Dawn Davenport Was Misunderstood…


Photos: Dreamland Pictures

John Waters’ 1974 film Female Trouble is, as ever, a transgressive satire on the stultifying nature of middle class life, where the family unit is supposed to be the source of happiness and stability, and folks are god fearing.


Nobody personifies this as much as Divine’s poor, misunderstood Dawn Davenport. An overweight high school rebel in curlers, she’s denied cha- cha heels for Christmas, and goes on an audacious crime spree. If only her parents had understood that a girl just needs to express herself…


With peerless support from the usual Baltimore miscreants, such as Mink Stole, David Lochary, Edith Massey, and Cookie Mueller, this film, shot in lurid 16mm, is a screaming parody of crime dramas which still holds up. It’s also prescient, anticipating capitalist Kardashian brashness, way ahead of its time. The Cavalcade of Filth and execution scenes are as jaw- dropping as ever.

“Who wants to be famous? Who wants to die for art?”

Happy 2019, assholes !




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