19 March 2017

THE CRITERION COLLECTION PRESENTS: MULTIPLE MANIACS. (1970) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




MULTIPLE MANIACS. (1970) WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY JOHN WATERS. CINEMATOGRAPHY/MUSIC/EDITING BY JOHN WATERS.
STARRING DIVINE, DAVID LOCHARY, MARY VIVIAN PEARCE, MINK STOLE, COOKIE MUELLER, EDITH MASSEY AND GEORGE FIGGS.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

'Glorious... Can only be described as THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST on quaaludes.'
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

'Even the garbage is too good a place for it.'
Mary Avara, Maryland Board of Censors.

You'd have to be sick and twisted in your mind to watch, let alone enjoy, this film which THE CRITERION COLLECTION have described as 'John Waters' shocking, subversive, hysterical trash masterpiece.' Well, luckily I happen to be both of those things so I found it hilariously brilliant, or brilliantly hilarious, whichever way you want to take it.

And Divine certainly takes it all ways in MULTIPLE MANIACS, controversial cult film director John Waters' finest film. So fine, in fact, that it currently holds a rating of 100% on movie review aggregator ROTTEN TOMATOES. And that kind of perfect rating is hard to achieve.

It's not for the faint-hearted, though. Or for the under-eighteens. Or for anyone with a weak heart, or a tendency towards sensitivity. What am I saying? This film isn't suitable for anyone, and that's what makes it so great. Protective coveralls on now, folks. We're going in...

American actor, singer and iconic drag queen Divine, born Harris Glenn Milstead in 1945, plays the lead role in the film. She's playing 'herself,' a larger-than-life character called Lady Divine who runs a travelling sideshow called THE CAVALCADE OF PERVERSIONS.

Here, for no money at all (except for what Divine robs from you at gunpoint at the end), you can watch a number of perverted fetish acts such as The Puke-Eater, to name but one of the weird and wacky acts that scandalise the good and pious housewives of America who unwittingly wander in (or are coerced in) to see it.

(Incidentally, I'm slightly surprised that John Waters didn't include a poop-eater amongst the little troupe of moral defectives. Still, he covers that fetish rather thoroughly in his well-known flick PINK FLAMINGOS (1972), so it's all good. Maybe he was working up to it...!)

Anyway, after committing multiple murders just for kicks at the end of this particular show, Lady Divine high-tails it to the home of her prostitute daughter Cookie, who has her tits out for the whole film, not that her outrageous Mama seems to mind or even notice.

While she's hanging out at Cookie's gaff, Divine learns that her boyfriend Mr. David, a chap whose hair doesn't know which style or colour it's aiming for, has been spotted hanging out with another woman, a bleached blonde Marilyn Monroe-lookalike and wanna-be actress called Bonnie.

Divine's rage knows no bounds. On her way to murder the cheating pair of 'em, she is rather comically raped by a couple of druggie weirdos and, in the company of a slut called Mink Stole, accidentally ends up committing the biggest and most outrageous act of on-screen blasphemy ever committed to celluloid. Know what a 'rosary job' is? Don't worry, you soon will...!

The dénouement of MULTIPLE MANIACS is as bloody, gory, surreal and metaphysical as anything you're ever likely to see in a film. There's pathos, bathos and the blackest of black, black comedy as Divine descends into the kind of madness you don't see in a film very often.

The incredible thing about it is that she was only twenty-five when she filmed this, but the weight and the garishly grotesque make-up make her look a good twenty years older.

The film is peopled with John Waters' favourite and regular troupe of actors and actresses, or his
'Dreamlanders,' as they were known. I really liked Mary Vivian Pearce, the bleached blonde hussy who was unwise enough to fall for the boyfriend of the feisty and murderous Lady Divine, and I also quite liked Edith Massey as Edith the Barmaid, the lady who tips Divine off as to her fella's infidelity. Divine herself, of course, takes the cake. I think she would've liked that...!

(A big shout-out to 'Lobstora' too, though, he was terrific!)

Call me insane but I think that there are some similarities between the film-making of John Waters (John The Gay Guy in THE SIMPSONS) and horror icon Rob Zombie. Both have their preferred little family of thespians they like to work with and both like to really, really push back those boundaries of good taste and decency. It's just a thought. I could be right, I could be wrong. But think about it.

THE CRITERION COLLECTION have done a marvellous job of restoring this ground-breaking film. MULTIPLE MANIACS is on release on Blu-Ray from tomorrow, March 20th, 2017, thanks to their wonderful work and painstaking restoration.

It comes complete with some excellent director-approved special edition features, which include a new video essay by scholar Gary Needham and new interviews with cast and crew members Pat Moran, Vincent Peranio, Mink Stole, Susan Lowe and George Figgs, who played Our Lord Jesus Christ in some deliciously tongue-in-cheek scenes of blasphemous and irreligious mayhem.

This Blu-Ray would make a delightful gift for an elderly maiden aunt with delicate sensibilities and a weak heart, who's incidentally written out her will in your favour and is displaying annoying tendencies towards being a Little Johnny Live-A-Lot. Otherwise, it's not really suitable for anyone else. It's pure filth, so it is. 'Tis shocking altogether. Don't you dare miss out on it.

  AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







No comments:

Post a comment