Desperate Living - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Desperate Living Reviews

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April 28, 2018
without Divine, it couldnt be as great as the previous movies, but i liked it. i liked all the john waters movies
June 23, 2017
Wicked funny but gross movie. queen carlottas reign is probably no different than Saddam Hussein, OBL or Kim Jung Un, behind the scenes.
November 24, 2016
Probably Mr. Waters' grossest movie.
October 2, 2016
Film cult!! not for everyone.
½ July 29, 2016
A first glimpse at the imagination of John Waters and it's quite the view. Initially hilarious but soon the squalor of the picture becomes grotesquely tiresome.
June 3, 2016
This movie absolutely kills me. From Mink Stole screaming crazy stuff like the children are having sex and her husband is trying to kill her to being forced to escape to a town filled with derelicts and criminals...this movie never stops with the satire, hilarity and complete grossness.

Coming across a perverted cop wearing women's lingerie while on the run, he directs them to Mortsville which consists of a shanty town filled with undesirables. Mortsville is run by Edith Massey (the lover of eggs from Pink Flamingos) who delights in humiliating her loyal subjects and shoving her dominating ways in their faces. Her gay soldiers are particularly hilarious in their attempts to satiate their queen. The movie culminates in some typical gory, but beyond funny scenes when the lesbians unite to confront the queen.

If you love John Waters and have never seen this, get on it ASAP.
September 30, 2015
In this film, Mink Stole steps out of Divine's shadow and glistens like the star she is. It also gave John Waters the benefit of showing he wasn't dependent on having Divine in a film, for the first time.
Mink Stole should've been the lead role of more dark comedic films, but unfortunately this work of cinematic "trash" (meant in the best possible way!) stands alone.
I love this movie, and show it to people who aren't quite ready for something as obscene as Pink Flamingos, but still want to see John Waters at his best.
March 25, 2015
such campy fun I love this pic
June 14, 2014
DESPERATE LIVING, John Waters' first movie without his muse Divine, is a fitfully entertaining and really bizarre affair that's hard to sit through at times, but still kind of works by sheer force of will. The story (if one can call it that) is about a woman named Peggy (Mink Stole) who has been recently let out of a mental institution. After accidentally killing her husband, she runs away to the (fictional) town of Mortville, a slum which is ruled by a tyrannical queen, Carlotta (Edith Massey). This film serves as kind of an intermediary between his earlier "trash" and the more mainstream fare Waters began making in the 80's. The cinematic quality has yet to be cemented, and his actors shout most of their lines as if the audience was deaf, but there still is humor found in some pretty dark and off-the-wall material. Towards the end, there's even some political commentary thrown in about fascism, oppressive government and class warfare. It would seem slightly shoehorned if the movie hadn't taken place in this fictional/alternate universe, but it still gives the film a little depth. As far as acting goes, nobody really gives a "great" performance, but they still have fun with the lines they were given to say. Edith Massey was probably the most entertaining out of them all, as a sick "monarch" who gets pleasure out of making her subjects miserable, and even torments her own daughter. The camerawork and cinematography isn't too great either, but it was fairly standard for Waters' lower-budget work. The music was fine too, and there's a nice tune that bookends the film. Overall, it's not as great as the collaborations with Divine but it still stands out as one of John Waters' better films before he went more mainstream. For me, it was a little hard to sit through at times but I'm glad that I stuck it out until the end.
April 28, 2014
Since 1964, John Waters had made 4 short films and 4 feature films, and he had emerged from underground filmmaking with Pink Flamingos (1972), and Female Trouble (1974) heightened his profile. For his next film, he was able to raise 6 times the budget of Pink Flamingos for this trashy but darkly funny crime caper made with very little money but a lot of imagination. Neurotic housewife Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) and her housemaid Grizelda Brown (Jean Hill) go on the run after Grizelda smothers Peggy's husband Bosley (George Stover) to death. With nowhere else to go, Peggy and Grizelda end up in the run-down and deviant shanty town of Mortville, run over with an iron fist by the evil Queen Carlotta (Edith Massey) and her two-timing daughter Princess Coo-Coo (Mary Vivian Pearce). Peggy and Grizelda end up becoming associates of lesbian wrestler Mole McHenry (Susan Lowe) and her lover Muffy St. Jacques (Liz Renay), and they end up in a coup to try and overthrow Queen Carlotta after Coo-Coo runs away. It's a very sleazy film, and you will feel very unclean after witnessing all this, but you can't help but admire the way Waters creates this world for next to nothing. The only thing missing from this dirty magnum opus was Divine, who was doing a play, but he returned with style for Waters' next one, Polyester (1981).
December 18, 2013
As a Baltimoron, it was nice to recognize some of the cultural influences and filming locations. However, this movie certainly creeped me out! I feel like I went on some kind of drug trip.
May 19, 2013
Unforgettable freak show from the puke-loving pope of pop culture--Definitely not for the faint of heart!!
½ April 25, 2013
edited version? i think not!
January 16, 2013
Disgusting and demented. Love it!!
January 7, 2013
This movie has some of the best lines!
November 3, 2012
I love John Waters films, yet, this made me wanna blow my mind out..
July 24, 2012
An entertainingly strange movie with just the right amount of WTF for me.
½ May 22, 2012
John Water's Desperate Living is a trashy, sleazy fairy-tale about an insane housewife who kill's her husband and goes on the run with her 300 lb maid. They arrive in Mortville, a crappy town on the outskirts where fugitives and criminals of sort take shelter. They are ruled over by kinky Queen Carlotta, and her minions, leather-clad men-the type that would wear ass-chaps. Yea, so this is a John Water's film and if that means anything to you, then you know what to expect. This is a very lewd, often hysterical, film that is a lot of fun. There are ton's of great random moments and dialogue that kept me well entertained though I don't think the "social commentary" aspect of the film comes through as much as Waters was hoping. It clearly seems to be a commentary on the empowerment of woman, in some capacity, I just think it's a little too grim, though fun, to achieve it completely. Waters is an enigma for me; he's definitely a lot of fun and I enjoy almost everything of his I have seen, yet I always am left wishing the film had more to say. Still full of interesting, bizarre and unique ideas which is always appreciated.
May 1, 2012
El sorprendente humor negro e irreverente de John Waters es llevado aqui a la satira del facismo. Una critica plagada de escenas incomodas (y por igual divertidas) como cambios de sexo express, ratas cocinadas, canibalismo y una de las escenas lesbicas mas sui generis del cine. Larga vida al rey del trash!
April 25, 2012
Words fail me for this LOVE John Waters!!!
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