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Bert I. Gordon
John David Carson
Morgan and his friends are on a hunting trip on a remote Canadian island when they are attacked by a swarm of giant wasps. Looking for help, Morgan stumbles across a barn inhabited by an enormous killer chicken. After doing some exploring, they discover the entire island is crawling with animals that have somehow grown to giant size. The most dangerous of all of these, however, are the rats, who are mobilizing to do battle with the human intruders. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
A great title (borrowed from the greatest science-fiction writer of all time) and downhill from there, but this fun flic with a bad rep, for good reason in a couple of spots, taken in its entirety offers more entertainment value, pound for pound, than most of the other 'eco-terror' flics of the '70s; that's not saying much, but there were plenty of 'em: Bug(75); Night of the Lepus(72); Squirm(76); Kingdom of the Spiders(77); Prophecy(79); Empire of the Ants(77); Frogs(72); Day of the Animals(76); Ben(72); and even Phase IV(74), which was more intelligent but a bore. The only one on par with this is Piranha(78), whose director, Dante, moved to the A-list, and the original Willard(71), which had the added psycho angle. Beyond this, "Food.." contains a wicked depiction of American 'can do' gumption, embodied by Marjoe (an odd choice for leading man). He kills a rooster which was just minding its own business and defending its turf, and never apologizes to the owner (Ida Lupino). Later, he causes the deaths of his buddy (Cypher) and the obvious villain (Meeker-slumming,but the 'go to' guy those days for bad guy roles) by refusing to listen to their logical arguments for getting out of the mess they're in. No, it's his way only, 'cause he's the toughest around these here parts, and if a few people get eaten due to his manly choices, well, that's the American way. In a very strange way, it called to mind the relentless expansion & colonization represented by the American spirit; OK, that's a stretch, but, in another genre, his role would be played by someone like John Wayne, who needs to make the tough decisions. However, if you look more closely at Marjoe's character, he seems to have some crazy death wish. At one point, when they already know the island is infested with giant killers, he decides to go look around in his jeep, which offers no protection at all; his friend, echoing the thoughts of the audience, asks what the hell for? Marjoe doesn't really have an answer; he even says "I don't know." Wild. I first saw this as a teen when it came out, in a downtown theater in San Francisco and sure, most of the FX, especially the dam breaking and water pouring out, caused me to groan in another sort of horror, but seeing people getting eaten alive by giant rats was nothing to laugh off back then. This looked pretty grisly. I recently acquired a decent DVD version and the photography was quite good. Oh, and a bit of a twist ending, to boot! The much later sequel, having little to do with this picture, really was a waste of time.
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