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The thirty year-old hard-worker Bobby Grady is married with two children with the frigid Amy Grady and their marriage is in crisis. Bobby is invited to work in the night shift for the owner of a fashion designer studio that believes that his talented designer Joanna Crane, who is very introspective, is selling his designs to competitors. Bobby accepts the job to make money and please Amy with a bathtub and follows Joanna after hours. He discovers that she has a double life, working as a fifty-dollar hooker called China Blue in the red light district and practicing kinky sex with her clients to satisfy their fantasies. Bobby becomes obsessed by China Blue and when the true thief is found, he has sex with her and they have a crush on each other. Meanwhile the insane preacher Rev. Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) decides to save Joanna's soul and stalks her everywhere. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
What a great slice of sleaze this is! Ken Russell certainly has a style of his own and it's on overdrive in Crimes of Passion, as the movie is as much about the bizarre way that Russell tells his story as it is about the story itself. Crimes of Passion is unlikely to appeal to all tastes, but for everyone who likes trashy and sleazy thrillers, you really can't go wrong with this one! The film is very surreal and at times, even takes on something of a fantasy feel. The way that Russell uses lighting and the rock theme tune (which often feels slightly out of place) help to keep things surreal; and the heavy amount of sex makes this more than your average Hollywood thriller! A double life is the basis for the plot; and here we focus on China Blue; shameless hooker by night and sportswear designer by day. A street preacher meets her and decides he wants to save her soul; around the same time, a man is hired to spy on her by the sportswear business she works for. He later meets her as China Blue and is shown a good time...but soon the preacher starts to get out of control.
This might not be particularly intelligent stuff, but Crimes of Passion appealed to me because it's not quite like any other thriller I've seen, and director Ken Russell seems more interested in making the film as bizarre as possible than telling a story - and that is no bad thing as it ensures that Crimes of Passion is original, and that's the sort of thing that gives a film a cult following! Crimes of Passion has an interesting cast, which is lead by Kathleen Turner, who is just great in her double role. John Laughlin falls into the background a little bit as his role is the least interesting of the three central ones - but he's not bad. The third central role is taken up by Anthony Perkins, and it suits him like a glove! Perkins wasn't so maniacal since Psycho and Russell definitely picked the right man for the job with this piece of casting! While the film isn't exactly plot heavy, what story we do have flows well and there's always enough going on outside of the plot anyway - if there's one thing this film isn't, it's boring! Overall, Crimes of Passion is a great trash flick and it gets high recommendations from me!
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