Gnaw : Food of the Gods 2
Here’s one I pulled out from a box of VHS tapes, which is funny, as I don’t own a tape player. The box was filled with classic film, many of which you can no longer get hold of. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Food of the Gods 2 is available on DVD and my nostalgia got the best of me. The film plays at 1:33:1, which means that is was one of those early day DVD transfers, were the quality of sound and picture is no better than it’s original VHS print. Things have changed today, where film studios are actually remastering their films for Blu-ray release. Some films, like Jaws, were re-edited and graded from its original negative. They even re-scored the entire film. But back when DVDs first made an appearance, many companies just threw their movies onto the new format with no thought for quality. Gnaw is a story about giant killer rats attacking a university, to be honest, I was not worried about the quality, this one was for the memories.
The cast is a mixed bag , with Paul Coufos, in a genuine performance, as the Doctor looking to save a young boy who has reacted badly to an experimental growth hormone. Other cast members,such as Colin Fox, come across like scooby doo villains, slithering across the screen like snakes. I’m not sure if this is down to a bad script or over acting, but it’s this half of the cast that make the film far too silly. There are some genuinely good performances, which more than make up for the bad ones.
Our hero tries to save the growing boy by experimenting with blood samples. To his excitement, he discovers that the samples can make things grow exponentially, in a short space of time. But as best laid plans of mice and men (or rats and men) the rats get hold of the tomatoes which the doctors had injected, and the fury beats start growing at an alarming rate. When a group of young students decided to break into the lap, they inadvertently let the rats free. With the giant rats attacking the student population, the Doctor is running out of time to find a cure and to save the day.
The special effects vary from shots of rats in small sets, to giant puppets that don’t look bad at all. These attack scenes are mostly made up of the off screen mutilation or the puppets rubbing up against the actors. It would have been so much more better if we could have seen the rats gnawing away at people’s limbs. We do get to see some pretty horrific looking corpse, which is some compensation for the lack of attack footage. With bodies stripped down to the bone, we see a lot of messy skeletons covered in gore.
Probably one of my favorite scenes is a dream sequence, where the doctor finds himself romantically entangled with a student. His sexy time is cut short, as he starts to grow and the young student is undecided if she should be please or terrified as her lover grows inside her. The scene ends a little too soon, as I would have loved to have seen her pop of split open, something grisly like that. As gruesome as it would have been, it would have been uniquely original.
Another standout moment is when rival doctor, Prof. Edmund Delhurst, accidentally infects himself with the formula. Rather than growing, he disintegrates into a bubbling pool. It’s a good moment, maybe a little out of place, but still entertaining.
The music is a whole bunch of 1980’s synth. The title score is really catchy,and it’s actually on my ipod playlist. It’s a dark and foreboding track that builds with a light drum track. Apart from the title, the rest is pretty throw away and sounds like it was composed by some post grad student on an second hand Casio.
In every single way, Gnaw is a mixed bag. With good actors and bad, good effect and bad, good music and bad. They managed to nail certain aspect while accepting mediocrity for the rest. Its an old movie, It’s never going to win awards for originality, nor is it ever going to win any oscars, but Gnaw does have some really great moments, and these little nuggets of gold make up for for the slow pace of the sci fi horror. It might not be worthing tracking down on DVD, but if it ever appears on some channel, say as part of a horror film night, it is worth a look see.
Gnaw : Food of the Gods 2
- Story 43% 43%
- Scares 28% 28%
- Gore 46% 46%
- Music 42% 42%