John Waters’ Nuart Trailers: “I Thank You Deep From The Bottom Of My Black Little Heart”

By on April 17, 2015

“I’m supposed to announce there’s no smoking in this theatre,” director John Waters says in this trailer, directed by Douglas Brian Martin, for the Nuart Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard, in Los Angeles, then he takes a drag on his cigarette, adding “which I think is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard of in my life. How can anyone sit through the length of a film, especially a European film, and not have a cigarette?”


In 2006, director Douglas Brian Martin told the Cinema Treasures blog:

“I produced and directed three trailers in a New York City loft in support of the Shock Value Film Festival that was marketed nationwide through Landmark Theatre Corporation in the early 1980’s, to assist in marketing John’s book Shock Value. The Shock Value trailer was kicked back by the Texas censors with an orange obscenity band due to the use of the words ‘masturbation’ and ‘coprophagy.’ (John wanted to change the script to use more common terms for anatomy and excretions but I insisted on sticking to the script – little good it did).

Waters: “I’ve often said, that if someone vomits while watching one of my films, it’s like getting a standing ovation… just think, scenes with tongues being ripped out of their heads, women with breasts bigger than their heads, coprophagia, blasphemy, transvestism, cannibalism, masturbation, homosexual behavior, castration, artificial insemination, Manson worship, and foot fetishism… you will see films that even drive-ins won’t show”

The Thank You Nuart For Making Divine The Filth Goddess and No Smoking Trailer were filmed at the same time. All were filmed as written. I carried the latent image reels back to LA in my carry-on luggage and transferred the 16mm original negative up to 35mm for theatrical use. The Film Festival, with the Nuart Theatre as base, was a runaway success, and the No Smoking trailer, created as an added attraction to give Nuart patrons even more reasons to love the Nuart, has gone on to become an icon. Nice.”

Waters:  “I’d like to take a moment to personally thank each and every patron of the Nuart Theatre, for supporting my film ‘Pink Flamingos’ and enabling it to run for eight consecutive years, and turning Divine into the Filth Goddess she deserves to be.”

For years, the anti-smoking PSA, was only available as an extra on the 1995 laserdisc version of Polyester (1981). As for the “thank you” trailer, other art house movie theaters across the country — like Baltimore’s Charles Theater, in Waters’ hometown — apparently showed it before feature film screenings as it was a guaranteed laugh-getter.


About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.