Episode 280 – Female Trouble (1974)

Heeewack, campers! We’ve got another choice selection from the list of Filmaster Oswalt! He’s brought us obscure, powerful noir films, languid, elegant Japanese films, so what tasteful, understated lyrical selection has he made for us . . . oh. Oh. OHHH!!!! OH GOD MY EYES MY EYES WHAT’S HAPPENING WHAT THE HELL IS THIS OHGODOHGODOHGODOHGOD . . . Umm . . . I mean . . . well, this John Water’s . . . classic is certainly a change of pace for us. Yes. That’s what it is. Seriously, this film is . . . really something. I think the process of creating this film went something like this:

Hollywood: Well, it’s 1968 and we’ve finally done away with the Hayes Code! What kind of shock could possibly come of this decision?

John Waters in 1974: Hold my beer.

Yes, John Waters, the man who puts the “cult” in “culture” created this entry, which was astonishingly shocking and transgressive for it’s time. But now it’s fifty years later, so it probably seems very tame, even dull . . . right? Right? Mike, why won’t you look at me . . .?

Poll question: What is the cheapest made movie you’ve ever come to love?

2 thoughts on “Episode 280 – Female Trouble (1974)”

  1. Planet of the Vampires
    200 000$ budget – made its money back
    A spaceship receives a distress signal which takes them to a strange, haunted planet where they discover an alien ship with a huge mummified body within. Sound familiar? This 1965 Italian horror/sci-fi film certainly influenced Ridley Scott’s alien. At least at the start of the film and stylistically in many ways on a tiny budget. It has a very comic book coloured look and makes use of forced perspective sets and models to give it the look of a film made with a lot more money. It also has the crew dressed in 80s looking black leather outfits with red tubing on the seams and really cool looking matching skull caps which somehow inexplicably can contain the huge bouffant hairdos of the female crew members. It has a multi-part twist ending that makes up for the slow pacing.

    I was very surprised to see you guys had picked Female Trouble to talk about. I do love this film but it’s not something (like many of Water’s earlier films) I would recommend to many people, especially Mike as it is not something I could even imagine him sitting through. I did take my sister to see Desperate Living at the old Orson Welles theatre midnight movie night and we both still quote that movie. John’s films are their own genre but they do speak to a certain group of people. This film seemed like real life to me and my pals when we saw it as the world we lived in was reflected in it in many ways. He may have exaggerated, but not as much as anyone would prefer to believe. I could tell you some stories! So now Max can maybe understand why I find Herzog so entertaining and amusing! Divine was really sweet off stage and out of character so this is all acting or something close to it. You were right about the case all being friends “making a movie” and this sort of shock/camp type of movie was how John got attention. He didn’t so much sell-out as evolve and made more films that might have been more palatable to – well not general audiences really but larger ones. He loved making movies and wanted them to be different and when he didn’t need the extreme shock value (the name of his biography) he made films that were a little gentler but never far from his exploitation past. I loved hearing your perspectives since this film is very much tied into a past I admit not many can relate to!

    1. I thought of you a lot when watching this, Vince! And to be fair, we didn’t pick it, Patton did! Ok, he picked others we could have chosen but, well, we should reach for things that are outside our zone, so to speak. And with that quote Max brought up, it changed my perspective mid-show. The fact that we can surprise anyone after 279 shows is a good thing. Thanks for commenting and for listening, Vince!

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