Steve Simels
January 28, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

Polyester

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Divine, Tab Hunter, Mink Stole
director
John Waters
author
John Waters
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B+

Long before Mel Brooks, trash aesthete John Waters was making movies dedicated to the proposition that life stinks. With Polyester, his first more or less mainstream flick, Waters did it literally — theater patrons of this high-camp take-off on weepy ’50s women’s pictures received scratch-and-sniff Odorama cards cued to smells in the film, from moldy pizza to flatulence. An earlier tape version left that experience to your imagination, but this new laserdisc edition rescues the cards from the bijou floors of history. It also features a crisp letterboxed film transfer, so you can savor the melodramatic lighting, and two additional audio tracks with the auteur’s witty running commentary and reminiscences. Whether this high-tech elegance is appropriate to such a deliberately cheesy picture is debatable, but given Waters’ enthusiastic participation in the project, it’s probably the cream of the jest.

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