Dirty Shame

Dirty Shame

5.0 1
Director: John Waters

Cast: John Waters, Tracey Ullman, Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair


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America's leading titan of bad taste, John Waters, returns to X-rated territory (well, actually NC-17-rated territory, but you get the idea) for this wildly over-the-top comedy. Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) is a wife and mother living in Baltimore who, along with her husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) and mother Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd), operates a local convenience… See more details below


America's leading titan of bad taste, John Waters, returns to X-rated territory (well, actually NC-17-rated territory, but you get the idea) for this wildly over-the-top comedy. Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) is a wife and mother living in Baltimore who, along with her husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) and mother Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd), operates a local convenience store. One day, Sylvia receives a sharp blow to the head, which leaves her with a concussion. However, the concussion comes with an unexpected side effect -- Sylvia has suddenly become a sex addict, and is soon attended to by the perverse and lascivious sexual evangelist Ray-Ray (Johnny Knoxville). When it becomes evident that Vaughn can't keep up with her sensual appetites, Sylvia throws herself into the strange netherworld of Baltimore's community of erotic overachievers, which includes her daughter Caprice (Selma Blair), who is living a double life as über-buxom exotic entertainer Ursula Udders. A Dirty Shame also features supporting performances from Waters regulars Patricia Hearst, Mink Stole, Mary Vivian Pearce, Channing Wilroy, and Jean Hill.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Like a cartoonish version of They Came From Within that substitutes head injuries for parasites and an uptight Baltimore neighborhood for a futuristic high-rise apartment complex, John Waters' A Dirty Shame finds the so-called "Prince of Puke"'s career coming full circle. For a while, it seemed that age had mellowed Waters somewhat, and though such later efforts as Serial Mom and Pecker certainly had a cheeky edge over the average Hollywood fare, it was simply harder to shock audiences into laughter in an era when South Park aired nightly and "special edition" DVDs offered raunchier, more explicit versions of films originally rated PG-13 or R when released to theaters. In short, it seemed that the precedent that Waters had set with his own shock classic Pink Flamingos had come back to haunt him. Thankfully for longtime fans, Waters was more than up to the challenge of regaining his former glory, and Fine Line Features was willing to support that decision by granting him the liberty to shoot an NC-17 film (though, even with that rating, one gets the occasional feeling that Waters was holding back). Supported by a game cast that includes Tracey Ullman and Chris Isaak, Waters not only takes on the sexual hypocrisy that has come to define the mores of post-nipplegate America, but also the very source of that anxiety by casting Johnny Knoxville as a sexual Jesus who has come to bring the "resurrsextion" to Hartford Street. The film also offers some of the most quotable dialogue of Waters' recent filmography, and when Ullman's sex-crazed Sylvia Stickles begs husband Vaughn (Isaak) to "discover the oyster," one can't help but chuckle at recalling the classic dialogue that defined such early efforts as Desperate Living. Though it doesn't possess the mean streak that defined Waters' early efforts, A Dirty Shame is still more Female Trouble than Cry-Baby, and the collection of naughty novelties that litters the soundtrack even finds his musical selections hearkening back to the pre-Polyester era. Leave it to Waters to revert back to his old deviant ways just as a Broadway version of his 1988 comedy Hairspray (the director's first PG-rated film) threatened to bring him some amount of "mainstream" respectability -- and longtime fans simply wouldn't have it any other way.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tracey Ullman Sylvia Stickles
Johnny Knoxville Ray-Ray Perkins
Selma Blair Caprice Stickles/Ursula Udders
Chris Isaak Vaughn Stickles
Suzanne Shepherd Big Ethel
Mink Stole Marge the Neuter
Patricia Hearst Paige
Jackie Hoffman Dora
Wes Johnson Fat F**k Frank
Nicholas E.I. Noble Weird Paperboy
Susan Allenbach Betty Doggett
Paul DeBoy Wendell Doggett
Jewel Orem Loose Linda
James Ransone Dingy Dave
Alan J. Wendl Officer Alvin
Jonas Grey Warren the Mailman
David Hasselhoff Himself
Jeffrey Auerbach Baby Bear
Lance Baldwin Larry
David A. Dunham Mama Bear
Kosha Engler Lu Ann
Michael Gabel Mr. Pay Day
Dave Moretti Papa Bear
Scott Morgan Neuter Yuppie Man
Richard Pelzman Paw Paw
Mary Vivian Pearce Unjudgemental Ex-Sex Addict
Kevin Reese Ronnie the Rimmer
Susan Rome Messy Melinda
Michael Willis Tony the Tickler
Ricki Lake Herself
Liam Hughes Coffee Sex Addict
Lucy Newman-Williams Neuter Yuppie Woman
Channing Wilroy Male Motorist
Rosemary Knower Female Motorist
Shirleyann Kaladjian Gay Woman #1
Hari Leigh Gay Woman #2
Richard DeAngelis Neuter Man With Sub-Titles
Gwendolyn Briley-Strand Anti 'Oral Sex' Neuter
Kate Kiley Anti 'Bear' Neuter
Grace Nalls Vaughn's Mother
Ty Ford Taxi Driver
Randall Boffman Neuter Businessman
Patsy Grady Abrams Neuter Old Maid
Douglas Roberts Driving Neuter Husband
Joyce Flick Wendl Driving Neuter Wife
Jean Schertler Neuter Grandmother on Bus
Carlos Juan Gonzales Bus Driver
Brilane Bowman Cow Patty
David de Boy Dr. Arlington
John Shields Chesapeake Cooking Man
Gaelan Alexander Connell Horny Kid
Fred Strother "Strange" Sex Addict
Jean Hill Woman on Fire Escape
Richard Salamanca Fat Boy A
Britt Prentice Fat Boy B
Nathan Fulord Tire Lick Boy
Christopher Glenn Wilson Tire Lick Dad
Lynn McCune Neuter Mom #4
Steve Mack Injured Neuter Man #1
Don J. Hewitt Injured Neuter Man #2
Jeanette Chivvas Fan on Airplane
George S. Clinton Conductor

Technical Credits
John Waters Director,Screenwriter
Rick Angelella Sound Mixer
Kerry Barden Casting
John Becker Stunts
Jay M. Boryea Stunts
Fisher Brothers Executive Producer
George S. Clinton Score Composer
Norman Douglass Stunts
Roy Farfel Stunts
Merideth Finn Executive Producer
Steve Gainer Cinematographer
Halina Gebarowicz Art Director
Ted Hope Producer
David Insley Camera Operator
Amanda Johnson Makeup
Mark Kaufman Executive Producer
Tracy McKnight Musical Direction/Supervision
Chazz Menedez Stunts
Pat Moran Associate Producer,Casting
Melissa Morgan Stunts
Mark Ordesky Executive Producer
Vincent Peranio Production Designer
Ann Ruark Co-producer
Tom Schnaidt Camera Operator
Van Smith Costumes/Costume Designer
Linda Snyder Choreography
Christine Vachon Producer
John Wells Executive Producer
Jeffery Wolf Editor
Shelly Ziegler Asst. Director

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title [3:41]
2. The Stickles [4:41]
3. Ray-Ray and the Concussion [5:53]
4. Pinewood Park and Pay [5:15]
5. "Yodeling in the Canyon" [1:01]
6. The Decency Meeting [1:56]
7. The Hokey Pokey Dance [2:55]
8. Sylvia's New Look [4:08]
9. Ray Ray's Service Center [6:24]
10. "It's a Dirty Shame!" [3:56]
11. Ursula and Sylvia Bond [7:35]
12. "You're a Sex Addict Sylvia, Sylvia!" [11:23]
13. "Let's Go Sexin'!" [4:46]
14. "I Wanna Be Horny" [5:03]
15. Invasion of Pinewood Park and Pay [4:04]
16. "The Sexual Revolution Has Begun!" [6:33]
17. End Credits [5:01]

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