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As you know, Top Five Tuesday frequently features me often going to the well of holidays, national days of note, and the like. And given that today’s Top Five Tuesday falls on FAT TUESDAY, it seemed like the choice was obvious. Therefore, we’re tackling…

The Top Five Moments of Cinematic Overeating!


Honorable mentions: it’s exempt from this due to it being an episode of TV, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Forrest Macneil (Andy Daly) from Review’s classic “Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes” episode. This series of photos from the episode is a pretty solid description of approximately 90% of my interior life:

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Also of note, the ladies of Daisies! I was lucky to have my first viewing experience of this Czech New Wave delight at the Oriental Theatre last year (in 35mm no less – thanks for the awesome staff pick, Jamie!). Whether it's their gorging during dates with considerably older men or the film-ending free-for-all in which they destroy a room set up for a massive feast, the notion of consumption and excess runs through Daises like an anarchic river. Onto the list proper!

1. Mr Creosote from Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life
(dir. Terry Jones | UK | 1983)

If you’re looking to craft a starting five of cinematic overeating, Mr. Creosote has got to be your starting center. The Allspark that helped give life to an endless stream of similar gross-out gags in the intervening years, this nonetheless persists. It is the platonic puke sequence, one that never fails to elicit equal amounts revulsion and amusement.


2. Bruce Bogtrotter from Matilda
(dir. Danny DeVito | USA | 1996)


Something like the KidzBop substitute for Creosote, Bruce Bogtrotter is an absolute legend whose perseverance in the face of hardship inspired many kids like myself to eat as much cake as humanly possible. I mean, let’s face it – we’ve all gone Bogtrottin’ (the fun and flirty way I refer to indulging in an insane amount of dessert) at one time or another.


3. Luke from Cool Hand Luke
(dir. Stuart Rosenberg | USA | 1967)


Fans of cinematic gorging are probably pretty egg-cited to see this entry on our list. Cool Hand Luke? More like Salmonella Stomach Luke, am I right? I feel like a certain level of cognitive dissonance is required to truly relish the egg-eating experience in general, and this insane indulgence shoots past my egg threshold (my threggshold, if you will), making it hard for me to stomach as a viewer.


4. The Rarebit Fiend from Dream of a Rarebit Fiend
(dir. Edwin S. Porter | USA | 1906)


Based on the comic strip created by short king Winsor McCay (he of Little Nemo in Slumberland) fame, this short film directed by Edwin S. Porter (he of The Great Train Robbery fame) follows the tortured dreamscape of a man hallucinating after mowing down on some Welsh rarebit (which, despite its name, is basically heavily spiced cheesy bread). It’s a classic “trick film”, an opportunity to show off all manner of special effects, replicating the experience of McCay’s surrealist screeds against the bourgeoisie. It’s a blast to watch, so don’t wait – check it out in its entirety above!

5. The mindless consumers at the heart of La Grande Bouffe
(dir. Marco Ferreri | Italy/France | 1973)

Speaking of broadsides fired across the bow of the bourgeoisie, we have the glorious and disgusting excess of La Grande Bouffe. The story of an amoral group of friends who steal away for the weekend with the intent of eating themselves to death (not each other mind you, just eating). If you haven’t seen this dark comedic portrait of excess before, be warned – it is extremely French. But with that in mind, you might be able to find enjoyment in its portrait of wanton gluttony. It’s like a feature-length Mr. Creosote whose transposition of the notion of “eat the rich” to “the rich eat” yields fascinating results. As Roger Ebert states in his review, “This film reaffirms my faith that it is still possible to be offended by a film.” gg, Marco Ferreri.



Take a break, enjoy some bicarbonate of soda, and we’ll see you again next week!

Posted by: Tom Fuchs