Queer classic Pink Flamingos and 'the filthiest person alive' added to US National Film Registry

Banned for years in many countries, John Waters' midnight movie classic gets the last laugh.

A flamboyant drag queen pointing a gun
Image: Instagram @pavane.ivy

Whoever thought Babs would go legit? John Waters’ ultimate underground classic Pink Flamingos has officially been declared iconic by the US National Film Registry – an accolade that would go right over Edith the Egg Lady’s head.

On December 14, the Library of Congress announced the 25 movies that would be added to the national archive for preservation for 2021, for films that reflect “the range and diversity of American film heritage”. Hands up who thought a film that ends with a drag queen eating dog poo would get the nod.

The undisputed bad-taste celluloid champion about a misfit family competing to be crowned the filthiest people alive has not only inspired a trillion drag costumes over the years, but garnered just as many rabid fans as it has caused mass walkouts, as well as being banned by various countries around the world.

And it still holds a place in the hearts of millions of sickos to this very day. Chatting to GCN earlier this year, the Prince of Puke himself, John Waters, described how an attendee to his summer camp took their fandom as far as it can go.

Readers of a nervous disposition should go no further. You have been strongly warned.

“One year,” John described, “a lovely woman said to me ‘Can I do what I’ve always wanted to do here, can I eat dog shit in front of you?’ I was taken aback! And she had a little sample in a very scientific little kit. And she took it out and ate it in front of everybody and got a round of applause. Camp is kind of a great experience, I’ll tell you that much!”

Now, while nobody should be surprised by the inclusion of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Return of the Jedi or Wall-E among the list of 25 (although you may wonder what took Strangers on a Train so long) Pink Flamingos is in some fine offbeat company.

There’ll be no more rats on the menu for Blanche as Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? joins the fold, while the lesbian classic The Watermelon Woman gets a much-deserved nod, and tired of invading the dreams of teens, Freddie Krueger decided to invade the Registry instead as the sublime A Nightmare on Elm Street creeps its way in.

Showing that there’s just as much room for the lowbrow alongside the high, the Film Registry has had a Divine year.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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