Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...
Emmys 2015: Who should win Outstanding Lead Actor in a ...
Shark Tank Robert Herjavec 'Very Grateful' To Have Met ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Fox Lorber presents
Divine Trash (1998)

"I'm not trying to say anything; I'm just trying to give people a good time. You know, make 'em laugh and give them a little shock value for their money's worth."
- John Waters

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: July 04, 2000

Stars: John Waters, Divine
Other Stars: Mink Stole, Mary Vivian Pearce, Edith Massey, David Lochary
Director: Steve Yeager

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nudity, language, sexual situations, scatological situations and general depravity
Run Time: 01h:36m:47s
Release Date: July 05, 2000
UPC: 720917052267
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-B-C+ D

DVD Review

Shock value is certainly what John Waters is all about; he even used that phrase as the title of his autobiography. This documentary covers Waters' development up through the filming of his first big hit, the notorious Pink Flamingos. This is accomplished with a combinations of vintage and present-day filmed interviews, and also on-set footage, mostly from the making of Pink Flamingos.

Few stones are unturned in the interview segments; we meet Waters' shocked parents and his bemused brother, Steve. Nearly every member of Waters' Dreamland Productions troupe is also interviewed; most of these are from 1972 or thereabouts, but there are modern-day interview clips with both Pearce and Mink Stole, two of the few surviving members of the group. Some of the choicest quotes, however, are from Mary Avara, who was the Maryland Film Board Censor, the last such person (we hope) in the U.S. She relates how taken aback and horrified she was by Waters' footage, and her difficulties in deciding what had to be cut. She would surely be equally offended if she understood the ironic context that Steve Yeager puts her quotations in this film.

The real prize in this documentary, produced by the Independent Film Channel, is the unbelievable making-of footage which was shot on the set of Pink Flamingos. Considering the kind of films which Waters had previously made, zero-budget backyard affairs, the prescience that Yeager had in filming and interviewing the cast members during the making of this trash masterpiece is remarkable. A fair amount of the program is devoted to the infamous concluding sequence of that film, waiting for the dog to do its business so that Divine could eat it.

Divine's role in Waters' ascent into filmmaking legend is not minimized here; Waters himself acknowledges that he'd be nothing without this charismatic 300-pound transvestite. The interviews with Waters are self-mocking as well as mocking of nearly everyone, other than Divine and the film processor who taught Waters the art of editing.

There are film clips from Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble incorporated into the program; however they are not given much context and the director assumes that the viewer is familiar with them. This documentary is not a good place to begin the John Waters experience: come back to it after you've seen some of his films, especially the earlier ones. The clips are in the same 1.66:1 ratio as the documentary, which means that these fullscreen films are cropped at top and bottom.

The least interesting portion of the program is devoted to a variety of talking heads—both directors who laud Waters and psychiatrists who attempt to analyze him. The first time the latter comes up, it's amusing, but the joke gets a little old.

One significant flaw is the scope of the program; it ends before Waters' career really gets going. However, anyone who likes Pink Flamingos will assuredly want to see this documentary.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Considering the source material is largely nonprofessional film shot on the move, the image is at least as good as that of Pink Flamingos itself. This is not exactly a recommendation, but it's passable. The modern day interview material is sharp and crisp, with good blacks and shadow detail. Older video segments are somewhat smeary, but have decent color. Divine's red fishtail dress comes through quite nicely. Bit rates are medium to medium high, ranging from about 5 to 7 Mbps. Overall, satisfactory picture quality for a documentary.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The audio is an acceptable mono presented in 2.0. Surprisingly, there is minimal hiss and noise on the older source material. The dialogue is almost entirely clear, with little distortion other than what is to be expected when shooting "making-of" material live on a set. The music is suitable for the off-kilter subject matter and comes through well and without distortion or clipping.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Weblink to Winstar's web site
  2. List of award nominations for Divine Trash
Extras Review: I really would have liked to see some background information on Yeager's relationship with Waters; clearly the level of access and cooperation which he had nearly 30 years ago would indicate that he had some kind of connection. We are however left wondering exactly how all this great footage came to be. This could have been handled in production notes or a flyer with the disc; as is typical with Fox Lorber documentaries, we don't even get a pamphlet or insert sheet.

We do get filmographies for Waters and Divine, as well as Yeager, and a list of awards that this documentary was nominated for (it won the Filmmaker's Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Festival). The chaptering is inadequate, with the 8 chapters being clearly insufficient for a program of this length. Finally, there is a weblink to Winstar Home Video's website.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Those who like John Waters' films will find this to be a must-own; I was entranced by it. Everyone else.....well, should watch some John Waters movies, see if they like them, and if so pick this one up. Absolutely not for the easily offended.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, music, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, dancing with the stars, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store