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1. A Dirty Shame (NC-17 Theatrical
$13.99 list($19.99)
2. Cry Baby Director's Cut
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3. Hairspray
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4. Pink Flamingos
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5. Pecker
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6. Female Trouble
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7. Serial Mom
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8. Polyester
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9. Cecil B. Demented
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10. A Dirty Shame (R Rated Version)
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11. Desperate Living
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12. John Waters Collection #3: Pink
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13. John Waters Collection #2: Polyester/
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14. John Waters Collection #1: Hairspray/
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15. Cecil B. Demented

1. A Dirty Shame (NC-17 Theatrical Version)
Director: John Waters
list price: $27.95
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Asin: B000929UOQ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 601
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

When prissy, prickly Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) suffers a head injury during a traffic altercation, she's, er, revived by self-appointed sexual missionary Ray-Ray Perkins (Johnny Knoxville) and is transformed into an insatiable, take-no-prisoners sex maniac. Yes, it's a John Waters film. Yes, it's filthy. No, it's not as hilarious and sustained as you'd like it to be. It works for a while, though: Ullman, never a stingy comedienne, does everything Waters dares her to do without hesitation; words cannot describe the perversely sporting delight with which she mounts a water bottle during a round of "The Hokey Pokey" at an old folks' home. And there's some fun to be had when Sylvia's emancipation leads her Baltimore 'burb to new heights of ecstasy, freeing her large-breasted daughter Caprice (Selma Blair) while horrifying husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) and her hardline mother Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd, hysterical) in the process. It's also packed with the standard cameos, the most satisfying of which is good old Patty Hearst at a Sex Addicts Anonymous encounter. But, for all the nasty, necessary glee, the movie feels inescapably been-there-done-that, and you can't help but wish this was 1972 and Divine was on hand to prowl for dog droppings. The most shocking thing about A Dirty Shame is how desperate and tiresome its anarchy becomes.--Steve Wiecking ... Read more

Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch
Something tells me John Waters only referenced the Bear community to have the community watch it and then show it as more bizarre than it already is.It sure got guys in my metro to pack the indy cinemas!

5-0 out of 5 stars Back to true form!
Being an extra on this hysterical film was a true barrel of monkeys. Receiving direction from one of the most notorious cult directors of all-time was quite an experience. A Dirty Shame is yet another twisted Waters' installment from his brilliant and unbelievably retarded mind. Sex addicts run rampant in Hamilton,
a NE Baltimore neighborhood and Johnny Knoxville is the ringleader. This film addresses such sexual fetishes never before spoke of in any previous film. Of course John's most recent films lack the angst of his 70's films, but the fact is
that was nearly 30 years ago and him and his entourage are way past the age of youth rebellion. This is clearly the most outrageous film Mr. Waters' has made since Desperate Living in 1977. Anyone who has been wise to his 70's films will absolutely
enjoy this picture. Folks who are ignorant to Waters' pictures
or those who have never seen one should not see this film without first viewing at least Pink Flamingos(1972) or Female Trouble(1974). A Waters' film you view because OF HIS name. NOT the stars. He is the puppeteer, and they are his marionettes. His recent tango with mainstream cinema and theatre is all well and good but this film proves once again what John Waters' is and will always be.
A Renegade...



5-0 out of 5 stars I f**kin loved it!
A Dirty Shame is a must see and must own film. I loved it. Would make a great gift.Anyone who doesn't like it is a neuter.Watch it with uptight people!

2-0 out of 5 stars Weak even for Waters
I love a lot of John Waters' movies, but this was a major disappointment.A lot of this is over the top, but it doesn't really work like "over the top" did in his earlier films.It has one hilarious scene, and the rest is just sub-par material.It mostly comes off as corny, even when you "get" the John Waters style of overacting.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Film From Water's POST Divine Era!
A Dirty Shame is a pretty good film. It has it's classic John Water's one liners that could only come from the master himself which make me laugh hysterically. It's John Water's getting back to the basics--post Divine, that is. I separate John's films in 2 catagories: The Divine Years and The Post Divine Years. Let's face it, there will NEVER be another Divine in this lifetime nor will there ever be a John Water's Film that comes remotely close to the Divine Days. So JW fans have to deal with that reality. Of the Divine Years John Water's films, my all time Favorite is FEMALE TROUBLE. Followed by DESPERATE LIVING (which did not include Divine as she was working on another project at the time), POLYESTER, PINK FLAMINGOS, HAIRSPRAY, and MULTIPLE MANIACS. Then we cross over to the Post Divine Years. These films still have the John Waters edge, but not as heavily grotesque and vulgar as in the Divine years. These films include my all time favorite SERIAL MOM, PECKER, A DIRTY SHAME, CECIL B. DEMENTED, and my least favorite-CRY BABY (this film, if any, is the most detached from JW film--the only scene that shows a hint that its JW is the court room scene when Mink Stole is wheeled in in an iron lung smoking a cigarette. The dialogue there is hysterical.)

My suggestion is that if you're a John Water's fan and have seen one or more of his films Divine or Post Divine, then you'll appreciate this movie. In addition, you'll know why Patricia Hearst amoung other actors appears in this film. The reason I say this is because someone who NEVER saw a JW film wrote a review on A Dirty Shame and asked why the [...] Patricia Hearst is in the film? HELLO---she's been in EVERY JW FILM FROM HAIRSPRAY TO PRESENT!! But if you've never seen a JW film or know his antics you obviously won't relate!

GO SEE IT! ... Read more


2. Cry Baby Director's Cut
Director: John Waters
list price: $19.99
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Asin: B0009IOR6Q
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 89
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

John Waters's goofy, 1990 comedy about a Baltimore girl (Amy Locane) who can't decide if she should remain "good" in her 1954 world or hang out with the motorcycle boys is funny in a scene-by-scene way, but doesn't quite gel into the grand piece the director was hoping for. The cast is exceptionally likable, however, including Johnny Depp as an Elvis type and Iggy Pop as a chattering loony. The best material is set in a fringe world of bikers and losers on the outskirts of town, and Waters writes some hilarious sardonic dialogue for the characters. Cry-Baby is the last of Waters's more undisciplined features; he followed it with the glossier but no less perverse Serial Mom. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (131)

4-0 out of 5 stars If you have a desire for camp, this is the movie for you!
This movie is hilarious!As long as you watch it with the realization it is not a serious film, you will enjoy the viewing.Half the fun is picking out the actors in the over-the-top characters.This is a typical John Waters movie, if that tells you anything.Big spoof of the 50's and the movies that harken back to that era.

Plot:A square of a girl falls for the leader of the drapes.Hijinks ensue and eventually girl gets guy and becomes a "scrape."

Definitely get the DVD version because the equivalent of the VHS can be caught on late-night tv and offers no special features.

5-0 out of 5 stars Woo-Wee, you caught me in my birthday suit! Buck naked!
I'm really excited to see this great film finally make its debut on dvd; it's been a long wait.

John Waters has proven himself time and time again as America's avatar of bad taste and all things tacky, but he sidelined his more base urges for a greater good over a decade ago. Starting with Hairspray, Waters essentially re-created the American musical, and honed that to perfection with the castly underappreciated Cry-Baby. But it's not just a musical - it's also a heartfelt valentine to a simpler time, his beloved Baltimore of the late 1950's.

Depp stars as "Cry-Baby" Walker, a juvenile delinquent from the wrong side of the tracks who spends his time hanging with his gang and singing that evil rock n' roll music. He and his way of life are constantly threatened by the town 'Squares' who are both threatened and repelled by Cry-Baby and those like him.

Naturally, he falls for a Square girl and all hell breaks loose. That part of it is a simple story, and I won't waste time rehashing or giving it away here. No, what really stands out about this film is its gleeful embrace of 'white-trash culture,' its loving tribute to the great juvenile delinquent movies of the 50's and 60's, and its rambunctious energy.

As usual, Waters peppers the film with eclectic casting; Susan Tyrell, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Mink Stole, Joe Dalessandro, Willem Dafoe, David Nelson (son of Ozzie), Traci Lords and Patty Hearst (yes, that Patty Hearst) are just a few of the many talents that form this wonderful ensemble cast. And of course, it's another one of Depp's great iconoclastic roles that have helped define him as one of the great idiosyncratic actors of our time.

So grab yourself an RC Cola, a Moon Pie, and put yer teeth up on the windowsill while y'all enjoy this trashy good time. You'll thank me for it and if y'all don't like it, I'll eat me a bug.

5-0 out of 5 stars Now it's my daughter's favourite too!
Firstly I would like to ask- how the heck is this film rated a 15?! My daughter watched it with me, she is 3- yes, 3- and she adores it now. She asks me to watch it several times a day!
I have loved this film since I was around 12 and watched it with my friend over and over 'till the original tape broke. It isn't deep, it doesn't have a message and the plot has more holes in it then finest Emmenthal. But it's one of the silliest, funniest films I have ever seen and I never tire of watching it (I'm 25 now...) The spontaneous dancing, the cheesy lines, the stereotypes- I love every minute of this cr*p. There's a traitorous mouse, a helicopter hijacking, a Swedish milkmaid, Ricki Lake giving birth to what appears to be a 3- month- old infant in the back of a speeding car, Traci Lords (ex- porn star) in a cartoon bear suit and even Iggy Pop in a tiny tin bath "buck nekkid". But don't worry, there's no rudeness, no swearing and no aggressive violence- it's all very much of the Tom and Jerry variety. If you like meaningful films that stir your soul and deliver a 'message', buy this and use it as a doorstop- but if you have a juvenile sense of humour (like mine) and don't take things too seriously, watch this every day!

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, Cry Baby on DVD!
I love this movie so much and I own it on VHS. CB is a real funny movie, it has good actors in it, and the music is great, too!
Finally the studios opened their eyes and realized that the public wants CRY BABY ON DVD! Now, not only there's going to be a DVD of CB, but it will also be the Director's Cut with 7 minutes extra, and I'm sure they won't be boring. The movie will be shown in 1.85:1 WIDESCREEN, which is awesome and we can now enjoy better this great film!

5-0 out of 5 stars loss for words
I can only imagine that the popularity of John Waters is due to people under the delusion that they are suppose to like John Waters.As much as I love Sontag I do have to take exception with the focus on camp as a meaningful medium.Certainly there is humor in campy fare like the original Batman series, but when do we simply call tripe for what it is?Cry-Baby, is the greatest example of this, as it is by far the worst film in a list of films by perhaps the most overrated director I have ever come across.Cry-Baby is not goofy, it is not fun, it is not silly, it is not camp, it is simply a terrible terrible movie.The acting is abysmal, and I like Johnny Depp.The story is extremely terrible, and the overall production exemplifies my point: there is no such thing as so bad it is good.Laughing at a film (as opposed to laughing with a film) for it's low brow style cheesiness doesn't make the film funny.This movie seriouly belongs on a MST3K style lampoon, but instead people revel in it for what I can only assume is a sensation that they are suppose to like John Waters.I had a similar sensation when watching Pecker, the other supposed great Waters flick.If you happen upon this film because you have heard of Waters, and are curious, trust me, he is not an artist, and this film is a waste of time.Johnny Depp may be a good actor, but sweet mother of all that is holy, even Ed Wood made better films than this.Avoid John Waters like the plague, because frankly, if I had to choose between dying having the bubonic plague and watching this film again, I would gladly choose the plague. ... Read more


3. Hairspray
Director: John Waters
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B00006RZ9Y
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1938
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Endearing
The sad life of Tracy Turnblad is explored in this biting satire set in pre-intergrated Baltimore.

Tracy (Ricki Lake) and her best friend Penny Pingleton (Lesley Ann Powers) spend each afternoon watching the homegrown hit 'The Corny Collins Show' on television,dreaming of one day dancing the Mash Potato or the Frug there.

Tracy's mother (Divine) does not really think her child will amount to anything,and Penny is constantly being punished (her parents make her wear a big 'P' on her blouse).

However,the charmed life of Amber von Tussle,the most popular dancer on the Show,seems too good to be true,despite commemts by Tracy and Penny (''Stuck-up little spastic'' and ''She is such a queer''). Amber also has the brass ring,that of teen heart-throb Link,who also appears on the Show.

Amber's parents are power-mad and drive Amber to ridiculous lenghs to be popular.They are played by Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono.

Soon,Tracy does get to appear on the show,and lands her dream-hunk Link.

A great comedy,with a yummy soundtrack and a real edge to it that does not marr the overall story.

Also featuring Mink Stole as the cue-card holder on the Show (''Falsies! '') and Pia Zadora as a way-out beatnik chick.

Soon,Tracy

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Hairspray' full of tawdry, tacky fun
John Waters' first real attempt at "mainstream" fun is a trashy and critically-acclaimed delight. Set in (where else?) Baltimore during the Civil Rights era, Hairspray is chock-full of stars, mini-stars, and people who just wanna give it a go at being a star.

The story follows young Tracy Turnblad (pre-talk show Ricki Lake) on her rise to being "big, blonde, and beautiful" on a popular teenage dance show. Along the way, however, she runs into some friction from high school brat Amber Von Tussle (Colleen Fitzpatrick, also known as pop star Vitamin C) and her parents, a racial obscenity-spouting mother (Debbie Harry) and a slick politician papa (Sonny Bono). Add in growing discontentment among the city's black populace over whites-only establishments, and you have an explosive mix made even more explosive by how off-the-wall it becomes.

Dance enthusiasts will appreciate the film for its selection of early 60s fad dances like the Mashed Potato and the Madison. Offbeat and fun, Hairspray also has an excellent soundtrack with some obscure songs you'll be hard-pressed to find in another compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Forever Quotable!
Tracy Turnblad is described by her contempories as "a fat trash can," "teenage Jezebel hair hopper," "a whore, (who *I heard* made out in a car - naked!)," "adopted," "white trash or maybe high yellow" or even "mulatto!"... with "roaches in her hair!".... But they're all just hatin', because Tracy is also "the best white dancer in Baltimore" and "a modern teen" that believes in integration! Tracy competes for the dancing queen crown - and also for the leading man - against none other than Amber von Tussle, a "stuck up spastic" who is "*such* a queer," that she makes Tracy's mom ashamed to be white! There's a lot of (funny) trash talkin' goin' on, because a lot is on the line....

The competition between Tracy and Amber, and by extension integrationists and segregationists, will make you feel good, tap your toes, laugh out loud a lot, and cheer. Hairspray's "bad taste" moments are funny as heck, and piece together for a movie that epitomizes good taste -- kind, empathetic, and with a wonderful heart! The music and dancing are just *amazing*! And the fashions and bright colored sets are life-affirming perfect! (Is it just me, or did these early 60's fashions *strongly* influence the early 80's styles?.... Debbie Harry, Ric Ocasek, and Pia Zadora fit in perfect). In the excellent dvd commentary, director John Waters says the sets and styles are realistic for the times. What a bright, bold, fun, cool (when "cool" was cool), forward-looking time! Tracy's mom has a picture of Jackie Kennedy framed on the wall :-). Mom says, "It's the times. They are a-changin'. There's something blowing in the wind. Fetch me my diet pills, would you hun?"

If Hairspray ended with "Where are they now?", Tracy might be a Senator from Maryland, or the Governor, ... or more!! 5 stars as I stand in my chair applauding. Hairspray's bright fun is worth watching many times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
The movie Hairspray is Very good. I watched it when I was about 10 and I loved it. My dad keeped telling me to move so he could watch tv and I didn't so I got grounded and after that I have looked for it but I haven't been able to find it until about two months ago now I have it and watch it everyday. I also went to see it live. It was great.

5-0 out of 5 stars A campy, feel-good film carrying an important message
I think it's safe to say that Hairspray is a unique motion picture. The film, while providing nonstop fun and laughs throughout, also manages to not only confront but to roll right over prejudice in several of its nefarious guises. I was a teenager when this film came out, and sadly, it was the death of Divine (just before the movie was released) that made me aware of this film. I don't know if that publicity helped or hurt ticket sales - Divine, for those who have never heard of him, was famous for playing female roles, and Hairspray had begun to rejuvenate his whole career. As for the film, it's extremely campy in the best of ways, overflowing with great singing and dancing from the early 1960s, and it is the type of film that makes you feel good after you watch it.

Ricki Lake plays Tracy Turnblad, a big, bold, and beautiful teenager who dreams of dancing on the exceedingly popular Corny Collins dance show. Her mother, played by Divine, isn't too crazy about modern music and dancing - until Tracy auditions and gets a spot on the show. Strutting her stuff in front of the cameras, she quickly becomes Baltimore's newest sensation. This does not sit well with Amber von Tussle (Colleen Fitzpatrick), as Tracy steals her man and then threatens to win the coveted title of Miss Auto Show 1963. Tracy is overweight, but she likes herself just as she is and easily dismisses the fat jokes thrown her way early on. The big issue in this film, though, is segregation. Tracy and her best friend Penny Pingleton (Joann Havrilla) soon become friends with some of the black kids in town and begin working toward integrating the Corny Collins show. Collins is all for the idea himself, as currently the Negro show runs only once each month under the controls of sassy Motormouth Mabel (Ruth Brown). The station manager will not hear of integration, though, and Penny's mother is aghast to find out that her daughter is in love with an African-American. This is 1962, of course. The whole segregation issue becomes the basic foundation of the movie as it dances its way to the end, making Hairspray a wonderfully entertaining film with a serious message behind it.

The film is blessed with many interesting cast members. Divine plays not only Mrs. Turnblad but also the station manager, Jerry Stiller plays Mr. Turnblad, Sonny Bono and Debbie Harry (and Debbie Harry's increasingly interesting hair) come together to play Amber von Tussle's parents, and Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora show up as Beatniks in a strange little cameo appearance. Of course, Ricki Lake pretty much steals the show as the big girl with big dreams, although I found Joann Havrilla's performance as Penny Pingleton quite captivating in a weird sort of way.

It is very difficult to describe Hairspray; you pretty much have to watch it to get a true feel for its entertainment assets and social commentary underpinnings. It does have its silly moments, but this is not entertainment for the sake of entertainment, nor is this a film you will soon forget after watching it. ... Read more


4. Pink Flamingos
Director: John Waters
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B0002RQ3M0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 5751
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (93)

5-0 out of 5 stars "This is where they touch their uninspired little organs."
The infamous "Pink Flamingos" is the John Waters film that first drew attention to his warped talent, and it is probably the film for which he will be remembered. Divine (Glenn Milstead) is in top form and stars as the "filthiest person alive," Babs Johnson. Babs lives in an abandoned trailer somewhere near Baltimore with her perverted son, Cracker, and her deranged mother, Edie, the Egg Lady. Edie (Edith Massey) lives in a giant playpen inside the trailer where she consumes large numbers of eggs while dressed only in her underwear. Miss Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce) forms the other member of the Babs Johnson gang.

Meanwhile, Raymond and Connie Marble (David Lochary and Mink Stole) operate a black market adoption agency from their disgusting cellar. The Marbles covet Divine's title of "the filthiest person alive," and so Babs Johnson is their number one enemy. Babs, who is "forced to go underground" is sniffed out of hiding by a spy (Cookie Mueller), and once the Marbles know the location of Bab's trailer, "the battle of filth" begins.

If you like camp, then you may enjoy this film. The dialogue is amazing, and the film still has the capacity to shock more than 30 years after it was made, so be warned. If you are offended by the more mainstream films of John Waters (Serial Mom, Polyester), then don't watch this one, and if you've never watched a John Waters film before, "Pink Flamingos" is not a good place to start. I can't count the number of times I've watched this film, and I'll never grow tired of it. John Waters is my hero, and the humour in this film brings this fact home to me again. Waters juxtaposes real perversions (Raymond Marvel's "perverted urges," and the kidnapped women in the basement are two good examples of deviant, criminal behaviour), and puts these elements on an equal standing with ridiculous perversions--Divine and Cracker foul the Marvel's furniture by licking it, and consequently the Marvel's furniture rejects them. This juxtaposition of the truly perverted with the truly strange creates a unique comic twist. This film is not for the queasy or the faint-hearted. It is about revolting people doing revolting things. Don't miss the Marvel's underwear scene, please. The film also has a fantastic soundtrack that stands well on its own--even if you haven't the courage to watch the film--displacedhuman

4-0 out of 5 stars The Original Trailer Tacky Barf-O-Rama
Like those who listened to radio reports about the attack on Pearl Harbor, every one who has ever seen PINK FLAMINGOS can tell you exactly where they were when they first saw it--and some thirty years later the movie is still one of the most unspeakably vile, obnoxious, repulsive, and hilariously funny films ever put to celluloid, guaranteed to test the strongest stomachs and the toughest funny bones. Filmed with a close-to-zero budget and some of the shakiest cinematography around, PINK FLAMINGOS tells the story of two families that compete for the tabloid title of "The Filthiest People Alive." Just how filthy can they be? Plenty: the film includes everything from sex with chickens to what I can only describe as a remarkable display of rectal control to a heaping helping of doggie doo, and I guarantee that you won't want to eat an egg for at least several weeks after seeing it.

The cast is either wonderful, atrocious, or atrociously wonderful, depending on how you look at it. The star, of course, is Divine... and to describe Divine as the BIGGEST drag queen on the planet would the understatement of the year. She is a mammoth creature given to BIG eye makeup, BIG orange hair, and BIG expressions--she is the Charleton Heston of drag, and whether she is almost running down a jogger, pausing to use the bathroom on some one's front lawn, or startling real-life shoppers by taking a stroll along a Baltimore sidewalk she is both unspeakable and unspeakably funny. Others in the cast include Mary Vivian Pearce, Danny Mills, and the ever-appalling Edith Massey as members of Divine's family; and Mink Stole and David Lochary as the white-slaving, baby-selling couple who challenge Divine's status.

It should be pretty obvious that PINK FLAMINGOS is not exactly a movie that will appeal to just every one, and viewers who know director John Waters only through such later films as HAIRSPRAY and CRYBABY will be in for a major jolt. But if you want to see something so completely different that even Monty Python couldn't imagine it, this is the movie for you. Just make sure you eat before you see it, because you probably won't want to eat afterward--and you might want to keep a barf bag handy just in case.

5-0 out of 5 stars !! BRAVO JOHN!!
First and foremost, eithier you'll really hate or really love and appreciate "Pink Flamingos" - as is true with all of John Waters'work....But if you're looking for this soundtrack [Pink Flamingos] then you're a diehard Waters fan!!- or have really ecclectic taste in old music ! In either case, this is an awesome soundtrack.....And like his movies, it's campy, fun, and sort of surreal. I'm just dissapointed there's no soundtrack for "Female Troubles" - in my opinion, Waters' best film.....I've enjoyed All of his films -and the music that he selects for them. I hope more af his soundtracks are released in the future!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Still schockingly hilarious after all these years.
In my opinion, John Water's movies have always been smarter on paper than most give him credit for. All of his work skewers the establishment was well as some of its offshoots and although intended to be shocking (in many instances just for the sake of being able to do so), my favorite moments generally involve the amazing Mink Stole and when John Waters in a very matter of fact fashion throws in something absolutely jaw-dropping as if it were just another scene.

On one hand you'll have people who will find Waters' early work to be too repulsive to watch and on the other extreme, you'll find others who worship his movies without any reservation and reject any critique as a sign that people just don't get it. My perspective is a little different as after watching Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living, my view is that while the ideas continue to be as fresh as they were made in the mid to late 1970's, his early work is much funnier when taken in little dozes rather than full length movies. Although, many may disagree I find Desperate Living to be his early best, while Female trouble is highly overrated. Pink Flamingos falls somewhere between the two.

There are scenes in Desperate Living that had me laughing so hard that I cried. In fact, the first half hour of the film is absolutely hilarious. Every scene involving Jean Hill who plays the hilarious Grizelda Brown and/or Mink Stole who plays the crazed Peggy Gravel, is a gag waiting to happen. There is a scene that takes place after something horrible happens (like I am going to tell you what happened) when Peggy is driving away with Grizelda that is worth the price of owning this movie. Said scene has Mink Stole going off like a madwoman regarding her hatred of nature, and it never fails to surprise me how funny she is. As happens with most of Waters' early films, it ultimately runs out of steam and starts relying too much on shock value and by now almost any Waters fan is hard to shock visually so it better be funny too. Desperate Living is my favorite early John Waters film, although many find it to be his most grim and depressing.

Female Trouble is one of the early Waters movies that most fans tend to like, and I just did not like it at all. Of course no John Waters film can ever be made without having hilarious moments, but they are far and few in between and I was mostly bored. Mink Stole as usual steals every scene that she is in and she does a variation on her "I hate nature" soliloquy from "Desperate Living," this time involving humans. Although I could not get enough of Edith Massey as the egg lady Pink Flamingos or as Queen Carlotta in desperate living, her role in Female Trouble made me feel for her as I was not laughing with her or could not bring myself to laugh at her. While she has her moments and awesome potty mouth, Waters (possibly without meaning to) takes her costumes to a point where you want to hug her instead of laughing. Divine has the opposite effect as the cruder and ruder that she is, the more that I loved her in this movie.

Pink Flamingos, which is Waters' breakout movie, without a doubt uses shock value more than any of his subsequent films. It is supposedly centered around defining who is the filthiest person alive in Waters' beloved Phoenix, Maryland. Since this was Waters' first fully realized early picture, he went for the jugular in trying to get away with as much gross out material as possible. The story, as is the case with Female Trouble, is not worth following and starts to get old quickly, but there are MANY scenes that will shock the numbest person alive. In many instances, the shock is not a bad thing as my motto is if it's funny, bring it on. Edith Massey as the egg lady is so funny that I can't help seeing her scenes over and over again. There are little touches as the manner in which Divine steals some ham, or apparently throwaway scenes involving dealing drugs and a baby selling ring, that are too funny to describe.

In a nutshell, I think that John Waters in hilarious and is responsible for some of the funniest movies of our time (as is the case with Serial Mom, just to name one), but these early exercises in guerilla filmmaking work better as boundary pushers than fully realized self contained movies. Those who enjoyed Jackass - The Movie, said movie would probably never have seen the light of day if it were not for John Waters, and although some may wish that such were the case, I for one think that Jackass - The Movie is one of the funniest movies ever. Part of that success is due to Johnny Knoxville not attempting to create a linear narrative or a storyline but intertwining bigger and smaller ideas just for the sake of making us laugh. Maybe it was not a choice at the time, but all of Waters' early movies would have worked much better with extensive editing and bypassing the narrative to focus on being funny.

I give Desperate Living 3.5 stars, Pink Flamingos 2.5 stars, and Female Trouble 1.5 stars. New Line home videos has released several two-packs of John Waters' films, but none that I know of that have Desperate Living and Pink Flamingos on the same package.

5-0 out of 5 stars Five Stars For Its Shocking Value
I have watched the movie several times over, and it still leaves me feeling ill afterwards. I first heard of the movie in 1979, but was not allowed into the theater at the time because of its "X" rating, and I was only 17. In brief, after I finally saw the movie, it made me a John Waters fan. I can only compare him alongside with Andy Warhol. Both of these directors movies have a shocking, chilling value. Mainstream movie lovers would not like this film. I also recommend "Desparate Living" by John Waters. These movies are for seekers of something other than the mainstream, boring crap that is in the theaters nowadays. Don't eat anything before watching Pink Flamingos, or you'll be yawning in technicolor. ... Read more


5. Pecker
Director: John Waters
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Average Customer Review: 3.82 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars DARN GOOD MOVIE!!!!!!!!
He's the gentleman who did such a superb performance in Detroit Rock City, now in this movie he plays an aspiring photographer who's work includes everything from a pic of his sexy girl friend, (played by the ravishing Christina Ricci) to photos of the food cooked on the grill where he works. His art evolves around his life in a lower middle class neighborhood in Baltimore Maryland.
Then one day, Pecker (yes that's his name in the movie) holds an exhibit of his work in the grill. Just so happens an expert in photographic art is there and she buys one of the photos then inquires about having him come to New York and exhibit his work there.
Pecker goes to NY, and his exhibit is a success, bringing him instant fame, as well as many of the people he has photographed. But fame has its price, especially when many of the town folk turn against him for making their lives a public display. Lives are transformed, and at the first, in a bad way. His sugar hyper sister is put on medication by Social Services, which puts her in a zombie state, his girlfriend is hounded by "excited" men to the point to where even where she works isn't safe due to pervs who drop in to "display" their activities, and others experience different types of changes. But as the movie proceeds, lives become better for the town folk, as Pecker does another exhibit and exploits the exploiters.
Instead of his hometown people, Pecker shows off photos of the photograph collectors and photographers and others from NY. Now its their turn to learn what its like to have their lives put out for the public to see. In this movie people learn that success has its price, but when you learn how to handle it, it can be a sweet thing.
This film is a mild comedy, with superb dialogue. Actually, the dialogue is inventive, and shows a unique skill. It is also wonderfully cast, with each actor and actress filling his or her role perfectly. Not a cornball movie by a long shot. Sort of fits into the Woody Allen style of Comedy. From time to time it has some strong language, but not overtly, and adult situations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Relax and enjoy this quirky, special movie
If you keep looking for Divine in every new John Waters film you will surely be disappointed. Divine is gone and cannot be replaced, so why not just relax and enjoy this special little film, with all of it's quirky Baltimore characters and its mild "poking fun at" art and intellectuals. I highly recommend this film. If you miss having something to feel intellectually superior about, you can always see "The Blair Witch Project". If you want to have some fun, see "Pecker"

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-see for photographers
There's a deeper understanding for this movie from photographers, especially pro-level amateurs who keep a day job to support themselves. Almost anyone familiar with the so-called "art scene" will also find many poignant moments. There's a lot of visual and verbal innuendos, so it's great viewing the second and third time around. John Waters fans will love it.

4-0 out of 5 stars If we are normal?
If you like Waters, you will like this film. As for the guy who said you won't like this if your "Normal", What is normal again? You? Sorry sir, you have a disorder known as solipsism, where you think the universe actually revolves around your conciousness and "normal" is defined by you. Wake up dude. Normal is relative to perception, a concept you obviously can't grasp. I think this is why you don't like this movie, you couldn't apply it to your "normal" life, which is life where you don't have to think, just process information with mouth hanging open.

If you can think for yourself, watch this film, if you are a slack jawed, drooling fool, find something "Normal".

1-0 out of 5 stars If you're normal, you'll hate it
Pecker's been out for 5 years and it has a whopping 46 reviews (you're about to read the 47th. That tells you something: The maker of this movie has a following, and the following is WEIRD.

The movie isn't funny. Not even a little. The acting seems deliberately awful (maybe it's a movie that makes fun of people who act. God only knows). The background music seems deliberately awful. I normally don't notice background music in a movie (except a thriller), but this one you notice, because the music is obnoxious and distracts the already unbelievably stupid scenes.

Who cares. Look. "Adult Film" actors put forth a better job of acting. Every single scene leaves you wondering if you should turn off the movie. And guess what? I didn't make it through. I kept waiting for it to get better, and it never did. After a half hour, off it went.

Seriously, if you're not familiar with John Waters, don't buy it. If you're stubborn and you're thinking of renting it, get a backup movie just in case you found it as horrible as I did.

And remember: If you're normal and into normal movies, you definitely will hate this movie. Maybe if you like totally weird movies that make absolutely no sense and the whole point of the movie is to showcase horrible acting, then it's your cup of tea. It's not slapstick comedy. It's just stupid. ... Read more


6. Female Trouble
Director: John Waters
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Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Life And Crimes Of Dawn Davenport
John Waters' follow up to his classic PINK FLAMINGOS doesn't plume the same depths of hilarious depravity but is still an entertaining movie. FEMALE TROUBLE sees Waters (who also co-edits and wrote the lyrics for the title song) reteaming with PINK FLAMINGOS stars Divine (who also performs the title song) and Mink Stole (who is also credited with the stills).
FEMALE TROUBLE tells the tale of the life and crimes of Dawn Davenport (Divine) beginning with her High School days in 1960. After destroying Christmas for her family Dawn runs away from home and is picked up hitch-hiking by a sleazy guy who impregnates her. Not surprisingly she ends up giving birth to her daughter in typically tasteless Waters fashion.
With a daughter to support and a scuzzy hippie boyfriend spongeing off her earnings, Dawn works a series of menial jobs from waitress, hooker and gogo dancer (not a pretty sight) before discovering her true niche as a career criminal. As a result she meets a bizarre artistic couple who want to photograph Dawn's crimes because they feel "Crime equals beauty". This predictably leads to media fame and plenty of Waters' bad taste: gratuitous nudity (not the good kind), maiming, mutilation, incest- all the usual barrel scraping (Which I don't have the heart to spoil for potential viewers), though this is pretty tame compared to PINK FLAMINGOS which I still consider to be his masterpiece.
FEMALE TROUBLE will appeal to cult movie buffs but mainstream viewers should probably steer clear; especially those only familiar with his more accessible PG rated movies like HAIRSPRAY and CRY BABY. Connoisseurs of camp and vulgarity will love it. Personally, I have mixed feelings about FEMALE TROUBLE hence my 3 star rating. I still rate later Waters' movies like SERIAL MOM and CECIL B. DEMENTED higher than this, but it's still worth a look.

5-0 out of 5 stars Divine at her best!
Finally! A re-release of this John Waters classic! I was fortunate enough to find an original copy of this in sealed condition on e-bay. It tells the tale of misunderstood Dawn Davenport, the girl in high school who was cool because most of the other girls hated her, and she didn't care. She has to deal with parents who don't understand her, and later, teen pregnancy (fathered by, of all people, herself!). We then get to see what her traumatic formative years formed her into, and the type of laissez-faire parent she would become.

Again, John Waters uses his wry wit to point out glaring facets of modern culture, and views on beauty and the near deification of criminals. It's a must see for any true John Waters fan!

2-0 out of 5 stars Beware of the girl who does not get her cha-cha heels
In my opinion, John Water's movies have always been smarter on paper than most give him credit for. All of his work skewers the establishment was well as some of its offshoots and although intended to be shocking (in many instances just for the sake of being able to do so), my favorite moments generally involve the amazing Mink Stole and when John Waters in a very matter of fact fashion throws in something absolutely jaw-dropping as if it were just another scene.

On one hand you'll have people who will find Waters' early work to be too repulsive to watch and on the other extreme, you'll find others who worship his movies without any reservation and reject any critique as a sign that people just don't get it. My perspective is a little different as after watching Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living, my view is that while the ideas continue to be as fresh as they were made in the mid to late 1970's, his early work is much funnier when taken in little dozes rather than full length movies. Although, many may disagree I find Desperate Living to be his early best, while Female trouble is highly overrated. Pink Flamingos falls somewhere between the two.

There are scenes in Desperate Living that had me laughing so hard that I cried. In fact, the first half hour of the film is absolutely hilarious. Every scene involving Jean Hill who plays the hilarious Grizelda Brown and/or Mink Stole who plays the crazed Peggy Gravel, is a gag waiting to happen. There is a scene that takes place after something horrible happens (like I am going to tell you what happened) when Peggy is driving away with Grizelda that is worth the price of owning this movie. Said scene has Mink Stole going off like a madwoman regarding her hatred of nature, and it never fails to surprise me how funny she is. As happens with most of Waters' early films, it ultimately runs out of steam and starts relying too much on shock value and by now almost any Waters fan is hard to shock visually so it better be funny too. Desperate Living is my favorite early John Waters film, although many find it to be his most grim and depressing.

Female Trouble is one of the early Waters movies that most fans tend to like, and I just did not like it at all. Of course no John Waters film can ever be made without having hilarious moments, but they are far and few in between and I was mostly bored. Mink Stole as usual steals every scene that she is in and she does a variation on her "I hate nature" soliloquy from "Desperate Living," this time involving humans. Although I could not get enough of Edith Massey as the egg lady Pink Flamingos or as Queen Carlotta in desperate living, her role in Female Trouble made me feel for her as I was not laughing with her or could not bring myself to laugh at her. While she has her moments and awesome potty mouth, Waters (possibly without meaning to) takes her costumes to a point where you want to hug her instead of laughing. Divine has the opposite effect as the cruder and ruder that she is, the more that I loved her in this movie.

Pink Flamingos, which is Waters' breakout movie, without a doubt uses shock value more than any of his subsequent films. It is supposedly centered around defining who is the filthiest person alive in Waters' beloved Phoenix, Maryland. Since this was Waters' first fully realized early picture, he went for the jugular in trying to get away with as much gross out material as possible. The story, as is the case with Female Trouble, is not worth following and starts to get old quickly, but there are MANY scenes that will shock the numbest person alive. In many instances, the shock is not a bad thing as my motto is if it's funny, bring it on. Edith Massey as the egg lady is so funny that I can't help seeing her scenes over and over again. There are little touches as the manner in which Divine steals some ham, or apparently throwaway scenes involving dealing drugs and a baby selling ring, that are too funny to describe.

In a nutshell, I think that John Waters in hilarious and is responsible for some of the funniest movies of our time (as is the case with Serial Mom, just to name one), but these early exercises in guerilla filmmaking work better as boundary pushers than fully realized self contained movies. Those who enjoyed Jackass - The Movie, said movie would probably never have seen the light of day if it were not for John Waters, and although some may wish that such were the case, I for one think that Jackass - The Movie is one of the funniest movies ever. Part of that success is due to Johnny Knoxville not attempting to create a linear narrative or a storyline but intertwining bigger and smaller ideas just for the sake of making us laugh. Maybe it was not a choice at the time, but all of Waters' early movies would have worked much better with extensive editing and bypassing the narrative to focus on being funny.

I give Desperate Living 3.5 stars, Pink Flamingos 2.5 stars, and Female Trouble 1.5 stars. New Line home videos has released several two-packs of John Waters' films, but none that I know of that have Desperate Living and Pink Flamingos on the same package. I mention this because in my opinion, Female Trouble is not a must see by any stretch of the imagination, even for hard-core Waters fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Who wants to be famous? Who wants to die for Art?"
In "Female Trouble," when teen rebel, Dawn Davenport (Divine), doesn't get the pair of Cha-Cha heels she wants for Christmas, her temper tantrum ruins the family christmas. Dad threatens to send Dawn to a school for juvenile delinquents, and so Dawn runs away wearing proposterous turquoise blue baby doll pyjamas and fluffy blue mules. A brief encounter with a rather disgusting fellow named Earl Peterson (also played by Divine) leads to Dawn becoming a single parent, and Dawn's life goes downhill from here.

Characters in this film not to be missed include:

Donald and Donna Dasher (David Lochary and Mary Vivian Pearce)--the creepy owners of the Lipstick Beauty Salon whose rather nasty habits include liquid eyeliner. They believe that "Crime and Beauty are One" and encourage Dawn's exhibitionism and violent criminal tendencies.

Another great character is Aunt Ida (Edith Massey). She dreams that her nephew Gater will come to his senses and become gay, but her hopes are dashed when Gater, a stylist at the Lipstick Beauty Salon walks down the aisle with Dawn. Aunt Ida and Dawn are neighbours and sworn enemies.

Cookie Mueller has a small role as Concetta--Dawn's high school friend who later forms a girl gang with Dawn, and she also helps muscle Taffy when she gets rebellious.

Dawn's daughter, Taffy, is played by Mink Stole. She flounces around in little Shirley Temple dresses and alternately infuriates and frustrates her mother, Dawn. This mother-daughter relationship is probably the most perverted relationship in this film.

Some of my favourite scenes involve Divine and Taffy as they play their mother and daughter roles in their hideous home life. Dawn's continual frustration with her role as mother is simply hilarious. She never sees her frustrations as her own inadequacies, and she interprets Taffy's behavious as deliberately maddening. Taffy's "unreasonable" demands include asking why she can't go to school or why she can't eat dinner. And Dawn doesn't hestitate when it comes to discipling little Taffy--there's even a bed with chains ready for Taffy's next violation. The very best domestic scene occurs during Divine's dinner party hosted for the snobby and decadent Dashers. Dawn is at her most outrageous and antisocial while trying to charm, cook and serve a meal--all at the same time.

Director John Waters says that this is his favourite early Divine film, and I do prefer "Female Trouble" to "Pink Flamingos"--even though the latter is the more infamous of the two. Francine Fishpaw in "Polyester" will always be my favourite Divine character, but the psychotic Dawn Davenport is a close second. Divine (whose real name was Glenn Milstead) sings the title song of the film and also performed all of his own stunts--this includes the trampoline jumping and swimming through rapids. Divine also suffered through 2 hour make-up sessions (courtesy of Van Smith) prior to filming every day, and for the acid-scars, Divine tolerated liquid rubber. Divine's costumes are simply priceless, and there is even one scene with Dawn working as a go-go dancer. This early comedy from John Waters is not for everyone--it's tasteless, offensive, and downright abnormal. "Female Trouble" is simply Cultural Nihilism at its best. Keep an eye open for the scene in which Divine prances through the streets of Baltimore to the accompaniment of "Dig-dig-dig-a-rooni" much to the amazement of the stunned citizens of Baltimore. You just don't see Divine tripping along in a shiny mini-dress every day--more's the pity--displacedhuman--Amazon Reviewer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every line is delivered like a hollywood classic.
Every line is delivered like a hollywood classic. From the outlandish outfits to the long diatribe delivery style of John Waters writing this film is a piece of "high" Hollywood art (although is Baltimore filmed) Divine has never looked as delicious in any of the other films, nor has crime been glamourized to the extent that I killed my neighbors cat and filled a trashcan with alka seltzer and dropped my infant in and waited and waited...until...BINGO KABOOM! Baby needs to pee. Okay, so it is sick and perverse too, but we all know TV and movies have no effect on the weakest of minds. ... Read more


7. Serial Mom
Director: John Waters
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Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (66)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great movie, but lacking in DVD version
Let me just start by saying: I LOVE this movie. I've had the VHS version for quite some time now and I never got tired of it.

However, I was a little disappinted by the lack of features on this DVD. I thought it would have behind-the-scenes footage (if it did, I would give it 5 stars).

After seeing other movies with commentary, I was really surprised that John Waters' commentary was excellent. It really explains a lot about the movie (and some of the lesser known actors). Sometimes it almost compensates for the lack of the other features normally seen on DVD.

Okay, back to the movie itself. Like other Waters' films, the plot focuses on a particular social problem (in this case, the fame gained being a serial killer and also about the death penalty). Kathleen Turner is outstanding as an old-fashioned mom with high morals who goes nuts and kills people for very minor infractions (chewing gum, for example). When she is caught, she defends herself in court (with hillarious results!)

Again, this is a great movie, but I could only give it four stars because of the features on the DVD version.

5-0 out of 5 stars John Waters does it again !
Kathleen Turner chews up the scenery as Beverly Sutphin , A June Cleaver type mom who cooks , cleans , and kills . Her Loving family is made up of Sam Waterson ,Ricki Lake , and Matthew Lillard .
Water's regular Mink Stole is on hand as harrased victim , Dottie Hinkle .
Patty ( Patricia ) Hearst , Traci Lords , Suzanne Somers , and Joan Rivers make up the cast .
Beverly Kills her victim's with a Fire Poker , a Air Conditioner , even a Turkey Leg , all with a Smile and all her Hair in place .
My oldest son's favorite scene is the Sneeze in Church .
This is John Waters at his most Demented Best !
If you've not seen " Serial Mom " you are in for a Twisted Treat !

4-0 out of 5 stars true murder story from baltmore
yep,its all true!if you watch it,youll laugh hystericly.its about this super- mom who goes around wasting people for very small social flaws like not rewinding thier videos before returning them and not wearing thier seatbelts.o kid should view this under 15.the humor is good natured.there is a good deal of blood.a chick goes topless for a short while towards the end.thats always a plus!riki lake is in it as the serial moms fat little whiny daughter.the message is that everyone has skeletons in thier closet.if you watch closely,everyone in this movie has a wierd flaw.as far as rikki lake goes,this one is far far better than that 50s movie she did.very funny indeed!check it out!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Comedies Ever!
I've loved this movie since the first time I ever saw it! It's pure comedy and genious! Be prepared for language and gore, and the wildest movie of your life!

5-0 out of 5 stars so funny
This movie is hilarious. A crazy mom who goes nuts and anyone who gets in her way gets killed. I know it sounds gross, but this movie is too funny to miss. ... Read more


8. Polyester
Director: John Waters
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Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

3-0 out of 5 stars John Waters and friends go mainstream... sort of.
John Waters' first mainstream film is tamer compared to the likes of PINK FLAMINGOS and DESPERATE LIVING, but it's still bound to offend someone out there.
The movie stars Waters regulars Divine, Edith Massey (Both of whom mercifully remain fully clothed in this. Thank God!) & Mink Stole.
Written, Produced and Directed by Waters & Exec-Produced by Robert Shaye (who would later go on to produce the ELM STREET series) and once again set in the film maker's beloved Baltimore; POLYESTER centers around Francine Fishpaw (Divine) an unhappy 300lb housewife, whose philandering husband Elmer is a porn peddler. This makes the Fishpaw residence a perfect target for anti-porn/violence protestors (One of whom looks freakishly like Patricia Bartlett) who want Elmer to show G rated family movies (presumably) like the psychologically damaging ANNIE; because they feel X rated movies encourage sex offenders (Just like the Bible left Jim Jones & David Koresh with heads full of bad wiring- can you see the hypocrisy here? Waters certainly can).
But love comes into Francine's life in the guise of Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter) the owner of an adult drive-in theater also picketed by the Chastity Belt Crusaders. (NB: I just made that up).
POLYESTER is; in actuality, a suburban satire in which Francine attempts to deal with her dysfunctional family consisting of her pothead son Dexter, who has a foot fetish which is causing him to attack women in the street and steal their shoes, to say nothing of her skanky daughter Lulu who to her mother's horror is dating Bobo, a greasy, glue-sniffing punk (played by Stiv Bators from the band Dead Boys).
Though personally I prefer Waters' underground movies to this, POLYESTER still has enough bad taste & sick humor to please his devotees and is a good introduction to his work for novices.
As with all Waters films (with the exception of HAIRSPRAY) POLYESTER will offend the heck out of prudes; which is always a good thing: People whose idea of a wild night is watching a PG movie in the dark and drinking two lite beers.
I've nearly forgotten the most important detail: This is the movie where on its original theatrical release; Waters introduced the gimmick of a Scratch & Sniff card where when numbers 1-10 flash at the bottom of the screen the viewer would scratch the corresponding square for the aroma. Today it just looks odd with the numbers flashing onscreen. I pity the fools who actually scratched the numbers for the flatulence & glue bits. Good idea though. The title song was written by Debbie Harry of Blondie & is sung by Hunter.

4-0 out of 5 stars it's all good...
not john waters' best but certainly one of his more quirky pictures (after cry-baby, of course.) perhaps the most interesting thing about this waters' film is the approach that he took when creating the whole atmosphere of the movie. the set decoration is superb, recreating the average formica, plastic, and polyester household of the late 70's and early 80's. the lighting is interesting, ranging from a radiantly lit dining room for the paradoxical fishpaw "family" breakfast, to awkward overhead lighting placed at varying angles in the fishpaw living room making it look like a window display at woolworth's. john waters' had to sacrifice much of his humorously depraved eccentricity of his earlier films but makes up with the kitschy atmosphere that is best embodied by the title polyester. the performances are classic waters. divine is hilarious as the neurotic harried housewife, francine. edith massey is her child-like best friend who does what she can to cheer up her buddy. all in all, this is one of waters' more (for lack of a better word) accessible films. not the best but certainly one of the most memorable. (*odorama cards REALLY help the polyester viewing experience.)

4-0 out of 5 stars hilarious
I found this movie very entertaining and funny. Divine was at her ultimate best. I've watched this one several times and can't help but roar laughing. Once you see one of Divine's movies you'll want to see the rest! In case you've never heard of Divine, she's a guy who always portrayed big fat women on the verge of virtually anything. This type of comedy is offbeat and can be on the dark side. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without a serious sense of humor. This one is about a porno movie theatre owner who is out cheating on his overweight wife with his secretary. Their teenage kids are totally out of control and the mother takes to drinking when she finds out about him. 50'S hunk Tab Hunter also is featured doing the title song which was written by Debbie Harry (Blondie) and also plays the man who comes into her life. Buy it and have a good laugh!

3-0 out of 5 stars The Normal American Family
... After several years of crudely made, crudely funny films such as PINK FLAMINGOS, director John Waters graduated to a somewhat more sophistocated style, and POLYESTER has a comparatively (note the word: comparatively) subtle script, cinematography that doesn't shake, sets and props that don't actually look like they were salvaged from the local junkyard, and even a mainstream star: 1950s matinee idol Tab Hunter. But although POLYESTER has the same outrageous vulgarity as previous Waters films, it lacks the same shock appeal that made his previous films work so well; consequently, the joke wears thin after a certain point.

Even so, the sight of Tab Hunter (who is even more of a stud here than in his earlier pretty-boy days) romancing Divine is a major draw, and there is enough hilarity--ranging from a nun-enforced hayride for pregnant women during a rainstorm to a black gospel singer who hijacks a bus to chase down a juvenile deliquent--to keep the show rolling, and the satrical edge is often quite effective. Not one of his best, but Waters fans will love it just the same!

1-0 out of 5 stars Low budget chic?
Have you ever been to the gallery opening of a starving artist who is desperately trying to pretend he is much more worldly and chic than the wealthy clientele who view his creations?

Poly-disaster was an obviously low-budget film made with some very enthusiastic film actors. Hats off for the charity work, guys but the movie was just not very entertaining. Tab Hunter is the debonair stud who sweeps the downtrodden housewife of the local King of Porn off of her feet. He steals her heart just as her philandering husband has abandoned it and their astronomically dysfunctional teenage children.

This is one of those low-budget movies only a starving artist would find fun to watch and then claim is a world "classic." ... Read more


9. Cecil B. Demented
Director: John Waters
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10. A Dirty Shame (R Rated Version)
Director: John Waters
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Sales Rank: 8530
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

When prissy, prickly Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) suffers a head injury during a traffic altercation, she's, er, revived by self-appointed sexual missionary Ray-Ray Perkins (Johnny Knoxville) and is transformed into an insatiable, take-no-prisoners sex maniac. Yes, it's a John Waters film. Yes, it's filthy. No, it's not as hilarious and sustained as you'd like it to be. It works for a while, though: Ullman, never a stingy comedienne, does everything Waters dares her to do without hesitation; words cannot describe the perversely sporting delight with which she mounts a water bottle during a round of "The Hokey Pokey" at an old folks' home. And there's some fun to be had when Sylvia's emancipation leads her Baltimore 'burb to new heights of ecstasy, freeing her large-breasted daughter Caprice (Selma Blair) while horrifying husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) and her hardline mother Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd, hysterical) in the process. It's also packed with the standard cameos, the most satisfying of which is good old Patty Hearst at a Sex Addicts Anonymous encounter. But, for all the nasty, necessary glee, the movie feels inescapably been-there-done-that, and you can't help but wish this was 1972 and Divine was on hand to prowl for dog droppings. The most shocking thing about A Dirty Shame is how desperate and tiresome its anarchy becomes.--Steve Wiecking ... Read more

Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch
Something tells me John Waters only referenced the Bear community to have the community watch it and then show it as more bizarre than it already is.It sure got guys in my metro to pack the indy cinemas!

5-0 out of 5 stars Back to true form!
Being an extra on this hysterical film was a true barrel of monkeys. Receiving direction from one of the most notorious cult directors of all-time was quite an experience. A Dirty Shame is yet another twisted Waters' installment from his brilliant and unbelievably retarded mind. Sex addicts run rampant in Hamilton,
a NE Baltimore neighborhood and Johnny Knoxville is the ringleader. This film addresses such sexual fetishes never before spoke of in any previous film. Of course John's most recent films lack the angst of his 70's films, but the fact is
that was nearly 30 years ago and him and his entourage are way past the age of youth rebellion. This is clearly the most outrageous film Mr. Waters' has made since Desperate Living in 1977. Anyone who has been wise to his 70's films will absolutely
enjoy this picture. Folks who are ignorant to Waters' pictures
or those who have never seen one should not see this film without first viewing at least Pink Flamingos(1972) or Female Trouble(1974). A Waters' film you view because OF HIS name. NOT the stars. He is the puppeteer, and they are his marionettes. His recent tango with mainstream cinema and theatre is all well and good but this film proves once again what John Waters' is and will always be.
A Renegade...



5-0 out of 5 stars I f**kin loved it!
A Dirty Shame is a must see and must own film. I loved it. Would make a great gift.Anyone who doesn't like it is a neuter.Watch it with uptight people!

2-0 out of 5 stars Weak even for Waters
I love a lot of John Waters' movies, but this was a major disappointment.A lot of this is over the top, but it doesn't really work like "over the top" did in his earlier films.It has one hilarious scene, and the rest is just sub-par material.It mostly comes off as corny, even when you "get" the John Waters style of overacting.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent Film From Water's POST Divine Era!
A Dirty Shame is a pretty good film. It has it's classic John Water's one liners that could only come from the master himself which make me laugh hysterically. It's John Water's getting back to the basics--post Divine, that is. I separate John's films in 2 catagories: The Divine Years and The Post Divine Years. Let's face it, there will NEVER be another Divine in this lifetime nor will there ever be a John Water's Film that comes remotely close to the Divine Days. So JW fans have to deal with that reality. Of the Divine Years John Water's films, my all time Favorite is FEMALE TROUBLE. Followed by DESPERATE LIVING (which did not include Divine as she was working on another project at the time), POLYESTER, PINK FLAMINGOS, HAIRSPRAY, and MULTIPLE MANIACS. Then we cross over to the Post Divine Years. These films still have the John Waters edge, but not as heavily grotesque and vulgar as in the Divine years. These films include my all time favorite SERIAL MOM, PECKER, A DIRTY SHAME, CECIL B. DEMENTED, and my least favorite-CRY BABY (this film, if any, is the most detached from JW film--the only scene that shows a hint that its JW is the court room scene when Mink Stole is wheeled in in an iron lung smoking a cigarette. The dialogue there is hysterical.)

My suggestion is that if you're a John Water's fan and have seen one or more of his films Divine or Post Divine, then you'll appreciate this movie. In addition, you'll know why Patricia Hearst amoung other actors appears in this film. The reason I say this is because someone who NEVER saw a JW film wrote a review on A Dirty Shame and asked why the [...] Patricia Hearst is in the film? HELLO---she's been in EVERY JW FILM FROM HAIRSPRAY TO PRESENT!! But if you've never seen a JW film or know his antics you obviously won't relate!

GO SEE IT! ... Read more


11. Desperate Living
Director: John Waters
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
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Asin: B0002RQ3LG
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 17649
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars I Honor You, Queen Carlotta!
It's hard for me to believe that there could be John Waters fans who know only his mainstream films. They're pretty good movies, don't get me wrong; but they walk meekly in the shadow cast by his amazing Trash Trio (this, FEMALE TROUBLE & PINK FLAMINGOS). This one is his all-time best, partly because of Divine's absence. Had he been available, he would not only have nabbed the Queen Carlotta role, but become the focus of every viewer's attention as he usually did. (Well, nobody cites FEMALE TROUBLE for the Donald Dasher role, right?) The way DESPERATE LIVING worked out, you finally get a chance to see how good Waters' other Dreamland divas really were. Here, they're VERY good. Fact, DESPERATE features some of the most inspired, OTT female acting ever featured in a movie, "trash" or otherwise. It's as if a heroin-addicted George Cukor decided to remake THE WOMEN in a Maryland junkyard.

Mink Stole is unbeLIEVABLE as Peggy Gravel; she seethes with constant neurotic dementia throughout. Her portrayal of misery to the power of ten is less overacting than it is finding the perfect pitch for the role, and settling in on the very spot. The movie-opening running tantrum she spews is one of the funniest things I've ever seen - every third or fourth word is shouted for maniacal emphasis ("The CHILDREN are having SEX!! Beth is PREGNANT!! And I NARROWLY escaped an ASSASSINATION attempt!!") Brilliant. But she's matched, step for weaving step, by Susan Lowe's unforgettable diesel-dyke Mole and the nonpareil Edith Massey as the evil Queen of the criminal shanty-kingdom, Mortville. (If you've never experienced Edith Massey, nothing I can say could possibly prepare you for her....unique...greatness. Let's just leave it at that, okay?) And that's not to discount the typically outre work by Mary Vivian Pearce - who plays her character as if she'd gotten lost on her way to the set of a Julie Andrews musical - or the CGI effect that is Miss Jean Hill. This assembly of female firepower results in one incredible movie that STILL has the power to make you squirt liquid out your nose in helpless laughter, Farrelly Brothers or no Farrelly Brothers. As a matter of fact, the more Waters' early assaults on good taste have become absorbed into mainstream entertainment, the better and more shocking his films look for it. When DESPERATE LIVING stood alone, one hardly knew what to make of it. Now that every lesser talent in show-biz is trying to finance a swimming pool by imitating the Waters touch, it's easy to see, and appreciate, who the innovator and true original is. When Waters made this movie, he was a pariah with nothing to lose...he knew better, but still didn't care. Thus, there's an intoxicating power and thrift-shop integrity to DESPERATE LIVING that none of the Johnny-come-latelies can approach, now that "bad taste" is boxoffice, and safe as milk. If you're gonna wallow in slime, then accept no substitutes, folks: demand DESPERATE LIVING.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I have never found the antics of deviants amusing."
In the perverted, sick fairy tale, "Desperate Living" from the genius director, John Waters, neurotic society wife, Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) accidentally kills her husband with the assistance of her 300lb out-of-control maid, Grizelda. The two desperate women are on the run from the law, when a kinky policeman insists on taking the fugitives' underwear, and then generously allows the women to escape to that notorious haven for criminals and lowlifes--Mortville.

Mortville is full of deliciously disgusting types, and the evil and despotic Queen Carlotta (Edith Massey) rules over all. Elite bodyguards--young leather-clad biker boys, surround Carlotta day AND night. Carlotta's daughter--the Princess Coo Coo (Mary Vivian Pearce) is currently out of Carlotta's favour because the princess insists on consorting with a commoner. But in a land of desperate people who will stop at nothing, there are many ready to vie for power, and soon Peggy Gravel's natural nastiness promotes her to top of the pile of human rejects who inhabit Mortville.

The film is full of outrageous characters--there's Mole McHenry (a vicious female wrestler) and Muffy St Jacques--fellow inhabitants of Mortville, and their tragic tales are both hilarious. Some of the lines are pure genius--sick and twisted--but still genius. Two of my favourite lines are: "This'll teach you to arouse royalty," and "she thinks the toilet I sit on is competition." Warning--this film is not for the faint-hearted. The film has many, many completely outrageous scenes involving male and female nudity, 'sexual reassignments', spanking, and many perversions too numerous to name here. John Waters fans will love this tacky, trashy classic--many other viewers will not. Definitely NOT a date film (unless it's some sort of test), and it's definitely not for the kiddies. If you want to watch this with anyone else in the room, be sure you know your fellow viewer well. Keep your eyes open for the late great Cookie Mueller. "Desperate Living"--made on a $65,000 budget is camp at its best and lowest--displacedhuman.

4-0 out of 5 stars The best of John Waters' early films. Mink Stole rocks
In my opinion, John Water's movies have always been smarter on paper than most give him credit for. All of his work skewers the establishment was well as some of its offshoots and although intended to be shocking (in many instances just for the sake of being able to do so), my favorite moments generally involve the amazing Mink Stole and when John Waters in a very matter of fact fashion throws in something absolutely jaw-dropping as if it were just another scene.

On one hand you'll have people who will find Waters' early work to be too repulsive to watch and on the other extreme, you'll find others who worship his movies without any reservation and reject any critique as a sign that people just don't get it. My perspective is a little different as after watching Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living, my view is that while the ideas continue to be as fresh as they were made in the mid to late 1970's, his early work is much funnier when taken in little dozes rather than full length movies. Although, many may disagree I find Desperate Living to be his early best, while Female trouble is highly overrated. Pink Flamingos falls somewhere between the two.

There are scenes in Desperate Living that had me laughing so hard that I cried. In fact, the first half hour of the film is absolutely hilarious. Every scene involving Jean Hill who plays the hilarious Grizelda Brown and/or Mink Stole who plays the crazed Peggy Gravel, is a gag waiting to happen. There is a scene that takes place after something horrible happens (like I am going to tell you what happened) when Peggy is driving away with Grizelda that is worth the price of owning this movie. Said scene has Mink Stole going off like a madwoman regarding her hatred of nature, and it never fails to surprise me how funny she is. As happens with most of Waters' early films, it ultimately runs out of steam and starts relying too much on shock value and by now almost any Waters fan is hard to shock visually so it better be funny too. Desperate Living is my favorite early John Waters film, although many find it to be his most grim and depressing.

Female Trouble is one of the early Waters movies that most fans tend to like, and I just did not like it at all. Of course no John Waters film can ever be made without having hilarious moments, but they are far and few in between and I was mostly bored. Mink Stole as usual steals every scene that she is in and she does a variation on her "I hate nature" soliloquy from "Desperate Living," this time involving humans. Although I could not get enough of Edith Massey as the egg lady Pink Flamingos or as Queen Carlotta in desperate living, her role in Female Trouble made me feel for her as I was not laughing with her or could not bring myself to laugh at her. While she has her moments and awesome potty mouth, Waters (possibly without meaning to) takes her costumes to a point where you want to hug her instead of laughing. Divine has the opposite effect as the cruder and ruder that she is, the more that I loved her in this movie.

Pink Flamingos, which is Waters' breakout movie, without a doubt uses shock value more than any of his subsequent films. It is supposedly centered around defining who is the filthiest person alive in Waters' beloved Phoenix, Maryland. Since this was Waters' first fully realized early picture, he went for the jugular in trying to get away with as much gross out material as possible. The story, as is the case with Female Trouble, is not worth following and starts to get old quickly, but there are MANY scenes that will shock the numbest person alive. In many instances, the shock is not a bad thing as my motto is if it's funny, bring it on. Edith Massey as the egg lady is so funny that I can't help seeing her scenes over and over again. There are little touches as the manner in which Divine steals some ham, or apparently throwaway scenes involving dealing drugs and a baby selling ring, that are too funny to describe.

In a nutshell, I think that John Waters in hilarious and is responsible for some of the funniest movies of our time (as is the case with Serial Mom, just to name one), but these early exercises in guerilla filmmaking work better as boundary pushers than fully realized self contained movies. Those who enjoyed Jackass - The Movie, said movie would probably never have seen the light of day if it were not for John Waters, and although some may wish that such were the case, I for one think that Jackass - The Movie is one of the funniest movies ever. Part of that success is due to Johnny Knoxville not attempting to create a linear narrative or a storyline but intertwining bigger and smaller ideas just for the sake of making us laugh. Maybe it was not a choice at the time, but all of Waters' early movies would have worked much better with extensive editing and bypassing the narrative to focus on being funny.

I give Desperate Living 3.5 stars, Pink Flamingos 3 stars, and Female Trouble 1 stars. New Line home videos has released several two-packs of John Waters' films, but none that I know of that have Desperate Living and Pink Flamingos on the same package.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Sick Fairytale from the Price of Puke !
I guess you'd call Desperate Living the last of the earlier John Waters "gross out" cult classic films... He went a bit more mainstream after that (not to say that I don't like his new stuff... in fact, I dug Pecker and Cecil B. Demented majorly, but his newer stuff are simply "good movies", as opposed to "cult classics" by destiny.) - - The best way to describe Desperate Living (and I believe these are Waters' words paraphrased) is "a fairy tale for adults with the minds of children..." (well, moreso sick 12-14 year olds.) the story is as fun and entertaining as it is gross and disgusting... Getting to see Edith Massey in the roll of the evil queen and villian is also quite hillarious (especially if you've watched all his earlier films...) and getting to see what she does with the castle goons is even funnier... - - in my book however, the two most memorable scenes involve a cross dressing cop as well as a rather amusingly severed ding dong. Liz Renay, is also hillarious and really into her role... almost too much... in fact, its the sheer exhuberence of the actors in John Waters' films that make the films such a great watch... you can tell that he's definitely the type of guy that could sell you the Brooklyn Bridge (or atleast eat some poop off of it...) - - All in all, I'd have to say that along with Female Trouble its one of my favorite John Waters films... Whether you found Pink Flamingos funny or offensive, expect to laugh and puke at the same time... this is JW at his most sick and childishly best !

4-0 out of 5 stars Desperately debauched & deliciously depraved.
With DESPERATE LIVING, the demented genius John Waters has come up with a movie almost on a par with his most notorious bad taste classic PINK FLAMINGOS. DESPERATE LIVING is best described as a warped contempory fairy tale with lashings of ketcupy gore (a homage to Herschell Gordon Lewis perhaps?).
Written and Directed by Waters, this stars Mink Stole as Peggy Gravel, a mentally unbalanced suburban housewife drivine to the brink of madness by her amorous children, cruel husband & their alcoholic maid Grizelda Brown (Jean Hill).
However after the chunkily built Grizelda murders Mr. Gravel by sitting on him & squashing him to death; she & Peggy go on the lam, crossing paths with a wacko cop who has a fetish for women's lingerie. He is also a chivalrous romantic who has a strange request to make of Peggy: "I'd like to stick my whole head in your mouth & let you suck out my eyeballs". Now there's a pick-up line that's guaranteed to work every time!
After escaping being assaulted by this crazed copper; Peggy & Grizelda wind up seeking refuge in a low rent village/slum called Mortville where they shack up with lesbian wrestler Mole (Susan Lowe) & her vulgar, trashy lover Muffy (Liz Renay); a disturbed individual whose leisure pursuits include driving a meat fork through her hand for fun. But alas their solitude proves to be short-lived, as the corrupt ruler of Mortville, Queen Carlotta (Edith Massey) has sent her guards out to arrest & execute all homosexuals; but they mistakenly arrest Peggy & Grizelda. Soon the repressed townspeople band together to stage a violent revolt against their revolting dictator & her submissive slave-servants.
As with all Waters early films, you will either find this to be absoutely hilarious or downright depraved. I am of the former mindset. Fans of the director will be delighted with this. No spoilers but the special highlight for me was Mole's botched sex-change operation- utterly repulsive, sick & hilarious. You have to see it to believe it. Highly recommended, but be forewarned: Edith gets her kit off. Aiieee! ... Read more


12. John Waters Collection #3: Pink Flamingos/ Female Trouble
Director: John Waters
list price: $29.95
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Asin: B00005NC4Y
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 12000
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Pink Flamingos This is the movie that made John Waters famous, and quite possibly the film that made bad taste cool. Yes, Virginia, a large transvestite actually eats dog feces as a kind of dizzying denouement to this frequently illogical and intentionally disgusting movie, but by the time that happens, you're already numb... and you've possibly laughed to the point of losing bladder control. The plot revolves around two vile families laying claim to the title "The Filthiest People Alive." You've got pregnant women in pits, you've got grown men getting sexual satisfaction from chickens, you've got people licking furniture to perform trailer-park voodoo, and you've got classic lines like: "Oh my God! The couch... it... it rejected you!"

Waters, who went on to direct genuine pop-culture classics such as Hairspray and Serial Mom, made this celluloid sideshow with one aim--to make a name for himself. It worked. He does have a genuine eye for filmmaking (when the trailer burns down, you feel the white heat of Divine's pain and anger). On the other hand, you won't notice any disclaimers about stunt doubles and animals not being mistreated. There weren't, and they were. Welcome to the filthiest film in the world. --Grant Balfour

Female Trouble John Waters expands the definition of female trouble in this mutant tribute to good-girl-gone-bad drive-in melodramas. The girl is, of course, cross-dressing cult icon Divine, Waters's plus-sized muse. Divine is at her most gleefully outrageous as teenage brat Dawn Davenport, who runs away from home and into a life of wanton hedonism all because she didn't get cha-cha heels for Christmas. Almost immediately she's molested by a sleazy motorcycle thug (also played by Divine--is this Waters's idea of "love thyself"?), but she doesn't let motherhood interfere with her plans of stardom and turns herself into an unlikely fashion statement in an apocalyptic fashion show. Waters's fourth feature, a follow-up to the midnight movie hit Pink Flamingos, is just as cinematically primitive and even more gleefully vulgar, right down to the electric climax of Dawn's road to everlasting fame.

The DVD also features a commentary track by the always-entertaining John Waters. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars These Movies are a Riot!
You have NO idea how happy I am that Female Trouble is finally being released on DVD. It has to be my all time favorite cult movie ever. John Waters brings so much of his trade-mark trash to the movie that it stands-out as one of his most signature early pieces, even though he had already made movies such as Pink Flamingos, Mondo Trasho and Eat Your Make-Up. Divine definately shines in the staring role as Dawn Davenport. Tired of her common social life at home, Dawn decides that she will make her own mark on the world and does so as no other woman can! Dawn goes from a high school misfit, to a go-go dancer, a cafe waitress, a theif, a high-fashion crime model, and a serial killer, all while trying to be a loving mother to her obnoxious retarded daughter Taffy, played by another John Waters star regular Mink Stole. And let's not forget about the third star of the movie who you won't be able to forget no matter how hard you try: Edith Massey! Edith, the grotesque diva that also stars in a number of John's films, plays Aunt Ida, the aunt to Divine's worthless hairdresser husband. John gives her more of a 'glamorous' role compared to her earlier character in Pink Flamingos. In Female Trouble, just give Edith a glass of Sherry and she becomes a black spandex wearing diva who can put Olivia Newton-John to shame! While this is definately NOT a movie for everyone, it is very high on humor and camp. So, if you're a big cult classic fan, and not prudish or weak-of-stomach, this is one DVD you should NOT miss out on!

5-0 out of 5 stars This DVD is Worth Two Million Bucks!!!
That's right, this DVD is probably one of the greatest 2 disc sets you are ever going purchase - each of these films is easily worth a million dollars as far as entertainment value goes. John Water's 2 greatest works of celluloid art that pretty much coined the term "TRASH CINEMA" and gave Water's his "Prince of Puke" title back in the sleazey Seventies. Devine turns in Academy Award worthy performances both as the inimitable and infamous dog-poop eating Babs Johnson, Queen of All Filth, in the ground-breaking disgustoid modern classic, Pink Flamingos; and in Female Trouble, as the completely over-the-top obese she-devil derelict, Dawn Davenport, unhinged on a furious crimespree rampage that easily gives Flamingos a run for it's money in the depraved and disgusting departments. Not only do you get Devine, but each of these film gems also stars the wonderful Edith Massey, appearing in both of these films also in unforgettable roles that only she could play - what a presence! I can't imagine a better set piece than pairing these two films together - the absolute pinnacle of classic trash entertainment that will live forever...I'd give them each 6 stars if I could! Thank You Mr. Waters, you have helped make the world more fun.

4-0 out of 5 stars He's Original, You Gotta Give Him That
It is what it is, and you certainly don't have to like it(Roger Ebert sure hates Pink Flamingos, but what does he know? He liked Star Kid). John Waters is truly a love him or hate him guy, especially where his old films are concerned. If you've never seen this, take my advice: Don't watch it with anyone prudish(unless it's for revenge), watch it with a sick freaky person like yourself. This is the kind of film that you like to watch with people to see their reactions, but you probably won't watch it alot on your own-very much like Caligula. Remember, Waters isn't afraid to show you anything and nothing is sacred to him. There are at least two scenes in Pink Flamingos that will be tattooed in your brain till the day you die(for better or worse), so be prepared. This film is labeled a comedy, but that's all a matter of taste. I know people who DO NOT think this film is funny, but very sick and disturbing. You gotta understand that it's all meant for laughs, but many aren't gonna agree with that, Bubba. Female Trouble is a little more toned down than Pink Flamingos, but not much! The Farrelly Brothers seem to be in the spotlight for grossout humor, but they have a long way to go before they can even begin to outgross the king of grossout. These two films are the proof of that.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Told YOU CHACHA HEELS-BLACK ONES!!!!!
I was introduced to John Waters during my first year at NMSU and was immediately addicted to everything Divine and John Waters! to think this stuff was allowed to make it on film during the 1970's is quite something. John Waters loves to push the envelope and not take himeslf seriously at all. This is what makes his films so insane, delicious, campy and without a doubt NUTS! Pink Flamigos is that wild tale of The Filthiest People Alive and the lives of thos who hate them with a burning jealousy. Divine stars as well, Divine the undisputed queen of all this filth since this is her title and motto. She lives in a trailer home with her retarded mother, Crackers her insane son,and Cotton the traveling blonde companion. They live blissfully together until 2 jalous perverts, Raymond and Connie Marble attempt to steal that title away. Well, this only gets worse and the end result is a totally gross out battle, a disgusting party, a burning trailer, lesbian couples seeking children to adopt and so many insane events to mention. The next film featured here is Female Trouble with Divine as Dawn Davenport, Cookie Muller, Edith Massey,Mink Stole, and the late David Lochary. The premise is not as stomach churning as the PF however, it does have its revolting moments. The story centers on a teenage Dawn Davenport who is upset when her parents failed to give her those much desire cha cha heels for XMAS!!!! As a runaway teen she has no recourse to end up pregnant (with Mink Stole as Taffy)and winding up marrying a heterosexual hairdresser from the Le Lipstick Beauty Salon where she meets the notorios owners, Mr. and Mrs. Dasher!!! these two are hell bent on getting Dawn involved in a life of crime. What is so amazing here is the imagination that it took to dream up such weird and insane stories. There never is a dull moment here folks. But I do promise that you will feel paralyzed by Joh Waters and his legendary cast of Dreamland players. This is the stuff that would wind up on tabloids and really freak you out. This is another must have in your trash cinema collection

5-0 out of 5 stars It's good to get dirty.
These are the dirtiest... and perhaps the funniest films ever made. I first saw Pink Flamingos when I was 14 (!) and I loved it. Female Trouble is the better movie when it comes to storylines, but the outrageousness of Pink Flamingos is unforgettable. Divine's performances are terrible, yet terrific. John Waters really knew what he was doing when it came to these two cinema classics! ... Read more


13. John Waters Collection #2: Polyester/ Desperate Living
Director: John Waters
list price: $29.95
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Asin: B00005LQ0T
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 19196
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Director John Waters broke new boundaries of bad taste with his hilariously trashy tale of suburban misadventure Polyester. His favorite leading lady, transvestite Divine, plays Francine Fishpaw, a dissatisfied suburban housefrau who longs for a little romance in her life because her husband and children drive her crazy. Salvation arrives in the form of Tod Tomorrow (Tab Hunter), a drive-in owner who sweeps Francine off her feet (a mean task, given Divine's girth). But he's not all he's cracked up to be.

Everyone in Desperate Living's Mortville has some horrible secret to hide. The mentally unstable Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole, in a superb display of overacting) and her 300-pound-plus maid Grizelda must take it on the lam after Grizelda smothers Peggy's husband under her elephantine buttocks. They find themselves in Mortville, a shanty fiefdom ruled by the grotesque Queen Carlotta (the incomparable Edith Massey). The evil queen delights in tormenting her subjects, but Peggy and Grizelda soon team up with a pair of lesbian outcasts, and a rebellion is in the air. Notable for the absence of Waters regular Divine, this movie pushes the rest of the cast to their over-the-top best. Nasty, shabby, gross, and hilarious, this is John Waters at his best. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great package
Having seen Pecker and loved it, I bought this set, and decided to watch "Desperate Living" first. I have seen some of the grossest films ever made, Evil Dead, Me, Myself and Irene, American Pie, Scary Movie, and There's Something about Mary. I thought these were some of the grossest films ever made. Nothing on this beautiful Earth was to prepare to survive the movie Desperat Living. It is the most vulgar, disgusting, horrible, ugly, profane, and just plain nastiest film I have ever been fortunate enough to see. It is very sick, but if you can look past that you will find tuns of humor that is shockingly funny. Pink Flamingos (another John Waters movie) is said to be leagues worse, but I have yet to see it. Polyester, the other title featured in the set is very funny as well. The guy with the foot-stomping fettish cracks me up so much. Buy this set only being farewarned that the term disgustingly funny earns new meaning.

5-0 out of 5 stars POLYESTER?DESPERATE LIVING YUMMY
This is a real gag fest collection of John Waters cinema. I first viewed Divine in the notorious Pink Flamingos and was immediately addicted!!! This second collection features Polyester starring Tab Hunter(Todd Tommorrow as the lead), Edith Massey(Cuddles-Francine's former cleaning lady turned millionaire and best friend), Mink Stole(Sandy Sandstone?! the misstress) and Divine (as Francine Fishpaw-unhappy, loving,devoted mother and wife to an owner of a porno theatre).This insane light comedy is just a real riot and offers its audience the unique gift of odorama. That is a card that features numbers that you can scratch and sniff only when the corresponding numbers appear on the screen. The second film is Desperate Living which does not feature Divine but instead you get Mink Stole, Edith Massey and a cast of others who venture in the backwards town of Mortville...a town that could best be described as hell on Earth! Mink Stole stars as a demented woman driven to murder her husband during an fight. Well, it was actually her black overweight cleaning lady who did but that doesn't make a bit of a difference here. They both seek refuge deep in the woods where they end up in Mortville where all the inhabitants live mortified lives under the iron grip of the evil but pint sized Queen Carlota (Edith Massey)and her drones! This is a must have for all you Trash cimena fans! The disc includes interviews with surviving cast members and John Waters who is always a delight becuase unlike other directors always has something outrageously valuable to say.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Dirty....Filthy....Dirty...."
...screams Mink Stole in the opening rant of this delicious double scoop of filth and decadence. And that line sums it up perfectly: this DVD set picks up where "Pink Flamingos/Female Trouble" leave off. "Desperate Living" was the only movie in John Waters' 70's trash trilogy I had never seen (because it was never available at any local video stores) and I was unsure as to whether he could pull off another camp/trash masterpiece without his "Elizabeth Taylor" (I am referring, of course to that wonderfully, hilariously vulgar creature known as Divine). Ten minutes into this disc, and that answer was a definite "yes!". Right from its opening moments, "Desperate" has the same sleazy feel as its predecessors, and the lines that come out of Mink Stole's mouth could make up an entire CD of laugh-til-you-drop sound bytes. Sheer brilliance! And the film just gets better as it goes along, when Mink and Jean Hill descend upon Mortville and Susan Lowe and Liz Renay ("I sleep in the room right next to you.....NAAA-keddd!") enter the picture. Their flashback sequences are among the funniest moments in the movie and the "dog food" scene made me laugh out loud--but the "squish" scene at the end of the wrestling match almost made me pee my pants, it was so riotously funny! Mary Vivian Pearce actually gives a somewhat touching performance here, as I felt sorry for Princess Coo Coo once ruthless Edith Massey as Queen Carlotta started putting her wicked plans into action. The lesbian bathroom bit was another memorable sequence (Pat Moran--kudos to you for a brief but deliciously creepy turn as the "bathroom pervert"--and to Van Smith for making her look that way). Susan Lowe as Mole delivered another gut-busting moment as she stood there proudly waving her newly-attached penis ("It never goes soft!!") but also made me wince as Muffy finished off the last "stitch" making Mole scream in agony. Aside from Princess Coo-Coo's fate at the end, the movie is a real camp classic that, like the rest of Waters' earlier work, definitely improves with repeated viewings. Watch it with friends and you will all be quoting from it for days--"Royal proclomation Number One--Kiss...my...ass!!". The commentary on this disc is a little disappointing because Waters' shares the time with cast member Liz Renay who spends way too much time raving about her own body and how much she loves her own boobs, but she can be forgiven because I'm sure this discussion must have brought back plenty of fun memories for her. Waters alone does the commentary on "Polyester", which brings Divine back to the forefront as suburban matriach Francine Fishpaw, who's life of suburban bliss is constantly threatened by one crisis after another. Several of the Dreamlanders appear in this one, but in minor roles (Mink Stole is sadly under-used) yet Divine manges to hold it all together, and the actors playing her teen-age children deliver funny performances, with Lulu's go-go girl-gone-bad antics being a definite highlight (she even has her own theme song). "Polyester" is John Waters' "transition" film--not as offensive to mainstream audiences as some of his earlier works, but still quirky enough so as not to alienate fans of those earlier works. It too, is filled with wickedly bad dialogue you'll be quoting daily ("Scrub down any interesting toilets lately?"). Together, these two films will provide hours of fun--put these on at your next party and see who goes running for cover--you'll find out who your REAL friends are. Buy this set together with "Pink Flamingos/Female Trouble" and you've got hours of fun!!

5-0 out of 5 stars edith massey and those sets!
nuff has been said about polyester. as for desperate living; it ranks with female troubles. massey makes you forget divine (not an easy thing to do) and the visual look of the film stands with the look of both ulmer's the black cat and cocteau's blood of a poet. i genuflect to the waters of both female trouble and desperate living.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic
After having seen this movie for the grillionth time I still fall in love with it every time. You have to appreciate the campiness about it to "get" the film. The characters are over the top, the story line is filled with drama, and the ending is priceless. I absolutely recommend this movie to anyone who has not seen it. A++++ ... Read more


14. John Waters Collection #1: Hairspray/ Pecker (Special Edition)
Director: John Waters
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005B6OZ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 20619
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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John Waters made his bid for PG respectability with Hairspray, an enjoyably trashy comedy about the racial integration of a teen dance show on Baltimore television in the early '60s. Waters, as always, makes a virtue of junk culture and the powerful emotional forces it can represent as kids vie to get on the show. Meanwhile, a parade of former stars (Pia Zadora, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono) and pseudostars (Divine, Ricki Lake) cross the screen, playing freakish characters absorbed by thoughts of fame.

Pecker (Edward Furlong) loves to use the camera to capture his fellow Baltimore residents living their daily lives. Of course, since Pecker is a Waters movie, those daily lives include visits to strip bars, shoplifting, and various other quirky, and frequently hilarious, human activities. When Pecker's makeshift photo exhibit comes to the attention of a New York art agent (Lili Taylor), Pecker becomes the latest sensation. Pecker has something to offend just about everyone. But those who take the offenses to heart would be missing out on what amounts to a sweet-natured farce. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars FULL OF GRACE! FULL OF GRACE!
I think these two movies are a must have for any Divine or John Waters fan.Even if they are pretty commercial and not as original as "Female Trouble" or "Mutiple Maniacs"(hopefully the latter of the two will be on DVD soon)they are wonderful example of wonderfully talented and sometimes shocking director.The cast in "Hairspray" are great including Debbie Harry,Sonny Bono,Ricki Lake and of corse,DIVINE!! "Pecker" has its moments and will grow on you as any true John Waters will.If you have never seen a Water's flick,this is a good place to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Two "HAPPY" Movies Of The John Waters' Collection
"Hairspray" and "Pecker" are the tamest in the John Waters' collection. They are very enjoyable, even though they don't have the shock value that Waters earlier films had. I still absolutely adore both of these films and I'm thrilled that they are together on DVD. "Hairspray" is the last Waters' film that the late Divine appeared in. It showed the potential that Divine had in regards to his acting abilities. The movie is just flat-out fun, I would recommend it to anybody.

"Pecker" is one of John Waters recent films that I thoroughly enjoy. Its a ahppy little story that just floats along on screen, its really a pleasure to watch.

5-0 out of 5 stars John Waters - need I say more?
All Waters fans - this is a no brainer. Two of the master's films for the price of one with a great commentary and an offer for a bonus disc (if you buy all three of the "collection"). I can't wait for Multiple Maniacs and Mondo Trasho! I would love to see some of his early stuff (Eat Your Makeup, Hag in a Black Leather Jacket) if it exists somewhere. Don't hesitate to buy this disc if your a fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Least essential 'Special Edition' release....but fun!
Of the three John Waters "Special Edition" releases, this is the only one that duplicates previous DVD releases...and thus it's the one collectors may opt to refuse. (...) The bonuses in this package aren't must-haves, though any film commentary with John Waters is a delight.

I guess some reviewers have a valid point about the mainstreaming of Waters' films...and these two films are case(s?) in point. But consider the limitations placed on the writer/director as his core cast was fragmented and the cost of filming movies soared skyward. In both "Hairspray" and "Pecker" I see minor concessions to the bland tastes of Popular culture, but nary a cop-out. (...) the subversive edge of Waters' often brilliant writing/direction is an ongoing exercise in (good) bad taste. If nothing else, his characters never do what you expect of them, quite a virtue in a film world besotted with "accessible" characterization.

Despite some brilliant moments, "Hairspray" is a bit cloying on the whole. This, in my opinion, is largely due to Ricki Lake in the lead role. Despite the usual outrageous Waters' dialogue, Lake delivers her lines with such sweetness and reverance that you just want to backhand her. To her credit, she furthers the old saw about fat girls being good dancers.

"Hairspray" is also a bit overlong with dance sequences, though they certainly lend a touch of authenticity to the production. The central story is roughly linear, though the bit with Tracy in reform school seems like a delaying tactic...especially since Waters' used a similar story device in "Cry Baby". On the plus side, the supporting cast is rich with freakish appeal. Divine's last role for Waters isn't flashy, but his Edna Turnblad is a credible, nuanced piece of work. Longtime cast member Mink Stole gets lots of screen time in a fairly minor role. Lots of silly and/or hysterical cameos: Pia Zadora, Ric Ocasek, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono and a few more. The youth leads (mostly unknowns) are right on target...thoroughly believable in their parts.

Overall, "Hairspray" is probably the most accessible of Waters' latter-day films (...).

"Pecker" is a good choice to complement "Hairspray" in this edition. Both films have youthful leads, and both deal (directly or indirectly) with social issues such as race and class. The appeal of these films is also a bit gentler and good-humored than some of Waters' recent offerings. "Pecker" might take a while to sink in with old-time fans, as it did with me. I don't know if it's because there are other writers and directors actively pursuing the raunch genre that Waters' pioneered, or because "Pecker" has such simple charms.

I grudge the obligatory star power of Lili Taylor and Indie Waif Christina Ricci, low-wattage that it may be. Otherwise, the casting and performances in "Pecker" are on target. Mary Kay Place is fretful and yet blissfully sedate as the thrift store maven; a role that seems an appropriate homage to Waters' long time friend and star, Edith Massey. Martha Plimpton plays the ultimate fag hag ("My life is trade!") with dizzy abandon. Ed Furlong's Pecker (um, keep reading) is the most functional idiot savant imagineable...a tireless servant to the "art" all around, and completely oblivious to social norms and responsibilities.

Despite a feel-good ending that smooths over a fair number of conflicts, "Pecker" is a funny and satisfying film. The rabid idiosyncrasies of Waters' characters play off each other with the kind of manic glee you can find in "Pink Flamingos" or even "Polyester." The 'turnabout' plot actually works, if you take a good look at some of Pecks' pics from his NYC premiere. (...)

Fans who already own "Pecker" on DVD may opt to wait for a single disc release for "Hairspray." Considering how infrequently some of his films have been available on home video, I'm pretty sure longtime fans like myself will snap this collection up on sight. Recommended.

J

5-0 out of 5 stars Hairspray: The BEST Movie EVER NOW on DVD!
I'm not going to bother to review the actual movies themselves, since there is no point in criticizing perfection! I'm thrilled to finally have "Hairspray" on DVD! What I will say is: I find it extremely puzzling that New Line decided to put "Hairspray" out with "Pecker." I totally understand that "Pecker" is probably the tamest (along with Hairspray- "Cry Baby" was released by Universal so New Line probably doesn't have the rights to release it) of the John Waters movies- but I would say that it's safe to say that all of the John Waters fans with DVD players bought "Pecker" the day it came out! (Well, I did!) The "Pecker" DVD IS NOT the same DVD that was out before. It has some new menu screens AND the cast/crew bios are now gone. Everything else is the same. The "Hairspray" DVD is great- the movie has never looked this good before! I've seen the movie hundreds of times, and I discovered things I had never seen before when I watched the pristine DVD. John and Ricki's commentary is interesting but it's glaringly obvious that the two of them did not record the commentary together. New Line has attempted to sort of "paste together" their commentaries to make you think they were there together- but you can tell they really weren't. Ricki's commentary is somewhat limited to her revealing that she was extremely upset about having to dye her hair and she says that she still wishes that she could have worn a wig. She also talks about how she got the part- but it's her comments on her hair that keep coming up! (I guess she really has a reason to complain! They really did a number on her hair!) It would have been nice if John and Ricki could have recorded their commentaries together- to react against what each was saying. Other than that- just about everything is perfection. The packaging for this DVD could have been a little nicer with more pictures (the velcro that keeps it all closed is sort of CHEAP!)- New Line could have come up with something a little more clever- but I'M NOT COMPLAINING! I'm just happy to have "Hairspray" on DVD! ... Read more


15. Cecil B. Demented
Director: John Waters
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000053V7C
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 35782
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John Waters spoofs independent filmmaking at its most absurd fringewith this affectionate portrait of a guerrilla filmmaking collective thatdeclares war on Hollywood drivel. Bitchy screen queen Honey Whitlock(Melanie Griffith, whose kewpie doll voice and aging baby face are right at home) is kidnapped by would-be auteur Cecil (Stephen Dorff), a slogan-spouting bottle blonde with a cult-like crew of cinema outlaws called "The Sprocket Holes." Cecil has declared war on Hollywood with theultimate underground movie, "Raving Beauty," and his reluctant star Honey soonadopts her young misfit captors like a worried Mommy as her cultural cachetrises: the falling star has turned into a cult cinema rebel. It's a bizarre revision of the Patty Hearst story (with Hearst herself in a supportingrole) full of film insider jokes and '60s revolutionary references, butit's more spoof than satire. Waters's primitive style is often clumsy, andthe picture moves in fits and starts, but the cast's enthusiasm brings itto life. Waters has always celebrated misfits, outcasts, and culturalrebels and their self-made families, and this is his most outrageous,anarchic such bunch in decades. Through all the shootouts, bomb throwing,and fights with angry teamsters and suburban moms, there's an odd sense ofinnocence to the enterprise. It's as if Waters wants to remind us: it'sonly a movie.

The DVD also features commentary by Waters and the featurette CannedHam: Cecil B. Demented Behind the Scenes, which was originally produced for Comedy Central. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more


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