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 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 »
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 »
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 »
Francine Fishpaw is an upper middle class suburban housewife in Baltimore. Unfortunately for this "good Christian woman", the money to support her lifestyle comes from her husband's porno theater, the neighbors are protesting, her son is the notorious "Baltimore Stomper", her daughter is knocked up by a local hoodlum, and her husband is having an affair with his secretary. Written by
Stephen J. LeBlanc <firstname.lastname@example.org>
First John Waters movie to garner an 'R' rating in the USA. All of Waters' previous pictures stateside had been X-rated or unrated. See more »
In the opening scene in the living room, as the Fishpaws are arguing, a boom mic is visible. This was corrected for later DVD releases. See more »
[visiting La Rue in the hospital]
Hello, Mother. Feeling any better today?
How can I feel better with a drunken miser as a daughter?
Shut up, Mother! For forty-four years, I've tried to be a good daughter to you and all I've gotten in return is abuse. I've given you money - thousands and thousands of dollars - and still it's not enough! Well, I've had it! You can rot in that wheelchair for all I care!
[storms out of the room]
[faking a heart attack]
The pain, the pain! My heart! She's giving me a ...
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During the credits, the title song "Polyester" describes the action seen on screen, leading the audience through a helicopter shot of the suburbs into Francine's house (commenting on its French Provincial decor) and upstairs to meet her. See more »
This was my first John Waters movie, and it opened with scratch and sniff cards. Each "spot" had a color and number and when the appropriate scene arrived we had the privilege of smelling what was on screen. Devine's character had an odor fetish and was constantly spraying air freshener, while a nefarious plot was instigated to drive her insane by planting offensively smelly things like gym sox, dead fish etc for her to find at home.
Her husband runs an adult cinema. Her son, based on the Baltimore Stomper, a true character, sniffs industrial solvents, stalks women with cute shoes and feet, and then stomps on them with his combat boots. The daughter, obviously the model for Christine Applegate's character in Married With Children, is the high school slut that dances on tables for quarters. And Mom worries about fresh scents.
With these subplots to the main plot, it should be obvious that plot resolution and character development are not the main attractions in a John Waters movie. The caricature of society and its stereotypes is his game, and the best moment of the movie has to be when the TV news camera is in the face of one of the Baltimore Stomper's victims as she is being carried to the ambulance on a strecher. The victim's on camera stream of obscene invectives against the callous media was one of the great moments of the movie because it was such a refreshing expression of the common person's real disgust and frustration with tabloid evening news and a culture that trivializes human suffering. Juxtapose a broken instep with the main character's insufferable pain of finding a smelly sock and you have the theme of this movie. Even the fairytale resolutions to the problems are a hilarious sendup of 80's America.
If you want to see what makes John Waters such a cult hero, but would find Female Trouble or Pink Flamingos too offensive, this was his first attempt to bridge the gap to the more accessible films he made later, while still having enough of the gross-out quality for a good laugh riot.
(Serial Mom will be on TV the weekend after Veteran's Day, and it is another very accessible glimpse into the mind of Mr. Waters.)
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