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Polyester (1981)

 -  Comedy  -  29 May 1981 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 4,178 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 28 critic

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.

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Title: Polyester (1981)

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Director: John Waters
Stars: Mary Vivian Pearce, Divine, David Lochary
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Todd Tomorrow
...
David Samson ...
Elmer Fishpaw
Mary Garlington ...
Lu-Lu Fishpaw
Ken King ...
Dexter Fishpaw
...
Sandra Sullivan
Joni Ruth White ...
La Rue
Hans Kramm ...
Heintz
Stiv Bators ...
Bo-Bo Belsinger
Rick Breitenfeld ...
Dr. Quackenshaw
Michael Watson ...
Freddy Ashton
Derek Neal ...
Pimp
...
Gospel Bus Hijacker
Jim Hill ...
Picket Reporter
Edit

Storyline

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 <sjl@townsend.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Smelling is believing. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Polyester  »

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Time Out, Divine's Francine Fishpaw character was "virtually indistinguishable from the Liz Taylor [Elizabeth Taylor] of The Mirror Crack'd (1980)". See more »

Goofs

When Dexter's principal calls Francine, Francine starts acting as if he's hung up on her before he's even said goodbye. See more »

Quotes

Francine Fishpaw: Oh Elmer, that dog stinks to high heaven. You'll be permeated by his odor.
Elmer Fishpaw: Yeah? Well, this whole world stinks, Francine, so get used to it! You and that big nose of yours are startin' to get on my nerves. Snortin' around the place like a goddamned anteater. I've about had it with you. Gimme that drink! Hurry up!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Spoofs All That Heaven Allows (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

POLYESTER
(title song)
Words and music by Chris Stein and Deborah Harry
Vocals by Tab Hunter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Stiv Lives!
26 August 2003 | by (Lindenhurst, IL) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing this the night it came out (God, was it really 22 years ago!). We all went down to a late night showing at the Cedar on the West Bank in Mpls., with about 4 hours worth of "feelgood" in us.

I was familiar with Waters' work, having seen PINK FLAMINGOS, and was ready for the "Odorama" cards handed out when you bought your ticket, but my "associates" were a bit mystified. It all led up to a very different & unique experience, which really hasn't been equaled since.

Basically, there were about 10 (numbered 1-10) scratch-n-sniff scents which were to be activated by you from the card when a flashing number appeared on the screen. They included a rotten egg smell for flatulence (somebody broke wind in the movie), along with a natural gas smell when a character stuck their head in an oven, among others. You get the idea. Anyway, it had the usual John Waters' cast of characters (Mink, Edith, Divine, etc.), along with the late, great Stiv Bators making his big-screen debut as (what else), a delinquent. Stiv pulls it off quite well, and everything else pretty much amounted to a fun show-going experience.

Not nearly as shocking as FLAMINGOS or FEMALE TROUBLE, but surely rent it if your into that sort of thing (a/k/a the pre-HAIRSPRAY Waters). I'm sure those "Odorama" cards are long gone, so you'll have to get creative on your own to replicate the experience that was "Odorama".


19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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