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Food of the Gods/Frogs (Double Feature) - Blu-ray Review

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Frogs/Food of the Gods (Double Feature) - Blu-ray Review

3 stars

The B-movie. The Creature Feature. The Creepy Crawlies Double Feature. Whatever your name for the horror genre’s offshoot is, Scream Factory – with their twofer release of Food of the Gods and Frogs – is who you’ll want to thank if you are into (like me) these low-grade movies. There’s nothing slick about their productions but there is an undeniable creative spirit that propels these two movies to soar beyond whatever distance they were intended to fly, making this release a worthy addition to any Hound of Horror’s bone collection.

Loosely based on a short story by H.G. Welles, Food of the Gods is directed by the Bert I. Gordon. He never made anything but B-movies but, when you look at his filmography, there’s a certain level of respect the man ought to be granted. Gordon is behind such classics of the genre like The Amazing Colossal Man, Attack of the Puppet People, and Empire of the Ants (with Joan Collins). Most of his pictures were produced by American International Pictures and, in spite of the imagination fueling them, never really wowed audiences.

Starring Marjoe Gortner (Earthquake), Pamela Franklin, Ralph Meeker, Jon Cypher, John McLiam, and Ida Lupino, 1967’s Food of the Gods begins with an attack of gigantic wasps in British Colombia. Yes, stung to death by big ass wasps. Only no one witnesses the attack and are puzzled by the death in the forest. Upon investigation and following a hysterical confrontation with an oversized rooster guarding his oversized brood of chickens, Gortner discovers a lovely old couple are feeding animals something they’ve discovered bubbling out from the ground. They interpret it as a gift from God. Turns out, it is anything but and, once the animals are exposed to it, they become GIGANTIC. Cue the rats. Yes, big and mean and pesky rats.

It can and should be argued that financial gain was never Gordon’s intent in sending these low-budget ships out to sea. There is a charm to Food of the Gods that never causes wakes to surface. And, ending with an allegorical message that is more hard-hitting than Hollywood can manage these days, it totally saves the movie from being too entirely absurd.  

Also on this release is 1972’s Frogs, directed by George McCowan. It stars a young Sam Elliot (without the trademark moustache) as Pickett Smith, nature photographer, caught up in a bizarre family spectacle after his boat is overturned. On special assignment from the family’s patriarch, he attempts to rescue the snooty southern family from the ecology around them – you know big frogs, lots of snakes, dangling spiders, butterflies, and lizards – after years of mistreating the environment on their land.

While not as charming as the first film in the double feature, this B-movie has notoriety in its favor as lizards cause all sorts of harm and frogs either scare or “hop” a person to death. And then there is the ending which depicts an animated frog swallowing a human hand. Creature features rarely get this silly. So the frogs don’t actually do the killing but, how can you not be intrigued by a horror film titled after those croaking amphibians? I mean, yeah buddy, bring it on.

Nature strikes back with this twofer release from Scream Factory.

Frogs/Food of the Gods (Double Feature) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 26, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

The 1080p transfer is an upgrade from previous versions. Colors are well-saturated. Black levels are strong. The contrast is high. While there is still some damage to the source material, nothing is too distracting from watching frogs and giant chickens attack stupid humans. The release is offered in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. 

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Surprise!!! Scream Factory provides a new audio commentary with director Bert I. Gordon for this release. That, in itself, is reason enough to purchase the release. Gordon, a legend among B-movie enthusiasts, provides a great wealth of information about Food of the Gods, including how some of the special effects were completed.

Special Features:

The supplemental material targets the known females in the each film’s cast and conducts about a 10-minute interview with both stars. There are radio spots, photo galleries, and theatrical trailers included, too.

  • New Interview with Actress Joan Van Ark (10 min)
  • New Interview with Actress Belinda Balaski (10 min)
  • Food of the Gods Radio Spot
  • Food of the Gods Photo Gallery
  • Food of the Gods Theatrical Trailer
  • Frogs Radio Spot
  • Frogs Photo Gallery
  • Frogs Theatrical Trailer

 

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