Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rare Flix: John Waters' Multiple Maniacs

I won't lie- this is almost too weird for me!  Today's Film is John Waters' Multiple Maniacs, one of his early Films from the '70s.  There are actually a couple ways to date this one.  For one, a Sub-Plot relates to the Manson Family Murders of Sharon Tate and company.  They were referencing it so recently that they actually had to update the Script when some suspects came forward!  Secondly, the Film's Male Lead was actually did by 1977, due to some incident with drugs and 'misadventure.'  This is one of the earliest works of Waters and his long-time muse Divine as well.  This is really his/her Show and everyone else is just along for the ride.  A Plot Summary doesn't really do this Film justice, so I won't bother.  To find out more about what the hell this thing is, read on...
A man is putting on a Carnival of Depravity (The Aristocrats?) in what appears to be someone's backyard in New York State.
After a bit of each one of their so-called-Acts, the group drop a net on the upset audience and rob them.
Now back in hiding, the group is having some strife.  The lead attraction (Divine) is trying to stay in charge, but her ex-boyfriend runs the show for now.  They both scheme against each other.
That's about as much Plot as the Film has, since it takes diversions for stuff like Divine's dream sequence involving...the King of Prussia?

Their words- not mine!
Later on, she/he gets involved in some straight/lesbian activity in a Church involving a Rosary while...imagining the final days of Jesus Christ?

Again- their words, not mine!
Oh look- Plot!  The man schemes with one of the ladies in the Show, but things don't go too well.
With about 20 minutes left, Divine just starts killing people!  I told you it was his/her Show!
In a random bit, a giant Lobster appears- Lobstera, apparently- and attacks him/her...before leaving.
The Climax involves Divine wandering down the street on a rampage before being taken down by the National Guard...I guess.  The End.
So yeah...this was something.  This is one of those Films that a small contingent of people absolutely love.  This is also one of those Films that probably about 90% of the viewers will just kind of give it a blank stare.  I can definitely see both sides of that.  The Film is very low-budget & that will either be a good or bad thing for you.  Some people love to see Directors like Waters try to scrounge a Film Budget out of what is under the seat cushions.  Other people can't stand Films where a Director uses their Star as both an A.D. and a Caterer!  While that example is a bit silly (but probably has happened), this is definitely one of those Films.  It's up to you whether or not this is a distraction.  My issue here would be that most of the weird shit here is just weird for no real reason.  I kept waiting for a justification, but never really got one.  Regardless, this is...certainly interesting.  For you younger fans of Directors like Waters, this is certainly one to track down.  If you are not, this is just going to be too damn weird and bizarre for you.  How low-budget is this thing?  The Credits were literally printed on a Card that is moved in front of the Camera...which makes Editing it a bit awkward...
Up next, a recent Import Sequel finally comes to U.S. Shores and I'm ready.  The only way to fight Nazi Zombies is with...more Zombies.  Stay tuned...

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