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Rated R
Copyright 1991 UGC, Constellation, and Hachette Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Louison - New handyman who used to be a circus clown.
  • Julie Clapet - The butcher's daughter, she falls in love with Louison.
  • Clapet - The butcher, a fairly ugly man inside and out who hires handymen then kills them. He does not survive this movie.
  • The Mailman - Crazy dude who delivers the mail, hates Trogs, and wants Julie. Pistol explodes in his face.
  • Plusse - Fairly pretty girl who pays for her meat by taking care of the butcher's sausage.
  • Aurore and Georges - Rich couple, she is always trying to commit suicide in neat and inventive ways. Blown up.
  • Roger and Robert - Two guys who make moo toys, Robert is in love with Aurore.
  • The Tapiocas - Poor family, mother, father, two kids and the grandmother. Grandma is chopped up to pay the rent one month.
  • Frog Man - This dude who lives in his flooded apartment. Flooded to raise snails and frogs for dinner!
  • Troglos - Guys who live in the sewers. They have a very organized society and steal grain when possible. Kind of a French Underground thing.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Terrific fun even if you don't like subtitles! (The movie is in French with English subtitles - American release of course.)

A butcher hires handymen then chops them up for sale as meat! In walks Louison, retired clown and all around nice guy who soon wins Julie's heart. She can't bear to see him eaten by the tenants so a quick trip into the sewers is in order. There she hammers out a deal with the Troglos to save her lover. In the end all heck breaks loose with Julie, Troglos, and Louison trying to avoid the maniac residents!

You're going to have to see this one, from all of Aurore's crazy suicide schemes to the scene where everyone in the building can hear Clapet banging Plusse - and take up the rhythm! A work of pure genius.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • In France a cab ride costs one pair of shoes.
  • Lighting can make a normally ugly person even uglier.
  • Tie cans to your grandmother in case she gets lost.
  • French postmen are just as violent as ours. (For fellow Americans.)
  • If you wear glasses use them when pouring hot tea.
  • The voices in your head are capable of calling someone a "panty-biter" or "ass-wipe."
  • Pipes are a underutilized communication medium.
  • Women do not get mad when a strange man tells them their bed has "seen alot of use."
  • Slapping your daughter does not improve family relations.
  • Hacking at a door with meat cleavers and such makes convincing the occupants to come out difficult.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 9 mins - What is this guy wearing? Refuse? Now he is hiding in a trash can?
  • 28 mins - Mailman dude just spit and broke glass?
  • 29 mins - What is he doing with that condom and why is it spotted?
  • 37 mins - A Chello accompanied by a musical saw?
  • 47 mins - Aurore is going to commit suicide by the doorbell ringing and making the sewing machine run, which will pull the lamp sitting on the fabric into the bathtub with her...
  • 51 mins - Oh good a rat call.
  • 65 mins - Another suicide scheme, this one involves a candle being floated to a rope suspending the sewing machine over her head.
  • 75 mins - Now we have the gas oven on (spewing gas), a lethal dose of pills, a noose around her neck, and a rifle pointed at her head with the trigger attached to the door by string.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note delicatessen1.wav A good moo toy.
Green Music Note delicatessen2.wav A bad moo toy.
Green Music Note delicatessen3.wav Julie's chello and Louison's musical saw.
Green Music Note delicatessen4.wav The rat call.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipdelicatessen1.mpg - 2.7m
The rhythmic sex scene in all its strange beauty.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by No Nukes
I liked the mole people whose code names were food dishes. The scene with the weirdo who keeps snails in his room is funny. Don't forget to check out "The City Of Lost Children", by the same director.
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by James Perry
I think I can understand what this web site is all about.  These films have a select audience.  Just try showing Deli to your grandma or your little sister...they'll call it BAD.  For we who understand it can call this one of our favorite films of all time.  In fact, I'll go on to say that perhaps Deli is my personal favorite LOVE STORY of all time along with Brazil.  

I discovered this film thanks to film critic Roger Ebert (who also got me interested in Anime with My Neighbor Totoro).  I have this filmmakers other works-City of Lost Children, Fifth Element, Alien Resurrection and The Messenger-on DVD (soon Ameile).  This deserves a DVD treament (US and worldwide) more than most of the crap coming out!  All the best scenes have already been mentioned here...but my personal favorite bit is the whole love affair thing.  Shows there is someone for everyone even in a weird futuristic appocalyptic time as this film is set in.  I seriously thought one of those two would be eaten by the time the credits rolled.  The whole bit about grandma was crazy hilarious!  To think these people needed meat so bad they're weeding out the herds like tigers do in the wild.  God!  Let's have a DVD with a bunch of extras!!  Please!
Reply #27. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Paco
Delicatessen a “B” movie? If this is true, then “B” stands for BIG. Just the opening credits combining names with broken objects is a masterpiece on its own.

And what on Earth is that guy, Mr. Tapioca (played by Ticky Holgado) doing with his condoms anyway? And why do these have spots?? They don’t, pal. In facts, the guy is repairing them! Yes! Using patches for bicycles inner tubes! Maybe he can’t afford buying more or maybe… they just all ran out of stores in these hard times.

So, my point is to make these few corrections of misunderstanding upon a VERY GOOD movie and not criticizing the web site. If I didn’t enjoy “B” movies, I wouldn’t have visited it.
Reply #28. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by The stupid french girl
Ok ok this movie is really special but he has, as we call in french, a "second degré" You can't take this film just like that There is a real atmospere, it's an all envoronment
I'm probably not clear but this movie is deeper than the it seems to be!
Ps "la cité des enfants perdus" is just so great!
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Jenny
As a confirmed francophile, I was always going to love this movie, but I've gotta say, it really just is SOOO FUNNY!! I watched it with my cousin and even she loved it.  It is one of my favourite movies ever and I especially love everybody's favourite sewer-dwelling militant vegetarians, hte troglos.  I also had no idea that cello and musical saw went so well together...  

Reply #30. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Colin G. Davis
One of the many thing that p**ses me off about the steady decline of the English language, is the loss of the original meaning of the term "B movie."
As we all know (or do we?) it originally referred to a film made specifically to fill the lower half of a double bill. Of course, when films got longer and longer (usually TOO bloody long)the B movie died. Trouble is, the term didn't, and now it's used vaguely to mean whatever the writer wants it to mean.
Ah, well.. sigh.
"Delicatessen" is wonderful, by the way.
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by rom
I was pleased to see this movie in this classification, with this rating,  just besides Sam Raimi's and Peter Jackson's early movies.
Excuse my english and thank you, Mr Borntreger, for this exclusive  and deligthful list.
You made me discover a lot of movies and I'll do my best to find the most part of it.

romain from france
Reply #32. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Tissaia
I absolutely love this movie, just as the The City of The Lost children (or whatever it's called in English). The sex scene is truly amazing, but even better is one its fragment when Rufus is checking the moo toys (!) - a masterpiece in its own right, really... As always after watching a film that is SO great, I'm at the loss of words. oh, btw. I think I know the instrument that makes the sound of the musical saw - but I forgot its name. Yann Tiersen has a woman in his band who plays that thing. I'm just about to start my summer exam session and was supposed not to watch any films till it's over, but I just couldn't help it! And... I'm glad I didn't in the end :D. oh and one more thing - great website you have here, I'm definitely going to visit it on a regular basis. Thank you:)
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