The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Desperate Living

Desperate Living poster

Live a little with Desperate Living, the second installment in Director of the Month John Waters’ Trash Trilogy!

Wealthy housewife Peggy Gravel and housekeeper Grizelda Brown are on the lam after murdering Peggy’s husband. After the pair are arrested and assaulted by panty-sniffing policeman Turkey Joe, they find themselves in a town called Mortville where they get entangled with the sex-change-seeking wrestler Mole McHenry. All the while, the town’s tyrannical ruler Queen Carlotta continues to terrorize her subjects, with Peggy and Grizelda now in the thick of it.

Widely considered a staple of the queer horror genre, Desperate Living is a hilariously twisted offering from the Pope of Trash.


“Revelling in the travesty of carnal excess, Desperate Living transforms the standard elements of fairytale into a pastiche of dominant sexual mores […] single-mindedly tracing the limits where hedonism becomes revulsion, this is a celebration of the flesh, a revindication of marginalised sexualities, of desire as artifice…”Time Out

“Desperate Living is a veritable parade of lunacy from beginning to end, offering one of the most frenzied and consistently funny performances.” The Royal

“Featuring some of Waters’ most quotable lines, deviant characters, and his most bizarre plot ever, Desperate Living embodies the words “queer horror” with filthy, dirty perfection!”Hollywood Theatre

Desperate Living
Desperate Living.