Pink Flamingos (1972) from Tuna

Many reviewers think that Pink Flamingos (1972) is John Waters's best film. Maybe. Surely it must be his grossest, perhaps anybody's grossest.

In the ... um ... story, the female impersonator Divine defends her title as the dirtiest person in the world. The challengers are husband and wife contenders Mink Stole and David Lochary. The couple are worthy adversaries, whose main gig is kidnapping women on the highway, having their butler rape and impregnate them, then selling their babies to lesbian couples. The couple are also really into toe sucking, and run a thriving drug business in the local grammar school. In his spare time, David Lochary flashes women. He is surprised when transsexual Elizabeth Coffey flashes him back.


We see full frontal nudity from Mink Stole, Elizabeth Coffey and Cookie Mueller. Mary Vivian Pearce shows breasts in the outtakes.

There is also a scene in the outtakes of Divine giving her "son" head, which shows insertion.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic

  • full-length commentary

  • 7 DVD gift set contains 6 classic John Waters films plus a bonus DVD with extra features including interviews, deleted scenes and outakes.

The couple enlists the aide of a woman (Cookie Mueller) to seduce Divine's son and gain valuable intelligence. The sex between the son and Mueller involves chickens, both live and dead. Divine's mother, meanwhile, lives in a playpen wearing her permanent wardrobe of a girdle and bra, and is addicted to eggs and the egg man. If all of this doesn't sound gross enough to suit you, it features perhaps the most notorious ending of all time. Divine picks up a steaming poodle turd and eats it. No film trickery here, it actually happens.

Rotten Tomatoes reports that 75% of the reviews were positive. Roger Ebert was not impressed, however, and considers watching it an ordeal. I am with Ebert on this one.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Roger Ebert said that stars were not applicable in this case.

The People Vote ...

  • It only grossed about a million dollars or so, but it made Waters famous.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+. It is clearly the English Patient of gross-out humor, love it or hate it, hence receives a C+. Warning, this is a C+ because it is clearly the king of the gross-out comedies, and does not reflect my reaction to the film in any way.

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