Thursday, November 13, 2014

556. Pink Flamingos (1972)

Running Time: 93 minutes
Directed By: John Waters
Written By: John Waters
Main Cast: Divine, David Lochary, Mink Stole, Mary Vivian Pearce, Danny Mills
Click here to view the trailer


A definite sigh as I sit down to write this one, wondering what I'll say, collecting my best insults and ready to give John Waters a proper thrashing for this piece of trash that THE BOOK has forced upon me. "Trash" - yeah, I guess that's what Waters was aiming for, but not what I wanted.

Surprisingly, if you strip away all the shock stuff and appalling garbage, there actually is a somewhat decent plot on display here. Divine stars as basically herself/himself (I'll play along and just call him a her) a.ka. Babs Johnson, living in a rundown, pink mobile home on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. She resides with her simple minded, egg obsessed mother Edie, her son Crackers (Mills) (who lives out back in the shed) and her BFF Cotton (Pearce). Divine prides herself on being given the moniker of "filthiest person alive", a title that the Marbles couple take exception to. That would be Raymond (Lochary) and Connie Marbles (Stole), a couple who make their living picking up female hitchhiker's, drugging them, tying them up in the basement, having their butler impregnate them and then selling the babies to lesbian couples. Oh and lest I forget Raymond's pastime of exposing himself to women, just for kicks. Anyway, the Marbles' finally track down Divine to the mobile home in the backwoods of Maryland and a feud is born between the two clans. First, the Marbles' crash Divine's birthday party, calling the cops who show up only to be attacked by Divine and company, who go all cannibal on them. Realizing that it must have been the Marbles' who've called the fuzz, Divine and Crackers break into their home and proceed to lick everything in sight, before going at each other in an unsimulated, oral sex scene. By now, I was fed up and just hanging on for the rest of the ride.

Where do I begin, where do I begin, where do I begin....

I was ashamed to have had to watch this and my little rule about giving every movie two chances finally meets it's exception as I'll be sure to have my head examined if I ever find myself slipping this one into my DVD player again. I've been told time and time again, by various people that THE BOOK isn't the 1001 BEST movies, but the 1001 most IMPORTANT ones. Well, fine...but why this piece of absolute garbage is considered in either a best or an important category is beyond me. It seems that the ones who enjoy it like to make up some sort of excuse, citing that it's about Waters' pushing of the envelope, an exercise in anarchy and basically seeing what he could get away with. I find absolutely nothing talented about filming a drag queen eating dog shit or watching a man butthole-lip sync his way through the happy birthday song. I'm sorry, but there's no art on display here, only absolute garbage. And I realize that every time I call it "garbage" or "trash", I'm simply hitting the nail right on the head, as that's basically what the film is - an example of the trash genre, but I'm not saying "garbage" and "trash" in the nice, genre specific way, I'm calling it flat out, needs to be taken to the curb on pickup day, vile, disgusting, art-less TRIPE!

Now then, with all that being said, I will say that it didn't drag a bit and if I was forced to pick two positive things about the whole movie, I'd point out the kick ass soundtrack which features tons of happening 50s tunes, that, at times, make your forget that you're in the middle of the sickest movie you're probably ever going to see. I'll also go so far as to say that David Lochary and Mink Stole were actually pretty memorable villains, their blue and red hair respectively a somewhat perverse tribute to the American flag, their toe sucking sex scene both grotesque yet hilarious. Seriously, I can handle a bout of toe sucking and compared to the rest of the film, it's downright tame. Kudos to them for keeping it mostly clean, despite a bit of full frontal from Lochary, which again, in a film filled with dog poo dining and drag queen blowjobs, is also quite tame.

I was watching this movie in mine and my wife's bedroom while she watched Survivor. As soon as I heard her coming to the room, I made sure to hit the STOP button and while I planned to finish it in the bedroom while she slept, I was honestly ashamed at what I was watching and opted to retire to my television watching room, so as not to let her awake to see God knows what onscreen. Sure, I woke this morning and told her all about on the way to work, but still...couldn't chance being caught in the act. I felt scummy for even watching this and while it did move along at a brisk pace, with a decent core plot and certain memorable characters, it's the easiest '1' rating I've ever had to give out. Seriously folks, there's simply no talent on display here in the movie making process (with the exception of Lochary & Stole and maybe even Divine to a certain extent). The whole thing feels like a home movie, where Waters went out, rented a camera and decided to be a pervert for a few weekends and then as a good, decided to release it to the public. And God knows, there's always a group out there who can find art in anything. Hell, Andy Warhol painted up soup cans and they hung the damn things in a museum.

RATING: 1/10  I said my peace. If you like it, I don't judge and good on you for finding something here. But in good conscience I can't give it anything more than the lowest rating possible. If there is a hell and one day we're all damned there, this has got to be one of the reasons why.


November 13, 2014  6:04pm


  1. Long Pause.

    Andrew, please say you were expecting little less than total agreement with you on this one?

    I know I have defended 'weird',in my replies .. and I am always wary of saying yuck to other people taste, even if I don't like it myself.. but.. Oh come on.. what the hell????

    OK, lets start with about the only thing we may argue about.. i sort of defend this one place in the book. It's got a stronger case for being here than many other films. heck, i'd go as far as saying I'd see 'Barefoot Contessa' dropped before this (and you know I'm quite a Bogart fan).. but .. There are people out there who like this?

    I loved the comment where you say how you felt guilty watching this.. and when your wife came in you felt the need to stop it instantly...

    "Hello Honey, I'm home..What are you watching Andrew?"
    ".. err.. ummm.. just some hard core gay porn darling"
    "Oh that's Ok, because for a horrible moment I thought it was 'Pink Flamingos"
    Yes.. I too felt - what was the words you used? - Scummy? for watching it. Heck, I even feel I need a shower after reading the review.

    Look, words like disgusting and offensive are easy to through around when you see something that is.. not to ones own taste - ..And i am very reluctant to use them. Have a quick look on IMDb. Wanna make a bet how many times 'disgusting' and 'offensive' are used in posts about any film that deals with any form of sex, belief or even slightly different alternative life styles. I'd bet good money there are several "ban this sick filth" rants about something like 'Brokeback mountain' out there, and I just don't want to be around the people who get that riled up.
    When you get to the stage where something is made for the sole purpose of being disgusting...
    OK, I've given this more attention than it deserves. Time for a wsh, time for you to disinfect you dvd player, and can we have something nicer to take the taste away please?

    1. You know, I actually thought several times when I was watching this, "What must Ray have been thinking". I actually even wondered, "What if Ray shows up with another Terminator like surprise and defends this movie!?" Luckily that was never going to happen and we're in total agreement here.

      And you say you need something nice? Well, you're getting it...too nice even!

  2. He he..Quite a compliment that you wonder what I'm going to come up with. And I guess it's good I can drop the occasional bombshell and defend something you thought I wouldn't.
    Something nice this way comes? Sounded good.. but it turns out to be '7 brides'???

    An aside.. Good to see Larry back again with some comments .. Amanda.. You are missed on here by me, and I'm sure by Andrew as well..

    1. Yes Amanda, where for art though? I guess I haven't had much of a presence on her blog either, which is a shame, as she always has great things to say.

    2. Hey guys, still reading! Haven't had much to add though. You guys are putting things too succinctly!:)

    3. Amanda! Glad to see you're still on the radar. Don't worry about your lack of comments, I clearly haven't been up to date on my comments to you either. Shame on me!!

  3. Hi there from me as well Amanda...
    Just so you know you are missed... when you feel the urge to come and tell us what a wonderful hunk those guys in 7 brides are, and any woman would be glad to be abducted by them into a life of domestic slavery.. you just pop in..
    (and we will contact the authorities to tell them you have been kidnapped and are being held against your will)


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