Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies With John Waters

When I first met John Waters, I was a naïve kid from the suburbs.  But I was curious and counter-cultural, and we hit it off.  I worked with John through five films over fifteen years: FEMALE TROUBLE, DESPERATE LIVING, POLYESTER,HAIRSPRAY, AND CRYBABY.

Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies With John Waters tells the story.


John Waters in front of Pete’s Hotel Bar in Baltimore, 1974.

After making two films with John,  I moved from Baltimore to NYC, worked with big names, negotiated with top players in the 1970s New York City film industry, and hung out with some of the greatest artists and musicians of the time—but mostly on very low budget projects.  I started at the bottom where it was both painful and fun.



John Waters and Robert Maier at the opening of DESPERATE LIVING in NYC

The big time was always just out of reach.  If one door opened, and you thought you’d made it, another door appeared right behind it.  But every actor, dancer, musician, artist, or writer goes through that.  I worked with giants of their time, like Andy Warhol, Martin Landau, Benny Goodman, George Burns, Bill Murray, Donald Pleasance Bob Shaye, Divine, Stiv Bators, Debbie Harry, Jack Palance and more.  I couldn’t believe a kid from a little row house in Towson, Maryland  (also the home of Divine and John) could hang out with Academy Award winners,  music chart busters, and millionaire artists.

Making  low budget movies, was an impossible way of making a living.  You couldn’t survive it if you took it seriously, and that’s really what the book is about.

Low-low budget filmmaking c. 1975 with John Waters on “Desperate Living” c. l-r Tom L’oizeaux, John Waters, Robert Maier

Available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and indie booksellers worldwide.

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Extracts of reviews of Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies with John Waters

Dishy –The Advocate

A great time –Indiewire.com

A thoroughly engaging ride
-K. Harris Amazon.com Top 10 Reviewer

An Invaluable collection of juicy stories that will please Waters devotees and fans of underground cinema –Montreal Mirror

A frankly fascinating read-Houston Press

Breezy and fast moving -Yes! Weekly

Pulls no punches –Film Festival Today

Extremely fascinating –Mike Everleth, Underground Film News  badlit.com

A lively, unique memoir; brilliant behind-the-scenes glimpses of the making-of some of John Waters’ films.- Guy Savage

A fascinating tale… captures quite well the chimp-like frenzy that infects the typical movie set.  An ultra-fringe-eye view of the Tinseltown jungle.
-Videoscope Magazine

I laughed my balls off. -Dr. Bob Heironimus, 21st Century Radio

Author:  Robert Maier
Publisher:  Full Page Publishing
Genre: Entertainment
ISBN: 978-0-9837708-0-0
Formats: Paper and Kindle e-book
Size:   5.5 in. x 8.5 in.  346 pp.
Paperback: $15.99     Kindle : $5.99
60% wholesale discount from Full Page Publishing
Returns allowed


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