John Waters originally wanted a man named "Mr. Ray" to be the narrator of Pink Flamingos. Mr. Ray was famous for his hair-weave radio ads and for his Baltimore accent. Mr. Ray refused, so Waters recorded the voice-over himself, imitating Mr. Ray's voice as "Mr. J."
According to production designer Vincent Peranio, the art department's budget was about $200. Half went to purchasing the trailer, half to decorating it. "And then after that (running out of money), we would just steal things."
Divine and the party guests are actually inhaling amyl nitrate during the party scene. At the time of filming, it was still legal to buy such "poppers" at the drug store. If you watch Divine's face during the scene, she suddenly starts laughing uproariously. John Waters says that's where "it kicked in".
Elizabeth Coffey (Chick with a Dick) was a pre-op male-to-female transexual who had already undergone hormone therapy to develop breasts and female features at the time of filming. She had surgery to remove her penis a week to the day her scene was filmed, and appears as a completely female character in Waters' next film, Female Trouble (1974).
At his request, the Singing Asshole is not credited, and John Waters maintains that he "certainly will remain nameless. It's his choice." This individual does, however, apparently still disclose his involvement in the film to friends.
John Waters has stated that the only scene in the film he regrets is the unsimulated fellatio sequence between Divine and Danny Mills; he claims it was awkward to film because the two actors were friends. He also feels it is the most 'dated' part of the film; Deep Throat (1972) had just been released and this scene was Waters satirizing the rise of 'porno chic'.
After eating the dog feces, Divine called a hospital emergency hot line the night after filming the scene pretending to be a mother asking that her child ate dog feces, they told her the worst thing that could happen was the boy might get white worms.
When Connie and Raymond call the police to break up Divine's birthday party, Raymond gives the police real directions, which would have easily guided real police (or anyone else, for that matter) to the site of the trailer.
Director John Waters wrote a sequel to this film, entitled "Flamingos Forever". It takes place 15 years after the action of the original film, showing Babs' return to Baltimore with Cotton, Crackers, Miss Edie, and her new grandson Dwayne, an 8-year-old transvestite. Their foe in this film is Vera Venninger, Connie Marble's sister, and her husband, Wilbur, a necrophile who runs a mortuary. Troma Films offered to finance the picture for $600,000 but it was never made because of the death of Edith Massey, and later that of Divine, whose roles were integral to the plot. Waters was also VERY uncomfortable with TROMA's editing facilities, which at that time were Moviolas from the very early days of film editing. The screenplay to this work is available with those of Pink Flamingos (1972) and Desperate Living (1977) in a collection entitled "Trash Trio".
Connie and Raymond's car belonged to a jive-talking black man that John Waters met during pre-production in Baltimore. In exchange for using the car, Waters attempted to work the man into some scenes he made up on set, where Connie would talk to a magic mirror and say, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the filthiest of them all?" A black pimp in a zoot suit and fedora would then appear in a cloud of smoke and say, "Divine is." Waters couldn't get the special effects for the scene to work correctly, though, so it was cut from the final product.
In the original script there was to be a scene in which Connie Marble's hair catches fire. Mink Stole initially agreed to do the stunt (the movie's shoestring budget meant they couldn't afford a professional stuntwoman) before eventually changing her mind. John Waters said on the audio commentary track that he was happy that Stole changed her mind in retrospect because she would have ended up with third degree burns on her head and he would have ended up in jail.
John Waters: [manson] In one of the scenes of Divine sashaying through Baltimore, she walks past graffiti that says "Free Tex Watson". There is also a framed picture of Susan Atkins in Connie and Raymond's apartment.