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2 reviews, 7 user ratings

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Mondo Trasho
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by Dr. Isaksson

"Mondo Trasho is really Trash-o-Riffic!"
4 stars

Mondo Trasho, the first full length feature from John Waters is an oddity to say the least. It doesn't have any vulgar language, (it's a silent film) there are no nude scenes and no one is eating dog crap but it is definitely a raunchy trash-fest of all that is a little scummy in the city.

When you compare Mondo Trasho to Waters' films of recent times you almost cannot believe that it is the same man behind the camera. This is not to say I do not like his first effort in the art of movie making. In fact, I love this LOW budget monstrosity.

This is basically a silent film chocked full of songs from the 50's and 60's with occasional snippets of voice clips of the actors thrown in. The plot is very disjointed but you get the idea that not much thought went into it. A sexy blonde, (Mary Vivian Pearce who looks like a gutter Jean Harlowe), heads out for a day in the city. She walks about, feeds raw meat to roaches and is given a 'shrimp job' by a strange man with a foot fetish. During the shrimping, she has a fever dream where she lives out the tale of Cinderella. (Since she has no official name, I'll call her Cinderella from now on.) The shrimper soon deserts her and she is left dejected and wandering the streets. 'Oh, how difficult to be toe sucked and then left high and dry'.

Here is where the 300 pound transvestite (Divine) comes in, playing Lady Divine. She's a huge blonde bombshell who drives around in a 59' Cadillac convertible wearing a glittery halter top and Capri pants. (Try to picture that!) Things seem fine for Divine until she accidentally slams her car into Cinderella.

Now a mad rush to help the injured girl begins. Divine takes Cinderella to the local Laundromat, cleans her up, gets a wheelchair for her and attempts to get her to a doctor. Along the way, Divine's car is stolen and then the two unfortunates are mistaken for mental patients and tossed into a mental home. It is here that a patient (Mink Stole), does a 10 min topless tap dance. After escaping the home, Divine and Cinderella (who is unconscious) get to the local physician. However, a certain man named Dr. Coathanger, (David Lochary) has other plans for his patients than healing them!

After more craziness, the local press catches up with Divine and asks her about the car accident. It's here that John Waters throws in his reoccurring theme that "Crime is Beautiful" and that the press loves a good hit and run accident. Divine loves the attention, but soon things get outta control again and the big finale is truly trashy. Divine and Cinderella are left running for thier lives through a pig pen while Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" blares in the background. This scene has to be seen to be believed! One of the weirdest damn ways to close a film!

John Waters' Mondo Trasho is a crudely shot, scratchy looking, badly lit, somewhat long and really wacked out film. (They were all definately smoking or poppin' something when they made this!) At times, Mondo Trasho can get tedious. (At 95 minutes, it is amazingly the longest of all John's films) and you have to wonder why in the world is he using so much film to show Divine unwrapping a piece of gum while driving along the streets? Then you begin to realize that it's a celebration of trashiness. Low key fun in Baltimore with John, a movie camera with no mic and his friends playing dress up. (I wanna do that too!)

"Mondo Trasho" is like a crazed fairy tale told by the only one who could dream something like this up. John Waters. **** 4 Stars

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4410&reviewer=296
originally posted: 01/23/02 23:58:21
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User Comments

10/13/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Waters and Divine are funny, but this movie isn't 2 stars
2/05/07 LyndseyElizabeth True John Waters Masterpiece 5 stars
5/19/03 olivia good 4 stars
3/13/02 Dreamland437 Not John Waters' strongest film, but if you like his other work, you'll probably like this. 4 stars
1/24/02 Elliot moving dramatic tour de force filmaking. Cinema as it should be!. 5 stars
6/18/01 GeorgE It was good but I think you'd have to be a real John Water's cultist to really enjoy it. 4 stars
3/14/01 Sthenno A brilliant chunk of B/W film,with a plot that is so odd,you can't beleve how funnny it is! 5 stars
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  02-Mar-1969 (NR)



Directed by
  John Waters

Written by
  John Waters

  Mink Stole
  David Lochary
  Mary Vivian Pearce
  Bob Skidmore
  Margie Skidmore

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