Twisted Masterpiece

Miss Undaztood

Pink Flamingos / Brian Prisco

Twisted Masterpieces | August 11, 2008 | Comments (63)

I never had a war to go to where I could kill strange people and make myself a man. I had to cut my teeth in the theatres, watching bloodshed and violence and sexuality through the sheen of celluloid. I have probably seen every disgusting deviant act known to man performed on screen. But the movie that furnished me with the thousand-yard stare of those whose souls have been made numb by horrors best left unspoken was Pink Flamingos. Pink Flamingos was my Vietnam.

It is a family portrait more twisted and warped than any you will ever see, including the families from all versions of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. Leatherface’s momma might have been creepy, but she didn’t wear a filthy slip, weigh three metric tons, and live in a playpen retardedly crooning about eggs. It’s the vision of a misunderstood genius, a twisted motherfucker, a man who has driven an 18-wheeler through the house of decency and taste, and crushed the children playing on the lawn under the tires and wedged them into the grill. Watching it again, after all these years, I am shaken by how profoundly disturbing the film is.

The purpose of the film, shot over weekends by John Waters and his cast of cronies whenever they could scratch up enough cash to afford scenes, is unclear. It has always felt like a cinematic dare. A poorly crafted, terribly acted, voyeuristic view into a carnival of freaks unlike any I could imagine. It’s just like a pill handed to you by a pencil-thin, moustache wearing Morpheus, challenging you to abandon Alice and her dear diary next to the pond and follow him into a rabbit hole of depravity that will untinker your brain for life. You can never unwatch Pink Flamingos; it will stay with you like childhood molestation. Eventually it will resurface during your wedding receiving line as an aunt leans in for a kiss and you start wailing, thrashing, and keening in a puddle of tulle on the reception hall floor. If you think I am exaggerating about how fucked up this film is and trying to secretly convince you to see this with some grotesque reverse psychology, please don’t let me. Get me front seat tickets to Celine Dion before I do that to any of you.

If this sounds rambling and incoherent, blame it on the trauma I’ve experienced at rewatching this monstrosity. You can have your Troma exploding Penis Monsters, or your Argento eye slashing, or even your deet deet Miike. You can have your improvised Leigh, your seasick verite of Mann or Hagard. What makes all of this pale in comparison to Waters’ handcraft hunk of mondo trasho is that every horrifying and aberrant act IS ABSOLUTELY REAL. (Except for the scene where a gaggle of partygoers butcher a group of police officers and devour their raw flesh.) Other than that bit of camp, every other scene I’m about to explain to you was actually performed for the camera. Just remember that as I recount the horrors. I’d never have gone to California if I knew they were making films like this just down the old I-95.

Misery befalls the Marbles of Baltimore when their arch nemesis Divine goes into hiding for her crimes under the alias Babs Johnson and claims the title of the Filthiest Person Alive. The perverted Marbles thought they were shoo-ins for the crown with their Manic Panic-ed carpet and pubes, their toesucking sex, and the hubbie’s habit of tying kielbasa and chicken heads to his penis and exposing himself to young women. Oh, and they run a baby ring out of their basement, where they kidnap lonely girls and crack whores, get their manservant Channing to impregnate them by masturbating into his hand and injecting them with his semen, and then selling the babies to lesbian couples. They send a spy named Cookie to seduce information out of Crackers, Divine’s son, and learn about the rest of the family, including Divine’s constant companion, the bottle blonde Cotton, and her egg-man lovin’ momma. This espionage involves Crackers and Cookie (I’d be hard pressed to call it entirely consensual sex) tussling naked with a LIVE CHICKEN struggling between them. Crackers keeps trying to forcibly insert the chicken into the young lady’s swimsuit area, all the while Cotton peeps through a window and fondles herself. Show some respect James Bond. You only had to pork an Octopussy.

It’s Babs/Divine’s birthday, and as a present the Marbles send her a box, and in that box was a box with a turd in it. In the grand scheme of the movie, it’s pretty much what you get the girl who has everything, including a penis. Apparently this outrage sets Divine off. First, she decides to get the party started — a party which involves a burlesque stripper who resembles an early Austrolopithicus female, a pig’s face, dried vomit on a napkin, a butcher’s cleaver, and the piece de resistance, a contortionist who whistles with his asshole. Appreciate that talent, folks. His sphincter actually expands and contracts. It provides the same level of amusement as a fat man who draws a giant top hat on his stomach and makes his belly button talk. Only this is a man’s anus. This might have been the scene that eventually broke me when I first saw it as a teenager. The Marbles even ran away in horror and call the cops. Who arrive to be chopped into a party feast. And then Momma marries the Egg-man and gets carted off in a wheelbarrow.

Divine and her son break into the Marbles’ home as the Marbles break into their trailer. The Marbles set fire to the trailer. Divine and Crackers lick every surface in the house, culminating in a coupling where Divine gives the ultimate gift of Divinity to her son: she pulls down his pants and graphically fellates him on a dining room table. You are now witnessing a scene where a mother is blowing her son. You are now witnessing in actually a scene where a drag queen is orally pleasing a young man. You are now realizing that John Waters owns your immortal soul.

More crazy shit ensues, and at this point if you are still watching this movie without some sort of catatonia setting in, you my friends are hardier folks than I. Even knowing that these events were taking place still didn’t prepare me. Because it’s real. It could be a documentary. All of this comes to a head in the grand finale where Divine proves she’s the filthiest actress in all of movie history. And how, pray tell, can you top the sybaritic symphony? Well, you have a dog take a shit and then have Divine eat it. Not just stick it in her mouth, but chew it up so that her teeth are stained brown and chunky.

Why? Why would you subject yourself to this? Is this art? Is this necessary? Are you better for having seen it? I can’t answer those questions. It’s truly a tasteless film, and a twisted masterpiece in that it was AFTER this movie that John Waters actually had a career for himself. This was his apex (or nadir, if you prefer). This was as far as you could go. Even the Jackass kids haven’t dared to pull off this shit. Literally, this shit. While many of the Twisted Masterpieces in our little gallery depict gruesome acts of violence and terror, this movie will scar you for entirely different reasons. I am still shaken by what I saw on screen. It has forever modified my view of movies. How can I be horrified by imagery when I witnessed this cavalcade of events? Much like the carnival barker pattering you into the freakshow, be wary folks. What you see cannot be unseen. What you witness will forever more haunt your thoughts. It is not for the faint of heart. Bon appetite, shit face.

Brian Prisco is a warrior-poet from the valley of North Hollywood, by way of Philadelphia. He wastes most of his life in desk jobs, biding his time until he finally becomes an actor, a writer, or cannon fodder in the inevitable zombie invasion. He can be found shaking his fist and angrily shouting at clouds on his blog, The Gospel According to Prisco.

Slamming the Pit Fantastic! | Beer for My Horses


"..(Except for the scene where a gaggle of partygoers butcher a group of police officers and devour their raw flesh.) ..."

Bah, then what's the point...

Posted by: BarbadoSlim at August 11, 2008 12:48 PM

John Waters' films take conventional bourgeoise values and ideals and...does...something to them. I can't come up with an adequate metaphor for what Waters' films do to our cultural norms. That's what Pink Flamingos really is, and probably why he gave it that title. It's pure subversion on film. Your line about Alice and the rabbit hole is terribly apt.

His later films do the same thing, albeit in more gentle and mainstream-friendly ways, and I still love John Waters.

Posted by: Jerce at August 11, 2008 1:02 PM

This reminds me of when my friend and I rented Caligula, because, hey, "It can't be THAT bad...."

Posted by: Tammy at August 11, 2008 1:03 PM

Oh, Tammy, gaaaah! Caligula is one of the worst atrocities ever put on film!

...I want to watch it again. Going to Netflix, BRB.

Posted by: Jerce at August 11, 2008 1:05 PM

oh dear lord......




.....I am going back to watching my Olympics highlights now and am going to forget any of this ever happened.....

Posted by: Bethy at August 11, 2008 1:10 PM

I feel that it is imperative to point out -- because no one will ever notice it, the genius being so subtle -- that, on a bar bet, Brian Prisco has somehow managed to seamlessly, brilliantly include all 14 tracks of Pink's "Missundaztood" album in this review. Let's see Ebert do that, motherfuckers.

Posted by: Dustin Rowles at August 11, 2008 1:13 PM

I still have not seen Caligula.

I have, however, seen this. I had a group of friends who were obsessed with John Waters. We saw everything we could find at our local video store... Hairspray (the first incarnation, thankyouverymuch), Crybaby, Polyester (one of my all time favorites- I still have my late-80s VHS copy); later, Serial Mom. Inexplicably, my small-town, family-friendly rental place had a copy of Pink Flamingos. I guess it's semi-logical, I mean this was back when video stores still had a "back room" because they weren't all LackLuster. Oh, Video Den.

Anyway. Mr. Prisco, sir, this is a fine job of capturing that queasy sense of witnessing something you really weren't supposed to. Just so wrong, and dirty. And I don't mean dirty in a sexy-dirty way, I mean in the way where you need to take a shower after, and you feel like the dirt is under your skin and you're never going to be clean again. Ugh. I need to go brush my teeth. Except I'll probably gag on my toothbrush, my reflex is up.

Posted by: Anna von Beaverplatzhausen-jr.-in-defer...what-the-hell?! at August 11, 2008 1:21 PM

"You can never unwatch Pink Flamingos; it will stay with you like childhood molestation."

That is exactly how I feel about Gummo. Exactly.

Kick-ass review as always, Mr. P. The Pink thing? Brilliant in it's execution. Your writing brings a smile to my face. All of your writing has. My days are brighter because of you.

Now that I've got you significantly wet, I have a simple request: I need you to review the film that haunts me. A film that makes my stomach hurt. A movie that made me quit taping bacon to the shower wall. I need you to review Gummo. I need to know what love is, and I want you to show me...

Posted by: Skittimus Maximus at August 11, 2008 1:30 PM

Um... erg. . . Can we please have the review of Tropic Thunder now?

Posted by: BWeaves at August 11, 2008 1:31 PM

I feel that it is imperative to point out -- because no one will ever notice it, the genius being so subtle -- that, on a bar bet, Brian Prisco has somehow managed to seamlessly, brilliantly include all 14 tracks of Pink's "Missundaztood" album in this review. Let's see Ebert do that, motherfuckers.


and this is why I love Pajiba so much

but don't think you are the first one to do this Brian, we have been sneaking as many song titles into our design presentations as we could for years, and we did that on the fly. None of this planning out stuff, nope

and we somehow managed to subtle too (and by "we" I mean everybody else but me...)

Posted by: Bethy at August 11, 2008 1:32 PM

....and then Dustin posted his comment.

*clap clap clap*

Bravo, Mr. Prisco. Bravo.

Posted by: Anna von Beaverplatzhausen-jr.-in-defer...what-the-hell?! at August 11, 2008 1:33 PM

When I worked at a radio station, I received a musical shaker egg as a promotion gift.
I would maniacally shake the egg in the office, shouting "WHERE'S MY EGGMAN?!?"
*shooka-shooka* "I NEED MY PRETTY EGGS!"
Good times.

Oh, and merely thinking about the dog-shit scene makes me nauseous. If anything, it's mind-candy to will the hangover beer outta your stomach.

Posted by: brouhaha at August 11, 2008 1:37 PM

Pink Flamingos is not so horrifying, methinks you just need to chill out. The ass whistling and chicken fucking are the most uncomfortable parts for me but I'm not going to stop enjoying my popcorn. For me the film lost its edge when I listened to the commentary. Waters is so casual about it all so why shouldn't I be?

Excellent work with the Pink!(That's what she said.)

Posted by: Stew at August 11, 2008 1:43 PM

No disrespect to Mr. Waters but where does the 'masterpiece' bit come in? Is it just by virtue of the fact that he made the most depraved, disturbing film ever produced, or does it have some merit beyond shock value? The only John Waters film I've ever seen is Cry Baby, and I had heard that his stuff tended to be a bit inaccessible but, man...

Nice one on the Pink track names by the way, I'm gonna have to go back and find them all now...

Posted by: Gumble at August 11, 2008 1:45 PM

"Brian Prisco has somehow managed to seamlessly, brilliantly include all 14 tracks of Pink's "Missundaztood" album in this review. Let's see Ebert do that, motherfuckers."

Suck on that, Pookie.

Posted by: TK at August 11, 2008 1:47 PM

I have Caligula on DVD, and something tells me that Guccione, et. al. didn't manage to get the whole story across. Yes, there was probably more than just the wholesome depravity depicted in this movie (and I still have the hots for Helen Mirren after this film and Excalibur, thank you).

Bear in mind, however, that I reviewed Eraserhead and described it as "One man's search for love and acceptance in a bleak postindustrial environment."

Does Waters have a director's cut of this flick out anywhere?

Posted by: The Wanderer at August 11, 2008 1:55 PM

Yes Wanderer, there is a director's cut. It's called Gummo... And I see it every time I close my eyes.

Posted by: Skittimus Maximus at August 11, 2008 2:00 PM

I need you to review Gummo

I will kill you, Skitts if he does. Yes, this movie sounds horrifically mind-blowingly traumatizing...but nothing...nothing...made me want to curl into a ball and weep for mankind's lost innocence than that movie.

On a related note...I will not be seeing this...but I do have a friend who'll love it. The same friend who's been trying to get me to watch 2G1C for months. And laughs hysterically when I get a horrified expression on my face and empathically shake my head...NO! NO! damn you! We don't all revel in the base atrocities people are capable of accomplishing. And enjoying...


Posted by: Shadows of Dakaron at August 11, 2008 2:01 PM

Outstanding review Mr. Prisco, this is what I've been waiting for, your talent has finally awoken. For a while it seemed unconscionable that you were receiving a paycheck. I loved Pink Flamingos, it was a human train wreck of biblical proportions.

Posted by: Pookie at August 11, 2008 2:06 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with John Waters once in the 90's, at Texas A&M of all places. Ironically (considering this movie), Mr. Waters is one of the nicest guys ever! Very pleasant and gracious to everyone (and of course, hilariously witty).

Posted by: peachfish at August 11, 2008 2:11 PM

SoD... please. I... I need a review. I'll never watch the film again, I made that promise over ten years ago. I just need to feel justified in my... I just need somebody to tell me it'll all go away. That there was some... SOMETHING. I need someone to give it to me straight, to let me know that this film is indeed an absolute piece of shit as opposed to a film that has any sort of cultural significance or meaning. I know you came out of the Gummo closet, and I've gotta hand it to you for owning up to it. Don't you wanna know if there are others like us, others that've hit the eject button and sat in stunned silence for a good fifteen minutes before mixing another drink (or packing another bowl, cooking another batch, inhaling another line, etc)? Take my hand, brother - we'll make it through this. We'll find others. And then we'll all take a dook on Harmony Korrine's lawn.

Posted by: Skittimus Maximus at August 11, 2008 2:13 PM

When I was unmercifully attacked by Skitts the other day, I said to myself, this is the business we've chosen. I didn't complain and I held my tongue. But now a person whom I thought of as a mentor, a life coach if you will, has taken the same road as Skitts. Etu TK, Etu.

Posted by: Pookie at August 11, 2008 2:29 PM

Oh my freakin God, Dustin, I didn't even notice. I guess the reading the line about oral incest threw me off. Nice job Prisco, but if I may ask, exactly how the fuck did you come up with the idea? Anyways, for those trying to keep track at home, but can't find them, here are the references:


#1: Missundaztood: The title

#2: Don't Let Me Get Me: "...grotesque reverse psychology, please don't let me. Get me front seat tickets..."

#3: Like A Pill: "...It's just like a pill handed to you by a pencil-thin..."

#4: Get The Party Started: "...First, she decides to get the party started..."

#5: Respect: "...Show some respect, James Bond..."

#6: 18-wheeler: "...has driven an 18-wheeler..."

#7: Family Portrait: "...It is a family portrait more twisted..."

#8: Misery: "Misery befalls the Marbles..."

#9: Dear Diary: "...abandon Alice and her dear diary"

#10: Eventually: "Eventually it will resurface during your wedding..."

#11: Lonely Girl: "...where they kidnap lonely girls and crack whores..."

#12: Numb: "...made numb by horrors best left unspoken was Pink Flamingos."

#13: Gone To California: "...I'd never have gone to California if I knew they were making films like this..."

#14: My Vietnam: "Pink Flamingos was my Vietnam."

Ii'd just like to say for the record, that i actually like Pink. Commence the shaming.

Posted by: Jeremy at August 11, 2008 2:31 PM

oh god DAMN this movie! The chicken scene was the absolute worst. How it keeps screaming and flailing and squawking and then the neck snaps...ugh.
And yet strangely, even though this movie made me physically sick, made me weak and nauseous and afraid, somehow I still love John Waters. What is that? Stockholm Syndrome?
Same with Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher, anyone?), come to think of it. So why am I forgiving, reverent even, to these directors and yet I loathe Korine and have no patience for others like him?

Posted by: isabelle at August 11, 2008 2:35 PM

I like Pink too, Jeremy...

{hangs head in shame}

Posted by: Shadows of Dakaron at August 11, 2008 2:37 PM

Jeremy, thanks! I was just prepared to accept Dustin's word for it.
Well played, Prisco!

Posted by: isabelle at August 11, 2008 2:38 PM

Take my hand, brother - we'll make it through this. We'll find others. And then we'll all take a dook on Harmony Korrine's lawn.

While holding hands?

Posted by: jM at August 11, 2008 2:41 PM

Y'know, just when I thought there wasn't anything more disturbing than Flavor of Love...damn, Prisco, to see such a show a second time defies imagination. Good job on incorporating the Pink titles, and I'll third the Pink love too.

Damn, somehow I have to get through this day without hurling. I forecast projectile vomiting come lunch time. I'd better get my monitor squeegee and washcloth ready.

Posted by: lordhelmet at August 11, 2008 2:42 PM

Pookiebear I didn't attack you holmes, I just wanted to spread the word that there's a Pookie toy out there for the world to enjoy. Shit, you might even get a few Pookiphiles sending them to you for your John Hancock.

I love you. In a totally non-threatening way. Like I love Huy Fong Sriracha Garlic Hot Sauce. You always bring the flavor, you always do.

Posted by: Skittimus Maximus at August 11, 2008 2:43 PM

"Like I love Huy Fong Sriracha Garlic Hot Sauce."

That shit is the bomb, yo.

Posted by: TK at August 11, 2008 2:49 PM

"Pink Flamingos" IS like being molested. Not only does it haunt you, it makes you want to inflict it on others. I took no greater joy then, after suffering The Butthole Scene, telling my sister how she just HAD to see "Pink Flamingos." Then, after she witnessed The Butthole Scene, we decided our two friends just HAD to see "Pink Flamingos", too. The look of HORROR on their faces when The Butthole Scene came one was priceless.

Unfortunately, I'll NEVER be able to hear that "papa oo mau mau" song and NOT flashback to The Butthole Scene".

My sister, my friends, and myself all now have a common bond. Every time we say to one another "A TURD, Babs, A TURD" or "Vile bowel movement." it's like survivors getting together to help one another heal.

Posted by: MadameUgly at August 11, 2008 2:49 PM

Little-known fact: All Pajiba reviews have the song titles of an album concealed in the text. True story.

It's a work rule, posted right under "You probably should have washed your hands, jagoff," in the employee bathroom.

Posted by: ted boynton at August 11, 2008 2:50 PM

Very impressive Jeremy, I'm always amazed at how you guys can decipher a movie director's vision of how his or her movie plays out. I think it's a gift that casual movie goers simply don't possess. I'm even more impressed Jeremy by the fact that on a moments notice you can recite all the references, I wish I had the time and more importantly the ability to do what you do so well, but unfortunately I'm to busy getting high and fucking to worry about a goddamn movie and all of it's goddamn references.

Posted by: Pookie at August 11, 2008 2:52 PM

Pink probably wouldn't be misunderstood if she could learn how to spell. The first step should be comprehending that an exclamation point is not a letter.

Posted by: Three-nineteen at August 11, 2008 3:05 PM

Skitt, Gummo is one of the few movies that I shut off after only a few minutes. It was a long time ago, and blessedly, my mind has blocked the few minutes that I did see. I'm not sure I want that monster roused from peaceful slumber.
And while it's confession time, I really love Pink. I have a total girl-crush on her.

Posted by: Miss_E at August 11, 2008 3:18 PM

Thanks, Pooks! I actually just grabbed the CD case and went around Ctl+Fing all the titles. Anyways, it was brilliant, Brian. If you ever manage to do one for Of Montreal's Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer, my head will explode.

Posted by: Jeremy at August 11, 2008 3:34 PM

I'm pretty sure the Jackass boys did attempt the shit eating in their second movie. And they've done plenty with masturbation and semen (but no injecting it into women, as there is no room for the fairer sex in the Jackass world). And they even had John Waters himself in their movie. But no, they have yet to kill a chicken on camera.

Posted by: Godard at August 11, 2008 3:56 PM

Ctl+Fing just looks like it should be so much dirtier or nastier than it actually is...

Posted by: Che Grovera at August 11, 2008 4:27 PM

I think everyone who finished reading that review should get a gold medal. To me it sounds like a filmed version of the Aristocrats joke, all we need is John Waters to shout at the end, "The Aristocrats!"
And I will agree, from your description, this makes Takashi Miike's Audition sound like The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Posted by: Kamikaze Feminist at August 11, 2008 4:55 PM

The sad thing is, I have actually seen it and I think I would prefer watching it again to the Celine Dion concert the author mentioned. Does that mean I'm compeletly fucked up?

Posted by: sleepygaby at August 11, 2008 5:25 PM

I dry-wretched a little just reading this review. Clearly, I am cinematically feeble.

Posted by: Fleur at August 11, 2008 5:41 PM

now i can never come back here. and you've ruined my dinner.

*removes Pajiba from bookmarks.


Posted by: amanda at August 11, 2008 6:11 PM

I can't read this review. I saw the picture and started having flashbacks. I mean what the fuck Pajiba? Are you really going to bring back the trauma of this movie?

I have that sickly -I've-been-drinking-jeagermeister- all-night feeling.

I can hear the guy yelling at the girl to hold those "damn chickens". I can't even talk about the more disturbing moments of the film because I am truly fighting both the rush of scenes playing through my head and the urge to vomit.

I don't think I can forgive you for this one Pajiba. I truly don't. There is a reason people repress memories, you fuckers.

Posted by: cmoody at August 11, 2008 6:54 PM

You know I would have cursed your collective souls for this Pajiba, but why waste a perfectly good curse on the hellbound?

Posted by: cmoody at August 11, 2008 7:05 PM

Che, I agree. My computer doesn't even have a Fing key..

Posted by: kell at August 11, 2008 7:28 PM

I have never seen this, though I keep coming across references to it more often than I'd expect based on the horror it generates (I suspect MadameUgly's shared need to inflict it on others is the explanation...the same sort of impulse that makes you taste something, realize it's rotten, and immediately seek someone else out to get them to taste it).

I did, however, have part of Gummo inflicted on me, and I'm relieved to discover other people felt the same way about it that I did. A friend brought it to a party, and was thrilled to show it to all of us. My begging to turn it off was finally acknowledged shortly after the cat drowning.

Posted by: Tyburn Blossom at August 11, 2008 8:03 PM

Motherfucking Pink Flamingos. I rented this at age 12 and watched it while my parents were home. In their bedroom (where the second tv lived) while they watched their lame-ass grownup stuff in the living room.
When it got to the chicken scene, I screamed loudly and clapped my hands over my eyes. I heard my mother coming down the hall, so reached out and pressed STOP on the VCR. And then lied to my mother and said that I saw a roach or something on the wall. She left, I pressed play, and continued watching. Such is the power of John Waters. He will make you scream, cry, tell lies, and then go back for more.

This is one of those movies that my girlfriend and I quote to each other all the time. It's integrated into our lives.
"What do you want for breakfast?"
"Eggs, eggs, oh god."

Posted by: Sharon at August 11, 2008 8:16 PM

Just the other day a friend and I were talking about how we found Desperate Living to be a great, life-affirming, anti-authoritarian movie.

I may have to rewatch this one now.

Posted by: mk at August 11, 2008 9:37 PM

If it makes you guys feel any better, I'm pretty sure that the cast cooked and ate the chicken after its brief time of glory.

I've seen this movie three times. I really couldn't tell you why. However, after seeing it the third time, many years after having seen it the second time, I realized that I was not particularly horrified. It was still the same trainwreck with the mind-numbing dialogue and the fucking anal contortionist, but I was oddly nonplussed. I blame the internet. How can I be horrified by anything after having witnessed such classics as 2girls1cup, lemonparty, MrHands, and all the delights and 4chan have to offer?

I think I have a problem.

Posted by: SleepyBeastie at August 11, 2008 9:50 PM

Is it just me, or did the appearance of the Ass Whistler seem like a glaring case of indulgent stunt-casting? And also, does the expression "shit-eating grin" draw its roots from this film?

These queries and more keep me up at night. Ah, John Waters, the poor man's Vivarin.

Posted by: Mella at August 11, 2008 10:00 PM

God(topus) dammit,

I really hadn't thought about this movie for the last 4 years since I saw it. Fuck you Prisco.

Posted by: Johnny Frat at August 11, 2008 10:51 PM

Read "Shock Value" by John Waters for some in depth reminescences on "Pink Flamingos"; both the making of, the theatrical exhibition and the fights over the film with Baltimore censors. Some things:

The Artificial Insemination was faked. No one was actually impregnated.

Mink Stole and David Locary actually painted their Technicolor hair. No such thing as Manic Panic in the early 70's.

Divine got a nasty parasite after eating the Dog excrement.

I've seen this movie many times on video and in the theatres and it's just a wonderful party movie. Remember, this movie was made in the early 70's. Most places didn't have cable television and home video; only the extremely wealthy. You could only see this type of stuff in repertory houses and midnight showings. Thing is, now, society at large is marshmallow soft. Political correctness and "I'm okay, You're okay" bulls**t has weakened us. Back then, when the horrors of Vietnam were paraded for all to see nightly at 6pm, a film like "Pink Flamingos" was seen as a welcome way to blow off steam, along with other underground films. You could go someplace with a group of strangers and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

BTW, I loved "Gummo", but I refuse to rewatch "Kids". That movie is horrid.

Posted by: Yupgiboy at August 11, 2008 11:17 PM

This scares me. Not only the Pink love, but the movie itself.

But, I feel myself oddly drawn to it...

I want eggs. NOW.

Posted by: Jaci at August 11, 2008 11:28 PM

Look, y'all: As scary as it may be for some of you to watch, if you have not seen Pink Flamingos you cannot call yourself a film buff.

Go on, now.

Posted by: Jerce at August 12, 2008 12:32 AM

I've never had any interest in seeing this, and strangely, this review didn't change my mind...

I did my time in cinematic hell by watching fucking Salo. I have never wanted to take a brillo pad to my brain more than after watching that...

Posted by: canology at August 12, 2008 2:20 AM

Funnily enough, last week I start researching Pink Flamingoes to see if I'd actually enjoy watching it. And I came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn't.

Is it hypocritical that I'll probably never see the movie but I desperately want a movie poster of Divine in the red dress holding a pistol?

Posted by: Renee at August 12, 2008 9:55 AM

NICE! My friend recommended me a very interesting place """"""W e a l t h y L o v e m""""""" If you've ever been there you will know what I mean....

Posted by: f gandy at August 12, 2008 10:27 AM

dude, I'm scarred from just reading your review. I knew about the dog shit but damn, I didn't realize the entire film was a nightmare. I'm gonna have to start repressing memories of just reading this review. *shudder*

ps-Leolo is my Vietnam. two words: cat rape. no, I'm not kidding.

Posted by: abra at August 12, 2008 3:02 PM

Why? Why would you subject yourself to this? Is this art? Is this necessary? Are you better for having seen it?
The answers as far as I know:

1. Why not?

2. Because...duh.

3. Does it have to be?

4. Absolutely. Or absolutely not. Depends on your tolerance for pure smut.

Now where's the musical adaptation of THIS for Broadway, hmm?

Posted by: Robert at August 14, 2008 3:02 PM

I'm sorry but the "family" in the Gilmore Girls sickened me a thousand times more than those lovable mugs we see in Pink Flamingos.

Poor John Waters seems like a nice old pepaw compared to the sick fucks that produce the network crapfest we see daily on the tube.


Posted by: Doug at August 15, 2008 4:50 AM

What about "the 120 Days of Sodom". More disturbing perhaps?

Posted by: firmends at August 16, 2008 7:22 PM

Oh come on. Pink Flamingos is gross but not as disturbing as this review makes it out. I've seen this movie several times and I've always found it funny and in a weird way kinda sweet. Waters and his Dreamlanders (the name he gave to his troupe of regular stars) are/were all completely bizarre in one way or another, and Pink Flamingos seems to me like their own over-the-top exaggerated way of saying "this is who we are, we're proud, now get used to us!".

And if you seriously can't laugh at Divine's trailer park voodoo or her speech after murdering the Marbles', I dunno what's wrong with ya. Great stuff.

Now someone do a write-up on Polyester! And use the Odorama card! That thing is way grosser than anything you see in Pink Flamingos, if you ask me.

Posted by: RD at August 17, 2008 4:33 AM

SleepyBeastie, you're right. They did cook and eat the chicken. I saw an interview with John Waters in which he insisted that the chicken actually had a pretty good life, compared to most.

His actual words were, as I recall (and John Waters's words tend to be burned into the brain): "It got to have sex, and then we ate it for lunch."

Posted by: Elena at August 20, 2008 7:30 PM

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