Synopsis by Nicole Gagne
One of the most celebrated of all underground films, Flaming Creatures excited national censorship controversies in its day and was even denounced (and screened!) in the halls of the U.S. Senate. Jack Smith had hit a nerve with his delirious tribute to the 1940s screen star Maria Montez. (The soundtrack even includes a chunk of her 1943 release Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.) A hilarious and startling version of Arabian exotica, Flaming Creatures was shot on backdated black-and-white film stock, creating an overexposed and archaic quality to its images -- a world of uncontrollable sexual energy where women and transvestites primp, pose, dance, romance, and sometimes assault each other.