Wednesday, June 16, 2010


[Backstory: I opted to be a part of the White Elephant Blog and some monster assigned a Ken Russell film to me. I got what I deserved since I gave some poor sap ROLLER GATOR. All of the participants and their assignments can be found over at Paul Clark’s site.]

When the above title card appeared – less than a minute in to Ken Russell’s 1984 CRIMES OF PASSION – I confess I chortled like a tubby eighth grader. Over the next hundred minutes or so, my puerile tittering would receive its due punishment.

PASSION is essentially one protracted giggle at dicks, bush, and everything in between. Tellingly, the film opens with a character telling a joke that was probably pulled from one of those “UNCLE DIRTY’S BEST XXX-RATED HUMOR” tomes you see for sale at seedy rest stops.

The filmmakers promise a scandalous exploration of forbidden sexuality and delivered a silly meander through Zalman King territory. While they’re at it, they throw in a ham-fisted expose of (perceived) suburban ennui.

After the credits, we open on a group therapy session. The group’s purpose is unclear. They apparently gather to swap dirty jokes and jab at each other for being too lecherous, not getting laid enough, getting laid too much… not sure. The camera pans over from respectable actor Bruce Davison – who will have less than ten lines in the whole film, despite being among the top-billed – to John Laughlin, an actor who gets one of those coveted “and introducing… “ credits: