on July 26, 2000
...I can't believe this archive even exists, and has been in hiding all these years! It was surreal seeing Edith Massey, David Lochary and Divine (in drag during filming Pink Flammingos) being interviewed out of character. We even get a glimpse of Divine "rehearsing" for the infamous doggy scene.
Some of this footage has been seen in the Divine profile on E! True Hollywood Story. But it was interesting to also see a creepy, young, long-haired John Waters being interviewed (at 25 yrs old).
Recent interviews with Mink Stole and John Waters' parents also add to the fun, not to mention the former Maryland Censor Board President's recollection of the infamous "rosary" scene in Multiple Maniacs.
I couldn't wait for this thing to get released on July 5, 2000..and promptly ordered it. I wasn't disappointed. Now I'm waiting for Mr. Waters' earlier films to start showing up on DVD!
FYI: Not much in the way of DVD extras here.
on June 10, 2000
If you haven't seen this yet, you don't know everything about John Waters and his films! Utilizing recent interviews with his surviving cast members (that alone should make you want to see this!); interviews circa 1972 with some of the same people and the dear departed David Lochary, Divine, and Edith Massey; behind-the-scenes footage from the set of "Pink Flamingos"; and scenes from such diverse influences as "Deep Throat" and "Sins of the Fleshapoids", "Divine Trash" is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen! I guess I'm a bit biased since I am a huge Waters fan, but this should also convert any budding Waters fan wondering what is so special about his films! Waters' influences (such as the Kochar brothers, H.G. Lewis, and Paul Morrissey) are also interviewed, along with modern-day filmmakers influenced by Waters! Some of the best quotes are from Waters being interviewed himself and his bewildered parents, who seem to wonder how they could have raised such a weirdo! I am so very happy that director Steve Yeager finally got the video/DVD rights cleared up, so when this film is finally released, it will reach a wider audience. A must-see for any film fan!
As a long time John Waters FANATIC, I found myself glued to this DVD straight through... Although the documentary seems to be nothing more than a film adaptation of Water's two PHENOMENAL books of biographical essays CRACKPOT and SHOCK VALUE (literally, the pages come to life, and many of the quotes and anecdotes) - - the footage is worth it. The documentary is intriguing and informative and has plenty of Pink Flamingos era behind the scenes rare footage. - - You even get to meet his parents. - - While the DVD is visually intriguing, the books are hillarious, making both the books and the DVD well worth getting together. - - For example, in his book Waters tells the story of how the dog that laid the golden egg (so to speak) was a bit poo shy... The documentary, in turn, catches the set up behind the scenes... In fact, it is fascinating not only to watch interviews with a young John Waters, but also to see his directing style in action - - (DVD extras won't blow you away, but still... you'll probably end up watching this film over so many times, it'll be worth getting a DVD, before the tape eventually rips and goes to shreds !) - - Incidentally, there has been a lot of criticism how the DVD focuses disporportionately on Pink Flamingos, however, considering that this was the film that broke him into the public eye and seemed to epitomize his style, I think it is very appropriate, and gives the film a focused point of reference to tell his story from.
on January 26, 2001
These days "sick and twisted" animation festivals are very popular around the country, especially in college towns. There's something subversive and anti-establishment about them. Well, John Waters was turning out sick and twisted entertainment years before it was fashionable, and he used live actors, not animated characters, to play out his acid-trip stories in his belovedly filthy Baltimore. "Divine Trash" is an extremely interesting and well made documentary following Waters, his cast and crew during the filming of the infamous "Pink Flamingos," the film in which Divine ingests dog excrement to prove she is "the filthiest person alive." It's fascinating to see Waters interviewed today, as a more grounded middle aged man, as well as then, as an obviously chemically altered young director without a care in the world other than getting his vision on film. Actors Mink Stole, David Lochary, Edith Massey and the late, great Divine (on set and in drag during "Pink Flamingos") are interviewed as are various crew members, friends, and even foes, most notably a board member responsible for viewing Waters' work before assigning it a motion picture rating. Many might dismiss Waters' films as talentless trash, but I stand in awe of a writer/director who can plumb the depths of bad taste and create hilarious dialogue for actors who are not quite actors playing characters we've never seen before and are surely never to see again. It's also interesting to see the grass roots beginnings of a film maker who would eventually go on to make more mainstream comedies like "Polyester," "Hairspray" and "Serial Mom." Waters may not be your cup of tea, but "Divine Trash" is fascinating for documentary fans.
on July 24, 2000
This ambitious documentary concentrates on the legendary bad taste classic Pink Flamingos. Here are interviewed all the cast & crew including the deceased David Locharty and of course the heavy-weight drag queen Divine. The best of this documentary are the film clips that show the making of the cult classic for the first time ever. The "making of" clips are even in a better quality than the Pink Flamingos film itself! Unfortunately, the filtihiest parts of the film can't be shown here, but it is hilarious to see and hear how they were filmed. If you are a fan of John Waters and especially his most notorious film, this documentary is a must. Maby too culturish for some of his fans with all the film critics and historians in it, though.
on September 2, 2007
This is a great documentary DVD for fans of the over-the-top
cult director John Waters! I didn't discover his movies until
the early 80's when I was bored with whatever selection
of VHS that the video store had that week and came across a
title called "Female Trouble" with an interesting-looking
group of characters on the cover! I took it home, popped it in
and was shocked, horrified and laughing uncontrollably throughout!
It was everything that your mother tried to protect you from,
your clergy warned you about, and it tickled my darkest funny bone
and need for the new & exciting in a way nothing had before!
I was transported past the shotty sets and cinematography
and drawn in by "Dawn Davenport", played masterfully by the
one and only late-great DIVINE, a 300-pound drag queen that was
doing her own kamikaze anti-drag/drag thing in her unique
larger-than-life way, as well as the rest of the purient
sicko cast of zanies like Mink Stole, the great-late Edith Massey,
etc. etc.!!--I was forever changed!
I went out the next day and rented the infamous but crucial
"Pink Flamingos", "Desperate Living", "Polyester" and even
"Lust In The Dust", which was not a John Waters vehicle,
but was just as hysterical anywayz!
This is a very in-depth back story behind John Waters,
DIVINE, and his cast of zanies that is definitive!--
I enjoyed it immensely!
on July 21, 2000
If you're a John Waters fan you will probably enjoy this documentary quite a bit. It has lots of facts about some of the earlier films he did, interviews with Waters and cast members, including the irreplacable Divine, clips and outtakes. I wanted even more but this was great. Besides that the documentary is excellently compiled. The director obviously has a true love for the work of John Waters and his art as well as the unique characters he incorporated into his work.
DIVINE TRASH is an excellent 1998 documentary that follows underground filmmaker, Baltimorean John Waters, from his early experiments with a gift movie camera to his shocking - and highly amusing - early works like MONDO TRASHO, MULTIPLE MANIACS and PINK FLAMINGOS (1972). Actors in Waters films, including David Lochary, Edith Massey and Mink Stole, are there to reminisce, not only on how the films were shot but how they were promoted and screened (in the beginning, with flyers under car windshields and showings in rented church basements). Acquaintances like Steve Buscemi and promoters like Hal Hartley also bear witness. (Kenneth Anger and Russ Meyer were approached, but would not be interviewed.) High points include interview footage of Waters' own bemused, but supportive parents; highly opinionated takes from Waters' biggest career non-supporter, the woman who was the last professional censor for the State of Maryland; posthumous footage of Harris Glen Milstead (d. 1988), who played Waters own "favorite transvestite" and lodestone Divine; and on-set home movies from PINK FLAMINGOS, including the technical aspect of burning the primary-set trailer. Although this documentary was made in 1998, most of the narrative is concerned with the period predating the late 1970s, so do not expect to see more mainstream actors like Tab Hunter or Kathleen Turner who appeared in Waters' later, more generously funded comedies. But DIVINE TRASH is a well-crafted, enjoyable look at Waters' life and mission, enlivened by filmed interviews with the auteur himself at various points in his career. The film makes a fairly good point of promoting Waters as a seminal indie filmmaker of the 1960s and 1970s while revealing just how funny those pix were. A very good companion to DIVINE TRASH, of course, would be the DVD of PINK FLAMINGOS, readily available and reasonably priced.
on April 13, 2007
All freaks and weird people have experienced, by now, the absolute beauty and glamor if the 300 lb monstrosity, "Divine!" But what kind of Frankenstein could have created "HIr?" This little movie provides the answer!
Of course, the answer is: the deliciously hillarious perverted mind of John Waters! William S. Burroughs coined him as "The Pope Of Trash!" Yet Waters was raised normally in an upper class Baltimore family! Is it his fault that he became as a child obsessed with car accidents, trials of murderers and sleasy "B" movies? How could such environmental influences create the most tastefully outrageous antics depicted in his earlier films? This movie provides the answer!
There is a difference between mere shocking bad taste and bad taste that is so good that it generates a cult following! Here we see the delicious Divine give interviews that are as shocking as HIr films! We see the deliciously ugly Edith Massey glory in her new roles of glamor and stardom in John's movies. We see the hours and hours of rehearsals that Divine and the Dreamlanders did in front of the perfectionist Waters' cameras. There was a lot of work and planning that went on in even the most notorious scene of "Pink Flamingos:" the infamous Dog-Spoor scene!
John Waters.... we all await the day that you can once again release the tiger in you that created your early works! We all are getting too old to be "pattycaked" by your newer works! SHOCK US AGAIN!
on October 1, 2005
This is a gr8 documentary on John Waters & DIVINE. Very informative & well put together. Talks about how John got his start in his insane flicks, has a mini interview with Edith Massey, behind the scenes footage & of course this DVD would not be complete without "DIVINE". DIVINE Trash is simply the best garbage i've seen in years. Loaded with unseen video footage & surprises. DIVINE Trash is a MUST 4 any Waters/DIVINE fan. Check it out, U won't regret it!! Schroeder (DJ WACK "O") (ORBITAL TRAXX RECORDS & Cult Movies Magazine).