As a relatively new expression in the English language, food porn is yet to feature in the Oxford English Dictionary, but referring to our trusty Wikipedia, it is described as “a glamourised spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, blogs cooking shows or other visual media, foods boasting a high fat and calorie content, exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex”.
Now at all points in our lives (bar dissertation writing), we are brought up to take Wikipedia as gospel so I was flabbergasted after watching Sausage Party and seeing for myself that true food porn in fact barely resembles what Wikipedia describes. Granted, those foods involved, particularly Frank the Frankfurter, are ones boasting high fat and calorie content but food porn as we have witnessed it here is far from glamourised, the visual presentation anything but a spectacle and I came away with a distinct lack of desire to eat absolutely anything at all.
About a hot-dog called Frank (Seth Rogan) and his revelation that the world beyond the realms of a supermarket is not one of tranquillity and humans are in fact not benevolent Gods, Sausage Party plays on the idea of food having feelings and consciously mimics all recognisable social and religious groups in what is ultimately a very twisted, somewhat clever, but incredibly risk-ay illustration of theology. German mustard spreads hateful propaganda on all “the juice” and after fighting for shelf space with a typically Jewish bagel called Sammy, an Arab lavash (flatbread) is pining after his hundreds of “extra Virgin” olive oils waiting for him in the “great beyond”.
Humour it has, and for the big kid in us all, there’s lots of it, but as the film progresses, things get weirder, more characters are introduced and more innuendos puncture the screen . A lesbian taco, a used condom and a chewed up piece of chewing gum in a motorised chair with a voice synthesiser resembling that of Stephen Hawking are just a few more cast members sequentially added to the list that by the time the big finale/showstopper/orgy takes place (and yes, I do mean orgy), you’re half-shocked-half-not at what you’re watching on the screen. From pickles to pizza slices and bread rolls to beer cans, animated items of food are quite literally gyrating on widescreen HD TV and we’ve all paid circa £10 to view it. This is food porn like I’ve never known it before and rather than put me in the mood for shovelling the next thing I see straight into my mouth (which is usually how I feel after an Instagram frenzy on the hashtag #foodporn), instead I’m left feeling a distasteful yet hilarious combination of speechless, scarred and ultimately sorry for all the kids that blindingly chose to visit the cinema that day with their parents.
Thank you (I think) Annapurna Pictures for making me laugh, for proving an animation should on occasion be rated higher than a 15, and for putting me off hot-dogs for the rest of my adult life. That was both the best and worst sausage party I’ve ever been to.
Pictures are not my own.