Who is the greatest dog in the history of stage and screen? Lassie, you say? Nonsense. I don’t give a rat’s ass if Timmy is stuck in a well. Let him drown. Benji? Poppycock. I wish he was still shipwrecked. Rin Tin Tin? Balderdash. He should have died on a WWI German battlefield with honor instead of making all those awful movies.
Maybe you think it’s a fictional dog. Scooby Doo? Ludicrous. Hey Scoob! Will you lick my taint for TWO scooby snacks, you lisping disaster? Astro? Rut Roh, George! Elroy’s sticking things in my no-no spot again. Brian Griffin? That pretentious douche should be sipping lattes in a Parisian cafe while reading Satre. (Or finishing his novel.)
Nope. Those dogs, real or fictional, should all find themselves gutted, skinned, and hanging in the window of a Japanese butcher’s shop. (Right next to the shark fins.) When it comes to screen legends, one dog trumps them all. One dog made a difference. I’m talking of course about the one and only… Precious. That’s right. Precious. Precious was James “Buffalo Bill” Gumb’s pet Bichon Frise in “Silence of the Lambs.” Listen up, dummies: Precious was integral in keeping Buffalo Bill “grounded.” Without him we might have ALL been killed. As it was, all Buffalo Bill did was murder and skin a couple of disgusting manatee-esque women in his noble and worthwhile attempt to make a skin suit out of them. Lords know Frederica Bimmel and all those other monstrosities (including Senator Ruth Gordon’s size 14 fat-ass daughter, Catherine) weren’t doing anything notable with their lives except sitting around and getting fatter. “Oh, wait…was she a great big fat person?” – Buffalo Bill. She sure was, Bill. She sure was.
Just imagine for a minute how dangerous someone like Buffalo Bill would have been without Precious. He ended up killing like, what, five women? Big deal. Think about that nut who shot up the Colorado movie theater during a showing of “Batman.” Or about people who shoot up schools. Or lunatics who try to blow up buildings. Think of all the carnage they inflict. Had they been more grounded – had they had a true and loyal companion, nay, “friend,” like Precious – maybe they would have channeled their murderous rage into something more constructive instead of murdering scores of innocent bystanders. Case in point: two scenes. Think about how calmly and serenely Buffalo Bill instructs the awful Jabba-understudy Catherine to put the lotion on her skin. He had a Zen-like calmness about him. “It puts the lotion on its skin…” Now think about the scene where Catherine has tricked poor, unsuspecting Precious with the bucket and dragged her into the bottom of the well. Concerned for his dog’s well-being, Buffalo Bill nicely tells Catherine to put the dog in the basket. And when she doesn’t – and when she later threatens to hurt Precious – Bill, like any good pet-owner, loses his mind. “Don’t you hurt my dog!… You don’t know what pain is!” He then immediately starts to flip out and loses all control. Mere minutes before he was serenely singing “Goodbye Horses” and asking himself a question we’ve all asked ourselves. “Would you f*ck me? I’d f*ck me. I’d f*ck me so hard.” But, take away his dog and…yikes!
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “Yeah, but Buffalo Bill DID kill people, so how effective could Precious have been?” Well, you have to look at the source material here. Buffalo Bill was a bona fide sociopath. A true whack-job. People like that are bound to kill a few people here and there. It happens. But thanks to Precious, Buffalo Bill channeled his rage into the noteworthy skill of sewing and became a seamstress. Now, granted, his tailoring skill-set falls into a very particular niche that not everyone has a need for, but I won’t fault the man for having a specific concentration within his major.
I have no doubt that, without Precious’ unconditional love, Buffalo Bill would have walked into a mall, or a hospital (especially one that denied his sex-change operation) and blown the place to kingdom come.
Precious, not Agent Starling, is the real hero of that movie. Thanks to Precious, all that happened was a few fatties got killed. Now there’s more cake and ice-cream for the rest of us.