When you’re thinking thin
1 Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983, MCA/Universal, R)
If the gory liver-donation scene doesn’t kill your appetite, gluttonous Mr. Creosote (Terry Jones) will. Power-puking into a bucket and onto his fellow diners at a posh restaurant, he makes mastication seem unthinkable.
2 The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1990, Vidmark, unrated)
An entrée of charred human flesh may be the most graphic culinary perversity here, but the most unappetizing element remains the cruelty in Michael Gambon’s portrayal of a sadistic gangster. Also available in a slightly blander R-rated version.
3 Fatso (1980, FoxVideo, PG)
The sight of dieter Dom DeLuise threatening to kill for the refrigerator key could tame anybody’s snack lust. But did writer-director Anne Bancroft have to tempt abstainers with that I’m-large-and-loving-it finale?
4 Frenzy (1972, MCA/Universal, R)
This Hitchcock thriller equates appetite with sexual psychosis. The killer treats women like fruit for the squeezing, and the policeman’s wife prepares inedibly elaborate meals. By the time a corpse shows up in a pile of potatoes, those chips won’t look good at all.
5 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1984, Turner, unrated)
Your stomach may turn at the meat pies prepared from the remains of the victims of throat-slitting barber Sweeney (George Hearn). But you’ll come back for second helpings of Stephen Sondheim’s sweet melodies and saucy lyrics.
By Jason Cochran, Steve Daly, Glenn Kenny, Lois Alter Mark, Chris Nashawaty, Tim Purtell, Michael Sauter, and J.R. Taylor