Pink Flamingos

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Pink Flamingos

Here's a reissue that should seem quaint to no one: Twenty-five years later, Pink Flamingos is probably still the most repellent film ever made, which is exactly what director John Waters intended all along. Divine, a 300-pound transvestite, plays a woman who is forced to fend off challengers to her title as "The Filthiest Person Alive," in this case an exhibitionist couple that kidnaps hitchhikers, impregnates them, sells the babies to lesbian couples, and uses the money to fund schoolyard heroin rackets. Everything you've heard about Pink Flamingos is true, but what the reports of chicken-fucking and other abominations fail to convey is just how funny the movie is. Almost anyone could dig up and film someone with the ability to "lip-synch" using his asshole, but it takes genius to set the scene to "Surfin' Bird." The re-released version is followed by 13 minutes of unused footage hosted by Waters. And while none of it is particularly revelatory, jaded veterans might feel a sense of danger returning. In a nostalgic culture gone retro-chic mad, bad taste with an aggressively offensive edge never seemed so relevant.