Monday, August 17, 2009

China Blue (1984)

Sometimes I wonder if China Blue is so controversial because of it's sexual content really? I'm not sure of it anymore. It's quite a graphic movie, and it has even more graphic language, but that's not the reason for the moral majority to get upset. The thing is, this movies just loaths the traditional way of living, marriage and the guilty of having to take care of a family. It just turns the american traditional lifestyle upside down and throws it in the gugger. And I like that.

I saw this movie when I was a child. Or very young, and I still remember how cool I thought it was. It's not everyday you can see the beautiful Kathleen Turner fuck a police in the ass with a baton, getting licked while holding a beauty contest speech or pretend to be raped by a fake serial killer. This is really a pure Ken Russell movie! Turner plays China Blue, a whore by night and a fashion designer by day. She's followed by to men: the crazy preacher Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) and the good looking hardworking familyman Bobby Grady (John Laughlin). They both want her for different reasons, Grady wants to fuck her and Shayne wants to fuck and kill her. Or maybe kill her and fuck her. Shayne is just a very disturbed man.

But it's not all sex. It's about pretending to be someone else, and all three are living lifes that sometimes hurt them. Shayne just want to be an ordinary god-fearing preacher, but always turns up at seedy strip-joints and sex-clubs. China Blue can only have sexual relationships with her clients and Grady is living a lie, the perfect american family where he and his wife just are very, very tired of each other. My favorite part of the movie is a weird TV-commercial telling some kinda a story about a couple getting married... and end up dead by their pool. This is surrealism at it's best.

China Blue (or Crimes of Passion as the american title is) is a very odd flick. I guess it's more of black drama than nothing else, with strong hints of black comedy and some thriller elements. The music, by Rick Wakeman, is (more or less) only one melody in twenty different versions, and it's most of the time hysterical and extremly over-the-top. But that only adds to the coolness, the magic of the story. This is far from an ordinary movie! 1984 makes it's also filled with strong colors, wigs and fashion from hell. But Ken Russell and his team almost makes the tacky visuals beautiful and it works fine.

Kathleen Turner makes the performance of her career, and manages both to be strong, vulnerable and sexy at the same time. Anthony Perkins makes one of his most perverted characters (and he's used to it) ever and I just love his performances. Really, there aren't any bad actors in this movie. So I should just stop my nagging about it. 

I've been in love with Chine Blue since I was ten years old, and I'm sure I will revisit it many times in the future. Here in Sweden there's a great-looking release from Studio S, of course uncut in it's perverted glory. China Blue is a movie for intelligent perverts, so go and get it now.


Patrick B said...

Thank you for the review! I'm gonna have to check this out! No wonder you have such great taste in movies, seeing something like that at the age of 10.

Ninja Dixon said...

Watch out! Because I heard that the norwegian and danish release is actually the shorter version! The swedish distributor didn't want to release that, and found themselfs the longer version.

My mother was very worried about dangerous movies when I was a kid, but everytime I visited my father we see all these cool movies - and nowdays my mother is much into asian action (she's 62 and her favorite is Shogun Assassin) :)

mamoulian said...

I saw this when I was studying at the gymnasium a long time ago... and the day after I heard one of the more "outgoing and experienced" girls of my class talking to some friends about how she wasn't allowed by her parents to watch that "porn film" ... I said it was more of a "softcore (gladporr)" and she just stared at me flabbergasted, her mouth completely agape... ;-)

Ninja Dixon said...

So she wasn't allowed to see it because of studying either?

I'm not sure what to categorize it as, but I like it a lot!

mamoulian said...

Well, it was as if she'd liked to brag about almost seeing it.. and to believe that I, a novice if ever there was one, had been able to have a go at it, and thus stealing her show in front of her audience... ;-D

Don't know either what to call this one, but it grows on you... and sticks to your retina.

Saga Torstensson said...

Thanks! I absolutely love this movie - and Kathleen Turner for it. At the peak of 80's Reaganism, good old Ken was as beautifully insane and outrageous as ever before! Can't wait to see the unrated The Devils too.