… the better to taste you with, my dear


My favourite Peter Greenaway film is The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. The cinematography and the costumes were sumptuous as was the food prepared by chef Giorgio Locatelli.

For those not familiar with this movie there is a scene where a roasted human is presented at the dining table. Locatelli says it was difficult to create a convincing replica. A prototype engineered from pink foam rubber  needed to be coloured to a crispy brown by multiple applications of veal stock.


To enable actor Michael Gambon to make inroads into the dish with a knife and fork, a slab of roast pork was inserted invisibly into the abdomen. He was then able to realistically dig in and extract a morsel to eat while being filmed.


Another cannibal film is Human BBQ Pork Buns about a restaurant owner who was caught selling human flesh-filled bread rolls. This Chinese production is supposedly based on a true story. A misanthrope kills a man and takes over his restaurant. When another accuses him of cheating at mah jong, he kills him too by beating him to death with a soup ladle. Then, the misanthrope cuts him up and cooks him into a batch of barbecue pork buns.


us mah jong addicts will play anywhere

But for pure melodrama nothing beats the Tennessee Williams’  play filmed as Suddenly Last Summer with Elizabeth Taylor at her most beautiful. The cannibal scene is n0t shown explicitly but her expressive eyes reflect it all. 


have you seen any of these films…. if so what did you think of them?

Published in: on March 25, 2009 at 6:42 am  Comments (36)  

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  1. I saw ‘The Cook, The Thief’.The food seemed incidental to the main themes of the story, which were sadism, lust, adultery and revenge. She must have been bonkers to ask the chef to cook her lover.

  2. Haven’t seen ‘The cook, the thief’ for years.. will give it another viewing.

    I remember a good (I was young) Hammer House of Horrors film based on the ‘Alive’ premise. Survivors of a plane crash who were forced to eat the victims to survive get a taste for it and convene at regular dinner parties.. bwa ha ha haaaa!

  3. I think that first movie must have been the inspiration for that ‘queens of the stone age’ film clip (can’t remember what the song is called).

    You do forget though how absolutely stunning Taylor was.

    I’m going to have to find some cannibal movies to watch, they are always brilliant.

  4. ‘The Cook, The Thief’… I remember it well. An excellent film which was way ahead of it’s time way back when.

    I would quite happily watch it again, but definitely with something to munch on during the sumptious food scenes.

    Mah-jong.. is that no a place in Soho?

  5. Can’t say I’ve seen any of them … doesn’t sound much like my taste actually. Lol!
    Although I think I remember that Hammer House of Horrors episode that got a mention.

  6. I haven’t seen any of them but I’ve always imagined that human flesh would be quite nice ….. if push came to shove of course …..

  7. The Cook, the Thief! Too yucky for me, Maybe because I’m a vegetarian.

  8. Oh yeah, I recently read a novel that involved cannibalism during the time of the Russian revolution. The Peoples Act of Love. By James Meek.

    Sounds good. Can I borrow it?

  9. oy… i don’t get out much, or stay in enough, to watch good flicks. but does “Deep Throat” count as a cannibal flick? just askin’…

  10. I saw the Greenaway film many years ago and did not like it at all. I haven’t seen the others you mention.

  11. Greenaway is a hard act to swallow

  12. “Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!”

  13. I’ve see “The Cook etc.”. How about “Eating Raoul” and the twisted post-apocalypse “Delicatessen”?

    thanks Ian I’d forgotten those two and I’ve seen them both

  14. The best cannibal play/film of all time is Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeny Todd.” I’m not a big musical fan but the songs are pretty great. Try a priest!

  15. The last cannibalism-themed movie I saw was Red Dragon, part of the Hannibal series. Good movie, if you can stand the intense drama and occasional gore.

  16. I saw Suddenly Last . . . many years ago when I was in my Tennessee Williams phase. It was disturbing, as most of his works were. I saw something in passing on one of the morning shows recently about creating an actual buffet on top of a live person. It was implied cannibalism and seems to be in vogue. I was bored.

  17. What about Sweeney Todd–where the barber kills his clients off so his wife can make the great meat pies..Does that count..

  18. I can’t believe you have all forgotten ‘Eating Raoul”. A black comedy, but among the best of all the cannibal flicks. Another beauty is ‘Boxing Helena’, which really isn’t in the same food catagory, but it is wonderfully suggestive of it (and it has that delicious Sherilyn Fenn in it).

    Eating Raoul was pretty funny. I’ve never seen Boxing Helena – I’d heard it was terrible though?

  19. I haven’t seen any of the films, nor do I want to. I’m afraid human flesh consumption is against my religion, much like pork for Jews and Muslims.

  20. omg you’re a psycho! are you sure this isn’t a fraud and that you’re a patient, rather than a nurse at your asylum?! lol

  21. I must learn how to play mahjong. It sounds so cool!

  22. Tom, surely you’ve seen Suddenly Last Summer? If you haven’t I’ll have to start doubting your gay credibility. You and your sister better sit down and watch it soon!

    Dolce, it’s the coolest game ever

  23. I would just like to say that I want that erotic coffee table. I would also like an erotic microwave and an erotic refrigerator.

  24. I love The Cook, The Thief etc. One of my favorite films of all time in fact. I’ve never seen another Peter Greenaway film that I actually enjoyed, though.

  25. Oooohhh. And I forgot Suddenly Last Summer – Williams at his finest.

    Yep, it’s a great film isn’t it?

  26. I have never really understood the love for Liz Taylor. I much preferred Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say no to Liz even in her current state but the Italians win hands down.

  27. Is there really a film called Human BBQ Pork Buns? Because that is so touchingly literal. You know what you’re getting with that film. Unless you order up a pork bun.

  28. I see a few others beat me to the punch but Eating Raoul is a definite fav. Haven’t thought of it in years but now I’ll have to go searching for it.

  29. Cook, Thief, Wife, Lover film is in my favorite top five. The music, the cinematography, the subject matter and the lavish staging. Few films give you a feast for almost every one of your senses. Like a rich opera. The movie was explosive.

    However, you either love it or hate it. My wife hated it. So much so that I’m not allowed to play the soundtrack when she is around. It makes her feel nauseous.

  30. I saw the first film you spoke of and that was a disturbing spectacle. It was also visually arresting.

  31. Eating Raoul –

    Check it out sometime…

  32. seen it loved it 🙂

  33. Can’t help it, but . . .

    Re. Eating Raoul: Amazing what you can do with a cheap piece of meat.

    As for Suddenly Last Summer . . . . the only little operation they perform in here is a lobotomy!

  34. And don’t forget all those Chilean soccer team/plane crash movies!

  35. Surely you remember what those little urchin boys did to Sebastian? I know it happens off camera but it’s haunted me for years…..

  36. But of course. And guess whose soccer team they got recruited for?

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