Friday, March 7, 2014
MOVIES I STAYED UP LATE FOR: The Food of the Gods
My current foray into "Movies I Stayed Up Late For" is the 1976 drive-in late night TV staple, "The Food of the Gods".
It's an absolute Godawful piece of claptrap that did nothing upon it's cinematic release but induce projectile vomiting and groans of disdain. It starred former child-evangelist (you read that right) Marjoe Gortner. There was even a wide-release documentary made on that topic entitled "Marjoe!" At one point, je was being ballyhooed by some in the cinematic press in the early 70's as "the embodiment of cinematic masculinity" (!) but never amounted to much more than a B-movie semi-icon.
This cinematic achievement was a quaint little story about chemical corruption. It seems there's these jars labelled "FOTG" sitting on the shelves of some elderly farmer's barns. (elderly farmers barns in 70's movies, always seem to have great things hiding inside them) Some animals and insects start to eat some of the mystery juice that was accidentally spilled causing them to grow awful damn huge, develop nasty dispositions and wreak general havoc all over the rural area. (You know, eating people and stuff).
The movie was forgettable (and regrettable) beyond this great cliffhanger ending: The final shots show some of the dumped compound running off into a river. Through snappy editing, the river flows downstream (where else does a river flow, Rob?) and (gasp) some cows drink from the river. The next shots are composed in a dairy, then show a child (hold on to your butts!) drinking from a milk carton in her school lunch. Oh My God! Wait a tic, what's gonna happen? Is she gonna be a pro wrestler or an NBA player or what?
Not to mention they forgot to take the hyper-complex scientific theory of dilution into consideration. How effective would the substance be when broken down into parts per million, and several miles of riverflow? Not well thought out, boys, but yet again, how well thought out was the concept of this movie?
Wait a minute, I'm the guy who stayed up late for it.
Heh, I was a kid, right?......right?
I'm sticking by that.
ADDENDUM: In 1988, I remember breezing through the daily information colossus known to those "in the know" as THE WAUSAU DAILY HERALD, and seeing the cineplex, if it could be called that, down by the mall showing (probably on the screen downstairs that's no bigger than my living room TV where I saw "Good Morning, Vietnam" in it's 347th week of release) "Food of the Gods 2", a Canadian opus trying to cha-ching in on the 12 year old success of the original.
Wait a minute here, the first did absolutely nothing. This makes no sense. How did this North-central Wisconsin theatre manager get horranged into carrying this stupid movie anyway?
Did the distributor offer him a "Food of the Gods 2" baseball hat? These filmmakers tried to pull of the cinematic equivalent of a sequel to oh, say, "Frogs", (I'm sure Sam Elliot is proud) or "Grizzy"....
....wait, that was attempted. Sorry, there, George Clooney, Laura Dern, and Charlie Sheen. (Were you winning then, Mr. Estevez?)
Go figure. I should fund and release a sequel to "Satan's Cheerleaders". It would be as intelligent.