Published Sep 01, 2004Perverts invade Baltimore in the latest taste-defying effort from famed lewdinator John Waters. Or rather, the perverts are already in Baltimore and all it takes is a little knock on the head to bring out all their orifice worshipping glory.
Sylvia Stickles (Tracy Ullman) is a suburban housewife with a horny husband (Chris Isaak) and an exhibitionist daughter with massive tits (Selma Blair) who has to be locked in her room for the sake of public decency. But when Sylvia Stickles takes a severe blow to the head, she experiences a sexual epiphany at the hands (or rather, tongue) of a sex guru named Ray-Ray (Jackass's Johnny Knoxville). With Ray-Ray's guidance, Sylvia becomes aware of a sexual revolution in her midst, one populated by big gay bears, adult babies and scat fetishists, along with some regular ol' perverts. The increasingly public awareness of the sexually liberated who start uncontrollably humping all over town raises the ire of the conservative "neuters," who try to save their once-staid neighbourhood.
A Dirty Shame, an overblown parody of the rampant paranoia about sexual liberation, is classic Waters. It's littered with his favourite ensemble players (Mink Stole, Patricia Hearst, Ricki Lake) and revels in the fact that he could make a perfectly reasonable point with this movie and instead chooses to make an extreme one. Why stop at a golden shower when it could be Roman instead? (If you don't want to know, don't see the movie.) Why make Knoxville's Ray-Ray a cult leader when he could be a Christ figure instead?
A Dirty Shame is chock-a-block full with some fairly silly shenanigans, but it's this attitude that Waters is trying to convey, albeit in the crudest ways sex is a ridiculous act in itself, and taking it all so seriously just makes it seem sillier. (Alliance Atlantis)