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A Dirty Shame

John Waters


A Dirty Shame
Directed by: John Waters
(Fine Line Features)
Do you like the word “cooter?” Do you wish there was more feltching or sploshing in movies? Have you been searching for the ideal euphemism for cunnilingus? How about “sneezing in the cabbage?” A Dirty Shame will satisfy. With this movie, American B-movie legend Waters locates his mojo again after a stretch of slightly tame pics like Pecker and Serial Mom failing to shock the way Female Trouble once did. Waters himself calls Shame “a Three Stooges sex education movie.” It stars Tracey Ullman, Johnny Knoxville and Selma Blair as Baltimore suburbanites who become sex addicts via accidental head trauma. It details over a dozen bizarre fetishes, earns its NC-17 rating and somehow still manages to be less creepy than re-enactments of the Michael Jackson trial. While it does hyperventilate a little trying to constantly top itself, even when it goes limp, A Dirty Shame is, in fact, delightfully shameless. The behind the scenes doc on the DVD is worth a look, as it visits with Waters’ longtime stable of performers who let slip stories of the director’s former leading lady, the late, great Divine.
—Carsten Knox

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