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John Waters: This Filthy World
featuring: John Waters

producer and director: Jeff Garlin

87 minutes (15) 2006
widescreen ratio 16:9
Revelation DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
It shouldn't be funny. Maybe I am just a bit warped? John Waters' latest hobby is saying inappropriate things to kids; this from a 60 year-old man. But he is one funny guy and in This Filthy World - a movie that is part stand-up, part documentary - Mr Waters displays his talent for storytelling with great aplomb.

Jeff Garlin directs this piece superbly well and there is something about the kitsch style of Waters that is as endearing as it is worrying. Maybe it is the pencil-thin moustache... a style last seen in public with any serious popularity circa 1930, and that was in the midst of the Great Depression. Of course, Waters is famed for more than just stand-up and in his career he has written and directed some great movies, such as Cecil B. Demented, Serial Mom, Crybaby and Hairspray. For Hairspray his part of director was restricted to the 1988 original.

His movie career plays only a small part in his on-stage routine. I am glad to say that he doesn't spends the entire 87 minutes running time telling the audience how great he is. No, it is more everyday issues that he is concerned with, such as crime, fashion (or lack of) and other such topics. It really seems to be whatever concerns the unhinged mind of Waters on any given day is fair game for him. It is refreshing to hear someone speak his mind with such zeal.

There is an element of retrospection in This Filthy World. As well as touching on his past movies Waters does add some sound bites on those with whom he has worked in the past. Disappointingly it is not warts and all, far from it. You can't help feeling that a guy with the wit Waters could tear some of the more pandered stars in Hollywood apart, but then again, he does still have a career in the business.

Aficionados of Waters' previous work will probably enjoy This Filthy World more than most. Those not familiar with the likes of Hairspray and Serial Mom may just take a while to tune into his mindset. He is a warm and likeable character, with a seemingly aloof appearance that would not have been out of place in the House of Lords a century ago.

William Burroughs once called Waters "The Pope of Trash." In This Filthy World Garlin and Waters have combined to produce something far more appealing than mere trash; it is fractious and funny and may their mind-bins overflow. I am off to tell the next-door neighbours' seven-year-old the truth about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa, and George Bush.
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