Fiction: What’s Cookin’? (1992) (2015)

New York City, present day. Emilio Estevez is Edgar Anchoa, celebrity chef, famous as much for his short-temper as for his high-end cuisine, who, upon hearing of his family’s grisly demise in a freak friendly fire incident during a Long Island laser tag excursion, involving somehow-live lasers and near-radioactive neon paint imported illegally from Guttenberg, NJ, begins to nervously breakdown. Returning to work from compassionate leave, Anchoa is visited by the vision of his teenage daughter (Drew Barrymore), her face appearing amid a pan of bubbling fondue. Spurred on by the face and it’s demand to “kill them, daddy, kill them all,” Anchoa vows violent revenge and sets about this murderous mission by poisoning several diners at his up-scale Mid-town eatery, using a homemade concoction with horrific, delayed effect, wherein said dinners, days after consumption, begin to swell in alarming ways, leading their bodies to eventually explode. When the next victim happens to be goateed Sunday-supplement food critic Marcus D’Ancona (Bruce Willis), his distraught widower hubby Gabriel (Tobey Maguire) teams up with hard-bitten NYPD detective Renee Hallgarten (Linda Hamilton), who thinks fine dining is licking the grease from her tie, and the two go undercover in the seedy world of big city gastro-politics. Gaining access as sous chefs to Anchoa’s kitchen, they hatch a plan to catch the master-killer-chef before more innocent people die. Things go tits up when the chef’s new chica, Elena (Charisma Carpenter), discovers Hallgarten’s police-issue glock while washing the staff’s kitchen whites and, assuming her to be an assassin sent from a rival restaurateur or possibly an undercover operative from New York City’s fearsome Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, traps the unexpecting detective in the walk-in meat freezer. Gabriel, becoming unhinged with grief and rage in Hallgarten’s absence, corners Anchoa after the daily early-evening cosmic-ordering team building session and forces at knife-point him to admit the extent of his crimes. Sparing with words, then knives, they commence a fight to the death while the other kitchen staff, fully acclimatised to a high-pressure working environment, continue to prepare the night’s food. Meanwhile, Elena, dawning on who is the idea that her hot new boyf is in fact what the Post has dubbed ‘The Panna Cotta Peril’, owing to said desert being found in the exploded remains of all the victims thus far, frees from the freeze Hallgarten, who has by now climbed inside a hung-up cow carcass in an attempt to stay alive. Thawed out and out to get her man, Hallgarten grabs her glock and storms into the knife fight just in time to see Gabriel lose the best part of a hand and blast Anchoa non-fatally in the dick, looking as he does remarkably like her scumbag ex-hub. Anchoa is again visited by his dead daughter’s ghost, her face floating in the pool of his crotch-born blood, his lovely little girl this time transformed into a demon, red face, horns and all, laughing maniacally with a voice like James Earl Jones. Unable to live with what he’s done, Anchoa gathers enough strength to stand and dunk his head in a vat of boiling jus. Cut to Gabriel sniffing the air, mad glint in his eye, snarling, “What’s cookin’, mannnnn?” and in kicks Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’. Freeze-frame, fade-out, the credits roll.