Eating Mishaps on Film
For those of us blessed to be in the Red, White und Blue, Thanksgiving is upon us — a holiday dedicated to stuffing ourselves retarded with enough food to prevent war in Africa and falling into a triptophan coma in front of televisions blaring football while steadfastly ignoring your loved ones. My loved ones remain across the continent, nestled in their cozy Pennsyltucky hamlet, and so this year, my intended and I are headed out to the Morongo Casino Thanksgiving Buffet. In addition to celebrating materialism and gluttony, Morongo Casino is located on an Indian reservation, and so we’ll be sticking it to the natives worse than a smallpox Snuggie. By all that is right and just, I will consume an entire pie before the day is through. Plymouth Rock didn’t land on me, I slathered it in Cool Whip and cranberry sauce and chowed down on that motherfucker.
As a warning to those of you joining me in diabetic comas in the coming week, I offer unto you this baker’s dozen of acts of cinematic gluttony, overeating, and nausea to appreciate and satiate you between liberal doses of gravy. Remember, doctors suggest you drink eight glasses a day. Bon appetit!
13. Super Size Me — Not So Happy Meal
Throwing common sense to the wind, Morgan Spurlock decides to take McDonald’s at their word and consume McDonald’s meals three times a day for a solid month. If they upsell him on the Super Size, Spurlock goes for it. After chowing down on a huge greasy meal, Spurlock — overcome with what I like to call The Grimmorse — vomits out of his car into this alley, making him the 17,895,436th person to hork after eating of his sainted clownship’s victuals. Over a billion got served.
12. Groundhog Day — Have Some Cake
Stuck in a endless loop of the same day, realizing his own immortality, weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) decides to order one of everything on the menu and stuff his face. His producer, Rita (Andie Macdowell), stares in disgust as Murray shovels it in. Chugging from the pitcher is a touch of beauty, but it’s the moment when he stuffs the entire slab of cake in his mouth, grunting with a thickthroated “What?” at her look of revulsion that sells the scene for me. Fuck it, if I could eat anything without worrying about repercussion? You best watch your ass, buffet.
11. Se7en — Gluttony
The first of the murders based on the seven deadly sins, the monstrous killer stuffs the massive victim (Bob Mack) with canned spaghetti until he’s ready to burst, and then kicks him in the stomach until he literally ruptures. It sets the tone for the grungy and disturbing flick from that point on, and while the murders get more graphic in their depiction, there was something even more haunting about the image of that gargantuan fatty sprawled out dead at his kitchen table.
10. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — Violet’s Feeling Blue
While Wonka lured children to their deaths one by one in his house of horrors, most of the children got off relatively easy: falling in a chocolate river, shrinking, going down a nut chute. But it was Violet who literally swole to epic proportions, balling up like a Fat Bastardette. As the Oompa Loompas taunt her with their nightmare rhymes, wheeling her off to be “juiced” — assuredly to feed the Loompa larvae once they hatch — we know for certain this child paid dearly for crossing The Wonka.
9. Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe — Pretty Self Explanatory
In this short film, Werner Herzog proves himself a man of his word, and as payment for his bet with Errol Morris, Herzog eats his shoe. This is a pretty good allegory for all of Herzog’s career.
8. Animal House — Bluto Gets Lunch
Belushi has several genius moments of excess in Animal House, but there’s something glorious about watching him pile on plate after plate on his tray — surreptitiously scarfing jell-o and other foods that won’t fit — before sitting down at the table with the disgusted frat bastards. He’s almost childlike in his innocent ignorance, but then cements the deal with his mashed-potatoed zit imitation.
7. Funny Farm — Lamb Fries
I don’t really understand what it is about this movie I enjoy, but I think it’s sort of a watershed for when Chevy Chase descended into the terrible during his career. But it’s an unusual rural fish-out-of-water story about fitting in the Yankee hinterlands. And while Chase makes many faux pas among his neighbors, there’s something hilarious about watching him scarf down the lamb fries, breaking the record as the waitress chalks his total on the board, before finally learning what lamb fries actually are. And let’s face it. Who hasn’t eaten something only to discover its nefarious origins later?
6. Drop Dead Gorgeous — Tainted Seafood
There are many wonderful moments in this black comedy, but one of my favorites comes during Amber Atkins’ (Kirsten Dunst) advancement through the second wave after all the other contestants suffer illnesses from a tainted buffet. Fucking beauty queens, man. Fucking beauty queens.
5. The Great Outdoors — The Old 96er
You knew John Candy was ending up on this list, dammit. Surprisingly, Candy didn’t have a lot of big eatin’ in any of his films, aside from one of my favorite moments from this family flick. We’ve all thought about taking on an eating challenge at one time or another. Chet Ripley starts in on The Old 96er, a 96 oz. steak — that’s 6 pounds of pure beef. Only, it’s not all beef. There’s nothing left on the plate but fat and gristle, but that’s part of The Old 96er. The chef grinning and rubbing his cheeks kills me every time.
4. Cool Hand Luke — Hard-Boiled
Again, I’d be willing to bet we’ve all consumed something or another on a bet. Even something as innocuous as eggs seem easy. Hell, radio DJs killed a women in a water drinking contest. With water. So when tough guys gather in a hellacious chain gang, they’re gonna be bored. And so Luke (Paul Newman) finds himself trying to down fifty — such a nice round number — fifty fucking hardboiled eggs in an hour. Watching him stuff those eggs in his mouth and chew and chew and chew is hilarious and horrifying in all the same swoop.
3. Monty Python and the Meaning of Life — Better Get a Bucket
I doubt there’s anyone who didn’t think Mr. Creosote was making this list. The gelatinous gourmand stuffing himself until he spews vomit everywhere has practically become the touchstone for gratuitous eating in film. Particularly the finale when he viscerally explodes from a wafffer-thin mint.
2. Stand by Me — Lardass’s Revenge
So much awesome happens in Stephen King’s coming-of-age story about four young boys on a journey to see a dead body. But for me it’s all about Gordie LeChance (Wil Wheaton) relating the campfire story of Total Barf-o-Rama about a morbidly obese teen dubbed Lard Ass getting vengeance on his town during the blueberry pie eating contest. To this day, I still have trouble eating blueberry pie. Or looking at Shriners.
1. Spaceballs — Oh, Not Again
This spoof scene has everything — an awesome cameo, a dance sequence, and a violent eating mishap. John Hurt coughs up the special in the space diner — his stomach erupting with an alien critter, who then tapdances his way across the countertop. It’s pretty much what I expect my obituary to look like after this weekend.