I haven't seen all of John Waters'
films, but yes, his early efforts were rather depraved. However, all his films carry some element of satire and social commentary, however depraved they are.
For instance, the triva
reveals that part of the inspiration for the plot line stems from the state of race relations in Baltimore, Maryland, during the late 1950s and early 1960s, in particular the thwarted effort to integrate a popular local TV show, the Buddy
, hosted by the late Buddy Dean
was another spoof, this time of the clash between the "squares" and the "greasers" (or "drapes" as they were called in Baltimore at that time).
follows a suburban mother who does whatever she feels is necesary to safeguard her family and good manners/good taste (Note to Juror #8
: Don't wear white after Labor Day!
). There's also a commentary on the death penalty:
Father Boyce: Jesus said nothing to condemn capital punishment as he hung on the cross, did he?
Father Boyce: If ever there was a time to go on record against the death penalty, wasn't it that night? Capital punishment is already the law in the state of Maryland. So what are we waiting for, fellow Christians? Let's just do it.
(Careful, some of the other quotes are X-, or at least R-, rated.)Pecker
(The young man is called "Pecker" because he pecks at his food like a bird.) satirizes the artsy-fartsy New York City art world. Or, as one reviewer wrote
Due to some great casting choices, this film really brought out the silliness associated with modern art and the subjective nature of your modern artist.
One quote is still topical today:
Tina: We're all famous- just like the Jackson family!
Jimmy: Don't say that, Tina.
I haven't seen Cecil B. Demented
, but from the description I suspect there's a bit of Waters laughing at himslef.
Nor have I seen A Dirty Shame
, but the thought of Selma Blair
, the ". . . go-go dancer known to her adoring fans as Ursula
Udders" with her "her stupendously enlarged breasts" sounds udderly fascinating