H.G. Wells’ brilliant genetic-manipulation novel, Food of the Gods, has been rather indifferently filmed over the years. The 1976 version by Mr B.I.G. (Bert I. Gordon) is, well, a Bert I. Gordon film. It’s set on a remote island off Canada and features a bunch of GYVs (Gormless Young Victims) — but at least it has giant wasps, a giant chicken and really big rats (all super-imposed and back-projected, of course).
Damien Lee took a stab a sequel-that-isn’t-really-a-sequel in 1989, Food of the Gods II (aka Gnaw). It pretty well sticks to the giant rats, this time set on a university campus.
This is all fine, but apart from the concept of giant animals and insects made that way due to experiments in accelerated growth, neither is remotely comparable to Wells’ book, the main substance of which is giant people who, though peaceful enough, become the focus of Government paranoia, resulting in a “war”. Lots of satirical socio-political commentary ensues. Great stuff! Why won’t someone put a good writer and about $80 million into that?
Now David DeCoteau, who has been responsible for assorted exploitation classics over the years (Creepozoid, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge, Prehysteria 3, Frankenstein & the Werewolf Reborn!), is taking a stab at making Wells’ novel, again with traditional indifference to the original. Initially titled Food of the Gods, it has recently been retitled 1313: Giant Killer Bees! to fit in with DeCoteau’s 1313 series of “Science-Fiction Chillers for Girls” (and presumably gay guys). Take a look at the trailer (or just the poster for that matter) and you’ll quickly see why.
The plot involves a bunch of GYVs (predominantly bare-chested, brief-clad boys here, who get zombified) — and, um… oh yeah, giant bees.
As chaos and death swirl all around him, Professor Bensington laments his role in the end of the world, and reveals to us what caused the horror: His research assistant, a young college student named Redwood, traveled to San Marino to oversee Bensington’s honeybee experiments. While following the professor’s orders, Redwood inadvertently unleashed a global biological disaster in the form of giant zombie killer bees! (Fangoria)
At least the bees are a tad more convincing than we’ve seen from previous efforts — and it’s a boost for low-budget gay horror cinema.
DeCoteau has been busy making other gay films, horror and Edgar Allen Poe adaptations. Check out DeCoteau’s website for more details.