Consider this your Thanksgiving PSA! If your family is anything like ours, you probably spend hours cooking up a scrumptious meal for the family only to watch it be consumed in less than twenty minutes. So should you be looking for an excuse not to cook, I thought I would share 8 food moments in horror that are guaranteed to stop hunger in its tracks. Granted, you may vomit, but that’s a risk you run in viewing these disturbing and unforgettable scenes.
My selection criterion was highly scientific. If it made me gag, it made the list. Did I miss any? Shoot us a comment and let us know which food moment in horror still traumatizes you!
Salò: 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Less horror and more full frontal psychological assault, the notorious Italian film Salò: 120 Days of Sodom is an unending series of horrific imagery. From sadistic sexual assault to brutal torture, this film holds the distinction of having been banned in several countries. But the scene that is most guaranteed to have you retching in your popcorn takes place around the so-called family table where the tortured children are forced to dine on feces.
Hostel: Part II (2007)
Let’s be honest. There are tons of cannibal worthy scenes I could have selected but Hostel II gets my nod because of the way it plays with our expectations. Not quite matching the artistic beauty of the human fare consumed on Hannibal, the film nevertheless takes pains to present the flesh consumption in perversely romantic terms. From the soft music playing in the background to the candlelit table, gory cannibalism is wrapped up in a fine dining package.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Siblings everywhere will look at one another with new respect after seeing the antics between sisters Jane and Blanche. Bette Davis is at her most diabolical when she gleefully serves her wheelchair-bound sister a feast of rats. While not as explicit as other entries on this list, the sheer psychological torment inflicted upon Blanche while a prisoner in her own body is unforgettable.
Given the inevitable gluttony often associated with Thanksgiving, it is only fitting that Se7en’s appetite-erasing scene of a man forced to consume spaghetti until his stomach bursts makes the list. While all of the seven deadly scenes in the film have an air of grotesqueness about them, there is something about gluttony that leaves a lasting impression. Maybe it is our need to eat to survive which gives this scene so much resonance, but whatever the case, it will make you think twice before taking a second helping.
The Exorcist (1973)
To this day I refuse to eat pea soup and the reason is directly traceable back to the epic vomit scene in The Exorcist. Sure, the masturbation via crucifix scene gets all the glory but for my money the true legacy of The Exorcist will remain forever the way it turned a generation of audience goers off of pea soup forever. Not only is the pea soup in its original form indistinguishable from the projectile vomit mess Regan spews, but also its lumpy consistency gives this scene an almost tactile quality. And not in a good way.
I owe my ability to not upchuck while watching this film’s notorious steak scene to my vegetarianism. Carnivores, however, may not fare so well. In a hallucination-fueled daze, one of the characters sees a bloodied steak that appears to vomit on itself and is then consumed by maggots. That this scene leads directly into a graphic moment of face peeling only ups the gross-out factor.
Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)
If you’re a fan of jello, you may want to skip this one. Bloodsucking Freaks lives up to its controversial reputation thanks to scenes of sexualized amputation and torture via thumbscrews. But it is the scene of a moist brain being slurped up via a straw that is the most traumatic. Because really, we’ve always wondered how they get the jello so jiggly. This is one I still have a difficult time watching and is the number one reason why I am forever able to resist my aunt’s Ambrosia salad.
Dead Alive (1992)
Listen, I used to love Tapioca pudding. And then I watched Peter Jackson’s legendary Dead Alive. As Mother slowly morphs into her increasingly zombiefied state, pus begins to drip from her wound and lands in a bowl of pudding. Alas, her dinner companion fails to notice the gagworthy secret ingredient and hungrily slurps it down. If that wasn’t disgusting enough, Mother consumes her own ear when it lands in her own bowl. How mindblowingly gross is this scene? I’m gagging just typing the words.