When Dawn Davenport does not receive her coveted cha-cha heels for Christmas, all hell breaks loose. She runs away from home to begin a journey that will see her deflowered after being picked up hitch-hiking, have a demanding daughter as a result, turn to crime after falling in with a bad crowd, become a glamorous model and eventually pay for her wrongdoing.
It’s a given that John Waters celebrates trash like nobody else, and he is at the height (or depths) of his powers here in breaking ground and taboos, particularly when engineering a scene were Divine plays two characters who manage to have sex with each other. (Notes by Michael Hayden.)
This film is screening as part of Sex, the first of our three-month season dedicated to excess, presenting examples of how cinema has taken on sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll.
See also our monthly film from the IFI Irish Film Archive, From the Vaults: I Can’t I Can’t, which screens on January 22nd.