A suburban housewife's world falls apart when her pornographer husband admits he's serially unfaithful to her, her daughter gets pregnant, and her son is suspected of being the foot-fetishist who's been breaking local women's feet.
Middle-aged, sexually repressed Sylvia Stickles is the subject of this John Water's film, set in North Baltimore. She refuses to have sex with her husband, Vaughn Stickles, and keeps her overly-endowed daughter, Caprice, locked in her room, while she serves home detention for moral depravity charges. Sylvia, together with her mother Big Ethel, lead a group calling themselves "neuters" that promotes decency on Hartford Road. When Sylvia is accidentally hit on the head by a lawnmower hanging out of a passing pick-up truck, however, her sexual behavior is changed completely from prude to prostitute. She meets the sex addicted sexual healer Ray Ray Perkins, becoming his twelfth apostle of sex in a journey of pleasure and orgasm. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Here comes "A Dirty Shame", John Waters' last hooliganism. It must be said: Waters is more a product of a specific time than a good cinema director. He was in the right place at the right moment to scandalize the so puritan American society of the 70's with movies such as "Pink Flmingos" or "Female Trouble" (most of them played by the unclassifiable Divine and a huge cast of freaks and outsiders). Disrespect, ugliness, a look worthy of the "do it yourself" punk slogan... A few movies that, in their own context, were so valuable, they broke taboos, they spit in the face of that society because the future was coming.
Well, now the future has come, and Waters left behind the amateur ways in order to make some brilliant pieces ("Cry Baby", "Serial Mom") that were more in the Hollywood style, much more according to the mainstream ways. With "A Dirty Shame" John seems to want to go back to his origins, to scandalize deep America's rednecks, the friends of the Rifle Association, the Mormons... In order to achieve that he's written a rather coarse story about an epidemic of sex-addiction somewhere in middle America, sort of a spicy version of the "Invasion of the Body snatchers". Rough humor, and a few laughing.
Main attractions? Well, we got the MTV-boy Johnny Knoxville and Tracey Ullman that were born to make comedies, and the exquisite taste of Mr. Waters for the music: "S Dirty Shame" has a soundtrack full of fantastic 50's music. In short: maybe with some wallpaper, a camera on the shoulder, and going 30 years back in time this product would make any sense. But we're in 2005, and the man who shot Divine eating canine feces has just made his worst film ever. Let's see if the next time John Waters does it better (I really hope so).
*My rate: 2.5/10
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