Pink Flamingos

John Waters’ first movie to get decent distribution (and instant midnight-movie cult status) is still shocking after all these years. If you enjoy seeing things you’ve never seen before (and will never see again), you’ll be on the edge of your seat as Divine, in her seminal role as “the filthiest person alive,” defends her title against rivals David Lochary and Mink Stole, who suck each other’s toes and mail Divine a gift-wrapped turd. Featuring an explicit fellatio scene between Divine and her pervert son (Danny Mills), a she-male who waggles his/her merchandise at the camera, a rape involving chickens, and the infamous closing shot in which Divine eats actual dog shit on camera. Depraved, to be sure, but very funny and consistently subversive; one of the great sick-humor comedies (it makes Mel Brooks’ movies look like the work of kindergarten kids making fart noises with their hands). With the incomparable Edith Massey as Divine’s egg-obsessed mother, Mary Vivian Pearce, and Cookie Mueller (author of the must-read book Ask Dr. Mueller). The choice of background music is usually great, ranging from Little Richard’s “The Girl Can’t Help It” to Stravinsky (!). When re-released for its 25th anniversary in 1997, it boasted a wry introduction by Waters and some outtakes tacked on at the end; it also got an NC-17. Waters’ masterpiece thus shared a rating with Henry & June, Crash, and Showgirls — he must’ve been proud. His next was Female Trouble.

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Explore posts in the same categories: comedy, cult

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