Underground Film Journal

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Excerpt: Robert Maier On Edith Massey

After Divine, Edith Massey is the most beloved actor in John Waters‘ early Dreamland Studios ensemble. Whether she was playing the Egg Lady in Pink Flamingos, Aunt Ida in Female Trouble, Queen Carlotta in Desperate Living or Cuddles in Polyester, Massey always put in an unforgettable performance. Above, Robert Maier, who worked on most of those films and became good friends with Edie, shares his remembrances with this unique lady hanging out at her thrift store or making his 1972 documentary, Love Letter to Edie, which is available on eBay.

Recently, Maier has been cashing in on his experiences working on Waters’ trashy movies and we say: Thank God! As of this writing, the Underground Film Journal is only about a quarter through Maier’s memoir Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies With John Waters, but we can unequivocally say that this book is an absolute must read.

Of course, the book will appeal to Waters’ considerable fan base, but it’s also an excellent book for anyone interested in the making of independent films in general. We’ll have more to say about Low Budget Hell once we’ve finished reading the entire damn thing. Maier’s blog is also a terrific read, as well.

Maier also spent considerable time hanging out with Edith Massey, as he describes in the above video, which is excerpted from the Director’s Cut DVD of Love Letter to Edie. Maier’s anecdotes don’t share too much unknown intimate info on Massey — you probably have to watch the whole DVD for that. But, the clip does includes several photographs of Edie’s legendary thrift store. Plus, the affection that Maier displays for Massey is touching.