By CHARLES FERRUZZA
I'll never forget the terrifying moment in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane when Bette Davis, as the lunatic former child star Baby Jane Hudson, serves a dead rat -- under a silver salver, no less -- to her invalid sister Blanche, played by former Kansas City resident Joan Crawford. I had nightmares about this meal for days.
Movies have long used food as a horror device.
Or at least a disturbing one, dating back to The Poisoned Chop in 1913. Rice turns into maggots in The Lost Boys, and a ravenous Tom Skerritt -- the actor in the North Kansas City Hospital commercials -- eats his final meal before a creature bursts out of his tummy in the first Alien.
There was even a trashy 1976 horror movie called The Food of the Gods, in which giant rodents ate poor, screaming humans. I nearly lost my popcorn watching that one at the drive-in!