In horror, sometimes the drink you have may be your last...
...In celebration of Saint Patrick's Day and everyone turning on their inner Irish by having a drink (or twelve), some of the writers at KHC decided to put together a list of our favorite "deadly drinks" in horror! From drinks with manipulative powers to poison and more, these deadly drinks are a lesson in why you should always drink responsibly, especially if you're in a horror film.
*NOTE: EACH ENTRY CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FILM. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*
Midsommar’s Mushroom Tea
By Katelyn Nelson
Ritualistic drinks are one of horror’s most underutilized resources, and never have I seen them used with such variety as the drinks in Ari Aster's Midsommar. Need a drink to welcome you into the festival? Tea is there for you. Need a love potion to seduce your heart’s desire into sex as spectator sport? Tea with some special ingredients is there for you. Need to dance around a maypole until you are the last woman standing in the face of death, become crowned May Queen, and nominate your literal garbage fire of a boyfriend to be set on actual fire? Mushroom tea is there for you, through good times and bad. If it’s versatile ritual you're looking for in your life, Ari Aster has you covered. And I couldn’t love him more for it.
Sinister’s Green Goo
By Jay Krieger
For all of its shockingly gruesome deaths, Scott Derrickson's Sinister's most terrifying feat is striking at the core of our greatest fear; Being betrayed by a loved one. The real terror of the film's demonic deity Bughuul lies in his mastery of manipulation. Sinister is known for its super-8 film segments displaying families being grotesquely executed by an unknown cameraman. But for as chilling as these kills are, the realization that the family's child is behind them is the real horror. We learn that the children render their family members immobile by dosing their drinks with a strange luminescent green goo. The drinker's fate is entirely in the manipulated hands of those they should never fear. By shattering the trust and sense of intimacy between loved ones, Derrickson plants the seeds of paranoia within the viewer's mind. So by the time Ellison (Ethan Hawke) realizes that children are behind the killings, he's staring at the glowing bottom of a mug of tea his daughter has given him. That betrayal is unimaginable, even more so when you regain consciousness moments before a loved one caves your skull in with an ax. The victim's inescapable helplessness and bloody fate is the green goo's most unsettling aspect.
The Shining's Bourbon on the House
By Kalani Landgraf
When we first meet Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, he is a struggling alcoholic. In time, the madness of isolation and the Overlook Hotel’s presence uses this to its advantage and takes hold. Jack orders a bourbon from mysterious specter Lloyd the bartender, though what Lloyd actually pours is Jack Daniels Whiskey (not sure how Kubrick could miss that detail given his pension for perfection). It is here that Jack Nicholson delivers an outstanding performance allowing us to see the true inner thoughts of Torrance’s mind in a scene that would often be parodied and also recreated in Doctor Sleep.
Urban Legend's Drano Cocktail
By Paul Bauer
Look, you either remember 1998’s Urban Legend or you don’t. You either loved Loretta Devine calling Rebecca Gayheart a “loony psycho bitch” or you didn’t. You either had a boner for a bleach blonde Joshua Jackson or you didn’t. If you responded in the negative to any of the aforementioned I suggested you get right with god and yourself and fix it, especially in regard to that first one.
It’s a masterwork of late ‘90s slasher gimmickry that is single-handedly responsible for my deeply erroneous expectations of what college life was going to be like. Hint: I fully expected to be THAT GIRL fully embroiled and at the center of an on-campus murder mystery. I digress….
About ¾ of the way through the movie bona fide frat house fuckboy Parker Riley (Michael Rosenbaum) gets a twofer in the form of his dog Hootie getting dried out in a microwave and the old Pop Rocks and Drano routine. It’s an impressive little scene, shot with that disorienting tilt and climaxing in a claustrophobic bathroom sequence that had me peeing sitting down for months so as not to have my back to the door.
Watching it again for the bajillionth time I noticed for the first time in twenty years that between the funnel being forced into Parker’s mouth and the slick blue sludge being sloshed down his esophagus, the killer also pumps Pop Rocks into him. If I hadn’t been on the floor already I’d have fallen over. How did I miss that? It’s a remarkably violent death so I suppose in the fray it’s easy to miss. But that unforgettable blue foam makes a lot more sense now.
Anyway, this St. Patrick’s Day make sure you throw a shot of blue curaçao into whatever godawful thing you’re drinking and raise one in honor of Parker Riley’s frothy drinky demise.
Dead Alive's Secret Surprise Soup
By Matt Konopka
Before he was known as the Lord of the Rings guy, director Peter Jackson unleashed one of the most disgusting, bloody, entertaining zombie flicks ever made in Dead Alive (aka Braindead). And for some godawful reason, it’s one I’m thinking about today on Saint Patrick’s Day.
The chaotic frenzy of a story sees Lionel’s (Timothy Balme) mum (Elizabeth Moody) become infected with a strange disease after she gets bitten by a rabid, stop-motion rage monkey from hell, leaving her as a quickly deteriorating sack of pus and other liquids I’d rather not think of. During one queasy moment that still makes my stomach somersault, ole mum adds a bit of extra spice to the soup of a guest, squirting pus and blood from an infected finger like a clogged tube of ketchup. Nearly thirty years later, I’m not sure I’ve found anything more vile than this unfortunately unforgettable example of why you never, EVER take your eyes off of your food and drink.
Maybe it’s not a traditional “drink”, but if that’s how you feel, then you’ve never embarrassed the hell out of your friends by slurping soup at a public place like a vampire after a 1000 year sleep. You won’t get those side-eyed looks from me, just make sure no one’s transformed your liquid meal into soupy doom next time.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day readers! Stay safe, and hope you enjoy your night!