Desperate Living/Fun Facts
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
- Divine was intended to play the role of Mole McHenry (played by Susan Lowe), but he was in a play for which he had a long-term contract, making him unavailable. David Lochary was also intended to act in the film, but he bled to death after falling on a glass while under the influence of PCP.
- Director Trademark: [John Waters] [manson] There is a portrait of Charles Manson in Queen Carlotta's cardboard castle. Also, someone in Mortville cries out "Squeaky Fromme, where are you when we need you?" Lynette Fromme, aka "Squeaky", was a Manson follower who tried to assassinate US President Gerald Ford.
- Newspapers refused to run the original ad for this film, a photo of a cooked rat on a plate.
- Production designer Vincent Peranio cooked a real rat so that it could be "eaten" during the opening titles.
- Some viewers who are angered by the scene of the baby in the fridge become even more outraged when they learn that the scene in the film is take two.
- While most viewers recognize the portraits of Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler in Queen Carlotta's "art gallery", many are confused by the appearance of a heavyset black man in a military uniform. This is former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
- The first John Waters film to obtain an R-rating from the MPAA.
- The large breasts that are thrust at Peggy Gravel through a pair of glory holes are those of Liz Renay.
- The Mortville extras are mostly homeless people who were bussed in for the day. The crew had to work fast to get shots of them before they wandered off.
- The hands that are cutting up the rat during the opening credits are those of Mink Stole.
- The flashback of the babysitter throwing a party is based on the sort of prank John Waters would pull when he babysat in high school.
- The cockroaches that Jean Hill and Mink Stole are forced to eat in the castle are actually raisins.
- Metal band Marilyn Manson sampled Mink Stole's "Communist day-care center" rant for their song "Misery Machine" from their debut album Portrait of an American Family.
- In Italy, the film was heavily dubbed, censored, and retitled "Punk Story."
- The film was rejected for a UK cinema release by the BBFC in 1977. It was finally released on video in 1990 after 4 secs of cuts to edit an eyeball-gouging scene.