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.
The travelling sideshow 'Lady Divine's Cavalcade of Perversions' is actually a front for a group of psychotic kidnappers, with Lady Divine herself the most vicious and depraved of all - but... 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 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 »
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 »
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 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>
Marilyn Manson sampled Mink Stole's "Communist day-care center" rant for his song "Misery Machine." 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:
[recalling why she ended up on the lam in Mortville]
I wasn't always like this. Oh, I mean, of course I was always visually stunning, but I was married to a man, and I had a baby named Freddy. It was about two years ago, and my husband and I were just returning from a cocktail party...
See more »
In the closing credits, both Lieutenant Wilson and Lieutenant Williams are credited as being played by Ed Peranio. See more »
Unforgettable freak show from the puke-loving pope of pop culture
"Desperate Living" and "Female Trouble" are Waters' best films, fully realized trash epics with great characters, gorgeous production design and an unapologetic affection for trailer trash values.
The story is simple. Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole), a neurotic suburban snob, flees to Mortville, the town where criminals live scot-free, after her obese maid, Grizelda Brown (Jean Hill), sits on and squashes her sermonizing husband, Bosley Gravel (the great George Stover). The women share a bed in Mortville under the roof of a disgusting hovel run by Mole McHenry (Susan Lowe), a snot-dispensing, pre-op transsexual with impeccable table manners and a luscious lesbian lover Muffy St. Jacques (Liz Renay). But the living arrangements prove less than harmonious and the entire place is trashed when the women offer refuge to Princess Coo-Coo (Mary Vivian Pearce), the downtrodden offspring of the domineering, boy-crazy Queen of Mortville (Edith Massey), who objects to her daughter's hippy-fied lifestyle. Complications ensue once the sycophantic Peggy worms her way into the Queen's chamber (and confidence) and a groundswell of support for a revolution intensifies.
The set-up of "Desperate Living" is pure magic. The idea of there being a town where miscreants can live scot-free is brilliant, as is Waters' enthusiastic take on the entire thing. The tone is that of a fairytale painted with snot and mucus and every detail is consistent in its intention to make you want to puke. The sight of Mary Vivean Pearce doing the town with rabies is a green, grotesque delight, as is the scene in which Mole's new penis is severed, then roughly sewn back on.
This is an unforgettable freak show from the puke-loving pope of popular culture.
You'd be a misfit to miss it.
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