We at Blumhouse.com are very familiar with cannibals in media. From CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, EAT, WE ARE WHAT WE ARE to the most recent RAW (where some TIFF attendees actually passed out and required medical attention), there’s something about the cannibal horror sub-genre that’s different than all the others. It’s visceral, personal, and at times even a necessity. It’s shocking and somewhat strange because it taps into a part of our primal instincts that we’ve long forgotten and buried. That’s exactly what Loren Bouchard had in mind when he pitched the idea of BOB’S BURGERS to Fox.
Bouchard is known for his dark and snarky animated series, such as DR. KATZ PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST, HOME MOVIES (seen above), and LUCY, THE DAUGHTER OF THE DEVIL, so it only made sense that he’d continue this dark style with Fox. With movies like HANNIBAL and SWEENEY TODD in mind, Bouchard envisioned a family-run restaurant that served human flesh in their burgers.
I originally thought the show should be about a family that runs a restaurant who are cannibals. Very early on, [Fox] said, “Well, do you need the cannibalism?” I had really put it in there because I thought they would want it. I’m coming off of working for Adult Swim, and the darker, more shocking aspect seemed like what you needed in order for an animated idea to cut through the noise.
Fox passed on the cannibalism part, but liked everything else about it. Bouchard obliged, but not without incorporating a little cannibalism into the first episode. Then, on January 9, 2011, the pilot “Human Flesh” was born.
It starts with Hugo the Health Inspector – Linda’s old flame – shutting down the restaurant for potential human flesh being served in the meat. Later, when Hugo comes back to the restaurant he asks Louise where her parents are. And she responds by telling him they’re in the basement grinding meat. Sound familiar? Feeling hungry for a finger or two in Ms. Lovette’s meat pies?
Aside from the first episode, there are elements of Bouchard’s original intent still intertwined within the show. Mort, for example, owns the crematorium right next door to Bob’s Burgers. This could easily be where Bob gets his bodies from to grind up and make into burgers. And what’s up with the business that keeps changing to the right of his restaurant during the intro of each episode? Maybe Bob and his family keep murdering everyone there and using them as their Grade-A beef?
The inner horror fan in me screams YES! Please let them be cannibals! But let’s be honest, how many cannibal jokes can a show run, especially six seasons deep? The jokes would start to “rot,” if you will. Cue snare drum.