Last night I saw a movie that revolted me so much I could not watch anymore: Pink Flamingos (1972). I can not remember when a movie had last pulled such utter revolt from me. It was to the point I was almost throwing up. Fantastic!
However, it has in a way inspired the Urban Uncle project and given it a style, ‘Trash’, which brings its own freedoms to create. All are encouraged to go out and film their own trashy dreams and ideas. This is what I believe the Punk or New Wave movement was about the “Just do it” attitude. But I digress…
Pink Flamingos, set in Baltimore, is about Divine, an over weight diva from outer space who lives in a trailer with her retarded mother and two children. Divine is someone with whom you do not want to fuck, apart from obvious reasons but, mainly because she claims to be the ‘Filthiest Person Alive’. The plot surfaces when this claim to filth is disputed by an evil (relatively) straight couple and thus begins the ‘War of Filth’. The square challengers to the thrown of gross lose (of course) as they are obviously out classed from the beginning and the climax is nothing short of… disgusting.
Everything you have ever considered a bit wrong in our society is brazenly brandished in this roller coaster trip though fetish hell. At times this almost boarders on porn, and if your a bit partial to chickens (and I don’t mean to eat) then you will enjoy this.
Worth mentioning for Beasty Boy fans is the ‘Egg Man’ character who brings “all kinds of eggs” for Divines mother, who is also grossly over weight, mental retarded and lives in a play pen dresses as a baby. She thinks and talks of nothing but eating eggs. The dialog between the Egg Man and Divines mother are some of the creepiest in the whole move and will put you right off eggs. But this is just the tip of the filth-berg.
Near the climax to this movie I was hiding under the covers moaning and suppressing bursts of vomit, and I have to respect a director who can pull that kind of reaction from an audience. The only criticism I have was that some shots he dragged out, like the burning down of the trailer home, as they were obviously the most expensive scenes to shoot. He also seems to have a weakness for very long monologues and you wonder how the “actors” managed to get though them, particularly Divines mother. These dialogs range from what is obviously sexual role playing to hateful attacks on everything straight and normal in western society. Some brilliantly funny lines are also buried in these long rants and make it worth sticking-it-out for (if you can).
It seems as if Waters is speaking through Divine and her friends, having been rejected by ‘normal’ society, they embraced the disgust of their rejection and make it an identity that they are proud of. When this identity is challenged by a heterosexual couple for this crown of filth, they have forged for themselves, their last bastion of pride, they go homicidal.
Overall this is a work of art that is as brilliant as it is perversely revolting.