Tuesday, January 1, 2008
How Much is that Flamingo in the Window?
That I have seen only three John Waters films is quite a shock to me, considering I feel so attached to him. Perhaps it's his ubiquity in mainstream pop culture (he's been on The Simpsons, folks!) and through the music career of drag queen muse Divine that I feel like a giant fan.
Just the other night I sat down and watched Waters' "mainstream" debut (as mainsteam as you could get with a movie like it) Pink Flamingos for the first time. It of shit eating/incest blowjobs/underground lesbian baby adoptions/vagina meat/egg infamy. How does one go about preparing oneself for the experience of Pink Flamingos? Well, unless you have access to a sticky-floored cinema full of pot-smoking university students (and copious amounts of marajuana for yourself) then you're never going to be able to recreate the "Midnight Movie" atmosphere that helped Flamingos win over record breaking audiences in the 1970s.
I imagine Pink Flamingos works much better in such a scenario, as watching it by yourself at home in 2007 is nowhere near as exhilerating and "stick-it-to-the-man" rebellious as it would have been to head on down to the pictureshow at Midnight to watch an obese grandmother sit in a cot begging for eggs.
As is though I still got some immense fun out of the whacked out shenanigans on display. There is no preparing for Pink Flamingos, you just have to sit down and hope for the best (no vomiting). And I tend to agree with Ja from My New Plaid Pants; there is no preparing yourself for the sight of an obese drag queen eating dog shit. There just isn't. I've surely seen sicker things in my time (both real and movie-fake) but... well... yeah. What more is there to say, really? Divine eats dog shit and that's that.
I didn't find the rest of the film nearly as revolting as that particular film ending coda, which you can chalk up to growing up in this current day and age. In fact, apart from the dog escapade, the moment that shocked me the most was a scene involving masturbation, a syringe and an unconscious woman. That even John Waters himself has said this scene sickens him doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Yet I sat there throughout the blowjobs, through the egg tantrums, through that whole licking sequence and so on and just had to go "Oh, John!"