The holidays are finally behind us and it’s the start of a brand new year! With that comes a new mindset and a fresh set of resolutions. Whether it’s trying to quit smoking, exercise more or even eating less, sticking to any kind of new routine can be scary. But what better way to stay in shape than running for your life. Thankfully, that’s where horror movies can come in handy.
Not only do they help you burn calories, they’re also a great stress reliever if you ever find yourself in dire situation like the ones listed below.
So, with that in mind, here is a list of 10 of the most gruesome food related deaths in cinema that should help keep you on track. Keep in mind, snacking on this list might spoil your appetite – that is.. spoil some of the endings of these movies. Consider yourself warned!
10) CABIN FEVER (2002) – Lemonade
In Eli Roth’s debut film, Cabin Fever (2002), five friends rent a cabin in the woods (already a bad idea if you’ve ever seen a horror movie before). One by one they come into contact with a flesh-eating virus that not only deteriorates their bodies but also their loyalties.
After accidentally killing a hermit infected with the flesh-eating disease, tensions rise and characters get killed off in excruciating ways. One of the last survivors, Paul (Rider Strong) comes across the hermit’s dead body in the nearby reservoir and realizes that the infection is spreading through the town’s water supply.
In the end, a group of kids are selling lemonade outside the local convenience store, which they made with water from the very same infected reservoir. As the credits roll, a large truck filled with bottled reservoir water pulls out of the driveway, seemingly on its way to infecting more than just the small town.
9) HAPPY DEATH DAY (2017) – Poison Cupcake
Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe, Happy Death Day 2U) was your typical, self-obsessed, mean-spirited sorority girl who had to relive the day of her murder over and over in an endless loop until she could figure out the culprit. On her birthday, no less!
After being stabbed in the stomach, drowned in a fountain, stabbed in the head, burned alive in a cop car, stabbed in the chest, shot, hanged, etc, etc, the last cause of death was a poison cupcake baked by her roommate, Lori played by Ruby Modine (Shameless).
While the cupcake may have been the last death in a long line of unfortunate deaths, it hurts the most because before she ate it, Tree believed she had solved her murder and was beginning to take steps to turn her life around, only to have to that relief taken away from her and start all over again.
8) KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988) – Popcorn Bazooka / Cotton Candy Cocoons
Killer Klowns from Outer Space is directed by Charles, Edward and Stephen Chiodo, a trio of brothers who were also special effect artists, most famously known for the “Large Marge” claymation in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985). Killer Klowns may share a premise with the master of horror’s acclaimed work, but when it comes to food related deaths, this film definitely has the most bizarre.
The Klowns main go-to was the spider-like cocoon, but instead of spider webbing, these fierce creatures wrap their victims in cotton candy and use a straw to suck their victim’s blood. They also use a “popcorn bazooka” that shoots out pieces of popcorn that are actually little creatures that grow to become serpent-like Killer Klowns.
In one sequence, one of the main characters gets shot at with the bazooka and wipes off the excess popcorn clinging to her clothes. Or so she thinks. After she returns home, the “Killer Kernels” spring out of her hamper and terrorize her until the main Klowns show up and zap her into the cotton candy cocoon.
7) URBAN LEGEND (1998) – Pop Rocks
Early on in the 1998 film Urban Legend, a college professor, played by horror Hall of Famer Robert Englund, is lecturing his class about the popular urban myth involving pop rocks and exploding stomachs. Joshua Jackson (The Affair) volunteers to imbibe the supposedly deadly concoction and has a little fun while doing it. After downing both ingredients to no ill effect, class resumes while Jackson’s character starts choking dramatically and falls to the ground convulsing. As his classmates begin to panic, he stops gagging and starts smiling, stomach and intestines intact. His friend won’t fare so well later on though.
Parker, played by Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Inside of You podcast) is at a party when he gets a call from the killer and is later chased, beaten, tied up and involuntarily subjected to the lethal pairing of pop rocks … and bathroom cleaner.
6) THINNER (1996) – Cursed Pie
Life is all fun and games until you accidentally run over an elderly gypsy woman and have a curse put on you that makes you lose weight at an incredible speed. Such is the plot of Thinner (1996) based on the novel by Stephen King and directed by Tom Holland (Fright Night).
Throughout the course of the film, obese lawyer Billy Halleck, played by Robert John Burke, continues to lose weight in a stunning transformation achieved through genuinely impressive makeup effects. Near the end of the film, a withered and frail Billy waits for the man who put the curse on him, and we see just how desperate he has become. He is told that the only way to reverse the curse is to pass it along to someone else. He agrees, slicing the palm of his hand and draining the blood into a pie for him to give to his unsuspecting victim. The victim? His wife, whom he suspects is having an affair with the town doctor.
After coming home with his “cursed blood pie”, he offers some to his wife and the next morning wakes up to her petrified corpse. Sadly, she wasn’t the only one in the family to have a piece of the pie, as Billy finds the body of their teenage daughter, having eaten some of the leftovers for breakfast.
5) SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (2007) – Meat Pies
Based on the Stephen Sondheim musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) was directed by Tim Burton (Big Eyes, Dumbo 2019) and follows Benjamin Barker (Depp), a barber wronged by the evil Judge Turpin (played by Alan Rickman) who coveted Barker’s wife.
After exiling the barber and taking in his wife and infant daughter, Barker returns many years later a changed man. Now going by the name Sweeney Todd, he takes up residence in his old barbershop where he meets Mrs Lovett, played by Helena Bonham Carter (Ocean’s Eight), a terrible baker with eyes for the former Barker. After a chance encounter with the judge goes awry, Mrs. Lovett convinces Todd to fuel his anger into a more…profitable venture: by killing his clientelle and using the leftover corpses for her meat pies to help keep her business alive.
While no one is killed by food, multiple people are killed and turned into food. Such was the fad back in the 1700s.
4) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1981) – Shish Kabob
The Top Ten are a group of high school seniors who are the most popular and privileged in the school in the 1981 Canadian slasher film, Happy Birthday To Me. One year, 6 of the Ten are killed in “the most bizarre murders you will ever see” (according to the trailer). One while lifting weights, another by getting their scarf wrapped up in the spokes of their motorcycle and one truly gruesome incident, involving a shish kabob.
Ginny, played by Melissa Sue Anderson (Little House on the Prairie) brings home a boy after a school dance and the two sit by the fire. After indulging in some light entendres, the two begin to eat off of the kabob before things turn sinister. The music softly changes from light and dreamy to dark and macabre as Ginny gets an evil look in her eye and stabs the meat skewer straight down her lover’s throat.
It is later revealed that the real killer was her half-sister Ann. It turns out Ginny’s mother had an affair with Ann’s father and wanted to exact revenge for the dissolution of her family by wearing an incredibly accurate latex mask of Ginny in hopes of framing her for the killing spree. (And SPOILER ALERT: it totally works!)
3) SE7EN (1995) – All the Food
In just under 10 minutes, David Fincher (Gone Girl, Mindhunter) thrusts audiences into his world of rain-soaked city streets and grisly crime scenes in the serial killer classic Se7en (1996). Not only are you introduced to the two main characters, Morgan Freeman’s world wearied and almost retired, William Somerset and Brad Pitt’s idealistic but reckless David Mills, you’re also witness to the first of seven heinous murders based on the seven deadly sins.
With Gluttony, Mills (Pitt) and Somerset (Freeman) come across the body of an overly obese man face down in a bowl of soup. Surrounding the corpse are cans of soup, plates with half-finished food and a bucket of vomit. Upon further investigation, they notice his hands and feet tied together with barbed wire and discover later that the man was forced to eat until his insides burst.
While you never see the death on-screen, seeing the aftermath is just as upsetting and sets the mood for the rest of the film.
2) NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD (1989) – Greta’s Death
While I wanted to include the Soul Pizza scene from Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Warrior (1988) where one character has to watch Freddy Krueger eat her friend, who has been turned into a meatball on top of a pizza, Greta’s death in Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) is far more disturbing.
At a dinner party surrounded by friends of her mother, Greta, played by Erika Anderson (Twin Peaks) gets hit on while wanting to grieve the death of her friend. After dozing off for only a second, Freddy arrives and begins to feed parts of her to herself. As her mother and dinner guests watch and laugh, Freddy starts choking her. Then, just when you think the scene is over, a refrigerator door opens as Alice (Lisa Hilcox) places a bag of oranges inside. Suddenly, everything begins to rot right in front of her eyes and in a truly great jump scare, a stuffed face Greta leaps out from the door of the refrigerator before Freddy grabs her and drags her back in.
In the real world, Greta begins choking and falls face first into her plate as her mom and dinner guests watch on in abject horror.
1) HANNIBAL (2001) – Braaaaaaaaiiinnnsss!
The highly anticipated sequel to the cultural phenomenon that was The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Ridley Scott’s Hannibal (2001) finds Julianne Moore’s Clarice Starling hunting down the titular character played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, reprising the role that helped launch his career into the multiverse.
After being wounded and stitched back up by the mad doctor, Clarice (Moore) wakes to find herself in a black evening gown. Still feeling the effects from the morphine Lecter had administered to her, she comes across a dinner table with Dr. Lecter hosting an equally dazed Justice Department official Paul Krendler, played by Ray Liotta (Goodfellas).
As the scene goes on and Clarice tries to escape, Dr. Lecter begins to remove the top of Krendler’s (Liotta) skull, exposing his brain. Clarice watches helplessly as Hannibal proceeds to cut off pieces of Krendler’s pre-frontal lobe… and feed it to him.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009) – Strudel and Milk Scene
While no one is killed (in this scene at least), the tension that director Quentin Tarantino (Hateful Eight) builds between Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and Shosanna (Melanie Laurent) as Landa enjoys a strudel while softly interrogating Shosanna about her movie theater makes you want to die.
There you have it! Those were just 10 of the most gruesome food related deaths in movies! Did they make you reconsider your new years solutions? Sound off on Twitter, start a discussion over on the Fiend Club Facebook Group or head to the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit and let us know!