Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pink Flamingos

Directed by: JOHN WATERS
1972, TSPDT Rank #847

And now I have finally seen the eternally infamous Pink Flamingos. It has to be just about the most gleefully trashy film in the history of trash cinema. For reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has heard about it, it's not exactly the most pleasant film to watch, but I am still very glad to know that there is room for a film like this on the 1,000 Greatest Films. The film's tagline, "An exercise in bad taste", is a very fitting one, because it gives you a very clear and honest idea of the film's intent. It is simply masterful in the measures that it goes to test the viewer's limits and derive humor from the most forbidden of taboos. It is ranked on the TSPDT site as the #2 most disliked film on the 1,000 Greatest Films list (second only to Forrest Gump), something which I'm sure the film's director, John Waters, would be extremely proud of. As a young man and burgeoning filmmaker, he had the vision and determination to make a movie that would shock, disgust, amuse, and piss off the majority of the filmgoing public - and he succeeded in ways few could have predicted possible. While watching it, I got a kick out of imagining people reacting to this unprecedented orgy of filthiness back when it released, decades before our jaded age of the internet. I also loved Waters' ingenuity in co-opting 1950s culture in the name of all things dirty right in the middle of the era of nostalgia and American Graffiti. And although I've probably had my fill of Pink Flamingos' depraved world and the filthy people who inhabit it for the foreseeable future, I still can't help but admire its concept. Film was invented to shake people up, and this film has been doing just that ever since it was released. I recommend it to anyone who's not afraid of a hearty dose of "bad taste" with their low-budget comedy. For best results, watch after midnight.

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