PINK FLAMINGOS CRITERION COLLECTION BLU RAY REVIEW

John Waters PINK FLAMINGOS, is the oft spoke of, censorship famous, worlds most debauched film notorious release that has a lot of heat eminating off it. You know you are going to get something interesting to discuss when Divine is present and to ride with Waters is to ride with the master of bad taste but PINK FLAMINGOS pushes buttons everywhere. Divine is a wanted criminal with a level of sass that stinks worse than a animals back end. She is hiding out with her family in a trailer outside Baltimore, after her notoriety as the “Filthiest Person Alive” has isolated her. When two would be degenerates (Mink Stole and David Lochary) come up with a plan to impregnate women after kidnapping them, it is not going to sit well with Divine. She will push back and show them the true meaning of filth. Incest, cannibalism, shrimping, and that infamous dog doo doo scene are taking it to the edge and beyond.

If you know Waters and PINK FLAMINGOS, then you knwo what you are in for. Its not a great film in the sense of artistry, it is much more a film setting out (and up) to challenge its audience and its cast to the maximum. So expect no quarter given and no level of excess missed. To those who know the film, you will be glad to hear this is released uncut. Criterion have made this their only proviso (so no ANDREI RUBLEV sadly). The MELON FARMERS site informs us the BBFC let us know that

nudity : There is focus on a man’s dilating anus, in close-up detail. There is wider full nudity.

sex : There is a scene of unsimulated fellatio between a fictional mother and son. There are other strong sex scenes, as well as references to ejaculation, masturbation and troilism. A man’s semen is seen, in close-up detail.

sexual violence and sexual threat : A man rapes a woman, while daubing her in chicken blood. After masturbating over her, a man artificially inseminates an unconscious female prisoner. A man exposes himself to schoolgirls.

other issues: In unsimulated footage, a woman puts dog excrement in her mouth. There is infrequent very strong language (‘c**t’), regular strong language (‘f**k’, ‘motherf**ker’) and discriminatory terms such as ‘fag’, ‘dyke’ and ‘queen’. A chicken is killed on-screen. Threat, gore and implied violence are strong. There is brief drug misuse.

 

So it is all there. Halleluia! What else? Well there is the stuff from the previous releases. The same commentaries (very good but if you bought it before, you aint gonna want to spend again). Deleted scenes, alternate takes, and on-set footage are all old stuff we have seen and sensed before, that add little.

Then the new stuff. We have a very nice 4K that is like upscaling a TV show, shot on 16 mm. It makes the grain lovely and fresh but makes the whole film less sleazy! How I do not know, but it does. Waters and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch conversation is long, talks frankly and is quite possibly the best thing on the set. There is a very good Divine documentary, that can be added as a good addition to the set. The essays are very good but one is avaiable on the web if you look hard enough. So all in all, the real selling point here, for you all, is that this is a region B release and it is uncut.  To be honest…

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director John Waters, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Two audio commentaries featuring Waters, from the 1997 Criterion laserdisc and the 2001 DVD release
  • New conversation between Waters and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch
  • Tour of the film’s Baltimore locations, led by Waters
  • Deleted scenes, alternate takes, and on-set footage
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • And more!
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton and a piece by actor and author Cookie Mueller about the making of the film, from her 1990 book Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black

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