When an accidental concussion awakens the carnal urges of Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman), the people of Pinewood become pitted against each other in an epic battle of decency (“Neuters”) versus depravity (“Sex Addicts”).
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The film quickly unfolds into complete comedic anarchy and there can be some very funny scenes and lines. It's far from Waters' best work but at the same time you gotta love the fact that this film even exists and someone coughed up 15 mil to make it. Where else are you gonna see squirrels getting brought back to life by sexual saint Johnny Knoxville and Selma Blair with tits bigger than 4 human heads?
A Dirty Shame is literally a dirty shame. Its hysterically filthy and the final nonsensical 15-20 minutes turn the movie into a shameful mess. I laughed almost uncontrollably at the random and perverted humor I'm such a fan of but despite this not being my first John Waters rodeo, I guess I just wanted more. It's more of a 2 1/2 star movie than the 3 Mubi forced me to give it because its also better than 2 stars.
A return of sorts to pre-Hairspray dirtiness - in intention if not execution. This too often just dissipates into a mild catalogue of sexual fetishes, which just sit there rather than propelling the story or simply providing some amusement (as was the intention). Ullman makes a suitably grungy heroine (note her hokey-pokey with a bottle), but as with much of Water's output the narrative just dries up. Theme park smut
A return to the transgressive with the budget of the mainstream. Johnny Knoxville leads a sex cult in which he attempts to find the astral orgasm. Selma Blair is an exhibitionist with ungodly big honkers. Chris Isaak's in it too, so that's nice.