Film Scouts Reviews


by Thom Bennett

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October 1, 1998

William S. Burroughs once said of John Waters that he is the "Pope of Trash" and that "Any honest account of human experience must be shocking. For it is the function of art to make the reader or viewer aware of what he knows and in most cases doesn't know that he knows and doesn't want to know." Trust me, after six or seven times it starts to make sense.

Like Burroughs, you pretty much like him or you don't - there is no real middle ground. However, with his latest film "Pecker", Water's has broken new ground... somewhat.

Amidst the trademark John Waters gross out scenes is a brilliant satirical look at the world of fine photography and fame in general. Pecker (Edward Furlong) is a kid from Baltimore who likes the way the world looks through a camera. He takes pictures nobody understands and sees beauty in the seemingly oddest places (try two rats having sex.) Discovered by a New York art dealer while showing his photos to the locals at a greasy spoon where he works, Pecker quickly becomes the rage of the art world only to find that his subjects, mostly family and friends, feel exploited and have their lives torn asunder.

Like a killer who stabs their victim 37 times because 36 just wasn't enough, Waters - with tongue planted firmly in cheek - stabs away not only at critics, galleries and art in general, but at the obvious absurdity of how he got to where he is today.

As I said before, you pretty much like him or you don't. While Pecker is certainly not as gross-out funny as some of his other films (although, it certainly has its moments), it is an outstanding satire of Pop Culture by a Pop Culture icon.

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