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A Dirty Shame [DVD]

17 customer reviews

Price: £2.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Tracey Ullman, Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair, Chris Isaak, Suzanne Shepherd
  • Directors: John Waters
  • Producers: Ted Hope, Christine Vachon
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Oct. 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A3OON6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,666 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Over-the-top comedy starring Tracey Ullman as Sylvia Stickles, 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 uber-buxom exotic entertainer Ursula Udders.

From Amazon.co.uk

When prissy, prickly Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) suffers a head injury during a traffic altercation, she's, er, revived by self-appointed sexual missionary Ray-Ray Perkins (Johnny Knoxville) and is transformed into an insatiable, take-no-prisoners sex maniac. Yes, it's a John Waters film. Yes, it's filthy. No, it's not as hilarious and sustained as you'd like it to be. It works for a while, though: Ullman, never a stingy comedienne, does everything Waters dares her to do without hesitation; words cannot describe the perversely sporting delight with which she mounts a water bottle during a round of "The Hokey Pokey" at an old folks' home. And there's some fun to be had when Sylvia's emancipation leads her Baltimore 'burb to new heights of ecstasy, freeing her large-breasted daughter Caprice (Selma Blair) while horrifying husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) and her hardline mother Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd, hysterical) in the process. It's also packed with the standard cameos, the most satisfying of which is good old Patty Hearst at a Sex Addicts Anonymous encounter. But, for all the nasty, necessary glee, the movie feels inescapably been-there-done-that, and you can't help but wish this was 1972 and Divine was on hand to prowl for dog droppings. The most shocking thing about A Dirty Shame is how desperate and tiresome its anarchy becomes. --Steve Wiecking, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By wayne on 20 Dec. 2006
Format: DVD
Ok - so this is typical John Waters circa 1975 had he won the (then) equivalent of the lottery. Bigger budget version of "Polyester" complete with all the usual JW trappings (late 1950's - early 1960's songs, unlikely castings etc.) Storyline a little weak and distinct lack of iconic lines, but some worthwhile cinema moments (Tracey Ullman dancing under newly-acquired sexual prowerness in old folks home is excellent ) - I am sorely missing a cameo by the late-Divine and the late (r) Cookie Mueller would have been superbly cast as Ray Ray's PR, but a decent array of modern-day "also-rans'" make for an appropriate JW movie. I will watch this again and again and it is well worth adding to your collection if you are that way inclined. My only other gripe is that Chris Isaac fails to get his kit off but perhaps the budget didn't stretch that far !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Olly M on 9 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is gleefully naughty, and pleasantly warped, reflecting its director, John Waters. Unlike some of Waters' early films, the acting is consistently good, and in places brilliant. Tracey Ullman is fine as the central character, but Suzanne Shepherd's performance was worth the price of the DVD, and more. The handbag scene had me laughing helplessly, as tears streamed down my face. I'm even laughing as I type this. It deserves 5 stars for the acting, the laughter it causes, and the delightfully warped quality at its heart.
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When the trailer describes a movie as shocking, twisted and depraved you know it's got to be a John Waters film! His latest in a long list of alternative cinema offerings is a real dig at American morality at a time when the USA was going through a particularly Christian fundamentalist period. A Dirty Shame (2004) is a return to the vulgarity of his earlier movies being both subversive and outrageous, described as a sex education film where none of the fetishes on show are made up, it works on the pretext that someone somewhere is performing a so called unnatural sexual act as you read this!

It starts sedately enough in a middle class area of Baltimore, rows of lovely houses with immaculate gardens and white picket fences; young innocent children play on well-manicured lawns. But inside the houses reside their repressed mummies and daddy's. That is until they get a bump on the head, meet Ray Ray and turn into sex addicts. This is what happened to Sylvia Stickles (Tracy Ullman), she hated not only the psychical act of sex but also the very idea of coupling with another human being; leading her husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) to masturbate in the loo to sex magazine’s to release the poor man’s frustrations! But then she is involved in an accident that involves head injury. Through this incident she meets mechanic Ray Ray Perkins (Johnny Knoxville) and joins him at his garage where she discovers she is not along in her newly discovered sexual urges.

In this flaming cauldron of hidden lust Waters uses hypersexual activities as a metaphor for religious worship where a garage mechanic is treated as a sexual saint, the saviour of the puritanical residents of Hartford Road, their conversion brought on by an accidental bump on the head.
Read more ›
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John Waters came to fame (or is that notoriety) as a terrorist film-maker, making the 'big time' with his offbeat study of sixties Baltimore - Hairspray. There is always a particular feel to his films but they have softened since those early days. This film recalls that sense of the renegade. In Europe people will see this as an outrageous but very funny romp, and a clear swipe at Bible Belt America's moral dogmatism. To homely Americans it must have been a complete travesty.
The film wastes no time in drawing you into the indivuals and the subject matter in JW's offbeat, almost cuddly approach. Once you've seen Selma Blair's unfeasibly large breasts the film has you in it's grip. A few minutes on and you have been introduced to many strange deviations that normally stay hidden behind closed doors. Then the head banging begins (and I mean that in the literal sense). Every time a head is hit we are treated to a montage of clips from those odd little back street films the States made so many of. They are a delight, along with the film score, all taken from the same period. The film then continues to gather pace getting ever more surreal and funny until it's very American ending. The final shot leaves you thinking 'I don't believe he had the gall to put that in'.
Belief is stretched to breaking point; it abounds with sexual references, inuendos and euphemisms that are an education, but however far out it gets the comedy holds you. And all that with nothing more explicit than a few brief nude shots, tame compared with most modern romances.
Certainly not one for prudes or those with a traditional outlook on life. But if you like the unusual and films that push the boundaries then I highly recommend it. Everyone I know (bar one) who has seen this considers it the funniest film they have seen in many years.
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no spoilers

arrived promptly - no damages - well packed - as described - no hassles - would recommend

Ok its john waters - what does that really mean? perhaps I don't get jw but this seemed like a one trick pony. one joke spread sooooo thinly as to become almost annoying - get on with already.

the premise is that in a typical Baltimore town people who accidentally get knocked on the head and get a concussion become 'liberated'. Another knock they get back to 'normal' - no limit its a switch. Thus we have the two opposing factions.

oh the mayhem that ensues.... NO. (its hard to put facetiousness in to words). what ensues is a series of gags. Nothing tooo distasteful and most alternative kinks were given a nod.

the thing I cant work out - because I'm not smart or liberal enough I guess - is who were meant to be in the right and who in the wrong? I'm only guessing that its the ones who seeming triumph in the end.

There is a large quantity of extras mostly due to two commentaries on the entire film.

all in all I cant help feeling there should have been more to the film. yes it JW getting back not entirely to his roots but closer. It does have the 'feel' of a JW film, but it seems less soul satisfying.

ACID TEST: would I buy again/recommend - not really
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