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.
A day in the lives of a hit-and-run driver and her victim, and the bizarre things that happen to them before and after they collide (sexual assault by a crazed foot-fetishist, visions of ... See full summary »
Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive".
A talented young photographer, who enjoys snapping photos of his satirical, perverted Baltimore neighborhood and his wacky family, gets dragged into a world of pretentious artists from New York City and finds newfound fame.
John Waters' first sixteen-millimetre film, about a deranged nanny who kidnaps young girls and forces them to 'model themselves to death' in front of her boyfriend and their crazed friends.... 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>
John Waters: [manson] There is a portrait of Charles Manson in Queen Carlotta's cardboard castle. Also, someone in Mortville cries out "Squeaky Fromme, where are you when we need you?" Lynette Fromme, aka "Squeaky", was a Manson follower who tried to assassinate US President 'Gerald Ford'. See more »
When Mole first meets Peggy and Grizelda she tells them that there are no toilets in Mortville, but at the lesbian bar there are toilets, where Peggy is harassed by the 'bathroom pervert'. See more »
Muffy St. Jacques:
The press still calls me "The Dog Food Murderess". I can never go back, I couldn't bear the shame!
See more »
Desperate Living's opening credits appear beside an overhead shot of a formal table setting, in which a maid serves a cooked rat as the main course, which is salted and eaten. See more »
Metaphysical Format Reduces Power of Waters's Attack on American Value
After rich housewife Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) accidentally murders her husband and runs away with her overweight black maid Grizelda Brown (Jean Hill) to Mortville, a community of outcasts and criminals ruled by Queen Carlotta (Edith Massey), Desperate Living starts losing the power of John Waters's greatest merit--attack on the norm of the American value. For a Waters film, the more fictitious and metaphysical its format is, the less effective the outcome of his attack is; that's why realistic (for Waters) Female Trouble is intense but fairytale-ish Desperate Living is not. Freaky actors screaming and doing nonsense are amusing to watch, but, needless to say, missing irreplaceable Divine is a significant disadvantage for early Waters.
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