“I like to think I make American comedies,” wrote John Waters in his autobiography. And he does, with a singular vision that rivals—with gleeful contradiction—the country’s other gift to filmmaking, Mr. Spielberg. Both artists are deeply manipulative, but instead of gazing awe-struck at the heavens, Waters points his camera at the gutter. The better to rub our noses in it: He has said that he tries to force audiences “to laugh at their own ability to still be shocked by something.” Although recent movies have found the “Pope of Trash” in a mellower mood—or has society caught up and caught on?—1970’s Multiple Maniacs was still the work of a young man on a mission. An ode to violence during the height of Flower Power, it follows the glorious Divine as leader of the “Cavalcade of Perversions” and features cinema’s first rape by a 6-foot lobster. Be horrified tonight at 8 p.m. at the Lucky Bar, 1221 Connecticut Ave. NW. $2 (suggested donation). (202) 736-1732. (Dave Nuttycombe)