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Mondo Trasho (1970)

Divine , Mary Vivian Pearce , John Waters  |  R |  VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Mondo Trasho + John Waters Collection #2: Polyester/ Desperate Living + Pink Flamingos
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Product Details

  • Actors: Divine, Mary Vivian Pearce
  • Directors: John Waters
  • Language: English
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Cinema Group Home Video
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001EMGWK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,056 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The first feature film directed by self-proclaimed "Prince of Puke" John Waters, this black-and-white, mostly silent comedy cost just 2000 dollars. Mondo Trasho looks its budget, but has some amusing moments as it tells the story of a woman (Mary Vivian Pearce) who has a very bad day. First, she is accosted in the park by a foot-fetishist who sucks her toes. When she runs away, she is hit by a car. The driver, played by 300-lb. transvestite Divine, lost control of the wheel while staring at a naked man (Mark Isherwood) hitch-hiking by the roadside. Divine takes Pearce along with her, shoplifting some clothes to dress her victim. Unfortunately, both women are kidnapped by a mad doctor (David Lochary) who amputates Pearce's feet, replacing them with those of a chicken. She eventually gets her feet back, gaining magical powers that let her click her heels like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz to escape her situation. Divine is not so lucky, however, and meets her doom in a muddy pigsty. Pearce materializes in downtown Baltimore, where elderly local women with beehive hairdos curse at her until she clicks her heels again and disappears. There isn't much here for casual viewers, as only die-hard Waters fans are likely to countenance the long stretches in which virtually nothing happens. A few laughs are to be had, but not enough to sustain interest, as Waters did not really hit his stride until Multiple Maniacs the following year. At its best, this very rough amateur film suggests interesting ways to tell a story without dialogue, as Waters uses evocative old trash-rock songs to advance the plot. At its worse, it's a bore, of interest to devotees and completists only. - Robert Firsching

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An primer on that Divine "Wiggle" July 30, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
This one is the first of the Prince Of Puke- John Waters' "MastUrpieces" that you can see. It is silent, except for all the cheesy 50's "trash music" that Waters is infamous for using, and also poorly lip sync'd vain babbling by our HIroine, the fabulous 300 pound monstrosity, Divine!

Follow Divine's treck down the yellow brick road, when she gets involved in the life of Mary Vivian Pierce, runs her over, then attempts to "save" her through the services of the Virgin Mary and Doctor Coathanger!

You can see that Divine has such unlimited talent just waiting to be exploited in mastUrpieces like Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester, Lust in the Dust and Hairspray.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are and BE that young lady who fell from a star! Baltimore they said was the name of the star!"

Divine LIVED that line! See HIr shortly after she first got "discovered" by Waters in Mondo Trasho, and dicover that "wiggle" that turned the freak world on!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This probably isn't for you. April 24, 2014
By jac
Format:VHS Tape
Worth the price of the movie for the soundtrack (albeit chopped) alone, MT is a flawless example of what Catholicism does to an otherwise healthy mind. This observation of human nature is guaranteed to drive your fussy, conventional guests out the door, and if delicate, out of their minds.

A lovely slice of Baltimore life, showcasing Wyman Park, the old Mayflower building, and carefully selected alleys, will have you reminiscing past personal incidents, -that is if you lived in Baltimore in a wilder era.

From the dogmatic praying to the incessant slurping, Barrymore's licentious blurb to the pigsty climax, the grimy veneer of Mdme. Avara's REAL TRASH rating gleams in all it's iconoclastic splendor.

A true gem of the now, all-too-distant realm of BPC (Before Politically Correct).
Catch it before they find a way to make IT illegal!
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2000 dollars... August 26, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This film cost 2000 dollars and was probably filmed with only one camcorder. It is an art film though, art films are supposed to be cheap and grainy. They are also supposed to be some sort of metaphor, either that or wierd for the sake of wierd. This wasn't really either. What this film is, though, the closest that John Waters ever came to becoming a Bunuelian clone.

The review provided by Amazon gives the wrong summary. I won't give it here, because it is not really worth recalling. Ms. Pierce gets her feet sucked and licked and a Cinderella story unfolds. She then gets hit by Divine and the Virgin Mary does everything in her power to help Divine maintain her Divinity.

I am not sure if there was a metaphor to this film. If there was I am not quite sure what it is. Was it that transvestites need the Virgin Mary to grant them Divinity and steer then from original sin. Maybe. Probably not. John Waters was still in his very early developing stages as a film maker so most of his mistakes and lack of clarity are forgivable.

I want the soundtrack. The soundtrack was composed of 50s music that advanced the story without the use of dialouge. The music was composed in a genius pattern and actually told us what emotions were being transmitted. The soundtrack is clearly the high point of the film adn I would suggest watching this movie as you would listen to a record, it would be worth it.

This movie was not as filthy as any of Waters' later films but had a fair share of nudity and filth including the "chicken without a head" test. Recommended for art film fans and for hardcore fans of Waters.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WTF September 3, 2011
Format:VHS Tape
Right after watching the film I had to come to Amazon to know what the movie was about!!!
Yes, I have seen other John Waters movies, and I liked them all, but this one is just plain terrible. I was constantly checking the dvd timer to know how much more of the movie I had to go through.
Terrible acting, terrible lip-synch, terrible image quality (waaaaay to dark), and way to many times where there was nothing going on on the screen. And way too many times where the things on the screen made no sense.
You could tell this weird story in, minimum, half the time.
Again: I am not saying John Waters is crap. I'm saying this movie is
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