R | 1h 27min | Comedy, Drama | September 1998 (France)
A Baltimore sandwich shop employee becomes an overnight sensation when a photographer’s photos he’s taken of his weird family become the latest rage in the art world.
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for sexuality, graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Pecker lives in Baltimore and works as a chef in a fast-food restaurant. He constantly takes pictures of those around him. When he puts on a small show in his workplace a New York agent buys the lot and offers him a show at her NY gallery. The show turns him famous for his honest photos of his `culturally challenged’ family and friends. But fame has a price and soon he must turn the tables on the art crowd who look down on his family.
I approached this with a certain amount of good feeling. From the very start we have wonderfully camp music and small town trashy characters xc2x96 we’re in Waters-ville. The actually story is quite simple and doesn’t quite hang together as a narrative. However it’s all done with a nice charm that makes it fly by, only occasionally does the film drag and the plot weaknesses are revealed.
Waters used to have a niche market in camp and bad taste, however with so many people doing bad taste comedies nowadays he seems to have toned it all down a bit. However he still can do this in his sleep, although the story could have been stronger and he needed to direct with more focus and direction.
Furlong is really good in the lead xc2x96 you have to admire his role choices (Little Odessa, American History X, this and others) as he could have just tried to be a heart throb after T2. Similarly Ricci is pretty good in a role that isn’t quite trashy but isn’t mainstream either. The support cast are also good as they have more of the characters that we expect from Walters as well as some famous faces (Lilli Taylor, Martha Plimpton, Patty Hearst) xc2x96 Brendan Sexton III as Matt is really good but the award for funniest role goes to Hulsey for angry sugar junkie Little Chrissy.
Overall I found this enjoyable despite the story not really moving anywhere fast. Fans may find this to be Waters-lite but even then he can put out a good film.
Director: John Waters
Writer: John Waters
Stars: Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, Bess Armstrong
Release Date: September 1998 (France)
Also Known As: Pecker
Filming Locations: 3401 Keswick Road, Baltimore, Maryland, USA