Godmonster of Indian Flats

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The existence of this movie boggles the mind - a fairly big-scale 1973 rural-indie production that mashes up a nonsensical mad-science plot with a weirdly elaborate political conspiracy thriller and ends with a lumbering monster sheep terrorizing a small town.

A well-meaning but none-too-bright redneck gets taken for a ride by ne'er-do-well local crooks, but gets rescued by a sheep farmer who lets him sleep in the barn. Following a psychedelic episode, he wakes up to discover that whatever (unexplained) phenomenon gave him visions has created a gruesome fetal sheep mutant. While he teams up with a scientist to study the wooly flesh-glob, a separate story plays out involving the corrupt mayor of a "frontier" tourist-trap town playing spy games with a property buyer that involves framing him for dog murder and ... that's kinda where I lost the thread, honestly. In the climax, the "Godmonster" (the sheep) breaks free and wreaks bloody havoc on the townspeople.

Food of the Gods

Bert I. Gordon (read the initials) is probably the king of bad monster movies achieved by compositing actual animals "giant size" into footage of "tiny" actors, having helmed such well-known (if not well-received) entries in the genre as Amazing Colossal Man, Earth Versus The Spider and Beginning of The End.

Working most prolifically in the 50s and 60s, he had a late-70s career revival with Empire of The Ants and this film, both loosely based on lesser-known H.G. Wells works that are today probably best known because of Gordon's adaptations. Food involves an isolated rural farm where a mysterious chemical turns various animals into giants that threaten the usual grab-bag of human victims.

The main featured creatures are rats, which don't look nearly as frightening as you might imagine, but in keeping with the broad strokes of the book there are also scenes featuring giant wasps and, most alarmingly, a man-eating chicken. And speaking of poultry ...

Blood Freak

I don't know that I've seen another film as ambitiously bizarre yet ineptly realized as Blood Freak, one of the only films that can be described as having the effect of a bad dream (or bad "trip") without exaggeration. Just the genre classification makes it a must-see, if you're into that sort of thing: It's a Christian, anti-drug, ultra-gory psychedelic horror film about a half-man/half-turkey monster.

And yes, he gobbles.

In the story, a biker returning from Vietnam is waylaid from his drifting by the comely sister of a pure-hearted girl he meets on the road. She offers him weed and sex, meanwhile a local mad scientist offers him a job eating LSD-laced turkey meat - y'know, for science. All this research hedonism gives him trippy visions and eventually transforms him into what I guess you'd have to call a "Wereturkey" that goes on a bloody rampage against fellow drug addicts until the Good Girl character cures him with the power of prayer. A framing device involving a narrator (the director) expounding on the evils of drugs and an oddly-edited final act suggest that the evil turkey stuff was meant to be taken as a hallucination, and that the film is clearly intended to be a serious endorsement of spiritually-centered sobriety.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.

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