Entertainment Weekly - 04/18/1997
"...PINK FLAMINGOS still stands as the purest, most joyful jolt of outrage in movie history..." -- Rating: A
Baltimore director John Waters's outrageous 1971 debut PINK FLAMINGOS burst onto the filmmaking scene like the ample flesh of its drag-queen star through the seams of a lamé dress. Conceived as a way to garner attention for Waters's fledgling career, this paean to bad taste certainly did just that--so much so that decades later, the film still retains the power to shock with its gleeful demolition of every known human taboo.
Waters's attempt at making the most vile and offensive movie ever made is aptly mirrored in his characters' competition for the title of "Filthiest Person Alive." Overweight transvestite and Waters muse Divine (aka Glen Milstead) stars as the current record holder, Babs Johnson, who lives in a trailer park with her trashy friend Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce), incestuous son Crackers (Danny Mills), and mentally-stunted mother Edie (Edith Massey), who spends her time in a playpen and is obsessed with eggs. Vying for Babs's filthy title is evil middle-class couple Raymond (David Lochary) and Connie Marble (Mink Stole), who fund porno shops, sell heroin to grade-schoolers, and run a white-slave trade that involves kidnapping young women, imprisoning them in their dungeon-like basement, raping and impregnating them, and selling their babies to lesbian couples. In between, there's sex with chickens, whistling rectums, actual fellatio, and canine excrement--ensuring not only gross-out comedy par excellence, but a total assault on bourgeois respectability that rivals the comparatively mild critique of UN CHIEN ANDALOU or L'AGE D'OR. Disgusting, hilarious, and utterly fabulous, PINK FLAMINGOS is guerrilla filmmaking at its finest.
Description by Warner Home Video:
Filmmaker John Waters exploded into infamy with this darkly comic classic, in which cross-dresser Divine stars as Babs Johnson, a criminal in hiding from the FBI in a trailer outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Accompanying Babs are her mother (Edith Massey), a dim-witted woman who is obsessed with eggs; her son Crackers (Danny Mills); and Cotton (Mary Vivian Pierce), Babs' "travelling companion" and Crackers' co-conspiritor in unwholesome play.
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