Village of the Giants

September 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm (8 Heads, Village of the Giants) (, , , , , )

Village of the Giants – 1965 – United States

Vacationing in America (Haiti has hot summers), I saw Village of the Giants with famous horror host Svengoolie on Chicago television. The program was broadcast in analog a year past when stations switched to digital. Old school. Village of the Giants is a flick by Bert I. Gordon, maker of endless giant monster flicks (The Amazing Colossal Man, Beginning of the End, Earth vs. the Spider). Oddly, my favorite B. I. G. flick is Tormented, a seaside ghost story sans giant monsters. Apparently based on H. G. Wells’ Food of the Gods, Village of the Giants functions better as a parody of The Amazing Colossal Man than speculative fiction.

During the psychedelic opening, teens in togas dance in slow-mo to discordant surf music. Next, the same teens drunkenly smash their car into a telephone pole. Piling out, they dance in the rain, flailing in the mud and making a big mess, presumably to characterize them as hoods. Cut to a cute teenage couple and nerdy little brother named Genius (Ron Howard) discovering a chemical that makes things giant. After growing a cat, dog, and ducks, the couple takes the ducks to a club where Toni Basil (true story) dances in a cage and a band plays some catchy tunes.  The hoods, also at the club, plot to steal the super food and become rich, but instead eat it and terrorize adults—“It’s not their world anymore, it’s ours.” Kidnapping the sheriff’s daughter, they lounge around eating tiny fried chicken, setting an adult curfew, and other nonsense until Genius discovers the chemical to shrink them and they are chased out of town.

Village of the Giants is a stupid, funny flick, mostly intentionally. Amusing but half-baked throwaway jokes are scattered throughout. For instance, when the ducks are at the club, shots of waddling ducks’ asses are intercut with shaking girls’ asses. Also, the ducks boogey in a hilarious way and are eventually barbecued at a cookout. Another scene, an army of hotrodders lassoes a giant, while he fights back causing comedic catastrophes. Toss in some out of place musical numbers, awkward teen slang, and more cute girls shaking breasts and asses than Beach Girls and the Monster and The Horror of Party Beach combined and you’ll find something to laugh it.

B. I. G.’s typical camera trickery is also in top form.  Scenes of growing teens look great, especially a sexy bit where a girl’s clothes tear off as she outgrows them. In another choice moment, a boy is lifted and smashed between a girl’s giant breasts. So convincing is the tremendous plaster torso, I rewatched the scene thrice before discovering evidence that the colossal breasts were fakes. It’s not coincidence this scene was also depicted on the movie poster.

Turn your brain off and Village of the Giants is a lot of fun. Plot holes abound and the premise is stupid, but B. I. G. aims for the lowest common denominator and nails it. In the final scene, the hoods leave town, passing a group of little people (midgets to some) on their way to get the growth chemical. A lame joke, embarrassing in a lesser movie, but after Village of the Giants’ comic inanity you’ll probably find it hilarious.

Rating: 8/10 Shrunken Heads. See it for the gags, girls, or effects. Any way, you’ll have fun.

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