Pink Flamingos

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Renegade filmmaker and noted aficionado of expressive bad taste John Waters exploded into international infamy with this darkly comic, no-budget parade of the perverse (his third feature film, and first in color), in which plus-size cross-dresser Divine stars as Babs Johnson, a flashy criminal on the lam from the FBI who is hiding out in a trailer outside of Baltimore, MD. Accompanying Babs are her mother (Edith Massey), an obese and dim-witted woman who is malignly obsessed with eggs; her degenerate son, Crackers (Danny Mills); and Cotton (Mary Vivian Pierce), Babs' duplicitous traveling companion and Crackers' co-conspirator in unwholesome erotic play. While Babs would prefer to be left in peace, she takes great pride in her status as the Filthiest Person Alive (an honor confirmed by one of America's sleazier tabloid newspapers), and when Connie and Raymond Marble (Mink Stole and David Lochary) announce their plans to take the title away from her, Babs is not about to stand idly by. The Marbles are a hateful couple who kidnap women, force their homosexual manservant, Channing (Channing Wilroy), to impregnate them, and sell the babies to lesbian couples found unfit for legal adoption; the Marbles then turn the profits back into pornography and narcotics trafficking. Impressive stuff, to be sure, but Babs is not about to take a back seat to anyone in a battle of filth, and when the Marbles throw down the gauntlet, Babs and her family retaliate in a no-holds-barred battle to determine who truly are the Filthiest People Alive. Featuring murder, bestiality, rape, dismemberment, coprophagia, a dizzying variety of sexual perversions, and a performance of Papa Oom Mow Mow you will not soon forget, Pink Flamingos is nonetheless a comedy, and a surprisingly successful one; shot on a budget of only 12,000 dollars, the film has grossed close to ten million dollars around the world, and its success launched John Waters into a career as America's leading authority on poor taste.~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide


  • Divine
  • David Lochary
  • Mary Vivian Pearce
  • Mink Stole
  • Danny Mills
  • Edith Massey
  • Channing Wilroy
  • Cookie Mueller
  • Paul Swift
  • Susan Walsh

Did You Know?


  • In the film MIDNIGHT MOVIES, John Waters says in part "I was high when I wrote this film. I was NOT high when I made it."
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  • During a tracking shot along a sidewalk, the window frame of the camera car enters the shot.
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    • Cotton: Let's move to Boise, I always wanted to go there!
    • Babs Johnson: Boise, Cotton? Why, that might not be a bad place!
    • Crackers: Were you ever there?
    • Cotton: Only once, we robbed a transit bus there, remember?
    • Babs Johnson: I remember, the number 42!
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John Waters' Pink Flamingos has been restored for its 25th anniversary revival, and with any luck at all that means I won't have to see it again for another 25 years. If I haven't retired by then, I will.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Pink Flamingos remains a delightfully repugnant cinematic treasure. Watching Divine as she struts her stuff amongst the genuinely dumbfounded residents of downtown Baltimore, perfectly encapsulates with Waters was reaching for with the film.

Metacritic review by Adam Lowes
Adam Lowes