On-stage conversation with John Waters moderated by critic Dennis Dermody.

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Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime evening as John Waters presents his first two features, Mondo Trasho and Multiple Maniacs, along with early short The Diane Linkletter Story, all on 16mm. These exceedingly rare prints are from Waters’s personal collection, and probably screening for the last time ever!

Special Ticket Price: $25 General Public / $20 Member, Student & Senior

Photos by Lawrence Irvine © Dreamland Productions

Multiple Maniacs
John Waters, USA, 1970, 16mm, 90m

Poised between the grimy black-and-white chaos of Mondo Trasho and the fierce, demented intelligence of Pink Flamingos, Waters’s second feature is an equal-opportunity assault on conventional morality and the virtues of hippiedom. Divine is the haughty proprietress of a traveling freak show—“Lady Divine’s Cavalcade of Perversions”—that exists as little more than an excuse for her and her lover (David Lochary) to rob and kill their bourgeois patrons. When her partner turns against her, she embarks on a dark night (and day) of the soul that includes a confrontation with the National Guard, a burst of cannibalism, a giant lobster, and a vision of the Stations of the Cross as only Waters could film them. For all its outré sacrileges, Multiple Maniacs ultimately arrives at its own kind of religious ecstasy.

The Diane Linkletter Story
John Waters, USA, 1970, 10m

The day after conservative radio host and TV celebrity Art Linkletter’s 20-year-old daughter committed suicide, Waters whipped up—“by accident,” he later said—this improvised, deliciously nasty satire of the girl’s final days, with David Lochary and Mary Vivian Pearce as the victim’s fretful parents.

Mondo Trasho
John Waters, USA, 1969, 16mm, 95m

Waters’s first feature—a ragged, nearly dialogue-free fable shot guerrilla-style in the streets, alleyways, and immediate surroundings of Baltimore for just over $2,000—introduced moviegoers to his recurring company of players and caught his singular trash-opera style in full bloom. A mysterious blonde (Mary Vivian Pearce) passes through a series of nightmarish encounters with (among others) a foot fetishist, a diva with questionable driving skills seeking salvation (Divine), a topless tap dancer, a hacksaw-wielding mad scientist and his sickness-prone nurse, and, eventually, the Virgin Mary, accompanied by a soundtrack of 1950s pop songs, traditional liturgical music, bells, whistles, moans, gossip, and prayers. Mondo Trasho’s plot setup comes from a rich tradition of grimy women-in-trouble cult films, from Daughter of Horror to Carnival of Souls, but its skewed comic sensibility is all Waters’s own.