Multiple Maniacs (image 1)

Only John Waters could stage a Charles Manson-style slaughter then think: ‘This could really do with a giant-lobster rape scene to spruce it up.’

Steve Rose, The Guardian

Screened as part of NZIFF 2017

Multiple Maniacs 1970

Directed by John Waters Incredibly Strange

John Waters’ gloriously grotesque, unavailable-for-decades sophomore feature comes to the big screen at long last, replete with all manner of depravity.

USA In English
97 minutes B&W / DCP

Director/Producer/ Screenplay/Photography/ Editor


George S. Clinton


Divine (Lady Divine)
David Lochary (Mr David)
Mary Vivian Pearce (Bonnie)
Mink Stole (Mink)
Edith Massey (Edith)
Cookie Mueller (Cookie Divine)
Rick Morrow (Ricky)
Susan Lowe (Cavalcade pervert)
Paul Swift (Steve)
Howard Gruber (Gilbert)
Vincent Peranio (freak)
George Figgs (Jesus Christ)


John Waters’ precursor to Pink Flamingos is back in all its filthy glory, fully exposed for the very first time in a pristine digital restoration. Sticking its finger to both mainstream and counterculture, with tongue placed firmly in cheek, Multiple Maniacs is an outrageous slice of anti-establishment grunge inspired by the schlocky gore of H.G. Lewis’ Two Thousand Maniacs. It is also the only feature film depraved enough to portray onscreen Homo sapiens and crustacean intercourse. The plot, such as it is, features drag queen icon Divine as the driving force behind ‘Lady Divine’s Cavalcade of Perversions’, a travelling show of sub-Manson family freaks whose raison d’être involves kidnap, murder and unleashing general mayhem upon the unsuspecting public. The seedy Cavalcade’s sex, violence and unhinged blasphemies abound unchecked, until a fateful encounter with a giant, horny lobster sends Divine on a downward spiral over the edge and into the abyss, dragging her followers along on an orgy of pre-Bad Taste comedy gore. The multiple maniacs invite you to join their party by feasting your eyes upon this freshly remastered masterpiece of 70s midnight movie mayhem. — AT