Yours truly is often accused of wanting to shock people. It isn't true. I'm here to do a fucking job, just like John Waters, the writer and director of "Pecker."
I remember seeing Waters' old movie "Pink Flamingos" and thinking I would blow chunks. That movie was just plain nasty. It was more shocking and unpleasant than the pictures I found once of my 78 year old neighbor and his goat. You see, the goat was chewing on his dick. Our boy Mr. Waters is all grown up now, though. and he's learned to temper the gross-out shit with stuff like plot and character. The result? The most entertaining movie I've seen this year.
Pecker is Edward Furlong. He's a budding photographer who also makes Philly cheesesteaks in Baltimore, Maryland. The guy takes pictures of everything, including the stripper lesbos at the "Pelt Room." His family is my kind of people: blue-collar, no shit and no burrs up their butts. His father runs an unsuccessful bar, his mom runs a dirt-cheap thrift store, and his sisters are a hopped-up sugar fiend and a deejay at a male strip club. Furlong's loopy grandmother sells pit beef sandwiches and does a fantastic Virgin Mary ventriloquist act that beats the crap out of the dopes that show up on the Nashville Network. His girlfriend, as played by big-faced Christina Ricci, is obsessed with running her laundromat.
Furlong has his first photo show in the Sub Pit, where he works. A New York gallery owner and butt-smacker played by Lili Taylor comes to Baltimore and stumbles upon Furlong's exhibit. She falls in love with the photos' subject matter; real-fucking-life among the working class. She buys a close-up of a nasty stripper's snatch and suddenly, Furlong is the toast of New York, home to all the world's most pretentious assholes who chose not to live in San Francisco.
What the New York types love about Furlong's photos is all the realism he puts in his photos, how unglamorous the people are, and how sad their lives look. Since the New Yorkers all live in their fancy-ass houses and swinging penthouses, they have no idea that this working class world actually exists.
In my experience, this is exactly how you rich people are. As far as I'm concerned, you can wipe my ass with your poodles. Then you can come over and defrost my refrigerator. We're out there working our asses off, plotting the day when we'll take over the world, and washing your shirts.
Taylor orchestrates Furlong's rise to stardom, fully uncaring about his needs and the needs of his people.
The poor people of the humble burg of Baltimore are a bit pissed off at their golden boy. New Yorkers are laughing at them. Suddenly their lives are curiosities for the rich, just like mine. They let Furlong take their pictures because they didn't think the little shit would make a success of it, and now they either want a piece of his action, or to be left alone. If it was me the New Yorkers were bugging, I'd throw a Goddamn brick through every window in Manhattan. Furlong and his people have more class than that.
Furlong must decide whether he wants to succeed with the phony rich jerks, or with his simpler, polyester-wearing friends.
There's another movie out this summer that's getting all the notice for being shocking and gross, but this movie does a hell of a lot better job at it. It's not Hollywood-glossy shock, but the real thing straight from Baltimore. Unpretty lesbian nudies, a guy humping a dryer, male strippers "teabagging" their customers -- it's all there and it's all for entertainment. It works because Waters isn't doing anything more than entertaining. This is also the first flick I've ever seen where the characters only travel by bus. It's a salute to every transit district in the country. It should be noted by those of you too high on your fucking hogs to even consider transit that the characters always arrive at their destinations, on time and uninjured.
Waters makes this as much a story about the beauty of the
simple life in Baltimore as he makes it about an amateur photographer.
If that isn't your wealthy fat ass's idea of a good time, skip
the movie. but if you're like me and you want a good time, check