Flickchart Road Trip: Maryland

Derek Armstrong

Derek is a film critic, currently writing for the Australian film website ReelGood as well as his personal blog, The Audient.

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4 Responses

  1. David Greenwood says:

    “Waters still has to answer for making me endure 90 minutes of this figurative, and sometimes literal, effluent”

    I think you have to answer for thinking that Pink Flamingos would be anything other than what it’s widely known to be: a cavalcade of disgusting perversion and filth with no higher agenda than cheerful disgustingness. A film that, it must be said, nobody made you watch.

    I mean, I can understand people going to Freddie Got Fingered on opening weekend expecting a comedy and emerging horrified. Pink Flamingos’ entire reputation and marketing rests upon how pointlessly reprehensible it is.

    • Derek Armstrong says:

      Thanks for the comment, David!

      Indeed you are correct that no one made me watch it — poor choice of words. The quote you excerpted is also probably a poor choice of words, since you’re right, Waters shouldn’t have to answer for anything — he can (and does) do whatever he wants, and I can choose to subject myself to it or not. And indeed I did ask myself what I was expecting, knowing this was more or less the movie’s reputation.

      However, I do think you can be smart about being gross, of which there are many examples in the movies. Here’s one: I absolutely loved The Human Centipede — and even very much enjoyed its reviled sequel, which is far more gross than the original. In that case, the grossness served a purpose for me — it evolved directly out of the plot. I guess I just wish Waters’ “script” (such as it is) could have incorporated its disgusting elements in a more satisfying way.

      This is an appropriate discussion for a Flickchart blog indeed because it raises this valid question: How do you rank a movie that you know is intentionally bad? Certainly Pink Flamingos is a more significant and important film than Annapolis, but I chose to expect more from it than I did form Annapolis, and therefore was more disappointed when it failed to gross me out in an enlightening way.

    • David Greenwood says:

      Thanks for not taking too much offense at my comment. I have not seen Pink Flamingoes because I know what it is and I’m fine sticking with Waters’ later work. So I don’t mean to come across as some indignant fanboy. Your reasons for disliking the movie are entirely valid, and not having seen it I won’t dispute them.

      What I love about Flickchart is that everyone is free to have their own standard for their own chart. Some people rank movies based on how “good” they are, while others vote for their “favorites”. I choose the latter tactic. I can respect a movie’s craft and intent, but if I don’t enjoy watching it, down it goes. So if a movie is intentionally bad or tacky as Pink Flamingoes seems to be, I would vote based primarily on two factors:

      1) How grateful am I to have seen the film

      2) How likely am I to want to watch it again

      Incidentally, do you know a way to sign in to these blog posts using my Flickchart account? I mean, logging in with g+ is nice and all, but the whole point of this is to link people to our charts! I’ll send you a friend request anyway :)

      EDIT: I can’t figure out how to locate your Flickchart, so I’ll just ask you to check out mine and send me a note or a friend request: I’m dg_greenwood. I’m still trying to figure out the social aspects of this service. So far all I really do is share a link to my chart on my blog for my readers to check out. As great as the chart functionality is, I don’t know if the social aspects of Flickchart are as well thought out… Or probably I’m just clueless.

    • Derek Armstrong says:


      Sorry for the delay … I just sent you a friend request. I am actually rather neglectful of the social aspects of the site (something I intend to correct), so when I went to my own profile page, I had pending requests from about a dozen people (some of whom I know well) that I had not approved yet. So thanks for spurring me to do that!

      As for logging in to the blog as your Flickchart user ID … I’m not sure if it’s possible. It seems I’ve chosen a number of different ways to log in over the years. I’ll see if I can find an answer to that. Right now I’m logged in through Facebook, but I’ve also logged in through my Blogger user ID.

      Thanks again for the comments!