Pink Flamingos (1972) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pink Flamingos1972

Pink Flamingos (1972)



Critic Consensus: Uproarious and appalling, Pink Flamingos is transgressive camp that proves as entertaining as it does shocking.

Pink Flamingos Photos

Movie Info

Renegade filmmaker and noted aficionado of expressive bad taste John Waters exploded into international infamy with this darkly comic, no-budget parade of the perverse (his third feature film, and first in color), in which plus-size cross-dresser Divine stars as Babs Johnson, a flashy criminal on the lam from the FBI who is hiding out in a trailer outside of Baltimore, MD. Accompanying Babs are her mother (Edith Massey), an obese and dim-witted woman who is malignly obsessed with eggs; her degenerate son, Crackers (Danny Mills); and Cotton (Mary Vivian Pierce), Babs' duplicitous "traveling companion" and Crackers' co-conspirator in unwholesome erotic play. While Babs would prefer to be left in peace, she takes great pride in her status as "the Filthiest Person Alive" (an honor confirmed by one of America's sleazier tabloid newspapers), and when Connie and Raymond Marble (Mink Stole and David Lochary) announce their plans to take the title away from her, Babs is not about to stand idly by. The Marbles are a hateful couple who kidnap women, force their homosexual manservant, Channing (Channing Wilroy), to impregnate them, and sell the babies to lesbian couples found unfit for legal adoption; the Marbles then turn the profits back into pornography and narcotics trafficking. Impressive stuff, to be sure, but Babs is not about to take a back seat to anyone in a battle of filth, and when the Marbles throw down the gauntlet, Babs and her family retaliate in a no-holds-barred battle to determine who truly are "the Filthiest People Alive." Featuring murder, bestiality, rape, dismemberment, coprophagia, a dizzying variety of sexual perversions, and a performance of "Papa Oom Mow Mow" you will not soon forget, Pink Flamingos is nonetheless a comedy, and a surprisingly successful one; shot on a budget of only 12,000 dollars, the film has grossed close to ten million dollars around the world, and its success launched John Waters into a career as America's leading authority on poor taste.


as Divine/Babs Johnson
Mink Stole
as Connie Marble
Danny Mills
as Crackers
Edith Massey
as Miss Edie
Paul Swift
as The Egg Man
Susan Walsh
as Suzie, Blonde in Basement
David Lochary
as Raymond Marble
Linda Olgeirson
as Linda, Brunette in Basement
Elizabeth Coffey
as Transexual in Park
Margie Skidmore
as Brunette in Park
Berenica Cipcus
as Blonde in Park
Max Mueller
as Noodles
Pat Moran
as Patty Hitler (Party Guest In Nazi Uniform)
Jack Walsh
as Party Guest
Bob Skidmore
as Delivery Boy
Pat LeFaiver
as First Lesbian
Jackie Sidel
as Party Guest
Julie Munshauer
as Party Guest
Steve Yeager
as Nat Curzan from "The Tattler"
Nancy Crystal
as Sandy Sandstone
George Figgs
as Bongo player
John Oden
as Onlooker
George Stoll
as Onlooker
David Gluck
as Onlooker
Iris Burman
as Party Guest
Randy Burman
as Party Guest
Don Blumberg
as Party Guest
Vince Peranio
as Musician at party
Bob Adams
as Police officer who gets shot
Mark Lazarus
as Officer
David Layman
as Party Guest
Caitriona Maloney
as Party Guest
Richard Keller
as Cab Driver
Charlie Swope
as Party Guest
Barry Golome
as Party Guest
Ed Peranio
as Party Guest
Elia Katz
as Army Guy
Billy Davis
as Party Guest
Howard Gruber
as Party guest sniffing popper
Van Smith
as Guest at party in drag
Chuck Yeaton
as Deli clerk
Laurie Birnbaum
as Party Guest
Lenny Taylor
as Party Guest
Mark Isherwood
as Party Guest
Sandy Damm
as Party Guest
Alan Reese
as Party Guest
Alberta Reese
as Party Guest
Cowboy Foulke
as Party Guest
David Sander
as Party Guest
Brigitte Grey
as Party Guest
Ellis Clark
as Party Guest
Joe Wilepski
as Party Guest
Jimmy Hutzler
as Party Guest
Paul Landis
as Party Guest
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News & Interviews for Pink Flamingos

Critic Reviews for Pink Flamingos

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (10)

Talk about an unlikely classic.

December 2, 2020 | Full Review…

Twenty-five years after Pink Flamingos was first unleashed, the film has lost none of its danger, its wit, its psychotic exuberance.

September 7, 2011 | Rating: A

One of the most vile, stupid and repulsive films ever made.

June 30, 2008 | Full Review…

Still succeeds as an all-out assault on good taste.

May 4, 2005 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Does the humor stand up today? It depends on how broadly "humor" is defined for you. I still love this movie, but some of us are sicker than others.

January 22, 2002 | Full Review…

Waters works best with some restrictions on his license. He's much better as a subversive than he is an anarchist.

January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for Pink Flamingos

An outrageous and repellent exercise in bad taste whose only infantile objective is to leave you disgusted as if eating dog shit yourself. It isn't funny, the acting is horrible and John Waters only proves that he is an awful director with his trashy zooms and ugly camera movements.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


A couple who keep impregnated women chained in their cellar so they can sell the babies to lesbians for adoption try to challenge Divine for the title of "filthiest person alive." Contains every kind of cruelty, obscenity and freak show behavior you can imagine, notoriously including unsimulated coprophagia and chickens killed during sex. There is some value in pushing the envelope so you can see where the line should be, but even John Waters realized he had gone too far with this one.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

John Waters most famous film, Pink Flamingos is an awful piece of crap that is just poorly constructed with a poorly thought plot, which really doesn't make sense, and really bad cast. This is pure Exploitation done wrong. I've seen my fair share of Exploitation pictures, but this one ranks as the worst. I really don't understand as to why this film has gotten praise. This film was trash, and a poor waste of film. There is little substance here to really make it worth seeing, and the content is despicable and it's just for shock value. This is not a film classic by any means, and it doesn't deserve the praise it has gotten. Trash films are fun, I mean look at what Trauma has done. However this is just a disturbing piece of garbage that should not be watched at all costs. I was curious about this film, as I've heard plenty of things about it, how it was a milestone of cinema and such. However, when I unfortunately ended up watching it, I really didn't get the hype. Waters exposes us to every taboo there is, purely for shock value. The film leaves asking questions, as to why this crap would be made. This is not landmark cinema, and it really a picture that exhibits poor taste. The success of Pink Flamingos on the midnight film circuit is surprising. Aside from sheer shock content, the film is boring with nothing interesting going for it. I really don't see what's funny with Pink Flamingos, and it is a poorly constructed film that never should have been made.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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