Sunday, September 12, 2010

Crimes Of Passion (1984)

Reviewed By: Billy

Can I just say...we LOVE our followers/commenters.  Really, we do.  Because of you, we often discover treasure troves of sleaze that otherwise would have collected dust on the shelf of our local video store, crying out to be rented and trashed.  For example, our friend and filmmaker Static_OmegaFPL recently left this comment on our review of Psycho III:

"And, it seems to me Perkins was channeling Ken Russell in this movie, as a director. He had just starred in Crimes Of Passion (which I'd LOVE to see you lay into as well)."

Well, Damien...thanks to you, I've just finished watching the movie that puts the "gross" in "engrossing."  Seriously.  How skeevy is Crimes Of Passion?  Try this line of dialogue on for size:  "If you think you're gonna get back in my panties, forget it. There's one asshole in there already."


Anyway, Crimes stars one of our favorite "ladies-of-the-80s" -- Kathleen Turner, a LONG way from Cartagena -- in the ultra-realistic role of a successful fashion designer who moonlights as a hooker named China Blue.  Actually, upon writing this, I'm watching an episode of "Project Runway" where several desigers seem to be prostituting themselves for a shot at fame on reality maybe Kathleen was just ahead of her time.  No matter...why exactly this character leads a double life is never really explained...but it does give her the chance to overact in a Blondie wig and attempt to say lines like this one with an ounce of dignity:  "Although we may run out of Pan Am coffee, we will never run out of TWA tea." 

In case you missed the meaning...just say the last 2 words out loud again.
Along the way, our gal China attracts the attention to two men.  One is druggy street preacher Peter Shayne, played with a beautiful, understated subtlety by Anthony Perkins.
Gotcha!  Actually...Anthony spends the entire movie twitching, screaming, covered in flop sweat, and waving around a nasty looking metal vibrator that he dreams of boffing women to death with.  Now, including just one scene with this vibrator-slash-weapon would be classy enough, but thankfully Ken Russell decides to make it a major part of the the point that I was forced to throw away my electric toothbrush last night due to a traumatic reaction to the buzzing sound.
The other man obsessed with China is played by John Laughlin (who looks exactly like swimmer Michael Phelps...who already kind of looks like a brain-dead Gomer Pyle) and is accordingly so completely dull that I'm not sure Laughlin didn't just wander onto the set by accident and end up walking through scenes that were already in progress.  One happy side-effect of his presence, though, is the brilliant casting of the character of his sexually frustrated wife.  Get ready for it, people...we've got ANNIE-friggin'-POTTS.  Yes, Designing Women's Mary Jo a sex thriller.  These are the casting choices Tower Farm is built on.  I prayed and prayed that this meant Meshach Taylor would show up as a trick...but alas, it was just a fantasy:
Anyway, I'd love to tell you more about the plot...but frankly, there is none.  I can tell you that we do get perhaps the most irritating synth-and-sax score since...well...ever.  We also get lots of random shots of drawings from the Kama Sutra, which is fun.  Oh, and did I mention neon lights?  Everywhere?  In every scene? 

And in case you don't feel moved to sit through any of that, can I at least recommend the final scene, in which Anthony is finally stabbed to death...with the metal vibrator....while wearing Kathleen's wig and dress...?
Why this movie was ever made -- let alone with the participation of some respectable people -- must be one of the great mysteries of modern cinema.    But thank God it was.  This is truly the movie to watch on those lazy days when you don't feel like taking a shower.  Trust me...within minutes you'll be standing under scalding hot water trying to wash away the sleaze eminating from your TV.  Thankfully for Ken (who also directed this icky classic), Kathleen, and company...we LOVE hot showers!



  1. And the scene with the cop...oy vey, the scene with the cop! "It's a lovely life".

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  3. Hahahahahahahaha. Exactly as I expected the reaction to be. I love it. I laughed, I cried, I peed (just a little.)

    As a side note Perkins was acutally doing poppers in the movie, when you see him doing poppers. Method acting or just being a mincing gay queen? ALSO, David DeCouteau (he of The Brotherhood films) was an assistant on this movie and was erm... slightly assaulted in the sexual way by Monsieur Perkins during the making of the film. (By slightly sexually assaulted I mean, DeCouteau went into Tony's dressing room. Tony took off his clothes and turned to DeCouteau and said in im sure the MOST Anthony Perkins-like manner "I look quite good for a man over 50, don't I?" To which DeCouteau nodded and left. THIS is why he makes the movies he does me thinks.)

    They just dont do stuff like this anymore. AND I guess I'm just gonna go on and send you the shot on video flick I mentioned before 555. Cause I think it is badly needed here.

    Thanks for spanking this one's ass Mr. Billy, I enjoyed every second of it ;-)

  4. Ok. Seriously. I read the review again, cause it just tickled me so much. I think at some point I may have to marry you Mr. Billy. Haha. Cause, really, I think the same thing about Annie Potts/Designing Women/Mesach EVERY time I watch the damned thing.

    HELL I've invisioned a Lifetimesque sequel wherein Annie Potts goes crazy after being dumped by her lame-o husband for Kathleen Turner then becomes a much more bitchy hooker named "Asia Red" or perhaps "Antarctica Puse." Anyways, her madame would of course have been played by the late, great Dixie Carter and the ever drunken Jean Smart (playing siamese twins, doing a combo performance of Nichelle Nichols "Dorinda" from Truck Turner and Shelley Winters "Momma" from Cleopatra Jones.) Delta Burke would of course reprise her role from the landmark 1996 thriller Maternal Instincts, as Annie Potts estranged, psychotic mother, who teams up with Mesach Taylor (taking over Perkins part, cept this time as a drag queen priestess) to hunt down and bless all the hookers on earth. (Of course by bless, I mean kill. With their razor dildo cannons. I did mention this would be set in a post apocalyptic future, right?) It will be called Crimes of Passion Part II: Once More Into The Pink, Again: The Revenge... And it will be directed by Robert Wise, just so the subtleties can really shine through.

  5. Pax,
    I'm glad you brought up the cop scene, as I couldn't even bring myself to write about it. That's the problem with this movie...there's just WAAAAY too much to say.

    You had me at "...landmark 1996 thriller Maternal Instincts..."

    Consider us husband and husband!

    And yes...send us the movie STAT...sorry we've been too lazy to get back to you...but that's the Tower Farm way!


  6. :-D
    Or more specifically 8================D

    Perhaps for our Renewal of Vows years from now we'll get the corpse of Anthony Perkins to preside over the nuptials. Ah the whimsical dreams of youth.

    And, I will dig 555 out and get it to you sometime next week, HOPEFULLY. Consider it my dowry. :-P

  7. Oh wow. I have never seen this film. And now I will since your review was so good and so damn funny. This looks right up my alley. I might actually do a video review for this if I get the chance. Awesome stuff and thanks!