Everyone in Desperate Living's Mortville has some horrible secret to hide. The mentally unstable Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole, in a superb display of overacting) and her 300-pound-plus maid Grizelda must take it on the lam after Grizelda smothers Peggy's husband under her elephantine buttocks. They find themselves in Mortville, a shanty fiefdom ruled by the grotesque Queen Carlotta (the incomparable Edith Massey). The evil queen delights in tormenting her subjects, but Peggy and Grizelda soon team up with a pair of lesbian outcasts, and a rebellion is in the air. John Waters's Desperate Living takes on the air of a seedy, trash fairy tale as the humiliated residents of Mortville rise up against the queen and the cursed princess finds herself in a power struggle against her mother. Notable for the absence of Waters regular Divine, this movie pushes the rest of the cast to their over-the-top best. Fifties sex bomb Liz Renay has a great time as Muffy St. Jacques, half of the lesbian couple, and was still looking great by the '70s. The tumbledown sets of Mortville add a surreal touch to the movie, but Edith Massey steals every scene she's in as the hateful, repulsive Queen Carlotta. Note that the actors' breath is clearly visible in many scenes; it was filmed outdoors in a bitter Baltimore winter. Nasty, shabby, gross, and hilarious, this is John Waters at his best. --Jerry Renshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It's hard for me to believe that there could be John Waters fans who know only his mainstream films. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2001 by El Kabong
One more fithy movie from John Waters' perverted mind. It is most trashy with mediocre acting, cheep cardbord settings, most unrealistic fairytale-like story and bizarre situations... Read morePublished on June 4 2001 by Xavier Thelakkatt
Hello, movie goers! I am a HUGE fan of John's work, but Desperate Living has to be my least favourite movie he's made. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2000 by Terry E. Pelton
At the time of its release, this was easily John Waters's most technically accomplished and professional-looking film. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2000 by Garry Messick
a "fractured fairytale" if there ever was one!! this movie you MUST watch over and over!! The shock value is high - and the laughs are "Multiple"! Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2000 by "grlinterupted2"
This amazing John Waters movie dserves it's place amongst the strangest and sickest films ever made. Read morePublished on Aug. 30 2000 by russell Teague
Desperate Living is often an overlooked and forgotten piece of Waters' early work, mostly because of the abscence of Divine, but to me it's one of his best films which I continue... Read morePublished on July 24 2000 by JOHN SPOKUS
This film has a take no prisoners approach and stops at nothing. Just when you think John Waters cannot be more depraved, he goes one step beyond. It was AWESOME! Read morePublished on June 17 2000 by "cumbriefs4sale"
This film is considered by many to be the last true "Trash" film from John Waters before going mainstream with films like "Polyester" "Hairspray" and "Serial Mom". Read morePublished on May 23 2000 by Alan Mora