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page created: 6/19/02
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Greetings from Dreamland:
The Films of John Waters
on DVD
Director John Waters
For over thirty years, the credit "A John Waters Film" at the beginning of a movie has brought anticipation and revulsion to moviegoers… often simultaneously. It doesn't take long to recognize a John Waters movie. Maybe you recognize a member of his recurring repertory company of actors (which includes such performers as Divine, Mink Stole, Mary Vivian Pearce, Edith Massey and, more recently, Patricia Hearst and Ricki Lake). Maybe an obscure 50's or 60's rock song on the soundtrack strikes you as a quintessential John Waters tune. Maybe the hair seems a little too big to be in anybody else's movie. Or maybe you recognize the location as being in or around Waters' beloved Baltimore, Maryland, where he has filmed every single one of his movies (and that kind of loyalty, I'm sure, has got to be a record for a filmmaker). Whatever it is, you can start watching any of his movies at any point and within less than five minutes, you know you're watching a John Waters movie.

On the other hand, it's very possible that you may know who John Waters is without ever having seen one of his films. Waters is a Persona Director, which is to say that he's a filmmaker with a very distinct and recognizable public persona that he uses to sell his movies. Alfred Hitchcock was a Persona Director. Woody Allen is a Persona Director. But Waters is one of the few whose persona may be better known than his work. After all, none of his movies have been huge blockbusters and, at least until recently, many of his most notorious films have required a search. Thanks to DVD, this has changed. Most of Waters' feature-length films are now available on DVD (still missing in action are his very earliest black-and-white shorts and the Universal-distributed Cry-Baby starring Johnny Depp).

For both the uninitiated and the Waters faithful, The Bits offers the following exercise in poor taste: an introduction to the films of John Waters. But beware. These movies contain nudity, perverse sex acts, extreme violence and some of the finest cinematic examples of scatology ever filmed. As the ad copy for Desperate Living reads, the world may never be the same again!

The Films of John Waters on DVD:

Hag in a Black Leather Jacket (short)
Roman Candles (short)
Eat Your Makeup!
Mondo Trasho
The Diane Linkletter Story (short)
Multiple Maniacs
Pink Flamingos
Female Trouble
Desperate Living
Serial Mom
Cecil B. Demented

Editor's Note: Films listed in YELLOW are as yet unavailable on DVD

About John Waters:

John Waters DVD Scrapbook (bonus disc)
Divine Trash

Director John Waters

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