Saliva Films, 1977, 90 minutes
Starring Mink Stole, Susan Lowe, Edith Massey, Liz Renay, Mary Vivian Pearce, Jean Hill

Mink Stole in Desperate Living

Desperate Living feels like a fairy tale, a psychotic episode, and a lesbian love story. The story centers around insane housewife Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) and her obese maid Grizelda (Jean Hill). After murdering Peggy's husband in a fit of rage, the two women seek refuge in the mysterious town of Mortville, a village full of criminals who've fled the straight world.

Susan Lowe and Liz Renay in Desperate Living

They take up residence together in a back-woods shack owned by butch dyke Mole McHenry (Susan Lowe) and her glamourous lover Muffy St. Jacques (played by burlesque legend and gun moll Liz Renay). But Mortville is ruled by the cruel and self-serving Queen Carlotta (Edith Massey), who humiliates and tortures her citizens. Peggy, being insane and all, eventually usurps Carlotta's benevolent daughter, Princess Coo-Coo (Mary Vivian Pearce), helping the Queen with her plot to poison Mortville's populace. Revolution ensues, but not until after Mole wins the lottery and gets a penis implant!

Edith Massey in Desperate Living

Notably absent from Desperate Living is Divine, who was doing stage work at the time, and Dreamland legend David Lochary who passed away in '77 accidentally. In their stead, we get the screen debut of Jean Hill, who would go on to appear in several other John Waters movies.


A Dirty Shame
Cecil B. Demented
Serial Mom
Cry Baby
Desperate Living
Female Trouble
Pink Flamingos
Multiple Maniacs
Mondo Trasho
Dorothy the Kansas City Pothead
The Diane Linkletter Story
Eat Your Makeup
Roman Candles
Hag In A Black Leather Jacket

Divine Trash & In Bad Taste
This Filthy World
I Am Divine
Love Letter To Edie

Documentary Roles
Acting Roles