I could never be a real storyteller. As I’m sure anyone who has ever listened to me ramble (or even read it here) knows, I’m too wordy. I can never disseminate what’s essential and what can be left out. I go off on tangents so often that I dedicated this entire blog to it.
I appreciate that most movies strip down mundane elements that have nothing to do with the story. I don’t need to see characters brush their teeth or use the bathroom in order to know this stuff happened. And if they do show a bathroom scene, I can assume that it adds something to the movie experience.
What goes on in a bathroom is pretty standard as well. In a perfect world, I’d like to believe that everyone leaving the bathroom is doing so with freshly wiped asses and washed hands. Until I am given reason to believe otherwise, I assume that this is the case everywhere I go in life. It’s when I am given contradictory evidence that I become uncomfortable. There’s a reason that scene in Seinfeld when Jerry sees the chef leave the bathroom without washing his hands resonates with most people.
So if a filmmaker takes us into the bathroom and makes a point of showing that a character is shitting, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Any moment that the camera leaves the bathroom before the character is going to be the moment I assume said character is attending to hygiene. If, however, we stay with the character until the toilet transaction is completed and no wiping has occurred, it is jarring and upsetting to me as a viewer.
This is kind of a weird thing to have to address here, but it’s not as rare an occurrence as it should be. Here’s a run down of everyone in the Friday the 13th series who is confirmed to have been killed with a dirty ass:
Both Harold and Chuck complete an obvious #2 without doing anything whatsoever to clean up. Neither victim was being chased by Jason while they were on the toilet, so it causes me to seriously question their priorities. I’ve heard things or had things happen when I’m busy on the toilet, and I can (proudly) say that the only thing that has ever gotten me off the toilet without wiping would be the awful moment when you realize you don’t have any toilet paper at hand. After searching for suitable substitutes in the garbage and giving serious consideration to sacrificing my socks, I’ll usually do that nasty duck walk over to the cabinet where we keep the stash. Neither one of these guys seemed all that bothered by the idea of forgoing what I think should be absolutely essential. They pull their pants up with complete confidence that they in fact made a clean cut. I don’t care how sure I am, I always take a safety wipe.
If it only happened in part 3, maybe it could be considered an anomaly, but it happened two more times in Part 5. First up, we have two greasy punks, Vinnie and Pete. Their car breaks down and Pete goes to shit in the woods. I can completely sympathize with the difficulty of this task (it’s happened to me, it was a terrible experience that ended up with me going to work with a small amount of my own feces on my jeans), but will still argue that there is no reason to leave the woods with a dirty ass (I used baby wipes that took a nasty turn in the wind). Leaves are nature’s toilet paper and if you’re a real bad ass, you’ll use pine cones. Pete does none of this and is so distracted by the mess in his pants that he fails to notice that his friend is no longer working under the hood and is in fact dead and sprawled across the engine.
Later on, we visit Demon and his girlfriend in the trailer park. Those damn enchiladas cause him to race to the outhouse where he sings the world’s greatest duet before threatening his girlfriend with, “Now you’re gonna get it, bitch!” for scaring him by shaking the outhouse. I mean, get it – people annoy me all the time too, even when I’m on the toilet. Still, my priorities dictate that I will put off threatening domestic violence until after I’ve wiped my ass.
All of this leads me to propose a new theory that doesn’t seem to permeate many serious slasher movie discussions. It’s always brought up that sex,drug use, and being black equals surefire death. This is not always true. Anyone who has watched enough of these movies can find plenty of exceptions to these “rules”. Statistically speaking, people that partake in these activities all have at least a chance at survival. From my experience though, the mortality rate of people who choose to not wipe their asses is a clean 100%. Not eventually either, all of these characters died within minutes of this specific indiscretion.
This brings me to part 6, which I think most would agree is the most self aware entry in the series. Most of writer/director Tom Mclaughlin’s winks to the audience aren’t exactly subtle, but look what’s going on here:
Is this his of acknowledging that he knows that unwiped asses equals certain death? I know it’s the only movie in the series that has a camp full of kids, but other such movies like this (Sleepaway Camp, The Burning) don’t show the staff stocking toilet paper. This is not just any run of the mill six pack either, that’s the biggest package of toilet paper I’ve ever seen. I don’t care how many enchiladas Camp Forest Green serves, these kids will have every opportunity to clean themselves.