Monday, October 11, 2010
31 Days of Halloween - Day 11 - Movie 2
I wonder what H.G. Wells would have made of the credit which says that Village of the Giants (1965) was based on his novel The Food of the Gods, especially given that it appears against slow motion footage of a bunch of scantily clad "teenagers" gyrating to the musical theme. A precocious Genius (Ron Howard) creates a substance which makes anything that eats it enormous; cats, ducks, dogs, and a spider. Given the name "Goo" by Tommy Kirk who is dating Genius' sister (Charla Doherty), the three of them recognize its worth and plan to cash in on it. Their plans are foiled by a group of out of town delinquent teens led by Fred (Beau Bridges) who plan to cash in on it themselves by stealing the substance. Instead of selling it to some agricultural company, the bad teens all eat it on a dare, rapidly expanding out of their clothes. Now thirty foot giants, they decide instead to made rudimentary toga-like clothes for themselves and take over the town so they can make grown-ups show them their I.D.s and they can just laze about and dance. They're disappointed when the local teen population doesn't throw in with them, and instead opposes them. But their size does prove to be an advantage and its up to Genius to find a way to defeat them.
This is a sexier movie in the style of those Disney movies which starred Kurt Russell, such as The Strongest Man in the World (1975). It's a little racier than anything Disney would have made as it includes sexual innuendo and lots of gyrating t & a shots. The dancing scenes make up what feels like half of the movie, though it's probably closer to a third, and their frequency and lengthiness is the only thing that hampers this movie from being out and out fun in a pretty corny way. The cast is appealing and its nice to see a lot of familiar faces.
The special effects are actually pretty well done, and the giant legs and breasts that are easy to make fun of in the still photographs are less easy to make fun of here as they are generally only seen in quick cuts. When I said earlier that the teens become 30 foot tall giants, I was estimating based on their first scene with regular sized people. The fact of the matter is that their scale (as well as the scale of the giant animals) changes from scene to scene, and some of the props, such as food and magazines, are way out of proper scale given their established size. I find this movie to be a guilty pleasure of mine, though the next time I watch it I'll probably end up fast forwarding through some of the dance scenes.