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John Waters Collection #1: Hairspray/ Pecker (Special Edition)

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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(May 22, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

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John Waters made his bid for PG respectability with Hairspray, an enjoyably trashy comedy about the racial integration of a teen dance show on Baltimore television in the early '60s. Waters, as always, makes a virtue of junk culture and the powerful emotional forces it can represent as kids vie to get on the show. Meanwhile, a parade of former stars (Pia Zadora, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono) and pseudostars (Divine, Ricki Lake) cross the screen, playing freakish characters absorbed by thoughts of fame.

Pecker (Edward Furlong) loves to use the camera to capture his fellow Baltimore residents living their daily lives. Of course, since Pecker is a Waters movie, those daily lives include visits to strip bars, shoplifting, and various other quirky, and frequently hilarious, human activities. When Pecker's makeshift photo exhibit comes to the attention of a New York art agent (Lili Taylor), Pecker becomes the latest sensation. Pecker has something to offend just about everyone. But those who take the offenses to heart would be missing out on what amounts to a sweet-natured farce.


Special Features

  • Audio commentary by John Waters
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • On Hairspray: Ricki Lake joins John Waters for commentary
  • On Pecker: Pecker's Snapshot Gallery--On-camera interview with Chuck Shacochis, the real photographer behind Pecker's portfolio

Product Details

  • Actors: Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine, Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci
  • Directors: John Waters
  • Writers: John Waters
  • Producers: John Waters, Joe Revitte, John Fiedler, Jonathan Weisgal, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr.
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2001
  • Run Time: 178 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B6OZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,175 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "John Waters Collection #1: Hairspray/ Pecker (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Of the three John Waters "Special Edition" releases, this is the only one that duplicates previous DVD releases...and thus it's the one collectors may opt to refuse. (...) The bonuses in this package aren't must-haves, though any film commentary with John Waters is a delight.
I guess some reviewers have a valid point about the mainstreaming of Waters' films...and these two films are case(s?) in point. But consider the limitations placed on the writer/director as his core cast was fragmented and the cost of filming movies soared skyward. In both "Hairspray" and "Pecker" I see minor concessions to the bland tastes of Popular culture, but nary a cop-out. (...) the subversive edge of Waters' often brilliant writing/direction is an ongoing exercise in (good) bad taste. If nothing else, his characters never do what you expect of them, quite a virtue in a film world besotted with "accessible" characterization.
Despite some brilliant moments, "Hairspray" is a bit cloying on the whole. This, in my opinion, is largely due to Ricki Lake in the lead role. Despite the usual outrageous Waters' dialogue, Lake delivers her lines with such sweetness and reverance that you just want to backhand her. To her credit, she furthers the old saw about fat girls being good dancers.
"Hairspray" is also a bit overlong with dance sequences, though they certainly lend a touch of authenticity to the production. The central story is roughly linear, though the bit with Tracy in reform school seems like a delaying tactic...especially since Waters' used a similar story device in "Cry Baby". On the plus side, the supporting cast is rich with freakish appeal. Divine's last role for Waters isn't flashy, but his Edna Turnblad is a credible, nuanced piece of work.
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I think these two movies are a must have for any Divine or John Waters fan.Even if they are pretty commercial and not as original as "Female Trouble" or "Mutiple Maniacs"(hopefully the latter of the two will be on DVD soon)they are wonderful example of wonderfully talented and sometimes shocking director.The cast in "Hairspray" are great including Debbie Harry,Sonny Bono,Ricki Lake and of corse,DIVINE!! "Pecker" has its moments and will grow on you as any true John Waters will.If you have never seen a Water's flick,this is a good place to start.
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"Hairspray" and "Pecker" are the tamest in the John Waters' collection. They are very enjoyable, even though they don't have the shock value that Waters earlier films had. I still absolutely adore both of these films and I'm thrilled that they are together on DVD. "Hairspray" is the last Waters' film that the late Divine appeared in. It showed the potential that Divine had in regards to his acting abilities. The movie is just flat-out fun, I would recommend it to anybody.
"Pecker" is one of John Waters recent films that I thoroughly enjoy. Its a ahppy little story that just floats along on screen, its really a pleasure to watch.
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What's going on here? "Pecker", already available by itself on DVD, is tagging along with the much-anticipated release of "Hairspray" in a 2-disc package...That gripe aside, these are two of John Waters' best films and a not-incompatible pairing. "Pecker" is a fairly sweet-natured portrait of a photographer who lives through his pictures, and because this is a John Waters film, his hobby takes him to strip clubs, etc. It's a good film and somewhat unjustly ignored. "Hairspray", however, is a riot : an affectionate look at teen life, pop music, race, etc., in 1963 Baltimore. Every performance is perfect, especially Divine in his most toned-down and tender role. Pop fans will enjoy spotting a teenaged Colleen Fitzpatrick (known today as pop star Vitamin C) as Amber, Rikki Lake's character's arch-nemesis. The best feature of these DVDs is John Waters' commentary track for each film. Revealing and funny! The price of this package is roughly the price of a single DVD...
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Get ready to laugh..John waters of course is great, but, these are , I think the best of his work..pecker is super..hairspray is so funny..but, how can you go wrong with a John waters film???? After watching the movie, turn on the directors comments and you will learn so many things that he put into the movie that you did not catch just by watching..for exp. what is the bus number on pecker.???? he explains what and where he got it..just real good entertainment ....
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Let's face it, John Waters makes some pretty bizarre films. This pairing has two of his more accessible ones. First there's "Hairspray", the better of the two, in my opinion, and the basis for the Broadway and movie musical. This version's story is more involved than its musical counterparts and flows better. The whole cast is pretty special and all get into the spirit of this slightly twisted film. "Pecker" is harder to get into even though it has a good story about a young photographer, his family, and what happens when sudden fame hits them. As with "Hairspray" all of the cast gets into their roles wholeheartedly. The direction is well paced by Mr. Waters and his commentary tracks are hilarious. The other production values (cinematography, sound, etc.) are very well done. Unfortunately this DVD set is out of print and has to bought used but for John Waters fans, or those just curious to see the original "Hairspray" and want another good John Waters film together with it will want to invest in this set. On an unfortunate, personal, side note a former co-worker of mine borrowed my set and never returned it before leaving for parts unknown. Oh, well.
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