Feast Your Eyes on John Waters’ Gloriously Disgusting Lost Trashterpiece, Multiple Maniacs

The 1970 “celluloid atrocity,” featuring Divine and her “Cavalcade of Perversion,” has just been restored by the Criterion Collection.


“Horrendous. Sickening. Revolting. Most distasteful.” Those are just a few of the choice words a Baltimore judge had for Multiple Maniacs, the second feature film made by future cult icon John Waters. The 1970 movie has all the hallmarks of a classic Waters production—his repertory cast of “Dreamlanders,” acts of gross and outrageous transgression, a part where Divine gets raped by a giant lobster. Yet there’s a reason you may have never heard of it before: the film existed only in rough prints, 16mm or VHS, and never had a proper theatrical release.

Until now. Feast your eyes on the first trailer for the Criterion Collection’s new restoration of the film—a revival that has Waters himself crowing, “Finally, Multiple Maniacs looks like a bad John Cassavetes film!” Janus Films will finally give the movie its long-awaited theatrical premiere in New York City starting August 5—soiled rosary beads, mink coats, and glue (for sniffing!) not included.