Terror in the crapper 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY  DAVID JAMES © 2018 PARAMOUNT PICTURES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. - leaps and bounds Tom Cruise hits the big screen in Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
  • Photo by David James © 2018 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.
  • leaps and bounds Tom Cruise hits the big screen in Mission: Impossible - Fallout.

Whistler has always had a bit of a bathroom problem.

The original village was constructed with only one true public restroom—a nasty, subterranean affair located down in what is now the Cougar Chutes behind Bill's.

As it doubled and tripled in size, the village still struggled. The truth is, even today if you want to take a dump in Whistler, chances are you will be asking a business or hotel to hook you up. Whistler locals even keep an internal map of "secret" shitters peppered throughout town that can be counted on to be clean, or at least available, for an emergency stop.

Perhaps it's because submissions are now open for the 2018 Heavy Hitting Horrorfest, but these days I like to judge my restrooms by how good they'd be to stage a cinematic gunfight or a mayhem-filled monster massacre.

Criteria includes good lighting, large walls of tile that would shatter well under gunfire, fancy wallpaper for blood stains, and ideally a loose urinal or hand dryer that could be torn from the wall and used as a weapon.

And it's not just me. The bathroom, a place of great intimacy and vulnerability, has a long history in Hollywood. Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece

Psycho not only gave us the first legit shower scene, it was also the first major motion picture to show a toilet onscreen.

Since then it's been game on. Canadian creep-master David Cronenberg changed the way we look at bathtubs in 1975's Shivers, where Barbara Steele's relaxing soak is disturbed by a parasitic leech creature that pushes its way up the drain, and beyond. (Wes Craven paid shot-for-shot homage to that scene in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, with Freddy Krueger's bladed hand rising from the bubble bath between Nancy's legs. James Gunn did it again in 2006's Slither.) And who can forget Room 237's nasty bathtub ghoul from The Shining?

Of course, it's not just horror that banks on the cinematic value of catching people with their pants down; action movies have long recognized the commode as a good place for a fight.

The gauntlet was thrown hard back in 1979's The Warriors when The Punks, a gang of dudes with overalls and feathered hair, attempt to ambush The Warriors in a Metro Subway bathroom and get their asses handed to them.

Lots of stalls and mirrors are smashed in that one, but it takes Arnold Schwarzenegger to really utilize a restroom as the weapon that it is: he drowns a terrorist/hitman in a pissy urinal in 1994's True Lies, then in 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines he tears one right out of the wall and uses it to club Kristanna Loken's T-X Terminator. And she barely notices! Two Terminators trashing a toilet makes for terrific times (and awesome alliteration!)

Everyone from Matt Damon (Bourne) to Daniel Craig (Bond) to Zoe Saldana (Colombiana) to Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) to Patricia Arquette (True Romance) has laid down (and taken) a beating in a bathroom, and this week Tom Cruise is getting in on the action with a rumble in the crapper of the Paris Grand Palais in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which opens this week at the Whistler Village 8.

Cruise's own Twitter bio says, "Running in movies since 1981," and these days, in his mid-50s, the dude is living up to his own hype.

This sixth M:I film is a tight, globe-trotting, high-spectacle smorgasbord of cool tech and gnarly stunts with some arms dealer twists tossed in to keep it fun.

Known for his skills crafting action and plot twists (he wrote The Usual Suspects), director Christopher McQuarrie (M:I- Rogue Nation, The Way of the Gun) also utilizes the main strength the M:I films have over Bond: the supporting cast.

Fallout has characters we care about, characters we don't like, characters that evolve, and characters that help push the story and give Tom Cruise the room he needs to do his thing—run, jump, fight and fly.

This might be the best popcorn action flick of the summer and definitely better on the big screen.

The Teen Titans movie also drops this week for the kiddies, and in other news it was just announced Jonah Hill (Superbad, Wolf of Wall Street) will make his directorial debut later this year with Mid90s.

Hill penned this one himself, about a 13-year-old kid from a troubled home who finds friendship and family with a pack of "degenerate" skateboarders.

Apparently, Hill grew up in the West L.A. skate scene, but can he capture it correctly and still tell a compelling story? And is there a bathroom scene?

Time will tell—Mid90s opens Oct. 19.


Latest in Film

More by Feet Banks

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation