Multiple Maniacs (New Restoration!)
dir. John Waters, US, 1970, DCP, b/w, 82 min
John Waters’ gloriously grotesque, unavailable-for-decades second feature comes to theaters at long last, replete with all manner of depravity, from robbery to murder to one of cinema’s most memorably blasphemous moments. Made on a shoestring budget in Baltimore, with Waters taking on nearly every technical task, this gleeful mockery of the peace-and-love ethos of its era features the Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling show put on by a troupe of misfits whose shocking proclivities are topped only by those of their leader: the glammer-than-glam, larger-than-life Divine, who’s out for blood after discovering her lover’s affair. Starring Waters’ beloved regular cast the Dreamlanders (including David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, and Cookie Mueller), Multiple Maniacs is an anarchist masterwork from an artist who has doggedly tested the limits of taste for decades.