John Waters is taking issue with Canada’s moniker of being full of the friendliest citizens — at least not when it comes to cinema ratings.

Waters told the Toronto Star that in 1970, the Ontario censor board allegedly burned a print of his film “Multiple Maniacs,” which had been sent for a rating. Waters didn’t hold back his half-century-long disdain for the offense: “Tell them I spit on their grave,” the “Pink Flamingos” and “Hairspray” filmmaker said.

“I am pro-Canada, even though I sent ‘Multiple Maniacs’ to the distributor [in 1970], which had to go through the Ontario censor board, and they sent me a receipt that just said ‘destroyed.’ They burned the print!” Water said. “Tell them I spit on their grave.”

He added that since that experience, he’s worked in Canada multiple times. 

“I’ve been to Toronto many times with my films and my books. It’s a great movie town — I once showed [the 1975 Pier Paolo Pasolini film ‘Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom’] there for a screening,” Waters said. “The last time I was in Toronto, I filmed the finale of the new season of ‘Chucky.’”

Now, he returns for the “Flurry of Filth: A John Waters Retrospective” at the Paradise Theatre, presented in the Toronto screening series Drag Me to the Movies, which pairs drag performances with features. The series is hosted by queer artist Weird Alice. Waters will give a live commentary during a special screening of his 1998 film “Pecker,” another one of his features that ruffled a few censorship board feathers back in the day.

“I actually fought the MPA [Motion Picture Association] so that I could call the movie ‘Pecker.’ They said I couldn’t!” Waters said.

Next, Waters is set to direct an adaptation of his 2022 novel “Liarmouth.” While no casting has been announced, Aubrey Plaza has voiced her desire to star in the film.

Waters previously described his novel as “the craziest thing I’ve written in a while” and said he was “thrilled to be back in the movie business, hopefully to spread demented joy to adventuresome moviegoers around the world.”

The novel, fully titled “Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance,” follows con artist Martha Sprinkles, nicknamed Liarmouth, and her romance with fellow scammer Daryl. In an interview with IndieWire prior to the publication of the novel, Waters described the book as an adventure into an “insane universe.”

“It’s about a woman who steals suitcases in airports, and she’s a very disagreeable character. You will like her because she’s so unlikeable,” Water told IndieWire.

He opted to pen a novel instead of a screenplay first as he “didn’t have to worry about budget. I didn’t have to worry about casting. I didn’t have to worry about the children, and how they have to only work four hours a day and have a schoolteacher. All that kind of stuff I don’t have to worry about, so I could really be free to explore this insane universe that I set up in the book. That’s the only thing you have to stay true to. No matter how crazy the plot or how much fun you make of narrative and everything, it still has to be true to the world that you set up in the book.”

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