'Crimes of Passion' (2-Disc Special Edition)
(Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, John Laughlin, Bruce Davison, Annie Potts, et al / Blu ray+DVD / NR / (1984) 2016 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: 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.
Blu-ray Verdict: 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! This is a new High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
• Brand new 2K restoration of the film from original film materials
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of the director’s cut and unrated versions of the film
• Optional subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary with director Ken Russell and producer-screenwriter Barry Sandler
• Seven deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary by Sandler
• Brand-new interview with Sandler recorded especially for this release
• Home movie footage of Ken Russell visiting Florida for a retrospective screening of Crimes of Passion at the 2009 Orlando Film Festival
• Theatrical Trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil
• Illustrated booklet containing new writing by Ken Russell’s biographer, Paul Sutton, correspondence between Russell and Kathleen Turner, and an on-set interview with Russell