Don't confuse the man who filmed Divine eating dog shit with the gross-out moviemakers of today. 'l make exploitation movies for art theatres,’ WHN WATERS tells The List. And how.

\"Jom’s: Stephen Applebaum

'If Melanie Griffith did eat dog shit, it would be digitally~ enhanced, it would cost SZOm and it

wouldn't be funny.’


JOHN WATERS ENTERS THE HOTEL SUITE FOR OUR INTERVIEW looking exactly as .lohn \Vaters always looks: tall. thin. wearing a suit and tie. that famous pencil moustache elegantly perched along his top lip. The image is so familiar. so perfectly maintained. that it is hard to imagine him any other way.

But can this charming and urhane 54-year-old really he the heast of Baltimore who shocked audiences with low- hudget atrocities such as Pin/t Flamingos t W72) and Female Trouble (l97—li'.’ (‘an this really he the .lohn Waters who filmed porky transyestite l)i\'ine gleefully eating actual dog faeces'.’ lle assures me he is. hut still it's difficult to reconcile

the man with the work. .‘ylayhe if he were to undo the top hutton on his shirt. a whole Pandora‘s Box-worth of trouhles would fly out. But he never does.

Nothing seems to ruffle John Waters. Interviewers frequently refer to his equanimity. which is why his new twisted comedy. ('eei/ l)’. Demented. is such a surprise. (‘ompared to his other films. this is a hitter piece of work that seems soaked in the juice of sour grapes. Though his sneaking affection for his targets dilutes the \‘itriol. the film nonetheless feels like something he had to get off his chest.

In it. a fanatical gang of guerrilla filmmakers kidnap an A-Iist star and force her to appear in their underground epic. Their rallying cry is ‘Demented forever“. their leader is the film's eponymous anti-hero. and their prey is Honey Whitlock. gamely played by Melanie (iriffith. 'l‘hereafter the film hecomes a shapeless. scattergun attack on almost every aspect of l-lollywood including multiplex audiences 7-. comprising insider humour and outrageous jokes. It’s easy to see it as an attempt hy the original Pope of Trash to claw hack lost ground from the l‘arrellys and the Wayanses.