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In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.
The thirty year-old hard-worker Bobby Grady is married with two children to the frigid Amy Grady and their marriage is in crisis. Bobby is invited to work the night shift at a fashion design studio whose owner believes his talented and introspective designer Joanna Crane 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 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
Ken Russell's masterpiece has cult movie written all over it. A lurid, extreme sex-and-violence fantasy porno-movie, it is also a brilliant satire on the American way of sex, (the 'home life' scenes could have come out of "Desperate Housewives"). In the bravest and best performance of her career, Kathleen Turner plays the mystery woman who is Joanna, prim fashion designer by day and China Blue, the fantasy hooker to end all fantasy hookers, by night. In an alternative universe her performance would have won her the Oscar for Best Actress. Her nemesis is Anthony Perkin's psychopathic preacher with the razor-sharp dildo ("Save me from the foul-mouthed kooze with the motor-driven ass"). His is the kind of performance that goes beyond mere acting into some kind of crazy stratosphere all it's own; (the ending is lifted directly from "Psycho").
The film has it's downside. Rick Wakeman's score is over-emphatic and Tom Cruise lookalike John Laughlin may have Cruise's good looks but none of his talent. It's a terrible piece of acting but in a movie this OTT it actually works. Barry Sandler's script is brilliant.
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