Village of the Giants released October 20, 1965
Village of the Giants is a 1965 science-fiction/comedy movie with many elements of the beach party film genre. It was produced, directed and written by Bert I. Gordon, and based loosely on H.G. Wells’s book The Food of the Gods. The story revolves mostly around a chemical substance called “Goo”, which causes giant growth in living things, and what happens after a gang of rebellious youngsters get their hands on it. The cast was mostly teens, or young actors playing teens, and The Beau Brummels and Freddy Cannon make musical guest appearances. The movie was a low-budget exploitation film and not a huge hit (released mostly to drive-ins as part of a double bill), but had some notable use of special effects and undoubted sex appeal, and went on to become a cult classic. The movie proved far more successful years later, when released on home video.
Tagline: They’re 30 feet tall!
- In one scene one of the giants reads an issue of “Famous Monsters of Filmland” with another Bert I. Gordon film, War of the Colossal Beast (1958), in the cover.
- Exteriors were shot on the Columbia Studios backlot (now part of the Warner Bros. Backlot), the same lot as the exteriors for the TV series “Bewitched” (1964) and “I Dream of Jeannie” (1965). Many scenes were shot on Courthouse Square at Universal Studios, which doubled as Hill Valley in Back to the Future (1985).
- Loosely based on the H.G. Wells story “The Food of the Gods”, about a substance that causes giant mutations in growing organisms. Children fed the substance become giants (capable of producing giant offspring), who choose to fight when their existence is threatened by adult authorities.
- The brand of chicken that the giant teenagers eat is a tie-in to the once-famous restaurant chain called Chicken Delight. The chain was known for home delivery of chicken and ribs, as well as it’s catchy motto: “Don’t cook tonight, call Chicken Delight.” A banner for the restaurant chain can be seen on a wall behind the adults who turn in their rifles.
- The beer that the delinquent teens drink after crashing their car is the once popular Blatz Beer.
- The fountain that Freddy Cannon sings in front of is the same one seen in the opening of “Friends” (1994).
- An alternate version of the theme music – “The Last Race” – was reused by Quentin Tarantino in Death Proof (2007).
- The “Teen Magazine” that Merrie (Joy Harmon) reads was an actual issue of the magazine published in July 1965.
- Ron Howard plays a boy genius who invents a super growth formula. He later played the same kind of role in “Land of the Giants: Genius at Work (#1.21)” (1969)
- Filmed in “Perceptovision”.
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Filed under: Science Fiction
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