JOHN WATERS: THE POPE OF TRASH

JOHN WATERS: THE POPE OF TRASH

Valuable life lessons from his films

by Ellie Howard

The icon of everything demented and delinquent, John Waters is the pope of trash. There are simply no nice words to describe him. His cult films “Cry Baby”, “Female Trouble” and the filthiest film alive: “Pink Flamingoes”, are the vomit-inducing kind, banned by every crucifix-welding mother across the US. Famous for his perverse looking pencil moustache and crooked smirk, the man has educated all of us in the benefits of bad taste.

If you haven’t watched any of his films, I suggest you start. In the words of John Waters “Get more out of life, see a fucked up movie”:

CRY-BABY, 1990

Lesson #1: BAD GIRLS HAVE MORE FUN

It’s a hard life for Allison Vernon-Williams; a pretty little square who ends up falling for Wade Walker, a tough guy who is the leader of antisocial gang the “Drapes”. The most memorable moment of the film is when Alison, pouting her red lips “I’m so tired of being good”, realizes bad girls have more fun.

PINK FLAMINGOS, 1972

Lesson #2: DON’T TAKE SHIT…ONLY IF YOU’RE DIVINE, THEN YOU EAT IT.

The most depraved and grotesque of Water’s films, “Pink Flamingos” is a transgressive dark comedy focusing on the life of a vulgar, and voluptuous drag queen, who is intent on having the title of the “filthiest person alive”. One of the many value lessons Divine bestows upon us is to lead life authentically and if anyone has a problem with it, cover them in tar and have them brutally murdered for “assholism”

FEMALE TROUBLE, 1974

Lesson 3#: ITS FABULOUS TO BE HIDEOUS!

Dawn Davenport has run into a spot of “Female Trouble” having squashed her mother with a Christmas tree, after her parents refused to give her “Cha Cha Heels”. Running away from home and getting knocked-up, she becomes a celebrity hungry, burger flippin’ stripper. After a brutal acid attack, Dawn’s face is savaged, but her facial disfigurement gets her noticed as a leading model. With some serious sass, Dawn debunks modern myths of beauty.

HAIRSPRAY, 1988

Lesson 4#: A BIG BOUFFANT MEANS BUSINESS

This film taught us the ‘Hair Do’s and Hair don’ts” of life, and that big bouffants mean business. Overcoming cultural prejudice and promoting racial integration in the 60’s, ‘Hairspray’ was the all-singing, all-dancing ode to the underdog victory. No matter how hard life gets, there is nothing a little L’Oreal Elnett won’t fix.

POLYESTER, 1981

Lesson #5: LOVE STINKS 

Francine Fishpaw is the overweight housewife, recently separated from the pornographic ‘theatre’ owner Elmer. Mother to a tragic pair: pregnant Lu-Lu who has a one-way ticket to disaster and glue-sniffing Dexter has a fetish for foot stomping, Francine suffers terrible heartbreak at the hands of her family. To make matters worse, she meets Todd Tomorrow – the con artist who is secretly having an affair with her mother and embezzling her for her divorce settlement. Of course being a Waters film everyone ends up dead, and Francine is free to live a life of utter fabulousness, but remember…love isn’t anything like in the movies. 

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