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 »
Renowned cult film director John Waters narrates this quirky exploration of the Salton Sea, the massive Southern California lake that was created by accident a century ago, became a popular... See full summary »
A wealthy, fatherless British clan kidnaps bums and hippies and forces them to participate in an elaborate role-playing game in which they are the perfect family; those who refuse or attempt escape are ritualistically murdered.
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 »
A rich housewife murders her husband with the help of her overweight maid, and the two go on the run, ending up in Mortville, a town providing refuge for criminals. They shack up with a lesbian ex-wrestler and her murderess lover, before running into the tyrannical Queen Carlotta, ruler of Mortville... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The only John Waters film to date set in what is virtually an alternate universe -- the town of Mortville, Maryland -- a disgusting shantytown that inexplicably is governed by its own fascist Empress (Edith Massey), who is both cruel and unusual, and who lives in a Disneyland-like castle. This film is hard-core, undistilled Waters, working in his Classic Period that includes "Pink Flamingos" (his breakthrough film) and "Female Trouble" (possibly his greatest work). Filming without his leading lady/leading man, Divine, "Desperate Living" emerges as more of an ensemble film featuring notorious Hollywood starlet Liz Renay, Waters regular Mink Stole, and Jean Hill, discovered and making a striking debut herein. "Desperate Living" is audacious and fevered and yet has a naive quality to it, typical of Waters' artistic charm. Filmed on a shoestring budget, the film benefits from creative and eye-filling sets by Vince Peranio and costumes by Van Smith. It is a fusion of the surreal, the self-consciously rude and outrageous, and an homage to bad movies past. Acted out in a raucous, strident fashion favored by the director that punches every word across with triple exclamation points, "Desperate Living" is the pinnacle of Waters' wild style. It was followed by a comparatively more demure "Polyester" with Divine returning to the starring role, toned down for wider audience appeal. Needless for me to add, this film isn't for everyone nor was it meant to be, as is obvious right from the opening credits.
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