MOVIE: MULTIPLE MANIACS
STARRING: DIVINE; DAVID LOCHARY; MINK STOLE; MARY VIVIAN PEARCE
DIRECTED BY: JOHN WATERS
AMovieGuy.com's RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
It's amazing that even by today's standards, Multiple Maniacs still holds up in the shock category. John Waters controversial and rarely seen film, has been restored by the Criterion Collection and is being given a theatrical run for this week at The Music Box Theatre. If you transport yourself to the 1970's, when the director known as “The Pope of Trash”, made his second film on a shoestring budget, and shocked the world with his leading- Lady Divine.
The emcee uses his microphone more like a megaphone to shout to the public about “Divines Cavalcade of Perversion”, featuring all of the shocking things of the times, such as two men kissing, a tweaking heroin addict, a man who eats his own puke, and the main attraction- Lady Divine. By today's standards these, so called “freaks” are not as extreme as it would seem, but the wild flare that exist in every Waters extravaganza, is a courageous breath of fresh air.
Meanwhile, the plot involves Divine getting fed up with her boyfriend Mr. David (David Lochary) when he splits from his lover to feel extra appreciation from new arrival- Bonnie (Mary Vivian Pearce). The two go separate ways, which leads to Divine's first sexual encounter with a woman, who goes by the name of Mink (Mink Stole). Here's where you see the wild John Waters trying to piss off suburban conservative folks. It's even shocking today to see scenes of characters using a rosary as a sex toy, a climactic rape scene from, of all things, a lobster, and multiple Hitchcock-like murders in fits of rage. I can just imagine the Nixon-era, wholesome Americans losing their minds.
Now, a character such as Lady Divine is bigger, louder, and more fabulous than one could imagine. Her existence was a poster-child and just the beginning for John Waters outlandish, unique style of filmmaking. Multiple Maniacs was followed up by a more polished vision, in films such as Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, and one of my favorites, Cry-Baby. It's obvious the performances from supporting players are not good, as lines are delivered like low rate pornographic movie. The acting is bad, and the camera is even out of focus at times. Oddly enough, it adds a certain flare to the film.
Overall, Multiple Maniacs seems to hold up in all of its madness. The newly restored version is impressively crisp. The boundaries that they were pushing then, will still get a rise out of first time viewers, while fans of John Waters would be silly not to take an opportunity to see this rare film on the big screen. The Music Box Theatre will be full with a cavalcade of maniacs, so get your depraved butt there.
Written by: Leo Brady
GET TICKETS FOR MULTIPLE MANIACS @ THE MUSIC BOX THEATRE HERE