The John Waters Thread

I have been a huge John Waters fan since I first saw Pink Flamingos 25 years ago. I’ve reveled in every sick joke, relished every perversion, and, when he started making bigger budget films, I’ve loved seeing stars like Sonny Bono, Sam Waterston, Kathleen Turner, and Johnny Depp have their way with Waters’ unique and jaded perspective. I’ve seen every film, and never been disappointed.Until recently. The purpose of this thread is two-fold. First, reminiscing–what are your favorite films, lines, performances, or just fond memories. Second, discussion. I’ll elaborate: Today, I watched “A Dirty Shame”. First of all, I wasn’t even aware that Waters had made a new film–I guess it went straight to DVD. Now, no one wants to enjoy a Waters film more than I do, but I thought it was subpar. I also felt this way about “Cecil B. Demented”. The topic for discussion is this: is it him or is it me? IMO, “A Dirty Shame” lacked the bite of his other films; it seemed to be just one inane sex gag after another, tied together by a premise used in every lame sitcom ever! I think the problem is that we just aren’t shocked by anything anymore. Shock was Waters’ secret weapon; I think that he’s just run out of ideas. This is not his fault; we’ve just become jaded. Things that he employed for shock value in the past are being done on TV now! Anyway, as I said, this is also a place for fond reminiscence. Here are some of my favorites; chime in with yours: [ul]
[li]3 Favorite films: Polyester, Cry-Baby, Desperate Living[/li][li]Best celebrity performances: Sonny Bono in “Hairspray”, Iggy Pop in “Cry-Baby”, Deborah Harry in “Hairspray”, Kathleen Turner in “Serial Mom”[/li][li]Best Comeback role: Tab Hunter in “Polyester” with honorable mention to Joey Heatherton and Joe Dalessandro in “Cry-Baby”[/li][li]Best Cameos: Patty Hearst (several films), David Nelson (“Ozzie and Harriet”) in “Cry-Baby”, along with the aforementioned Joey Heatherton and Joe Dalessandro.[/li][/ul] I’ll come back later with some favorite lines. Meanwhile, go for it!

“I wouldn’t suck your miserable little dick if I was suffocating and you had oxygen in your balls!

Favorites: Polyester, Desperate Living, Multiple Maniacs, Hairspray.

I agree with Cecil B. Demented being subpar – I liked it well enough, it was just missing… something. I dunno.

Favorite lines:

“You lazy bitch! I’m out working my tail off all day, and you’re in there fucking midgets!”

“Squeaky Fromme, where are you when we need you?”

“You’re just like all the rest of the common dykes in this town!”

“Don’t you know it’s bad luck to let retards in your home?”

My favorite: Female Trouble

[li]“Oh my God, someone has sent me a BOWEL MOVEMENT!!!”[/li][li]“I’m sorry, may I suggest Mr. Ray’s Wig World?”[/li][li]“His thee-ay-ter caters to sex offenders!”[/li][li]“I just want to perform acts with you, Mr. David!”[/li][li]“I…HATE…THE…SUPREME…COURT!!!”[/li][/ul]

From Hairspray …

Penny Pingleton, you know you are punished. From now on your wearing a giant P on your blouse EVERY DAY to school so that the whole world knows that Penny Pingleton is permanently, positively, punished.

Mine, too.

“The world of the heterosexual is a sick and boring one.”

“Acid does what Eterna-27 cannot!”

“I’m afraid a rat’s gonna jump out and bite mah new nah-lons!”

First movie I saw (also my first timedrunk) Lust in the Dust.
The only other movie I’ve seen so far is Pink Flamingos. Can’t think of a favorite line. I prefer books over movies and I loved his books.
Best appearance: He was on Letterman and had ought a real box of candy called dingleberries and offered Dave one. Dave declined.

I always considered him a hero as I felt “different” and he made different cool.

Eve, tell him we love him.

He also asked Dave if he wanted to touch his moustache. Dave respectfully declined that, too.

Crybaby was just recently released. It’s my favorite Waters movie.

Oh, I forgot I also saw Hairspray. Favorite line; “Lets get naked and smoke!”-Pia Zadora.

Recently watched Crybaby. Johnny Depp was so young! It was also his first role after ** 21 Jump Street** and the primary reason I started respecting him as an actor. Wasn’t that also Traci Lords first non-porn film? And everybody was recently creaming themselves over the Cohen Brother’s use of “old timey” music in Oh Brother Where Art Thou(2000). Holy heck - “He’s in the Jailhouse Now” is in Water’s film from 1990.

Not to mention Water’s appearance on the Simpsons. Freakin hilarious.

LITD isn’t a Waters movie.

IMHO Hairspray was Waters’ last really good movie. Of course he’s mellowed as he’s aged, some of that being deliberate on his part. He’s famously quoted as not wanting to be 80 years old and still making films about people eating their colostomy bags. Hairspray was his transitional film. It still had enough of his old style to put it up with his older films. That style was pretty much gone with Cry-Baby and he was imitating himself with Serial Mom. Pecker was awful and Cecil B. Demented is unwatchable. I haven’t seen A Dirty Shame but I don’t hear good things about it. I really wonder how much the death of Divine affected him creatively. Other than Female Trouble he’d never made a film without Divine before Cry-Baby (and FT was written with Divine in mind for the part of Mole).

I saw him lecture once in Texas, and he showed Pink Flamingos and his short The Diane Linkletter Story. A very nice man in person, and he kindly signed a number of things for me to give to friends. I had some Manson press clippings to send him (he collects them) and hoped as a result to end up on his legendary Christmas card list, but the clippings disappeared on me. His biography, Shock Value, and collection of essays, Crackpot, are both enormously entertaining.

Divine was in Female Trouble. Are you maybe thinking of Desperate Living?

And I agree – his works seems to have lost something without Divine. I tend to [perhaps unfairly] view John and Divine as a package deal, and John’s films just aren’t the same without him.

“Who wants to die for art?”

On seeing this thread, I thought you were referring to this John Waters. I should have known better.

I was indeed. I even looked up DL in a book as I was posting to double-check something and still put in the wrong title.

I am fortunate to have had my copy of “Shock Value” signed by Waters, Russ Meyer and Herschell Gordon Lewis. I didn’t get to meet Mr. Meyer (I FedExd the book to him back around 1990 or so), but Mr. Lewis & Mr. Waters signed personally. A cherished possession.


Heh, sounds like something I’d do. I didn’t know the part of Mole was written for Divine – cripes, now I’m lamenting at how much better it would have been with him in that role, and it’s one of my faves as it is!

Wow, 18 posts and no one has said,

Do my balls, Mama.

That one and:

“Kill everyone now! Condone first degree murder! Advocate cannibalism! Eat shit! Filth is my politics! Filth is my life!”