title: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS year: 1965 cast: Beau Bridges camp value: **
In a pivotal scene where giant rebellious teenagers taking over a small town, Beau Bridges (as the leader) plays all the cards in one shot: telling the Sheriff they’ve kidnapped his daughter. Now isn’t this the kind of desperation regular-sized antagonists would resort to? Well that’s about the gist of VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS, the first adaption of H.G. Well’s FOOD OF THE GODS until he’d make the superior 1976 eco-flick with the same title. Here a young genius named Genius, played by Ronny Howard, has created a special “goo” that turns ducks into giants – dogs and cats too. The best scene has the ducks dancing to a Beau Brummels tune in a swinging Go Go Club while our future antagonists are still normal sized. Then, later on, hanging out at a local theater, the teens eat goo and become the weakest, laziest giants in history. Boring too. They could crush everyone in their path but would rather stand around making demands. And it's a shame: Because while every visual aspect points at this being the sort of bad movie dreams are made of, the pacing is so slow it feels like twenty minutes stretched (or elongated, as it were) into eighty. That doesn’t mean that the images, like Johnny Crawford basking in a giant girl’s breasts or two large wooden legs with patches of hair supposedly belonging to Bridges, aren’t classically amusing. And music by the Brummels and Jack Nitzsche is cool and groovy. But unfortunately the anticipation of witnessing such glorious camp exceeds the actual experience.