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Director:John Waters
Cast:Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey, Mink Stole, Stiv Bators, Mary Garlington, David Samson
Release Date:1981
Genre:Black Comedy, Satire

At the Creative Alliance at the Patterson April 6 at 8 p.m.

By Eric Allen Hatch | Posted 4/6/2005

John Waters’ 1981 satire remains one of his best-made and most enjoyable films, the tantalizing evolutionary link between the shit-eating years of Pink Flamingos and the more polished, Hollywood-friendly Hairspray. Depressed, alcoholic Baltimore housewife Francine Fishpaw (Divine) finds her life collapsing amid an adulterous husband who runs a porno theater, a crazed son with a violent foot-stomping fetish, a daughter growing infamous for her slutty behavior, and police and reporters invading her privacy. For solace, Francine turns to best friend Cuddles (Edith Massey), a former maid turned snooty lottery millionaire, and mysterious, coke-snorting stranger Todd Tomorrow (’50s matinée heartthrob Tab Hunter, a genius bit of casting). Good old-fashioned, meanspirited humor abounds, the music’s fantastic, and as a bonus, the whole thing was filmed in “Odorama,” Waters’ homage to William Castle’s filmmaker-as-showman gimmickry: a scratch-and-sniff card distributed to audience members, who are told, when numerals flash on screen, to take a whiff off the corresponding digit on their cards. We’ll leave it to you to guess what No. 2 smells like.

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