Thursday, July 05, 2007

SIMPLY DIVINE.

I trust y'all had a nice Fourth of July?

There is heavy promotion for the new Hairspray remake film with John Travolta, but it only makes me wish transvestite Divine was still around. Ah yes, the incomparable and unforgettable Divine! Glen Milstead was his real name, and John Waters had the brilliant eye to use him lots in his early twisted movies like Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Polyester. Apparently, John and Glen went to high school together back in Baltimore, Maryland and soon after their degenerate and hilariously revolting collaborations began.

If you've never seen some of John Water's classic 70s films, you owe yourself a look at some fine work with absolutely no social value, other than to disgust and make ya laugh your head off. It was Divine's overly dramatic deliveries and a competent ridiculous regular cast (including Mink Stole and the enormously hilarious Edith Massey) that made these films so fun; the epitome of white trash indeed! Pink Flamingos gets all the glory for showing Divine eating doggy poo in the final scene, but I wholeheartedly believe Female Trouble is the better film; funnier and more twisted than can possibly be imagined. These films can still shock today; they received an X rating back then and were even banned in certain countries. John Waters went very mainstream in the 1980s and his films since then have not had the same grotesque impact as his early work; by the time he directed the original Hairspray, Waters was pretty tame.

Sadly, drag queen Divine died at the young age of 42, due to being overweight. He was fortunate though to die in his sleep--as a result of sleep apnea and heart failure. But the legacy of his work, as preposterously tasteless as it is, still remains highly comedic. There is no doubt that Divine was a terrific comedic performer, and I defy anyone to watch one of his films and not roar out a good one.

It'll be interesting to see what Travolta does with the role Divine played some 19 years ago.








11 comments:

Todd said...

Dvinie, in the original HAIRSPRAY, was perfect. Travolta can't possibly live up to the roll. I am interested in this new incarnation though.

Gavin Elster said...

Female Trouble and Desperate Living are my favs.

The Stiletto Effect said...

first time on your blog and let me say WOW i love it :)
xoxo
Su

Crazy Eddie said...

John Waters is classic... well... classic homo-insanity. I've seen a couple of his movies and am glad to say that his films keep me on edge, uncomfortable, yet intriguing all at once...

He provokes, and for that alone, I love him.

Besos

Zhu said...

I wanna watch Hairpray, but the original one first.

Bill German said...

I can remember meeting divine at a gay bar in ft.lauderdale in 1979. He was doing a drag show and I was sitting on the floor right in front of him. Oh those were free days back then. If only the boys knew what terrible disease was brewing all around them. Rubbers? What rubbers.

Junk Thief said...

I almost bought "Desperate Living" this weekend from $10 bin at Virgin. Love the cockroach snack scene, the boob glory holes at the dyke bar, the gun point sex change at Johns Hopkins.

Lesbians attacked it and Fassbinder's "The Bitter Tears of Petra Van Kant" at the same time. But no one complained when a woman made "Beau Travail." I didn't either, those French, half naked soldiers were hot. Too bad they weren't Spanish.

M- Filer said...

god there are soooo many hilarious and very irreverent lines from those movies. I remember the day Divine died, a friend and I hosted a film festival in her honor. Was it 1987 or '88?

"I'm having an abortion and I____ can't wait!"

"I wouldn't suck your dick if I was suffocating and your balls were filled with oxygen"

"Dawn Davenport you are an habitual liar and the whole towne knows it!"

STOP ME

Christopher said...

pssst...I nominated you for an award.


http://cleverlyfoolish.blogspot.com/2007/07/and-award-goes-tome.html

Gary said...

I always think of Divine as Beverly LaSalle on All in the Family - an episode that really impressed me as a young boy.
I am looking forward to the movie. I saw the show on Broadway when it first opened with Harvey and loved it.

Pod said...

it was john waters and tomato soup that saved me from the depths of the most awful flu once. i am eternally grateful. love 'em all, but possibly serial mom is my all time favourite.

the sun'll come out tomorra....
;0p