18.6.12

Looking For Meanings in Pink Flamingo


John Waters is an ingenious and equally disgusting man. He was using grotesque ideas to laugh at society long before Jackass or its British equivalent 'Dirty Sanchez' took over the gagging hearts of an MTV generation. Through midnight releases, university screenings and devout sickofants 'Pink Flamingos' has, thirty years later, made it down to my desensitised mind – and it still made me sick.

Long before Johnny Knoxville was eating dogshit for the self humiliation and entertainment of his vomiting friends and viewers; Divine was doing it first, just to be grotesque. While doing things for the 'lulz' is a popular past-time now, thirty years ago it was not, and while our more recent 'yolo-ism' sweeping my generation can be credited to a disenchanted youth and postmodernist ideas (i.e. philosophical bullshit), this didnt apply in the 70s. So here is any logic and reason I can possibly milk out the most grotesque film ever made.


The Sexual Revolution

Now while when this movie was being made and released, the western world was at the height of its sexual revolution, and though this movie was poignant and a somewhat political statement at the time, does that still apply now? In my opinion, not until a man can dress as a woman in film without it being gimmicky can this film lose its importance. This sexual equality and stigma around homosexual ideas is just as prominent today, with American politicians openly for or against same-sex marriage, as it was in the 70s when this was made. Pink Flamingos takes it to the extremes, including wild fetishes involving the death of a chicken and incest and of course its infamous sphincter waltz scene, and you cant help but accept some of the less grotesque sexual ideas in life afterwords. So even today, it's still a relevant aspect of Pink Flamingos.


Abortion/Adoption/Rape

While sex is exploited and laughed at in Pink Flamingos, even some of the possibly negative effects of an openly sexual society, like a presumptuous growth in some of societies negative psychosexual developments, like rape and sex slaves are tackled here too. The Marbles (seen above), two foot fetishists, run a black market baby ring, with sex slaves in the basement pumping out children for lesbian couples. While the slaves and their conditions are over dramatic and portrayed with a grain of salt you still feel some sort of sympathy for them and revel when they get their revenge in the end. Similarly abortion is casually shown as something to undo rape situations, which was one of the main points when people were trying to have it legalised.


Egg Addicted Mammy
Obese older lady, lives in a cot, obsessed with eggs and the egg man who delivers the eggs. Maybe, there is a womanly urge to bare children in here. I feel that it is a classic ideology thrown into the chaotic filth fest that is Pink Flamingos: a woman dependent on a man to provide happiness, whether that be in the form of eggs, scrambled or otherwise, or her own fertilised eggs. This social dependance is completely mocked by making the woman completely unable to fend for herself or even walk by the looks of it.


Divine

"The filthiest person alive" - and proud. Our protagonist, Divine, aka "Babs Johnson", when not sucking her sons dick and eating poop seems to be the embodiment of the ultimate fear of an extremely sensual person. Mockingly giving the finger to conformists and conservatives alike.


The Sphincter Waltz

Erm, I got nothing.


To finish, here is one of the worst scenes in the film, I dont think it was even in the script.
Enjoy