Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “A Low Down Dirty Shame”

May 6, 2013  |  

 

Source: Caravan

I’ve wanted to expound on the secrets behind this film for the longest. But the information is sparse. Well, today you’re in for a treat. We’re talking about the Wayans written, directed film. Let’s just jump right in.

Source: Caravan Pictures

Jada had known Wayans for five years before she got the role

You probably knew that Jada studied dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts; but chances are, you didn’t know that she auditioned to be the choreographer for “In Living Color.”

Source: Caravan Pictures

Corwin Hawkins

Remember Peaches’ best friend Wayman? He was played by deceased comedian Corwin Hawkins. In addition to his regular stand up, Corwin was also well known for his drag character “Amazing Grace.” As Amazing Grace, Corwin didn’t wear flowing gowns and extensive makeup; instead, he wore a business suit and a smart bob.

Keenan Ivory Wayans met Hawkins when he appeared on Def Comedy Jam , Comic View and HBO comedy specials and offered him the part of Wayman, which was originally written with Rupaul in mind. Hawkins died of AIDS related complications, pneumonia, in August of 1994 at 29 years old, just three months before the A Low Down Dirty Shame hit theaters.

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Keenen on Corwin

After Corwin died, Keeenen spoke to The Advocate, a publication geared toward the LGBTQ community:

“I dedicated the movie to him. Corwin was a funny guy. Yes, he was effeminate but so what?”

Source: Caravan Pictures

The Money

Keenen’s foray into directing didn’t fare too badly. The movie cost $10 million and made almost three times as much when it went to theaters, bringing in $29,392,418 domestically.

Source: Fox

Leaving Living Color

You may remember “In Living Color” ended in 1994, when Keenen and FOX couldn’t come to an agreement. They wanted to run the show twice a week and Keenen thought that would compromise the show’s value when it reached syndication. They couldn’t come to an agreement and Keenen decided to leave. Once all the Wayans left, they tried to have other people write the content but the show flopped after that. In an interview with The Baltimore Sun this is what Damon had to say about the Fox split.

“It’s a testament to my brother’s genius that the show got canceled because they thought they could do without him.”

Source: Caravan Pictures

The transition film

Keenan told Jet Magazine in 1994, that A Low Down Dirty Shame was his opportunity to bridge the gap between comedy and parody to a more serious style of film making.

“This movie has a lot more serious elements. It’s kind of a bridge for me to go from the sort of things that I’ve been doing to something new. Just to give me more diversity. There Is a lot of comedy in the movie, but it moves away from the spoof sort of style of stuff that I’ve done.”

Source: Fox

Living Color Wounds

By the time Keenen was making Low Down he’d moved beyond the “In Living Color” beef.

“Time has passed and the wounds have healed and I’ve moved on to other things. I’ve had time to really spend thinking about what I want to do and setting up other situations.”

Source: Caravan

Hair

Before shaving completely bald at the end of the movie, Shame’s haircut is different in almost every shot.

Source: Caravan Pictures

The Soundtrack

Though the film featured huge talent for the ’90s including Zhane, Changing Faces, UGK, Tevin Campbell and R Kelly, it failed to do exceptionally well on the charts. It peaked at number 70 on the Billboard 200 and 14 on the R&B charts. A review of the soundtrack by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic.com said “there is a noticeable lack of memorable material, leaving the record as nothing but a pleasant genre exercise.

Source: Caravan

Roger Ebert

Wondering what Roger Ebert thought of the film? Well, in his Chicago Tribune review, he said that there were holes and it was mostly about guns but he enjoyed Jada Pinkett’s performance. See what he had to say in detail.

A few bright points: Pinkett is quirky and funny as Peaches, although the character owes more than a little to Rosie Perez’s screen persona. Salli Richardson is a great beauty, although not given much to do, and saddled with one particularly unpleasant scene.

And Wayans pulls a truly neat stunt with a bungee cord. All the rest is gun behavior: holding, waving, dropping, drawing, shooting, loading, pointing, displaying, polishing and posturing. Take away the guns and this would be a movie about too many characters and no way to get rid of them.

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  • Terry

    A picture of Wayman brought me here. RIP

    I loved watching the movie because it was Keenan in a way I’d never seen him before, some of the acting was a bit bad, situations crazy, but I admired how he struck out on his own and did his own thing like Anthony Michael Hall in Hail Caear

    Out of 5 I would give this 3 stars because it has unforgettable characters, great laughs and a decent twist. I’d say this is one of the sleeper hits of the 90s

  • KameleonBlue

    Peaches: “this is Fremi “…. Shame: “fremme”…. Peaches: ” this is
    fremi with an I not an E… lol. I also love that part in the movie when she walked into the bathroom of a man on the toilet; then, she said got damn you better check your pulse you might be dead.

  • Almond E Brown

    Low Down Dirty Shame is my favorite movie of all time. Judge me all you like. LOL! I have watched it so many times, I can recite the dialogue. Shame: “Don’t let me find out you was down at the Swap Meet going buck wild with my money.” Peaches: “Give it up Big Daddy!”

  • Almond E Brown

    Low Down Dirty Shame is my favorite movie of all time. Judge me all you like. LOL! I have watched it so many times, I can recite the dialogue. Shame: “Don’t let me find out you was down at the Swap Meet going buck wild with my money.” Peaches: “Give it up Big Daddy!”

    • BobbyBrownsUnhingedLowerJaw

      CHAAAAAAAAAAAD! it is Chad!

    • leeleebaby

      Aww don’t go get yo boxers into a bunch just cause you was cruising in yo sleep last night and started speeding…

  • Macklemoon

    Kind of a bs article. Other than the gay dude passing away (R.I.P.), there’s no secrets or real interesting trivia being revealed.

  • PrettyDew

    I always wonder what happened to Wayman….so sad he never got to see his own work.

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  • Peachylove

    I never cared bout Roger Ebert and his reviews when it came to Black Movies…. always thought he rated them UNFAIRLY!!!

    • Truth

      That’s because, like many White film critics, he didn’t understand “Black” humor…..

      • Ms. E

        I don’t know about that, his wife was black.

  • Child_Puhleez

    Wow. Haven’t watched this movie in a minute! Note to self: add to Netflix queue….

    • Almond E Brown

      It’s not on Netflix. *wall slide*

      • Child_Puhleez

        Aw, Ok. Thx. LOL

      • Child_Puhleez

        Aw, Ok. Thx. LOL

    • Almond E Brown

      It’s not on Netflix. *wall slide*

  • Shay n Scrappy 4 ever! Lmao

    Wayman and Peaches were my favorite characters in the movie, its a shame i can quote the movie to this day cause my momma watched the movie everyday when it came out…

    • Favorite line: And make sure it’s regular! Last time, you got me SUPER, GIRL!

      LOL!!!

      • Shay n Scrappy 4 ever! Lmao

        Mine is Peaches threaten Salli (idk her character name) sayin u betta watch to back!!! After they got into it at the house…

      • BobbyBrownsUnhingedLowerJaw

        aint nothin but space and opportunity…

      • ashleyjussayin

        Sausages. …..won’t one? Hhmmm mo be for us! Classic

      • Terry

        I have to say my favorite scene is when the bad guys are trying to catch Peaches, she gave them hell!