Mondo Trasho (1969)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Black Comedy, Trash Film  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The first feature film directed by self-proclaimed "Prince of Puke" John Waters, this black-and-white, mostly silent comedy cost just 2000 dollars. Mondo Trasho looks its budget, but has some amusing moments as it tells the story of a woman (Mary Vivian Pearce) who has a very bad day. First, she is accosted in the park by a foot-fetishist who sucks her toes. When she runs away, she is hit by a car. The driver, played by 300-lb. transvestite Divine, lost control of the wheel while staring at a naked man (Mark Isherwood) hitch-hiking by the roadside. Divine takes Pearce along with her, shoplifting some clothes to dress her victim. Unfortunately, both women are kidnapped by a mad doctor (David Lochary) who amputates Pearce's feet, replacing them with those of a chicken. She eventually gets her feet back, gaining magical powers that let her click her heels like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz to escape her situation. Divine is not so lucky, however, and meets her doom in a muddy pigsty. Pearce materializes in downtown Baltimore, where elderly local women with beehive hairdos curse at her until she clicks her heels again and disappears. There isn't much here for casual viewers, as only die-hard Waters fans are likely to countenance the long stretches in which virtually nothing happens. A few laughs are to be had, but not enough to sustain interest, as Waters did not really hit his stride until Multiple Maniacs the following year. At its best, this very rough amateur film suggests interesting ways to tell a story without dialogue, as Waters uses evocative old trash-rock songs to advance the plot. At its worse, it's a bore, of interest to devotees and completists only.




conflict, death, fetish [sexual], gore, hit-and-run, laundromat, miracle, sex, victim, violence, witness