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Pink Flamingos/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Pink Flamingos

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  • The dog feces in the infamous final scene are real. According to director John Waters, the dog was fed steak for three days beforehand.
  • Director Trademark: [John Waters] [manson] In one of the scenes of Divine sashaying through Baltimore, she walks past graffiti that says "Free Tex Watson". There is also a framed picture of Susan Atkins in Connie and Raymond's apartment.
  • Filming only took place on weekends; John Waters raised money during the week.
  • The house that Connie and Raymond Marble live in together was rented by John Waters and Mink Stole. Interiors were filmed in Stole's part of the house with minimal redressing.
  • David Lochary and Mink Stole designed and colored their own hair for the film.
  • There was a "Revenge On Cookie" subplot, cut from the final film.
  • Some of the music was changed for the 1997 re-release, most notably at the beginning of the party scene, where "Sixteen Candles" was replaced with "Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby".
  • According to director John Waters, the film's budget was so tight, that he could not afford "A" and "B" reels. The work print was in effect the master copy.
  • The film has one of the longest front credits sequence of all time. Every actor and every single extra featured in the movie appears listed in it.
  • During filming, Divine was arrested for stealing, and in his defense said that he was a method actor playing a criminal.
  • John Waters originally wanted a man named "Mr. Ray" to be the narrator of Pink Flamingos. Mr. Ray was famous for his hair-weave radio ads and for his Baltimore accent. Mr. Ray refused, so Waters recorded the voice-over himself, imitating Mr. Ray's voice as "Mr. J."
  • David Lochary apparently colored his hair bright blue with a blue Magic Marker.
  • When Connie and Raymond call the police to break up Divine's birthday party, Raymond gives the police real directions, which would have easily guided real police (or anyone else, for that matter) to the site of the trailer.
  • In some theatres, patrons were given a "Pink Phlegm-ingo Barf Bag."
  • At his request, the Singing Asshole is not credited, and John Waters maintains that he "certainly will remain nameless. It's his choice." This individual does, however, apparently still disclose his involvement in the film to friends.
  • Divine and the party guests are actually inhaling amyl nitrate during the party scene. At the time of filming, it was still legal to buy such "poppers" at the drug store. If you watch Divine's face during the scene, she suddenly starts laughing uproariously. John Waters says that's where "it kicked in".
  • Elizabeth Coffey (Chick with a Dick) was a pre-op male-to-female transexual who had already undergone hormone therapy to develop breasts and female features at the time of filming. She had surgery to remove her penis a week to the day her scene was filmed, and appears as a completely female character in Waters' next film, Female Trouble (1974).
  • Director John Waters wrote a sequel to this film, entitled "Flamingos Forever". It takes place 15 years after the action of the original film, showing Babs' return to Baltimore with Cotton, Crackers, Miss Edie, and her new grandson Dwayne, an 8-year-old transvestite. Their foe in this film is Vera Venninger, Connie Marble's sister, and her husband, Wilbur, a necrophile who runs a mortuary. Troma Films offered to finance the picture for $600,000 but it was never made because of the death of Edith Massey, and later that of Divine, whose roles were integral to the plot. Waters was also VERY uncomfortable with TROMA's editing facilities, which at that time were Moviolas from the very early days of film editing. The screenplay to this work is available with those of Pink Flamingos (1972) and Desperate Living (1977) in a collection entitled "Trash Trio".
  • Connie and Raymond's car belonged to a jive-talking black man that John Waters met during pre-production in Baltimore. In exchange for using the car, Waters attempted to work the man into some scenes he made up on set, where Connie would talk to a magic mirror and say, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the filthiest of them all?" A black pimp in a zoot suit and fedora would then appear in a cloud of smoke and say, "Divine is." Waters couldn't get the special effects for the scene to work correctly, though, so it was cut from the final product.
  • In the film MIDNIGHT MOVIES, John Waters says in part "I was high when I wrote this film. I was NOT high when I made it."
  • According to production designer Vincent Peranio, the art department's budget was about $200. Half went to purchasing the trailer, half to decorating it. "And then after that (running out of money), we would just steal things."
  • John Waters has stated that the only scene in the film he regrets is the 'felatio' scene, which was awkward to film because the two cast members were friends. He also feels it is the most 'dated' part of the film; Deep Throat (1972) had just been released and this scene was Waters' critique on the rise of 'porno chic.'

Alt versions

  • The first UK video release of Pink Flamingos in November 1981 (prior to BBFC video regulation requirements) was completely uncut. It was issued by Palace as part of a package of Waters films they had acquired from New Line. The package included Mondo Trasho (double billed with Sex Madness), Multiple Maniacs (double billed with Cocaine Fiends), Desperate Living and Female Trouble. The 1990 (and now requiring BBFC approval) video re-release was cut by 3m 4s, the 1997 issue lost 2m 42s, and the pre-edited 1999 print was cut by 2m 8s.
  • Although an uncut pre-certified video appeared in 1981 the film was never officially released in the UK until 1990. The initial Castle video was cut by 3 minutes 4 secs by the BBFC with heavy edits to the forced insemination and oral sex scenes, a chicken being crushed during a sex scene and shots of the man's elastic anus, and the final dog excrement eating scene was reduced to a series of still images. The 1997 cinema release saw the elastic anus scene restored and the 1999 EIV video (cut by a lesser 2 minutes 8 secs) restored both the elastic anus and complete excrement eating scenes.
  • The 25th Anniversary re-release version contains a re-recorded music soundtrack, re-mixed for stereo, plus 15 minutes of deleted scenes preceeded by the film, introduced by John Waters.
  • Because of this film's off-color, explicit nature, it has been edited for content many times all over the world. The Canadian censors recently reinstated five of the seven scenes that were originally edited in that country. The United Kingdom has never seen the complete version of the film. A town on Long Island, New York banned the film altogether. The Japanese laserdisc version contains a blur superimposed over all displays of pubic hair. Prints also exist that were censored by the Maryland Censor Board.
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