50’s.
The movie won a Golden Turkey Award for “Worst Rodent Movie Of All Time”. It was also nominated for the Best Horror Film by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films in the 1976 Saturn Awards.