Friday, 29 April 2011

Food Of The Gods II AKA Gnaw (1989).

It’s been a while since I’ve seen The Food Of The Gods but what I remember about it was that it was full of varied, hokey effects and still ended up being a lot of fun. It was a standard Bert I. Gordon film, something that screamed Mr BIG in every frame featuring overgrown, dangerous animals.
Food Of The Gods II is very much in the same vein, though it’s more obviously ridiculous for most of it’s runtime (as hard as that may be to believe).
This time it’s mainly rats that are growing far too big for their boots (or whatever the shoewear choice of rats would be . . . . . . . . if they wore footwear) and everything goes horribly wrong thanks to those pesky animal rights activists trying to teach a lesson to those pesky scientists yet again. There’s also an overgrown child who swears at people and a dream sequence involving sex and worryingly large hands. You have to see it to fully appreciate the imagery.
With a cunning mixture of rat-like stuffed pillows and normal rats being given the run of various miniature model sets, Food Of The Gods II ensured that it would never receive an Oscar for it’s visual effects but, like it’s predecessor, it’s a bit of fun that doesn’t pretend to be anything else. In fact, there are more than a few moments that almost feel as if director Damian Lee and writers Richard Bennett and E. Kim Brewster all did their best to make everything just a little bit more laughable, whether it’s just the dialogue on it’s own or the upbeat synth music that accompanies some scenes really not searching for upbeat synth music.
The cast must have known what they were getting into, surely. Jackie Burroughs would get into more rat-related trouble many years later with her wonderful performance in Willard but here she’s given very little screentime and is overshadowed, both metaphorically and literally, by a petulant child. Paul Coufos, Lisa Schrage, Colin Fox, etc are all simply okay but not really memorable enough in amongst the giant rodent carnage.
There is a small part of me that wanted to rate this movie higher for the fun factor it supplied (isn’t that the way with so many of the movies that I watch in my favourite genre?) but I am going to try and be the tiniest bit sensible today and go with 

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