You've have to pity Psycho's Marion Crane (Janet Leigh). She's gotten out of town with the cash, evaded the law, and put a good distance between her and her responsibilities. She could just keep driving into the night, and on to her new life. But no, she has to stop, has to find some place to rest, some way to wash the grime — both literal and figurative — from her body. Hence her detour to the Bates Motel, a duck into a warm, soothing shower, and a fateful encounter with Mother.
Too late Marion learned a lesson the movies make clear: Bathrooms are no place for sensible human beings. In honor of poor Marion — and this week's release of the 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of Psycho — we've compiled a list of reasons why you might want to avoid that tiled chamber. Check 'em out, and see if you don't start coming up with alternate ways to tend to your personal hygiene.
7. Bathroom Doors Are Not Ax-Proof (The Shining)
Dear Kohler, American Standard, Moen, et. al: Your ads are all wrong. You seem to think our greatest anxiety is what will happen when House Beautiful
shows up for the photoshoot. That's B.S. What we're really concerned about is how you are going to ensure our safety when armed psychotics are struggling to get in. Cover that door in mirrors, if you must, or coat it in brushed chrome, if it pleases you. Just make sure that when that muhtha gets closed, it stays closed, and nothing
6. Too Many Distractions (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure)
Let's get this straight: The bathroom is a purely functional room. It's not an amusement park; it's not a home entertainment center. If you've decorated it in jaunty, nautical theming, stuck an aquarium behind a faux window, and brought in a scale that can tell fortunes, you're not really getting the idea. Come in, wash up, get out. And, for God's sake, no Scotch Tape!
5. The Games People Play (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle)
Let's reiterate: This isn't a game, people. And those who treat it as a game are twisted degenerates. Avoid them at all costs. Consider the plight of Harold and Kumar (John Cho
and Kal Penn
): There they are, minding their own business, hiding out in the girl's bathroom (don't ask), when these two deviants begin a contest so vile that no decent mind could countenance it. Yeah, okay, they're hot deviants, but still, that's pretty disgusting stuff.
4. High Risk of Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. Acting Out (Jerry Maguire )
Bathroom time is private time, folks. Even if it's a more communal facility. So if you've got issues with someone, if you're dying to convey your inner turmoil over life in a success-oriented profession, if you wish to express to your agent in no uncertain terms that you feel he's not carrying his weight, please, take it to the bedroom, take it to the zoo, take it to a frakkin' restaurant, for all we care. Just make sure you leave a few squares in our stall, and leave us alone.
3. Do You Really Want to Be Around When the Hit Goes Down? (Eastern Promises)
We've made our thoughts clear about the direct line between the bathroom and privacy, so you can probably guess how we feel about public baths. In addition to violation of our mental-space, now throw in the anxiety of putting our self-image up on the communal block. Too be confronted with Nikolai's (Viggo Mortenson
) naked, tattooed, muscular physique gets the whole body-image thing rubbed in our face. Plus, there's always the possibility of Chechen thugs storming in to take out a Russian rival.
2. Can't Be Sure What's in that Soap (Fight Club )
Far be it from us to question the Lever Brothers' scruples, but just what is soap, anyway? It comes to us all pure and sweet-smelling in its crisp, glossy wrapper. But Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt
) knows. He, in fact, knows everything — especially what we compromise for a handful of wholesomeness. Just watch him and sidekick Ed Norton
obtain the raw materials for your daily scrub, and see if abrading oneself with rocks doesn't begin to sound a lot more palatable.
1. Vengeful Dream-Killers Are Lurking (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
The water is warm, the steam surrounds you, the bath-salts are soothing — so easy to be lulled into a false sense of security in your tub. That's just what he wants. That's just what he's waiting for. As Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp
) finds out, you let your guard drop just a bit, you let yourself drift off, and Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund
) is there in a flash, ready to drag you down into his special whirlpool of fear and death. No thank you, we pass. We may be stinky, but at least we're alive.