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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Food Of The Gods / Frogs [Double Feature] [Blu-ray]

 

(Bert I. Gordon, 1976 / George McCowan, 1972)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)

Video: Shout! Factory (aka 'Scream Factory')

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Food of the Gods Runtime: 1:28:21.004

Frogs Runtime: 1:30:09.487

Disc Size: 49,101,985,464 bytes

Food of the Gods Feature Size: 22,471,993,344 bytes

Frogs Feature Size: 20,258,297,856 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.66 Mbps / 26.23 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 26th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 / 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Commentary on Food of the Gods:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

THE FOOD OF THE GODS
New Audio Commentary With Director Bert I. Gordon
New Interview With Actress Belinda Balaski (11:36)
Radio Spot (:59)
Photo Gallery (4:20)
Theatrical Trailer (1:01)

FROGS
New Interview With Actress Joan Van Ark (10:08)
Radio Spot (1:01)
Photo Gallery (2:49)
Theatrical Trailer (2:12)

 

Other Scream Factory Trailers (Empire of the Ants, Jaws of Satan)

 

Bitrate:

Food of the Gods

 

 

Frogs

 

 

 

Description:

The Food Of The Gods
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.

Frogs
Jason Crockett is an aging, grumpy, physically disabled millionaire who invites his family to his island estate for his birthday celebration. Pickett Smith is a free-lance photographer who is doing a pollution layout for an ecology magazine. Jason Crockett hates nature, poisoning anything that crawls on his property. On the night of his birthday the frogs and other members of nature begin to pay Crockett back.

 

 

 

Food of the Gods:

Gordon's reworking of his Village of the Giants (1965), replacing the giant teenagers with amazing colossal chickens, wasps and (especially) rats, all of whom have gorged themselves on a vile fluid found bubbling on the ground near Lupino's farm and put into bottles helpfully labelled FOTG. It's a piece of low-budget rubbish (based on a portion of HG Wells' 1904 fantasy) featuring all the genre's well-loved ingredients: a frightful script, variable special effects, and a weird bunch of actors who manage to look just a little less ludicrous than the giant rats. Unfortunately, the film's attractions pall about half way through: Gordon can't muster the lunatic verve necessary to bind things together, and one marauding rodent soon begins to look like any other, no matter what its size.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Frogs

The slimy denizens of the Everglades organize a particularly nasty rebellion in this enjoyable entry from the "nature-run-amok" horror subgenre which favored drive-in venues of the mid-'70s. The story takes place amid the festivities honoring the birthday of crotchety, wheelchair-bound Southern patriarch Jason Crockett (Ray Milland), a chemical-industry magnate whose pesticides are responsible for much of the toxic pollution found in the swamplands. The revelry ends quickly, however, when thousands of local fauna decide to crash the party. Under the apparent telepathic guidance of the less-than-menacing swamp bullfrogs, armies of snakes, insects, and snapping turtles tear their way through the cast. Competent direction, great use of swampland ambience, and spooky sound effects help provide a suitably large dose of the creepy-crawlies.

"We," announces Jason Crockett (Ray Milland), the crochety old millionaire who lives on his own island in the middle of the Florida Everglades, "are the ugly rich."

"God knows we're entitled to be ugly," says his middle-aged daughter, a woman who likes to collect butterflies. "We pay enough taxes." She thinks a minute, then asks: "Daddy, did you know they're putting strainers on our paper mills?"

"It's called ecology control," her father snorts, very much in the snorting manner of someone who must be taught a lesson.

"Frogs" is that lesson. It's nature's half-acre gone amok, apparently because of pollution and the somewhat too-free use of pesticides authorized by rich old men who live on their own islands in the middle of the Florida Everglades.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Shout! Factory (under the sub 'Scream Factory' identifier) offers up two 70's creature/eco-message films on a lone Blu-ray labeling it as a 'double feature'. These are both 1080P and sit on a dual-layered disc. The image quality is decent enough - especially considering the lesser-budget productions. Colors are similar in both - bright and tight and there is some notable depth. Detail is acceptable - with the weakest elements being the special effects of the production. There is an inherent softness in both but overall the presentations are consistent, superior to SD, and better than I might have anticipated with no noise. The Blu-ray supplies a decent, but not stellar presentation. I don't have any strong complaints.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Food of the Gods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Both films have a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at a reasonable 2304 kbps. Sound-related effects are not as abundant as you might anticipate but the music has depth. On The Food of the Gods, we get a score by Elliot Kaplan, who seemed to do mostly television work. Frogs has an unusual accompaniment by AIP’s in-house composer Les Baxter (who also rescored Mario Bava’s  Baron Blood, plus Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, and The Evil Eye) sounding a but futuristic and eerie. Both are cleans and without flaws. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

On The Food of the Gods we get a new audio commentary by director Bert I. Gordon hosted by Kevin Michaels. It is not a lively affair but he is frank and imparts some interesting information especially about the effects. There is also a new 12-minute interview with actress Belinda Balaski plus the radio spots, a photo gallery and trailer. Frogs offers a new 10-minute interview with, still hot, actress Joan Van Ark and the similar radio spots, trailer and gallery.

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I don't think anyone would try to make a valid case for these being strong films. Not surprisingly, their appeal lies in equal measures nostalgia and creature/horror aspects - the latter propelled by AIP's effective promotional gimmickry. The Shout! Factory Blu-ray has some value if you treasure these wayward 70's quickies as I do. Frankly, my childhood memory portrayed them far better than my jaded adult mind does today. The Food of the Gods is a better film that given credit - and Frogs a worse one, IMO. Those keen will know what they are in for. 

Gary Tooze

May 19th, 2015

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze

 

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