Do Horror Movies Make You Puke?

Barf BagsYou know how when you’re in church and someone starts to throw up and just the sound of it makes you wanna chuck? I know, right? Same thing with watching someone hork their guts out. You see it and think, well, hey – I don’t wanna be left out of this action! And then you start laughing at the ground, shouting at your shoes and traumatizing everybody in the restaurant.

But that’s all real life stuff. It doesn’t quite work the same way with movies. Or does it? Back in the early days or horror, some filmmakers got the idea that if they made you think the movie was so gory and sickening, you’d have the potential to barf all over the person in the theater unfortunate enough to be sitting in front of you. And all those M&Ms, red vines, popcorn, hot dog chunks and diet soda would come rushing out in a technicolor yawn. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

Barf Bags

Therein lies the genius of such psychology. Everyone thinks they can handle a gory movie, so why not put it to the test? And thus was born horror movie barf bags, handed out free when you bought a ticket. So tantalizing were these cheap but highly effective promotional items, put one of these as a disclaimer in a horror movie and you’d need a police roadblock to keep horror fans out of the theater. A free barf bag? Heck, I’ll pay YOU to let me see the movie!

Barf BagsAnd these “stomach distress” bags promised so much – soup kitchen gore, exposed intestine jiggling, body parts made into a deli tray – all of which was backed by the guarantee that should the movie make you talk solid, the thoughtfully provided sack would have your back.

They could totally bring barf bags back, but do it so that it meets the eco-concerns of today’s moviegoers by making ’em recyclable. Three words: lather, rinse, repeat.

Mad Magazine

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