An insane independent film director and his renegade group of teenage filmmakers kidnap an A-list Hollywood actress and force her to star in their underground film.
The legendary subverter of cinematic norms aims his lens at the Hollywood studios and all their convention, erasure, and propaganda with this fiery satire. Aligning the likes of Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cecil B. Demented is a pure romp of joyous and liberating camp.
An affectionate parody of stardom, indie excess, and his own days as a guerrilla filmmaker, Cecil B. Demented boasts what may be his most ingenious premise since the battle of the filth in Pink Flamingos.
I was so shocked when I saw this movie as a kid, but so glad because it shaped my taste for the weird and made me see through all the bullshit Hollywood is trying to sell to you. Thank you mister Waters, you are truly a gem among the demented <3
A minor issue with Water's post-Desperate Living career is the attempted continuation of the edgy trash aesthetic without the trash (or indeed much of the edge): that is the naive earthiness of earlier films. Perhaps the cheapness atoned for thin plots, but I think it was more the hectic joie de vivre (or saleté) that was missed (except Hairspray). Not to be too po-faced though as there are always laughs with Waters.
The "message" and sense of humor definitely feels like the mentality of naive freshman film students willing to die for their art! I love the idea that mainstream cinema has gotten so bad we need cinema terrorists to take it back! So yeah, I thought this was pretty lovely and funny! I don't get why this is seen as lesser Waters, its better than Cry Baby and Dirty Shame. More around 4.5 stars but I'll give it 5!