The Wild Lunacy Of “Crimes Of Passion”!
What happens when you take Actress Kathleen Turner and Mr. “Psycho” himself, Anthony Perkins, and turn them over to one of cinema’s most unique Directors, Ken Russell?
You Get “Crimes Of Passion”!
Get ready to have your eyeballs sucked out of your head! It’s a wild wild film delivered by Director Russell, who is known for such cult classics as “The Devils” and “The Who’s Tommy” – you know, the film with Ann Margret swimming in baked beans!
Well, Russell outdid himself with this 1984 erotic thriller – and Anthony Perkins and Kathleen Turner chew up the scenery with a hunger that is eye-popping…
Perkins play Rev. Shayne, who has decided that he must rid the world of evil, so he shares his thoughts with God – and us:
“Oh God, to whom vengeance belongs. How long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard things? How long shall they turn 50-buck tricks, and strut their evil bodies and smelly silk underwear? Tear off that dress and she’s as helpless as I am. China Blue, alias Joanna Crane, alias Peter Shayne. They’ll all… be saved.”
Yes, and that includes going to strip clubs and using up a lot of the church’s collection box!
Here is the plot: A mysterious woman, who is a fashion designer by day, is also a prostitute by night, and of course, she’s accused of murder! Who can help her? Why wacko Priest Perkins of course – but as you know, he has his own ideas on how to save someone like her!
Check out the trailer:
According to film critic Roger Ebert, the picture “required massive cuts in the movie before it could qualify for an R rating” in the USA with studio distributor New World Pictures reluctant to release the film stateside with an X rating – because Director Russell lets it all hang out – films like this don’t get watched = they get devoured!
Even better, great home video companies know the value of cult films like this, so there is now an uncut version on blu-ray – this is a pulpy must see, and it comes with a ton of great extras about the making of the film!
According to the great website IMDB, Kathleen Turner has said that Anthony Perkins would sniff a form of nitrate before each take!
There’s no doubt that his unhinged performance seems to be enhanced by something, but since Director Russell is a master of cult cinema madness, credit his artistic hand as well!
This is a film full of over-the-top acting and an “anything goes” spirit, and I applaud the creative team for putting it all out there, especially Kathleen Turner, who shows no fear in the film!
If you like seeing a steamy Kathleen Turner, here’s another great way to round out a double bill of great cult gems:
The 1981 cult gem “Body Heat” was Turner’s motion picture debut, and it’s a classic slice of modern “film noir” – read all about it here:
Check out both films, and let me know what you think!