- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Barnes & Noble -Both hysterically funny and colorfully bleak, Desperate Living 1977 is a fable that effectively marks the last gasp of Waters's early, "punk" period. Something like his Wizard of Oz, Living kick-starts when neurotic housewife Peggy Gravel Mink Stole and her maid, Grizelda a gargantuan Jean Hill, snuff Peggy's husband. They hit the road, only to wind up in a freaks-'n'-fugitives kingdom presided over by heartless Queen Carlotta Edith Massey. Peggy and Grizelda find refuge with an unsteady lesbian couple stripper Liz Renay and Susan Lowe and begin to mirror their impulsive styles. Stole is particularly sharp here "Don't tell me I don't know what Vietnam is like!" and moves into Snow White wicked queen turf effortlessly. Anything goes here, from eating roaches to cannibalism to gunpoint sex-change operations. Waters hits on even more bizarre transgressions than he did in Pink Flamingos, and the low-rent anti-fairy tale setting -- a "town without pity" called Mortville -- is possibly the scariest place he's conjured. On the director commentary, Waters expounds on Desperate Living's odd place in his filmography. It was, after all, his first movie without Divine, produced after the death of one of his ensemble performers David Lochary and his first near-mainstream effort, Polyester.
Polyester 1980 is a truly insane, go-for-broke melodrama. Divine pulls out all the stops as Francine Fishpaw, a suburban housewife saddled with a knocked-up daughter, a glue-sniffing son with a foot fetish, and a cheating husband who runs the local porno movie house. Things actually get worse and more hilarious as Waters works in as many utterly weird movie-of-the-week twists that he can. Will Francine's love affair with Todd Tomorrow Tab Hunter save her? Will Francine's best friend, Cuddles sexagenarian Massey, in her swan song, be a success at her debutante party? The DVD set even includes an "Odorama" scratch-'n'-sniff card to be used whenever a number flashes at the bottom of a viewer's screen. But beware, for as the scientist who introduces the movie admonishes, "Some things in life just plain stink!" Plus -- as if a film with a love theme sung by Bill Murray needed any more extras -- Waters's ever-catchy audio commentary is as much a hoot as the movie, proving him a worthy heir to William Castle.