A Dirty Shame John Waters

A Dirty Shame John Waters
In the last 15 years, John Waters has received something he never wanted and makes every effort in his new picture to reject: respectability. After acclaimed (relatively) mainstream fare like Serial Mom, Pecker and Cecil B. Demented — and a successful Broadway adaptation of Hairspray — A Dirty Shame brings him back to Baltimore (though he never left), but more importantly, back to the dirty, shameful world of illicit sex and controversial ideas. A Dirty Shame is an exploration of concussions and sex addicts, in which Jackass Johnny Knoxville plays Ray Ray, the leader of a sex cult hell-bent on discovering a new taboo; after a clunk on the head, suburban hausfrau turned nymphomaniac Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) joins his quest. It's a challenge, considering that his world is already populated by adult babies, bears, felchers and a host of other perverts found only in obscure fetish chronicles. The public fornication creates conflicts with the neighbourhood "neuters" who just wish that the pervs would keep it in their pants. It's not Waters' best film, but it is playfully delightful if you enjoy this sort of shocking naughtiness. A John Waters commentary doesn't exactly live up to its "scandalous" billing — especially given the film's content — but the featurette "All the Dirt" is surprisingly sweet; it explores the long history that many of Waters' stock players (Mink Stole, Patricia Hearst) have shared. They reminisce about Baltimore, 30 years of underground filmmaking with the writer/director, and speak fondly that A Dirty Shame seems like a return to the good old days. Days that may not look familiar to viewers unfamiliar with the good-hearted perversion that is John Waters' world. (Alliance Atlantis)