John Waters

  • John Waters – Cecil B. DeMented (2000)

    John Waters1991-2000CampComedyUSA
    Cecil B. DeMented (2000)
    Cecil B. DeMented (2000)

    Roger Ebert
    August 18, 2000

    My best guess is that John Waters produced the talent shows in his high school. There’s always been something cheerfully amateurish about his more personal films–a feeling that he and his friends have dreamed up a series of “skits” while hanging out together.

    “Cecil B. Demented” takes this tendency to an almost unwatchable extreme, in a home movie that’s like a bunch of kids goofing off.Read More »

  • John Waters – Pink Flamingos (1972)

    1971-1980CampCultJohn WatersQueer Cinema(s)USA

    John Waters made bad taste perversely transcendent with the forever shocking counterculture sensation Pink Flamingos, his most infamous and daring cinematic transgression. Outré diva Divine is iconic as the wanted criminal hiding out with her family of degenerates in a trailer outside Baltimore while reveling in her tabloid notoriety as the “Filthiest Person Alive.” When a pair of sociopaths (Mink Stole and David Lochary) with a habit of kidnapping women in order to impregnate them attempt to challenge her title, Divine resolves to show them and the world the true meaning of the word “filth.” Incest, cannibalism, shrimping, and film history’s most legendary gross-out ending—Waters and his merry band of Dreamlanders leave no taboo unsmashed in this gleefully subversive ode to outsiderhood, in which camp spectacle and pitch-black satire are wielded in an all-out assault on respectability.Read More »

  • John Waters – Female Trouble (1974)

    USA1971-1980CampComedyJohn WatersQueer Cinema(s)

    A movie like Female Trouble (1974) could be most easily classified as a comedy, but that is selling it short. “Comedy” doesn’t capture the specific satiric edge, the desperate shout, the exaggerated depravity of this film. It’s a loud, abject, offensive, and joyful declaration of self-determination and identity in the face of a world that has no use for anyone outside the norm.Read More »

  • John Waters – Cry-Baby [Theatrical Cut] (1990)

    1981-1990CampComedyJohn WatersUSA

    Allison is a “square” good girl who has decided she wants to be bad and falls hard for Cry-Baby Walker, a Greaser (or “Drape” in John Waters parlance). Spoofing Elvis movies and Juvenile Delinquency scare films of the ’50s, this movie follows the adventures of Cry-Baby who, though he is sent to juvie, is determined to cross class (and taste) boundaries to get Allison back.Read More »

  • John Waters – Polyester (1981)

    1981-1990CampComedyJohn WatersQueer Cinema(s)USA

    For his first studio picture, filth maestro John Waters took advantage of his biggest budget yet to allow his muse Divine to sink his teeth into a role unlike any he had played before: Baltimore housewife Francine Fishpaw, a heroine worthy of a Douglas Sirk melodrama. Blessed with a keen sense of smell and cursed with a philandering pornographer husband, a parasitic mother, and a pair of delinquent children, the long-suffering Francine turns to the bottle as her life falls apart—until deliverance appears in the form of a hunk named Todd Tomorrow (vintage heartthrob Tab Hunter). Enhanced with Odorama™ technology that enables you to scratch and sniff along with Francine, Polyester is one of Waters’ most hilarious inventions, replete with stomach-churning smells, sadistic nuns, AA meetings, and foot stomping galore.Read More »

  • John Waters – Mondo Trasho (1969)

    1961-1970ComedyCultJohn WatersUSA


    Mondo Trasho is a 1969 16mm mondo black comedy film by John Waters. The film stars Divine, Mary Vivian Pearce, David Lochary and Mink Stole. It contains very little dialogue, the story being told mostly through musical cues.

    A few excerpts from
    ” In the meantime, what we can do is to revisit the moment of transition between Waters essentially making movies on a lark with his reprobate friends and the Dreamland Studios team (as they called themselves) becoming serious about building careers in cinema on their own eccentric terms. That transition came with Mondo Trasho, Waters’s first feature-length film, and his first to receive any approximation of professional distribution. Mondo Trasho premiered, as usual, with a nine-showing engagement at the Emmanuel Church rental hall, but it was quickly picked up by the New York-based Film-Makers Cooperative as part of their fledgling effort to break into the distro business. The coop never managed to secure a booking in their home city, ironically enough, but they did send Mondo Trasho to Los Angeles. Read More »

  • John Waters – Cry-Baby – Directors Cut [+Extras] (1990)

    1981-1990CampComedyJohn WatersUSA

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    Various excerpts:
    “Cry-Baby is a 1990 American teen musical film written and directed by John Waters. It stars Johnny Depp as 1950s teen rebel “Cry-Baby” Wade Walker, and also features a large ensemble cast that includes Amy Locane, Iggy Pop, Traci Lords, Ricki Lake, Kim McGuire, David Nelson, Susan Tyrrell, and Patty Hearst. The film did not achieve high audience numbers in its initial release, but has subsequently become a cult classic and spawned a Broadway musical of the same name which was nominated for four Tony Awards.

    The film is a parody of teen musicals (particularly Grease) and centers on a group of delinquents that refer to themselves as “drapes” and their interaction with the rest of the town and its other subculture, the “squares”, in 1950s Baltimore, Maryland. “Cry-Baby” Walker, a drape, and Allison, a square, create upheaval and turmoil in their little town of Baltimore by breaking the subculture taboos and falling in love. The film shows what the young couple has to overcome to be together and how their actions affect the rest of the town.Read More »

  • John Waters – Pink Flamingos [Audio Commentary] (1972)

    1971-1980CampComedyJohn WatersUSA wrote:
    John Waters does the best commentary tracks in the business. Yes, better than Bruce Campbell. He is engaging, lively, witty, self-deprecating, revealing, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema. The Pink Flamingos commentary track is particularly revelatory, as he delves into the history of the film’s censorship, the court battles he has had to go through (and has never won) to try and get the film shown, and innumerable anecdotes about the cast, crew, and the making of the film. Absolutely invaluable.Read More »

  • John Waters – Desperate Living [Audio Commentary] (1977)

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    From –
    The people at New Line Cinema are well aware of Waters’ expertise at audio commentaries, as their trio of bundled sets attest to. He’s joined on the Desperate Living disc by co-star Liz Renay, who plays the sexpot Muffy St. Jacques. Now 75 years old, this lively and scandalous lady offers some hysterical views on penis size and the nice people she met at Terminal Island, where she was imprisoned for perjury. (Some book publisher needs to offer her a contract for her autobiography!) Among his comments, Waters points out a lot of subliminal details and comically sums up the movie as a “lesbian fairy tale about political corruption.”Read More »

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