October '97: It's official!
The movie is "Pecker" and it's begun filming in Hampden, Baltimore (of
course), starring little Eddie Furlong of "Terminator 2" fame. Other supposed
cast members are Christina Ricci (The Ice Storm, The Adams Family), Lili
Taylor (I Shot Andy Warhol), Martha Plimpton (Pulp Fiction) and Ricki
Lake. Production officially started on Monday, October 20. Many thanks
to Skully, and Bal'morian Marc for spying the set on my behalf. And thanks
to my dad for the clipping from the Baltimore Sun you see above. There
are a few more details at Aint
It Cool News, an online magazine compiled by Harry Jay Knowles (thanks
to JoshD for the ref). There's also an article at memphisflyer.com
featuring an interview focusing on Pink Flamingos, but also mentioning
'97: Rumour has it that production on "Pecker" has begun!
I know very little details, except that it's rumoured to be budgeted at
$35m and that filming starts October 1. This tidbit is not firsthand,
secondhand or thirdhand, so take it with a grain of salt please. What
is conifirmed is that John was spotted shopping at the extremely expensive,
trendy clothing designer, Comme des Garçons, yesterday in SoHo
- NYC. A friend spotted him and told me, but I didn't chase after him.
Maybe he's taken that $35m and gone shopping!
Summer '97: It's been a lazy summer for me, but I'm back for another
update on what's happening in the life of my fave filmmaker. Pink Flamingos
was released on video by New Line in July with the bonus footage at the
end. And The Voyager Company has released a laserdisc version as well.
There have been several more interviews, including one with Rolling
Stone's Jancee Dunn, and my favorite from Ray
Gun with the retro-rockers Redd Kross.
A fan of Mink Stole by the name of Amy Irons has been keeping me up to
date on all of Mink's projects, like three independent films called "Leather
Jacket Love Story," "Crazysitter" in which she plays a
nurse, and "Pink as the Day She Was Born." Mink also did a guest
spot as a shoe-buyer on Married With Children - an ironic twist to the
Divine saga. Some of her older non-Waters
work includes "Frankenstein Sings a/k/a Monster Mash: The Movie"
and a major role as a demented porno director in "Liquid Dreams."
Check out mysterease's web
site. He's got some videos to trade, if you're looking for those hard
to find Waters films.
A recent request came to me via email asking if I knew the lyrics to "Female
Trouble." Seems this nice band
of boys wants to cover it. The only trouble is, no one can seem to decipher
the words from our worn out old videotapes. If you've got any ideas, check
out the new Do You Know the Lyrics
to Female Trouble page, and send me an email.
John Waters received the Jack Smith Lifetime Achievement Award at the
Chicago Underground Film Festival on August 17th. Mink Stole was also
on hand at the festival, as she was starring in a new underground film
by Laurie Pike, "The Baby Haters." Highlights of the day included
a screening of Female Trouble (introduced by John), a "Making of
Pink Flamingos" panel discussion with John, Mink, Elizabeth Coffey
(the flasher from Pink Flamingos), and the director of "Love Letter
to Edie", Robert Maier. John also did his "Shock Value"
spoken word program, and took questions from the audience. He disclosed
that "Pecker" will begin shooting in the Fall, and that Female
Trouble will not be re-released on video too soon because, as he put it,
"We're holding that one back like Disney did with Fantasia."
He also said that "Michael Jackson is the filthiest person alive."
A special thanks to Marguerite Spaulding for this bit of news.
The often-asked-about 14 minute short film "Love Letter to Edie"
(1974) is now available for purchase at videos.com
in a special collectors' VHS edition, made from a restored 16mm original
film print. It features John and many other Dreamlanders.
Now back to John: he has produced 17 color and black and white prints
to create "Directors Cut," a series of movie stills arranged
in a story board format. It showed in Los Angeles' Pace/Wildenstein gallery
a couple months ago. Apparantly very well received, it featured pieces
such as "Zapruder" starring Divine, and "Frances,"
a picture of Francis the Mule and of Frances Farmer (as played by Jessica
Lange. Thanks to Dorian for this update. To see more of these images,
check out this page.
And Finally, John sells out! He's featured above in one of those sunglasses
ads we've all seen in a million magazines. I wonder how many people will
May '97: I didn't believe it until I saw it in the stores last
week - the soundtrack to Pink Flamingos was released by Hip-O Records,
distributed by Universal Music. So bug the local record shop to get it
so you can hear what John Waters calls "filth music" in the
liner notes. It has all the songs, from Link Wray's "The Swag,"
the groovy opening number, through to Patti Page's "How Much is That
Doggie In The Window," and you know what scene that goes with. And
something I forgot to mention last month - Mr. Waters was interviewed
on National Public Radio about the rerelease.
April '97: Well, it's out! The infamous re-release of the trash
classic, Pink Flamingos, has hit theaters in major US cities. And with
it comes a wave of John Waters publicity. For hungry fans, check out the
May 1997 issue of US magazine (why do they pre-date these magazines so
far in advance?) with the X-Files cover story. Inside is a mouth-watering
interview with Mr. Waters - plus a bonus recipe for Seafood Pasta! No
kidding! There's also an essay by infamous queer director, Gus Van Sant
in this month's Advocate. If you live in New York, make sure to find this
week's (April 11) issue of Next magazine. They've also got an interview
to share. Another more widely know NY publication, Time Out New York,
also featured John on their cover, Martini in hand, with a swank interview
In other news, albeit on a much more personal level, I finally met John
Waters at a book signing here in Manhattan. Last Thursday, he stopped
by Borders near the World Trade Center to sign copies of his books, two
of which are recently re-released: Trash
Trio and Shock Value. Look for them in any good bookstore.
February '97: Fox Television recently aired an episode of The Simpsons
featuring special guest, John Waters. In the episode, John befriends the
Simpson family for their sheer camp value. While he's treating open-minded
Marge, Lisa and Bart to a seedy tour of Springfield, Homer questions his
son's sexuality and confesses that he doesn't like fags. Not that he can
explain why! This may be a cartoon first - queer politics in animated
prime-time. It is also implied that John has had some sort of "relationship"
with Wayland Smithers, although the details are sketchy.
Get that camera out of my face, can't you see I'm reading! - John Waters
February '97: I recently read that Mr. Waters was honored at the
annual Sundance Film Festival with a party celebrating the 25th anniversary
of his notorious classic, Pink Flamingos. Before the midnight tribute
to this shit-eating masterpiece, John hitchhiked around town with the
rest of the celebs. He had this to say about the Festival: "It's
the same thing as a shoe convention, only it's more glamorous."
Pink Flamingos is supposedly being rereleased this Spring in major cities
only. John has been quoted as saying "this is one rerelease that
is definitely not coming to a neighborhood theater near you." It
will include a prologue of John smoking a cigarette as he tells the audience
that they may not (previously seen on the laserdisc for Polyester from
the Voyager Company) and an epilogue with previously unseen footage from
January '97: This month, John is featured in two magazines. First,
he's on the cover of a tabloid size publication called Index. There's
a lengthy interview and some recent photos of Sir Waters, photos he's
taken and some stills from his films. The discussion centers around his
previously unexposed talent as a photographer. The second publication
is Grand Street No.58. This is a far more glossy, artsy periodical which
features a strip of photos John has taken of actress Dorothy Malone's
collar. The piece is titled, appropriately enough, Dorothy Malone's Collar,
© 1997 Jeff