Body Horror Funny

In the brilliant (though slightly maligned by critics) flick, Crimes of the Future, David Cronenberg returns to his familiar body horror schtick of organs popping out of stomachs and other unusual happenings of the flesh. This film is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but the conceit behind the story is so very funny: surgery as performance art, replete with high society enjoying flutes of champagne in the surgery theater.

The body is, indeed, a very funny thing. It does funny things, makes funny noises, and we’re never fully in control of it, which is another reason the body is funny.

In Chelsea Stickle’s AITA for Falling Apart at the Dinner Party, polite society once again is upended by the vagaries of the body, with the body quite literally “falling apart”:

“I was doing my best to smile and cheer everyone’s successes when my right eyebrow fluttered off my face and into my neighbor’s gazpacho. No one noticed. My neighbor kept slurping soup. My left eyebrow soon followed to the floor.”

I love that inconsequential-sounding word “fluttered” to describe the movement of the eyebrow through air. And then the very specific “gazpacho” is the perfect landing place! I snort uncontrollably whenever I read this story!

In my own work, I have ventured into the body horror-adjacent world, with one piece taking a similar stab at the breakdown of body. In Supernumerary, however, the “falling apart” is intentional, a way to get “good credit.”

💡Body Horror PROMPT💡

In one of the most famous examples of body horror, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, the main character, Gregor Samsa, wakes up “to find himself transformed into a horrible vermin.”

For this prompt, take inspiration from Kafka’s seminal work by having your character wake up with a similar body predicament (full body transformation, a missing arm etc. etc.). Lean into the “body” aspect; don’t be shy!