Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Brand New Cherry Flavor Scene That Went Too Far

Netflix's new horror drama limited series "Brand New Cherry Flavor" is really out there. It's a provocative and violent trip into Hollywood's seedy underbelly that's loaded up with surreal, disturbing imagery heavily influenced by the work of directors David Lynch and David Cronenberg. A lot of gross things happen on creators Lenore Zion and Nick Antosca's show, starting with Lisa Nova (Rosa Salazar) constantly vomiting up live kittens. But there's a scene in Episode 4 that goes so far over the top that you'll either turn the show off or be completely riveted. It's either the worst scene of the show or the best, depending on who you are.

"Brand New Cherry Flavor” is a revenge thriller about aspiring filmmaker Lisa Nova, who goes to Hollywood in the early '90s with dreams of making a movie that's true to her vision. Instead, her movie gets taken away from her by sleazy producer Lou Burke (Eric Lange) as punishment for refusing to have sex with him. In her anger, she goes to a mysterious tattoo artist named Boro (Catherine Keener), who puts a curse on Burke. But once the curse takes hold, Lisa has second thoughts, because it's having effects she didn't anticipate. One side effect is that a wound has opened up on Lisa's abdomen. That wound is the subject of the aforementioned scene that goes too far.

You thought the mouth kittens were bad...

In the thoroughly deranged scene, which happens about two-thirds of the way through Episode 4, "Tadpole Smoothie," Lisa is sick and getting out of the bath in a motel. She notices she has a weird open wound on her side, between her ribs and her hip. She touches it with a rag, but instead of it hurting like she expected it would, it feels good. She gets ... aroused. She manually stimulates it. Then the pain comes. The wound bulges until a kitten falls out. Lisa had been puking kittens up, and now she's giving birth to them.

Lisa then lets movie star Roy Hardaway (Jeff Ward) into the room. Lisa and Roy are attracted to each other and have been building to a sexual encounter, but they probably didn't expect the first time would happen like it does. She tells him about the kittens and the trapdoor in her bedroom floor with the mysterious woman who wants Lisa to join her down there. Then she takes off her bathrobe and has Roy stick his whole hand into her wound as she moans in ecstasy.

Long live the new flesh

The scene is clearly inspired by moments in two of David Cronenberg's films. In his 1984 film "Videodrome," there's a scene where James Woods' character has a vaginal-looking wound on his abdomen that another character inserts a living videotape into with his whole hand. And in his 1996 film "Crash," a man has sex with a large, also vaginal-looking scar on a woman's leg. Cronenberg is closely associated with "body horror," a subgenre that focuses on grotesque aberrations in the human body, so much that it's basically impossible to mention body horror without also mentioning Cronenberg. This scene in "Brand New Cherry Flavor" is Cronenbergian body horror. And the films of David Cronenberg are known to go too far. "Crash" is rated NC-17.

Netflix subscribers took to Twitter to express their complicated feelings about the scene. "WHAT THE F*** IS BRAND NEW CHERRY FLAVOR EPISODE 4 come on how IS THIS ALLOWED NETFLIX," tweeted @gracie_gump. "I could deal with the puking up kittens on Brand New Cherry Flavor but the scene in episode 4 was too much for me," @browniebeebaby shared. And @dbhfiction was into it. "People who say horror is too safe or polite now or whatever make me laugh for a variety of reasons — the most recent of which is BRAND NEW CHERRY FLAVOR," he tweeted. "Episode 4, y'all. Episode 4."

Everyone can agree that the scene goes too far. Watch the show, though, to decide for yourself whether you think it goes too far in a good way or a bad way.