3. Polyester (1981)

The 1981 comedy Polyester might have had a larger budget than John Waters’ earlier work, but that doesn’t mean the obscene director held back on the shock and awe of this sick and twisted story of murder, deceit, and broken families. 

Divine stars as Francine Fishpaw, a mild-mannered housewife whose family falls apart in front of her very own eyes. After her husband (an adult movie theater operator), her promiscuous daughter and glue-addicted son abandon her, Francine’s life continues to get worse and worse before she can find happiness once again. And unlike Divine’s other roles that saw him playing women hellbent on causing as much harm and destruction as possible, Francine just wants to be happy, even everyone around her wants nothing of it. But don’t worry, Polyester has plenty of the hallmarks that made the early Waters-Divine collaborations such treats to enjoy.

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