The life and times of Baltimore film maker and midnight movie pioneer, John Waters. Intercut with a 1972 interview of Waters are clips from his first films and recent interviews with his ... See full summary »
A Baltimore sandwich shop employee becomes an overnight sensation when photographs he's taken of his weird family become the latest rage in the art world. The young man is called "Pecker" ... See full summary »
Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against Connie & Raymond Marble, a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive".
A suburban housewife's world falls apart when her pornographer husband admits he's serially unfaithful to her, her daughter gets pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet.
John Waters' second film, shot on 8mm, and featuring Divine for the first time. Essentially a plotless collage of random incidents involving sex, drugs, religion and 'The Wizard of Oz', it ... See full summary »
The life and times of Dawn Davenport, showing her progress from loving schoolgirl to crazed mass murderer - all of which stems from her parents' refusal to buy her cha-cha heels for Christmas. She runs away from home, is raped, becomes a single mother, criminal and glamorous model before her inevitable rendezvous with the electric chair... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At the time that the electric chair scene was filmed, the death penalty had been banned in the State of Maryland. The day before John Waters had his "sneak world premiere" at a prison, Maryland reinstated the death penalty. See more »
When Taffy throws a tantrum and is taken to the bed in the attic, she reaches for the manacles although she is being restrained against her will. See more »
For Charles Watson (the Manson Family member). Waters' prison visits to Watson inspired the "crime is beauty" theme of the film, and Waters used a toy wooden helicopter Watson made for him in the credits. See more »
FEMALE TROUBLE, an early offering from the warped mind of John Waters, is one of the few comedy films I can think of that manages to have its cake and eat it. On the surface, it's a thoroughly deranged bad-taste comedy, populated with the most appallingly hilarious cast of screwed-up social misfits and dysfunctional lunatics outside of late-period Monty Python (think Mr and Mrs Git and the Garibaldi family, or Terry Jones using a loaf of bread to remove "cat's do" from his "stinking feet"), but on a deeper level it's a scabrous spoof on the idolatory nature of celebrity, the dogged pursuit of fame by talentless and charisma-free no-hopers, and the whole gruesome phenomena of the media slut and the fashion plate that rules pop culture just as much now as it did when this film was made - perhaps moreso, in fact. If I'm honest, however, the film does seem to run out of steam when David Lochary (a very underrated and much-missed cult actor) turns up as the super-precious media guru and proceeds to market Divine as the ultimate example of his twisted "crime is beauty" ideal, but only because of all the jaw-dropping, shockingly funny stuff that went before - during the course of my average day, just thinking of Divine literally "f***ing himself" on that grubby mattress (or 'Dawn Pigpork' and the repulsive Gator pouring bile and invective on a silently smouldering Taffy, or Edith Massey getting one of her pudgy paws hacked off, or Divine's awe-inspiring Christmas day tantrum, or the inspired use of the goofy oldie "D-I-G means look") makes me giggle like a goon. FEMALE TROUBLE, moreso than PINK FLAMINGOES (which shot itself in the foot by being slightly TOO authentically disgusting for comfort), should be compulsory viewing - or punishment - for any swollen-headed, supersensitive, quasi-intellectual college boy (or girl) who balks at the Carry On films and the Benny Hill Show. Very often, the more outrageous and revolting the subject matter, the more shamefully hysterical the joke is. One of the enduring facts about bad-taste humour is that it SHOULDN'T make you laugh, but it DOES. And escape valves for all that compassion burnout engendered by (insert your favourite 'good cause' here) don't come much stronger than the work of John Waters.
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