I don't do this very often but because it's Monday, I think I will. The Silence of the Lambs is the fucking bees knees. I mean it. I tried to sit down and name things that were wrong with it but I couldn't do it. The Silence of the Lambs is one of those movies where if you see that it's playing on TV, you sit down and watch it every time. It doesn't matter how many times you've seen Hannibal Lecter pull off his jaw dropping escape or how many times you've gnashed your teeth together watching Clarice brave the darkness in Buffalo Bill's basement. It doesn't matter how many times you've puked in your mouth after Migg's throws his jizz at Clarice's face, or how many times you've quoted the famous lotion in the basket scene---it never gets old.
However, when I saw that the film was streaming on Netflix Instant Watch, I got gleefully excited not because I could watch it but because I could take a screenshot. I've been trying to take a decent shot of this particular scene for a long time now because I feel that it's one of those things that seldom gets brought up when it definitely should. This scene was responsible for a few of my nightmares after all. I speak of the moment right before the lights are turned off and Clarice gets plunged into darkness.
Right before the darkness falls, Clarice is staring straight at what I find to be one of the most disgusting things ever put on film. Yes, more disgusting even than teenagers being forced to eat poop, or.... twenty somethings being forced to eat poop. You see, after years and years of telling myself that it's only a tub, it's only a tub, I have come to the conclusion that it is NOT only a tub, it is a tub filled with decaying, bloated, old woman FLESH and it's fucking gross.
You know what it looks like?
I used to watch this scene and physically scream out in despair. Of course, the moment was so quick that I promptly forgot it had ever happened (Like that time I saw a fat Swedish woman's boob in the locker room when I was 12). Now that I'm staring wide eyed at the abomination, I can only whine like Brad Pitt and keep repeating, "What's in the tub?!!?! What's in the tub?!?!"
And Morgan Freeman won't tell me because he's got a heart buried deep down inside his tired old detective man shoes after all. And also, he's too far away.
But honestly. Why don't we ever talk about the tub? I find it to be one of the most horrific things in the whole movie. Here we have what is presumably Mrs. Lipman's body and it has been festering in an old tub for the better part of 2 years. I think what is so damaging about this death is how carelessly her body is put in the tub. It's left there and it's left to rot and decay and bloat whereas Jame's other victims get the all-star treatment of being carefully and meticulously cultivated into a fine woman suit. There's something quite unnerving and brutal about Mrs. Lipman's death and yet we never really know much about it. How did he kill her? Did she put up a struggle? All these questions start pouring out of my head the longer I stare at her disgusting body.
This tub has always baffled me, disgusted me and intrigued me. And really, can I say that about any other tubs? Probably not.
Also interesting and rarely the topic of conversation are these suspicious photographs of Buffalo Bill with naked women.
I THOUGHT HE WAS A STRAIGHT WOMAN NOT A LESBIAN OKAY?! Or is he a gay man? I'm so confused!!