John Waters - Rotten Tomatoes

John Waters

Lowest Rated:   0% Homer & Eddie (1989)
Birthday:  
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

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet 2:22 - Encontro marcado
  • Bill
2017
No Score Yet Wall Writers: Graffiti In Its Innocence
  • Narrator
2016
60% Suburban Gothic
  • Cornelius
2015
No Score Yet Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story
  • Actor
2015
93% 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
81% 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
No Score Yet 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
92% That Man: Peter Berlin
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Wiggles - Here Comes Big Red Car
  • Actor
2006
89% Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream
  • Actor
2005
13% Stealth
  • Civilian Doctor
$31.8M 2005
83% Inside Deep Throat
  • Actor
$0.5M 2005
32% 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
  • Director
  • Reporter
  • Screenwriter
2000
No Score Yet Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Forever Hollywood
  • Actor
2000
78% Sweet and Lowdown
  • Mr. Haynes
1999
No Score Yet Chameleon II: Death Match
  • Henry Kubica
1999
52% Pecker
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1998
No Score Yet The Real Macaw
  • Dr. Lance Hagen
1998
80% Anthem
  • Actor
1997
80% Divine Trash
  • Actor
1997
60% Serial Mom
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1994
No Score Yet Ebbtide
  • Michael Suresch
1994
73% Cry-Baby
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
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
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1988
No Score Yet Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  • Tom Garfield
1988
No Score Yet Miracle Down Under (Bushfire Moon) (The Christmas Visitor)
  • Patrick
1987
88% 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
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1981
100% 'Breaker' Morant
  • Capt. Alfred Taylor
1980
No Score Yet Cass
  • Actor
1978
70% Desperate Living
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
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
80% Female Trouble
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1974
80% Pink Flamingos
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
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 Nevada
  • Director
1927

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Tavis Smiley
2013
  • Guest
  • 2017
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
2003
  • Guest
  • Panelist
  • 2017
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2009
  • 2005
  • 2004
91% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
2015
  • Guest
  • 2016
No Score Yet ANZAC Girls
2014
  • Colonel Thomas Fiaschi
  • 2015
No Score Yet RuPaul's Drag Race
2009
  • Judge
  • 2015
39% Rush
2014
  • Robert McKellar
  • 2014
No Score Yet Colbert Report
2005-2014
  • Guest
  • 2014
  • 2010
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
1999-2015
  • Guest
  • 2007
No Score Yet Art in the Twenty-First Century
2001-2016
  • Appearing
  • Host
  • 2003
No Score Yet The O.C.
2003-2007
  • Keg Bro
  • 2003
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Guest
  • 1998
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
  • 1997

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