7.2/10
3,774
57 user 39 critic

Desperate Living (1977)

A rich housewife enlists her maid's help to murder her husband; they go on the lam and end up in Mortville, a homeless community built into a garbage dump.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A spoiled schoolgirl runs away from home, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce
Polyester (1981)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Lady Divine becomes enraged when her boyfriend cheats on her, and descends into a life of murder and mayhem.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce
Mondo Trasho (1969)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: John Waters
Stars: Mary Vivian Pearce, Divine, David Lochary
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

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".

Director: John Waters
Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce
A Dirty Shame (2004)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An uptight, middle-aged, repressed woman turns into a sex addict after getting hit on the head, and she then falls into an underground subculture of sex addicts in suburban Baltimore.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Tracey Ullman, Chris Isaak, Selma Blair
Pecker (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, Bess Armstrong
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An insane independent film director and his renegade group of teenage filmmakers kidnap an A-list Hollywood actress and force her to star in their underground film.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff, Alicia Witt
Serial Mom (1994)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A sweet mother takes a little too much at heart for the defense of her family.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston, Ricki Lake
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A John Waters film where Divine plays Diane Linkletter, daughter of Art Linkletter and commits suicide.

Director: John Waters
Stars: David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Divine
Divine Trash (1998)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Steve Yeager
Stars: John Waters, Pat Waters, John Waters Sr.
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: John Waters
Stars: Lizzy Temple Black, Berenica Cipcus, Divine
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mary Vivian Pearce ...
...
...
Bosley Jr. (as Brook Blake)
Karen Gerwig ...
Beth
Jay Allan ...
Kid
Al Strapelli ...
George Stover ...
Bosley Gravel
Turkey Joe ...
Willie Brooks ...
Pieman
James Yeaton ...
Dead Bum
Ed Peranio ...
Edit

Storyline

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 <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

queen | murder | maid | shack | lesbian | See All (133) »

Taglines:

It isn't very pretty.....


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mortville  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$65,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Turkey Joe (the motorcycle cop) would later go on to become the Baltimore film commissioner. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Peggy Gravel: Peggy is about to die from being shot up the ass by Mole. Peggy: You're so low you make white trash look positively top drawer!
Mole McHenry: Mole: Oh, blow it out your ass!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, both Lieutenant Wilson and Lieutenant Williams are credited as being played by Ed Peranio. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Town Without Pity (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
What a mess !
19 November 2004 | by (France) – See all my reviews

A completely independent and stimulating movie ! It's like a trash fairy tale with all the John Water's characters we love... Hysterical , outrageous but never creepy. Actually although situations are in this movie very extreme, they are nevertheless hilarious. John Waters touches in a way : his movie is completely spontaneous and refreshing even almost 30 years after . That's rare enough nowadays don't you think? For instance: just look at the scene where the runaways wife and maid are arrested by a cop who is a underpants fetishists...this could have been disgusting ... in the contrary it appears to be a sort of amazing trip,shocking but awesome . The John Water's touch!


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Best/Worst John Waters Movie??? brianwiik
favorite line dorkessfreak
What's with Mink Stole's leg brace? crescentfresh7
Sad News missgoddess85
Hello All PrincessCooCoo
desperate living audio files...? deborah-degouts
Discuss Desperate Living (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?