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Pink Flamingos

Billed as "the most disgusting picture of all time," this absolutely uninhibited exercise in scatology and low camp was the breakthrough film for Baltimore-based independent filmmaker John Waters, who later entered the commercial mainstream with such films as HAIRSPRAY and SERIAL MOM. The improbable star of this ultra-low budget cinematic gross-out is 300-pound transvestite Divine, whose willingness to do virtually anything in front of the camera, along with an undeniable screen presence, made PINK FLAMINGOS a favorite on the campus and midnight-movie circuits. Gleefully grotesque Babs Johnson (Divine) lives in a trailer park with her simpleminded son, Crackers (Danny Mills), and revolting Mama Edie (Edith Massey), who is obsessed with eggs. Everyone agrees that Babs is the "filthiest person in the world"; her status draws the envy of black-market baby farmers Raymond and Connie Marble (David Lochary and Mink Stole), who vow to "out-filthy" their rival. The resulting competition encompasses acts of arson, bestiality, cannibalism, castration and coprophagy. Waters's early films sought to explode the conventions of bourgeois taste, which he saw as fraudulent and oppressive; ironically, bourgeois taste now cheerfully embraces the sensibility (if not, perhaps, the explicit grossness) of PINK FLAMINGOS. To commemorate the film's 25th-anniversary, Waters has prepared a special edition of his trash epic, which includes an addendum of never-before-seen footage and a commentary from the director himself.