Food and Death in Film

Food has always been perceived as something of a blessing. The pleasure inherent in being able to sample some of the most luxurious flavors in the world, to nourish one’s body with the succulent tastes of the earth… it’s all very decadent. However, film has a very twisted way of morphing the most pleasurable aspects of life into something vicious, gnarly, even frightening.

There’s been a history of taking manna from the heavens and turning it into a harbinger of ill-will. Not all of them are classics in the traditional sense, but they all have managed to make food something to fear.


As unexpected as my path was to loving all things weird, more unexpected is my ability to get attention for writing about the stuff.

10 Responses

  1. Fascinating topic. The modern zombie (post-Night of the Living Dead) genre could fit in here too.

    • Camiele says:

      @Diandra Rodriguez, This is true. Though, I think that zombies deserve a post all their own… HaHa. There’s so much you can say about the subject.

  2. amy says:

    Wow, nice turn around on the Jurassic Park xD I wouldn’t have thought of it, but yeahhhhhhhh still in my Top10 list haha And I have to admit I’m too chicken-sh!t to watch Audition… like, it’s on my to-watch-list xD but I’m too scared. I also don’t have time… I have like a long list of queued films gathering dust.

    I would also include Okuribito (Departures) – though I can’t find a clip of them eating or talking about food — the main character begins his disgust with food after working with the dead, until his boss finally tells him about the relationship between life and death. That other beings die so others can live, and the best way you can honor their lives is to eat them with pleasure. That conversation goes on during the eating of blowfish, which you know it’s the “deadly fish” xD, and then there’s a scene where the lot of them eat fried chicken suckling on the chicken bones. It’s weird but looks so appetizing hahaha like, they’re eating because it’s really tasty. xD

    I think that particular view on food has stayed with me since the first time I saw the movie.

  3. amy says:

    Ohhhhhh, I forgot. There’s a movie called Taxidermia (I dunno if you’ve heard of it), it’s pretty grotesque and highly stylized, and though the food doesn’t seem to take much on the story other than setting it up, there’s a VERY grotesque food contest eating. xD

    In general though, I think contest eating looks pretty gross.

    • Camiele says:

      @amy, Agreed… HaHa. I just find anything where the focus is watching people eat is pretty gross. Like, I refuse to watch food shows where the main person is either eating food or watching “regular” people as they eat food. Grossity gross!!!!

      I actually haven’t heard of either one of those films and now I’m really interested. I was gonna add Dead Alive. Don’t know why I decided against it at the last minute… had the “country: new zealand” tag queued up and everything. *shrugs*, oh well. maybe next time :) Guess there’s still time this time around, but I need to do a book review… HaHa.

      And, yeah, you’ve got to be ready for Audition. I was blind-sided by it. I was going through a phase not unlike my obsession with Kpop (well… more like one group in particular, but you already know all about that) in which I was focused on seeing anything Japanese. I was clicking through channels, saw it was on, and… yeah, was dead for life! HaHA.

      • amy says:

        @Camiele, I wouldn’t say it’s people eating that’s gross. I love watching people eating on screen, especially if they enjoy it (watch too much Japanese stuff xD). But there’s something very disgusting in the way a lot of American TV has shown me over-eating. xD Like… the first thing that comes up with gross eating is Jackass and them guys having obscene amounts of hard-boiled eggs and then- gross. I try to avoid anything that over-does it.

        But I don’t have much problems with shows like Man Vs. Food, which is about a dude having obscene amounts of food, but it’s not meant to gross me out because he actually eats the stuff and doesn’t hoover it, like one is supposed to in a food contest, you know? Those food contests are about putting the food in the mouth, chew the minimum so you don’t get full, and push it down with the least amount of water. It’s gross and it doesn’t respect food, I think.

        What I hate the most is Hollywood movies or shows where there’s people dining or having lunch, and they barely chew on their food because it’s either prop food, super gross, or worse… stars are worried about calories. Considering how many hungry people are there, I feel it’s a crime to spray something with silicon to make it look good on camera. :(

        • Camiele says:

          @amy, EWww… yeah… dude… HaHa. I don’t know what first triggered my hating watching people eat, but unless it’s like people judging food (as in Iron Chef or something of the same type), I just can do it.

          As far as movies go, yeah, that’s a problem. Especially in films, you should make it look like you at least LIKE to eat food. *sigh*. If there were a happy medium, that would be nice… HaHa.

  4. Rodrigo says:

    Speaking of Hannibal, the ending with the little kid on the plane wanting to eat what Lecter was having was priceless.

  5. ghost says:

    @Rodrigo + Camiele, I’ll have what he’s having.

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