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Crimes of Passion Reviews

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September 6, 2013
Ken Russell fans will get a kick out of this, all others just keep moving. If you hate Russell, this film won't change your mind. The scenes between Kathleen Turner and Anthony Perkins are lots of fun in spite of the amazingly corny dialogue. The parallel storyline concerning John Laughlin's troubled marriage to Annie Potts suffers from the fact that their performances are SEVERELY lacking, plus the fact that Russell himself seems far less interested in their bland domestic drama than he is in the mystery behind Turner's character (as are we, the audience). This is closer in spirit to a film like Showgirls than to one of Russell's better films. At the end of the day, this is simply a camp classic with lots of staggeringly over-the-top sex scenes and some TRULY laughable dialogue. Non-fans of Russell will dock a star or two from my rating, no doubt.
March 11, 2014
As the years have gone by this has picked up a crazily devoted following. I didn't get it when I saw it in the theater 30 years ago, and I still really don't. Trust me when I say I've tried.
Paulo T.
April 6, 2014
Thank God for Ken Russell.
Dave J
August 20, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

(1984) Crimes Of Passion
EROTIC DRAMA THRILLER

Made 9 months after "Angel" which the idea is similar with the female protagonists live with different lives. In the movie "Angel", it has a female teenager who's a school girl by day and prostitute by night, in the movie starring Kathleen Turner she's a devoted worker who's real name is Joanna Crane, and by night she's called China Blue who's a professional escort. As "China Blue" she has to deal with unattractive old men and some women but enjoys it since it's the only way she can escape from her consuming job since she can't seem to find gratification on any other way. For instance not one attractive co-worker is hitting on her, and I find that hard to believe. She's being pursued by a demented convert who calls himself a pastor and he's being played by Anthony Perkins as Rev. Peter Shayne even though he hangs around on strip clubs but continues to stalk China Blue. And at the same time, Bobby Grady( John Laughlin ) is being hired by a big name company which designs and makes clothes to spy on the company's best workers Joanna (Turner). And it is during this time which is when Bobby is having intimate problems with his wife Amy. There's only one funny scene throughout the film which centers on Bobby acting like how college guys act like but much of everything else in this film is full of rants and babbles viewers don't really need to listen to particularly from Perkins. And they're scenes which needed to be explained but what does anyone expect from a director as Ken Russell.

2 out of 4 stars
July 23, 2013
Up there with Showgirls. That is among the highest compliments that I can pay to a film already.
April 19, 2013
Anthony Perkins was awesome as was Kathleen Turner.
Hal
November 28, 2011
See this movie! RT's low rating here is based on only 9 reviews counted and should be IGNORED. This is by Ken Russell who also did Women In Love (nominated for Best Director & Best Screenplay), and it's one of his best pictures. Anthony Perkins--of Hitchcock's Psycho fame--again is brilliant in playing a lethal maniac yet it's not a rehash of young Bates; this character has quite a different persona. Kathleen Turner too is great as China Blue, possibly her most memorable role. Incidentally, as of 2012 the story's premiss has been made more plausible by the shocking revelation that upstanding former Olympic athlete Suzy Favor has been working as a high-priced call girl in Las Vegas--even though she's married with a child, & co-owner of a prospering real estate agency.
September 20, 2012
Anthony Perkins is awesome in this movie!!! I think this is one of the best Ken Russell films, 2nd only to Salome's Last Dance.
September 6, 2012
Ken Russell had finally gone to America with Altered States (1980), despite it's success, he found it hard to get another film made and after directing opera in Europe and Australia, he was offered this lurid sex thriller written by Barry Sandler (The Mirror Crack'd (1980)), it does show the direction Ken would have taken had he stayed in Hollywood, but he soon got bored with it and came home, the film has some good moments though. In Los Angeles, Joanna Crane (Kathleen Turner) is an employee for a successful fashion design company, but when it's suspected that Joanna has been selling design patterns to his competitors, electronics whiz Bobby Grady (John Laughlin) is asked to keep an eye on Joanna to see whether she's really doing it, but Joanna moonlights as prostitute China Blue, in a blonde wig with make-up and a glittery blue dress, Grady discovers Joanna's double life, but he promises to keep it secret. But, Joanna as China Blue is in trouble from the obsessive Reverend Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins), who gives sermons in the street and watches prostitutes while doing drugs and shaming them later. It's a complex thriller with a lot of Ken's usual touches, a wedding video (where composer Rick Wakeman cameos) is a particular, peculiar highlight. It does feel a bit overlong, but Ken manages to get good performances from all concerned, if Ken had stuck with this, he might have just made it big in Hollywood.
May 24, 2012
Fascinating, offbeat--A sleazy ball of fun!!
March 2, 2012
I kept waiting for this to get where it seemed to want to go. It never happened. Lots of starts with potential ending in a limp attempt to "mean something". I did like the conversation in the bed between Laughlin and Potts--not great acting but that scene was the only thing that gave this two stars.
zorarose
May 18, 2011
"I'm healthy as a horse, I'm fit as a fiddle and I'm ready for cock."

Joanna (Kathleen Turner) is a classy fashion designer by day and the seductive and absolute sexy prostitute China Blue by night. Bobby Grady (John Laughlin), an unhappy husband, follows Joanna to find out, if her reputable side has to hide something. He finds out. And he finds more than a little truth with Joanna, while the Reverend (Anthony Perkins) one of her clients, is obsessed with China Blue. And while she indulges in the endless opportunities her profession has to offer, she obviously underrates it's dangerousness and the perils it brings with it.

I have seen this movie for more than ten times and I would always do it again. Kathleen Turner is breathtaking, beautiful, flippant and her sexy voice makes me shiver. And Anthony Perkins shows that he can play the perfect lunatic.

What more is there to say, than "Strip, Bitch!"?
AJ V

Super Reviewer

December 29, 2010
This seemed like it would be a good movie at first, it's got an interesting plot, good actors, and it starts out good, but it disappoints in the end. Overall, it's just okay.
TonyPolito
December 1, 2010
Steamy, sort of, but not really worth the investment of 90 minutes of your time. I suppose this was pretty edgy stuff back in 1984. But that just doesn't compensate for all the vapid plotline, lousy dialogue and bad acting.

Anthony Perkins is cast in the role of a psychotic street preacher who's obsessing over working girl Kathleen Turner. Obsessing in a Hitchcockian sort of way, you see. Which is why Perkins was cast. Unfortunately, he delivers way, way over-the-top, and it comes off as oh-so campy.

Turner, here just three years behind her steamy delivery in "Body Heat," delivers decently - but the lines are just too flat and trite for it to matter very much. Annie Potts does ok. The rest of the bunch hopefully sought out career tracks in the food and beverage industry.

If there's anything really interesting here it's the camerawork, and more specifically, the lighting. There's a lot of scenes containing bold, vibrant colors mixing upon one another. Plus there's a lot of creative lighting and shadowing. One interesting example is the use of a wallpaper in Turner's hot-sheet motel room. It holds a pattern in velvet atop a base layer that is slightly metallic. The metallic layer is just reflective enough to glimmer as Turner stands beside it, and to add light to her from a side angle.

Commentary by director Russell doesn't bring much to the party. The DVD is the un-cut Director's Cut. The theatrical release had to go through six rounds of snipping to get past the MPAA.

RECOMMENDATION: Approved for film-schoolers, for the aforementioned camerawork. Others - even those looking for steamy R-rated late-night-cable fare - should just steer clear.

NB: The Pam Anderson billed in this fim, who is on-screen for all of 1.5 seconds, is NOT "the" Pam Anderson. Down, boy.
murftoonz
October 12, 2010
Love this movie! Always loved Kathleen Turner. Was in a Video store in the late 80's and saw a cover that caught my eye. It had her name on it but I had never heard of it. Rented it and ended up renting it so many times that the owner of the store ended up giving it to me! The kind of movie that will make very few favorite lists, but for me it is perfect. Very campy and raunchy and has a style to it all it's own. I was lucky enough to meet Miss Turner once. Someone asked her what was her favorite movie she had made.. she said Crimes of Passion. She said Ken Russel gave her the freedom to take the role where ever she wanted to.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

September 28, 2010
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.
Kathleen Turner really goes the limit as an actress in her role as China Blue. She looks great and gives more to the film than it really deserves. This is getting more hotter than Turner's latest film, 1981's Body Heat.
Much of the dialogue is clever, witty, and bitingly effective. The performances are top notch - particularly Anthony Perkins as the maniacal priest whom is captivated by the street-smart, fashion-designer-cum-hooker Turner. The sexual scenes are bold, but not sexually explicit.
AlaineB
June 4, 2010
Kathleen Turner "as you like her". Anthony Perkins portrays crazy. Annie Potts is wasted. Man and woman live lives of unreality and distance, find each other, learn about honesty and reality. Much sex, one killing. Has a few moments...a few.
September 28, 2008
Being a Ken Russell fan helps tremendously in enjoying this bizarre, steamy character study. Apparently, the European cut is the kinky one (and the one I had the opportunity to see): This is the cut I recommend. Kathleen Turner and Anthony Perkins are both stellar in their performances, though everyone involved is pretty good in their own right. Though flawed and painfully 80s at times, I highly recommend this strange and wonderful film.
Chris G

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2008
Crimes of Passion is Ken Russell's 1984 erotic thriller about a fashion designer (Kathleen Turner) who moonlights as hooker China Blue by night. Along the way she is followed and lusted for by a man (John Loughlin) keeping tabs on her and a crazy street preacher (Anthony Perkins) hellbent on "saving" her.
Ken Russell's films are all over the top sights for the eyes and the redlight district that China Blue frequents is a great set piece. Kathleen Turner is great as the super erotic China Blue, playing whatever game her john wants to play. The main problem with the film is John Loughlin's character. I don't know if it's the writing or his acting but the entire plot point dealing with him is so mind numbingly dull and stupid he ruins the picture. An ugly performance from Loughlin.
It's Anthony Perkins that salvages the film. His over the top portrayal of the porno obsessed street preacher is a testament to his acting ability. Psycho may have been his greatest role but Crimes of Passion has to be second. He plays the role with such force and drive that it gets to you. He is that damn good in the role. Anthony Perkins made up for Loughlin's terrible performance.
Crime of Passion is another one of those '80's erotic thrillers ala Body Double and Fatal Attraction, though this film is very explicit in its sex scenes. A product of it's time, the acting of two out of the three leads makes this a film worth give a view.
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