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This thrash epic, an homage to the classic 1950’s rockabilly, greaser movies is wrapped up in a John Waters musical comedy as the ultimate cherry on top. It has so many different elements in it, the good girl/bad boy dilemma, the different classes of society, the music, the costumes, and a whole slew of amazing cameos by some very cool, funky actors. Here is the story of Cry-Baby (Johnny Depp), a bad boy juvenile delinquent with a heart of gold who’s only sin is loving the wrong girl…
For the record, I love John Waters’ style of film-making and I enjoy it as often as I can. Furthermore, I adore Johnny Depp, the man, the actor, and his choice of films as well. So the combination of these two talents was a pleasure to me, and I’m sure to many of their respective fans. In Baltimore, in the 1950’s, there were the Drapes and the Squares, the rival gangs of the rich upper class (Squares) and the poor, rebel greaser types (Drapes). Of course, Cry-Baby is a Drape and he’s cool as Hell. He sees a pretty Square girl, Allison (Amy Locane) and falls in love and nothing can keep him away from her, not even jail. Along with a whole motley crue of bizarre, very stylish characters including his very pregnant sister Pepper (Ricki Lake), Cry-Baby does everything a typical, rebel teenager in the 1950’s in a movie might do: play a game of chicken, get arrested and thrown in jail, escape jail, ride motorcycles, offend the establishment and, most importantly of all, eventually get the girl all while singing and dancing like a champ. Musical numbers galore here, be forewarned, this is John Waters’ musical film.

On top of the cool story-line and good-cheesy dialogue, this film enthralled me with its huge cast of secondary characters and cameo appearances by such greats as Kim McGuire as the amazing Hatchet-Face, Iggy Pop (his bathtub scene is tops), Patty Hearst, America’s favorite kidnapped heiress, recently of age (at the time of the film’s shooting) ex-porn starTraci Lords, Troy Donahue, Joe Dallessandro (not as good-looking here as he was in the Warhol films), Joey Heatherton, Polly Bergen, Mink Stole, Willem Dafoe as the evil prison guard and too many more to name here. These amazing people lent a touch of the “carnival” to the film, and I for one loved their roles. There were a couple of times in the film when I got a touch bored, being a musical and all, and being that certain musical numbers bore me, but all in all, the music was good and fun, especially the song “King Cry-Baby” which I enjoyed greatly. The soundtrack of the film is great, especially if you love 1950’s rockabilly, southern rock and roll, Elvis-style. In fact, there are a couple of jail scenes in Cry-Baby that reminded me of Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock”.

The costumes, such as the black leather jackets (collar up) and other 1950’s style clothes, the sets, the hot rods, and the slang of the time all made the film authentically periodic and everything seemed to fit, from Johnny Depp’s lone curl on his forehead, to the “Girl Can’t Help It” type scene with Amy Locane in her red dress at the end, it all falls together very nicely. The juvenile delinquents of the time were seen as such a menace, and isn’t that odd considering today’s menaces and what they represent? JD’s are the last of our society’s worries now. Last but not least, Johnny Depp is a God with BIG talent, and this was one of his first big roles, and we have to respect that. And we must also respect Mr. Waters for making yet another fantastically freaky, wonderfully bizarre movie with the most twisted cast anyone could ever dream up.
Deleted Scenes: Five unnecessary scenes that were deleted with good reason, and won’t be missed in the final product. Approx. 5 minutes long and only worth seeing if you love the movie to death.

It Came From Baltimore: This somewhat detailed featurette on different aspects of the film is not only informative, but very cool too. I enjoyed hearing the cast and crew interviewed about their roles, as well as learning all kinds of cool facts about the 1950's and such new concepts to me as the Drapes and the Squares and stuff along that line. I found it to be long (45 minutes), but so interesting that that didn’t bother me.

Audio commentary by director John Waters: Mr. Waters gives good commentary, and it’s always very enlightening to listen to his wacky and sometimes funny points of view on everything under the sun. This is a man I have something rare in common with: we both love the weirdly under-appreciated film “Boom!” starring Taylor and Burton and for that alone, I respect the man. An extraordinary commentary, never boring.
If this type of film, a classic homage to the greaser, hot rod films of the 1950’s is something you enjoy, I believe Cry-Baby would be right up your alley. Not only is it fun and entertaining, but it really brings us back to that time, in a funny, satirical kind of way. The DVD is not loaded with extras, but sometimes that can be bad as too many extras are annoying. The extras were wonderful, except for the deleted scenes, which are rarely great, so two out of three ain’t bad. The cast and music of the film are stand-out. All in all, one of the better John Waters films, one not to be missed even if you’re not a die-hard Depp or Waters or musical fan.
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