The films of John Waters aren't to all tastes, but if you like, say Pink Flamingos, then you'll love Multiple Maniacs.
Waters' film-making career can be divided roughly into four categories:
- unseen first works (Roman Candles, Hag in a Black Leather Jacket, Eat Your Makeup)
- early filthy works (Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble)
- more mainstream works (Polyester, Hairspray, Crybaby)
- later missing-the-mark works (Serial Mom, Pecker, Cecil B. Demented)
In my opinion, there's no question that his early filthy works are the best and that Multiple Maniacs is perhaps the best of the three (or at least tying with Pink Flamingos).
Some of the reviewers here criticize the film for being badly acted or low budget. That's missing the point. Waters' films were never meant to couple the acting of Olivier with Industrial Light and Magic special effects. These are low budget gems that deliver equal amounts of shock and laughter.
Multiple Maniacs is one of Waters most perfect films in terms of the dialogue. The continual arguing between Lady Divine and Mr. David (the wonderful and elegant David Lochary) is almost operatic. The rest of the characters (most from John Waters early ensemble, the Dreamlanders) is absolutely outstanding. Mink Stole and Mary Vivian Pearce are pin-point perfect and Edith Massey is a gem in her screen debut. The late, great and much-missed Cookie Mueller gives the best performance of her career as the free wheeling daughter of Divine.
A black and white treasure from John Waters early career. Brilliant dialogue, hilarious scenes and a bravura climax make Multiple Maniacs a cinematic masterpiece.
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