You could be the baddest dude in all of Santa Carla, but if at the end of the day, all you’ve got to go home to is a bachelor apartment or your mother’s basement are you really all that badass? Without a sweet lair to call your own where are you gonna keep your gadgets, your cleverly themed roadster, or your bottle of vampire blood? When you gotta lay low, a hideout is…well, it’s not just a clever name. A hideout generally consists of some kind lab; usually has a garage, unless the resident gets around under their own power; and always has at least one secret entrance. The really sweet ones come with some kind of manservant and a giant computer that can hack into government databases and such, and hopefully a servant of some kind (a butler is best, but a robot will do in a pinch).
I’ve assembled my list of my favourite hideouts from the movies, and I invite you to offer up your own, ’cause a top 5 list makes for tight quarters.
5. Sunken Hotel (Lost Boys, 1987)
Location: Collapsed hotel, Santa Carla, California
Special features: A canopy bed to deflower new recruits, cheesy jewelled bottle of blood, cool poster of Jim Morrison, plenty of spots to hang from your toes.
It might not be fancy, but David and his gang of big haired vampires have carved out a pretty cool hideout for themselves. I think Corey Feldman’s observation of the place being a giant coffin should be taken with a grain of salt, there’s plenty of wacky furniture, tunnels and caves, and even a wheelchair to push around while chanting “Michael! Michael! Michael!” This is the kind of spot I wished I could have found when I was a kid, complete with worm noodles and maggot rice.
4. Flint’s Lockwood’s Lab (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, 2009)
Location:Flint Lockwood’s backyard, Chewandswallow, USA
Special features: Really big computer, dango-meter, elevator connected to an outhouse, lots and lots of little LED lights.
I’d argue that Flint’s lab is an amalgam of about every other cool lab ever seen on TV or in the movies, except it’s made of cardboard and coloured with markers. The fake hydraulic doors, keypads and fingerprint scanner are a bit of a surprise in a lab where a guy invented a machine that can turn water into food, but also created a walking TV set, but perhaps Flint just had his priorities in order.
3. The Fortress of Solitude (The Superman Franchise)
Location: The North Pole
Special features: Holographic projection of Marlon Brando’s face, de-Supermaning chamber, plenty of holes to fall into
Here’s a question for you: What’s the temperature like in the Fortress of Solitude? I mean, it’s in the North Pole, it doesn’t appear to have any heat sources visible (not a single space heater anywhere), and since Superman is the invulnerable guy that he is: Is this place colder than a witch’s teat? Unlike Batman’s subterranean retreat, representations of Superman’s have been fairly consistent across all mediums and all films – I suppose the style is what gets noticed, not the shape.
2. Team America Headquarters (Team America: World Police, 2004)
Location: Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Special features: A full bar, open ceilings for marionette strings, an array of impractical vehicles to be piloted by Team America, an error-riddled computer named I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E.
If I was to dig through the entire collected works of popular culture, I’m certain that I would come up with all kinds of examples of Mount Rushmore being used as a secret headquarters, but none of them would have used it to greater satyric effect than Team America: World Police. Not only is it the scene of the first hardcore porno marionette scene I’ve ever witnessed, it is the gleaming centre of America’s mighty ability to make things right. While The Lost Boys’ hotel might have had a bottle of blood, this place had a full service bar and it’s own dancefloor.
1. The Batcave (The Batman Franchise)
Location: Beneath Wayne Manor, Gotham City
Special features: It varies, but there are a few features common to all films, such as Alfred Pennyworth, a sweet computer with a really big screen, a place for all the bat-gadgets including the full wardrobe of Bat outfits, and parking spots for all the bat-vehicles – some of them spin round and round!
The Batcave has existed in a number of different shapes and sizes in several different mediums since around 1943. If I’m not mistaken it has never been portrayed exactly the same way twice in any of the Batman films that have ever been made, so it’s hard to really nail down exactly what its like or why its supposedly better than any of the others. But come on, given all of its permutations, are you seriously telling me you’d rather hang out in Superman’s icebox of an HQ, or a hotel built on a fault line? I am seriously looking forward to seeing what the Batcave will look like in Nolan’s next Batman film, considering the reconstruction of Wayne Manor should be done by then. What am I most looking forward to? A giant penny and a dinosaur.