John Waters' film selection for Pride month: “Good cinema… Gay is a good place to start.”

The word “icon” is thrown around a lot in a pop culture landscape rife with queer-culture phrases, but 78-year-old filmmaker John Waters is undeniably an icon.

He is known for his cheerfully provocative films such as Hairspray, crybabyAnd Pink Flamingos than his proudly “trashy” personal aesthetic, which includes his perpetually slicked-back hair and pencil-thin mustache. So if you're looking for great movies to watch during Pride Month, who better than Waters? (Of course, anything from his filmography is a good place to start, too.)

In the Mashable interview with Waters about the Kino Lorber Blu-ray release of Crybaby, We asked him what important films he thought more queer people should see. “Just good cinema. I would say gay is a good start. But it's not enough,” he said, before listing some recent highlights.

“I recently saw two really good gay films: Woman. And I like Love lies bleeding. And I like Drive-Away Dolls. Well, I've seen three good ones. I wish the lesbian bars I've been to were this good!”


Written and directed by Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping, Woman is a dark drama about hate crimes, oppression and dirty revenge. Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Perpetrator, Candyman) plays Jules, a gay Brit who is brutally attacked in a corner shop while fully disguised. Later, Jules meets one of his attackers, Preston (George MacKay), in a gay sauna; unrecognizable without the disguise, Jules seduces Preston. Mashable contributor Jason Adams praised the film in his review: “What could have been a straightforward revenge story, Woman rejects the straight in favor of something more fascinatingly chaotic.”

Here's how you can watch: Woman can now be rented or purchased on Prime Video.

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Love lies bleeding

Announced by Saint Maud Director Rose Glass, Love lies bleeding is a gritty thriller in which a grumpy gym manager (Kristen Stewart) falls in love with a stunning bodybuilder (Katy O'Brian). But to win their happy ending, they must face a soft-spoken boss (Ed Harris) with a big gun. In My reviewI cheered, “As shocking as it is tender, as horny as it is horrific, Love lies bleeding is one of the best films of 2024.”

Here's how you can watch: Love lies bleeding can now be rented or purchased on Prime Video.

Drive-Away Dolls

Created by married employees Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke, Drive-Away Dolls is a queer action comedy that was inspired from Waters' wilder crime films, including Pink Flamingos And Female problems. Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan play two lesbian friends who embark on a road trip that brings them into conflict with some dangerous men – all thanks to a suitcase full of special dildos. In our Mashable reviewI wrote: “Exciting, Drive-Away Dolls is the point where the aesthetics of the Coen brothers and queer cinema collide… [A] happy romping, packed with fun, sex appeal and stars. What more could we want from a night at the cinema?”

When asked what Waters liked about these films, he said: “No, no, no, I will [expand on] them later. I write a list of the top 10 every year. We'll see if they're on it. We've got the rest of the year. But I'll have to save that for now.”

Here's how you can watch: Drive-Away Dolls is now streaming on Peacock.

How about Challenger?

Speaking of queer cinema that receives rave reviews: What does John Waters think of Luca Guadagnino’s challenger, the love triangle/sports drama with Josh O'Connor, Mike Faist, And Zendaya? “That's the threesome movie, right?” He hasn't seen it yet. “But it's on my list.”

Waters admitted that the reason he didn’t watch challenger is pretty simple: “It put me off because it's about tennis, something I have no interest in. Like a pickleball sex movie? I wouldn't want to watch [that] either.”