THE CRITERION COLLECTION
Glamour has never been more grotesque than in Female Trouble, which injects the Hollywood melodrama with anarchic decadence. Divine, the larger-than-life muse of director John Waters (Multiple Maniacs), engulfs the screen with charisma as Dawn Davenport—who progresses from a teenage nightmare hell-bent on getting cha-cha heels for Christmas to a fame monster whose egomaniacal impulses land her in the electric chair—in the ultimate expression of the film’s lurid mantra, “Crime is beauty.”
Shot in Baltimore on 16 mm, with a cast drawn from Waters’ beloved troupe of regulars, the Dreamlanders (including Mink Stole, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Edith Massey, and Cookie Mueller), this film, the director’s favourite of his work with Divine, comes to life through the tinsel-toned vision of production designer Vincent Periano and costume designer/makeup artist Van Smith. An endlessly quotable fan favourite, Female Trouble offers up perverse pleasures that never fail to satisfy.