Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mondo Trasho (1969)

Director: John Waters

Starring: Mary Vivian Pearce, Divine, David Lochary, Mink Stole, Bob Skidmore, Margie Skidmore, Berenica Cipcus, Jack Walsh

More info: IMDb

Plot: A day in the lives of a hit-and-run driver and her victim, and the bizarre things that happen to them before and after they collide (sexual assault by a crazed foot-fetishist, visions of the Virgin Mary, strange chicken-foot grafting operations).

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? Uh, no.

I'm a HUGE fan of Waters even though I've only seen three of his films.  PINK FLAMINGOS (1972) is one of my all time favorite fun flicks.  A friend and I were on a 'let's see some John Waters we've never seen before' kick and this was the start of it.  Woof.  I guess Waters had to start somewhere.  This is his first feature length film and it's for die hard Waters fans only.  The film doesn't exactly live up to the awesome title.

The 87 minute film (we'll get to that issue in a moment) begins with a 17th century executioner axing the heads off of live chickens.  Don't worry, folks, the picture's in black & white.  Two minutes of that and then Mary Vivian Pearce decked out in Betty Boop eyes spends several minutes walking to the bus stop and waiting for the bus...all to the graduation march, Pomp and Circumstance.  Then it's a lovely walk to the park (which looks like the same one seen in PF) where she pulls a small grocery store pack of raw ground beef, pinches off bits of it and feeds the ants on the sidewalk.  With me so far?  Then Danny Mills shows up, lurking behind her, and shows us that he's got a foot fetish.  The next thing you know they're in the woods and he's licking her feet for a few minutes.  At some point she gets hit by a car, driven by Divine, and more crazy stuff happens from there.

Where do I start with what's wrong with this?  The music is a mish-mash of songs, mostly short to long snippets, that get played many, many times to the point of over-use within a half hour.  There's barely any dialogue at all so you're ears are forced to listen to the repetitive tunes.  Some are great but they get old and fast.  It's very ameteurish and you can tell he learned an awful lot between this and PF four years later.  What I loved about it was seeing a lot of familiar faces that were also in PF before they had perfected their, uh, craft.  For that reason alone it's worth watching but be warned, you will lose an hour and a half by doing so.  I'm glad I watched it but I'm also glad it's over.

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