John Waters

Lowest Rated: 0% Homer & Eddie (1989)
Birthday: Apr 22, 1946
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Of all the dubious titles awarded him -- "The Sultan of Sleaze," "The Baron of Bad Taste," and so forth -- filmmaker John Waters prefers "The Pope of Trash." Born in Baltimore to an upper-middle-class Catholic family, Waters has always been fascinated (obsessed, actually) with violence and gore. He claims that the biggest rush of his childhood occurred when he found dried blood on the squashed remains of a derelict automobile (he also claims to have used binoculars to watch X-rated movies at his local drive-in). For his 17th birthday, Waters was given an 8mm camera. Wasting no time, he gathered together a group of his like-minded chums -- including obese high-school classmate Harris Milstead, better known as female impersonator Divine -- into a repertory troupe called the Dreamland Players, then began churning out his own films. Unlike other teenaged amateurs whose first films consist of warmed-over Godzilla movies and stop-motion GI Joe dolls, Waters' oeuvre was the basest, most vomit-inducing form of poor taste. His avowed purpose in life was to smash every middle-class value that his uptight Baltimore brethren held dear. After completing such early short-subject gems as Hag in a Black Leather Jacket and Eat Your Makeup!, Waters would screen his films in rented church basements, heralding their showings by blanketing the town with mimeographed invitations. Borrowing 2,000 dollars from his father, Waters put together his first feature film, Mondo Trasho, in 1969 -- and was arrested on the eve of its premiere on a charge of "conspiracy to commit indecent exposure" (say what?). As in all of his films, Mondo Trasho pokes fun at its offensiveness even while wallowing in it. In 1972, Waters outdid himself with his midnight-movie masterpiece Pink Flamingos (lensed on a reported budget of 10,000 dollars), wherein faithful Dreamland players Divine, Mink Stole, and David Lochary vie for the title of "World's Filthiest Person" (Divine wins by a mile and a furlong by ingesting a handful of doggy doo-doo). The film went on to become known as one of the most revolting movies of all time, as well as a timeless cult classic. Waters finally got into first-run theaters with Polyester (1981), which not only featured a mainstream actor (Tab Hunter) but revived the old promotional trick of handing out scratch-'n'-sniff cards to the patrons. The director then backed off from filmmaking for about six years, writing witty, perceptive articles for such publications as National Lampoon and teaching courses in film humor to prison inmates. He returned with Hairspray (1988), a 1950s piece set in Baltimore which, despite Waters' claim that he prides himself in the fact that his work has "no socially redeeming value," carries a strong and well-articulated plea for racial tolerance (Waters' star in Hairspray was future talk show host Ricki Lake, who played Divine's daughter). With the exception of Mink Stole, most of Waters' stock company have vanished from his later films; in their stead are such pop-culture icons as Johnny Depp, Pia Zadora, Deborah Harry, Troy Donahue, Iggy Pop, Sonny Bono, and even Patty Hearst, whom Waters once described as "The Lindbergh Baby who lived." Indeed, the director had even managed to accumulate enough respectability over the years that his 1994 Serial Mom starred no less than Kathleen Turner. Though comparatively highly budgeted, the film displays the same energetic, class-clown tackiness as Waters' earliest, cheapest films. His next effort, the 1998 film Pecker, brought him a little further into the mainstream -- or at least into respectable arthouses everywhere. The story of a young Baltimore photographer (Edward Furlong) who becomes a reluctant art-world darling, Pecker managed to be surprisingly sweet while retaining the usual Waters trademarks, such as amiable dysfunction, public copulation, and casually graphic shots of genitalia. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win wide praise. The pra


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Queercore: How To Punk A Revolution Actor 2018
22% 2:22 Bill 2017
No Score Yet Wall Writers: Graffiti In Its Innocence Narrator 2016
64% Suburban Gothic Cornelius 2015
No Score Yet Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story Actor 2015
94% The Last Impresario Actor 2014
96% I Am Divine Actor $60.5K 2013
No Score Yet Time Zero: The Last Year of Polaroid Film Actor 2013
No Score Yet Return To Nim's Island Actor 2013
No Score Yet Adiós Actor 2013
No Score Yet The Rep Actor 2012
25% Mansome Actor $18.9K 2012
No Score Yet Of Dolls And Murder Narrator 2012
No Score Yet Paul Bowles: The Cage Door Is Always Open Actor 2012
No Score Yet The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Actor 2012
83% Excision William 2012
No Score Yet Mangus! Jesus of Nazareth 2011
77% Beautiful Darling Actor $13.9K 2011
79% Blank City Actor 2011
88% William S. Burroughs: A Man Within Actor $46.9K 2010
89% It Came from Kuchar Actor 2010
No Score Yet The Smut Capital of America Actor 2010
60% Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore Actor 2010
No Score Yet Groupies (The Weston Group) Actor 2009
No Score Yet The Wiggles: Go Bananas! Actor 2009
No Score Yet The Wild World of Ted V. Mikels Narrator 2008
92% Obscene Actor 2008
No Score Yet Starz Inside: In the Gutter Actor 2008
70% Guest of Cindy Sherman Actor 2008
100% Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story Actor 2007
No Score Yet The Junior Defenders Narrator 2007
No Score Yet Indie Sex: Censored Actor 2007
91% Hairspray Flasher $118.9M 2007
No Score Yet In the Land of Merry Misfits Narrator 2007
100% John Waters: This Filthy World Actor Screenwriter 2006
86% This Filthy World Actor 2006
63% Jackass: Number Two Actor $72.8M 2006
84% This Film Is Not Yet Rated Actor 2006
85% Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis Actor 2006
93% That Man: Peter Berlin Actor 2006
No Score Yet Wiggles - Here Comes Big Red Car Actor 2006
90% Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream Actor 2005
12% Stealth Civilian Doctor $31.8M 2005
83% Inside Deep Throat Actor $0.5M 2005
33% Seed of Chucky Pete Peters $17.1M 2004
53% A Dirty Shame Screenwriter Director $1.3M 2004
96% Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea Narrator 2004
No Score Yet Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat The Reverend 2003
No Score Yet Evil Never Dies Prof. Arkin 2003
No Score Yet Hippos and Rhinos Actor 2003
90% The Cockettes Actor 2002
53% Cecil B. Demented Reporter Screenwriter Director 2000
No Score Yet Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story Actor 2000
No Score Yet Forever Hollywood Actor 2000
77% Sweet and Lowdown Mr. Haynes 1999
No Score Yet Chameleon II: Death Match Henry Kubica 1999
52% Pecker Director Screenwriter 1998
No Score Yet The Real Macaw Dr. Lance Hagen 1998
80% Anthem Actor 1997
80% Divine Trash Actor 1997
63% Serial Mom Director Screenwriter 1994
No Score Yet Ebbtide Michael Suresch 1994
72% Cry-Baby Director Screenwriter 1990
No Score Yet Heaven Tonight Johnny Dysart 1990
No Score Yet Which Way Home Steve Hannah 1990
0% Homer & Eddie Robber No. 1 1989
No Score Yet Grievous Bodily Harm Morris Martin 1989
98% Hairspray The Psychiatrist Screenwriter Director Producer 1988
No Score Yet Boulevard of Broken Dreams Tom Garfield 1988
No Score Yet Miracle Down Under (Bushfire Moon) (The Christmas Visitor) Patrick 1987
89% Something Wild Used Car Guy 1986
No Score Yet Passion Flower Actor 1986
No Score Yet Alice to Nowhere Johnny 1986
No Score Yet Three's Trouble Actor 1985
No Score Yet All the Rivers Run Brenton Edwards 1984
No Score Yet Attack Force Z Sub-Lt. King 1982
89% Polyester Director Screenwriter Producer 1981
100% 'Breaker' Morant Capt. Alfred Taylor 1980
No Score Yet Cass Actor 1978
70% Desperate Living Producer Screenwriter Director 1977
No Score Yet Demolition Actor 1977
No Score Yet Weekend of Shadows Rabbit 1977
No Score Yet The Scalp Merchant Actor 1977
No Score Yet Getting of Wisdom Rev. Shepherd 1977
No Score Yet Endplay Mark Gifford 1975
88% Female Trouble Screenwriter Producer Director 1974
80% Pink Flamingos Producer Screenwriter Director 1972
100% Multiple Maniacs Director Screenwriter Producer $25.5K 1970
No Score Yet Diane Linkletter Story Director 1970
50% Mondo Trasho Director Screenwriter Producer 1969
No Score Yet The Mighty McGurk Director 1946
No Score Yet Nevada Director 1927


No Score Yet Late Night With Seth Meyers
  • 2019
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
Panelist Guest
  • 2019
  • 2017
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2009
  • 2005
No Score Yet Tavis Smiley
  • 2017
  • 2016
No Score Yet The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
  • 2016
No Score Yet ANZAC Girls
Colonel Thomas Fiaschi
  • 2015
83% RuPaul's Drag Race
  • 2015
39% Rush
Robert McKellar
  • 2014
No Score Yet Colbert Report
  • 2014
  • 2010
No Score Yet The Graham Norton Show
  • 2010
  • 2007
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
  • 2007
No Score Yet The Henry Rollins Show
  • 2007
82% My Name Is Earl
  • 2007
  • 2006
No Score Yet Art in the Twenty-First Century
Host Appearing
  • 2003
72% The O.C.
Keg Bro
  • 2003
94% Frasier
  • 1998
85% The Simpsons
  • 1997


No quotes approved yet.