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Film / Multiple Maniacs

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Multiple Maniacs is a 1970 Horror-Crime-Comedy film directed by John Waters. It was his second feature film, after Mondo Trasho, and the last one shot in black and white. It tells the story of Lady Divine and Mr. David (Lochary), who have a traveling freak show called "The Cavalcade of Perversions," which is a front for robbing and killing spectators. Everything goes downhill from there.


"Maniacal Tropes":

  • Black Comedy Rape: Divine, by a giant lobster named Lobstora, among other examples.
  • Fangirl: Bonnie wants to join the Cavalcade.
  • Fat Bitch: Divine, in her usual Ax-Crazy persona.
  • The Freakshow: The Cavalcade of Perversions, which includes the two guys kissing described below, the puke-eater, and a photographer snapping the crotch of a nude woman.
  • Foreshadowing: Divine's "maniac" speech near the end is echoed in Connie Marble saying how she loves her own filthiness in Pink Flamingos and the "Crime is beauty" discussions in Female Trouble.
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  • Guy-on-Guy Is Hot: Subverted. One of the exhibitions is "two actual queers kissing each other like lovers on the lips," which the audience finds repulsive.
  • Refuge in Audacity: It's a John Waters movie, this comes with the territory.
  • Shout-Out: The title is one to Herschell Gordon Lewis' Two Thousand Maniacs!.
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