Cry-Baby: Director’s Cut


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Rating: Not Rated

Johnny Depp as Wade ‘Cry-Baby’ Walker
Amy Locane as Allison Vernon-Williams
Susan Tyrrell as Ramona Rickettes
Polly Bergen as Mrs. Vernon-Williams, Allison’s Grandmother
Iggy Pop as Uncle Belvedere Rickettes
Ricki Lake as Pepper Walker
Traci Lords as Wanda Woodward
Kim McGuire as Hatchet-Face, Cry-baby gang aka Mona Malrovawski
Darren E. Burrows as Milton Hackett
Stephen Mailer as Baldwin, Allison’s Boyfriend
Kim Webb as Lenora Frigid, Has hots for Wade Walker
Alan J. Wendl as Toe-Joe Jackson
Troy Donahue as Hatchet’s Father
Mink Stole as Hatchet’s Mother
Joe Dallesandro as Milton’s Father
Joey Heatherton as Milton’s Mother
David Nelson as Wanda’s Father
Patricia Hearst as Wanda’s Mother
Willem Dafoe as Hateful Guard at Maryland Training School for Boys

Special Features:
“It Came from Baltimore,” an in-depth making-of featurette with John Waters and cast

Never-before-available deleted scenes

Commentary with Director John Waters

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

This film was originally released in 1990. The following is from the DVD cover:

“Eisenhower is President. Rock ‘n’ Roll is king. And Wade ‘Cry-Baby’ Walker is the baddest hood in his high school.

Johnny Depp heads up a supercool cast as the irresistible bad boy whose amazing ability to shed one single tear drives all the girls wild – especially Allison Vernon Williams (Amy Locane), a rich, beautiful ‘square’ who finds herself uncontrollably drawn to the dreamy juvenile delinquent and his forbidden world of rockabilly music, fast cars and faster women.

It’s the hysterical high-throttle world of 1954 in director John Waters’ outrageous musical comedy.”

Cry-Baby: Director’s Cut is not rated.

The Movie:
With the newfound popularity of Johnny Depp, Universal takes advantage of his revitalized fame and re-releases Cry-Baby as a new Director’s Cut by John Waters. However, John Waters is the real star of this movie. With his outlandish plots, over the top characters, and bizarre musical numbers, Cry-Baby is more about the style of Waters than any performance by the actors. John Waters fans will love this. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those fans.

You have to either have grown up in this era or be familiar with the greaser films from the 50’s to appreciate Cry-Baby. If you don’t realize it’s a parody of those movies, then Cry-Baby seems like a really lame rip-off of Grease or a 50’s version of Romeo and Juliet. Despite never having seen the films that Cry-Baby parodies, I still realized what it was trying to do and I still hated it. I thought the story was incredibly stupid, the characters were ugly and over the top, and the film got progressively dumber as it wrapped up. Even if it was a parody, it wasn’t a good one.

About the only thing worth seeing this movie for is the cast. It is led by Johnny Depp as Wade ‘Cry-Baby’ Walker. Depp doesn’t stand out with Cry-Baby like he does in his other more eccentric roles. But by playing Cry-Baby, he got the attention of Tim Burton and was able to go on to bigger and better films. In this movie Depp seems to channel the spirit of Elvis as he looks cool, broods, sings, and dances. (Actually, his singing voice is dubbed.) He is supported by a lot of recognizable names. Iggy Pop plays his Uncle Belvedere Rickettes while former talk show queen Ricki Lake plays his sister Pepper Walker. Former porn star Traci Lords plays “drape” member Wanda Woodward and in an odd bit of counter-casting, David Nelson (from Ozzie and Harriet) and Patricia Hearst play her parents. Willem Dafoe also has a brief cameo as a Hateful Guard at Maryland Training School for Boys and Northern Exposure star Darren E. Burrows has a small role as Milton Hackett, a member of Depp’s gang. All in all it’s fun to see all these actors in performances from 15 years ago.

The other thing Cry-Baby has going for it is the soundtrack. It’s a fun mix of rockabilly and classic 50’s rock. There is most likely a song in this movie that will get your toe tapping.

In the end, John Waters’ films are an acquired taste. You’re either up for the campiness or you’re not. I wasn’t. Fans of Johnny Depp might enjoy Cry-Baby, but is definitely not one of his standout roles.

The Extras:
Besides the Director’s Cut of this film, there are a few additional bonus features:

“It Came from Baltimore” – This is a “making of” featurette, but it’s a little more than that. It’s around 45 minutes long and, to be honest, more interesting than the movie itself. Somehow they managed to get almost all the original cast to come back and talk about their experiences with the movie. Depp, Lake, Lords, and all the rest are included. It’s quite interesting hearing about their fond memories of making the movie. They even recount Traci Lords getting arrested on the set in relation to her past movie experiences. It covers everything from the original concept of the film all the way up to its release.

Never-before-available deleted scenes – There aren’t many deleted scenes. One features a young girl performing as a contortionist. Another shows Darren E. Burrows vomiting out of a helicopter on the Judge. A couple of the deleted scenes show Traci Lord’s character being kidnapped by a perverted photographer and being forced to take sexy pictures. The final scene shows a band showdown between the Squares and the Drapes. The Squares sing some weird song about a chicken.

Commentary with Director John Waters – Waters delivers a pretty good commentary. He gives all sorts of information about the filming and gives lots of background about where he came up with the idea for the story. You can quickly tell that Cry-Baby was a labor of love and nostalgia for the director.

The Bottom Line:
Unless you’re a John Waters fan or you’re familiar with greaser films from the 50’s, you’ll want to pass on Cry-Baby. The movie is so bizarre and stupid that it will turn off most audiences. Even Johnny Depp fans may find it hard to endure.