Justin Williams | Chamblee, GA United States | 06/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Waters is a very brilliant and odd film director. he brings camp, trash, filth, humor and morality to all of his movies, pushes peoples buttons, goes farther than most dare (and then some) isnt afraid of being censored and does what he does and to me thats brillance. true alot of people will think his work is tasteless stupid and gross but thats the whole point! lol! people who dont have a sense of humor or who are not open minded will not like his movies. these are not for right wing conservatives but they should see them (especially a Dirty shame) to broaden their minds a little more. my personal favorites are Pink Flamingos, A dirty Shame, Female Trouble, Polyester and Desperate Living. Serial mom is also a fav but not in this collection. He has come from underground trash to Queen of filth,trash and crudeness and for not being afraid of being bold, outlandish, outspoken and bizzar, I applaud you John Waters. Brillant."
America, The Beautiful?
Jeffrey Timko | 05/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""This is Odorama!" declares Dr. Quackenshaw (Rick Breitenfeld) sounding like Dr. Strangelove at the start of John Waters' hilarious film POLYESTER. Ignore this proclamation since it only applies to the retro gimmick Waters used to lure people to the film during its original theatrical run. Scratch-and-sniff cards with various scents identified with the numbers 1-10 were given out to members of the audience so that they could interact with the film. Now, unless you own one of those souvinir cards, the numbers that flash on the bottom right corner of the screen during the film won't do much for you, but POLYESTER is still another wildly original film from a man who embraces the white trash culture of America.There are few better openers than the one Waters created for POLYESTER. Following the prologue, which explains the magic of Odorama, the camera takes us on a tour of Francine Fishpaw (Divine)'s house accompanied by a hilarious theme song sung by Tab Hunter (written by Blondie's Chris Stein and Deborah Harry). Up the camera goes into Francine's room, showing her in her oversized undergarments as she trims her nostril hair, shaves her armpits, and puts on her dress. She goes on a scale which reads 310 lbs and she angrily kicks the scale away. Francine's husband Elmer (David Samson) owns a porn theatre and outside of the couple's house, picketers voice their disgust with a hilarious chant: "2,4,6,8, X-rated movies we all hate. 1,2,5,9, G-rated movies are mighty fine." Francine, a devout Christian, is humiliated. Elmer is ecstatic: "All that free publicity! I can't wait to see the 11 o'clock news!" Their children are a son named Dexter (Ken King) who has a strange fascination for feet and a scrapbook to prove it and a daughter named Lu-Lu (Mary Garlington) whose raging hormones cause her to announce: "I learned all about my cervix in sex education class yesterday!" Francine's mother makes her life even worse. When Francine is on the toilet, her mother walks in and says: "Can't you do that later. I don't have all day, you know. I'm missing valuable shopping time." Francine's only refuge from this living nightmare is her former cleaning lady Cuddles (Edith Massey) who's now rich thanks to an inheritance from another family she worked for. Cuddles pictures herself as the cream of the crop and loves to speak pig latin and French despite her speech impediment due to her missing front teeth.Thanks to her husband who cheats on her and rubs it in her face, her dysfunctional children, and her mother from hell, Francine's life plummets into alcoholism until she meets the man of her dreams - Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter). She first sees Todd standing in front of his white corvette, scratching his crotch as she looks out of the window of Cuddles' limousine. Later, Todd and Francine "meet cute" at the scene of a gory car accident. What follows is Waters' parodying the cheesy romantic montages of other films. The lovers' ride in the country and frolick amongst mother nature is set to a song by Deborah Harry and Michael Kamen sung by Bill Murray (seriously!) sounding hilariously similar to Tab Hunter: "One boy/One girl/Deeply and honestly/Our real life fantasy." Francine's children are now born again artists and she declares: "Oh, thank you God. Thank you for answering my prayers. We're a real family again. A normal American family." Soon, POLYESTER takes a huge twist that leads to a shocking conclusion that I wouldn't dare reveal.John Waters has become a living legend thanks to his entertaining and creative films that have dared to break the rules and sometimes crossed into the mainstream. From his "indepedent" films (PINK FLAMINGOS, DESPERATE LIVING, and POLYESTER) to his recent "Hollywood" films (SERIAL MOM, PECKER, and the upcoming CECIL B. DEMENTED), Waters has joyfully embraced and satirized white trash America and his beloved hometown of Baltimore. In POLYESTER, he dares to tackle the abortion issue as a protester asks: "Suppose Einstein's mother had an abortion?" and Waters provides this memorable exchange between a mother and her son:FRANCINE: I'm afraid your mom's an alcoholic.DEXTER: Oh, mom. You can stop. I got off the the angel dust.And Waters also pokes fun at his own vocation of choice with the following advertisement announced at a drive-in theatre in POLYESTER:"Visit our concession stand. We feature boluga caviar, suculent oysters, and champagne. Take a tempting taste treat and ponder the intellectual meaning of cinema." So "take a tempting taste treat" and enjoy POLYESTER, possible John Waters' greatest achievement."
Transitional Camp Fest
MortensOrchid | Cleveland, OH | 10/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Waters was indie before it was cool. He took a bunch of his friends, shot a movie on a shoestring budget, and made some hilarious classics. They are so bad they're good (hence the campiness), and inspire future generations of film makers, actors, and artists to in fact, be all that they can be in the relm of mediocrity. Ha ha ha ...
Polyester was the now famous turning point moment for John Waters and the rest of the original DreamLander cast and crew. It segwayed him and the rest into mainstream acceptance. Here we see the trials and tribulations of an everyday housewife, Francine Fishpaw, trying to keep her dysfunctional family together. Her husband is cheating while pulling in a successful living in the downtown pornographic theater. Her daughter, LuLu, is a wild child out of control who dances ludly for the boys at lunch period and cavorts with bad boy BoBo (Stiv Bators from The Dead Boys). Her son Dexter is a foot fetishist who criminally stomps on women's feet in between huffing their household cleaning products. It's all falling apart after her husband leaves, her son is arrested, and LuLu goes off to a home for unwed mothers. Further hilarity ensues when Francine meets Tod, a handsome ladies man, who seems to sweep her off her feet to take her away from all the troubles. He is actually plotting with her shrewish mother to overthrow Francine just when things are starting to look up for her. But Francine, ever the brave soul, triumphs in the end.
This was a hilarious story, all the characters of John Waters movies make appearances and preform at their best. There was even an added bonus of Smelly Vision, when Scratch N' Sniff stickers had suddenly burst onto the scene. There is a sadness about it now, not that anyone knew when it was made. Though John Waters would go on to make his most successful commercial venture to date, Hairspray, after this movie, this would end up being the first generation DreamLander ending. Edith Massey, the adorable Cuddles, would die shortly after due to complications from diabetes. Cookie Mueller, though she has only a brief appearance on the faux news as a stomper victim, died of AIDS. Stiv Bators, though far less known as an actor and more as a punk rock pioneer, died following a car accident in Paris, France. And Divine, the star of stars of all John Waters movies, would die of a massive heart attack in his sleep a few years later. This would mark their last hurrah. The movies following, while they have been just as many hits as they were misses, have a distinctly different flavor to them even though the original cast continues to make appearences in them. It was the end of an era, but what an era it was."
Camp Classic Smell-odrama!
Nelson Aspen | Los Angeles & NYC, USA | 02/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most popular John Waters films has all the camp, politically incorrect elements we've come to love...with the added incentive of the miraculous ODORAMA (card cleverly included).
You can fight the urge, but you'll still laugh out loud at so many outrageous moments in the life of tragi-comic Francine Fishpaw, and the additional commentary track by director Waters is a whole other comedy in itself. He is candid, bemused and reveals so many of his own personal and professional idiosyncracies that you'll definitely want to own this one for your DVD library.
Too bad Tab Hunter and Mink Stole couldn't have been enticed to add their commentary on another track. They're both delightful raconteurs and fun to watch, too!"
God, how I wish she had lived in Connecticut!
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 10/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Polyester was probably the first John waters film geared toward a mainstream audience. It worked! Although these days Polyester is something of a cult classic; the movie was originally shown in many cinemas. Mainstream America got its first close-up look at Divine playing Francine Fishpaw; Mink Stole playing Sandra Sullivan, Francine's husband's mistress; and they saw Tab Hunter once again in a role as Todd Tomorrow, a slick guy chasing after Francine.
The action starts from a clever, creative angle: We get a brief introduction by an actor who plays a scientist. He explains to us that we're about to watch a movie in "odorama;" and he shows moviegoers how to scratch and sniff the odorama card when the corresponding numbers light up in the corner of the screen. (Everyone who saw the movie in theaters got an odorama card.) Although this is completely unnecssary for the plot, it somehow makes for a powerful beginning and it encourages audience involvement with the film. THEN we get introduced to the Fishpaw household. Francine, a rather big sized woman (played by Divine) tries hard to keep her family together. That ain't easy: Francine's husband Elmer (David Samson) is fooling around with his secretary (Mink Stole); her pregnant and unwed teenage daughter is running around with junkies (look for Stiv Bators as Bo-Bo Belsinger); and her son loves women's feet so much that he routinely stomps on them and winds up in jail!
Of course, the pressure on Francine is only worsened by her obnoxious, cruel mother. Francine's only friend is her former, mildly mentally handicapped maid Cuddles (Edith Massey) who is suddenly rich now that she's inherited a huge sum of money from some people she used to work for. Francine's world crumbles almost all together when her husband Elmer finally leaves her; and that's when the action speeds up even more! Francine meets Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter), a handsome man who's clearly interested in her. Can this be the start of a new life for Francine?
Of course, the plot can go in many different directions from here. Francine eventually becomes alcoholic because of her pain--what will she do, if anything, to combat her drinking problem? How far can Cuddles actually go to help Francine when Francine's in trouble? Will Elmer really leave Francine for good? Will Francine's daughter go off with Bo-Bo? What about Francine's son--what happens when he's in jail? Will Todd turn out to be the right man after all for Francine? Watch the movie and find out!
The cinematography is good in the beginning when the camera is looking down from an aerial view of the Baltimore suburb where The Fishpaws live; and the choreography works well in crowd scenes like Cuddle's debutante party.
The DVD extra gives us a director's commentary; and yes, you DO get an odorama card with this DVD.
Polyester remains one of John Waters's better films. The snappy dialogue and the peppy plot full of campy scenes and zesty one liners kept my attention completely. There are many funny scenes in this movie--if you like movies that are slightly off the beaten path; this one's for you!