Mary Vivian Pearce

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Pink Flamingos Review

Back in 1972, the world had no idea what it was in for. John Waters' Pink Flamingos is a film that defies description, even by today's lowly standards. Sure, a chicken gets killed as part of a sex scene, but that's not even the tip of the iceberg. There's a kidnapping plot wherein the victims are forced into pregnancy, their babies sold and the mothers disposed of. There's a flasher who ties sausage to his willy. There's a kangaroo court and a dual execution. And of course, there's Divine eating a pile of dog shit -- for real.

What kind of plot could hold all this nastiness together? Well, naturally it's a story about a rivalry between Divine (played, strangely enough, by Divine) and Mink Stole's fellow degenerate as they spar over bragging rights for Filthiest Person Alive. This results in arsons and murders a-plenty, and you can rest assured that Stole's got nothing on Divine, particularly in the gastronomic department.

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Female Trouble Review

John Waters' most bizarre work is also his worst, a nonsensical palette of disgusting characters, bad acting, a baffling plot, and just plain bad taste.

Not that anyone has ever accused Waters of having taste... Female Trouble features little more than a bunch of scenes of Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, and other Waters regulars screaming at one another at the top of their lungs (when they aren't busy maiming one another). The "plot" is a throwaway, featuring Divine as a high-schooler who leaves home when she doesn't get the "cha-cha heels" she wanted for Christmas -- only to turn to a life of crime with the illegitimate daughter (Stole) she squeezes out on a couch. And there's a bit about the fascist "Lipstick Beauty Salon" which seeks to document their crimes.

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Desperate Living Review

Now this is sick. Originally rated X (and now officially "not rated"), John Waters' Desperate Living is an exercise in the truly disgusting and not a lot more than that.

After its elegant opening credits -- in which a real rat is served cooked on fine china and picked-at by an unseen diner while the actors' names are displayed -- the movie degenerates (yes, even further!) into the gross-out nether reaches of cinema. We are introduced to the insane, rich housewife Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole), who, with the aid of her enormous maid Grizelda (Jean Hill), kills Peggy's hapless husband. The two go on the run, ending up in a bizarre "town" called Mortville, ruled over by a fat "queen" named Carlotta (Waters regular Edith Massey) and populated with the largely naked, mostly lesbian women and men dressed in leather pants.

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Mary Vivian Pearce

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Mark Lanegan - Somebody's Knocking Album Review

Mark Lanegan - Somebody's Knocking Album Review

After nearly thirty years since his first solo record Mark Lanegan has just released one of his very best and there's not many artists who can claim...

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