HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
Early Man
Killdozer
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Crimes of Passion Extreme RedeemerBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, John Laughlin, Annie Potts, Bruce Davison, John G. Scanlon, Stephen Lee, Pat McNamara, Joseph Chapman, Norman Burton, Thomas Murphy, John Rose, Louise Sorel, Janice Kent, Christina Lange, Seth Wagerman, Pamela Anderson
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Bobby Grady (John Laughlin) is attending a marriage guidance group session because he is accompanying his friend, but really doesn't feel like he belongs there - although maybe he does. China Blue (Kathleen Turner) is a prostitute in the red light district who takes great pleasure in play acting to help her clients realise their sexual fantasies. The Reverend Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) spouts his own version of scriptures on the streets, trying to save souls and working up the courage to take desperate measures to do so. These three people are on a collision course that can only end in life-changing ways...

Ken Russell, in his second American film, believed the time was right to satirise the sexual mores of the U.S.A., and with Barry Sandler's script he thought he'd found the ideal material. When it begins, however, you only see the opening credits and hear voices which sound as if they are performing a bad play, so you could be forgiven for thinking that's what you'll see when the credits cease. Yet you don't, the dialogue is supposed to be convincingly taking on waspish attitudes towards marriage, and Laughlin is meant to be genuine in his bafflement.

You can understand why Bobby doesn't go along with the withering accusations that his wife is unsatisfied in the bedroom, but of course his marriage does indeed turn out to be in trouble. From the first fifteen minutes, it looks like this will be another sleazy thriller about a serial killer, with Perkins filling that role as he had many times before (he still gave it one hundred percent - what a trouper!), yet there are signs that Sandler is more comfortable with delineating marital problems. You've paid to see a sexy thriller...

...but what you get is a marriage guidance counselling session. No wonder Bobby's wife Amy (Annie Potts) isn't happy, as she makes no secret of having fallen out of love with him, and it's true they don't seem evenly matched with he far more immature than she. All very well, and when Bobby gets a job to follow an employee of a ladies' sportswear manufacturer whose boss thinks she is indulging in industrial espionage he finds not only her secret, but what is missing from his relationship with his wife. The employee is Joanna Crane, whose alias is the prostitute China Blue: yes, even though she doesn't need to financially, she has sex for money. Is this an example of spoofing American sexual fantasies or are we supposed to take that bit seriously?

It's difficult to tell, chiefly because of Russell's insistence on making his film as lurid as possible. The heightened, close to hysterical style of Crimes of Passion takes quite some getting used to, not least due to Rick Wakeman's fingernails down the blackboard score which hammers the same burst of classical music into the ground. On the plus side, Turner manages to make enough out of her role to elicit interest in what Joanne will do next (like raping a policeman! Take that, men in general!), but she's as much a fantasy construction as her role playing. Sadly, for a thriller it's all so over the top that suspense is at a minimum, and considering how ridiculous it is from the first frame it's best approached as camp. The moral? Once husband and wife stop having sex with each other their marriage is over, apparently.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2617 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Ken Russell  (1927 - 2011)

It was trips to the cinema with his mother that made British director, writer and producer Ken Russell a lifelong film fan and this developed into making his own short films. From there, he directed dramas on famous composers for the BBC, and was soon making his own features.

French Dressing did not make much of an impact, but if his Harry Palmer episode Billion Dollar Brain was fairly well received, then his follow up, Women in Love really put Russell on the international movie map. From there the seventies produced most of the highlights of his career, never shying away from controversy, with The Music Lovers, The Devils (most reviled of his films and his masterpiece), musical The Boy Friend, and more music and artist based works with Savage Messiah, Mahler, Tommy (the film of The Who's concept album) and Lisztomania.

After the seventies, which he ended with the biopic Valentino, his popularity declined somewhat with Altered States suffering production difficulties and later projects difficult to get off the ground. Nevertheless, he directed Crimes of Passion, Gothic, Salome's Last Dance, cult horror Lair of the White Worm and The Rainbow in the eighties, but the nineties and beyond saw more erratic output, with many short films that went largely unseen, although a UK TV series of Lady Chatterley was a success. At the age of 79 he appeared on reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother but walked out after a few days. Russell was one of Britain's most distinctive talents, and his way of going passionately over the top was endearing and audacious, while he rarely lost sight of his stories' emotional aspects.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: