Kino Lorber’s Kino Cult line brings five nature run amok horror films to Blu-ray in August

The next Kino Cult Blu-rays are the nature run amok horror films Kingdom of the Spiders, Squirm, Frogs, and more

Kingdom of the Spiders

The distribution company Kino Lorber recently launched an interesting Blu-ray line called Kino Cult, and so far they have released the 1985 sci-fi Western Alien Outlaw, the Bettie Page double feature Teaserama and Varietease, the 1985 horror film The Dark Power, the 1974 drama Drifter, the 1974 Jess Franco horror film Lorna the Exorcist, the 1973 Jess Franco crime thriller Sinner: The Secret Diary of a Nymphomaniac, and the 1985 Clive Barker adaptation Underworld (a.k.a. Transmutations). Now our friends at Bloody Disgusting have learned that five more Kino Cult Blu-ray releases are set for August 20th, and there’s a theme to this batch: they’re all “nature run amok” horror movies! Most of them are movies I love to watch, too. Here’s the line-up: The Food of the Gods, Empire of the Ants, Frogs, Squirm, and Kingdom of the Spiders. Each one is available for pre-order on Amazon, and each of these Kino Cult Blu-rays come with a slipcover and reversible artwork.

The Food of the Gods Kino Cult Blu-rays

Written and directed by Bert I. Gordon, The Food of the Gods (1976) was based on the H.G. Wells novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth. It has the following synopsis: On a remote island, a mysterious substance is oozing from the ground. A farmer sees that it acts as a growth hormone and thinks his fortune is made. But when rats, chickens, worms and wasps begin sampling the potent substance, they morph into bloodthirsty giants! Now, it’s up to the island’s few residents and visitors to destroy “the food of the gods”… before the animals take over for good! Marjoe Gortner, Pamela Franklin, Ralph Meeker, Jon Cypher, Ida Lupino, John McLiam, Belinda Balaski, Tom Stovall, and Chucky Courtney star.

Kino Cult brings The Food of the Gods to Blu-ray with these special features: – Audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin and Wildcat!: The Films of Marjoe Gortner author John Harrison (new) – Audio commentary by writer-director Bert I. Gordon – Interview with actress Belinda Balaski – 2 TV spots – 3 radio spots – Theatrical trailer

Empire of the Ants

Bert I. Gordon also directed Empire of the Ants (1977), working from a screenplay he wrote with Jack Turley, based on an H.G. Wells short story. The synopsis: A heavenly paradise becomes a hellish nightmare when a toxic spill turns harmless ants into rampaging, radioactive reprobates! Stumbling into their creepy lair, a sleazy land developer (Joan Collins) and her clients are horrified to realize that the ants are having a picnic…and humans are on the menu! Fleeing for their lives—only to be squashed underfoot—they soon discover that these bad-boy bugs are hell-bent on exterminating mankind, and building an evil empire where humans check in… but they can’t check out! The film stars Joan Collins, Robert Lansing, John David Carson, Albert Salmi, Jacqueline Scott, Pamela Susan Shoop, Robert Pine, Edward Power, Brooke Palance, Tom Fadden, Irene Tedrow, Harry Holcombe, Jack Kosslyn, Ilse Earl, Janie Gavin, Norman Franklin, and Florance McGee.

The Kino Cult Blu-ray will have the following special features: – Audio commentary by film historians David Del Valle and Michael Varrati (new) – Audio commentary by director-producer Bert I. Gordon – Radio spot – Theatrical trailer

Kino Cult Blu-rays Frogs

George McCowan directed the 1972 film Frogs, which was written by Robert Hutchison and Robert Blees. The synopsis: Jason Crockett is an aging, physically disabled millionaire who invites his family to his island estate for his birthday party. The old man is more than crotchety…he’s crazy! Hating nature, Crockett poisons anything that crawls on his property. But on the night of his shindig, it’s nature’s payback time, and thousands of frogs whip up every bug and slimy thing into a toxic frenzy until the entire environment goes environ-mental. Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam, Nicholas Cortland, George Skaff, Lance Taylor Sr., and Hollis Irving star.

Frogs will have these special features: – Audio commentary by film historians David Del Valle and Dan Marino (new) – Interview with actress Joan Van Ark – 4 TV spots – 3 radio spots – Theatrical trailer

Kino Cult Blu-rays Squirm

Writer/director Jeff Lieberman brought us Squirm in 1976. The film tells the following story: When a powerful storm knocks Fly Creek, Georgia’s power lines down onto wet soil, the resulting surge of electricity drives large, bloodthirsty worms to the surface—and then out of their soil-tilling minds! Soon, the townspeople discover that their sleepy fishing village is overrun with worms that burrow right into their skin. Inundated by hundreds of thousands of carnivorous creatures, the terrorized locals race to find the cause of the rampage—before becoming tilled under themselves! Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow, Jean Sullivan, Peter MacLean, Fran Higgins, and William Newman star.

The Squirm special features: – Audio commentary by film historians Lee Gambin and John Harrison (new) – Audio commentary by writer-director Jeff Lieberman – Digging In: The Making of Squirm – Interviews with writer-director Jeff Lieberman, actor Don Scardino, and special effects artist Bill Milling – Eureka: A Tour of Locations with Jeff Lieberman – TV spot – Radio spot – Theatrical trailer

Kingdom of the Spiders

1977’s Kingdom of the Spiders may be the most popular of the bunch. Directed by John ‘Bud’ Cardos from a script crafted by Richard Robinson, Alan Caillou, Jeffrey M. Sneller, and Stephen Lodge, it tells this story: As even greater numbers of the helpless animals meet their deaths it is discovered that hundreds of tarantulas occupy the farm land. This is strange indeed! Tarantulas don’t live in colonies…or do they? An attractive entomologist is called to the dusty little Arizona town to explain the sudden arrival of the spiders and their usual behavior. But is it too late? Time seems to be running out as the new species of eight-legged freaks now number in the thousands. The spiders are everywhere—and man is their prey! William Shatner stars alongside Tiffany Bolling, Woody Strode, Lieux Dressler, David McLean, Natasha Ryan, Altovise Davis, Joe Ross, Marcy Lafferty, Adele Malis-Morey, Roy Engel, and Hoke Howell.

The Blu-ray special features: – Audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin (new) – Audio commentary by director John “Bud” Cardos, producer Igo Kantor, spider wrangler Jim Brockett, and cinematographer John Morrill – Audio commentary by producer Igo Kantor and actress Tiffany Bolling – Interview with actress Tiffany Bolling – Interview with writer Steve Lodge – Radio spot – Theatrical trailer

What do you think of this line-up of Kino Cult Blu-ray releases? Will you be buying a copy of The Food of the Gods, Empire of the Ants, Frogs, Squirm, and/or Kingdom of the Spiders? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.