Plot: Divine is proud of her title of the filthiest person alive, but thanks to some recent activities, she has had to go on the run and keep a low profile. She now lives in a small trailer in an isolated, rural locale with her mother Edie (Edith Massey), her son Crackers, and her traveling companion, Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce). Of course, she still lives the filthiest lifestyle possible, but as she is in hiding, she gets little press. Meanwhile, her absence has inspired Connie (Mink Stole) and her husband Raymond (David Lochary) to make a push and seize the title of filthiest people alive, but first, they need to find Divine and take her down. The disgusting couple has hired a woman to seduce Crackers and have him lead her to right to Divine, then she can report back, so Connie and Raymond can begin their nefarious plan. But can even vile souls like these two manage to dethrone Divine as the filthiest person alive?
Entertainment Value: Pink Flamingos is a movie of course, but it is more one that don’t just watch, but experience. A wild, off the rails ride inside the lives of some of the most unusual, colorful characters ever, the movie follows a thin narrative, but is driven by those characters more than plot. Divine and her menagerie against the Marbles is the core of the narrative, a starting line that allows for one oddball set piece after another, some that you have to see to believe. This one is likely to offend some, especially since it involves a real instance of animal abuse (and countless instances of human abuse), but the movie takes such lavish delight in the shock value, it never feels mean spirited or overly cruel. The humor is outlandish and over the top, pushing buttons left and right, but it is also quite hilarious throughout. The cast makes these deranged people come to life in vivid, authentic fashion, with Divine at the center in a powerful, commanding lead performance. Divine is nothing short of iconic in Pink Flamingos, always on point and always a blast to watch. The movie is also populated with a never ending parade of odd, interesting, and off the wall characters, so the supporting cast is just as colorful and unhinged as you’d expect. Pink Flamingos is a masterpiece of shock cinema, driven by a tour de force performance from Divine and outrageous writing/direction from trash cinema legend John Waters.
This movie has a good amount of nakedness, including an unsimulated blowjob that rockets the score to max. This one also has several topless scenes, fully nude folks, and vivid, sometimes close up shots of full frontal exposure. One sex scene involves the use of a live chicken, while another scenes features a fully naked man dilating his asshole as part of a unique dance performance. None of this nudity is presented as erotic, in fact for most audiences, the opposite will be true. But there’s a consistent presence of naked flesh and actual oral sex, so the score reflects that. A little blood, but it is stylized and so cheap it never seems realistic. The violence here is played for humor, such as the over the top cannibalism in one scene. But the movie does include one scene of real animal abuse, as a chicken is killed during a deviant sex scene. A little blood here and there, but not much and never graphic in nature. As for dialogue, the movie is wall to wall memorable lines performed in grand, over the top style. Divine’s rants alone would almost max out the score, but just about everyone here has some dysfunctional, awkward, or just hilarious comments to share. If you like wild, offbeat, and deranged dialogue, this movie has it in spades. On the craziness scale, this one earns the full boat and never tries for even a single moment to seem normal or sane. A mega dose of dysfunction, trash, shock, and general outsider cinema. This one have might have earned some pop culture cred over the years, but that doesn’t soften the madness.
Overall Insanity: 10/10