Let’s face it: Killing works up an appetite. Fortunately, some of our favorite horror movies have managed to introduce us to some of the most insane meals our eyes have ever seen. Some of them are comical, some are beautiful, and some are downright nauseating.
With that in mind, I’m starting this new series in which we’ll explore some of the most memorable meals to ever appear in horror movies. After you finish reading, feel free to send me suggestions for other macabre meals you’d like to see appear in future installments. Bon appétit!
I have to start with Freddy Krueger. While the obvious choice is Freddy’s appearance as a chef in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, in which he stuffs Greta’s face to death, my personal favorite food moment is a scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Alice is having another nightmare, and she finds herself in the diner where she works and comes face to face with an older version of herself who looks like she’s been working there for the past 40 years.
Seeing her older self is disturbing enough for Alice, but then Freddy shows up with a piping hot pizza pie. They may have held the anchovies, but nobody told them to hold the souls. The pizza is covered in sausage pieces, each representing souls of Freddy’s various victims. Freddy picks out one in particular – Alice’s screaming brother, Rick – jabs one his razor fingers into his cranium, and then devours Rick right before her eyes. “Rick, you little meatball!” It’s a classic Krueger kill that could only happen in his crazy dream world.
After having watched this scene, I’m sure plenty of horror fans now only order cheese pizzas with absolutely no sausage toppings. You never can be too safe, right?
When it comes to dining, no character in horror has a more refined palate than Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Despite the gruesome nature of his cannibalistic murders, there was always a twisted elegance to them as well. While there’s no doubt that The Silence of the Lambs is the best film in the series, it was the 2001 movie Hannibal which had his most impressive culinary creation.
Towards the end of the film, Hannibal (Anthony Hopkins) has captured and drugged Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) and is now preparing a very special meal for him – his own brains! Clarice Starling can only watch in horror as Lecter carves off a piece of Krendler’s brain, fries it in a pan, and then feeds it to him. Krendler enjoys it quite a bit, not even aware that he’s eating his own grey matter.
While Clarice has no interest in sampling this delicacy, Hannibal later meets a young boy on a flight who is very curious about the strange looking meal. Sure enough, Hannibal allows the kid to have a bite. Feeding a man his own brains and then allowing a little boy to have a taste as well? Hannibal, you have one hell of a sick mind… and we love you for it.
Note: If you think his meals in the films are works of art, you really need to watch the “Hannibal” television series for some gorgeously gruesome gluttony.
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS…
I’ll admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Eli Roth’s movies. However, there are moments in his first film, Cabin Fever, that I can appreciate. I mean, if you can’t enjoy “Pancakes,” the ninja wonder kid, you’re clearly taking things too seriously. We all know that Cabin Fever is about a flesh-eating virus that’s spread through the local water supply and how it results in the demise of a group of friends who rent a remote cabin. But to me, the greatest part of Cabin Fever is how it leaves you with a greater sense of how the tainted water is going to harm far more people in the near future.
First, we see some children filling a cooler with the bad water from a local creek and then using it to make lemonade, which they then sell to the police officers who disposed of the victims’ bodies earlier on. They thought they had the situation under control; yet, here we are, watching them drink the water that will surely result in their own undoing. Then, to show just how large the problem is about to grow, we see a truck promoting fresh mountain spring water driving off. All that diseased, bottled water being delivered to god knows where. It’s scary because it’s the kind of outbreak you could actually see happening in the real world.
And yes, I know lemonade isn’t exactly a “meal”, but beverages are part of any good meal, and that’s good enough for me. Work with me here, people.
Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. Just mentioning those five words alone should let you know where I’m going with this tidbit. The Fly is easily one of the greatest sci-fi horror films of the Eighties, and the way they handled Seth Brundle’s tragic metamorphosis into Brundlefly was absolutely brilliant.
As time goes on in the film, we see Brundle become more and more like a fly – such as him being able to cling to walls and his body deteriorating to the point in which he loses his teeth and fingernails. Perhaps most disturbing of all, however, is when Brundle demonstrates how he now eats his food the same way that flies do. He pukes up digestive enzymes onto a donut so that it can be dissolved and then consumed. Later on in the film, he uses those newfound barfabilities to melt the limbs of Stathis Boranis. It’s truly repulsive in all the right ways. Kudos to Geena Davis for sticking with him as long as she did because if any guy put “donut dissolving” on his Tinder profile these days, I’m pretty sure most ladies would swipe left in a heartbeat.
“Oh my Goooooooooood!!!” It only makes sense that we’d have something from Troll 2 in this series, considering it takes place in a world where having sex in a trailer causes corn to pop until you drown in it. Well, the trolls who inhabit the town of Nilbog have a very strong appetite… for people! Oddly enough, they’re also vegetarians. So what’s a b-movie troll to do in a situation like this? Why, they use the magic of Stonehenge and put it into milk in order to melt humans into big piles of green vegetable slop! If I were shopping in a strange town and someone handed me a carton of milk that wasn’t even stored in a refrigerator, I’d politely decline and get the hell out of there. But hey, that’s just me.
If you’re planning on taking a tour of Nilbog, do yourself a favor and eat a “double-decker bologna sandwich” before you do. Trust me on this one.
How can you go wrong with The Lost Boys? It’s such a great film, and while we all know they feast on the blood of humans, The Lost Boys introduced us to a whole new side of vampires. Naturally, I’m speaking of Vampire Pranks!
After the head of the vampire gang, David (Kiefer Sutherland) gets Michael (Jason Patric) to join him in their hotel ruins lair, he begins to toy with him. He hands Michael some Chinese food, starting with steamed rice. After Michael eats the rice, David asks him, “Maggots, Michael. You’re eating maggots. How do they taste?” Michael then looks down into his container and sees maggots crawling inside it. He immediately spits them out, and they appear as rice again, while everyone laughs at him. Soon after, David pulls a similar trick on him, making noodles look like slithering worms.
Honestly, I could go for a full 90-minute movie of vampires using their powers of persuasion to pull all kinds of pranks of people. Is that too much to ask for in a sequel to What We Do In the Shadows? Regardless, I don’t know any fan of The Lost Boys who doesn’t think of this scene any time they dine on Chinese take-out food.
ENOUGH IS NEVER ENOUGH!
You didn’t think I’d leave out one of the most infamous meals in the history of horror flicks, did you? The Stuff, both the title of the film and the name of the addictive product that people can’t get enough of, is something I always imagine tasted like a combination of Cool Whip mixed with Elmer’s Paste. Doesn’t sound all that tasty, but it makes it extra amusing when you watch the characters in the film scarf it down. Regardless of what it was supposed to taste like, it’s the fact that the characters tasted it to begin with that always amazed me.
If you found a milky white substance bubbling out of the earth, would you run to alert the authorities, or would you instinctively taste it? Well, if you’re living in this movie, you’d choose the latter for some insane reason. That’s horror movie logic for ya.
Now, while The Stuff is delicious and has no calories, there is one serious drawback of consuming it: It’s a parasitic substance that will take control of your brain, turning you into a mindless creature (you know, like the ones you see hanging out in YouTube comment sections). Oh, and when it’s through with you, it’ll just eat you alive from the inside out. “Are you eating it, or is it eating you?” is the “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” of horror movies as far as I’m concerned.
Well, I suppose that is one way to go on a diet.
Yes, I’m proud of that stupid pun, but I’m more proud of Peter Jackson for holding nothing back when he filmed his gross-out masterpiece, Dead Alive (aka Brain Dead), early in his career. There are so many splatterific moments in this movie that I can (and probably will) dedicate an entire article to it, but since we’re on the topic of food, there’s one specific moment in the movie that continues to make people’s stomachs churn to this day.
Of course, I’m speaking of the classic dining scene in which we get close-up shots of Lionel Cosgrove’s dinner guests eating custard. Now, seeing people eating custard that closely is already enough to make you nauseous, but this is far worse. Lionel’s mum has an open wound that spurts into one of the bowls of custard and gets devoured by a guest who doesn’t even notice it. In fact, he compliments how “rich and creamy” it is. As if that’s not enough, mum’s ear falls off into her own custard, which she then begins to devour as well. It’s equal parts hilarious and nasty. Barf me a river!
That’s all for this first piece in my “Most Memorable Meals of Horror” series. Be sure drop a comment below, on the Dread Central Facebook page, or tweet me at @imockery or with your suggestions for the upcoming second installment! As Audrey II would say… “Feed me, Seymour!”
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