Independent producer and author John Pierson (Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes) defines the 1970s American indie scene as "the three Johns: John Cassavetes, John Sayles, and John Waters." John Waters, Baltimore's king of ... more » sleaze, in such classy company? According to Pierson in this 1998 documentary, Waters had an even more profound impact on American cinema. Director Steve Yeager, a Waters intimate for decades (he plays a bit part in Pink Flamingos), gathers the surviving members of his stock company for a portrait of the director, from backyard puppet show impresario to the transgressive underground and exploitation director who grossed out America in the 1970s. A generous array of film clips is enriched with archival interviews with Divine, David Lochary, and Edith Massey, and a chorus of film critics and underground and independent directors. Fully half of the film chronicles the making of Pink Flamingos, with actual behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot (including the most priceless direction ever captured on film: "David, act some more"). A plentiful portion pays tribute to Divine ("the Godzilla of drag queens"), whom Waters calls "my Elizabeth Taylor." The only real disappointment in this rich and highly entertaining documentary is that it ends with Flamingos, as if his entire career since is a mere coda to this cultural touchstone. But this portrait is so rich and detailed that it's a forgivable directorial choice. --Sean Axmaker« less
Actors:Mary Avara, Steve Buscemi, Divine, Hal Hartley, Ken Jacobs Genres:Documentary Sub-Genres:Biography Studio:Fox Lorber Format:DVD - Black and White,Color DVD Release Date: 07/05/2000 Original Release Date: 01/01/1998 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1998 Release Year: 2000 Run Time: 1hr 37min Screens: Black and White,Color Number of Discs: 1 SwapaDVD Credits: 1 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 3 MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English See Also:
"...I can't believe this archive even exists, and has been in hiding all these years! It was surreal seeing Edith Massey, David Lochary and Divine (in drag during filming Pink Flammingos) being interviewed out of character. We even get a glimpse of Divine "rehearsing" for the infamous doggy scene.Some of this footage has been seen in the Divine profile on E! True Hollywood Story. But it was interesting to also see a creepy, young, long-haired John Waters being interviewed (at 25 yrs old). Recent interviews with Mink Stole and John Waters' parents also add to the fun, not to mention the former Maryland Censor Board President's recollection of the infamous "rosary" scene in Multiple Maniacs.I couldn't wait for this thing to get released on July 5, 2000..and promptly ordered it. I wasn't disappointed. Now I'm waiting for Mr. Waters' earlier films to start showing up on DVD!FYI: Not much in the way of DVD extras here."
Recommended to anyone even remotely interested in Waters
caseyscott | 06/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you haven't seen this yet, you don't know everything about John Waters and his films! Utilizing recent interviews with his surviving cast members (that alone should make you want to see this!); interviews circa 1972 with some of the same people and the dear departed David Lochary, Divine, and Edith Massey; behind-the-scenes footage from the set of "Pink Flamingos"; and scenes from such diverse influences as "Deep Throat" and "Sins of the Fleshapoids", "Divine Trash" is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen! I guess I'm a bit biased since I am a huge Waters fan, but this should also convert any budding Waters fan wondering what is so special about his films! Waters' influences (such as the Kochar brothers, H.G. Lewis, and Paul Morrissey) are also interviewed, along with modern-day filmmakers influenced by Waters! Some of the best quotes are from Waters being interviewed himself and his bewildered parents, who seem to wonder how they could have raised such a weirdo! I am so very happy that director Steve Yeager finally got the video/DVD rights cleared up, so when this film is finally released, it will reach a wider audience. A must-see for any film fan!"
A Cause for Waters' Fans to Celebrate!
A. R. Karpe | New York, NY | 01/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These days "sick and twisted" animation festivals are very popular around the country, especially in college towns. There's something subversive and anti-establishment about them. Well, John Waters was turning out sick and twisted entertainment years before it was fashionable, and he used live actors, not animated characters, to play out his acid-trip stories in his belovedly filthy Baltimore. "Divine Trash" is an extremely interesting and well made documentary following Waters, his cast and crew during the filming of the infamous "Pink Flamingos," the film in which Divine ingests dog excrement to prove she is "the filthiest person alive." It's fascinating to see Waters interviewed today, as a more grounded middle aged man, as well as then, as an obviously chemically altered young director without a care in the world other than getting his vision on film. Actors Mink Stole, David Lochary, Edith Massey and the late, great Divine (on set and in drag during "Pink Flamingos") are interviewed as are various crew members, friends, and even foes, most notably a board member responsible for viewing Waters' work before assigning it a motion picture rating. Many might dismiss Waters' films as talentless trash, but I stand in awe of a writer/director who can plumb the depths of bad taste and create hilarious dialogue for actors who are not quite actors playing characters we've never seen before and are surely never to see again. It's also interesting to see the grass roots beginnings of a film maker who would eventually go on to make more mainstream comedies like "Polyester," "Hairspray" and "Serial Mom." Waters may not be your cup of tea, but "Divine Trash" is fascinating for documentary fans."
A Divine Homage to the Prince of Puke ! ! !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 11/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a long time John Waters FANATIC, I found myself glued to this DVD straight through... Although the documentary seems to be nothing more than a film adaptation of Water's two PHENOMENAL books of biographical essays CRACKPOT and SHOCK VALUE (literally, the pages come to life, and many of the quotes and anecdotes) - - the footage is worth it. The documentary is intriguing and informative and has plenty of Pink Flamingos era behind the scenes rare footage. - - You even get to meet his parents. - - While the DVD is visually intriguing, the books are hillarious, making both the books and the DVD well worth getting together. - - For example, in his book Waters tells the story of how the dog that laid the golden egg (so to speak) was a bit poo shy... The documentary, in turn, catches the set up behind the scenes... In fact, it is fascinating not only to watch interviews with a young John Waters, but also to see his directing style in action - - (DVD extras won't blow you away, but still... you'll probably end up watching this film over so many times, it'll be worth getting a DVD, before the tape eventually rips and goes to shreds !) - - Incidentally, there has been a lot of criticism how the DVD focuses disporportionately on Pink Flamingos, however, considering that this was the film that broke him into the public eye and seemed to epitomize his style, I think it is very appropriate, and gives the film a focused point of reference to tell his story from."
The Pink Flamingos companion
A. R. Karpe | 07/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This ambitious documentary concentrates on the legendary bad taste classic Pink Flamingos. Here are interviewed all the cast & crew including the deceased David Locharty and of course the heavy-weight drag queen Divine. The best of this documentary are the film clips that show the making of the cult classic for the first time ever. The "making of" clips are even in a better quality than the Pink Flamingos film itself! Unfortunately, the filtihiest parts of the film can't be shown here, but it is hilarious to see and hear how they were filmed. If you are a fan of John Waters and especially his most notorious film, this documentary is a must. Maby too culturish for some of his fans with all the film critics and historians in it, though."