Kathleen Turner stars as the mysterious China Blue in Ken Russell’s colourful and bizarre erotic thriller Crimes of Passion, recently released on Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow Video.
Ken Russell isn’t known for unoriginal and boring films (just see Altered States and Lair of the White Worm) and Crimes of Passion is no different. Released in October 1984, the same year that Turner did Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas, Crimes of Passion got people’s attention thanks to the erotic and seedy sex scenes provided by Russell.
Kathleen Turner is on fire as Joanna Crane; a fashion designer by day who, to escape the boredom of her everyday life, becomes the sought-after prostitute China Blue at night. She soon gains the attention of two men; one is a sexually frustrated private detective (John Laughlin) who has been hired by her employers, the other man is a crazy priest played by the legendary star of Psycho – Anthony Perkins. The cast is made up of some more familiar faces, such as Annie Potts (Ghostbusters) and Bruce Davison (X-Men).
Whilst the film can get a little schlocky at times and the dialogue can be too blue (pun intended), you can’t help be blown away by the stunning visuals. The colours are vivid throughout and you can see how it may have inspired recent flicks such as Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon.
Arrow Video has done yet another amazing job. The 2k restoration is sublime as are all the little extras to be found on the disc such as the deleted scenes, the option to watch the uncut version and the director cut, interviews and home video footage as Russell travels to the 2009 Florida Film Festival to watch a screening of Crimes of Passion.
As with nearly all Arrow Video releases, the Crimes of Passion Blu-ray also has a reversible sleeve featuring the original cover and some new artwork to choose from as well as a brilliant little illustrated booklet full of goodies.
Overall, the film is a great 80’s erotic thriller but the presentation from Arrow is even better.