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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
You remind me of this hamster I had when I was a kid.
I remind you of a *hamster*?
Yep. He ran away whenever you tried to touch him. So I wanted to show him there was nothing to be afraid of. So one day I just picked him up real fast and I just held him.
And he turned tender and loving...
Nope. He shit in my hand.
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The Anchor Bay special edition DVD, released in 2002, contains six deleted scenes (a couple of which also appear on the LD), cut by Ken Russell for pacing, time and conventionality reasons, and some brief additional dialogue during the China Blue/Adrian car ride. The six scenes, which have optional commentary by Barry Sandler noting why they were removed, are:
An additional barbecue scene with Bobby and Donny reminiscing about screwing the loosest girl in high school (whom everyone was lining up to screw). Bobby confesses that he never went through with it, because he had just started seeing Amy. Amy and Sheila (Yvonne McCord) then have a discussion in the garage about unhappy marriages and unexciting lives. Sheila admits that the happiest time of her life was when she left Donny, Amy tells her that Bobby tries so hard to make things work, and Sheila advises her to dump him and stop wasting his time. This was bracketed in the film by the limo scene with China Blue, Arthur and Claudia. (5m 11s)
Joanna and Bobby lie in bed post-coitus. She has her doubts about letting her cover down, a fight erupts, and he storms out of her apartment to go stay at Donny's. (2m 3s)
Joanna knocks on Bobby's door, as she now needs him. She wants to try again, and he's happy to comply. Appeared in the film after Joanna leaves Ben's (Gerald S. O'Loughlin) and Adrian's (Peggy Feury) house. (1m 4s)
Joanna sits in her car, parked outside the Grady family home, so she can see how his other side lives. Amy drives home with Jimmy, tells him to go wait inside, chides Joanna (aware that she's the other woman) for daring to come to her house, and both women spill their guts. Appeared in the film in between the scenes of Joanna slamming the door in Bobby's face after their reconciliation and Amy giving Bobby his old football jersey. (2m 53s)
Bobby enters Jimmy's bedroom and helps him with a diorama of the solar system. He tells his son that he's not staying, and Jimmy begs him to, because he promised he would be. Appeared in the film after the scene where Amy gives Bobby his old football jersey. (1m 20s)
Bobby shares a drink in a bar with a very drunk Donny. He tells Donny about Joanna and that he just said goodbye to Amy and the kids, before he heads off to see Joanna. Donny then tries and fails to pick up a woman, who's revolted by him. Appeared in the film in the middle of Reverend Shayne's attack on Joanna. (2m 53s) Some versions, such as the Anchor Bay DVD, have the "It's a Lovely Life" video out of sync with the music, and the camera's-eye views of Bobby filming China Blue and Reverend Shayne in B&W (which is how they are in the longform music video), instead of blue-tint. For some odd reason, the DVD removes the New World Pictures copyright ((c)Copyright 1984 New World Pictures All Rights Reserved.) in the end credits, replacing it with a cheap video insert ((c)1984 New World Pictures. All Rights Reserved.) after all the credits have rolled.
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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