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Cecil B. DeMented

Maggie’s Character: Raven
Release Date: 11 August 2000 (USA)
Directed By: John Waters
Screenwriter: John Waters
Genre: Action | Comedy
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude sexual content, violence, language and drug use.
Runtime: 87 min.
Box Office #’s: here

Cast Highlights:
Melanie Griffith
Adrian Grenier

In Baltimore, guerrilla filmmaker Cecil B. Demented leads a band of cinema revolutionaries who kidnap Honey Whitlock, a bitchy and aging movie star of big-budget froth. Cecil wants her in his movie, a screed against Hollywood they film during blitzkrieg attacks on a multiplex, a Maryland Film Commission press conference, and the set of a “Forrest Gump” sequel. He insists on celibacy; the cast and crew channel sexual energy into the production. With a family-values coalition, aggrieved Teamsters, and the police on their trail, Cecil needs help from porno, kung-fu, and drive-in audiences. What about Honey? Will she bolt or refuse to act? Or will she hit her marks and light up the screen?

From the Gallery



  • The theater in which Cecil B. Demented kidnaps Honey Whitlock is Baltimore’s own Senator Theater, where John Waters’ films premiere.
  • The tattoos on the cast and crew are as follows: – Cecil – Otto Preminger – left forearm – Cherish – Andy Warhol – thigh – Lyle – Hershell Gordon Lewis – left breast – Pam – Sam Peckinpah – left arm – Chardonnay – Spike Lee – stomach – Lewis – David Lynch – knuckles – Fidget – William Castle – chest – Raven – Kenneth Anger – chest – Rodney – Almodovar (presumably Pedro) – right arm – Petie – Fassbinder – left forearm – Dyna – Sam Fuller – right forearm
  • John Waters wrote up the lyrics for the spoof rap songs on the soundtrack (“Bankable Bitch (We Don’t Need No Pitch),” “No Budget”, et al.) during the screenwriting phase, but the music supervisor couldn’t find any rappers who were familiar with filmmaking lingo. Waters then met, quite by accident, Baltimore rap producer Steven Janis. Janis provided DJ Class and a number of other Baltimore-area rap artists, all of who had to be familiar with the pages of moviemaking terminology that Waters provided.
  • The actual head of the Baltimore Film Commission appears in the sequence in which Honey Whitlock jumps off a building into the middle of a BFC press conference; he’s one of the extras gagging on the oysters he’s forced to eat by Cecil’s band of terrorists.
  • Most of he crew got sick while doing filming on the set of the Hippodrome theater. Many of the cast members, including Melanie Griffith, had pneumonia.
  • John Waters had an interview with him published before this film was made in which the headline referred to him as “Cecil B. Demented”. Waters thought the title was too good to pass up.
  • The title of the film is a play on the name of the director/producer Cecil B. DeMille.
  • The drive-in theatre in the end of the movie is Bengies Drive In which is still in service and has been threatened to be shut down for almost 10 years but still keeps its business
  • The gun Cecil uses is the high powered Magnum Research/Israeli Military Industries Desert Eagle .50 AE.
  • According to This Filthy World (2006), John Waters’ inspiration for this film came when Film Threat Magazine told its readers to attack the readers of Premier Magazine, and some did.
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal handpicked Jonathan Fiorucci out of the extras to be the guy she makes out with in the film’s climax. Director John Waters later found out that Fiorucci’s mother and his own mother are friends, adding “that only happens in Baltimore.”
  • The kidnapping of Honey Whitlock, who later joins her kidnappers’ cause, is similar to the real-life story of how Patricia Hearst was kidnapped by, and later joined, The Symbionese Liberation Army, in the 1970s. Hearst appears in the movie and has appeared in all of John Waters’s movies since Cry-Baby (1990).

Character Quotes

[takes a big sip from a chalice]
Raven: It’s goat’s urine. Want some?

Raven: Pain is pleasure! Slavery is freedom! Suicide for Satan!

[Raven introduces herself to Honey]
Raven: Hi, I’m Raven, I’m a Satanist and I’ll be doing your make-up.
[changes tone]
Raven: You look so pale…
[angrily slaps Honey, then turns sweet again]
Raven: Sorry, but Satan says you need more color.

Honey: Raven, you know, you’re a really pretty girl. You could escape from all of this madness.
Raven: Escape to what, Honey? I mean, my father is Zo-Zo, the three headed guard dog at the gate to hell.
Honey: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.