I think we can all agree that Chef and The Hundred-Foot Journey can be added to the list of our favorite food movies. Beautiful stories, incredible food cinema, they justly belong on the list of such greats as Babette’s Feast, Big Night and Chocolat.
These are films that foodies love, films that make even non-foodies drool over the delicious footage.
But, there are films that will put you off your feed — if not cause you to toss your cookies. Films like the classic horror flick Poltergeist. (This clip is not for the squeamish and after watching it you will never eat steak after midnight again.)
In a scene, he eats a live cockroach. Yes, it’s disgusting and Cage has said in several interviews that he actually did eat the live roach.
And I haven’t had a glass of lemonade since Eli Roth’s 2002 Cabin Fever. Drink beer, not the water or lemonade made with the damn water!
A lot of cultures eat bugs. I myself have enjoyed the tiny tacos stuffed with crunchy fried chapulines. But you might think twice about eating them if you’ve seen Nicholas Cage in 1988’s Vampire’s Kiss. In this scene he eats a live cockroach. Yes, it’s disgusting and Cage has said in several interviews that he actually did eat the live roach. Talk about dedication to your craft, or just plain crazy. Watch this and you’ll freak out the next time a Texas-sized roach invades your home.
And maybe lay off the pasta after watching Se7en, the 1995 film about a serial killer offing victims using the seven deadly sins. Yeah, the gluttony victim is forced to eat spaghetti until his stomach explodes. It’s a totally gross idea that we don’t actually see onscreen, only the aftermath is shown, but that’s enough to make you cut back on the carbs.
And then there’s the whole cannibal thing.
Cannibalism is real and has been practiced by various groups, desperate people and murderous villains from the Donner party to Jeffrey Dahmer. But in film it can be everything from terrifying (Soylent Green is People!) to comical, if a bit dark, like the scene in The Rocky Horror Picture Show where the guests dine on Meat Loaf. No, not meatloaf. Meat Loaf.
Rory Calhoun was a huge cowboy actor in the 1950s and '60s but in his later years he starred in several cult classics like the 1980 Motel Hell. A real schlock fest where Calhoun portrays a farmer who kidnaps tourists, buries them in his garden and feeds them until they are fat enough for him to turn them into meat pies. “It takes all kinds of critters ... to make Farmer Vincent’s fritters.”
And then there’s the gross out scene from Hannibal where the serial killer is feeding Ray Liotta his own brain. Self-cannibalism? In fact, the whole movie is about gross eating scenes since Hannibal Lecter is a cannibal. Then there’s the whole man-eating hogs thing that just might make you start asking what the bacon you eat was fed.
Of course there’s also pretty much any zombie movie ever made. Except the early ones like White Zombie in 1932 and the few in the 1940s where the zombies are sad shells controlled by voodoo masters. It wasn’t until George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead that zombies became angry flesh eaters.
And there’s The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover, a movie that I routinely list on my favorite food films because of the beautiful restaurant scenes with the fabulous tablescapes and food shots. But the real kicker is the final cannibal scene where the thief is forced to dine on his wife’s lover before she kills him. Helen Mirren is wonderful in this role.
So enjoy these films if you are horror food fans. Just eat before you watch any of them.
And happy early Halloween. Bwaaa, haaa.