People love drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, so we had film reviewer Dave White recount the best vomiting scenes of all time — because what good is the holiday without some shamrock showers?
There are not as many vomit scenes in cinema as there are, say, scenes where women show their breasts. But there are definitely more instances of insane throw-up than there are, say, scenes were men show their penises. I have no idea what that might mean, but on some level it suggests a kind of universality and, therefore, we must celebrate the well-timed expulsion of puke as an unsung hero of film history.
What follows is a partial, woefully incomplete list. Your favorite moment of wretched wretching will most likely not be on it. Don’t complain. Instead, make your own list — it just won’t be as thoughtful as this one. Sorry, it just won’t. I’m a professional film critic.
An apology or two: Ken Russell’s The Devils — in which a nun played by Vanessa Regrave vomits up devils and is blasphemously perfect — is almost impossible to find and is, sadly, not part of this list. Neither are Pitch Perfect and Stand By Me, or Salo or Caligula, because too many people bothered me to put them in the list and, frankly, I got sick of hearing about them.
Non-apology: The following clips are so NSFW that I shouldn’t even have to say it. They’re also, in fact, really fucking repulsive. Proceed at your own risk.
Warning: The clip above is totally rapey. It also has violent gagging.
Andy Warhol’s Dracula aka Blood for Dracula
Udo Kier is quite a sickly Dracula. So he has to drink virgin blood, y’know, like vampires do. Then he throws it all up. His whole suck-n-blow-chunks routine gives his main competition — a local laborer (played by the luggish Joe Dallesandro) — an edge with the ladies. Still, it’s… sexy somehow, all that blood-barf? Yes, it is.
Perverse revenge and brutal body horror are recurring themes in Japanese director Takashi Miike’s films. Here, a man “auditions” young women to be his next wife, and one of them doesn’t take kindly to the process. Spoiler: at one point she feeds a bowl of vomit to a man she’s torturing to death. She has her reasons. But you should know before you watch the video above. Or you could not, which is totally understandable.
The film features a symphony of body fluids, projectile-erupting from this ensemble of really committed comic actors. Each diarrhea-blurt and puke-grunt is a musical note in this requiem for good taste and refined ladyhood. Masterful.
Classic pea soup: canned and served by Satan himself. Everyone knows this one, but it’s pretty much the Taj Mahal of vomit scenes. In its initial theatrical run, audiences were given free barf bags for when life needed to imitate art.
The Great Santini
The Great Santini is searing family drama of control and rebellion, with Robert Duvall as a Major Dad who treats his family like a platoon. Anyway, the light-hearted moment has nothing to do with the rest of the film, and is a great party trick to play on your friends:
- Obtain one can Cream of Mushroom soup.
Spill it while you pretend-upchuck.
Get one or more pals to play along, scooping it up with spoons and eating it.
Watch the hilarious results among the unsuspecting audience.
The Tin Drum
Volker Schlondorff’s banned classic, a surreal and disturbing allegory about fascism, features one of cinema’s great symbolic — and also phenomenally horrifying and sickening — vomit scenes. It involves a severed horse’s head and some eels and… well, you’ve been warned.
Polish filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski took French actress Isabelle Adjani on a deep trip to inexplicable madness (and snagged her a Best Actress award at Cannes) in this film about a woman who cuckolds her husband (Sam Neill) and then completely loses her shit. In the longish clip above, her full-body vomit subway freakout is incredibly disturbing yet hypnotic. Art!
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
An epically obese man (Terry Jones) named Mr. Creosote loses his actual lunch in one of the all-time great moments in comedic lunch-losing. You’ll never hear the phrase “wafer thin” again without buckets of vomit flooding your consciousness.
Weirdly, this relatively tame scene — from a very funny, sweet-natured, PG-rated film about middle-school-aged boys and their baseball team — may be the most nauseating on the list, if only because it’s grounded in a real-life scenario of kid stupidity rather than in freakish, torture-porn or staged, projectile, firehose-style barf.
Team America: World Police
In which a marionette throws up for a very, very, very long time. It is perfect.
(featured image via Ed Prescott)
This article originally ran on March 17, 2015