The Hostess-Inspired Alternate Universe Junkfood Cinema

By  · Published on November 18th, 2012

Listen up, junknuts. Normally we’d coddle you and explain how things work around here. But dammit man, there isn’t time for that today. Blah blah blah comparing bad movies to junk food until we’re stupid fat; stupid and/or fat. We have been presented with a crisis unparallelled in the history of humankind. I am choking back very real tears as I write this. Hostess, the purveyor of the only things that matter on this planet, has been forced out of business by a striking bakers union. The panic level here at Junkfood Cinema has not been this elevated since Oops! All Berries cereal had us convinced that the delicate balance of Captain Crunch had been irrevocably upended. You may laugh, but this is almost precisely kind of what the Mayans predicted and further emphasizes that the world totally might end in December.

Now, I’m not an expert on labor laws or corporate litigation, but I am chubby and paranoid. Therefore, I have arrived at the only reasonable conclusion that we have entered the second Prohibition and somehow also Hostess will soon be our currency. As these delicious cakes are now illegal (that’s what they said, right?), we must find ways to smuggle them into our mouths using (shudder) substantial normie food. We have therefore entered the Junkfood Cinema alternate universe in which the food is the focus. In this universe, we select movie pairings to the food. We have come up with culinary disguises for some of our favorite Hostess snacks. Based on that almost certainly edible food hybrid, we will then choose a bad movie pairing.

Chicken HoHodon Bleu

Unroll several dozen Ho Hos and place their innards onto a chicken breast pounded, preferably with a comically over-sized hammer, to 1/4" in thickness. Then roll it all back up like you’re making sushi for Buddy the Elf. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the chicken is no longer good for you in any way. The most rewarding part of this dish is cutting into it and watching all that delicious chocolate and frosting oozing out. The second most rewarding part is hearing a thousand cardiologists scream with each bite. Sometimes people like to serve chicken cordon bleu with a little marinara for dipping. In the case of chicken HoHodon bleu, we recommend powdered sugar mixed with the liquified remnants of a Physicians’ Desk Reference.

Bad Movie Pairing: Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy

Classic comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello rendezvous with their fifth supernatural threat in Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. By the time they got to this 1955 outing, the premise was running as thin as Bud was not. Abbott is a lot like the uncorrupted version of this entree. He’s a hammy little coward (a chicken in fact), and these movies take a decidedly cheesy approach to the Universal monsters. But like the Hostess tainted version of the dish (yeah, tainted with awesome), there was always something overwhelmingly sweet about Abbott’s chicken. Also, much like the titular antagonist of the film, you have much to fear from this wrapped-up culinary foe.


Manicotti is a traditional Italian dish comprised of large tubes of pasta filled with ricotta cheese. Large tubes with a creamy filling, you say? Yeah, I think Hostess has something like that. What we’ve done with this modest little recipe is replace the tubular pasta vessels with Twinkies and allowed their sugary inner glory to mix with the marinara sauce into what can only be described as an abominable symphony of woe. While the conventional manicotti recipe calls for the housing shells to be boiled, Twinkies come ready-made for the baking pan. For bonus points however, the Twinkies may be deep-fried … bonus points will be immediately added to your cholesterol count.

Bad Movie Pairing: Exterminators of the Year 3000

Probably the most egregious of the Italian post-apocalpytic knockoff films since the Carpenter-aping After the Fall of New York, Exterminators of the Year 3000 is so bad, and so blatant with its intellectual property theft that it might as well sell itself as a sweding of The Road Warrior. This time around, the post-fallout hero is tearing ass across the wasteland in his muscle car to look for gasoline water, which is now a precious commodity. This movie serves as the perfect complement to Twinkicotti for a number of reasons. Like our delectably heinous dish, the movie is an Italian bastardization; modifier jokes! Not to mention the fact that if this Hostess demise leads to apocakelypse as I believe it will, you better believe I will storm across the dead lands in a roaring machine doing whatever I must to gather and horde the spongy gold. The Armageddon theme is also apt here as the only two things that apparently survive nuclear holocaust are Twinkies and plagiarism.

Fillet Dingdon

I believe, much as the ancient ones did, that if you like it then you shoulda put some bacon on it. That is why fillet mignon may be the most perfect creation that we as a human race have ever wrought upon the Earth. Or at least, it would incontrovertibly be the most perfect creation if a Hostess snack cake were stuck inside. Step one: smash up an entire box of Ding Dongs. Marinate the tenderloin fillets in whatever salad dressing (or as we call it, evil reduction sauce) you wish, wrap a strip (or four) of bacon around the fillet, and then fill a flavor injector with the crumbled Ding Dong remains. Pump generous amounts of chocolatey cake into that steak until it bursts out the sides or until you achieve the inevitable sexual arousal. Grill the beef cakes over hot coals for eight minutes per side and then sink your teeth into the sweet meat puck.

Bad Movie Pairing: Django Kill

This followup to Sergio Corbucci’s phenomenal Django appears, at first, to be a traditional spaghetti western. It has all the beefy, sweaty trappings of a hearty, manly cowboy tale. But as you cut into the exterior of this film, and really start to chew on it, you discover it harbors something truly bizarre. Touted as “The Most Violent Western Ever Made,” as you continue to watch Django Kill, like with the fillet Dingdon, you’ll discover things that just don’t belong. Things like a man killed by being covered in molten gold, crucifixion, and a group of still-living men devouring the flesh of another man like hungry zombies. It’s a serious case of WTF, wherein the “W” stands for both “what” and “why.”

Turkey Pot Cake

This is going to require some finesse, if your definition of finesse involves the words sugar coma. Essentially you’re going to follow all instructions for whipping up a traditional turkey pot pie. But as the pie is baking, you’re going to carefully remove the tops of four Hostess cupcakes, lay them out flat, and then gently press their borders together until you have one waxy, chocolate manhole cover. Just before the pot pie is finished baking, when the top is still gooey, remove it from the oven and place your giant cupcake lid across the crust. Return the newly dubbed turkey pot cake to the oven to finish baking. If you have to eat vegetables, something we can’t condone in good conscience, at least this way you are cancelling out those infernal vitamins and minerals.

Bad Movie Pairing: Tiger Cage

If you are like me, and by that I mean a carbon-based life form with active tastebuds, you know that the best part of a cupcake is the top. For many bad movies, their opening sequences can determine whether the rest of the proceedings will be palatable. Such is the case with Yuen Woo-ping’s 1988 Hong Kong actioner Tiger Cage. The loosey goosey plot mechanics that permeate the rest of the movie notwithstanding, Tiger Cage features one of the most balls-out gun ballets to which John Woo ever masturbated. People fall from buildings onto moving cars, squibs explode like party poppers on New Year’s Eve, and bad guys wield machetes while wearing menacing Christmas sweaters. While the rest of the movie does provide moments of substance, like the veggies in your turkey pot cake, nothing matches the sweet delight of that first action scene.

MatSno Ball Soup

You can all thank me for this later. The hardest part of making matzah ball soup is constructing your balls. I am not at all chortling at that sentence. I’ve streamlined the process for this traditional Jewish dumpling soup by only requiring you to prepare the chicken broth and then place two of Hostess’ marshmallow and coconut covered chocolate Sno Balls into the soup. No matter what color Sno Ball you select, we can assure you that all your relatives, regardless of their religious affiliation, will hate you.

Bad Movie Pairing: Antropophagus

It doesn’t take a rabbi to see that this version of matzah ball soup is not kosher, in many ways. Joe D’Amato’s 1980 horror film Antropophagus could similarly be described as not kosher, but for very different reasons. This is the tale of a savage monster, whose flaky face makeup actually looks like combination of coconut shavings and papier-mâché, who lives on an island and brutally murders a group of tourists. Now, when I say brutally, I don’t just mean for the victims involved. Antropophagus goes to such extremes with its violence as to make the viewing of the film a brutal test of the audience’s’ gag reflexes. If you thought the scene of the monster eating his own intestines was bad, you obviously missed the scene earlier in the film in which he rips the fetus out of a pregnant woman and … eats that too. Enjoy your soup.

Longtime FSR columnist, current host of FSR’s Junkfood Cinema podcast. President of the Austin Film Critics Association.