John Waters began his uneasy romance with the mainstream (where he finally realized he could do more damage than he could with midnight movies) with this dead-bang satire of suburbia and bad melodramas. Divine is great as Francine Fishpaw, a despondent housewife whose life is a nonstop series of catastrophes until she meets the man of her dreams — Tod Tomorrow (Tab Hunter), a drive-in owner. Not nearly as gross as Waters’ previous outings (when Francine has to puke, she does it discreetly into her purse), but still wild enough to please any Waters fan. Highlights: the sad story of Francine’s son, “the Baltimore Foot-Stomper”; the hilarious scene in the abortion clinic — fifteen years before Citizen Ruth, Waters found humor in this hot topic. Best of all, lucky audience members got “Odorama” scratch-and-sniff cards so they could experience various scents (farts, dirty shoes) along with Francine! Better revival theaters still carry the cards, and they were packaged along with the laserdisc and DVD editions. Score by Michael Kamen (Brazil); Debbie Harry co-wrote some songs. With Stiv Bators, Cookie Mueller, and the invaluable Edith Massey and Mink Stole.

Explore posts in the same categories: comedy, cult

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