The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
"Most guys who play pro ball, they get racked up every once in a while," observes the hero's buddy in "Food of the Gods." "But not old Joe. Seven years in the major leagues and he never got carried off the field even once. And then this had to happen to him. It really makes you think." It sure does. Old Joe had just gone and gotten himself stung to death by a giant killer wasp.
Joe's friends load him into a Jeep, drive the body back to the mainland and then return to the island where the attack took place. "There's something strange going on out there," one observes sagely. "I don't know if I should go back," says the, other. "I gotta be in Chicago on Tuesday . . .." Meanwhile, poor Mr. Skinner has stopped to change a tire and has been eaten alive by gigantic mutant rats. In a way, that was simple justice; it was Mr. Skinner's doing that got the whole plague of giant rats started. He found some of this funny stuff oozing up out of the ground on the back forty, you see. Creamy-like, and about the color of skimmed milk. For some fool reason he mixed it with the chicken feed and fed it to the chickens. It made the baby chicks grow taller than a man. It also had an effect on the adult chickens: The babies ate them.
This is obviously a case for Marjoe Gortner, playing a pro football teammate of poor old Joe. He loads up some shotguns and drives back to the island in his Jeep, and not a moment too soon, because Mrs. Skinner has just had her arm chewed up by gigantic mutant worms, and a young couple has busted the back axle on their Winnebago camper just as the girl has started labor pains. Meanwhile, the wasps have built hives 20 feet high, the rats are reproducing like crazy and the venal businessman, Bensington, has gone out to the island determined to get the patents on the stuff oozing out of ground: "In five years, no one will be hungry - and we'll be rich!"
What happens next is a cross between "Night of the Living Dead," "The Birds" and a disaster movie, if you follow me. The little band of people are marooned in the Skinner cabin. Rats sniff around outside. Marjoe and the others fire at them with shotguns and throw Molotov cocktails into their midst. Pamela Franklin falls down into a rat hole and Marjoe falls in trying to help her. They get lost and almost eaten before they find a tunnel to safety. Killer wasps attack again and are driven back. Marjoe electrifies the fence that cuts the island in two, but the rats sabotage the electrical generator. The pregnant girl's labor pains are becoming more closely spaced.
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