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
Suzanne Shepherd first read the script while on a train to Baltimore. After discovering the film's content, she became quite upset and did not want to do the film. It was only after meeting John Waters that she agreed to play Big Ethel. See more »
Before running out of gas, the car is turned off and in park but is still driving. See more »
John Waters has made a great film with a "A Dirty Shame". I used to think, how can a director make so many films that have no point other than to shock, disturb and make people laugh? Well, I soon found out that it was a bit too simplistic to see them that way. You know, if you look at Warhol's Cambells soup paintings, you'll see that they are different types of Cambells soups. Well that's the same thing that's going on in his films. They may have similar flavors but the content is different. (well minestrone is different from clam chowder..okay bad soup analogy) The point is that John Waters has something to say and although trash is the reoccurring theme of his films, he always adds something new to the subject.Before, it was just about the freaks against the normal people and all the tabboos that were broken in the film as a result. Then there was the trash of films and art versus the "norm" and here we have sex politicized as the deviant and immoral act versus the neutered normal people. The irony is that none of the characters in this or any other Waters film is actually normal. He pokes fun at just about everything so it is a celebration of being freakish whether you're from Baltimore or anywhere else. John Waters knows how to be overt without being too mean about it. He is anything but pretentious, in fact he loathes it. There is something absurd about cultural hierarchy and without Waters, we would'nt be able to feel good about all the filth that exists in this country.
We have to hand it to John Waters. Its a miracle that he can make these films and have large audiences see them. John has brought the underground to the surface of mainstream and allowed audiences to either shake, laugh, think, get sick or all of the above. In my mind, John Waters is a real treasure to the art of American cinema and "A Dirty Shame" is a reason why.
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