Female Trouble

Female Trouble ★★★★½

One of the biggest surprises in my movie-watching life was me not liking Pink Flamingos. Even me not liking Taxi Driver seemed to make more sense than that.

I think I wasn't in the right headspace when watching Pink Flamingos, because I really loved this. Female Trouble isn't as trashy as Pink Flamingos, but there's rape, acid throwing, murder, the cutting-off of the hands, a woman kidnapped and kept in a birdcage, and far, far more than you'd think could even fit in a 97 minute movie.

Divine is Divine, both in that she's being the Divine we all know and love (some of us) and that her performance is divine. There's a scene here where she's playing both her main (female) character, Dawn Davenport, and she's also playing a man, and she has sex with herself. And that's the first act! It only escalates from there.

There's some social commentary about the media and our collective obsession with fame and violence and physical beauty that stops this from feeling just violent for the sake of itself. Female Trouble, while sleazy and all the other adjectives you could throw at this era of John Waters filmmaking, is really fun and absolutely ridiculous. It drags, but the good parts ("Who wants to die for art??") are so damn good. And it has its own theme song!

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