Thanksgiving is just two days away, and for a lot of Americans that means three things: turkey, football, and awkward family dinners. My particular brand of awkwardness this year will involve my grandmother finding out that I have blue and purple hair. Though it’s hardly earth-shattering, I am really dreading that conversation, fiends. But if the horror genre has taught us anything, it is that things always can – and usually do – get much worse. To help us put things in perspective, let’s watch a few clips of some of the worst family dinners in horror movie history:
“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” – Casablanca
“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” – Network
“Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” – All About Eve
“You can’t piss on hospitality! I won’t allow it!” – Troll 2
Listen, if you can think of a better way to prevent your family from eating poisoned food that will turn them into plants so that evil vegetarian goblins can eat them, I’d like to hear it.
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE
Sally’s sitting down to dinner in a house of horrors with a family of cannibals who have killed all of her friends. This is objectively the worst family dinner ever, and we haven’t even gotten to the terrifying mummified Grandpa yet.
This is the movie that made me a horror fan. Every second is incredible, but the direction in this scene is particularly brilliant. RIP Tobe Hooper.
I consider myself a pretty avid gorehound, but this next scene always makes me queasy. Peter Jackson’s Braindead (known as Dead Alive in North America) might be the most splatter-tastic movie I’ve ever seen. At this charming luncheon, Lionel tries to cover up the fact that his mother Vera is slowly rotting after having been bitten by the Sumatran Rat-Monkey. He does a fairly good job of keeping up appearances, right up until his mother starts oozing pus and squirting blood. When her ear falls into her custard and she eats it, the jig is pretty much up.
Unless you have the strongest of stomachs, I urge you not to watch this clip while eating. Conversely, if you want to get revenge on any family members who may have wronged you, I recommend that you show it to them while they’re ladling gravy.
This family dinner isn’t nearly as gory as the one in Braindead, but any conversation that leaves you wondering whether you just ate a person still qualifies as pretty awkward. Rory Calhoun, of standing-and-walking fame, plays Farmer Vincent, a hotel owner/entrepreneur/farmer/environmentalist/serial killer. He and his siblings reminisce about feasting on unusual meats, including the family dog, and when their new friend/captive Terry hears “Meat’s meat, and a man’s gotta eat!” she is justifiably freaked the hell out.
“WHERE’S MY CAKE?” It’s not a party until your zombie great-grandfather rises from the grave, kills everyone in your family, and then serves your mother’s head up on a platter. Pro tip: when you get drunk in a cemetery and gloat about murdering someone, don’t spill your whiskey on their grave. Nine times out of ten, they will come back to life and seek revenge. Even if you’re the lucky one in ten who doesn’t create a vengeful zombie, you won’t have any whiskey left, and that’s a terrible way to spend a holiday.
That’s it, fiends. If you think I missed a scene that deserves to be in the Terrible Family Dinner Hall of Fame, or if you want to commiserate over your own family’s awkwardness, please let me know in the comments. And if your family dinners are not so much awkward as they are traumatic, please take good care of yourselves and know that your friendly neighborhood horror blogger loves you.
Have a safe, happy, and cannibalism-free holiday, kiddies. And don’t forget my tip about the gravy.