Last night I watched the John Waters film Polyester, starring the late, great Divine, as Francine Fishpaw, a suburban, alcoholic, odor-obsessed woman whose life is collapsing around her. (If your husband was cheating on you, your daughter was a teenage, pregnant nympho, and your son was a "Foot-Stomper" fetishist, you'd be hitting the bottle, too.) I hadn't seen the movie in a year or two, and watching it yesterday was a breath of fresh air.
That's fitting I suppose, since when the movie was released in theaters, it was presented in Odorama. On entering the theater, movie patrons were handed a card bearing ten scratch-and-sniff patches, and at certain points in the film, a number would flash on the screen, indicating which patch should be scratched and sniffed. Lucky movie-goers had the pleasure of inhaling the scent of fresh-cut grass, gasoline, skunk-spray, flatulence, and dog pooh. (I don't like sniffing stinky things, so I'm content to watch the movie sans Odorama.)
As with any John Waters film, the "acting" is dreadful, in large part because many of the performers were chosen for their unique looks and not their skills as thespians. A prime example of Water's casting philosophy is the snaggle-toothed Edith Massey as Cuddles, the 65 year old "debutante," who delivers the immortal lines "You're a regular little cochon, lady, and that means PIG!" and "Gee Francine, you're the most drinkinest gal I ever seen!"
Tab Hunter (still closeted back then, but way gay anyway) makes an appearance as Francine's love interest, Todd Tomorrow. Who could resist a man with a line of patter like "Let me kiss away your DT's, honey" and "Are you my little flesh-pot?" What a honey-dripper! In a truly odd twist, Tab also sings the movie's theme song, Polyester Queen, which was written by future Waters performer Deborah Harry.
If you have never watched Polyester, you owe it to yourself to indulge in this truly trashy classic. This John Waters film better not get made into a musical like Hairspray, or I'll knit myself a hat and eat it.
Celebrating the tacky,