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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 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.

Store Comments

The granddaddy of bad taste makes a potent return to form, and New Line Home Entertainment is there to back him up as John Waters' sexually obsessed concussion comedy arrives on DVD with another classic commentary track by the director and a remarkably insightful featurette. The feature presentation is offered up in a wonderful 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with all of Waters' unsightly sight gags well in place and long-time Waters set designer Vincent Peranio's giddily gaudy sets shining through in all of their eye-gouging, hideous glory. Of course, any Waters fan knows that this is one director who knows how to pick a soundtrack, and the raunchy rock tunes are perfectly balanced with the classic dialogue that fans of the director have known and loved since the days of Pink Flamingos. And anyone familiar with the director also knows he has been the voice of some of the most entertaining audio commentary tracks ever to appear on DVD, and his commentary for A Dirty Shame is no letdown. After opening the track with a mouthful of food, Waters hilariously goes on to discuss everything from the ratings controversy generated by A Dirty Shame, to the lesser-known sexual slang terms used by the cast and his unforgettable encounter with an auto-erotically obsessed businessman in the first-class section of an airplane. Clocking in at over an hour, the featurette "All the Dirt on a Dirty Shame" covers the making of the film in addition to offering interviews with such veteran Dreamlanders as Channing Wilroy and highlighting actor Suzanne Shepherd's traumatic first encounter with the film's script. Director and exploitation expert Frank Henenlotter also pops in for a guest appearance, and after witnessing some truly nauseating "Sploshing" footage, viewers get to find out the one fetish that instantly transforms the notorious Waters into one of the "neuters" he so gleefully parodies in A Dirty Shame. A fall-down-funny see-it-to-believe-it deleted scene featuring star Johnny Knoxville rounds out the features, making this release of Waters' back-to-form effort an essential addition to the collection of any serious fan.

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TUN7754 Dirty Shame DVD (2005/John Waters) $5.99