The evocative Kathleen Turner thuds into a wall of inanity in this dismally written, Ken Russell-directed serio-comic examination of sexual morality among American savages.
Painfully pretentious screenplay deflects the usual Russell outrageousness and traps the four principals (all other roles are momentary) into the most superficial of characterizations.
Turner leads two lives. By day she is Joanna, a compulsively laboring sportswear designer. She is divorced and, according to her employer, frigid. But by night she is, under a blond-banged wig, China Blue, the hottest $50 a trick hooker in the local combat zone.
Anthony Perkins’ past also goes undetailed. So he has to lean on ‘psycho’-somatic credentials to portray a glib, sweaty, presumably ministerial, homicidal wacko who would like to be China Blue if only he had the right hormones.
Whatever the intention, and despite the technical efficiency, Crimes of Passion falls between the cracks. The fault line here is quite identifiable – it’s in the screenplay.
[A 106-minute version was released theatrically in Europe and on video in the US.]