Every viewing of the Back to the Future trilogy provides the audience with something new. I don’t think I need to go into much depth as to why Back to the Future is one of the greatest series of films ever put to the silver screen. The creation of Back to the Future was a watermark in the history of entertainment; they are nothing less than legendary. At the end of every single Back to the Future movie I cannot help but think “this is true art.”
The beauty of the movies is the plethora of questions, conundrums and paradoxes that they conjure. I just breezed through the first couple Back to the Futures this weekend and I noticed a couple things. First a quick one: What is going through Jennifer Parker’s head at the end of the first film? This is what we know about Jennifer Parker: 1) She is dating Marty McFly, 2) Though they are dating it can’t be too serious yet because Marty is so pumped just to get her grandmother’s phone number, 3) Jennifer and Marty plan on going to “the lake” soon…and I think it’s safe to assume that they are so excited about this because it will be their first time sleeping together…don’t tell me that no one else thought that was implied.
So, that’s the little bit about Jennifer Parker that we hear early on in the movie, during the “exposition” if you will. Then everything else happens in the movie and we don’t see Jennifer Parker again until the end of the film, the “conclusion” if you will. Everything seems hunky dory; Jennifer and Marty are ready to “go to the lake” in Marty’s “new car.” Wait, wait, wait!!! BAM!!! The Back to the Future guys are already sure they are making a sequel!!! Doc Brown pulls up in the new DeLorean and has news to tell the young virgin Jennifer Parker. He so discretely announces: YOU TWO GET MARRIED AND THEN SOMETHING GETS FUCKED UP!!! QUICK HOP INSIDE MY FUTURE CAR AND LET’S GO ALTER THE SPACE TIME CONTINUUM.” Doc Brown then added, “So you won’t be able to go to the lake yet.” Then, looking towards Jennifer Parker, he says, “Hello, my name is Emmet Brown. I built this future car. Nice to meet you.”
Jennifer Parker has roughly eight seconds (while Doc Brown loads old beer and a banana into the future car) to think about what she has been told. Without much delay she loads herself into the future car with her future husband and heads off into the future. What, I ask, is Jennifer Parker thinking?
Feel free to respond with your own thoughts in the comments. For now I’ll go with my first instinct: Marty McFly is just that good-looking.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, THE MAIN EVENT!!! Here are my top three times that a member of the Tannen family got covered in shit. Let the games begin!!! The third place prize goes to:
3) When Buford Tannen Gets Covered With Shit
By the time the audience reaches the last movie in the trilogy everyone is asking the same question, “How is a truck full of shit going to crash into Biff Tannen?” As you should know, the movie is set mostly in the Wild West, a place devoid of Biff Tannen. But lo and behold! Buford Tannen is Biff’s great-grandfather and he is also a dick and he also has a grudge against the McFly family. Parallelism!!! Let me fast forward, Buford Tannen eventually gets covered in shit. It is still a gratifying scene, but I have some problems with it. First, it’s not a truckload of shit. When I see a Tannen get covered in shit I like it to be a literal truckload of shit. I understand there are no trucks in the Wild West, but I would have also accepted a train full of shit crashing into Buford Tannen. Also, the shit that he gets covered in is too green. I like the 50′s style brown shit. It has much more of a “classic shit” appeal.
My qualms aside, it is still a terrific scene. Getting completely covered in shit is such a horrible fate. No one ever wants to get covered in shit. I don’t know what you do after you get covered in shit. Well, I guess, shower. Showering is a good first step, but what then? You still always know that you have been covered in shit at some point. Shit, something that another being has deemed useless and smelly, now covers your entire body. Think about that.
2) When Biff Tannen Gets Covered With Shit Again
My second favorite time a Tannen gets covered with shit is in Back to the Future Part II. After unsuccessfully chasing down a hover-boarding Marty, Biff crashes right into a huge truck full of shit!!! Ha ha ha!!! Perfect!!! Biff really deserved it too. He had this great, powerful, villainous, Ford sports car and he had a good quarter mile to catch up with Marty, who is foot-pumping a floating skateboard. Of course, Biff fails and then comes the shit. The beauty of this scene is that Biff’s car gets covered in shit….RIGHT AFTER HE GOT IT BACK FROM THE SHOP THAT CLEANED THE SHIT OUT OF IT!!!
Shakespeare himself could not write that kind of irony.
1) When Biff Tannen First Gets Covered With Shit
Yes, of course, the big winner. My favorite time that a Tannen gets covered with shit is the first time that Biff Tannen gets covered with shit. A terrific scene. Marty stands up to the Biff crew, thereby sparing his father a lifetime of shame, and then invents skateboarding. The chase ends with Biff careening into a massive truck full of shit. Hilarious. Some of Biff’s goons could have easily died. Imagine getting covered in so much shit that you died? Not even metaphoric shit. Not an end-of-the-semester “Oh, I have so much shit to get through.” No, literally buried in shit. I wonder what Biff would say if you told him that in just a week or so he would be getting covered in shit again. I think I know what he would say. He’d say what he’ll eventually say, “I HATE MANUREEEE.”
Let me ask you this, reader: How many times per year does an American get covered with shit by surprise?
I’ll explain those stipulations. I say American because, let’s be honest, for all I know those other countries are jumping around in shit all day. Next point: they have to be completely covered. Getting a bird crap splatter does not count. If a flock of birds unleash a hailstorm of shit that leaves you immobile, that would count. You have to be completely covered, so that only your head and shoulders reach the surface. Lastly, it has to be by surprise. Maybe there is some job out there that involves shit-swimming. That wouldn’t count. It must be a surprise and/or accidental shit burial.
I’ll go through some other memorable times people have been covered with shit on film (all of these don’t fit my criteria above):
8 Crazy Nights: One of the characters gets covered in shit from a port-a-potty, thus creating a “Poopsicle”.- Disqualified because it is animated and unrealistic.
Slumdog Millionaire: The kid falls into shit in the beginning.- Disqualified because it is not in America.
Shawshank Redemption: Andy Dufresne crawls through shit to his freedom. -Disqualified because it was not an accident or surprise…Andy planned to crawl through that freedom shit.
I can’t really think of any other instances. Maybe the guys from Jackass jumped in shit once; I can see that happening. I asked DJ this question and he guessed 150 or something per year. I figured 30-40? But, I’m thinking about it now and even 30-40 times per year seems high. I can’t think of a situation aside from falling into a cesspool somehow. Also nowadays we don’t have those troublesome shit-trucks that Biff kept running into.
I’ll leave the voting up to America. We got to vote for “Dancing With the Stars” and we got to vote to decide if Jon and Kate would get divorced, so why not just vote on a statistic: