New Line Cinema, 1981, 85 minutes
Starring Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey, David Samson, Mary Garlington, Ken King, Mink Stole
In the first Waters film with a big budget ($300k!), he gives us Divine as 300 lb. alcoholic housewife Francine Fishpaw, whose suburban dream home turns into a house of horror.
Her remorseless husband runs a porn theater and flaunts his affair with trashy secretary Sandra Sullivan - played by Mink Stole - in Bo Derek braids and "the finest in Polyester!" Francine's daughter Lulu is a slut who only dates punks. Son Dexter is a popper-sniffing punk with a foot-stomping fetish. And her mother, Leroux is a real bitch!
Everything seems to be going wrong for Francine, but then she meets her dream lover Todd Tomorrow, played by former teen dream Tab Hunter. Everything starts looking up, but what is that stench in the air? It's ODORAMA!
Francine has an extremely sensitive sense of smell. So Waters gives the audience a chance to experience what Francine does, through the magic of Odorama, a scratch-n-sniff card featuring 10 spots, cued to be scratched at specific times during the film. The odors range from sublime to repulsive, because in life, somethings just plain stink!
Unfortunately, this is Edith Massey's last and most touching performance as the "retarded" maid-turned-millionare, Cuddles. Her optimism and naivete are the perfect counterpoint to Francine's traumas.
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