The travelling sideshow 'Lady Divine's Cavalcade of Perversions' is actually a front for a group of psychotic kidnappers, with Lady Divine herself the most vicious and depraved of all - but her life changes after she gets raped by a fifteen-foot lobster...
OH MY LORD, was I definitely NOT PREPARED. This is the kind of ghoulish, sleazy cinema I live for; from the title to the grisly gratuities, it more than lives up to the title's promise. It has the wonderful, slapdash quality of the best underground efforts. Dialogue and sound bleeds from one scene into another, actors wait for cues before starting lines, or look for help off screen when they forget something. What of it? You can't accuse these performers of insincerity, or sleepwalking, or being noncommittal. Divine and Mink Stole are actually quite natural and convincing in their roles, though personally, I give a tip o' the hat to Cookie Mueller, who I found just mesmerizing as Divine's devoted, stoned, perpetually topless outlaw daughter. Hypnotic!
A technically appalling but intermittently amusing early effort from the king of trash cinema, you at least get the impression that John Waters was well aware of how bad this film is, in parts anyway. It begins with a shockingly inept scene set in Lady Divine's Cavalcade of Perversions, a bad taste sideshow which is essentially a proto-Pink Flamingos, starring most of that later classic's line-fumbling cast. Waters' cinematic aesthetic improves slightly as the film continues, even if the content pretty much goes downhill, although the church scene bang in the middle - in which Divine is anally penetrated with a string of rosary beads while images of the Stations of the Cross run through her mind - actually approaches…
Lady Divine (Divine) and Mr. David (David Lochary) run a tent show called the Cavalcade of Perversions, where people can pay to see perverted acts, like the puke-eater, armpit-lickers, and “actual queers kissing each other like lovers on the lips”, which is all just an elaborate ruse to rob people. Divine finds out Mr. David is cheating on her with a blonde named Bonnie (Mary Vivian Pearce), so she heads out to exact her revenge, but is raped in the street. She goes to church, where she meets the “religious whore” (an amazing Mink Stole), who fucks her with rosary beads while Divine imagines the crucifixion of Christ. Mr. David and Bonnie plot to kill Divine, and they all end…
Fucking hysterical brilliance.
Hilarious and insane! What could be better than Mink Stole giving Divine a "rosary job" in a church? Well i'll tell you: Divine being raped by a giant lobster. Fucking hysterical brilliance.