In DELICATESSEN, the local butcher shop and its adjoining apartment complex become a nightmare involving cannibalism, nymphomania, suicidal tendencies, attempted rape, blood, and gore. The movie depicts an ex-circus performer, Louison, who accepts a job as a handyman, only to be hunted by a butcher/landlord, who cannibalizes his tenants for meat. Adding to the confusion is Mr. Potin, a senile grandpa who lives in two inches of water amidst edible snails and frogs; Aurore, a delusional schizophrenic who compulsively designs suicide machines yet fails due to “Fate;” and, the Kube Brothers, who manufacture toy boxes that “moo” when turned upside down. The tenants fight a secret war against lentil-fed rebels who live in the sewers.
Sound strange? Even stranger is the arising conspiracy to kill Louison, who has fallen in love with the butcher/landlord’s daughter, Julie. DELICATESSEN doesn’t make much sense, but that seems to be its intention: style over substance. Of greater concern is its overwhelming wickedness, being presented to the moviegoing public as entertainment.
(LLL, VVV, SS, A/D, M, Ab) 32 obscenities & 4 profanities; cannibalism, boomerang knife thrust into man's forehead, man's throat slashed, suicidal tendencies, knife fight, man thrown off building, shootings, man amputates his leg for lost love (aftermath shown), attempted choking, kidnapping, collapsing floors, flooding bathroom, & blood and gore; attempted rape, brief bedroom scene (implied fornication), nymphomania, & man blowing up condoms as if they were balloons; children smoking cigarettes; schizophrenic hears delusional voices; and, talk of Fate controlling Life's events.