Just when I thought I had seen it all, Nazisploitation, Nunsploitation, Blacksploitation, midget porn, snuff, etc… I come across this infamous John Waters film that has me wishing that I had those 90 minutes back. Pink Flamingos doesn’t just take the cake, it takes the whole bakery. If someone had told me before that the graphic scenes of immodesty and incest could be entertaining and comical, I’d suggest they seek medical help but these scenes and many others are a little funny maybe because John Waters and his friends did not take anything happening on screen seriously. They didn’t try to make sense of it, and they didn’t try to make a statement or prove anything. Their goal was to shock the viewers and to make them laugh. They accomplished their goals. I would not pressure anyone to watch this film but its solitary niche in cinema makes it one of its kind. If you’re going to watch this film, do so on an empty stomach. The infamous last scene is hard to well…. swallow. Is it the worst movie ever? Maybe not. I mean, have you seen The Pest and Chairman of the Board? This film is in bad taste but because of my love for John Waters, I simply cannot give one of his films the title “Worst Film Ever Made.”
The family in The Devil’s Rejects don’t even compare to these fucked up individuals. They give trailer trash a whole new meaning. In Pink Flamingos, Divine has been branded the filthiest person alive. She lives in a trailer somewhere off the map with her family because they are forced into hiding due to being a bonafied criminal guilty of cannibalism, murder and God knows what else. A couple named Raymond and Connie are quite jealous of Divine and argue that THEY are the filthiest people alive. I’d say they come in a close second with their badly dyed hair and matching pubes. For real, that hair looked better on the parents in A Clockwork Orange. I’m not even kidding when I say the blue an orange carpet matches the drapes. This toe sucking couple are known for kidnapping young girls and impregnating them by their gay servant in their filthy basement. The babies are then sold to lesbian couples for five thousand dollars a child and the proceeds are used to finance stores of pornography or front drug dealers. The gay servant actually had me laughing when he impersonates Connie. Raymond and Connie try their hardest to drive out Divine and keep the title “filthiest people alive” but they fail. Oh, did I just spoil the ending for you?
Lets go over the basic flaws that I simply couldn’t over look. Pink Flamingos gives us awful camera work, bad dialogue, forced acting…. and I mean REALLY forced. The acting is so exaggerated it was giving me a head ache. The sounds coming out of the screen were like nails on a chalk board. At times I actually had to put it on mute. The character “Cookie” was hard to listen to. That lisp, holy crap. I feel sorry for the actress for that infamous threesome with a chicken. They actually killed a chicken in this sex scene and later cooked that chicken in a deleted scene. Some viewers raised hell over this scene and I have to agree with John Waters when I ask, “What’s the big deal?” They bought the chicken from a farm were chickens are killed and made into food. That chicken was going to die and get eaten anyway. I can never understand why people get so upset over chickens dying in films. I still don’t see why people make such a big deal about the turtle scene in Cannibal Holocaust, mainly because I don’t give a fuck about turtles. This is not a film for vegans and animal lovers. Divine even eats dog shit that was authentic. They fed the dog steak for three days to prepare for that unholy scene.
What a cast of colorful characters! We are given the spy with a lisp, Cookie. Divine’s chicken fucking son, Cracker, who is also missing a front tooth and Cotton, the only attractive character in the film who lives with the crazed family. Cracker and Divine are involved in an infamous fellatio scene that had me turning my head. Guys just can’t get it up when a fat chick is blowing them. Never mind the fact that it’s your mother… What’s with all the tiny penises in this film? Divine’s largest than life character is pretty frightening. That make-up! That hair! She/he looks like a clown. Even though Divine is completely repulsive, she’s a devoted mother and daughter. It’s funny, during filming, Divine was arrested for stealing, and in his defense said that he was a method actor playing a criminal. Oh that’s right, I forgot to mention that key factor about Divine, he’s actually a man but his character in this film is a she. Divine passed away in 1988 because of his enlarged heart. He was only 42. The wonderfully eccentric, snaggle-toothed Edith Massey met director John Waters while working as a barmaid and as the owner of a thrift shop, Edith’s Shopping Bag at Fells Point, Baltimore. Captured by her effervescent charm, Waters cast Massey in Multiple Maniacs (1970) as Jesus’s mother. 5’3″ died in 1984 of cancer. She was a former chorus girls and tap dancer. I couldn’t stand Divine’s egg obsessed mother. She spends the entire film in a play pin eating eggs in her bra and panties. I couldn’t get passed those teeth and annoying voice screaming over and over about eggs. Someone shut that woman up. Stuff all of those eggs down her throat for God’s sake. Some say this film was robbed by the Oscars. Are you nuts? I mean, come on guys! If they deserve any awards it certainly isn’t for the acting. If there’s anything good about this film it’s the soundtrack. I’m a fool for Doo-Wop music.
Elizabeth Coffey, the chick with a dick, was a pre-op male-to-female transexual who had already undergone hormone therapy to develop breasts and female features at the time of filming. She had surgery to remove her penis a week to the day her scene was filmed, and appears as a completely female character in Waters’ next film, Female Trouble.
He actually has a nice pair of tits. So which one of these disturbing scenes is the most vile and disgusting part of the film? It’s hard to pick just one. Between the threesome with the chicken, incest, singing butt hole, and eating authentic dog shit…. it’s hard to decide. You be the judge of that. I’m quite disgusted by everything I saw. It could be because I am pregnant and have a weak stomach at the moment.
Interesting facts thanks to IMDB:
In some theatres, patrons were given a “Pink Phlegm-ingo Barf Bag.” At his request, the Singing Asshole is not credited, and John Waters maintains that he “certainly will remain nameless. It’s his choice.” This individual does, however, apparently still disclose his involvement in the film to friends. Divine and the party guests are actually inhaling amyl nitrate during the party scene. At the time of filming, it was still legal to buy such “poppers” at the drug store. If you watch Divine’s face during the scene, she suddenly starts laughing uproariously. John Waters says that’s where “it kicked in”. John Waters has stated that the only scene in the film he regrets is the ‘fellatio’ scene, which was awkward to film because the two cast members were friends. He also feels it is the most ‘dated’ part of the film; Deep Throat had just been released and this scene was Waters’ critique on the rise of ‘porno chic.’ In one of the scenes of Divine sashaying through Baltimore, she walks past graffiti that says “Free Tex Watson”. There is also a framed picture of Susan Atkins in Connie and Raymond’s apartment.