Podcast Episode 113: Gourmet Cannibal Films And Stuart Gordon's 'Taste'
Talking about elegant horror with chefs and a director
Cannibal films — in which people mindlessly slaughter and eat others or where carnage soaks the screen — are a dime a dozen. But films in which great care is taken with both the filmmaking and the preparation of human flesh for consumption are more rare.
And that's what we are going to be talking about on this gourmet cannibal podcast.
Almost three years ago I saw Stuart Gordon's play "Taste" (inspired by the infamous Armin Meiwes case about a German man who placed an online ad seeking a willing victim to be killed and eaten) and was inspired to create a list of what I called gourmet cannibal films for Showbiz Junkies, a site I contribute "10 best lists" to.
For that list I used French terms to make the distinction between the films I wanted to talk about and the run of the mill cannibal film.
The typical cannibal film (i.e. "Cannibal Holocaust," "Motel Hell," etc.) is something suited for a gourmand, a ravenous and greedy eater, prone to excess, but not too discriminating in what he eats. And there's nothing wrong with feeding that particular appetite with those kinds of gore-fests.
But the gourmet cannibal film is for a connoisseur, a person with a discerning palate and who prefers items that are exotic and of high quality. And for this podcast I decided to speak to a chef, Zach Zelin, about defining what qualifies as gourmet and what is simply fast food.
I am also pulling out an archive interview with Stuart Gordon about his play "Taste" and an interview with Dr. Emily Anderson about the cannibal exhibit she curated for the San Diego Museum of Man.
I was inspired to revisit this list and Gordon's play for my podcast because a new and brilliant gourmet cannibal film is hitting screens and it is also one directed by a woman, Julia Ducournau! "Raw" (opening March 24 at Landmark's Ken Cinema) is about a young, vegetarian female student at a veterinary school who suddenly discover a hunger for human flesh.
The film does not shy away from gore but what sets it apart is how it explores a familial relationship in terms of coping with that hunger. Ducournau cleverly explores the taboo of cannibalism within the context of what proves to be an almost equally terrifying but far more accepted ritual of school hazing.
Hope this has whetted your appetite to listen to the podcast. I think it serves up a tasty discussion.