Excerpts from John Waters Interview
by Dan Safey
Fright X Magazine, Issue 09
I was wondering if you could mention every single movie. Does that interest you at all?
What kind of mention do you mean? You mean a thought on each one?
Yeah, a thought on each one. Do you want to go in order, or should we mix it up.
Let's just go through in order:
HAG IN A BLACK LEATHER JACKET: Mary Vivian Pearce doing "the boaty green" is the only good thing in that movie, which was an obscene dance that we both were thow o tof roding.
Why don't you tell me the best thing that ever happened.
Okay, I will.
ROMAN CANDLES: the best thing int hat was probably Maelcum Soul, who was my first star that nobody knows. Who was the ultimate beatnik goddess of Baltimore. That wore more makeup than any punk rock girl twenty years later. She looked like that every single day of her life, and could barely even go out on the street. She was so hassled by her fashion look. That's the best thing about that, she's dressed as a nun with the full makeup on.
EAT YOUR MAKEUP: obviously the best thing in it is when Divine plays Jackie Kennedy and we had the entire Kennedy assassination. If I had to pick something else better, there's a vending machine that sells dope in it. It actually says dope on each little thing. It has syringes. My father helped me make it. Which is so odd, when I look back on it. my father is very republican, very supportive and he actually helped me buld this dope machine in 1967. I actually look back in awe that he did that.
MONDO TRASHO: I guess the best thing in that is Divine crawling through pig shit at the end when the Virgin Mary appears. Actually, it was so erotic that the pigs started to fuck each other. You can see that in the shot. I couldn't believe it turned them on. It was like porno for pigs.
MULTIPLE MANIACS: I guess maybe when Divine... well, maybe the rosary job. That is still, I think, the rudest thing I've ever had in any movie. Certainly beyond eating shit. It is a sxual act with a rosary up your ass while you're thinking of the crucifixion... still works, let's put it that way. It still appalls.
PINK FLAMINGOS: Certainly...
The Chicken thing?
No, it would be Divine. Divine's bravery and his dedication of doing the ending of the movie. Something he lived to regret a little bit just becuase people could never ever forget.
FEMALE TROUBLE: was when Divine has sex with himself. It's really "go fuck yourself," and it was done with a double. I think that is still a very magical scene. Although the first ten minutes of Female Trouble, I still think is the funniest thing on any of my movies, up to the Christmas Tree, when he runs out the front door.
DESPERATE LIVING: I would certainly say Edith as finally being Queen Carlotta and my favorite line is when she goes out asnd she says, "Hi stupid, Hi ugly," to everybody.
What was the line she improvised in this?
Oh, when she's having sex. Well I told her to say "Rob my safety deposit box," and she said, "Dig for gold daddy, dig for gold," or something like that. I said "Edith, God, where did you come up with something like that?" "Oh, I just say some bullshit," she said.
POLYESTER: I think it's a lovely moment when Divine and Edith have a picnic and ants get in her pants. And just seeing the two of them sitting out in nature I find kind of touching.
HAIRSPRAY: Ricki Lake, certainly. A new generation of a Dreamland girl. A movie that suddenly became a family movie, without me ever imagining it. I think when they all do "the Madison," which is still my favorite dance, that's the high point in the movie, to me. I finally got the dance in a movie after doing it drunk with friends for twenty years in a bar. I never did it since.
SERIAL MOM: Having someone look at Kathleen Turner through a glory hole. Who would have ever thought that would have happened in my life?
PECKER: Let's see, my favorite moment. It's hard becuase I haven't seen it out yet with the public enough. I hink maybe having sex in a voting booth is a very John Waters element, and maybe the most un-American thing you could do. I hope that now, everytime somebody votes, they think about sex in a voting booth. Because no one usually does.
So what movies do you watch? Do you own a bunch?
There are certain movie sI have on video. I don't ever watch videos. I like to go to the movies. I like to see it on a screen with an audience. The whole experience I like. I like when I always get there too early. And I'm over prepared, even to go to the movies. I get there like an hour too early. I always think that every movie is going to be packed, and they never are. In Baltimore they never are. In New York they can be. New York is the best place to go to the movies, I think. You don't have to drive anywhere, you don't have to go to a parking place, you just effortlessly go in. It even costs more than any place else, which shocks me. And thank God I don't have a family to take to the movies. It would cost the same as down payment for a mortgage. And the candy counters... I always sneak candy in. I never buy their stuff because of their sizes. One box could feed like 50 people. And the popcorn, it's a vat of it. You can barely carry it to your seat it's so much. And it's $25. It's amazing to me, the concession stands. And I hate it when they give you all of those coupons and they are like robots and they have to say "Well if you get this..." I DON'T WANT THIS I JUST WANT A SMALL! The small is such a rip-off. It's like four pieces of popcorn and the medium is $12.50 and it's a vat. SO if you ever order a small they punish you. It's like humiliation of punishment. "You want a small you cheap bastard." That's basically what they are saying to you.
I'm speechless after that.
Well, think of it next time. Ask for a small. One of the most offensive things to me was ordering water. They want $4.00 for ordering water. They punish you for ordering water. "What's the matter with you? Want water you fucking asshole, you want water?" They say that to you. And the water fountain barely comes up, so you get polio when you touch your lips on it, you get polio immediately. And you go in and if you order water they have the worst kind. Tap water with those lactated things on it. Those things I don't understand. Who would want that? I can't get them off. I spill water on me. They don't fit in the little cup things, and it's $4.00. It's more expensive than Coke or anything! It is the worst brand of water. Do they have Evian? No, they have to have Trenton, New Jersey water in a bottle that is impossible to open unless you are a mother with a brook of babies with you that understand. It's like taking it and heating it up before you drink it.
I think one offensive thing was, for a while I think, it was at the Sony Theaters or something they were giving you a bag of popcorn with Kate Moss on them.
(laughs) I don't really mind that. I like Kate Moss. What I hated was when they had that short that ran for 5 years, the same one, that was clips from movies that won. I had to go into the lobby everytime and complain. And you know how they have those little cards? I would write hateful things. But if you go to the movies a lot, two years later it would have big scratches on it. I couldn't watch it, I had to cover my eyes. I would look to the side of me, but you could still hear it. It drove me insane. Thye stopped selling Juju Fruits, I hate that. I wrote letter about it and manager just looked at me like, "You asshole." They have Gummi Bears, which are not the same. They do not have the proper resistance. Where Juju Fruits will rip your fillings out. That's the point. There's an agony to eat them. It's a challenge to eat them.
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