Polyester (1981)

After making a name for himself with such underground gross-out epics as Pink Flamingos and Desperate Living, director John Waters made a bid for somewhat wider acceptance with this black comedy, which is sedate only by the standards of his… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: January 1, 1981
DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Mark Stafford
Electric Sheep

Polyester is definitely one of Waters's best films, and I highly recommend attending an 'Odorama' screening for a unique night at the movies.

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Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness

Stinks in all the right ways.

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Jeremy Heilman

Waters' humor might be as broad as possible in Polyester, but it's also astute enough here to be funny from moment to moment.

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Emanuel Levy

By standards of Waters' gross-out features, this mildly amusing film is sedate, notable for the casting of fading movie star Tab Hunter and for introducing a gimmick called Odorama, scratch-and-sniff cards.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

He makes you endure the grossest of the gross and you still laugh through the whole thing

Scott Weinberg
Apollo Guide

Tab Hunter (Grease 2) earns praise for playing the dreamboat with such sincerity, and also for kissing Divine full on the lips. You don't win Oscars doing stuff like that.

Bill Gibron
DVD Verdict

Polyester may be one of the few times when Waters tried to expand his cinematic language at the expense of his usual verbal variety

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A low-rent version of a Douglas Sirk 1950s soaper, with Divine being dragged through all the paces that might have been the lot of a glossy star of the era.

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Christopher Null

Falls apart in the end.

More reviews for Polyester

Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
Like a Fassbinder or Douglas Sirk movie made by John Waters, it is a mess with all his trademark filth, irritating overacting and ridiculous lack of structure… More
Robert Fearon
Classic John Waters. Bad in all the right ways.
Cassandra Maples
I think that "Polyester" is John Waters' best movie. "Female Trouble" may have been funnier, but I prefer the elements in this softer… More
Marion Ravenwood
Presented in Odorama. it was okay, I found some parts pretty funny.
Lafe Fredbjornson
Cheap. Dirty. Sleazy. Whacked-out. Funny. Smelly. I enjoyed Polyester very much. Despite being made in 1981, it felt very 1970's low-budget. Offered in… More
Patrick Dolan
John Waters' love letter to the 50s melodrama and the William Castle gimmick film. Brilliant.