John Waters returns after his traditional hiatus between flicks with this quirky portrayal of a young photographer’s rise to fame. Set, as always, in the city of Baltimore, PECKER is a quirky, fun film that is sure to generate cult interest.
PECKER, unlike his previous film, SERIAL MOM, seems to explicitly be a ‘John Waters film’, with all the trappings that this shock and kitsch director has come to be known for. Waters captures a several worlds in this film, from the sugar snorting daughter ejaculating sweet saliva in her close up photo, to Christina Riccis’s fine performance as the ‘stain queen’, owner of the local laudromat. Similarly, the likes of no-less then Patty Hearst populate the chic, New York art establishment that go crazy for the photo-verité of Pecker’s pics.
There are some funny moments, but I found the shtick wore a little thin by the end. While Devine’s breasts alone could sustain a feature film, Furlong’s smile just isn’t as compelling. Still, the longer I’ve been away from the movie, the more I realize how many of the scenes have pleasantly stayed with me. The ironic toast ‘To the end of Irony!’, for example, was a nice touch.
While I prefer the look of the more ‘colourful’ aspects of low and high American culture proffered by the likes of the Coen brothers or Jim Jarmusch, Waters’ newest film is nonetheless worth seeing.
The cheezy song running through the film, ‘H-h-happy go lucky me’, apparently was used to cajole the cast before each shooting day. With the lyrics asking to laugh at things that aren’t necessarily funny, the song serves as a testament to Waters’ cinematic vision – twisted, yet catchy with a good beat you can groove to.