While they may have fallen out of fashion since the '80s, dinner parties are making a comeback, especially if you are a flesh-eating zombie, or hack-happy cannibal. The doorbell rings and your guests start to arrive: the skull is on the stove, the brains are broiling, and the liver is on a low-heat. Get ready for a murder mystery dinner with a twist! Here's how to host horror's perfect dinner party. Guests, dishes, and aperitifs. Slaughter is served.
While food may be the focal point of a good dinner party, the hostess with the mostess should know that a great horror dinner party would be nowhere without its ensemble cast. You can't sit the cannibals next to the children, Freddy will only eat soul food, and Michael Myers doesn't like pumpkin pie. So who made the cut?
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1. The Intelligent Guest - Dr. Hannibal Lecter
"On a similar note I must confess to you, I'm giving very serious thought... to eating your wife."
The chef, the doctor, the notorious cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter is the full package. Flavor wizard Lecter has been feeding us sweetbreads since his literary creation in 1981. The good doctor has cooked his way into our hearts and nightmares across three great men: Brian Cox, Anthony Hopkins, and Mads Mikkelsen.
All have taken the Lecter mantle on our screens, and his most recent outing was on Bryan Fuller's superb series Hannibal. If you still doubt that Lecter is the perfect dinner party guest, only one man can freeze your soul with his gaze while giving you a recipe for chilled gazpacho.
2. The Crazy Neighbor - Mrs. Lovett
"Have to hand it to her, what I calls enterprise, popping pussies into pies."
As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, we all need some hearty winter fare. Everyone loves a good pie in winter, and who better to provide than Mrs. Lovett — that Cockney songstress with a penchant for pastry? On stage and screen Nellie Lovett has appeared as the unwilling partner to Sweeney Todd's barbery and butchery. Since appearing in the penny dreadful The String of Pearls: A Romance in 1846, Lovett has gone on to be the Bonnie to Sweeney Todd's Clyde.
The character was most notably fleshed out during Stephen Sondheim's musical of Todd, and often appears as a childless widow. There was once a rumored TV series that would tell the story of Todd from the eyes of Lovett, and was said to be in the vein of The Good Wife. Thankfully Julianna Margulies was never approached, and any thoughts of it were stuck in the oven.
3. The Unwanted Relatives - The Sawyer/Hewitt Family
"No secret, it's the meat. Don't skimp on the meat."
It just wouldn't be a dinner party without the stereotypical unwanted in-laws, and few families are as unwanted as the Sawyer clan. From Leatherface and his chainsaw wrecking the furniture to Drayton's "secret recipe" for chili, the murderous family has had some of cinema's very best dining table scenes across the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, most notably Marilyn Burns's harrowing final girl performance in 1974's original Massacre.
Although the members of the family have changed, as has the family surname, the Sawyer/Hewitts have remained a constant of horror over the past 40+ years . What is their secret to long-lasting horror? Well, according to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II's Drayton Sawyer "it's the meat."
3. The Kooky Couple - Mary And Paul Bland
"Why don't you go to bed, honey? I'll bag the Nazi and straighten up."
With Paul Bland being a wine dealer, at least you will be assured some good plonk on the table, while wife Mary is a trained nurse for any of those who find themselves injured over the course of the evening. Just don't ask them to put their keys in the bowl — the Bland's aren't too fond of swingers. Mary and Paul are the couple made famous by black comedy Eating Raoul. The two suburbanites take a shine to killing swingers.
*Spoilers*, the film really does live up to its name, and the pair dine on the hunky latino locksmith Raoul. The film became a cult phenomenon, but plans for a planned sequel were scrapped just 10 days before production began. If you can't get that "Bland" taste out of your mouth, the pair returned to their roles for a cameo in the equally trashy Chopping Mall.
The Quiet Guy - Gluttony
"Did I stutter? This guy ain't breathing unless he's breathing spaghetti sauce."
You know him from work, you only invited him because you felt sorry for him. That awkward guy you are trying to set up with your other single friend. He may just sit there, and not really say a lot, but the man who played Gluttony from David Fincher's Se7en is the ultimate horror foodie. Imagine being fed spaghetti hoops until your insides explode — well, imagine no more.
Bob Mack, who played the spaghetti-loving victim, reveals that his time on set was less than pleasant. With live cockroaches in the kitchen scene, precaution were taken to keep them away from his ears and mouth, however, Mack ended up with some crawling in his underwear instead. One last thing, if Gluttony brings around a present, make sure you don't open the box!
The Eye Candy - Greta Gibson
"Bon appetit bitch."
You need something nice to look at as you dine on that delicious soylent green, so why not up-and-coming model Greta Gibson. It is back to 1989 to Erika Anderson's character met her grisly demise in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Literally fit to burst, Greta was victim to an overfeeding from Freddy Krueger, and obviously no one told her that it is rude to talk with your mouth full.
Complete with Freddy's one line zingers like "fillet de Barbie," the scene was molten Krueger cheese. It may have been her first role, but Anderson cites long days on set and not being told not to eat through her prosthetic. One day this lead to a mask full of mushed up food and a very unhappy director. Sure, by the time we got to Freddy's fifth outing the food had gone a little stale, but Greta's death was one of the flagging Elm Street series's most imaginative.
The Wild Card - The Gingerbread Man
"It sure ain't the Pillsbury f*cking doughboy."
No one really knows much about him, you can't remember who invited him, but boy is he a lot of fun. Gingey from Shrek has got it all wrong, not all gingerbread men are happy little cookies, some are 'dough'nwright psychopaths. Coming from 2005's horror-comedy The Gingerbread Man, Gary Busey played unhinged serial killer Millard Findlemeyer who has his ashes baked into a demonic dough.
One tough cookie, the original film turned into a franchise, but sadly Busey didn't return for Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust, or Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver. Personally, I always thought that the studios missed a trick my not creating Million Dough-llar Baby.
What To Eat
The RSVP's have gone out and the guests are assembling, but what do you serve up to the cream of the horror foodie crop? While Hannibal has got you covered for fava beans and a delightful amuse-bouche, let's get in the kitchen and rustle up the rest of the feast.
Vomiting steak from Poltergeist (1982)
I like my steak blue, but even a crawling steak (that vomits its insides) is a little too far for me. The spectacled parapsychologist goes to the fridge for a midnight snack, only to see a prime rump literally turn itself inside out. If that isn't bad enough, the chicken leg he has been gnawing is full of maggots, and then his face melts off in the mirror. Now that's what I call a bad case of the munchies.
Rotten pig from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Not one for the vegetarian contingent, who feels like a possessed (and rotten) pig as a edible focal point? To film the scene in the third Nightmare on Elm Street film, they actually used a full hog carcass and let it spoil. The crew would then lie under the body and pilot it with sticks — just imagine the smell!
Flesh biscuits from Black Christmas (2006)
The 2006's Black Christmas may get a bad rep compared to its 1974 original, but among the wooden performances, and a young Michelle Trachtenberg, we all remember the film's recipe for festive biscuits. After Billy Lentz apparently stabs his sister to death with a Christmas ornament, he goes and cuts him a slice outta momma, then sticks it in the oven. Serve them to Santa, or pop them on the table for an after dinner snack.
Dead sushi from Dead Sushi (2012)
If having a dinner table full of cannibalistic psychopaths isn't enough for you, then how about the food coming for you too? Literally coming from the dregs of Z-list horror came Noboru Iguchi's Dead Sushi. A group of Japanese businessmen find themselves attacked by some very angry nigiri - a film that was unsurprisingly influenced by Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
If music is the food of love, make sure you have some LPs of the following lying around, and watch out for Leatherface on the karaoke!
- Bowling For Soup
- The Smashing Pumpkins
- Fine Young Cannibals
- Red Hot Chilli Peppers
- Black Eyed Peas
- Flavor Flave
- Chocolate Starfish
What To Watch
Now that you are all stuffed to bursting in Hansel and Gretel style, grab yourself a nice glass of Chianti and settle in for some after-dinner cinematic glory. Get your popcorn ready...
Sweet Movie (1974) - not one to watch when you are anywhere near actual food. Actress Anna Prucnal was actually exiled for her part in the film. Involving murder is tubs of sugar, chocolate-covered fights, and more bodily fluids than your should ever see!
Delicatessen (1991) - French food at its finest, the film follows a post-apocalyptic apartment building and the intertwined lives of its inhabitants. Unknown to the cast, there is a secret ingredient in the resident butcher's sausages.
Alive (1993) - based on the true story of a rugby team who crash land in the Andes and resort to cannibalism to survive. John Malkovich narrates this gruesome mockumentary.
The Last Supper (1995) - a young Cameron Diaz joins a group of like-minded socialites who use their dinner parties as a way to off right-wing extremists.
Would You Rather (2013) - combining after-dinner japes with a murderous game of "would you rather?" Brittany Snow and Jeffrey Combs join the unlucky diners in one game with no winners.
Marks Out Of 10
So, Come Dine With Me is over and it is time for the final marks. For those who survive the night and earn a House on Haunted Hill share of $1,000,000, gather your limbs and tell your friends. Movie Pilot throws the best darn horror dinner party there is. You will be licking your lips in antici-----pation for next time.
Check out the cooking with Hannibal supercut, and don't forget our poll below!