Multiple Maniacs


Multiple Maniacs

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,326
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Movie Info

John Waters' gloriously grotesque, unavailable-for-decades second feature comes to theaters at long last, replete with all manner of depravity, from robbery to murder to one of cinema's most memorably blasphemous moments. Made on a shoestring budget in Baltimore, with Waters taking on nearly every technical task, this gleeful mockery of the peace-and-love ethos of its era features the Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling show put on by a troupe of misfits whose shocking proclivities are topped only by those of their leader: the glammer-than-glam, larger-than- life Divine, who's out for blood after discovering her lover's affair.

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Critic Reviews for Multiple Maniacs

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (4)

  • Only John Waters could stage a Charles Manson-style slaughter then think: "This could really do with a giant-lobster rape scene to spruce it up."

    Feb 16, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Steve Rose

    Top Critic
  • For all its ostensible unpleasantness, Multiple Maniacs is cheapo, indie, queer American cinema at its most adversarial and thrillingly vicious.

    Aug 5, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Is it some kind of lost masterpiece? No. It's merely an interesting milestone on the path to Mr. Waters's better-known works ...

    Aug 4, 2016 | Full Review…
  • For newbies, this is the ideal place to start. Just do your best to pretend you're seeing it somewhere that isn't directly adjacent to a Jamba Juice.

    Aug 3, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Mike D'Angelo

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • More than forty-five years after it made its bow on Baltimore's underground scene, this cult classic's trashy profanity retains its spark.

    Jun 7, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Multiple Maniacs is a subversive movie atrocity that cries out to be seen to be believed. Enjoy.

    Nov 18, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Multiple Maniacs

  • Sep 07, 2016
    Not the greatest flick of Waters but it is one of the funniest, Divine stars as a ring mistress who operates a carnival that robs the patron, until she got bored and decided to kill them. Everything went wrong from that point onward. It was crude and silly but it was hilarious. Fans of John Waters won't be disappointed.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2010
    I watched this a couple of months or so ago, decided to chew it over before reviewing and now I come to do so I can't remember a great deal about it, which possibly tells you all you need to know about the quality of the movie. Poking fun at, among other things, the Roman Catholic church and the victims of the Manson Family, <I>Multiple Maniacs</I> certainly goes for the jugular in terms of tastelessness; the problem is, it's just not funny enough. John Waters is quite capable of writing amusing dialogue but there's precious little on display here. Instead, the movie is littered with tedious, over-talkative scenes that take an eternity to go nowhere, and even the two most infamous sequences - the "rosary job" administered on Divine by Mink Stole and the surreal appearance of "Lobstora" - outstay their welcome by several minutes. Curiously, <I>Multiple Maniacs</I> works best in its quieter moments, when it's not desperately trying to be offensive. For example, as I've said, the "rosary job" goes on forever and isn't all that funny, but the build up, with Divine's voiceover telling us one thing and the visuals exactly the opposite, is highly amusing. I also enjoyed David Lochary and Mary Vivian Pearce's star-crossed lovers routine.
    Stephen M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2009
    John Waters once said that if he hadn't started making movies, he probably would have been a murderer, and after watching this movie, I have no doubt that he was telling the truth. Thank god he settled on movies. There are enough murderers to go around, but there's only one John Waters.
    Shane D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2008
    The film is a little uneven, unsure of where to go exactly and how to get there, but, trust me, what a fun ride it is. The cast is in top shape as always, and like in any Waters film there are plenty of shocks to be found. Always hilarious and highly enjoyable.
    Quinto W Super Reviewer

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