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A Dirty Shame (1 Viewer)

Alex Spindler

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 2000
This is probably close to the edge, but we've had discussions about subjects like this successfully in the past.

Having seen John Waters newest film, I came away both very impressed and strikingly moved. The film is very funny, packed with message, and passes the top normally reserved for 'Over the Top' that it laps it a couple of times. And it gamely tries its hardest to put as much out there as possible, easily topping the number of named fetishes I've ever heard in a single movie. For those in tune with his previous films, I'd heartily recommend it.

That is, if you can find it. It's rated NC-17, so you're hard pressed to find it at all. As was the case for many other films labeled as such (even Clerks was originally given that rating), I can't see anyone successfully justifying it. There are all of four people naked in the film, and relatively briefly at that. There aren't any actual onscreen sex scenes, although Tracy Ullman delivers a great number of 'O' faces throughout. There's no violence outside of a few knocks on the noggins. But, in a film which explicity tries to tell kids that sex isn't evil, there is no possibility of a minor seeing it - even with a parent present. The MPAA has effectively shown its intolerance for a film with male and female nudity that comedically demystifies and shows tolerance for sex in all its forms.

It's perfectly ironic that the MPAA censors had to sit through a film that has a shrill and sexless neuter character perfectly symbolizing themselves and then handing out summary judgement like they did. Of course, considering one breast is worth half a million dollars if shown during the Superbowl, Waters couldn't have picked a better time to make this film. It's a shame so few will ever have a chance to see it. I enjoyed it a great deal, as did my (curiously senior-aged) audience.

Dave Hackman

Stunt Coordinator
Jan 11, 2000
You know it's a dirty shame that this isn’t playing in more theaters. If you are easily offended by varying sexual fetishes then you should get a glass of water, down your Prozac and re-watch the Wizard of Oz.

Ray-Ray is a younger version of Austin powers with a package of gold and a red-hot tongue. He is able to sexually heal most of god’s creations, which I find incredibly impressive. The story is pretty realistic with a typical middle age wife played by Tracey Ullman caught up in her mundane life sicken initially by her towns people certain change to exhibitionism and compulsive need for sexual gratification. She soon has an incident, which requires service, which changes her entire behavior and begins her funny journey. There are many funny scenes with an unbelievable well-endowed daughter to a man who enjoys leaving his mark in public restrooms. The hokey pokey is a lot of fun and certainly time for patrons of the theater to stand up and play along with the on screen characters.

I do believe that the gay men in this film were in my opinion portrayed a little stupid with them pretty much just rubbing each other with their clothes on which seemed pretty tame. I would have enjoyed seeing more nudity and maybe more creative weirdness but this would just be icing on the cake.

I hope this DVD comes with the CD soundtrack for listening in my car because the music is real funny and fits the theme perfectly with parodies of popular songs with lyrics changed to sexual innuendos

This is not something for your kids but buy this on DVD and put the disc in a self-help DVD case for those days when you need a laugh.


Henry Gale

Senior HTF Member
Jul 10, 1999
Real Name
Henry Gale

I'll have to throw in my 2 cents on this comment. The songs are not parodies, most of them are in my collection.
Billie Lee Riley's Red Hot gets featured the most. The Holy Model Rounders's Boobs A Lot is heard, as is I'm On Fire done by Jerry Lee Lewis (he'll be 69 this Wednesday!)
The soundtrack CD sadly does not include the Jerry Lee cut.
It does include Open Up Your Heart (And Let The Sunshine in.)


Second Unit
May 10, 2001
I think this was the best John Waters film, post-"Hairspray." That's not to say that I thought it was perfect. I still think that JW gets caught up in the point he's trying to make and lets the storytelling lag. I loved the hokey-pokey scene and the neighbors that moved from DC (truly the most normal, accepting people in the film).

My favorite scene was hardly explored- the shot when Caprice was just laying there watching TV ("The Red Shoes" to be exact) and eating before her mom storms in the room and she gets up to start dancing again. I think that the 'normal' aspect should've been explored further (Caprice wasn't a 24/7 nympho, yet she was fully in control of her sexuality).

I dunno, I think I'm rambling.

But still a very enjoyable film, full of laughs. :star: :star: :star:


Matt Stone

Senior HTF Member
Jun 21, 2000
Real Name
Matt Stone
Surprisingly enough, the "arty" theater near me got this film over the weekend (in addition to We Don't Live Here Anymore). I'm surprised because I'm in a relatively small city (Lafayette, IN). Over the last couple of years, the local theater chain has been doing a fantastic job of getting smaller releases here.

I may have to check this film out later this week.

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