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A Dirty Shame
A John Waters Film

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Synopsis (eng)


From the wondrously fertile mind of writer/director John Waters comes A DIRTY SHAME, America’s first carnal concussion comedy. Set in the Harford Road area of Waters’ native Baltimore, A DIRTY SHAME tells what happens when a horny horde of “sex addicts” invade a blue-collar neighborhood, to the shock and dismay of the “neuter” neighbors. Rude, joyous and full of sexual anarchy, A DIRTY SHAME is a movie with a generous heart and a dirty mind: in other words, a classic John Waters comedy.

Lust is in the air on Harford Road and Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman), a grumpy, repressed middle-aged Baltimorean, doesn’t like it. Though Sylvia’s handsome husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) still has marital urges, Sylvia couldn’t be less interested - she has work to do. Isn’t it enough that she has to run the family’s “Pinewood Park And Pay” convenience store, and prepare proper meals for their exhibitionist daughter Caprice (Selma Blair), a go-go dancer known to her adoring fans as Ursula Udders? After several “nude and disorderly” violations, Caprice and her stupendously enlarged breasts have been sentenced to home detention in the mother-in-law apartment above the Stickles’ garage and now, even the neighbors know. Everything changes when Sylvia is involved in a freak accident on the way to work and receives her first head injury. Sexy tow-truck driver Ray-Ray Perkins (Johnny Knoxville) rushes to her aid and Sylvia realizes he’s no ordinary service man; no, he’s a sexual healer who knows how to bring out her flaming cauldron of hidden concussion lust. A prude no longer, Sylvia suddenly views the world through hypersexual eyes. Vaughn is happily surprised by his wife’s resurgent libido, but when he sees her do a raunchy “hootchie-cootchie” dance during a routine visit to a nursing home, he knows something is wrong. Sylvia’s mother, Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd), already up in arms about the libertines in their midst, decides it is time to fight back. Supported by her sex-hating neighbors like Marge the Neuter (Mink Stole), Big Ethel leads the battle for “Neuter normality.”

Burnin’ and bewildered, Sylvia seeks out Ray-Ray at his garage, and discovers that she is not alone in erotomania. Head injuries have brought forth a flock of Sex Addicts who have infiltrated every corner of the community, from the post office and the police department to the Stickles’ “Park And Pay.” Ray-Ray’s disciples include some of the most bizarre sexual fetishists known to man, and together the wanton followers plan to take over Harford Road. As the twelfth member of Ray-Ray’s inner circle, Sylvia’s arrival portends a new age of erotic bliss.

What one concussion giveth, however, another can take away. Sylvia’s torrid night out at the Holiday House biker bar is brought to an abrupt close by a second head injury, and her raging libido is snuffed out like a candle. The Stickles family turns to the family doctor and twelve-step meetings to help Sylvia deal with her “runaway vagina” and reclaim her sexual sobriety. But Ray-Ray and his followers have seen the Promised Land, and they will not abandon their sister to erotic anorexia. With a joyous cry of “Let’s go sexin’!,” Ray-Ray and his followers set out to rescue Sylvia, liberate the community and discover a brand new sex act.

The final battle for Harford Road is about to unfold, with Big Ethel and her fellow Neuters making their last stand against the Sex Addicts’ lewd invasion. As the struggle moves from the “Park And Pay” to the streets, lawns and even the trees of Harford Road, the head injuries multiply - and the sexual miracles begin. Sylvia and Vaughan’s marriage is jump-started by a final new sex act that elevates the Sex Addicts beyond Harford Road into a whole new dawn of sexual awakening.


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