A Low Down Dirty Shame (1994)

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Released 26-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 95:43
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Keenen Ivory Wayans
Caravan Pictures
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Keenen Ivory Wayans
Charles Dutton
Jada Pinkett Smith
Salli Richardson
Andrew Divoff
Corwin Hawkins
Gary Cervantes
Gregory Sierra
Kim Wayans
Andrew Shaifer
Christopher Spencer
Devin DeVasquez
John Capodice
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Tevin Campbell
R. Kelly
Marcus Miller

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    A Low Down Dirty Shame is a reasonably well made action film with a solid dose of humour. Keenan Ivory Wayans pulls double duty as the film's star and director. The Wayans brothers made a name for themselves in the late 1980s with the hit comedy series In Living Colour, which also launched the career of Jim Carey amongst others. As an actor Keenan has appeared in several action films including The Glimmer Man with Steven Seagal and Most Wanted with Jon Voight. His real success has come in the directing field with back-to-back smash hits in Scary Movie and its sequel. A Low Down Dirty Shame is an early directing effort that pays homage to the blaxploitation classic Shaft.

    Shame is an ex-police officer who quit the force in a cloud of controversy. Jaded by his experience in the police he now runs an almost bankrupt private investigation company where he only answers to himself and his secretary (Jada Pinkett), a soap opera junkie that harbours a secret crush on her boss. Agreeing to help an old colleague in the Drug Enforcement Agency, Shame finds himself caught up in the same drug smuggling operation that led to his resignation disgrace. Can he change the outcome a second time?

    As a film the narrative is lacking, and the characters are merely 2 dimensional caricatures that can be found in almost any B-grade action movie. However, what A Low Down Dirty Shame lacks in originality it tries to make up in humour, some well-staged shoot-outs and several brutal fight sequences. As a director Wayans knowingly uses clichés by the dozens, but infuses them with enough rough humour and self-knowing wit to compensate for this obvious shortcoming, and to some degree it works. The film is never boring and contains some quite funny situations. When released stateside in 1994 the film earned a respectable 30 million dollars so I'm surprised a sequel never eventuated.

    A Low Down Dirty Shame is a decent 90 minutes of low grade action fun that should please those action fans looking for a non-taxing adrenaline rush.

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Transfer Quality


    A Low Down Dirty Shame is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen viewing.

    The picture has a reasonably sharp image with little to no aliasing or halo problems. The transfer has reasonably solid blacks with a decent amount of shadow detail. There were patches of grain here and there, but no low level noise nasties.

    Colours were natural with no notable image bleeding problems.

    The film contained the occasional speck of dirt or film artefact but nothing overly intrusive.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The film contains two audio tracks in Dolby Digital 2.0; English and Spanish.

    Dialogue is always clear and never loses clarity during sound effects heavy sequences. There are no audio sync problems.

    The film's music is a hodge-podge of Hip Hop and Rap tunes with occasional symphonic accompaniment. It is not overly bombastic or intrusive.

    There is a moderate amount of surround channel usage that only becomes evident during action sequences with the occasional explosion or gun shot using the rear channels.

    The subwoofer adds the required reverberation.


     There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    All DVD versions of this film are currently essentially the same.


    A Low Down Dirty Shame is a moderately enjoyable action film with solid performances and decent humour. The disc has a nice transfer for the low cost, but not an extra in sight.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Friday, June 25, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

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