Thursday, 10 May 2012

Crimes of Passion.

China Blue blows more than bubbles in this film!

Ken Russell made two films in America, the first, which I have never seen, was Altered States (1980) a science fiction-horror film that apparently received some decent reviews unlike his final American movie Crimes of Passion (1984). This was a controversial film, not unusual for Ken, which by all accounts got some pretty dire critiques. This sexual mishmash investigates the idea of doubling, Belle de Jour style, and attempts to tackle a mixture of madness and high emotion that tends to get lost under an overlay of soft porn. Russell’s mistake was not making this film in the UK and not using a British cast. Although to be fair Kathleen Turner, who plays both the respectable fashion designer Joanna Crane and the not quite so respectable China Blue, a lady who deals in ‘fantasy for hire’, deserved her Best Actress award. The manic performance from Anthony Perkins, who was almost at Psycho 3 level by this time and had been arrested at Heathrow Airport for possessing eight grams of marijuana and some LSD, is also worth a mention he plays the Rev. Peter Shayne someone who is best described as a sex-minister! But the remaining characters needed that calibre of eccentricity that I believe can only be found in the UK school of acting.

Its good to see a girl enjoying her work!

Progressive rock keyboardist Rick Wakeman was responsible for the synthesizer heavy score that was partly based on Antonin Dvoraks New World Symphony.

"I'll save you my child"

China does not look that convinced.

The story is really about the bizarre double life of China Blue and her regular clients, one of which, an all American twat called Bobby Grady, discovers her true identity and falls in love. Meanwhile Reverend Shayne attempts to save China Blue with the help of a large pointed metallic vibrator he calls superman. Need I go on, I think you probable get the idea by now and Ken Russell has never, thankfully, been afraid to shock? 

Thanks to Movie Screenshots for the stills.

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