Category Archives: John Waters & Underground Films

Underground Films Blog

John Waters’ Multiple Maniacs Restoration

John Waters’ restored MULTIPLE MANIACS released in UK this week.  THE GUARDIAN interviews John and reveals a few new things.  

Ever the joyful fop, John Waters, in full regalia, offers a real Brit pose for the GUARDIAN.

Read it here:

Memory of Stiv Bators

This picture appeared in my inbox this morning.  Stiv was a huge pleasure to work with on POLYESTER.  Always a lovely person and an actor with great ability and greater DeadBoys1potential.  So sad he died so young– run over by a car in Paris.

John Waters and Edith Massey at NYC hot spot The Mudd Club- early ’80s

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New York Times Book Reviewer Not Keen on John Waters’ “Carsick”

carsickDwight Garner of the New York Times chimed in yesterday with a rather long review of “Carsick.”  He was lukewarm about it, saying that if you’re a Waters fan, you’ll appreciate it, but since only about half the book addresses the actual hitch-hiking experience, he felt mislead.

The first part of the book consists of Waters’ potty-brained fantasies that mimic the plots of all his movies.  They’re the kinds of stories John must write in his 3-hr, summer morning writing-time on the beach at Provincetown.

Stories of sexual oddities, the beauty of crime,  the attraction of deformed bodies, bodily wastes, and nightmarish animal attacks have been some of  Waters’ favorite topics since he was a lost teen in the Baltimore suburbs.  Garner doesn’t think much of it, but I doubt his dismissive review of this “porny-pulpy volume of short stories” will discourage Waters’ core fans.

I think Garner (and many others) were hoping for a detailed, philosophical, life-changing travel book, like authors William Least-Heat Moon, Paul Theroux, or Jack Kerouac, that Waters’ with his great sense of irony and insight, and twisted comedy could deliver.

Consider this a pre-review.  Somehow I was left off the comp reviewer list, so I bought my own, and it’s in the mail.  I’ll provide my own review later.

(I still maintain that Waters was closely attended to by a comfy motor home stocked with Perrier, potato chips and pickles, and furnished with a waterbed with 300 count Egyptian cotton sheets. Probably even a stunt double out in the rain sticking his thumb out, while John thumbed through a stack of 500 fashion magazines to kill the time.)

New York Times Book Reviewer Not Keen on Waters’ New Book “Carsick”

Hilarious 1965 CBS Evening News Story on Underground Films by Walter Cronkite





In 1965, underground films meant jiggly dancing, abstract moving images, or Warholian still shots.   It would be one more year before John Waters was kicked out of NYU for smoking Pot, and six more before “Pink Flamingos” took New York City by storm.

Walter Cronkite is astonished by the whole thing, as he reports in his classic baritone and numerous pregnant pauses, copied by every NPR reporter as standard audience-grabbing delivery.  The “underground artists” including Jonas Mekas and Stan Brakhage appear in coats and ties and offer professorial commentaries on the underground movement.

Only Warhol gives a whiff about how things were changing, as he glares off camera, and mumbles his absurd answers while scratching his acne-covered cheeks, oblivious to Mr. and Mrs. American Suburbanite.  This and the gyrating blonde, Edie Sedgewick  let America know that the swinging ’60s were coming on full blast as they hunkered down in front of the TV with their TV dinners on their TV dinner trays to see what the hell was happening next.

This has only had a couple hundred views on YouTube, so tell ’em you heard about it first here!

Edith Massey-Obsessed Japanese Website

Love this bizarre website from Japan.  Don’t know what it says, but they sure like Edith.

Big Girls Edith Massey-動画連続再生 –

Still from "Love Letter to Edie" of Edith acting out her dream of being a glamorous movie queen.

Still from “Love Letter to Edie” of Edith acting out her dream of being a glamorous movie queen.

John Waters’ Mom, Patricia, Passes Away

Patirica W. Waters, mother of filmmaker John Waters

Patirica W. Waters, mother of filmmaker John Waters

This fascinating article in the Baltimore Sun paints a portrait of John’s mother that seems to be the exact opposite of John– well at least his art works, and especially his movies.

Those who know John well, see many of his mother’s and father’s traits in him– the successful, sober businessman father, and the high-minded elite gardener volunteer with impeccable manners mother who was dedicated to her family.

John was a sponge to their beliefs and concerns, but molded them to another dimension.  On the one hand, he is the wild taboo breaker.  On the other, he is extremely conservative, persnickety, focused, and ambitious– not to mention deeply intelligent– like his parents.

And it makes me wonder that John’s artistic muse, Pat Moran, who led him to the brave new world shared his mom’s name.

John Waters’ Infamous Roach Xmas Tree Ornament


The roach is lying feet up in the bottom of the ball.  These were sent before John Waters had 2,000+ on his xmas card list (and I was still on it).  I don’t get xmas cards from him anymore, because I was naughty.  Imagine that.

P.S. not for sale.

Visions of the South- “The Charlotte Observer” Observes Etiquette of Cleavage Display

Edie-the-egg-lady-webHere are two photos, inspired by a shocking exposition in the local paper.   The first is of underground movie actress, Edith Massey, in a scene from the notoriously unfashionable movie, “Pink breastFlamingos.”

Edith has committed the fashion crime of allowing her breasts to actually touch!

Photo 2, Actress Sofía Vergara at a Hollywood premier, displays  the “natural and elegant look,” with breasts pushed flat and out-of-sight. The pinnacle of good taste for your holiday party look, according to The Observer’s fashion- casualty writer, Olivia Fortson.

Charlotte, North Carolina is home to many who’d rather be in New York.

It’s a squeaky clean city, where “upscale” and “exclusive” are most aspired-to adjectives.  The “Charlotte Observer” is the local standard bearer of charming Southern social conformity, and regularly publishes howlers like this, full of Dos and Don’ts, so that local country club doyennes can be perceived to be as “achingly chic” as the Saturday night crowd exiting a Path Train in downtown NYC.

Don’t let this happen to you ladies.  But do enjoy some good laughs in the article

One of the article’s expert advisors had this to say about his fashion creds…

One word for what we are all about: connaissance, French for “in the know.” Knowing which Celine satchel will be the “it” bag this season and what Miucci Prada has up her sleeve for the season to come. Even better, Coplon’s knows you. From the runways in Paris and Milan to New York’s most up and coming atelier, we’ll know what look will work for you before you’ve even thought about it.

Check out the Charlotte Observer Article here.