Whenever I settle down to enjoy a meal, I always have to take a minute or two before I eat to find something to watch. What began as a simple habit has become a religious affair and to my shame, I’ve often put this habit before my enjoyment of the food.
I’m pretty easy with this as I can settle into a wide range of clips of shows or entire episodes of Peep Show, Bottom, Red Dwarf, and Boardwalk Empire to name a few – right now, I’m on a Sopranos binge (although admittedly, there have been times when my indecisiveness on what exactly to watch has cost me my ability to eat food while it’s hot).
There’s plenty more I could recommend, but that’s a long list and for anyone who indulges in this habit, you’ve probably already got your preferences. Whatever you choose, it needs to be something that compliments your food, so that you can get the most out of both.
As I’ve said, I mainly stick to shows when I settle in to eat, but I’ve been known to watch a film too from time to time, as I imagine, do a lot of others too. Some people I’ve met even say they’ll watch a horror film with their food, which, as much as I love horror, just baffles me. On that note, I believe there are certain films you should never watch while you eat, especially if you expect to enjoy your food.
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
This one hits me on a personal level, being that it caused one of the worst food turnoff moments I’ve ever experienced with the added bonus of putting me off mushrooms forever, which I’ll get to shortly.
The Nightmare on Elm Street series is full of disgusting, stomach-churning effects. The worst of the bunch for me, however, is included in part 4. The film is nowhere near being the best in the series, and while it goes into more depth with some of the themes set up in part 3, it doesn’t even come close to matching its quality. However, with this theme, you can at least expect some creative dream deaths. We have a killer asthma attack, people thrown in furnaces, souls ripping out of bodies and a woman transformed into a cockroach to be crushed.
Sure, these don’t sound that bad but they went all out on the effects here – a particular favourite is a gruesome transformation into an insect. At the top of these is the scene which will forever make my stomach gurgle at the mere thought of it, and it’s not even a death scene.
In one of the more creative dream sequences, we find Freddy about to munch on a giant pizza which looks to be topped with meatballs. Upon closer inspection, however, it turns out these are tiny wailing heads, one of which is he then punctured by Freddy, and he lifts it to his mouth with a trail of a thick orange goo hanging off of it. There are worse scenes out there sure, but if you ever find yourself eating a mushroom burger with orange burger sauce, this one will stick with you forever.
5. The Thing (1982)
The Thing is arguably John Carpenter’s best work. While it got little attention when it was first released due to its nihilistic tone and bleak ending, it has now become a cult classic that has made its way onto many greatest films lists. A lot of this is down to its monster; an alien lifeform which not only assimilates its victims but has the ability to survive through mitosis.
This means all kinds of carnage ensues including a horrific scene where it picks on a group of caged doggos; heads separating from bodies and turning into spiders, chests growing teeth, and blood coming alive. It’s a film known for its gore, but it’s not just the amount of gore, but the level of detail. One example is the autopsy on the first alien body that’s found. Watching Wilfred ‘Diabeetus’ Brimley scramble its insides, we bear witness to wet, steaming organs; a thick, gelatinous substance dripping on everything and the half produced body of an alien dog. It’s a vivid experience, and that’s just one scene in the early part of the film, so if this isn’t enough, trust me, there are plenty more scenes to put you off your dinner.
4. Nekromantik (1987)
If you hadn’t guessed by now, I’m fascinated by this film. Terribly acted, no real story to speak of, stunted dialogue, an overly hostile tone, and to top it off camera and audio work like it was dropped in the bath and dried with little care – it has little redeeming qualities.
The only reason this film has any appeal is that of its subject matter. A supposed fly on the wall look into the lives of people who like to dip their wicks into the dead, you wouldn’t be blamed for being curious because how often will you see a film like this, right? Well, you’ll most likely immediately regret that decision when you find yourself watching a threesome involving Pipe Penis Pete – that’s what I call Rob and Beatty’s gooseberrying corpse who definitely didn’t sign up for this.
I’ve mentioned before how the look of a film can go a long way to mess with the senses, and this is one of those. It’s cheap aesthetic only enhances its nastiness, so every time Beatty pops Pete’s eye in her mouth, I can’t help but gag.
3. Hellraiser (1987)
Hellraiser is a film built around a theme of flesh and our connection with our own bodies. It speaks to the small cynics out there that know that while the human body is an amazing, wondrous thing, it’s also nasty as hell – more so if we toy with it.
Mutilation and torture is the key here so you can expect quite a lot of brutality on screen – the last scene of Frank being pulled apart is perhaps the most famous example. There’s also the scene at the beginning with the original Frank being taken by Pinhead and chums where we get plenty of close up shots of hooks through the skin.
However, by far the most disgusting and most impressive scene comes with Frank’s resurrection. After his brother, Larry, spills blood on the floor, Frank slowly revives from the floorboards and I don’t want to undersell it so all I can say is: it’s fucking vile.
It’s a shame we don’t see effects like this anymore 😦
2. Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Based on the infamous novel written by Marquis De Sade in a jail cell, this film displays levels of sadism which are unmatched to this day. Set in the fall of fascist Italy, a group of wealthy folks kidnap a group of teenagers and subject them to all different kinds of abuse: physically, mentally & sexually.
Set over four months, the group of teenagers are raped and tortured which gets worse as time goes on until, in the last act, all of them are killed (spoilers). This is a one of a kind horror fest which includes: rape, scalping, eye-gouging and shit eating* – a recipe which I’m sure even the strongest stomachs couldn’t tolerate.
If you’re wondering what kind of sicko could make a film like this, well the kind that was accused of making advances on an underaged boy and was subsequently murdered by said boy. Swings and roundabouts I suppose.
*This is called Coprophagy – the more you know, right?
1. Slugs (1988)
Slugs is a funny film because you would think with a premise of carnivorous slugs, you’d be in for another ridiculous creature feature, one which might even take a satirical note, similar to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Instead, we get one of the darkest and best examples of 80’s B movie film-making.
The genius here is that slugs are already pretty gross with their slimy, alien-like appearance so to make them dangerous creates quite a deadly foe. Put them in great numbers with a taste for human flesh and there’s apparently no end of the carnage they can cause. There’s plenty of horrifying scenes to choose from such as a naked couple falling into a pit of slugs and baby slugs erupting from someone’s skull. As an added bonus, unlike a lot of films of similar ilk, Slugs isn’t afraid to get gory.
The scene which always makes me nauseated is the how baby slugs end up in someone’s head, to begin with. Maureen is making a light dinner for her husband David and begins chopping lettuce for the salad. Unbeknownst to her, a slug hides among the leaves and she ends up chopping it into pieces too, which David unknowingly eats. We get a shot of the slug being chopped, oozing into the lettuce and I don’t know what it is, but just the thought of it makes me feel unwell.
Luckily for you, I couldn’t find that clip so here’s the baby slugs skull birth scene instead: