Director-Ron Howard

Starring-Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl

Scott’s Review #162


Reviewed August 31, 2014 

Grade: B+

Rush, a film directed by Ron Howard, delves into the world of auto racing with the true story of the 1970’s rivalry between racing superstars of the day James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

The film mainly focuses on the period from 1970-1976 and the series of races and championships involving the two with some of their life trials and tribulations thrown in. At first bitter enemies, respect, and friendship slowly build over the years.

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl both give excellent performances as Hunt and Lauda, respectively.

Ron Howard, a very mainstream, Hollywood-style director carves a nice film that is not edgy or particularly risk taking, but is a solid biopic that works and will hold the viewer’s interest.

The film is not gritty and has a definite safe feel to it, but that is unsurprising since Ron Howard directed it and is a characteristic of his films.

Reportedly, the feud between Hunt and Lauda is slightly embellished from the low-key real-life feud and some events are created for effect- Hunt never beat up a reporter in Lauda’s defense.

The racing sequences are compelling and are not overdone or take away from the human aspect of the film. I loved seeing the real-life Hunt and Lauda at the end of the film as is quite common these days when telling a true-life story.

Bruhl, an unknown to me, received a deserving Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Rush is not a movie to go down in history nor will it leave one thinking about or asking questions days from viewing it, but a slick, competent, entertaining story with impressive acting by the two leads.

The Spectacular Now-2013

The Spectacular Now-2013

Director-James Ponsoldt

Starring-Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley

Scott’s Review #161


Reviewed August 29, 2014

Grade: B

The Spectacular Now is a coming-of-age independent film that tells the story of a romance between two unlikely high school seniors.

Sutter (Miles Teller) is a popular student who takes a shine to smart loner Aimee (Shailene Woodley) and the two develop a strong bond as they each struggle with parental issues while being opposite social types- she is college-bound and motivated, he lives in the now with no thoughts of the future. But somehow they forge a connection.

The success of this film lies with Teller and Woodley who each give nice performances as the chemistry between them is evident. At first I neither bought Teller as a traditionally popular kid or Woodley as the friendless recluse, but somehow the film works as each has a rooting value to them.

Sutter’s ex-girlfriend Cassidy, who he still has feelings for is played by Brie Larson, but the character is rather undeveloped, needless, and not much rooting value for her or competition for the main couple.

Interestingly, alcohol and alcoholism are touched on as the two leads drink quite heavily and regularly for being only eighteen years old, but glossed over and I think the film is more about the romance between the two rather than any social issues.

There are capable supporting performances by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Shailene Woodley received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actress, but sadly Miles Teller received no nomination and I am surprised as I thought he was a bit better than she was and certainly has the meatier role.

The Spectacular Now is hardly anything groundbreaking, but a nicely told story and has an authenticity to it that is admirable for a teen film.

Independent Spirit Award Nominations: Best Female Lead-Shailene Woodley, Best Screenplay

Tower Heist-2011

Tower Heist-2011

Director-Brett Ratner

Starring-Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy

Scott’s Review #160


Reviewed August 29, 2014

Grade: D

Tower Heist is completely formulaic, by the numbers comedy with absolutely no surprises or, frankly, creativity.

It tells the story of a luxury high-rise apartment manager named Josh Kovacs, weakly played by Ben Stiller and set in New York City, whose favorite tenant, a businessman named Arthur Shaw, played by Alan Alda is arrested for involvement in a Ponzi scheme.

The entire staff’s pensions have been squandered, thanks to Josh entrusting Shaw with the funds, and he strives to return the money to the rightful owners via a team of staff and an ex-con, played by Eddie Murphy who teams up and attempts to locate millions of dollars hidden in Shaw’s apartment.

If this film was a starring vehicle with Ben Stiller in mind, it was done horribly. He has been much funnier in There’s Something About Mary or Meet the Parents.

Tower Heist has some similarities to the film Ocean’s Eleven- the score is recognizable and mirrors that film and the band of players are similar to that film and the look of it reminds me of Ocean’s Eleven.

Murphy plays a silly, stereotypical role, no chemistry or anything is interesting between the group striving to retain the $$, and no chemistry between Stiller and Tea Leoni, who plays an FBI agent with a phony Queens accent that I found laugh out loud bad.

Nothing worked in this film as it was one tired gag after another and completely predictable.

I will admit that the 2 minor positives in Tower Heist were Alan Alda- always great to see him in films, and the interesting choice of a luxurious high-rise setting with cool, ritzy interiors taken from real buildings in NYC.

Otherwise, this film is a complete dud.

All That Heaven Allows-1955

All That Heaven Allows-1955

Director-Douglas Sirk

Starring-Rock Hudson, Jane Wyman

Scott’s Review #159


Reviewed August 26, 2014

Grade: B+

All That Heaven Allows is a perfect looking film as Director Douglas Sirk famously dressed his films in a contemporary, stylish fashion. Traditionally, his films contain a social aspect to them as evidenced by the story at hand in this film.

Affluent socialite Cary falls in love with handsome young gardener Ron and they face the discrimination of a town where status is everything and gossip is rampant.

I loved the chemistry between Jane Wyman (Cary) and Rock Hudson (Ron) and the small town in New England is so perfect looking- sets, cinematography, that it fits the subject matter perfectly- most of the townspeople live these seemingly perfect lives and look down on anyone with a different outlook or way of living.

There is a stifling feeling oozing from these people that contrasts perfectly with the open-mindedness and freedom of Ron and the conflict faced by Cary. On the one hand, she is passionate about Ron and wants a life with him; on the other, she is unsure if she wants to toss away a comfortable, affluent life with perks like the social club and a beautiful house.

The aforementioned chemistry between the leads is really what makes this film special. All That Heaven Allows was heavily influential to one of my favorite films, the masterpiece Far from Heaven, which substituted the age factor for race.

Argento’s Dracula-2012

Argento’s Dracula-2012

Director-Dario Argento

Starring-Thomas Kretschmann, Marta Gastini

Scott’s Review #158


Reviewed August 22, 2014

Grade: C-

As a huge fan of Dario Argento- His classic horror films such as Suspiria and Deep Red would surely land in my Top 50 of all time, not just in the horror genre, this film is a bit of a mess.

The story, as I understood it, involves a young man named Harker, who is hired by Count Dracula to work in his castle as a Librarian. His wife Mina arrives later in the story and is the focal point of the film from that point on.

Another female named Tania rises from the dead to seduce and bite Harker. Dracula intervenes and wants to claim Harker as his own. From this point on, Harker’s wife Mina attempts to look for her husband within the halls of Dracula’s castle.

The plot is difficult to keep track of, not compelling, and certainly not one of Argento’s finest efforts. Clearly an homage to Hammer horror films of the 1950s and 1960s, the film comes across as too campy, poorly performed, and some miscasts among the actors.

The actor who plays Count Dracula is not convincing and seems a strange choice for the part- too nice looking? It felt like Argento did not know whether to make the film serious or go for being completely over the top. Since when can Dracula change forms into a grasshopper, owl, and other creatures besides a bat?

Other characters like the Priest were introduced for no other purpose than to be killed. On the positive side, the art direction is amazing. The film is filled with creepy sets especially inside the mansion and has a distinct 1970’s feel to it. The ambiance is highly effective at portraying a spooky, dark setting.

All in all, though, Argento’s Dracula is a disappointing experience and much better films of the same subject matter have been covered in the past.

The Missing Picture-2013

The Missing Picture-2013

Director-Rithy Panh

Starring-Randal Douc

Scott’s Review #157


Reviewed August 21, 2014

Grade: C+

One question continued to go through my mind while viewing The Missing Picture- is it a documentary or a foreign film? To me, it is a documentary, but strangely the film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

I hate to say this, but after 15 minutes or so I found the film quite dull.

I respect the creative, expressionist clay figures and enjoyed the black and white real-life clips of the horrific events from 1970’s Cambodia. But I found the narration as dull as dishwater.

I watched 45 minutes of the 1 hour and 35 minutes run time and deduced that I had gotten the point of the film. It does not take away from the importance of the subject matter at hand, but the presentation could have been a bit more exciting.

This is a common occurrence in the documentary genre.

Oscar Nominations: Best Foreign Language Film

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service-1969

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service-1969

Director-Peter Hunt

Starring-George Lazenby, Diana Rigg 

Top 100 Films-#25

Scott’s Review #156


Reviewed August 19, 2014

Grade: A

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is often shamefully derided by fans of the James Bond franchise, which is sad since artistically and story-wise it is top of the heap and is my personal favorite from the series.

Bond, now played by George Lazenby, is on the hunt for arch-nemesis Blofeld, played by Telly Savalas. Blofeld is intent on securing amnesty for his past deeds and is threatening to ruin the world’s food supply if his demands are not met.

Often known among Bond historians as “the one with George Lazenby”, who, if not for Sean Connery returning to the series in the next film, could have lasted much longer in the role, is a breath of fresh air and wonderfully cast.

Lazenby brings his form of charisma, great looks, and charm to the role and Sean Connery is a tough act to follow, but Lazenby succeeds in spades.

Diana Rigg is one of the best Bond girls of all time as she is intelligent, sophisticated, confident, and beautiful, a great counterpart to Bond- she is more his equal, rather than simply just a conquest for him, and the two actors have real chemistry.

Telly Savalas is effective as the Blofeld, though not my all-time favorite Bond villain by any stretch- something is missing in his performance.

In typical Bond fashion, the film begins in sunny Portugal, side steps to London, and finishes in cold Switzerland. I love the icy, snowy Switzerland locales in the film and the ski chase, downhill bobsled chase, car chase on ice, and subsequent blizzard, which are brilliantly atmospheric.- a perfect film to view on a cold winter’s night!

I love the inside quips in this one especially when Lazenby says “I bet this never happened to the other fellow” and “He had lots of guts” both are laugh-out-loud clever.

The shocking and tragic ending is uncharacteristic for a Bond film and a brilliant change from many of the films as Bond is humanized.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is more character-driven than the other films in the franchise while still providing lots of adventure, and should be revered as a more layered Bond offering.

The Day the Earth Stood Still-1951

The Day the Earth Stood Still-1951

Director-Ray Wise

Starring-Michael Rennie

Scott’s Review #155


Reviewed August 18, 2014

Grade: B+

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is one of the best, most credible, original, science fiction thrillers and certainly stands the test of time considering it is over 60 years old. Made in 1951, the film is a message movie that tells the tale of a spaceship that suddenly arrives on planet earth in the United States capitol of Washington D.C.

Michael Rennie is fantastic as Klaatu, the calm, poised, leader of the spaceship who, along with Gort, a 7-foot tall robot, intends to deliver a message of peace and humanity to the leaders of Earth. The arrival of the spaceship sets off a panic and Klaatu is captured, only to escape and meet local townspeople as he tries to pass himself off as human and deliver his message.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is clearly a liberal slanted, anti-war, pro-tolerance, and acceptance movie, but also a good, old fashioned black and white science fiction thriller rolled into one. It’s an important film. It is an edgy, questioning film that can easily still be viewed and appreciated today (sad that not much seems to have changed in the world after all of these years). It is political and the setting of Washington D.C. is wise and symbolic.

While a handful of humans are portrayed as intelligent and accepting, the majority of Earth’s human beings, especially politicians, are portrayed as war happy, foolish individuals and the viewer will question the world around him or herself, and hopefully begin to question political decisions and the horrors of war that go on and on and on.

A Hard Day’s Night-1964

A Hard Day’s Night-1964

Director-Richard Lester

Starring-The Beatles

Scott’s Review #154


Reviewed August 18, 2014 

Grade: C

Why this rock documentary, day in the lifestyle film is considered among the Top 100 films of all time completely escapes me. I’m a huge fan of the Beatles but found the film a disappointment.

The segments consisting of musical numbers performed by the band are excellent and, humming along, I enjoyed the black and white filming of the “documentary” as well, but the film is not a documentary in the traditional sense and is very difficult to categorize.

Is it a rock opera?  Is it a comedy? Is it a documentary? Is it a musical? It is somewhat of a hybrid as the viewer journeys through a typical day in the life of a Beatle. But all else seems fluff to the point of silliness. Countless scenes of the band running through the streets with adoring fans screaming and chasing after them become irritating. There is little plot to the film. The Beatles were a huge band. We get it.

Paul, George, Ringo, and John do a capable job in the film, considering they are non-actors, but I’d much rather have been exposed to a straightforward documentary focusing on the background of some of the songs or of the band members themselves instead of a lightweight tale of a day in the life of The Beatles with silly attempts at humor thrown in.

A Hard Day’s Night reportedly influenced the 1960’s television comedy starring The Monkees.

Oscar Nominations: Best Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Best Scoring of Music-Adaptation or Treatment

After Tiller-2013

After Tiller-2013

Director-Martha Shane, Lana Wilson

Scott’s Review #153


Reviewed August 13, 2014 

Grade: A

After Tiller is a brilliant and thought-provoking documentary about the controversy of abortion. The issue presented is not whether abortions should be performed, but rather should be performed late-term (beyond 20 weeks).

The Doctor Tiller mentioned in the title was the Doctor who opened the handful of clinics that perform late-term abortions and who was murdered outside of his church by fanatics before the documentary was made.

The 4 remaining protégé’s of his are Doctors who now openly perform these controversial procedures and who are presented as, not monsters as some would think of them, but as sympathetic, kind professionals who put the pregnant mothers’ needs first.

As I assumed before seeing the documentary, the Doctors are not strictly performing the abortions for mothers seeking a way to get rid of a “problem”, but rather, in most cases, the baby will lead a life of pain, misery, and health problems and typically the parents do not learn of the problem until late in the pregnancy which adds dimensions and levels to the issue at hand.

The viewer is left wondering, what would I do?

Most of the parents struggle with the decision to terminate the pregnancies.

These Doctors (and their families) constantly receive death threats from pro-life groups who do not comprehend the issue and the Doctors are harassed by people who do not want their abortion clinics anywhere near them and as a viewer, this is painful to watch.

Any viewer who is pro-life or pro-choice ought to watch this for a better understanding of the complexities of late-term abortions.

After Tiller is riveting but has shamefully been seldom seen by audiences.

Independent Spirit Award Nominations: Best Documentary Feature

Last Exit to Brooklyn-1989

Last Exit to Brooklyn-1989

Director-Uli Edel

Starring-Stephen Lang, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Scott’s Review #152


Reviewed August 13, 2014

Grade: A-

Last Exit to Brooklyn is a slice of life type film that takes place in the early 1950s and is set in lower-class Brooklyn, NY.

It tells the story of a group of struggling neighborhood people- sex workers, union members, drag queens, etc. whose lives intersect. Also in the neighborhood is a military base where soldiers come and go on their way to war-torn Korea.

The central characters, though there are several with small yet interesting stories, are Harry, played by Stephen Lang, a sexually conflicted union worker with a wife and newborn child, yet, in love with a selfish drag queen, and Marilyn Monroe lookalike, Tralala, played superbly by Jennifer Jason Leigh, a prostitute whose best days are behind her, and who will do anything for attention.

The sets and cinematography in the film are very well done- the feeling of despair and hopelessness are accomplished by the dowdy streets, homes, and bars that the cast frequents.

Some of the characters are sympathetic- the aforementioned plus Tralala’s love interest, the Diner boy madly in love with Tralala, and the virginal seeming (but not really), Donna, portrayed by a young Rikki Lake. Other characters are abhorrent in their violence and hatred.

Last Exit to Brooklyn is quite a dark film and sometimes tough to watch, but captures a dreary time and atmosphere. The Brooklyn set is excellent in its dreariness.

Jennifer Jason Leigh is the standout for me as the tough-talking, boozy prostitute who is losing her luster and the final scene of the film is truly a heartbreaker. The topics of union, strike, bisexuality, gangs, and drag queens are covered and unique characters and conflict/loneliness is presented.

This film is an overlooked gem from 1989.



Director-Alfred Hitchcock

Starring-James Stewart, Kim Novak

Top 100 Films-#6

Scott’s Review #151


Reviewed August 7, 2014

Grade: A

Over the years Vertigo has easily become one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films and I learn, appreciate, or see something new with each repeated viewing. It is an absolute masterpiece. The primary appeal to Vertigo is its mystique and dream-like quality and provides a beautiful cinematic experience. It is ominous, psychological, and gloriously complex, even confusing at times, but that makes it wonderful. The colorful opening visuals are dynamic and groundbreaking.

The story involves a retired detective, Scottie, played by Hitchcock stalwart Jimmy Stewart. Scottie suffers from vertigo, which hinders his daily life. After an incident in which a police officer is killed and Scottie blames himself and his vertigo for causing the death, he whiles away the days brooding and keeping companionship with Midge- a college friend whom he was once engaged to.

One day he is hired by another college friend to follow his wife, played tremendously by Kim Novak, who is acting strangely and periodically disappearing, having an obsession with a painting of a woman from years past. From this point, the plot twists and turns in a great mysterious fashion and mixed in is a romantic, bizarre, obsessive, love story. Is Scottie in his right mind? Will his vertigo continue to haunt him? What is the secret to Madeleine and Judy? Is Midge as sweet as she appears?

The score to Vertigo is haunting and unforgettable and adds so much mood and ambiance to the film. Set in San Francisco, several location shots are featured- Golden Gate Bridge, downhill streets, the Mission, Red Wood forest.

As with all Hitchcock films, all sets and details in the film are perfect from paintbrushes, coffee mugs, and curtains and furniture, to the gorgeous bright red décor of the restaurant heavily featured in the film. How exquisite does Kim Novak look in the film??

Originally critically panned upon its release it is now considered one of the greatest films of all time, deservedly so, and has influenced countless other films with its unique camera angles and slow, methodical pacing. The film is not always an easy watch as it is complex, to be fair, but like a fine wine, it gets better and better.

Vertigo is a layered psychological thriller that is appreciated more and more with each viewing.

Oscar Nominations: Best Sound, Best Art Direction

Room 237-2012

Room 237-2012

Director-Rodney Ascher

Starring-Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks

Scott’s Review #150


Reviewed August 6, 2014

Grade: C-

My viewing of the documentary Room 237 resulted in mixed emotions.

On the one hand, it is an interesting glimpse into the world of the classic, horror masterpiece The Shining, with many clips and film facts presented. It also features other works by Director Stanley Kubrick and compares them to each other, which is interesting to fans like me. I loved the passion from the fans of this film and admire how they know every intricate detail of The Shining.

But at the heart of this documentary lies conspiracy theories from the fans and theorists, regarding The Shining, that are downright wacky and become redundant after about 15 minutes.

What makes these people credible? Only their voices were heard and the audience did not see their faces. Who are they? What walks of life are they? Most of these conspiracy theories are much ado about nothing.

Somehow a camera angle or a photo of a surfer or an expression on the face of Jack Nicholson turns into a mythological meaning? There is also some gibberish about moon landings and the holocaust that did not interest me.

I bought very little of it if any.

I would have been quite content with a documentary solely focused on the making of The Shining or interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes facts, or even bloopers. It would have been more realistic, interesting, and plausible.

As a tribute to the excellence of The Shining this documentary succeeds; in all else, it fails.

Short Term 12-2013

Short Term 12-2013

Director-Destin Cretton

Starring-Brie Larson

Scott’s Review #149


Reviewed August 6, 2014 

Grade: C+

Having just viewed Short Term 12, I am not sure I am getting all of the “this movie is brilliant” or “beyond amazing”, or glowing praise surrounding the film.

The film is set in a group home for troubled teens and centers around the supervisor of the home named Grace (Brie Larson). Grace runs the home with her boyfriend and other twenty-something, mostly former troubled youths.

The film’s focal point is Grace and both her problems (she is pregnant and her abusive father is being released from prison) and her relationships with the teens currently staying in the group home.

The film is fairly engaging, but seems a bit forced and not gritty enough given the subject matter.

I enjoyed the relationship between Grace and a new charge, Jayden, whom she befriends. The group of teens is almost too perfectly cast however- a mix of races and stereotypes, the kids did not come across as genuine. I would have liked to see more backstory for some of the kids besides the two that were given one.

Subjects were introduced but not followed through with- Why was Grace’s father never introduced onscreen? Where was the mother? Her childhood issues were mentioned only in passing. Some of Grace’s actions were unrealistic and out of character for a counseling supervisor.

Would she smash the windows of one of the teen’s father’s cars out of anger and not consider the repercussions? And what was with the constant poop jokes especially in the first 10 minutes? That was dumb and out of place.

The film seemed glossed over and I didn’t feel the realism to it- almost like a CBS television drama with swear words added to seem harsher. The subject matter was brave, but so many more details could have been delved into and explored in Short Term 12.

Independent Spirit Award Nominations: Best Female Lead-Brie Larson, Best Supporting Male-Lakeith Stanfield, Best Editing (won)

The Searchers-1956

The Searchers-1956

Director-John Ford

Starring-John Wayne, Natalie Wood

Scott’s Review #148


Reviewed August 5, 2014

Grade: B+

The Searchers is an example of a classic film, considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made, that took me a few viewings to appreciate and that I now admire more and more with each subsequent viewing. I now understand why it is on many Best films of all time lists.

To be clear, I do not think it’s quite that great, but understand the outstanding qualities that it possesses. And while admittedly, I am neither a fan of the western genre nor of John Wayne, both are top-notch in The Searchers. It tells the story of a Civil war veteran (Wayne) named Ethan Edwards, whose brother and his sister-in-law, whom Ethan is in love with, are brutally murdered by a Comanche Indian tribe. Ethan’s two nieces are kidnapped and for the remainder of the film, Ethan, along with his best friend, searches for the missing girls.

Two aspects that initially bothered me about the film were the overt racism involved in this film towards any Indians- the treatment of one Indian woman is cruel, and my disdain for the character of Ethan. The fact that I am not a fan of John Wayne- way overrated in the acting department, in my opinion, may have something to do with this. But the character of Ethan is clearly racist and it is tough to root for a character like that.

One could make the argument that he is also self-loathing due to lusting after his sister-in-law. Over time, though, I have come to appreciate this western drama more and more, mainly due to the direction of John Ford and the sweeping cinematography of the old west and the, now understood, complexity of the character of Ethan. He is confident, masculine, even mean, but wounded and, in some way, sympathetic to viewers. The Searchers also captures what the real west was probably once like. An epic western that I have grown to admire.



Director-Spike Jonze

Starring-Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johannson

Scott’s Review #147


Reviewed August 5, 2014

Grade: A-

Her is a very unique film that is directed by Spike Jonze.

The film tells the tale of a lonely, depressed man named Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who lives in a beautiful high-rise in futuristic Los Angeles. He works as a writer for a company that creates intimate cards for people in relationships. Having suffered a recent divorce, he then falls in love with his computerized operation system named Samantha, played by Scarlett Johansson- voice only.

Conflicts emerge as the relationship deepens and intensifies. Her is a love story so uniquely crafted, but also a story of loneliness and of the world of technology that we now live in.

It portrays human relationships as troubled and unsuccessful yet several characters have wonderful relationships with computers. Is this what the future may really bring with human beings? How many people have fallen in love with a fantasy or a voice on the phone?

The film ponders why relationships have been changed due to technological advances and wonders what will happen even further into the future. Technology, while wonderful, has changed our interpersonal relationships and this film successfully delves deeply into that aspect.

The conversation is a lost art and Her features the joys and the tragedies of technology.

Visually, the film is successful in that it portrays Los Angeles in a sophisticated, ultra-sleek, modern way that is fascinating to look at.

Several technological games are featured (the Alien child is brilliantly comical) and the “Mom points” fascinating in its irony. Her is a deep film that raises questions and I applaud this in modern cinema.

Her is a slow-moving film to be sure, but a questioning one. Her won the 2013 Best Original Screenplay Oscar and I am so glad the academy recognized the originality of this film.

Oscar Nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay (won), Best Original Score, Best Original Song-“The Moon Song”, Best Production Design

Female Trouble-1974

Female Trouble-1974

Director-John Waters


Scott’s Review #146


Reviewed August 4, 2014

Grade: A

Female Trouble is a deliciously naughty treat by famous Independent film legend, John Waters. Not exactly family-friendly, it is a gem for those desiring more left-of-center fare with depravity and gross-out fun mixed in for good measure. Water’s theme of the film is “crime is beauty” and the film is dedicated to Manson family member, Charles “Tex” Watson.

Clearly meant for adult, late-night viewing, the film tells the story of female delinquent Dawn Davenport, who angrily leaves home one Christmas morning after not receiving her desired cha-cha heels as a Christmas present. Her parents, religious freaks, disown her and she is left to fend for herself on the streets of Baltimore.

The film then tells of her life story of giving birth and subsequently falling into a life of crime in the 1960s.  Her friends Chicklet and Concetta are in tow as they work various jobs and embark on a career of theft. Female Trouble stars Waters regulars Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, Cookie Mueller, and others.

Interestingly, Divine plays a dual role- Dawn Davenport (in drag, of course) and also the father of her bratty child- Earl Peterson. Dawn and Earl have a less than romantic interlude on a dirty mattress on the side of the road, when he picks her up hitchhiking, which results in the birth of Taffy.

Also featured is the hilarious feud between Dawn and her love interest’s (Gator) Aunt Ida, as the women engage in tactics such as acid throwing and chopping off of limbs as they constantly exact revenge on each other.

Favorite scenes include Dawn’s maniacal nightclub act in which she does her rendition of acrobatics and then begins firing a gun into the crowd. Another is of Dawn’s dinner party with Donald and Donna Dasher- serving a meal consisting of spaghetti and chips, Taffy’s tirade hilariously ruins the evening.

This film is certainly not for the prudish, squeamish, or uptight crowd, but a ball for all open-minded, dirty fun-seekers. The film contains one over-the-top, hilarious scene after another. The line “just cuz you got them big udders don’t make you somethin’ special” is a Waters classic.

Female Trouble is one of a series of outrageous, cult-classics featuring the legendary camp star, Divine. Not meant to be overanalyzed or some might say, analyzed at all, Female Trouble is unabashedly trashy and makes no apologies for its outrageousness.